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Voices From the West: Lula Briscoe – Episode 2

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

It’s time for Episode 2 of “Voices from the West,” our blog series featuring audio recordings of historical documents from the Museum’s Dickinson Research Center.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 Episode 1, you can catch up 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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Washstands from Sears, Roebuck, and Company Catalog, ca. 1902. Glenn D. Shirley Western Americana Collection. Dickinson Research Center. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

1910 United States Federal Census

The El Reno American (April 20, 1916)

Fun Facts

Lula mentions a washstand, which would have been a common household item in Lula’s day. Here’s some examples of washstands from the Sears, Roebuck, and Company catalog, circa 1902.

Lula also mentions Mr. Tollefson frequently in her letters. The son of Norwegian immigrants, Ole O. Tollefson came to the Territory in 1893 and moved several times with his wife Mabel. He worked as a telegraph operator for the railroad while in Sugden and later as a ticket agent in El Reno, Oklahoma around 1910—the date of the census record shown here. After a stint in Amarillo, Texas, Ole and Mabel returned to El Reno and settled in at 630 South Ellison. 

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