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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.

Stauber Family

Caroline "Carrie" Avery had finished her first term of teaching school in Pennsylvania when, at the age of eighteen, she traveled with her family to southwestern Missouri. They arrived in 1888. Although Caroline's father, Alexander James Avery, cannot be found in the 1880 census, he might have come to Indian Territory in that year. A permit from the Cherokee Nation placing him in an area known as the Stand Watie cabin on Spavinaw Creek is all that survives to indicate where he lived.

Members of the Avery family who moved west before Carrie included Alexander and his son, Cyrus, and Ruie Stevens Avery, who arrived with the youngest child, Bertha. Yet it was Carrie's arrival in southwestern Missouri that brought the family together again. In the fall of 1888, Ruie and Carrie taught at Southwest City High School. Carrie's class roll has survived.

According to family historian Rose Stauber, Ruie preferred a more settled life in Missouri to whatever Indian Territory had to offer, and the family settled on Elk River just north of Noel, Missouri. The family's ties to Indian Territory were never broken. Bertha married Dr. Walter Smith, a Cherokee whose father was Delaware County's first representative to the Oklahoma legislature.

Cyrus Avery, best known as the father of Route 66, arranged for Carrie and her husband, James Stauber, to lease land on the Smith sons' allotments. The house built under their arrangement for $300 still stands and has been used ever since. The Stauber family moved to the farm on Elk River after Alexander James Avery died in 1907. The Stauber family retained ownership of the farm.

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