Biography of A. W. Ketchum

In the demise of A. W. Ketchum, which occurred on the 8th of February, 1921, when he was seventy-one years of age, Oklahoma lost one of its honored pioneers who was a witness of the growth and development of the state and an active factor in its progress. He was a sagacious business man whose interests were capably managed and at his death he was able to leave his family in comfortable financial circumstances.

He was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, December 15, 1850, and came to Indiana Territory with the Delaware Indians under Chief Johnnycake, who was one of the great leaders of his tribe. Mr. Ketchum’s first cousin, Mrs. Nqnnie Bartles, was the widow of Colonel Jacob Bartles, who became the founder of the towns of Bartlesville and Dewey. Mr. Ketchum first located on Lightening creek, the home of Chief Johnnycake, and later moved to Verdigris creek, six miles east of Nowata, where he resided for nineteen years, during which period he operated a ferry boat. From there he moved to Woodward county, Oklahoma, thinking that the climate in that section of the state would prove beneficial to his son, Charles C. Ketchum, who was then in failing health. Subsequently he purchased the farm upon which his widow now resides, acquiring a tract of land one-half mile west of Wayside, in Washington county. Through hard work and persistency of purpose he brought his land to a high state of development, adding many improvements to his place, while the discovery of oil upon his property greatly increased its value. He was called to public office, acting as a deputy policeman for three years in Indian Territory and for an equal period served as interpreter for the United States government, making a highly creditable record in both connections.

Mr. Ketchum was married twice, Herbert D. Ketchum being a son of the first marriage. For his second wife he chose Miss Roxie J. Davis, a native of Illinois and a daughter of Thornton and Sarah Ellen Davis, who settled at Coodys Bluff, in Nowata county, Oklahoma, when she was sixteen years of age, and there her father passed away, while her mother’s demise occurred in Harper county, this state, in 1917. In their family Were six children Harry C., Charles N., Roxie J., William Henry, James A. and Francis A., all of whom, are, still living. Mr. and Mrs. Ketchum became the parents of the following children, namely: Mary C., who married Fletcher Johnson and is living near her mother; Charles C., who wedded Bertha Florence Scoval and is also residing near the home farm; Annie Adeline, the wife of James Parker; Abraham W.; Enoch Wesley; Nancy Pearl; Wannetta; Willard W.; James Louis and Violet.

Mrs. Ketchum still resides upon the farm which her husband purchased near Wayside, the land being operated by one of her sons, and she is also the owner of a one hundred and twenty-acre tract in Nowata county, situated upon the bank of a river. This property she is renting and she also derives a substantial income from her oil interests. Mr. Ketchum was a man of sterling worth, capable and enterprising in business, loyal in citizenship and faithful to every trust reposed in him. His was an honorable and upright life, his earnest toil bringing him success and his incorruptible integrity winning for him the high regard of all with whom he was brought in contact.



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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