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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.

Rose Family

Thomas Fletcher Rose's father, George Washington Rose, descended from Thomas Rose who apparently lived Virginia and the Carolinas before settling in Georgia at the time of the Revolutionary War. He was married three times. After the Revolution, he moved north and lived in Kentucky before he died. What little money he had at the time of his death was probated at Vanderburgh County, Indiana.

A descendant of George Washington Rose of the same name volunteered with an Illinois unit to fight in the Mexican War. His period of service expired before General Winfield Scott led his troops to Mexico City. Scott ordered soldiers who refused to reenlist to return to the U.S. They were paid for their service with either 160 acres or $100. George opted for 160 acres and looked for additional acreage. He bought land in northern Missouri before relocating to southwestern Missouri to establish his homestead.

Like many heads of households in the 1890s, George's descendant, Thomas Fletcher Rose, had a large family—three boys and five girls. He apparently raised pigs along Indian Creek at Lanagan in McDonald County, Missouri. Although he did not attend church, he was known for his care of animals. He once won a twenty-five-dollar gold piece as a prize for the best yearling horse.

Tempted by land in the Cherokee Nation, Thomas moved with his family in about 1896 to Indian Territory, where farming followed much the same protocols as sharecropping: Cherokees bought permits for white farmers to farm their land. After Oklahoma was admitted to the Union in 1907, Thomas Fletcher bought a farm north of Grove. When he died, his children deeded the farm to a maiden sister who had cared for their parents. They left the loan on the property.

After he was married, George Brinton Rose rented land from a member of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe. He later relocated to a farm across the border in Missouri. George Brinton Rose's eldest daughter became the first member of the family to attend college and teach school. During her tenure as a teacher, she met and married another teacher, Martin Stevens Stauber.

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