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Voices From the West: Lula Briscoe Episode 14

Lula Brannon Briscoe, ca. 1903. Courtesy of the Brannon/Briscoe family

It’s time for Episode 14 of “Voices from the West,” our blog series featuring audio recordings of historical documents from the Museum’s Dickinson Research Center.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.

About Lula

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.

Listen Now

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This post office was located in Stillwater, Payne County, Oklahoma. The young woman could be Marguerite Neerman, born in 1889, who worked as a postal clerk in 1910. 

Post Office in Stillwater, Oklahoma, ca. 1910. Robert E. Cunningham Oklahoma History Collection. Dickinson Research Center. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. 2000.005.5.10.  


Fun Facts

Women have a long history in the United States Postal Service that began during the Civil War when men left postal positions for military service. By the late 1870s, nearly 20% of employees at the Postal Departmental Headquarters in Washington DC were women. On the local level, women became postmistresses at an increasing rate and in 1900 they represented 10% of the country’s postmasters. Lula was appointed postmistress of Sugden in 1904. 

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