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Biography of Bertha Louise Ahrens

Bertha Louise Ahrens (B. Feb. 26, 1857), missionary teacher among the Choctaw Freedmen of Indian Territory since 1885, and principal teacher at Oak Hill Academy, 1905-1911, is a native of Berlin, Prussia. Her parents, Otto and Augusta Ahrens, in 1865, when she was 8, and a brother Otto 5, came to America and located on a farm near Sigourney, Iowa, after one year at Bellville, Illinois; and four, at Harper, Iowa. The schools and Churches first attended used the German language. Her first studies in English were in the graded schools at Sigourney and here at seventeen, she became a member of the Presbyterian Church under the pastorate of Rev. S. G. Hair. He loaned her some missionary literature to read and it awakened a desire on her part to become a missionary. This desire was expressed to the Women’s Missionary society of the Church and she was encouraged to attend the Western Female Seminary, now college, at Oxford, Ohio. After a course of study at this institution she enjoyed a year’s training in the Bible school connected with Moody’s Chicago Avenue Church, Chicago. During the next year, after hearing in her home town an appeal in behalf of a Negro school in the south, she was led to offer her services to the Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen. In December 1885, she received a commission with request to locate among the Choctaw Freedmen at Lukfata, in the southeast part of Indian Territory. The route at that early date was quite circuitous. Going south through Kansas City over the M. K. T. Ry., to Denison, Texas, she passed...

Biography of Frank Lee

From the year which brought statehood to Oklahoma, Frank Lee has been a member of the Muskogee bar and is regarded as one of the strong and eminent representatives of the profession in this part of the state. He has engaged in the practice of law altogether for thirty-five years and his professional career has been marked by continuous progress and constantly developing power. Born in Stockwell, Indiana, December 9, 1864, he is a son of Captain Smith Lee, who served with the Boys in Blue in the Civil war, becoming a member of Company I, Eleventh Indiana Cavalry. After loyally aiding in the defense of the Union he filled various county offices in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and later removed to Texas, where he conducted a fruit ranch. Frank Lee pursued his more specifically literary education in Stockwell College, near La Fayette, Indiana, and took up the study of law in Cumberland University at Lebanon, Tennessee, where he was graduated with the class of 1886. The day was indeed a Commencement Day for him the commencement of a professional career which has been characterized by thoroughness, by faithfulness to his clients’ interests and by continuous study and research, making him a strong advocate before the court and a safe counselor in regard to legal matters. He entered upon the general practice of law at Paris, Texas, and was afterward appointed assistant United States attorney at that place, the court there also having jurisdiction over parts of Oklahoma, then Indian Territory. He occupied the position for four years and in 1902, when the town of Hugo, Oklahoma, was founded, he...

Biography of Thomas M. Buffington

Thomas M. Buffington, an honored pioneer of Oklahoma and one of the most prominent men in the state, was for many years a dominant figure in the councils of the Cherokee Nation but is now living retired at Vinita at the age of sixty-six years. He was born in the Going Snake district of the Cherokee Nation, near accompanied the Cherokees on their removal to the Choctaw 1855, and his parents were Ezekiel and Louisa (Newman) Buffington, the former of whom was born in the Cherokee Nation of Georgia, while the latter was a native of Tennessee. The father accompanied the Cherokees on their removal to the Choctaw Nation in 1835, devoting his attention to the occupation of farming. He died at the Good Water Mission in 1863, and the mother passed away in Indian Territory in 1896. Reared upon the home farm, Thomas M. Buffington attended the Baptist missions and Cherokee schools but had very limited educational opportunities. During the progress of the Civil war the family had removed to Texas but subsequently they returned to Indian Territory and Mr. Buffington remained at home until a young man of twenty-two years, when he began cultivating land which he owned on Mustang creek, now in Delaware County, Oklahoma. This he continued to operate for eleven years, being numbered among the most progressive and successful agriculturists of the district, and he was chosen President of the Farmers Alliance. In 1892 he came to Vinita and for six years engaged in general merchandising as a member of the firm of Charlesworth & Buffington. Much of his life has been devoted to...

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