John Houston Sturgell & Della Eva Brooks, Oklahoma Settlers

Today’s Sturgell family story is about John Houston Sturgell, the fourth child, but first son, born to Abijah Houston Sturgell and Martha Susannah Alberty.

John Houston, who went by Houston, was born on 15 April 1882 and grew up in Barry County, Missouri and had been married for about two years when his father, “Byge” did in June 1905.

Houston married Della Eva Brooks on 12 November 1902 in Barry County, Missouri and were the parents of two young sons when they decided to move to Oklahoma before 1910. Like Houston’s other relatives, he was a small farmer.

One of the most fun photos I have in my collection is a copy of a photo taken of Houston’s new home in Oklahoma. By all accounts, he was very proud of it.

Martha Sturgell & son Bud, in front of Houston’s new home in Oklahoma, c1910

Having grown up in a house with running water and electricity and floors not made of dirt, I can’t imagine everyone moving to a new frontier, so to speak and building their own homes. I give them all a lot of credit!

I have one other unique item regarding Houston’s life. He was interviewed by the WPA on 18 June 1937 (an interview with Mr. J.H. Sturgell) about his early years in Oklahoma.

Houston, c1940

Children:

  1. Louis H., born 1 July 1903; died 14 March 1941, Chickasha, Grady, Oklahoma; married Margaret Fitzhugh, 21 May 1926, Grady County, Oklahoma. This couple lived in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1930, with no children at home and haven’t been found in the 1940 census. It’s unknown whether they had any children.
  2. Luther G., born 17 September 1905; died 15 August 1960, Chickasha, Grady, Oklahoma; married (1) Opal Ragan, c1930 (2) Mary Mabel Long, before 1940, probably Grady County, Oklahoma. It is unknown whether Luther had any children.

Where Louis and Luther were in 1940 is a mystery. If they can be found, it might shed light on whether either had any children.

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