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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.

Foster Family

George A. Foster and Clare (Glazebrook) Foster had one daughter, Nina L. Foster. They came to Oklahoma in 1901. George, who worked for the Rock Island Railroad, and moved from the Enid are to Faxon as station agent.

George missed the Land Run of 1889 but remained determined to stake his claim to a quarter section of land. He was ready when the Big Pasture was opened to non-Indian settlement by lottery in 1906. This time, George was successful in obtaining land. His quarter section was located in Tillman County just west of the Comanche County line. The certificate was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt.

George rode a bicycle for seven dirty and often muddy miles to the railroad depot in Faxon where he worked. The railroad extended its line through Chattanooga and on to Grandfield. George's farm remained in the family. Henry Adams, who lived nearby and managed wheat crops under contract with absentee owners in the area, took care of George's wheat fields.

Foster Murphy was born to P. T. Murphy and Nina L. (Foster) Murphy on the farm on October 20, 1922. At the time, his father was working in Oklahoma City for the Federal Reserve Bank. He was transferred to Los Angeles in 1927.

Foster was educated in Long Beach schools. He graduated in June 1940 from L. B. Polytechnic High School and subsequently attended the University of Washington in Seattle. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps, trained as a meteorologist, and served as a weather forecaster in the Pacific theater until August 1946. Foster completed his education at the University of California in 1948 and worked for two years before he was recalled to active duty in June 1950 at the outset of the Korean War.

Late in life, Foster treasured memories of his family's life on the farm and always looked forward to annual visits during the June harvest. He was pleased to hand off the farm to his three sons, thus ensuring that the farm would remain in his family's hands for more than a century.

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