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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.

Reynolds Family

Fred Reynolds and his brother, Holden, knew that their family farm in Kansas could no longer support their growing families. Mounted on horses, they participated in the land run of 1889 into the Unassigned Lands and staked claims next to each other.

The following year, Fred returned to Kansas to marry Amanda. As their family grew, they moved to Cashion to enable their children to attend school. Their three children were Earl Augustus, Edith, and Verna. Fred began managing railroad hotels and moved to El Reno and later to Minco.

As a teenager, Earl Augustus got a job with Fred Harvey in Syracuse, Kansas. On one of her crusades, Carrie Nation once asked a young Earl Augustus to bring her a cup of water. As a teenager living with his parents in Minco, he was excited when a baseball team stayed at his father's hotel. At that time, city leagues traveled throughout Oklahoma. Earl enjoyed camping out with his Indian friends in their wigwam on Sugar Creek.

Earl's father took a job as a ranch foreman in Colorado, thereby severing Reynolds family ties in Oklahoma. The Reynolds resumed their connection in 1953 when Fred's grandson, Earl Albert Reynolds, and his bride, Louise, joined the faculty at Southwestern State College (later, Southwestern Oklahoma State University) in Weatherford. For the next thirty-three years,

Earl taught organic chemistry and served the university in a variety of positions. When the Chemistry Department was formally organized in 1955, Earl was named as chairman. When Mathematics and Physical Sciences (including Chemistry) were organized in a single department in 1959, Earl was once again named as department chairman. He subsequently traveled across the campus to become chairman of the Division of Teacher Education and Psychology from 1970 to 1976. He served as dean of the newly organized School of Education from 1976 to 1979. From 1979 until his retirement in 1986, he served as vice president for Academic Affairs and the university's chief academic officer.

Earl continued his military service in the U.S. Army Reserves until 1973. His last unit was Hdgs, 95th Division (TNG) as G-3 and chief of staff (1962-1973).

Earl belonged to numerous organizations, including First Families of Oklahoma, Rotary International, the National and Oklahoma Education Associations, the American Chemical Society, the Oklahoma Academy of Science, the Retired Officers Association (now MOAA), and Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity.

Earl lived in Weatherford until he died in 1999. Earl and Louise had five children: Dianne, Roger, Rick, Mark, and Nancy. They and most of their spouses were educated in Oklahoma.

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