Category Archives: Sturgell

John Demeris Periman & Nora Bell Sturgell, Oklahoma Settlers

John Demeris Periman & Nora Bell Sturgell

Nora Bell Sturgell was the sixth child and fourth daughter, born 5 November 1886 in Barry County, Missouri, to Abijah Houston and Martha Susannah (Alberty) Sturgell.

Nora Bell married John Demeris Periman on 18 August 1901 in Barry County, Missouri.

Their married life started on a sad note, as their first child died, apparently soon after birth. No birth or death record has been found, nor is there a gravestone for the little one. However, in 1910, Nora reported that she had given birth to two children with one living.

John and Nora spent the first 25 years or so of their marriage living in Barry County, near to family and friends. John at first rented land on which to farm and, by 1920, was able to own his own farm.

John and Nora haven’t been found in the 1930 census, but were in Chickasha, Grady, Oklahoma in 1927 when John gave permission for their 19 year old son, Elzie, to marry Nora Byers. At that time, Elzie was living in Blanchard, McClain, Oklahoma.

Further census records indicate that in 1935, John and Nora were living in rural McClain County, but by 1940 had moved to Guthrie, Logan, Oklahoma. Their home was rented and John was working as a laborer for the WPA (Works Progress Administration.) He is the first ancestor in the family tree who I know of that worked for the WPA, which was one of Roosevelt’s plan to get America back to work during the Depression.

The Perimans didn’t seem to stay in any one place in Oklahoma for very long, as in 1950, they were living in Oklahoma City. John was 71 years old and Nora was 63.

John Periman died on 22 July 1953 and his obituary was published in Chickasha, Grady, Oklahoma. He is buried in Blanchard, McClain, Oklahoma.

Nora Bell passed away on 28 July 1960, possibly in Oklahoma City and is buried next to John in Blanchard.

John and Nora had another child, Maudine Rebecca, born c1912 and who was at home in 1920. No further record has been found for her and it appears she may have died between 1920 and 1930. I would love to have more information about her.

Their son, Elzie, became a minister, but also worked as a butcher and remained in Blanchard for the rest of his life.


  1. Child, born before 1908 and died soon
  2. Elzie Guy, born 16 June 1909; died 11 December 1974, Blanchard, McClain, Oklahoma; married Nola Pearl Byers, 20 October 1927, Grady County, Oklahoma. They were the parents of seven children – five daughters and two sons.
  3. Maudine Rebecca, born c1912; at home in 1920; no further record

Lee Rue Sturgell & Gertrude Shirley, Barry County, Missouri

Lee Rue Sturgell was the fifth child and second son born to Abijah Houston Sturgell and Martha Susannah Alberty.

Lee Rue Sturgell was born 3 December 1884 in Barry County, Missouri, where he lived his entire life. He married Gertrude Shirley on 8 August 1906 in Barry County.

Like most of his other family members, Lee Rue began married life as a farmer, but who worked for another farmer. Later, he owned his own farm, but by 1940, he was a mail carrier.

Lee Rue died from an accidental fall. He was riding in a truck on a highway near Cassville, Barry County, fell out and fractured his skull. He died ten hours later.


  1. Marlett Tillman, born 30 September 1907; died 20 March 1993, Lawrence County, Missouri; married (1) Hattie Marie Bollin, 1927, Lawrence County, Missouri (2) Dora Mary Black, 27 November 1929, Barry County, Missouri. They were the parents of three sons and four daughters.
  2. Elva Elizabeth, born 27 October 1913; died 20 April 2005, Lawrence County, Missouri; married George E. Madison, 21 May 1932, Barry County, Missouri. They had three sons and one daughter.
  3. Faydola, born 23 March 1916; died 31 May 2000, Joplin, Jasper, Missouri; married (1) Mr. Painter, before 1940 (2) Ernest Carl Hefley, 7 December 1940, Bentonville, Benton, Arkansas. They had one son.
Lee Rue, holding Elva, Gertrude and Marlett, c1914

This is a fun family for me, as my husband and I, along with his aunt and uncle, made a trip to Barry County, Missouri in 1994. Marlett had died a few months before, but I was able to meet his wife, Dora, Elva Madison and her husband, plus some of my husband’s Sturgell 3rd cousins. They still live on the land that the family owned a century before.

Marlett and Dora have one of the neatest gravestones I’ve ever seen.

They both absolutely loved their farm and this etching on the back of the gravestone looks just like it with the barn up on the right. By the way, the feet reflected on the stone belong to my husband and his uncle. 🙂

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


  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.