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Press Release

March 23, 2015

Contact: Paul Lambert
Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 405-522-5217 

2015 Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame Honorees Announced

Oklahoma City, Okla. — Charles Tate, chair of the Oklahoma Historical Society’s Oklahoma History Conference Committee, has announced the selection of four individuals to be the 2015 inductees into the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame. The honorees are Sally Bourne Ferrell, Chandler; Jimmie Lewis Franklin, Las Vegas, Nevada; Edwin C. McReynolds, deceased and John Wooley, Foyil.

The induction ceremony will take place during the Oklahoma Historical Society’s annual Awards Luncheon on Friday, April 24 at noon in the banquet hall of the Artesian Hotel in Sulphur, Oklahoma. The luncheon is one of a variety of programs and events that will take place during the three day Oklahoma History Conference sponsored by the Oklahoma Historical Society. The theme for the conference is “Land, Wood, and Water: Natural Resources in the Course of Oklahoma History.”

Ferrell has been an active advocate for the preservation of state and local history for decades. She wrote a long-running series on historic buildings in Chandler for the Lincoln County News, and she was a leader in getting more than twenty buildings in Chandler placed on the National Register of Historic Places. She and her husband purchased several of these buildings and restored them. One of those buildings, the Mascho-Murphy building, became the home of the Lincoln County Historical Society, of which she was and remains a prominent leader. Ferrell was an early leader in the creation of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association. She also was active in saving and restoring the WPA-constructed National Guard Armory in Chandler and having it become the home of the Chandler Route 66 Interpretive Center. Other activities and honors have included serving as an advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation; director, Oklahoma Historical Society; Shirk Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to the furtherance of historic preservation statewide, and Preservation Oklahoma’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
A native of Moscow, Mississippi, Franklin received his undergraduate degree at Jackson State University and he was the second African American to earn a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Oklahoma. Three of his four books have dealt with Oklahoma history themes, including Journey Toward Hope: A History of Blacks in Oklahoma, The Blacks in Oklahoma and Born Sober: Prohibition in Oklahoma, 1907–1959.  Franklin taught at Eastern Illinois University before joining the faculty at Vanderbilt University. He taught there from 1986 to 2001. An honored member of the faculty, he also served as consulting editor for the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture and as president of the Southern Historical Association. He also served nine years as an assistant to the provost of the university.

A distinguished Oklahoma historian, McReynolds served in the U.S. Army in World War I before earning B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Oklahoma. He joined the OU faculty in 1943 after having taught at several high schools and junior colleges as well as at Central State Teachers College. He retired in 1960. An honored teacher, he authored Oklahoma: A History of the Sooner State, which was published in 1954 and revised in 1964. The Seminoles was published in OU Press’ Civilization of the American Indian Series. He co-authored Oklahoma: The Story of Its Past and Present and, with John Morris, coauthored Historical Atlas of Oklahoma in 1965. His stature in the profession was recognized in numerous ways, including at his funeral when his pall bearers all were distinguished scholars: Donald J. Berthrong, Arrell M. Gibson, William E. Livezey, Savoie Lottinville, John W. Morris and Gilbert C. Fite.

Wooley is an authority on the pop culture of Oklahoma. He is the author, coauthor or editor of more than twenty-five books. Five of Wooley’s books are especially relevant to Oklahoma—Shot in Oklahoma: A Century of Sooner State Cinema, From the Blue Devils to Red Dirt: The Colors of Oklahoma Music, The Home Ranch: Stories of the Hughes Family and the Oklahoma Land They Call Home, Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park: The Story Behind One of the Greatest Folk-Art Attractions on America’s Mother Road, and Voices From the Hill: The Story of Oklahoma Military Academy. He also coauthored the autobiography of Tulsa’s Jim Halsey and will write a book celebrating Tulsan Roy Clark’s sixty years in show business. He currently is working on a history of Cain’s Ballroom and has coauthored a play Time Changes Everything, which is the story of two imaginary meetings between Bob Wills and Woody Guthrie. He is a lecturer in American Studies at Oklahoma State University, Tulsa.  
For information regarding participating in the annual Awards Luncheon or the Oklahoma History Conference, please contact Conference Coordinator Paul Lambert at plambert@okhistory.org or 405-522-5217.

The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains 31 museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS visit www.okhistory.org.

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