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One of Claremore’s pioneer citizens, who has tirelessly devoted his energies to the development of the town along the various lines is Dr. J. C. Bushyhead, who first located here some thirty-one years ago. During the long period of his residence here he has been engaged in the active practice of his chosen profession and has won for himself an enviable position among the foremost physicians and surgeons of northeastern Oklahoma.
A native of Indian Territory, he was born at Fort Gibson on the 29th of June, 1870, a son of Dennis Bushyhead, who was chief of the Cherokee Indians from 1879 to 1886 and prior to that was treasurer of the nation. He was also, for many years, a delegate to Washington, D. C., in the interests of the nation. Aside from his political interests, Dennis Bushyhead was a farmer and conducted a mercantile business. In 1849 the year of the gold rush to California he went to that country and followed mining, being superintendent of the construction of ditches for mining purposes. He was active in that capacity for Judge Terry, who later became famous through the fighting of a duel which is now set down in history. Mr. Bushyhead returned to Indian Territory in 1868, however, and soon after that became prominent in the affairs of the Cherokee Nation. His demise occurred at Tahlequah in 1898, and came as a severe blow to his family and many friends. His brother, Edward Bushyhead, was one of the founders of the San Diego Union, at that time the leading paper of San Diego county; California, of which Douglas Gunn was the editor. Edward Bushyhead was also sheriff of that county and held the position of chief of police of San Diego for some time. His demise occurred there in 1909. Dr. J. C. Bushyhead, whose name initiates this review, has a brother, Dennis W., who is living in Watts, Oklahoma, where he is engaged in farming and takes an active interest in politics, and a sister, Elizabeth, who is the widow of Thomas Triplett and is likewise making her home in Watts.
In the acquirement of an education J. C. Bushyhead attended the public schools of Fort Gibson and subsequently entered the Male Seminary at Tahlequah. His earliest ambition was to be a physician and subsequently, after completing his course at the Male Seminary, he enrolled in the Missouri Medical College, from which institution he was graduated in 1891 with the M. D. degree. He immediately started into practice, locating at Pryor Creek, Mayes county, but in September of that same year came to Claremore, where he has since resided and has built up a practice of extensive and lucrative proportions. He is one of the representative members of the medical profession in northeastern Oklahoma and through membership in various medical bodies and through reading the best literature on modern medical research he keeps in constant touch with the advance being made by eminent members of the profession throughout the country. Although the greater part of his time and attention is given to his profession, he is actively interested in farming, owning a valuable four hundred and fifty acre tract, five miles west of Claremore on the Verdigris river. In 1898 was celebrated the marriage of Dr. Bushyhead and Miss Fay I. Reynolds, a native of Arkansas, and to them five children have been born: Edward R., twenty years of age, who is attending school; Jesse C., eighteen years of age, who is a student at the Oklahoma Military Academy at Claremore; Dennis, age seventeen years, who is likewise attending the military academy; and George D., fifteen years of age, who is a student in the local schools.% 9
Although he has never sought nor desired public preferment on his own account, Dr. Bushyhead is ever cognizant of the duties and responsibilities as well as the privileges of citizenship and is a dominant factor in the furtherance of any movement for the development and improvement of the general welfare. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and Shriner.