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A. M. Whortan, Superintendent of schools at Delaware, Nowata County, was born in McDonald County, Missouri, on the 8th of January, 1879, a son of C. O. and Isabelle (Hopper) Whortan, the former a native of Alabama and the latter of Missouri. When a youth the father removed from his native state to Arkansas and for many years he engaged in farming, achieving more than substantial success in that connection. He is now living in Fayetteville in retirement. Mrs. Whortan died in 1896.
In the acquirement of an education A. M. Whortan attended the public schools of Missouri and in due time entered the Central State Normal School of Oklahoma. In 1916 he was graduated from that institution and became a student in the State University, receiving his A. B. degree that year. He has taught school since 1896 and at one time taught thirteen consecutive months. He has the record of never missing a day from his school work. In 1897 Mr. Whortan came to Oklahoma and taught in the schools of Jackson County until 1914. The following three years he was identified with educational work in Tillman County, and since 1917 he has been Superintendent of the Delaware schools. Mr. Whortan has been assisted in his professional career by his wife, who is primary supervisor of the Delaware schools and a woman of much culture and refinement. Since assuming the duties and responsibilities of Superintendent of schools, Mr. Whortan has made a noticeable improvement in the educational system here. In this position he succeeded A. L. Shattuck, under whose supervision the school had an enrollment of three hundred and twenty; only eleven of these students reaching high school. Mr. Whortan had four graduates from high school the second year and eight the next year, five of these twelve becoming either students in the State University or the Central Normal school. One is attending Washington College in Kansas, one is married and the remainder are living at home. Marion T. Baird, at one time a pupil of Mr. Whortan’s; is-now Superintendent of the city schools at Heavener, Le Flore County, this state. In disiplining his students, Mr. Whortan has always appealed to their honesty and intelligence, and there is not one of his pupils but loves and respects him. The school enrollment now totals three hundred and eighty-seven pupils, the school recently adding sixty pupils from district No. 30, which district is now known as Delaware consolidated, No. 30. The Delaware school is a fully accredited school and its curriculum includes all that is required of such an institution. The school building is of brick and modern in every way, much being done in the way of comfort for the pupils and members of the faculty. Mr. Whortan is tireless in his devotion to his work and well merits the success that has come to him and the confidence and respect in which he is held by all of his fellow citizens.
In 1901 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Whortan to Miss Agnes Womack, of Texas, a daughter of K. R. and Sallie (Gossett) Womack. Her father is living and makes his home in Crowley, Colorado, but the mother’s demise occurred in 1919. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Whortan two sons have been born: Raymond; nineteen years of age; and Lester, eighteen. Mrs. Whortan and the two sons graduated from the Central State Normal School with the class of 1918. Lester has the distinction of being the smallest and youngest boy ever to graduate from that institution. At the time of his graduation he was but fifteen years of age and weighed but seventy-one pounds. He is now a senior in the University of Oklahoma. Raymond was sixteen years of age at the time of his graduation from the Central Normal School and is also a senior in the State University. The brothers will graduate from this institution in June, 1921. Mr. VVhortan and his sons are exceptionally fond of athletics and in 1914 Raymond was County tennis champion of Tillman County in the doubles, while in 1915 he won the championship in both doubles and singles. The Whortan family is a very congenial one and should be taken as a model for other American families. The parents are young with their children; in other words, they are all the best of pals. They have a joint bank account, each writing his or her personal checks.
Since attaining his majority Mr. Whortan has given his stanch support to the Democratic Party and the principles for which it stands. He is a thirty-second degree Mason, of which craft he is an exemplary member, and he wears a beautiful Masonic ring presented to him by his pupils. He is a member of Lodge No. 477; F. & A. M., of Delaware and holds membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His wife is a member of the Eastern Star and Rebekah lodges. Mr. Whortan is a leader in the Lions Club of Delaware, this community having the distinction of being the smallest town in the United States to boast such an organization. There is no movement for the betterment of the general welfare in which he does not take an active part, and he is readily conceded one of ‘Delaware’s and Nowata County’s representative and progressive citizens. Mr. Whortan has always maintained an interest in farming and at the present time possesses three hundred and twenty acres of valuable land in Jackson County, which is under cultivation and is one of the show places of the community. In every relation of life he has won success, and Nowata County is indeed fortunate in having him for a citizen.