These pages tell some of the story of
Blaine County Pioneer
|this information compiled by Thelma Gunn Whisler
of Oklahoma City
Jesse Robertson Whisler was born near Elliott, Iowa in Cass County in 1867. He was the oldest of William L. and Sophronia (Mercer) Whisler. When William L. made the run into Oklahoma in 1889, Jesse stayed in Iowa with his mother and the younger children to attend to the farming and other farm chores that needed attention while his father was away.
After William L. staked his claim and made the necessary arrangements, he returned to Iowa to make preparations to return to Oklahoma with camping equipment, food, clothing and other necessary items. With one of his younger sons, they drove a heavily loaded wagon back to his homestead to make the preparations for the rest of the family to follow in the spring.
Once again, Jesse remained behind with his mother and younger brothers and sisters to gather the crops and made the arrangements to ship the livestock, household goods, feed and machinery by immigrant car to Oklahoma. They, themselves, left by train on March 12, 1890 for their new home in Oklahoma Territory, a land of new promise.
Not long after coming to this new land, Jesse bought a homestead relinquishment to a quarter section claim NE 1/4, Sec. 30, twp 14, (Deer Creek), range 4, near to his fathers' homestead. The dwelling on this farm was a sod house which Jesse lived in until February 1892 when he built a frame house just prior to his marriage.
This article is from the Edmond Sun newspaper, printed on March 18, 1892:
"Jet Whistler and Miss Nora Adamson, Loren Adamson and Miss Kenaday, were married at the resident of J.Q. Adamson's near Burlington, by Rev. Miller, of Oklahoma City, last Saturday. A large circle of friends were present who wished the happy couples a prosperous and happy journey down life's turbulent stream."
Jesse and Nora lived on this homestead west of Edmond until 1902. Five of their 9 children were born there - Ralph, Ross, Mayburn, Everett and Lois. When Jesse bought this land, he acquired 24 head of good grade shorthorn cattle which had a great influence in later years. Robert remembers his father and mother telling about the time his dad butchered a beef in the pasture leaving the remains as is. That afternoon his mother heard the scream of a panther or some kind of a large cat. The next day when they were going to church, they saw a pile of rocks where some people were doing some building and on these rocks lay this panther sunning himself. So wild animals were very prevalent in early Oklahoma territory. Jesse and Nora were members of Hopewell Baptist Church which is still in existence today. Jesse, as well as his father and Uncle Robert were civic minded individuals and helped build schools, churches and roads in Deer Creek township. Uncle Robert Whisler donated a plot for a cemetery in one corner of his farm. This is where Jesse and Nora's baby son, Ross was buried. The cemetery is still well maintained and many of our family members are buried.
The Edmond Sun printed the news item below on Aug. 28, 1896 on page 3, column 6
Died on Thursday, Aug 27, at 12 am of brain fever, Ross Whisler, aged 10 months, Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Whisler's baby. The burial will take place today at 4 pm. The interment in the cemetery in that neighborhood.
Nora A. Adamson Whisler's Story
Compiled by Thelma Whisler from her notes written for a story she never got around to finish - notes written in 1950.
Springtime ad April makes 89ers and early pioneers think of happy days forever gone in Oklahoma. My father, John Quincy Adamson, also my husband's father, William L. Whisler came by train April 2nd to leave Arkansas city, looking forward to the memorable 12 o'clock noon on April 22nd which would open to settlement the counties which were then known as Oklahoma proper.
Leaving the train at Seward, father traveled on foot with his camping equipment, an axe and spade which he carried on his back. He located and filed a soldier's declaration on a claim 2 miles west and 1 mile north of Waterloo, Logan Co., O.T. he went back to Iowa and returned the latter part of September with goods and a years supply of foodstuff. We arrived in Edmond and after unloading the car into wagons, we drove directly north and west to the Claim that was to be our home and made camp for the night. When everything was unloaded in the high prairie grass, the wagons were sent back to Edmond for lumber to build as a very modest house, in the meantime we cooked and slept in the open.
As soon as the house was ready to shelter us, my father and brothers cut hay and stacked it for the cows and horse during our first winter. I recall at that time that the grass was 3 feet high.
In the meantime a few other claimholders had settled on claims. As soon as families were comfortable, people began to think of schools and religious services. A meeting was held and some of the neighbors were Sanford Jackman, Samuel Lewis, Robert Murray and a few others including my father, were all present. They decided to build a log house to be used for school and all community purposes. A very nice log house was completed in time for Christmas entertainment.
School was started the first of the year of 1890. An elderly man named Judge Clayton was our first teacher. There being no funds, it was a subscription school with a charge of one dollar each child per month. This school was located one mile north of Waterloo, just east of the Santa Fe right of way in a nice shady nook and it was called "Woodland".
A Mrs. Twyford, who came with her husband from Wichita, Kansas, taught in this same log school house. Mrs. Twyford was appointed on the State board to help organize our Oklahoma School System. Later she taught the first Normal class in Edmond which was also a subscription school. I attended this school. It is now known as Edmond State Teacher's College and was the first in the State. Mrs. Twyford, besides being a teacher was an ordained minister, some of her family still live in Oklahoma City.
The writer of this article, Nora A. Adamson Whisler taught the first district school to open in this part of the county. It was located 1 mile south of Waterloo. School opened 15 Jan. 1891 and was known as the Johnson school but was later called Enterprise School. A 50 year celebration of the opening of this school was observed in Oct. 1941. Myself and 5 of the first students attended this event. I told the children that day about the school as it was 50 years before.
This is what I told them. "School started in a large house and the Johnson's lived downstairs with school classes held upstairs. It was a rather large room but the district had no money to bus seats or books and my salary was just $25 a month. They made benches around the sides of the room and recitation benches for the middle of the room. I had a nice home-made table and a blackboard. We had a large wood burning stove, a water pail, a dipper, a broom and a box of chalk. The children brought the books they had brought with them to Oklahoma from different states. I think I had books from almost every state in the Union. I had 57 pupils enrolled and school was opened at 8 o'clock. The small children recited first and went home early, then the older ones remained for recitation and sometimes it was almost dark when we left to go home. We had a 4 month school term but I think we were all sorry when school closed. I know I learned a great deal and I feel sure the children did, too."
In time for school the next year a school house was built a mile east and called "Enterprise".