All posts by Russell Lawson

Korean War Vet Speaks to American History Class at Bacone

Korean War veteran Donnie Kesler spoke with Bacone American History students recently.
Korean War veteran Donnie Kesler spoke with Bacone American History students recently.

Korean war caps and 50 caliber cartridge

Ty Blackwell, Donnie Kesler, and Kim Holt
Ty Blackwell, Donnie Kesler, and Kim Holt

By Russell Lawson

Korean War veteran Donnie Kesler of Muskogee spoke to Dr. Russell Lawson’s American Civilization II class on Friday afternoon, April 10th. Mr. Kesler served in Korea from 1953 to 1954, when an armistice had brought the three year Korean War to a close but adversarial relations continued to exist across the 38th Parallel between North and South Korea. Continue reading Korean War Vet Speaks to American History Class at Bacone

Bacone College once sported some of the top boxers in the state

 

Boxing coach Frank Thompson and family
Boxing coach Frank Thompson and family

By Russell Lawson

Bacone College has had a long history of physical education by means of competitive sports.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the most popular sport at Bacone was boxing. Bacone sported some of the top boxers in the state, such as Austin (Honeyboy) O’Jibway, “Oklahoma Golden Gloves champion,” who journeyed to Boston to participate in the national collegiate boxing tournament. Continue reading Bacone College once sported some of the top boxers in the state

Charles Journeycake and Indian University

charles journeycakeBy Russell Lawson

Charles Journeycake, Chief of the Delawares, a founding Trustee of Indian University, was born in 1817. His mother, Sally Journeycake, converted Charles to Christianity; he was baptized in 1833.

Charles began preaching to the Delawares and other Indian tribes of Kansas in 1837. Journeycake became Chief of the Delawares in 1861, and after the Civil War, led his people from Kansas to Indian Territory. Ordained a Baptist minister in 1872, he became a leading intellectual and preacher among the Delawares and others of northern Oklahoma.

In 1886, Journeycake assessed the coming of the whites to America and their impact on his people. His statement is carved into the northwest corner of the Bacone College Chapel. Continue reading Charles Journeycake and Indian University

Alexander Posey and the Beginnings of Indian University Press

By Russell Lawson

One of the more illustrious of Bacone’s alumni was Alexander Posey, the Creek poet and humorist who lived from 1873 to 1908. Posey matriculated at Indian University (renamed Bacone College in 1910) as a high school student in 1889. He continued at Indian University until 1895, serving as librarian. He often contributed articles to a monthly newsletter, the Bacone Indian Instructor, published in the 1890s.

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Alexander Posey, significantly, is reading a book in this photograph taken on the steps of Rockefeller Hall in 1891.

​Posey was a prolific freelance writer, writing pieces for a variety of journals and newspapers of his time. In 1894 he contributed a short essay to the Eufaula Indian Journal in which he daydreamed about spring on the Indian University campus. “Quotations from the poets on that delightful season” of spring “are beginning to appear on our black board,” he wrote. “Even the professors, one or two at least, have betrayed inclinations to write delicious rhymes in praise of her for the coming violets and redolent breath already. Do not be surprised if you should see a book issued by the B[acone] I[ndian] U[niversity] press ere long, entitled, ‘Spring and Other Poems’.” Continue reading Alexander Posey and the Beginnings of Indian University Press