Biography of S. R Lewis

One of this nation’s oldest families at Jamestown in 1607 together with those other pioneers they began hewing this great nation from a Virginia wilderness.

This family has direct lines of decadency through the Randolphs, Washingtons, Carters and Lees each of which bears many pages of historical importance. Each epoch of the nation’s history has brought forward a Lewis to fulfill his destiny in lending his effort to the up-building of the country.

For the purpose of this family’s connection with the Cherokee Nation the line will begin of record when Thomas Jefferson sent his young kinsman Meriweather Lewis to join Clark in the eventful exploration of the great Northwest. From the landing of the cavaliers in Virginia to the present day the Lewis family has been conspicuous in the affairs of this great Republic.

Alexander S. Lewis was born November 28, 1842 at Blountsville, Alabama and is the son of Rev. Stephen M. Lewis born in 1819 also in the state of Alabama an ordained minister in the Presbyterian church, removed to the State of Texas in 1850 was a Chaplain in Col. George Baylors regiment of Texas Cavalry Confederate Army and served throughout the Civil War in such capacity. Rev. Stephen M. Lewis was a direct male relative of the family of Meriweather Lewis, the great explorer above mentioned. He died in 1907 at the age of 88 years. Alexander S. Lewis settled at Dawson , Tulsa County, Oklahoma, in the early eighties of the nineteenth century, having moved from Texas, where his parents had lived since their removal from Alabama, and in common with the best families of the old South they had been reduced from affluence to poverty by the Civil War. Mr. Lewis married Elizabeth P. Dawson, related to the well known Dawson family of the Cherokee Nation, whose members were admitted to Cherokee citizenship after the Civil War. With their arrival at Dawson the family had again acquired a small competence, but through all their vicissitudes they had retained and cherished the priceless inheritance of gentility and integrity. The children were given the best educational advantages the parents could afford, which was the equipment with which Stephen Riley Lewis entered business life. From his beginning in the small town he has through honest enterprise arrived at the point of success which rehabilitates the old family name in financial prominence, while it always held the social position that the family standard at all times required.

Stephen Riley Lewis was born December 27, 1873 in Hill County, Texas. He was educated in the Dawson neighborhood and in the Quaker Mission at Skiatook, Oklahoma. He was admitted to the practice of law by the United States Interior Department in January 1902, admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Oklahoma June 10, 1910 and the United States Supreme Court March 20, 1916.

He married on March 23, 1898, Minnie Carter born in Cooweescoowee District of the Cherokee Nation September 16, 1876. She was the daughter of David Tecumseh and Emma Williams (Chambers) Carter, and first cousin to Congressman Charles D. Carter.

Mrs. Minnie Lewis died December 20, 1898. Stephen Riley Lewis married June 12, 1907, Elizabeth Belle Scrimsher, born September 3, 1873. She is the daughter of John Gunter Scrimsher, born August 17, 1835 who was educated in the schools of Tahlequah and at the Male Seminary, taught at Green Leaf school in 1859 and married on September 15th of that Juliette Melvin Candy, born August 7, 1841. John Gunter Scrimsher enlisted in the Confederate service at the beginning of the Civil war and was a captain in Colonel Stand Watie’s regiment. At the close of the war he settled on Dog Creek in Cooweescoowee District, and was honored by that district in the following elections: Sheriff, 1877; Senator 1883, 1887 and 1897; District Judge 1893 and he was elected by Council a delegate to Washington in November 1883. Judge Scrimsher was killed on his farm by lightning July 5, 1905. Judge and Mrs. Scrimsher were the parents of Sarah Catherine born July 27, 1866 and married William E. Sanders; Elizabeth Bell; Ernest Vivian, born July 24, 1875, and Juliette born January 12, 1878, married Abraham Vandyke Robinson.

Mrs. Lewis’ paternal grand-parents were Martin Matthew Scrimsher, born in 1806 in Blount County, Tennessee; married September 22, 1831 at Creek Path, Alabama to Elizabeth Hunt Gunter, born in September 1804.

Martin Scrimsher was one of the argonauts of 1849 that made the trip to California. He died in 1865, and Mrs. Elizabeth Hunt Scrimsher died a sudden death at the residence of Judge Scrimsher in Claremore on February 14, 1877. She was the daughter of John Gunter an Englishman, who came to the Cherokee Country East of the Mississippi in 1760. He was a powder maker and owned and operated a mill at Nicojack. His wife was Catherine, a full blood Cherokee of the Paint Clan. She died August 11, 1835, and he died the 28th of the same month and year.

Mrs. Elizabeth Lewis’ maternal grandparents were George Washington, and Elizabeth Hughes (Bell) Candy. George Washington Candy was District Judge of Flint District in 1845-7.




Hill County TX,

Starr, Emmett. History of the Cherokee Indians and Their Legends and Folk Lore. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: The Warden Company. 1921

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top