My New book is available!
Fat Men and Fabulous Ladies-
The Founding Families of Caddo, Oklahoma, Vol. 1
In 1972 a special edition of the Bryan County Star included a photo of some of the men who helped build Caddo. Since each was nearly as rotund as they were powerful, the group was dubbed “the fat men’s club”. These hefty leaders included A. E. Rutherford, D. B. Williams, Ed Walters, Barlow Roberts, Jim Hogan, Judge Rappolee, Harry Dunlap, R. A. Riddel, W. E. Theden, Bob Travis, C. A. Bilbo, Ira Smith, Amos Bass, J. W. Abney, Billy Smith, Bob Pace, Dr. Bowman, Joe House, A.B. McCoy. One doesn’t have to read many issues of the Caddo Herald to realize that these were the “movers and shakers” of their time.
However, there were at least a dozen other men and women who helped mold and shape Caddo from a wild railroad station into a civilized town that has drawn settlers and visitors from all over the nation. As I have researched Caddo’s history over the past five years I have noticed the same names appearing over and over again. And I’ve also noticed relationships and partnerships and friendships among those names. I began to create my own list of prominent Caddo citizens that I call the Fabulous Fifty.
Famous or infamous, the men and women who were members of these prominent families helped shape the history of Caddo from 1898 to 1948. November 27, 1898 was the date when Caddo was incorporated, and 1948 was the year of the Golden Jubilee to celebrate 50 years. I could have easily chosen another set of fifty families because there were so many people in Caddo’s history who were active in community service, local politics, education, and religion. If your family is not on the list it is not a reflection on them or their contribution to history. It is simply the result of honing a list of 200 people down to a manageable number.
This book does not include all of the families on the list. If your family is not here, you will have to wait for volume two. And I make no claims about the completeness nor the accuracy of the information included here. I have tried to make sure that the information listed is backed by at least one reliable source. However, if you desire perfection you will have to seek it on your own. Mistakes happen. I have seen headstones that do not match obituaries, obituaries that were retracted because the person didn’t really die, “deaths” that turned out to be disappearances, “widows” that were actually divorced, children who were secretly adopted, and numerous names and dates that turned out to simply be transcribed incorrectly. I have tried not to make any mistakes of my own, but if you notice one, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Those of you who are familiar with Caddo history will note the glaring absence of Ben Siegel from the book. That is because I plan to give Mr. Siegel his rightful due in a separate book. And yes, Fat Men…vol. 2 is already in the works.
Unless specifically indicated, all the articles that are abstracted are from the Caddo Star, News, Press, or Herald. Other information has been gleaned from Leaders and Leading Men of the Indian Territory, Oklahoma Chronicles, family histories, family members, and The Indian Territory Museum. If you need to know the source of a specific piece of information you may contact me.
The purpose of this book is to provide background information about specific families and to show their contributions to the development of Caddo. None of the biographies is “complete”. I doubt they ever will be completed. Genealogists spend a lifetime adding bits and pieces of information to their family stories. It is my hope that these items in my book will help fill in the gaps or knock down the brick walls that are perplexing some poor family historian who just needs one date, one location, or one name to solve a family mystery.
To order your copies of Fat Men and Fabulous Ladies send a check or money order for $35 plus $3.50 postage and handling to Bryan County Genealogy Library and Archives, P.O. Box 153, Calera, Oklahoma 74730-0153. (If you order multiple copies just add $1postage for each additional book.) The books are also available at Craighead’s in Caddo.