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Biography of William H. Balentine

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The subject of this sketch was born in July 1854, the son of Rev. Hamilton Balentine and Anna Hoyt, granddaughter of Second Chief Lowry. This lady died in March 1890. The Rev. H. Balentine, of Pennsylvania, educated at Princeton College, came to the Creek Nation in 1844, and taught school at the Tallahassee Mission, and later at Coweta Mission. Afterward he moved to Good Water and Spencer Academy, Choctaw Nation, teaching for some time at these points. His next move was to Wappaknucka, Chickasaw Nation, where he taught on different occasions for a term of five years. After the war he went to Park Hill, where he remained two years, after which he moved to Vinita. Remaining there three years, he was appointed by the Cherokee Council to take charge of the Female Academy. Here he remained one year, when he took sick and died of pneumonia, February 22, 1876, sincerely and deservedly regretted by all who knew him and felt his influence. William, during his early life, derived much of his education through parental intercourse, having traveled with his father from one mission to another for years. In 1872 he went to the Highland University for two years, and completed his education at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, in 1876. William would have graduated but for the death of his father. In 1876 he commenced school teaching at Woodhall School, near Tahlequah, and has continued in the profession until the present, having taught at Durdeen, White Oak, Pheasant Hill, Menard, Garfield and Eureka. At Menard he taught for seven sessions. In 1881 Mr. Balentine was appointed to teach at the National Male Seminary. In 1876 the subject of this sketch made a tour of the United States, visiting the Centennial, the national capital, Niagara Falls, and other notable places. In 1878 he married Miss Fannie Keys, daughter of the late Chief Justice Reilly Keys, for thirty years a judge and also a national delegate. By this marriage he has a family of three children, Fannie M., William H. and Annie M. His first wife dying in 1885, he married, in 1890, Mary D., daughter of Andrew Johnson, a prominent man in the Flint District. Mr. Balentine was first appointed to the office of clerk of the Senate committees of the National Council in 1879, and was reappointed to various committees for a term of ten years. He was also Secretary for Judge Walker while that gentleman was superintendent of the Female Seminary. He was a member of the board of trustees of the Insane Asylum for two years. Mr. Balentine owns 160 acres of good farm land close to Tahlequah, and 50 acres near Fort Gibson, both of which he looks after himself. He has also a small herd of cattle, fifteen horses and mules, and a large stock of hogs. His children have been, for the past two years, attending the Elam Springs School, and are receiving the best possible education. Mr. Balentine is a gentleman of more than ordinary education, and, intellectually, is far superior to the majority. His brother Hamilton, who lives at Vinita, is a prominent and successful man of business.


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