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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.

Ogle Family

David Ogle was born to David and Elender Hanley Ogle in Bradley County, Tennessee, on April 16, 1837. He moved with his family to Linn County, Missouri, in 1841. That same year, Mary Ogle was born to John Tilden and Rachel Zanie Morris Fisher in Louisville, Kentucky. She moved with her family to Linn County in 1847. Mary's father left his wife and six children on a farm in 1849 to go to California during the gold rush. He was a scout for a wagon train and was killed by Indians.

David and Mary were married in 1858 in Linn County. During the Civil War, David enlisted in the 72nd Regiment of the Enrolled Missouri Militia.

David and Mary had ten children: John Melvin, Richard Mack, Robert Morris, Delilah Bell, Henry Elmer, Seth Allie, James, Maggie, Flora, and Wade. David, who worked alongside his sons as a tobacco farmer, was never a wealthy man and never cared for riches. David and Mary were members of the local Baptist church. As an amateur historian, David studied the Bible for thirty years.

At the age of 20, the Ogles' son, Robert, decided to better himself by going with a friend to Indian Territory. They rode horseback as far south as Duncan. Robert liked it so much that he returned to Missouri and convinced his parents to bring the rest of the family to Duncan. All went well on their westward trek until they encountered quicksand in the Canadian River. As the horses sank, Robert cut the top hame strings and led them and the children to safety. The family settled in Duncan in 1884. That same year, several of the Ogles' children were married: John married Nancy Purdin; Mack married Fannie Patton; and Belle married Dan Tomlinson.

In 1886 David and Mary had their youngest son, Wade, and Mack's first child, Florence, was born. In 1887 Belle's first child, Roma, was born. Robert married Sallie Hardwick in 1886, and their first child, Annie Bell, born on October 5, 1888.

In 1889 David, Robert and David's son-in-law, Dan Tomlinson, made the Run into the Unassigned Lands, and each of them homesteaded 160 acres in Canadian County. In 1893 the families sold their land and homesteaded near Cheyenne. John remained in the hotel business in Yukon.
The group ultimately settled in County G (later, Custer County), where David built a large house. He and his five children enjoyed music and all-night dances. Midnight suppers with family and neighbors were common. The family home was located near the Cheyenne-Arapaho Reservation on the Washita River. The children often heard Indian drums during war dance ceremonies.

The Ogles did not have a church, but there was a camp meeting that lasted for several weeks. The first school in the area was in Jim Ogle's home. The Ogles and their neighbors built the first schoolhouse and named it the Washita School.

By 1897 the Ogles' land was overstocked with cattle. All except Mack, Jim, and Maggie sold their land and, on April 14, 1897, started westward with seven wagons, three hundred cattle, and thirty horses. David drove the seventh wagon to pick up new calves along the way. Their half-way mark was Amarillo, where they stopped for enough supplies to last six months. Their grocery list included sugar, flour, potatoes, beans, lard, coffee, and dried fruits of all kinds.

They arrived in New Mexico Territory on May 20, 1897, at present-day Ogle Flat, where they established a homestead. As there was not enough water for six families, David, Bob, and John Madden took their families to Texas and settled near the Canadian River at Tallahone. They were staying at Adobe Walls near Amarillo when, in 1898, a letter arrived from David's son, Mack, who had drilled three water wells and put up windmills in New Mexico. A railroad was coming to the area, so with plenty of water and a trading post nearby, David and his sons returned to New Mexico. They all settled in present-day Ogle Flat. David and his families built a log school house for the eleven grandchildren and one young son. Later, they built a stone school house that was used for church services and meetings.

In l904 David and Mary returned to Oklahoma and settled ten miles east of Chickasha at Naples, a small community with only a general store and post office. Their son, Mack, moved to Hennessey.

Mary died on November 24, 1904, and was buried at Naples. David later sold their land and moved to Texas to live with their daughter, Belle. David lived with his children for more than thirty years and got along well with all of them. He lost three children—John, Belle, and Seth—before he died on April 29, 1934.

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