By: Debra West | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: October 2015
The Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club (L to R): Phyllis Armstrong, Vicki Baker, Susan Coltharp, Cindy Evans, Marilyn Asher, Traci Harlin, Courtney Edwards, Teresa Garrison, Ruthann Weaver, Virginia Coleman, Linda Bradshaw, Carole Richmond, Clesta Manley, Sunnie Hall, Juna Phillips, Suanne Crockett, Cathie Porterfield, Jennie Gilliam, Ollie Starr, Betsy Swimmer, Farrell Prater, Sara Downey and Debra West.
Calling all ranchers, ropers and wranglers! It’s “Hats Off to Will,” Will Rogers’s birthday celebration. The Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club will host their annual “Will Roger’s Day” luncheon and silent auction Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 1 p.m. at the new Claremore Conference Center, 1400 W. Country Club Drive in Claremore (behind Walmart, next door to Holiday Inn Express).
Emcee for this year’s event will be Donna McSpadden. McSpadden’s late husband, the Honorable Clem McSpadden, was one of the most prominent ranchers in Rogers County, as well as state senator, congressman, lobbyist, rodeo announcer and the great nephew of Will Rogers.
This year’s event commemorates Will Rogers and honors early ranchers and founding families of Rogers County. One of the founding ranches was the Lipe Ranch, which has remained an active cattle operation, beginning in Indian Territory. On August 10, 1899, Herman Casper and Clint Lipe were inducted into the Pocahontas Club at the same time our famed “Favorite Son,” the “Cherokee Kid” Will Rogers was inducted. The three young men were pleased to become honorary members.
One of the Lipe family members, Jowahna Hill, daughter of Wahnee Lipe Tanner, is still active in the Pocahontas Club today. Nannie Lipe, circa 1900, was born on the Verdigris Lipe Ranch. She was a highly educated teacher and assistant superintendent for many years. She became secretary of the local Pocahontas Club in 1906 and was given a lifetime membership in 1950.
The Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club, now in existence for 116 years, is proud to honor Will Rogers, Clem McSpadden, Clint Lipe and all the ranchers, ropers and wranglers who have kept our Native Oklahoma heritage alive. The Pocahontas Club has come to be known and respected far and wide because of the writings of Will Rogers and has become a symbol for Cherokee sisters. The Lipe family was instrumental in originating and maintaining progress in Northeast Oklahoma. John Lipe and his wife, Lula Foreman Lipe, built one of the nicest barns for ranch purposes and barn dances in the community. Major D. W. Lipe opened the first store in 1882 in Oowala, a Cherokee word meaning “light given.” One of the first phones installed in the area was in 1900 on the Lipe Ranch, bringing Indian Territory in touch with the world.
Claremore’s Great Cherokee Street Fair September 19-21, 1901 was praised as one of the greatest events of the year in Indian Territory. During these days, D. W. Lipe and son John shipped in a yearling steer to the Kansas City stockyards and won, breaking the record for a territory yearling. It weighed in at 1,070 pounds and brought $48.15, averaging 4 ½ cents per pound – an exciting record for 1901. In 1902, Will threw a party and dance at his father’s Dog Iron Ranch at Oologah. Those were the days.
Come celebrate our rich heritage November 7, 2015 with the Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club. Enjoy special performances by Jana Jae, “Queen of Country Fiddle,” opera singer Barbara McAlister, and singer/songwriter Becky Hobbs. We look forward to seeing you there.
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