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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.

Temple Family

Owen Wesley Temple was born north of Nash, Oklahoma, on February 10, 1898. In 1902 he moved with his parents, W. H. and Minnie, to northwest Oklahoma Territory, where their first home was a half dug-out southeast of Buffalo. Their quarter section remained in the family until July 2007.

Owen exhibited a strong work ethic at the age of 4 when he carried water to workers in the broom corn fields. When he was 11 years old, he began hauling freight for his father in a four-mule hitch from Buffalo to Ashland, Kansas, over the Fort Supply to Dodge City trail. As the trip took two days, Owen and his younger brother stayed in the wagon yard overnight in Ashland. In 1910 W. H. purchased a Reo automobile and taught Owen to drive when he was twelve.

On April 8, 1922, Owen married Mable Lucille Grimes. Mable was born near Durant in Bryan County, Indian Territory. Mable completed a secretarial course at Chillicothe Business College in Chillicothe, Missouri. In 1920 she started working at the Bank of Buffalo.

Owen went into business with W. H., who was manager of Temple Hardware Store in Buffalo. They bought and sold buggies, wagons, grain binders, headers, and other farm machinery. Owen and his father brought the first mechanized farm equipment to northwest Oklahoma. Through his partnership with his father, Owen acquired a lifelong love of farming and ranching. By 1946 he owned farms and ranches. As a farmer, Owen grew some of the finest wheat in northwest Oklahoma. And as a rancher, he gained renown for his registered Hereford cattle and a large grade herd. After World War II ground to a close in 1945, Owen cooperated with the Oklahoma A&MCollege (later, Oklahoma State University) extension service in Harper County to conduct farm and ranch management courses for returning veterans. He never lost an opportunity to help a returning veteran

Mable complemented her secretarial work for the Bank of Buffalo with work for Temple Hardware Store, federal relief programs, and the Buffalo division of the Oklahoma State Highway Department. She was also a full-time wife and mother. Mable maintained an interest in politics and the Democratic Party. For many years, she served as the Party's vice-chairman of the eighth congressional district. Mable also served on the Oklahoma State Democratic Audit Committee. She was a delegate to the 1940 Democratic National Convention in Chicago where Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for a third term as president.

Owen and Mable were active in Buffalo and Harper County civic affairs. They were directors on town, hospital, and agricultural boards of directors, and they were active in the Northwest Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association. Although Owen retired from farming and ranching in the spring of 1972, he never lost his love of good crop land, good cattle, and good grass.

Owen and Mable had one daughter, Betty Jo, who was born on March 3, 1923. She married Dr. John B Carmichael on June 30, 1946. Their daughters were Monty Jo, Marilyn Ann, and Marky Kay. Owen and Mable spent a great deal of time with the girls when they were young, and their influence lasted throughout their lives. Owen owned three horses, and he taught his granddaughters to ride so that they could help with farming and ranching operations. Some of Owen's and Mable's fondest memories were of the days they spent working and playing with their granddaughters.

Owen and Mable never lost interest in Buffalo's welfare and were proud to live there. Mable died on June 9, 1983. Owen followed her in death on January 19, 1987. They were buried in High Point Cemetery adjacent to the former Temple headquarters in Buffalo.

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