Biography of William W. Vanbuskirk

The rich lands of Washington county furnish splendid opportunity to the farmers and stock raisers and the men of enterprise who have taken advantage of the chances here offered along agricultural lines have won substantial success as the reward of their efforts. To this class belongs William W. Vanbuskirk, who was born in central Indiana, near Indianapolis, on the 18th of March, 1863. His father, Bennett Vanbuskirk, was a native of that state, while the mother, who bore the maiden name of Arvey Smith, was born in Georgia. Both have passed away.

William W. Vanbuskirk was educated in the country schools, at what was known as the old Pond schoolhouse. When not occupied with his textbooks he worked with his father on the home farm and early became acquainted with the tasks of plowing, planting and harvesting. In 1882, when a youth of nineteen years, he left his home and native state and removed to Independence, Kansas. There he was employed on the farm of Jake Bartles for a year and afterward worked for John Carter, a brother-in-law of Chief Rogers. In 1884, however, he returned to the Bartles’ farm, where he spent the summer and subsequently he worked on the Wade Hampton ranch, known as the Box ranch, also on the Hall ranch, the Charlie McClellan ranch and the Johnstone and Keeler ranch. He lived in the Osage country when there was but a government post where Pawhuska now stands and it took continual vigilance on the part of the United States soldiers to keep the Indians from being continuously on the warpath. Moreover, white people had to have a permit from the government to live there.

On the 26th of February, 1886, Mr. Vanbuskirk was united in marriage to Miss Sarah E. Swan, a native of Ohio, who had removed to Kansas in early pioneer times. Mr. Vanbuskirk removed to the west with the intention of making this country his home and has here resided since 1882. He has seen the country develop from the period of the outlaw class to its present condition of progress and prosperity and has helped to introduce the modern-day civilization. In the early days court was often held under an oak tree, but whether it was for the sake of convenience in case of conviction Mr. Vanbuskirk does not say. He has always stood for progress and improvement and the highest standards of civilization and his labors have been far-reaching and beneficial. Since 1888 he has made his home in Ramona and he helped to lay out the town site. He is, however, a farmer and stock raiser and is the owner of an excellent farm property of one hundred and sixty acres two miles southeast of the town, while in the city he has his home property and other real estate. In the early days the nearest doctor to be secured was at Coffeyville, Kansas, fifty miles distant. There were no railroads, neither were there fences to impede progress and travelers were guided only by signs built of rock by the Indians. Mr. Vanbuskirk relates many interesting incidents concerning the Indians and their methods of life. He witnessed the feasting and mirth at the death of one of their tribe, for they believed that the deceased had gone to the happy hunting group.

Mr. and Mrs. Vanbuskirk have no children of their own but reared an adopted daughter, Emma, who is now the wife of Albert Herhoold. Both Mr. and Mrs. Vanbuskirk have a wide acquaintance in Ramona and throughout this section of the state and their friends are indeed many. Mr. Vanbuskirk has ever commanded the confidence and goodwill of all by reason of his straightforward dealing and his many sterling qualities have established him as a valued and representative resident of northern Oklahoma.



Benedict, John Downing. Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma: including the counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1922.

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