Okfuskee County

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Okfuskee County
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Okemah

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Brook, Kezer, & Williams Families
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The John Brook Family of Okemah

John Henry Brook, born 1872 in Greenville, TX, came to Okfuskee Co. from Eufaula in 1907. His wife, Jeanetta Aurora Harvison, was the daughter of Amy McGilvray and Thomas C. Harvison, Creek Indians. John established a ranch northeast of Okemah, built a home, and reared seven children there: Jeannetta Laura, Frederick Henry, Annetta May, Virginia Olene, Dean, Kathryn Willetta, and Janie LuCretia.

Dean Brook ranched his father's homeplace after his mother died in 1936, his father having passed away in 1925. He, too, was a well-respected rancher in the community. Dean married Margaret "Alyne" Williams in 1934. Their children are Aldean, Jon Milton, Candee Kay, and Dan D. Brook. Dan sculpted the statue of Woody Guthrie which stands in the plaza on Main Street in Okemah.

Kathryn Willetta, known as Kay, married Carl "Babe"Burnett, and they lived on the homeplace, too. They have no children.

Janie LuCretia Brook married H.D. Harkey. They lived in Okemah and raised their two children, Laura Jane and Huie D. Harkey, Jr. H. D. died in 1962. Cretia married Haskell Roberts in 1995.

For more information about this family, please contact Donna Barnes


The Kezer Family of Okemah

Daniel Jones Kezer, born May 17, 1832 in Claremont Co., Ohio, and his second wife, Mary Tennessee Anderson, came to Oklahoma Territory about 1889 from Council Grove, KS. They settled in Shawnee for a few years, where their sons James D. and Osman were born. When Okemah was begun, Daniel and his sons moved there and operated a "restaurant in a tent." Mary joined them shortly thereafter. Daniel died in Okemah in 1921. Mary married George Thompson. She died in 1932.

James D. Kezer, known as Jim, grew up in Okemah, playing in the town band. He worked at the Creek Mercantile store where he learned to speak the Muskoke language. He met and married Jeannetta Laura Brook, daughter of John Brook, who was a rancher northeast of Okemah. They had seven children, two of whom died young. Martha Gene, Glenn (Buddy), Margaret, Eva Maye (Judy), and Claude (Sonny) all graduated from Okemah High School, married, and have children.

Jim was well-known for his work with Scouting in Okemah. He was an employee of the Post Office, and a member of the Baptist church. He was honored as Man of the Year in 1967 for his lifetime of service to the community. Jeannetta was society page editor of the Daily Leader newspaper. She served as a Sunday School teacher at the First Baptist Church for many years.

For more information about this family, please contact Donna Barnes.


The Irvan Williams Family of Okemah

Irvan Williams, born Feb. 8, 1902 in McLean Co., Illinois, and his wife Dollie Davis of Houston, Missouri moved to Okemah about 1932 from Mexia, Texas. Their children, Roma, Irvan Dean (Bud), Bonnie, and Jim attended the Okemah public schools. Another son, Roger, was born in Okemah in 1939. The family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, during WW II where Irvan worked in a factory making war materiel. In 1945 they returned to Okemah. Roma and Bud had served in the Marines during the war. They married, as did Bonnie, in the post-war years. Jim married Judy Kezer in 1951 in Okemah.

About 1952, Irvan, Dollie, and Roger moved to Springdale, Arkansas, where Roma and Bud and their spouses were living.

For more information about this family, please contact Donna Barnes. 

 

 

This page was last updated on 10/12/11

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