Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tweets Re Some of My Favorite Deceased Extraordinary Oklahoma Women

March was Women's History Month ( During February 2013 -- which was African American History Month -- I had tweeted about extraordinary African American Oklahoma women. For March 2013 -- Women's History Month -- I decided to tweet on extraordinary Oklahoma women who are deceased. Below are those tweets:

Mildred Imach Cleghorn 1910-1997. Chair, Fort Sill Chiricahua/Warm Spring Apache Tribe 18 years

Mona Sue Salyer Lambird 1938-1999. 1st female president of the Oklahoma Bar Association (1996)

2nd female president of Oklahoma Bar Assoc = Stillwater attorney Melissa DeLacerda (2003)

Edith Kinney Gaylord 1916-2001. Pioneering journalist/

Jeane Kirkpatrick 1925-2006. 1st woman appointed permanent US rep to United Nations (1981-85)

Jessie Thatcher Bost 1875-1963. 1st woman graduate from Oklahoma A&M College - today's OSU - & OK's 1st woman graduate.

Read more about Oklahoma's Jessie Thatcher Bost at…

Mary "Te Ata" Thompson 1895-1995. Chickasaw actress/storyteller. 1st person named Oklahoma State Treasure

Mabel Bassett 1876-1935 Politician, OK's 3rd Commissioner of Charities & Corrections 1923-1947

Louise Fluke designed our state flag…

Pilot/Chickasaw legislator Pearl Carter…

Eula Pearl Carter Scott 1915-2005. Chickasaw. Holds record of youngest pilot in US at the time of her 1st solo 9-12-29

"Sagebrush Artist" Augusta Metcalfe, 1881-1971, farmed 78 yrs in Cheyenne, OK; her paintings won nationwide acclaim

SxSW Google Glass panel included developer of contact lens version like in @leolaporte @TWiT@jeffjarvis

Lucille Mulhall 1885-1940 "America's Greatest Horsewoman;" her performance lead to coining the term "cowgirl" in 1905

Here are links to info on Okie horsewoman Lucille Mulhall: Book & good

Ck out "Who's Rocking the Cradle?: Women Pioneers of Oklahoma Politics From Socialism to the KKK, 1900-1930" (S Schrems)...

Susan Ryan Peters from Anadarko, Oklahoma founded the Kiowa Indian School of Art

Alice Brown Davis 1852-1935. Principal chief of Seminole Tribe 1922-1935; 1st woman to hold post

Okie Mae Boren Axton had over 200 of her songs recorded. Her son was songwriter/singer/actor Hoyt Axton.

Mae Boren Axton 1914-1997. Songwriter best known for co-writing "Heartbreak Hotel," Elvis Presley’s 1st single on RCA

Bertha Teague, 1906-91. Basketball coach Byng HS Ada 1927-69. Career record 1,157 to 115; video

Bertha Teague founded 1st girl's basketball clinic & camp in SW USA. Named Coach of the Decade for '30s, '40s & '70s

Perle Mesta 1890-1975. Socialite, Minister to Luxembourg 1949-1953. See "Perle: My Story"

Perle Mesta was an ardent feminist, a member of National Women's Party, and helped start the World Women's Party.

Perle Mesta's social skills (aka Hostess with the Mostess) were inspiration for Irving Berlin's "Call Me Madame"

Tulsan Sadie Adwon was 1st woman general manager of an Oklahoma TV station (KTUL). OK Broadcasters Hall of Fame 1989

Lamar Looney, 1871-1935. 1st woman elected to the Oklahoma Senate; served 4 terms (1920-1927)

In 1926, Lamar Looney ran unsuccessfully for US Senate. She supported women's right to vote and, at age 52, was admitted to Oklahoma bar.

Bessie McColgin 1875-1972. 1st woman elected to Oklahoma House of Representatives (1920). See

Alma Bell Wilson 1917-1999. 1st female appointed (1982) to OK Supreme Court. See video

Alma Wilson earned her JD from University of Oklahoma in 1941 when less than 3% of US lawyers were women. See bio

Winnie M. Sanger was Oklahoma's first female doctor (1904).

Alice Mary Robertson 1854-1931. 2nd woman in USA to serve in US Congress; 1st from Oklahoma

"Angie Debo: Pioneering Historian" by Shirley Leckie; PBS's great documentary "Indians, Outlaws, and Angie Debo"

Angie Debo 1890-1988. Teacher, leading historian, scholar, & author on Indian history. See "And Still The Waters Run"

Kate Barnard, 1874-1930: 1st women in US elected to statewide office (OK Commissioner of Charities & Corrections 1907)

Zora Brown 1949-2013: Advocate 4 cancer research & breast cancer awareness among minorities

Okie songwriter Mae Boren Axton, 1914-1997, co-wrote Elvis Presley’s 1st RCA single "Heartbreak Hotel." 200+ of her songs were recorded.

Oklahoman Mae Boren Axton wrote the book "Country Singers As I Know ‘em." Her son was songwriter/singer/actor Hoyt Axton.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

BOOK: Buckskin Calico and Lace: Oklahoma's Territorial Women

In this book, Glenda Carlile profiles 18 Oklahoma women .. and.. an all women town, the Pioneer Woman statute and the Sisters of Mercy Catholic order. This fun read was   
   published in 1900 and reissued in 2008. Here is a link to the book on 

Sunday, April 07, 2013

First Women in Oklahoma Government Positions

Please let me know who I have left off this list! Thanks! 

1907 - Head of Charities and Corrections – Kate Barnard (elected)
1921 - State Senate
– Lamar Looney (elected)
1921 - State House of Representatives – Bessie McColgin (elected)
1921 - US House of Representatives – Alice Mary Robertson (elected)
1946 - Secretary of State – Katherine Manton (appointive position)
1963 - State Auditor and Inspector – Imogene Holmes (appointed)
1979 - Corporation Commissioner – Norma Eagleton (appointed, then elected)
1982 - Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice - Alma Wilson (appointed)
1985 - Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals - Carol Hansen (appointed)
          (Judge Hansen became first woman to serve as chief judge on any appellate court in Oklahoma)
1991 - Attorney General - Susan Loving (appointed)
1991 - State Insurance Commissioner – Cathy Weatherford (appointed)
1991 - State Treasurer – Claudette Henry (initially appointed?)
1991 - Superintendent of Public Instruction – Sandy Garrett (elected)
1993 - Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals - Reta Strubhar (appointed)
1995 - Commissioner of Labor – Brenda Reneau Wynn (elected)
1995 - Lieutenant Governor – Mary Fallin (elected)

2011 - Governor - Mary Fallin (elected)

Organizations Serving Oklahoma Women & Girls

Here are some organizations in Oklahoma that support and/or promote women or girls in Oklahoma. Click on the title to view their Internet site. Please nominate other organizations; they don't have to have an Internet site to be listed.

Oklahoma National Organization for Women

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Some Extraordinary Oklahoma Black Women

I took a sabbatical but I am back. Here are some items that I posted last month on my Twitter account  --  @jeanwarner  -  during Black History Month. They are all remarkable Oklahoma women who happen to be black. Tell me who I overlooked!
Interesting reading: Oklahoma City African-American Discovery guide by Kendrick Moore

In 2001, State of Oklahoma officially apologizes for 1921 Tulsa race riot; endorses reparations for the riot victims.

In 1980, President Ronald Reagan appointed Ms. Lennie Tolliver to be Director of the U.S. Commission on Aging.

Freddye Williams served on OK City Board of Education 1975-1979, OK House of Reps 1981-1990

1958 - Clara Luper and students participate in the first lunch counter sit-ins at Katz Drug Store in Oklahoma City.

Valree Fletcher Wynn. 1st black to teach at Lawton High School and at Cameron University.

In 1970, Coretta Banks becomes the first African American to participate in the Miss Oklahoma Beauty Pageant.

Betty Hopkins Mason, 1928- Tulsan, 1st black & 1st woman Supt of OK City Public Schools, 1992-95

Book: Journey Toward Hope: A History of Blacks in Oklahoma by Jimmie Lewis Franklin

Mazola McKerson. Owner Gourmet Restaurant, Ardmore. 1st black/woman elected to City Council & Mayor...

Willa Johnson-1st black woman elected 2 OK City Council, Ward 7; now OK County Commissioner. See

1970, Coretta Banks becomes first black to participate in the Miss Oklahoma Beauty pageant.

Leona Mitchell, 1949- . Renowned African-American and Chickasaw operatic soprano. OCU graduate.

Marie Rogers Gray (1900-1999). A life-long educator, she founded schools in Fay, Geary, & Eudora, Oklahoma.

Maxine Horner- With Vicki Miles-LaGrage,1st Black woman elected to OK Senate (1987). Helped found OK Jazz Hall of Fame

Anita Hill. Law professor's testimony addressed sexual harassment at Clarence Thomas hearing

Judith Horton, told she couldn't use Guthrie's white library, founded 1st black library, Excelsior Library, in 1908.

In 1982, Democrat Shirley Darrell in Oklahoma County became the first black elected as a county commissioner.

Rubye Hibler Hall 1912-2003 1st black appointed to OK State Regents for Higher Education (1974-80)

Okie Vicki Miles-LaGrange is Chief US District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma

Dorothy Moses DeWitty, 1926-2012, 1st black woman principal of Tulsa school & Tulsa City Council.

Zelia Page Breaux 1880-1956 Musician/educator, influenced Charlie Christian. Co-owned Aldridge Theater

Juanita Kidd Stout, 1919-1998, 1st black woman admitted to OK Bar, served on PA Supreme Court

Cleora Butler, 1901-1985, famed Tulsa caterer/restaurateur. Author "Cleora’s Kitchens"

Emma Jones-Freeman won lawsuit against OK City School Board resulting in equal pay for teachers regardless of race

Check out this lovely interview with Rosa Parks on the Academy of Achievement…

Nancy Randolph-Davis educator, activist, 1st black student to enroll at OK State University

Hannah Diggs Atkins (1923-2010) 1st black woman in OK House of Reps. OK Secty of State, more:

Opaline Deveraux Wadkins 1912-2000 health activist helped desegregate nursing schools in Oklahoma

Evelyn LaRue Pittman, 1910-1992, music teacher, choral conductor, composer of music drawn from black history

Beulah Jacobs Ponder was 1st black to work in Office of Governor; receptionist for Henry Bellman

Lena Lowery Sawner, 1874-1949, principal of segregated Douglass HS in OKC, one of Oklahoma's first black activists.

Okie Bessie Coleman (1892-1926) was the world's 1st licensed black aviator. Read about her at

Okie educator Clara Luper (1923-2011) was pioneer in American Civil Rights Movement. Watch video

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Support Okie Film "Baking Alaska" via Kickstarter

Heard of Kickstarter - the funding platform for creative projects? 

Now YOU can use Kickstarter to support an Okie woman - documentary film maker Kari Barber - who is making a documentary film about two strong-headed Oklahoma sisters from Moore, Oklahoma who travel to Alaska to open a bakery.

Filming is complete and Kari has hired an Oklahoma composer and an Alaskan one. She hopes to  have the film totally finished by January 1st and will be sending it for color and audio correction services in January to have it ready to begin submitting to festivals by February 1st and planning screening events next spring as well.  

Funds raised through Kari's Kickstarter account will pay for the composer, sound and color technicians, and festival fees.  Become a supporter of this fun Oklahoma film about Oklahoma women. 

They need $10,000, have raised $2,400 and have 20 days to go! A $25 donation gets you a digital (downloadable) copy of the film. Give more and get other fun rewards. Check it out at

Help Send Books to Impoverished Children in Meru, Kenya

Last June, I completed my 40th month as chair of the board of directors of the Oklahoma Women's Coalition --- and stepped off the board. We hired a full time Executive Director, Kristin Davis, in February so OWC is in great hands. I decided I was suffering from "founder's syndrome"  and decided to get out of Kristin way! 

Which let me return to my OTHER passion -- mission service in Central Kenya. 

Eight years ago a remarkable member of my church, Florence Mubichi, completed a Masters in Nursing and returned home to Kenya. Before leaving she said, "Come and see how God is working among my people.”  So in 2005, I was part of an 18-member mission team that renovated a children's ward at Maua Methodist Hospital near Florence's home. While there, I asked church leaders, "If I brought a mission team to Meru, what would you most want us to do?" Eager to promote a culture of reading, they asked for a community library.

Through the United Methodist Church's Volunteers in Mission office, I led a mission team to Kenya in 2006 and two more in 2007. The teams and other friends of the Mubichi family built the library; sent over  20,000 children's books and textbooks; purchased furnishings for the library; cataloged 5,000+ books, and provided support staff to the board of the Miriam Kanana Mubichi Foundation (MKMF) which was founded by the Mubichis in 2003 after the tragic death of their middle daughter (see 

Now I am working to ship 120 boxes to MKMF. The boxes contain children's books donated by Oklahoma students (for impoverished primary schools) and nursing textbooks donated by OU's College of Nursing (for the nursing school at Maua Methodist Hospital). Some boxes contain Florence Mubichi's personal belongings (she died March 22, 2010 from ovarian cancer while working on a PhD and teaching at OU -- see and html).

A couple boxes hold teaching materials Dale and Sandi Troup will need once they reach Kenya October 23. You can read why they sold everything and moved with their 13 year old son to Kenya to volunteer with MKMF at You can hear about all the things they will be doing in Kenya at

The boxes moved from my garage (see image) to a shipping firm to be weighed, measured and palletized. We anticipate the total shipping expenses to be $4,800. I have raised $1,400 so far. 

I invite you to join in this wonderful mission effort. You can donate $10 or more through the Seeds of Grace Foundation website ( 501(c)3 nonprofit was formed in the USA to support MKMF's work. Or you can mail a check to Seeds of Grace, PO Box 9534, Naperville, IL 60564. 

Whether this appeals to you or not, thank you very much for considering my request.  You can follow MKMF on Facebook at, read the Troups' blogs at, and follow my Twitter account,, about Meru and MKMF

If you have questions, ideas, suggestions about this effort, leave a comment or email me at  

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Marilyn Murrell & Angela Monson to be Inducted in Hall of Fame

On October 6, Okie women Marilyn Murrell, Angela Monson and Ophelia Gower (posthumously) will be inducted into the Oklahoma African-American Hall of Fame. The event will be held at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Event Center in Oklahoma City. See Ken Raymond's Oklahoman article "Seven to join the Oklahoma African-American Hall of Fame" at

Friday, July 06, 2012

I am in the midst of revamping this site so please bear with me.  In the meantime, be advised that most of my "communication" takes place at  I would love for you to follow me on Twitter! 

Friday, May 04, 2012

Kari Barber: Okie Filmmaker

Do you know about filmmaker Kari Barber and her current project? A native of Moore, Oklahoma and a graduate of Moore High School and OU, Kari ( is making a documentary entitled "Baking Alaska" about two sisters who leave their stable lives in Oklahoma to open a bakery in Homer, Alaska. She will be filming in Alaska this summer; the film should be completed in December. Here is the film's website ...

a completed Kickstarter video

a recent interview

and some ways to follow Kari's adventure as she makes this fun, inspiring documentary:

Blog (Tumbler):


Twitter: @Baking_Alaska

Friday, April 06, 2012

Valerie Couch is Law Day Speaker

Oklahoma City University Law School Dean Valerie Couch is the speaker for this year's Law Day luncheon, May 1, at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City. This lady ROCKS!

Couch received a B.A. degree from the University of California and an M.A. degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She then earned her J.D. degree from the University of Oklahoma College of law in 1983. She worked as a trial attorney with the Oklahoma City law firm of Hartzog Conger & Cason PC until 1999. At that time, she was appointed a Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma in 1999. Couch recently gave up her federal judgeship to become Oklahoma City University's 12th law school dean -- and the law school's first female dean. She had taught as an adjunct faculty member at the law school since 2001.

Source (article and photo): The Journal Record

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Jasmine Pascoe gets perfect sore on ACT exam

Edmond Memorial High School senior Jasmine Pascoe is one of only 704 students in the United States so far this year (out of 1.6 million) to earn a perfect score on her ACT exam. Way to go, Jasmine. See Edmond student hits perfect act score, nov 5, 2011.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Spc. Sarina Butcher first female OK National Guard soldier killed in combat

Not only was Sarina Butcher the first female Oklahoma National Guard soldier killed in combat, she was also the youngest Oklahoma National Guard member to die in either Iraq or Afghanistan. 

Sarina died November 1 when the vehicle she was driving as part of a resupply mission was struck by a roadside bomb in Paktia province in Afghanistan. 

For more, see "Family, friends say goodbye to fallen Checotah soldier."

Image from

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mary Fallin, Jari Askins Documentary "First & Female"

This Thursday, Dec 1, at 9pm, watch or record "First & Female" -- the documentary film produced by Oklahoma City’s deadCENTER Film Festival. It will be on OETA - Cox channels 14 & 713. Oklahomans interviewed include Rita Aragon, Gena Timberman, Jane Jayroe, Debby Hampton and several more Oklahoma women.

Judy Copeland Remembered

We were all shocked and saddened to learn of the recent death of Oklahoma attorney and public servant Judy Copeland. Legal counsel to Governor Mary Fallin at the time of her death, Copeland was only 42 years old. Read her obituary here. Her untimely death from a stroke has many Oklahoma women determined to double their efforts on the "Go Red for Women" campaign which raises awareness about women and heart disease.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Okie Women Running Hospitals

The Journal Record ran a lovely article recently on Cathy Hibbs who is CEO of Deaconess Hospital in Oklahoma City. She was born in Tulsa and raised in Miami, OK. After working in Texas and Kentucky, it is great to have her back home in Oklahoma!

Know any other women running hospitals in Oklahoma? If so, leave a comment and tell us about them, please!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kathy LaFortune to be Honored

Congratulations to Tulsan Kathy LaFortune. She will be the 2011 recipient of the Oklahoma Psychological Association Distinguished Professional Service Citation at the annual OPA meeting in November.  A licensed psychologist and attorney, LaFortune serves as Chief of Forensic Psychological Services for the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System. She is also an Adjunct Faculty Member in both the College of Law and the Department of Psychology at the University of Tulsa.  She received a  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

OKC's Girlie (Art) Show 2012

It’s only 9 days away! The 8th Annual Girlie Show is coming up! Is it on your calendar?
Here’s the scoop: Friday, November 4th, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday, November 5th, noon to 5 p.m.
Farmer’s Public Market in OKC

Friday features fab food from some of the finest area restaurants, so get there early and get some! (First 100 in the door get a Girlie goodie bag, too!)

Saturday there is live music from some of the hottest female musicians around; they'll be rockin’ the house all day.

Friday admission: $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Friday ticket stub gets you in FREE on Saturday.
Saturday admission: $5. Tickets available at the door only. Kids 12 and under FREE.

Purchase tickets online at

Or in person at Blue 7 on N. May & Grand and DNA Galleries in the Plaza District.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Donna Branson Inducted into Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Dr. Donna H. Branson who was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame at the 2011 induction ceremony October 11 at the Oklahoma Athletic Hall of Fame Museum in Oklahoma City. Here is the Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society's write up on Dr. Branson:

Donna Branson has left a matchless record in the area of material design and construction of body protection clothing.

In 1972, she earned a Ph.D. in Family Ecology, emphasizing functional apparel design, from Michigan State University. She had already served as instructor at the University of Rhode Island and at Michigan State University for several years before she was hired as Associate Professor in the Department of Clothing, Textiles, and Merchandising in the College of Human Environmental Sciences at OSU in 1983.

She became Professor in four years and in 1992 was chosen Head of her department. Under her leadership, for nearly seven years (1998 to 2005), almost all faculty obtained external funding for their research projects, and she was instrumental in setting up the Christine Salmon Endowed Visiting Professorships. As well, Donna Branson has produced an inspiring record as a researcher.

She has co-authored 32 journal articles, 23 pamphlets and professional reports, refereed 86 presentations, and juried seven design exhibits or competitions. Over the years, she has obtained 28 grants and now owns one manufacturing license and has four pending patents. Much of this scholarly output has been related to designing body armor that protects against bomb attacks but still allows for mobility and temperature control. Her work has been instrumental in protecting United States soldiers in the Middle East.

For her work, she has been given the Mortar Board Outstanding OSU Teacher Award, the Marguerite Scruggs Award for Meritorious Research, the National Textile Center Scientific Excellence Adviser, Oklahoma State University Regents Professor, and in 2006, the Homeland Security Award.

Professor Branson retired from OSU in 2006 but continues to serve as the Director of the Institute of Protective Apparel Research and Technology in Stillwater.

For this marvelous record of research and service to state and nation, the OHEHS proudly inducts Donna H. Branson into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.