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One of the representative citizens of Nowata county is Charles W. Childers, who is residing on the old family homestead eight miles southeast of Lenapah. He was born in Henry county, Missouri, on the 18th of May, 1867, a son of Benjamin F. and Mary Susan (Webster) Childers, the former a native of Henry county and the latter of North Carolina.
In the acquirement of his education Charles W. Childers attended the schools of El Dorado, Kansas, and came to Indian Territory with his parents in 1884. They located at Coodys Bluff in Nowata county, where they lived for one year, at the termination of which time they acquired the land, whereon Mr. Childers now lives, homesteading some six hundred acres. Since that time Mr. Childers and his wife and children have acquired six hundred acres more, all of which joins the old homestead, and lies in range 16, township 27, and Range 17, Township 27. Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Childers resided on the homestead until their death, the father passing away in 1894, and the mother three years prior to that. The homestead and surrounding land was in its primitive state when the Childers family located upon it, but it is now in a high state of cultivation and one of the show places of the county. Mr. Childers has a modern two-story house on his land, also fine out-houses and a large supply of natural gas, although no oil has yet been discovered. The farm is located in the Verdigris section, one of the best farming sections in northeastern Oklahoma, and is considered one of the most beautiful spots in the state. He raises wheat, corn, hogs and white-faced cattle, all registered stock, and has gained an enviable position among the agriculturists and stock-men of the state.
In 1884 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Childers to Miss Nancy M. Smith, a daughter of J. T. and Sallie (Journeycake) Smith of Coodys Bluff. Her father was proprietor of the first store in northeastern Oklahoma, at Coodys Bluff, and he was active in the conduct of that business for over fifty years. He freighted his goods from Kansas City by wagon and his wife had the first sewing machine and organ in this part of the state. Mr. Smith likewise owned the first grist mill here. In 1849 he freighted by ox team from Kansas to California. In addition to extensive business interests, Mr. Smith was a great politician and made several trips to Washington in the interest of the Delawares. Mrs. Childers is a woman of much culture and refinement and she takes an active and prominent part in the club and social affairs of the community. She is a second cousin of Mrs. Jake Bartles of Dewey, Oklahoma. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Childers nine children have been born: Viola O. is now the wife of M. M. Stewart, who lives near Mr. Childers, and they have six children, Leo, Charles Turner, Verna, Jessie Ruth, Grace Elizabeth, and Vera; Warren F. married Miss Olive Kulp and they have four children, John Leslie, Echo, Julia and Ola; Eudora, who is deceased, was the wife of Elmer Moseley and the mother of three children, May Etta, Winfrid and Grace Alice; William W. married Miss Edith Vermillion and they have two children, Wanda May and Charles W.; Gertrude A. is the wife of Warren York and the mother of four children, Mary, Helen, William and Virginia; Eulalie is now Mrs. Earl Clingan and the mother of four children, Paul, Irvine, Wilma and Anna May; Mary A. is deceased; and two children died in infancy.
Mr. and Mrs. Childers are consistent members of the Methodist church, to the support of which they are generous contributors. It is one of the finest country churches in the state and has a large and steadily increasing membership. The Childers homestead is also located in one of the largest and finest school districts in the state, being a community school district with over three hundred pupils, and modern school buildings. Fraternally Mr. Childers is a thirty-second degree Mason and belongs to the consistory at Guthrie, one of the finest in the world, the Temple having cost over two million dollars. He is likewise a Shriner. He is one of the big-hearted, public-spirited citizens of Nowata county and has been a dominant factor in the development and improvement of the community. At one time Mr. Childers herded cattle where the town of Nowata now stands and he has watched the poorly cultivated and scarcely populated plains develop into prosperous communities. Mr. Childers is well known in the agricultural and stock circles of the state and northeastern Oklahoma is proud to number him among her representative citizens.