OKGenWeb Notice: These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by any other organization or persons. Presentation here does not extend any permissions to the public. This material may not be included in any compilation, publication, collection, or other reproduction for profit without permission.
The creator copyrights ALL files on this site. The files may be linked to but may not be reproduced on another site without specific permission from the OKGenWeb Coordinator, [okgenweb@cox.net], and their creator. Although public information is not in and of itself copyrightable, the format in which they are presented, the notes and comments, etc. are. It is, however, permissible to print or save the files to a personal computer for personal use ONLY.

Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
July 12, 1937
Name: James J. Mars
Post Office Address: Sapulpa, Oklahoma
Residence address: 316 S. Water Street

Date of Birth:  
aged 72
Place of Birth:  
Campbell County, Tennessee
Place of Birth:  
Information on father:
Place of birth:   
Information on mother:
Field Worker:
Dawes Fife
Interview #

Mr. James J. Mars was born in Campbell County, Tennessee, August 18, 1864. He was admitted to the Bar in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1888, and came to Sapulpa, Oklahoma, April 7, 1904, by train.

Mr. Mars and family rented a two-story, frame house on Birch Street, from Mr. Dyer.

In his practice of law, he was attorney for guardians and administrators of Indian wards. He contested and cleared oil and gas leases over Creek, Tulsa, Okmulgee, and Muskogee Counties.

He had the distinction of drawing up the lease for Robert Gilbreath and Mr. Chestley, which was an oil and gas lease on the allotment of Ida and Robert Glen, where the first discovery oil well was drilled in Glen Pool.

The Glen Pool oil field was named after the Glen children.

He also drew up the charter for the third bank in Sapulpa, which was the International Bank; later being changed to the American National Bank.

The men who started this bank were Charles Wills, H. H. Johnston, W. C. Hoover, and L. B. Jackson.

The fourth bank was the Creek Bank and Trust Company, located in Joe Denton's building on E. Dewey Street.

The fifth bank was the Sapulpa State Bank, owned by J. H. McCouly, who took over the assets of B. C. Burnett's bank; known as the Farmer and Merchant's Bank, which had been the first bank in Sapulpa.

The sixth bank was the Bank of Commerce, run by W. B. Key and Son on the corner of Park and Dewey Streets.

When Mr. Mars first came to Sapulpa, Main Street was the busiest part of town. East Dewey Street was then a corn field. Now, Dewey Street is the busiest part of town.

The U. S. Court was held on West Dewey Street, in a building known as Hereford's Building, located two blocks west of Main Street. There were also only two hotels in Sapulpa. The Ripley Hotel, located on North Main and Hobson Streets, and the Virden Hotel, (owned by Henry Land, a Creek Indian) which was located across the street from the Ripley Hotel. The whole town then consisted of only ten brick buildings.

During rainy weather Main Street was impassable as it was not paved.

High School and Grade School was a two-story, frame building, located on East Dewey where the courthouse is now located.

Mr. Mars helped prevent the United States District Court from being removed from Sapulpa. It was in litigation which lasted two months.

He was admitted to practice in the Illinois Supreme Court, December 9, 1902; the Western District Court, December 19, 1904; the United States Supreme Court, April 30, 1906, and the United States Court of Oklahoma, May 9, 1908.

Crops raised by the Indians then were sofka corn, Indian sweet potatoes and peanuts.

The leading Indian farmers were: W. A. Sapulpa, who raised fine corn, fine cattle and Poland, China hogs; Wm. Anderson, a stockman and farmer, who raised cattle, wheat, corn and oats.

Submitted to OKGenWeb by Justin R. Shewell (jrshewell@hotmail.com), August 2001.