|Rev. William Harmon Proffitt|
Interestingly, my paternal grandfather's parents were both only children, so their parents were very easy to research. My paternal grandmother's father was also an only child, so her paternal grandparents were easy to research as well. Her mother, however, had 6 siblings, so her maternal grandparents have been a little more time consuming to research. in addition to researching my 2x great-grandparents, William Harmon Proffitt and Emmer Link Baker, it is taking me awhile to research all of their descendants. I am having trouble finding the marriage records of some of William and Emmer's children, so I've decided that a blog post about everything I know in chronological order is necessary to track William and Emmer through the years. They are especially hard to track because he was a United Brethren/Methodist pastor that moved around from church to church over the years.
Here is everything that I know about William and Emmer in chronological order:
1) William Harmon Proffitt was born 12 Jul 1871 in Chestnut Hill, Jefferson, Tennessee, to John Proffitt and Catherine Elizabeth Dickey.
2) Emmer Link Baker was born 20 Sep 1875 in North Carolina to James Gilbert Baker and Susan Riller Woods.
3) William and Emmer married 17 Dec 1896 in Jefferson County, Tennessee.
4) Nathaniel Foster Proffitt was born to William and Emmer on 29 Jan 1898 in Dandridge, Jefferson, Tennessee.
5) William and Emmer moved to Oklahoma around 1899-1900. William was either a United Brethren or Methodist pastor at the time of the move. I believe he was most likely a United Brethren pastor.
6) William and Emmer filed a homestead claim in 1899-1900 near Buffalo, Harper, Oklahoma, but later sold it when he gave his time to the ministry of the church.
7) On 1 Jun 1900, William and Emmer were enumerated at Wakita Township in Grant County, Oklahoma, with their son, Nathaniel F. Proffitt, age 2. William's occupation was given as preacher. Wakita is about 100 miles east of Buffalo, where the homestead was filed.
8) A second son, James Gilbert Proffitt, was born 30 Jul 1900 in Gibbon, Grant, Oklahoma.
9) A daughter, Golda Emmer Proffitt, was born 9 Jan 1902 in Gibbon.
10) A third son, John William Proffitt, was born 11 Dec 1903 in Gibbon.
11) William was appointed as pastor of Eden Chapel of The Church of the United Brethren in Christ in Perkins, Payne, Oklahoma, from 1904-1906. Perkins is about 120 miles southeast of Gibbon. My source for all of William's appointments in the United Brethren church is 80 Years In Oklahoma and Texas: A History of The Oklahoma-Texas Conference of The Evangelical United Brethren Church by Paul L. Davis and Marvin M. Polson et al.
12) A second daughter, Kathrine Elizabeth Proffitt, was born 28 Jan 1906. Her exact birthplace is listed in family histories as Mahen, but I have not yet located a town in Oklahoma called Mahen.
13) William was appointed as pastor of the United Brethren in Christ Church at Crescent, Logan, Oklahoma, in 1906. Crescent is about 40 miles west of Perkins.
14) A third daughter, my great-grandmother, Hassie Cora Proffitt, was born 26 Feb 1908 at Crescent.
15) William was appointed as pastor of Campbell Creek Church of the United Brethren in Christ at Logan, Kingfisher, Oklahoma, from 1909-1911.
16) William and Emmer were enumerated at Harrison Township in Kingfisher County on 15 Apr 1910. William was listed as a minister. In the household were Foster N., age 12; James G., age 9; Golda E., age 8; John W., age 6; Kathrine E., age 4; and Hassie C., age 2.
17) From 1911-1912, William was appointed pastor at the United Brethren in Christ Church at Okarche in Kingfisher County.
18) Their youngest child, Bessie Frances Proffitt, was born to William and Emmer on 17 Mar 1912 in Okarche.
19) From 1912-1913, William was appointed pastor at the United Brethren church in Vinita, Craig, Oklahoma. Vinita is 192 miles northeast of Okarche.
20) From 1913-1914, William was appointed pastor at the United Brethren church in Aline, Alfalfa, Oklahoma. Aline is about 220 miles west of Vinita.
21) In 1914, William was appointed as pastor of the United Brethren church in Mutual, Woodward, Oklahoma. Mutual is about 65 miles southwest of Aline.
22) In 1917, William was appointed as pastor of First Methodist Church in Gage, Ellis, Oklahoma. He remained there until 1922. My source for this is a family history written by his daughter, Golda, This is corroborated by WWI draft registration records of his sons, Nathaniel and James, and census records.
23) On 1 Jan 1920, William and Emmer were enumerated on Walnut Street in Gage. His occupation is listed as M.E. Church Pastor. In the household were Foster N., age 21, railroad laborer; James G., age 18, country school teacher; Goldie, age 17; John W., age 16; Cathrine, age 13; Hassie, age 11; and Bessie, age 7.
24) On 29 Apr 1922, William officiated at the marriage of his son, James Gilbert Proffitt, to Miriam Hamilton Dunlavy in Arnett, Ellis, Oklahoma.
25) In May 1922, daughter Hassie graduated from the 8th grade at Buffalo, Harper, Oklahoma. Buffalo is about 40 miles northeast of Gage.
26) On 2 Feb 1924, William officiated at the marriage of his daughter, Golda Emmer Proffitt, to Lester R. Curtis in Buffalo, Harper, Oklahoma.
27) William's oldest son, Nathaniel Foster Proffitt, married Rose Mae Dunning on 15 Mar 1924 in Alva, Woods, Oklahoma. William did not officiate. The marriage was officiated by a judge.
28) In May 1925, daughter Hassie graduated from Ingersoll High School in Ingersoll, Alfalfa, Oklahoma.
29) William's son, John William Proffitt, married Gertrude Carey on 11 Nov 1926. The marriage record has not yet been located. The source for this date is a handwritten family history by John's sister, Hassie. UPDATE: I have located John and Gertrude in an online Tulsa County marriage index. This makes sense because Gertrude's family lived in neighboring Washington County.
30) In May 1929, daughter Bessie graduated from Mulhall High School in Mulhall, Logan, Oklahoma. Mulhall is about 110 miles southeast of Ingersoll.
31) On 2 Jun 1929, William officiated at the wedding of his daughter, Kathrine Elizabeth Proffitt, to Clarence Hobart Marshall in Mulhall.
32) On 1 Apr 1930, William and Emmer were enumerated at Mannford, Creek, Oklahoma. His occupation was Methodist pastor. The only child in the household was daughter, Bessie, age 18. Mannford is about 63 miles east of Mulhall.
33) William's daughter, Hassie, married Merlen Paris Mertena on 14 Feb 1931 in Mulhall. A newspaper marriage announcement listed her parents' residence as Hollister, Tillman, Oklahoma. Hollister is about 224 miles southwest of Mannford.
34) Daughter Hassie had a son, William John Mertena, born 20 Aug 1931 at Frederick, Tillman, Oklahoma. According to my grandmother, Hassie's daughter, she had William in Frederick while she was staying at the home of her parents.
35) While serving the Methodist church at Quinlan, Woodward, Oklahoma, in 1934, William retired from the ministry due to ill health. The source for this is his obituary published in the West Oklahoma Annual Conference Journal for 1944.
36) On 1 Apr 1940, William and Emmer were enumerated at Mounds, Creek, Oklahoma. His occupational status was listed as Other. The census record stated that he owned the home he lived in and that he and Emmer had lived in the same house in 1935.
37) According to William's death certificate and Emmer's obituary, they moved to Waynoka, Woods, Oklahoma, around 1942-1943. Their oldest daughter, Golda, lived in Waynoka.
38) Daughter, Bessie Frances Proffitt, married Lealand Jack Kruse on 23 May 1942. No marriage record has yet been found. The source is a handwritten family history by Hassie, as well as Bessie and Jack's obituaries. Bessie was living with her sister, Golda, in Waynoka in the 1940 census. However, neither Bessie nor Jack are listed in the general index for Woods County marriages.UPDATE: A professional researcher in Oklahoma located the marriage announcement of Bessie and Jack. It stated that they married in Garber, Garfield, Oklahoma. I do not know why they married several counties away from where they both lived in 1942.
39) William died at the age of 72 in Alva, Woods, Oklahoma, on 3 Jul 1944 from gall bladder complications. He was buried in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery on 6 Jul 1944. I believe the I.O.O.F. Cemetery is now called Memorial Hill Cemetery. According to his death certificate, he lived at 316 Waynoka St. in Waynoka at the time of his death.
40) Emmer died at the age of 73 on 5 Jul 1949 in Waynoka from a heart attack. She was buried 7 Jul 1949 at the I.O.O.F Cemetery in Waynoka.
Wow, that is a lot of information that I need to process. However, I think it has helped me to see the family's movements over the years. With so many places, it gets complicated at times to view it in RootsMagic. This timeline, along with other sources, will help me to narrow down possible locations for missing marriage records for William and Emmer's children.