Bertha Louise Ahrens (B. Feb. 26, 1857), missionary teacher among the Choctaw Freedmen of Indian Territory since 1885, and principal teacher at Oak Hill Academy, 1905-1911, is a native of Berlin, Prussia. Her parents, Otto and Augusta Ahrens, in 1865, when she was 8, and a brother Otto 5, came to America and located on a farm near Sigourney, Iowa, after one year at Bellville, Illinois; and four, at Harper, Iowa. The schools and Churches first attended used the German language. Her first studies in English were in the graded schools at Sigourney and here at seventeen, she became a
Location: Valliant Oklahoma
Mary I. Weimer, who served as matron 1909 to 1911, a native of Port Royal, Pennsylvania, came to Oak Hill from Knox, in the Devils Lake Region of North Dakota; where, after a course of preparation at the state teachers college at Fargo, she achieved an unusual degree of success, both as a teacher and manager of affairs on the farm. These interests prevented her from coming the previous year when first solicited. At the Academy she rendered a service so efficient and faithful as to merit the gratitude of all. After the loss of the Girls’ Hall, which occurred
Solomon H. Buchanan is a native of Glen Rose, Somervell County, Texas. At the age of eight he was bereft of both of his parents, and those, into whose care he drifted, were not willing he should learn a letter. By some means he attracted the favorable notice of Miss Mary A. Pearson, a missionary of our Home Mission Board. Furnishing him the funds for the trip, she sent him at the age of 18 in 1903, to Oak Hill Academy with request to become an earnest Christian teacher. At the Academy Mrs. Mary R. Scott of Pittsburgh became his
Simon Folsom, one of the first elders of the Forest Presbyterian Church is now one of the oldest living representatives of the slavery period. Nancy Brashears, his third and present wife, enjoys the distinction of having been the most influential of the early leaders in effecting the organization of that Church. He became an elder in 1887. After twenty-six years of faithful service under very unfavorable circumstances, he is still trying “to hold up for the faith.” In 1901 he enjoyed the privilege of being one of the commissioners of the Presbytery of Kiamichi, and attended the meeting of the
The Oak Hill Presbyterian Church was organized about June 29, 1869, with six members, namely, Henry Crittenden, who was ordained an elder, Teena Crittenden, his wife, J. Ross Shoals and his wife Hettie Shoals, Emily Harris and Reindeer Clark. The services at first were held in the home and later in an arbor at the home of Henry Crittenden, one mile east of the present town of Valliant, and now known as the home of James and Johnson Shoals. After a few years the place of meeting was transferred to an arbor about two miles southwest of Crittenden’s, and two
Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, was a part of the public domain that was reserved for several tribes of Indians whose native hunting grounds were principally in the Southern states.