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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.

Hammond Family

When shots were fired to signal the Run of 1889, all the twenty-three-year-old George Hammond could count on were a fast horse and a strong determination to stake his claim to a new life. When the day ended, he possessed 160 acres of good farmland in the southwest corner of present-day Logan County. The legal description that he filed at the land office in Guthrie was the northeast quarter of section 8, township 15, range 4, west of the Indian Meridian. He broke ground, built a dugout, and proceeded to carve a new life from the land.

George was born on December 12, 1865 in Ritchie County, West Virginia. Little is known about his early life except that both his mother, Rebecca, and his father, Greenberry, died when he was a youngster. He left home at a very young age and traveled north and then west with an older brother. He had learned about lumber and acquired skills in carpentry from relatives in the lumber business. He put that knowledge to use in building his home, the Labell School and community house, and many other buildings in the Cashion area.

George married Sarah Adeline Hatfield on January 12, 1893. Sarah was born on February 12, 1876 in Franklin County, Arkansas. She was the second of six children born to Francis Marion Hatfield and Rebecca Anna (née Marshall). On Sarah's fourteenth birthday in 1890, her family traveled to Fort Smith to buy provisions and have her photographed. They then set out on a three-week trip, traveling by wagon and on foot, to the relinquishment near Guthrie that Francis had purchased in August 1889.

George claimed the young Sarah (best known as Sary) Hatfield as his bride on January 12, 1893. They raised six children on their homestead: Robert Lee (b. January 10, 1895); Benjamin Franklin "Frank" (b. September 16, 1896); Jessie Lee (b. July 31, 1898); Bessie Rebecca (b. March 21, 1901); Mary Ellen (b. July 3, 1909); and George William "Bill" (b. December 16, 1912).

George became known throughout the community for his kindness, generosity, and gentle demeanor. Sary was a skillful seamstress with a flair for colorful quilts, and she welcomed people in need to her home. She loved to fish, enjoyed working in her beautiful flower garden, and was a devoted member of Cashion Christian Church. She was a generous hostess, and no one ever went away from Sary's house hungry.

All of their children established farms and raised children in Logan County. George's and Sary's grandchildren grew up going to large family feasts and enjoying good times at Grandma's and Grandpa's home. Their grandchildren included Roberta, Rosalie, Lena, George and Coleeta Hammond; Merrill and Cleo Sowards; Donald, June, and Warren Cornwell; and Betty, Alta Fay, and Patsy Montgomery.

In their later years, George and Sary resided in Guthrie, where George enjoyed the 89ers Day festivities that honored the pioneers who had participated in "Harrison's Hoss Race." George took a special pride in participating in the annual parade and celebration and was convinced that it was all just for him. And it was!

George died on June 21, 1950. Sary died on April 21, 1965. Both were buried in the Cashion cemetery.

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