Biography of Alfred Mason Gott
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Alfred Mason Gott is quietly passing his days in the home of his niece, Mrs. D. D. Howell of Nowata, and around him are many relics, showing that all of his days have not been as quiet and peaceful as at the present, for he is numbered among the old Indian fighters of this section of the country and has passed through all of the experiences and hardships of pioneer life and the later era of progress and development. That his business affairs have been carefully managed is indicated in the fact that he is now one of the largest property owners in Nowata, holding both improved and unimproved land. The story of his life if written in detail would present many most interesting and oft-times thrilling chapters. Mr. Gott was born in Logan County, Illinois, September 28, 1841, his parents being Robert L. and Sarah (Seward) Gott. The former was a son of Jonathan Gott, a native of Kentucky, in which state he was reared. Mrs. Sarah Gott was a native of Ohio. During the infancy of Alfred M. Gott his parents left Illinois and removed to Falls County, Texas, where he pursued his education in subscription schools. With the outbreak of the Civil war he joined Captain Harrison’s regiment known as the Terry Texas Rangers and for a time was under the command of General Joe Wheeler. He had seven horses shot from under him and on one occasion was himself slightly wounded. He was also captured and made a prisoner of war, when, McCook made his famous raid around Atlanta. Soon afterward, however, he was released and managed to get through the ordeal without parole, so that he immediately returned to active campaigning. He now has in his possession a Maltese Cross made from the material taken from an old Confederate gun and presented to him by the Hooley Bell Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Following the close of hostilities Mr. Gott removed to the Indian Territory, where he turned his attention to stock raising and became one of the prominent and successful ranchmen of his part of the state. His business affairs were most capably and successfully managed and he became one of the leading and prosperous farmers and stockmen of the territory. With the changing order of things he recognized the possibilities along other lines of business and in 1898 became active in the development of town-sites in the Cherokee Nation, devoting eight years to that business. It was later found that his land contained a good paying quantity of oil and much of his land has been leased to oil and gas companies, so that he receives a very substantial royalty therefrom. The years have brought him success which is the direct outcome of his indefatigable efforts, his enterprise, his diligence and sound judgment.
In December, 1869, Mr. Gott was united in marriage to Miss Sue Harris, a daughter of Charles Harris, a Cherokee Indian, of Georgia. He has always attributed much of his success to the helpfulness and discriminating business judgment of his wife, with whom he traveled life’s journey most happily for forty-six years, or until they were separated by death on the 30th of November, 1915, when Mrs. Gott departed this life. They had no children of their own but reared two adopted children, one of these being their niece, Lucile Harris, who became the wife of Dr. Dumont D. Howell of Nowata, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work; and Harry Sisson. Mr. Gott belongs to Welcome Lodge of the Knights of Pythias and is a loyal follower of its teachings and high purposes. In politics he has always been a stanch advocate of Democratic principles but has never been ambitious to hold office. His business affairs have claimed his entire attention and the wise management of his interests is evidenced by the prosperity that has crowned his labors. Today he is enjoying a well earned rest, which he richly merits. He relates many interesting incidents of pioneer times and tales of Oklahoma’s progress and development. Around him in his private den he has many treasured relics of days when he was a soldier in the Civil war and when he hunted buffaloes on the plains of Texas. Among these are a six-shooter and a hunting knife which he used in that period. He also has in his possession a bayonet which was presented to him by his nephew, Charles Harris, a brother of Mrs. Howell, who used it in the World war and the stains upon its sides indicate that it was used with deadly effect. Mr. Gott is an acknowledged authority upon matters of local history and concerning the story of western development, for his memory forms a connecting link between the primitive past and the progressive present.