Biography of T. E. Bertholf

T. E. Bertholf, farmer, stock raiser and chicken fancier, was born in the old town of Norfolk, in the Creek Nation of the Indian Territory, December 25, 1868. His father, Marcus Bertholf, was a native of Illinois and came to the Indian Territory in 1840, at which time he took up his abode near Tahlequah. At the outbreak of the Civil war he went to Texas as an enlisted man, working at the wagon-maker’s trade during the period and thus aiding in supplying the need of the Confederacy for wagons.

When hostilities had ceased he returned to the old town of Norfolk and there passed away in 1870. He was an architect and builder and was rebuilding the old Indian missions at the time of his demise. A southern sympathizer through the Civil war he lost all of his possessions, although he was a man of considerable wealth at the time of the outbreak of hostilities. He became a live stock raiser on

Dauble creek in the Coowescoowee district of the Cherokee Nation and his labors constituted an important element in the development and up building of that section of the state. He married Electa Keyes, who was one-quarter Cherokee and a native of the Indian Territory, her parents being Isaac and Elizabeth (Riley) Keyes, both of Georgia, who came to the Indian Territory with the emigrant Cherokees and located near Tahlequah, where her father followed farming and where he and his wife were buried.

The latter’s father was a native of the United States and became one of the early settlers of the Indian Territory. He, too, has departed this life.

T. E. Bertholf was educated in the Cherokee Male Seminary at Tahlequah, pursuing his studies to the age of fifteen years, when he put aside his textbooks and started out soon afterward to provide for his own support. He became a farmer and stock raiser on Coody creek near Muskogee.

On the expiration of that period he returned to the Coowescoowee district near Talala, where he resided for twelve years and then removed to his present place of one hundred and sixty acres near Ramona. His land is devoted to general farming and stock raising and in addition to those branches of his business he is engaged in raising chickens, having about two hundred black Minorcas. He has a fine home just on the outskirts of Ramona and his place, is supplied with good buildings and all modern conveniences.

In 1891 Mr. Bertholf was united in marriage to Miss Ada Barton, a daughter of L. T. and Mary (Vannoy) Barton, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, whence they came to the Indian Territory in 1886, settling at Tulsa in the Creek Nation. There Mr. Barton devoted his attention to farming and stock raising to the time of his death which occurred in 1904.

His widow is now living at Tulsa. Mr. and Mrs. Bertholf have one child, Percy E., who wedded Mary Roberts, a daughter of J. L. and Lottie (Sires) Roberts, who were Oklahoma pioneers and now reside a mile and a half north of the home of Mr. Bertholf where Mr. Roberts is engaged in general farming. Mr. Bertholf is a Master Mason, loyally following the teachings and purposes of the craft. His life has been spent in this state and from the age of fifteen years he has been closely associated with agricultural pursuits and stock raising. His labors have been most carefully directed and his diligence and determination have been the potent forces in bringing him the well deserved success which he is now enjoying, for he ranks with the prosperous farmers of his section of Washington County.



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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