Lula Brannon Briscoe, ca. 1903. Courtesy of the Brannon/Briscoe family
It’s time for Episode 20 of “Voices from the West,” our blog series featuring audio recordings of historical documents from the Museum’s Dickinson Research Center.
Our goal is to show that history is more than a timeline. At its core, it’s about people. And not just the famous and infamous, but the everyday and ordinary. If you missed previous episodes, you can start here.
The oldest of six children, Lula had moved with her family from Texas to the Chickasaw Nation in 1898. They settled in Sugden, a small community near today’s Texas border that consisted primarily of farmers. She married Robert Willis Briscoe and together they had five children.
Ole and Mabel Tollefson. 1910 Federal Census. Ancestry.com.
Telegraph key. Joe Grandee Collection. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. 1991.01.4439.
The Hartline depot was not releasing a package sent to Lula’s mother and Lula was none too pleased about it. Per the advice of Mr. Ole Tollefson, she told her mother not to pay any more money and to threaten to sue should they continue to hold the package. Mr. Tollefson features prominently in Lula’s early letters. The son of Norwegian immigrants, he moved to Indian Territory in the late 1800s and worked as a ticket agent for the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railway in Sugden before becoming a telegraph operator in El Reno.