Soldier Creek in 1901 or 1902

This picture was received on April 10, 2016, from Jerry Snow of Norman, a descendant of W.V. “Red” Alexander, the founder of Alex.

From left to right, the identified persons in the photo are Agnes Meek, Perry Alexander, Charles and Lela Williams, W.V. Red Alexander and Laura Meek.  The two persons at the far right of the picture are not identified. The picture was taken between 1901 and 1902 across the road from Alexander’s home on Soldier Creek a half-mile west of of where Alex, Oklahoma, is located today. The Alex, Indian Territory, post office was near where this picture was taken.

Agnes and Laura Meek were the daughters of Thomas Jefferson Meek, born after 1844 in Georgia. Thomas was married to Delilah “Fannie” Bailey. According to the Alex Tribune (the Alex newspaper published between 1907 and 1944), the Meek family lived just west of Alexander’s home.  Examination of old maps suggests they may have lived on the southwest corner of the intersection of Ranch and Lake Roads west of Alex. 

The Meek family does not appear in the 1890 Chickasaw Nation Census. However, both Agnes and Laura appear with their parents in the 1900 Indian Territory census in close proximity to W.V. Alexander in Township 5N, Range 6W (Alex) in the Chickasaw Nation. Laura was 28 years of age in 1900, unmarried and reported that she was a post mistress.  She appears to have been the assistant Alex, Indian Territory, postmaster. There is no record of Laura being officially appointed as postmaster of Alex.

A full 10 years younger than Laura, Agnes Meek was 18 years of age in this photo.  In 1900, she reported being a school teacher and likely taught at a subscription school near Alexander’s home.  Agnes married David Rankin in 1907 and was living in Pottawatomie County by 1910.

The couple in the buckboard in the middle of the picture are Charles Luther Williams and his wife, Georgia “Lela” (Little) Williams.  Charles was born in Alabama in 1869, and Lela was born in Mississippi in 1882.  The couple did not list any children in the the 1900 census but clearly have a baby in this photo. This is likely Carl Williams, born in Texas in 1901.  Charles likely worked as a cowhand for Red Alexander.  Charles and Lela returned to Texas by 1910 and lived out their life there.

Red Alexander was born in Alabama in 1833 and settled on Soldier Creek in the Chickasaw Nation in 1878.  Due to an early marriage to a Chickasaw tribal member who later died, Red had full tribal rights in the Chickasaw Nation and began a wealthy rancher after settling there.  Alexander died in 1920 and is buried in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

After the death of his Native American wife in the late 1860s, Red married a white woman in 1874.  Perry Alexander, born in 1876 in Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, was the first child of Red Alexander’s second marriage.  Perry never married and died at 58 years of age of tuberculosis.  He, too, is buried in Chickasha.

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