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Oklahoma Family Tree Stories

This beautiful sculpture of three redbud trees with gold and silver leaves by artist Robin Starke is located just outside the Eleanor & John Kirkpatrick Research Center in the Oklahoma History Center. Each leaf of the "Oklahoma Family Tree" memorializes an Oklahoma family with the family surname, first name(s), and the town or county where they lived. In addition, a short family history will be preserved in the digital family history book at the base of the tree. This is a great way for your family to make history and benefit future generations at the same time. To find out how to honor your own family with a leaf visit the Oklahoma Family Tree Project page.

Dugger Family

John Wesley Dugger was born to Tillman and Martha Thompson Dugger on July 1, 1880, in Wylie, Texas. By 1900, John was living in the Chickasaw Nation with his aunt, Nancy Hammond. He married Carrie Hall at Boggy Depot on May 10, 1910. Their five children included Harold, Carl, Dorothy, Raymond, and Ray.

Carl remembered the family's first home in Boggy Depot. Gene and Margaret Dugger, along with Joe, Ab, and Vennie, enjoyed piling into a wagon for Saturday evening visits and typically spent the night. They were always greeted by joyful singing. The boys worked alongside their father on the family farm, where they raised cotton, cattle, hogs, and chickens and sold eggs, milk, and cream.

In 1916 John's voter registration card from the Democratic Party showed him to be 5 feet 9 inches tall, 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Carrie and Carl milked their cows and used a cream separator to prepare for regular pick-ups. Following the first frost, the Duggers butchered hogs and dropped them in a vat of boiling water to make it easier to scrape off their hair. They also cooked sausage and stored it in its own grease where it would supposedly "keep forever." The family eventually moved from Sulphur to Arch, located about five miles west of the Sulphur school.

Dorothy, Raymond, and Ray traveled from Arch to school in Sulphur. Before Carl was married, the family moved from Arch to McMurtery Place. John had a feather bed that his Aunt Nanny had given him; the children made do with straw beds. Wood stoves and oil lamps sufficed for cooking and keeping the house warm.

About 1944 the family moved to Hartshorne and bought their first home on Third Street. Early on, there was no indoor bathroom, a luxury that the boys eventually installed. They used gas for heating and supplemented it with space heaters in the living room and kitchen. As the bedrooms were not heated, glasses of water placed beside the bed froze solid. John died at home on June 6, 1956.

Carrie Eunice Hall was born on February 23, 1891, in Wapanucka, Chickasaw Nation, (present-day Johnston County, Oklahoma) to William Meredith Hall and Mary E. Baker. Carrie completed ninth grade at Boggy Depot. She was very talented and learned to make clothes and crochet by looking at pictures.

Carrie picked and hoed cotton alongside John, and they lived from crop to crop by mortgaging everything they owned. Carrie recalled sending her children to school with biscuits dipped in syrup. After they moved to town, she raised and canned vegetables and fruit and made jelly. The family belonged to the Baptist Church, where Carrie loved to sing hymns.

John and Carrie never owned a car. They sold their horses and wagon when they moved to Hartshorne, leaving them on foot for all their travels around town. On Sundays, Harold or Carl often took them to visit cousins in McAlester or drove them to Sulphur and Arch.

Carrie was proud of her five children and twenty-three grandchildren as well as her flower gardens. She could make almost anything grow from cuttings. She filled her house with plants, canaries, parakeets, and "what nots." In her spare time, she supplemented her income by taking in washing and ironing. She had a wringer washer and hung clothes on a clothes line to dry. Her irons were nothing more than blocks of steel that weighed about a pound each.

Carrie's life was never easy, but she was definitely a happy lady. She eventually contracted cancer and died from a heart attack on October 13, 1965.

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