Biography of Oliver W. Lipe

The subject of this sketch was born January, 1814, in Montgomery county, New York, the son of John C. Lipe, and grandson of Caspar Lipe, who emigrated to the country in 1710. Oliver, with his parents, settled on the Mohawk River, but he left home in 1835 en route to Santa Fe, New Mexico. He stopped off at Boonville, Mo., however, and after some time found his way to Georgia, where he enlisted in the public works, Georgia Union Railroad Company, and became a contractor. In 1837 he went to Athens, Tennessee, and the following year rode on horseback from that point to the present site of Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, and was present when the first constitutional convention was held in that nation. Mr. Lipe married Miss Kate Gunter, a half-breed, in 1839, by whom he had three children, D. W. Lipe, Catherine (Mrs. C. Blaackstone), and Clark C. Lipe. For some years Mr. Lipe followed carpentering and farming till 1850, when he embarked in the mercantile business, and continued the same until 1880, being located at Tahlequah until 1866, after which he moved to Fort Gibson, where he now resides. In 1870 Mr. Lipe erected a grist and saw mill, which he ran until 1882. In 1881 he married Mrs. Belle Manuel, at Fayetteville, Arkansas, daughter of H. G. Cardwell, of Tennessee, by whom he has no family. At the age of eighteen years Mr. Lipe received a lieutenant’s commission in New York State troops, and that of captain of the Nineteenth Regiment, Fourteenth Brigade, at nineteen years of age. In 1862 he served with the Confederacy as commissary for Stand Watie’s command for several years. During the campaign he was present at the Battle of Wilson Creek and several scratch fights, among them the engagement near the bayou where John G. Lipe and Col. T. F. Taylor were slain. The first office held by Mr. Lipe in the Cherokee Nation was that of clerk to a court, before the adoption of the constitution. He happened to be riding past when Judge Jesse Bushyhead was trying a man for theft. Being called upon to act as clerk he accepted, and as a result was made an unwilling witness to the administration of fifty lashes on the bare back of the unfortunate culprit. In 1879 he was appointed commissioner for the high schools, which office he held for two years. In earlier days Mr. Lipe was repeatedly requested to fill various appointments, but he feared to accept of them owing to his slight knowledge of the language. His son, D. W. Lipe, is a prominent politician. He has been treasurer and is Senator of the Coowescowee district, and is an extensive stock owner and farmer.


Indian Territory,

O'Beirne, Harry F. and Edward S. The Indian Territory: Its Chiefs, Legislators, and Leading Men. St. Louis. 1898.

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