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John Hamilton Driggs

- 6th Generation DRIGGS in America

(Joseph 1, Daniel 2, Bartholomew 3, Griswold 4, Lewis 5)


* The above photo shows the Sons of J.H. Driggs & Lucinda Josephine Gould with part of their families, probably taken on their Oklahoma Claim.
- (No photo for either J. H. or Lucinda Driggs)

They are:

(~ L to R - back row men)

William Albert "Bert" Driggs / (J. H. son),
Thomas Claremont Driggs / (Bert's son),
John Herman Driggs / (J. H. son),
Altin Driggs / (Walter's son),
Walter Driggs / (J. H. son),
Claude H. Driggs / (Bert's son),
George Nelson Driggs / (J. H. son),
Charley Driggs / (J. H. son).

(~ L to R - second row women)

Matilda A. (Nimrod) Driggs / (Bert's wife),
Myrtle (Brown) Driggs / (John Herman's wife)
Byrtle (Brown) Driggs / (Walter's wife)
Vivian (King) Driggs / (Claremont's wife)
Pearl Viola Driggs (dau. or wife of George Driggs)|
Bertha (Charley's wife)
Lou Jean (Brown) (John Herman's wife)

(~ L to R (Children bottom row)

Clifton Driggs (Walter Driggs' son)
Georgie Driggs (George Driggs' son)
Hilry Driggs (Charley Driggs' son)
Jack Herman Driggs (John Herman Driggs' son)

[Family Migration - Illinois>Nebraska>Iowa>Wisconsin>Iowa>Montana>Iowa>Kansas>Oklahoma.]

John Hamilton Driggs (1843-1896) was born 3 Nov., 1843, in Winslow, Illinois, the 3rd son & 5th child born of LEWIS & MARY (COREY) DRIGGS.

(DR6-5) John Hamilton Driggs married Lucinda Josephine Gould on January 1st, 1866 in Cadiz, Green County, Wisconsin. Cadiz, Green county, Wisconsin is just across the state line from Winslow, Illinois, and records indicate that it was fairly common for folks in those times to go across the state line into Wisconsin to get married. Lucinda Josephine GOULD "Lu", as she was called, was born in New York on 31 January, 1848, the daughter of Obadiah & Ester Lavina (HAYES) GOULD.

Children born of J. H. & Lu Driggs:

(DR7-1) Hattie Agnes - 13 Jan, 1868, Kalispell, Montana
!(DR7-2) * William Albert "Bert" - 23 Dec., 1871, Coon Rapids, Guthrie County, IA.
!(DR7-3) Walter Nelson - 23 Aug., 1872 / 1873, Coon Rapids, IA.
(DR7-4) Katherine Irene - 7 Dec., 1876, Coon Rapids, IA.
!(DR7-5) John Herman - 4 Dec., 1875 /1875, Coon Rapids, IA.
(DR7-6) Mary Maybelle - 1 Mar., 1878, Coon Rapids, IA.
(DR7-7) Thomas Edwin - 19 Aug., 1879, Coon Rapids, IA.
(DR7-8) Elizabeth Rosamund - <8> Apr., 1881, Coon Rapids, IA.
(DR7-9) Charley Lorne - 12 or 13 Apr., 1883, Burden, Cowley Co., KS.
(DR7-10) George Wesley - 25 Nov., 1886, Union Twp, Payne Co., OK.
(DR7-11) Eunice Eugenie - 29 Aug., 1890, Union Twp., Payne County, OK.

[! - those who participated in the 1892 Oklahoma Land Run]
[* - my direct line]

Little is known about the early married years of John & Lu Driggs. From the birth places of their children, we can get a glimmer of their travels back and forth across the American Frontier. Life was too harsh in Montana in 1868, and after one grueling winter there, they packed up and headed back to Iowa with their firstborn child. They settled at Coon Rapids, Guthrie County, Iowa for a period of some ten years. Some time after 1879, it appears they removed to Burden, Cowley County, Kansas, where they lived for eleven years. Leaving out of Burden, Kansas, John Hamilton and his two eldest sons traveled to nearby Arkansas City, Kansas to register for & await the commencement of the September 22, 1891 Oklahoma Land Run.

courtesy of National Archives

Caption reads : "BOOMERS CAMP - Arkansas City, Kansas - Settlers camped and waited for the opening of the Cherokee Outlet in 1893".

ARK CITY as it was commonly called, was a city of tents for the years of the Oklahoma Land giveaways, commencing in 1889. It was just a few miles from Burden, Kansas where the Driggs family then lived, and very near the Kansas - Oklahoma state border.

NEW! A recently discovered 1887 Letter, written by Lucinda "Lu" Driggs, Burden, Kansas, to her brother, John Manly GOULD, gives us new incite into the life they lived in those times. ( from the records of Cynthia Gould, wife of James Gould, a Grandson of John Manly Gould, brother of Lucinda Gould-Driggs)

In the Fall of 1891, the trip was made from Burden, Kansas, down to Ingalls, Oklahoma, in preparation for the Land Run. (no family record has been found regarding their participation, to date)*. On September 22, 1891, J.H., Lucinda and their two eldest sons made the Oklahoma Land Run, commencing at Ingalls. The legal age requirement for registering for the Land Race was eighteen years of age. My Great-Grampa was age 20 and Uncle Walter, who had just turned 18 or 19 in August, was able to register for the race, too.

"1893 Boomers" waiting by the river...
They came from all walks of life.

The land of this 2nd Land Run had been part of the 870,000 acres formerly owned by the Iowa, Sac & Fox and Pottawatomie Indians (on map above, north-central & just right of dark vertical line). On 22 September, 1891 the run for the free land commenced along the Northern side of the Cimarron River with the land east and southeast of the river up for grabs. Father John H. Driggs & his sons, "Bert" & Walter participated in this remarkable and historic event. (I do not know if Lucinda was with them for the race or if she & the children were brought down from Kansas afterward). The land they claimed was located along the eastern boundary of the Cimarron River, in the Union Township of Payne County, Oklahoma Territory. The settlement (Est. 10 Nov., 1891 with the advent of the first post Office) was named "Cushing" for Marshall Cushing, the private secretary of Postmaster General, John Wanamaker of the Union Township. Following the Run, in the Spring of 1892, Bert and his father, John Hamilton DRIGGS had a man with a team of mules come and till the soil in preparation for the 1893 Spring planting of crops. That summer, they prepared a place for Bert to bring his "bride-to-be", come the following spring. William Albert Driggs "Bert" & Matilda A. Nimrod "Till" were married on September 25, 1892. Matilda stayed with her parents until the Spring of 1893, when they packed a Spring-buck board wagon with everything they owned, and leaving her father's farm in Burden, Kansas, headed for their Oklahoma Territory homestead and began the greatest adventure of their lives together.
(See
Story by Matilda Artnecie Nimrod-Driggs for the details of their trip to Oklahoma Territory)

From Oklahoma Land records, I found that apparently in the heat of the mad dash to stake their claim, J.H. and one of his sons, William Albert, "Bert", made a claim on the same quarter section (160 acres), the result being that they either had to forfeit the whole claim or split it. They split it - 80 acres each; Bert taking the south 80 and father John taking the north. Walter got a whole claim of 160 acres, just north of his father's 80.

*Note: In June, 2001, I was contacted by a grandson of "Claud" Claude. H. Driggs, my Grampa's older brother (See him in the photo above). He has the Original Claim Deed for the Driggs Homestead of Bert & J.H. Driggs' 160 acres which they had to split with "Father Driggs". As soon as I get a copy, I hope to be able to make a smaller scanned version of it for the web site.

STATEHOOD - 1907

[According to cemetery records, William Albert was born in 1869, but in the 1900 Census of Oklahoma -the first one for Oklahoma as a state- "Bert" stated that he was born in 1871, Iowa.]

 

Only five years after they made the Land Run, John Hamilton Driggs died and was buried in the Union Cemetery, founded in 1891. The flowers above are Bear Grass or Yucca glauca, a native Wildflower of the Oklahoma Prairies. My Father, Ted Edwin Driggs, planted these Yucca plants in the Union Cemetery (Old Driggs Cemetery). He dug a start of them from the old Driggs Homestead just up the road from the Cemetery on the Prairie. Every Spring, just in time for Memorial Day Weekend (Decoration Day), you will see them in full bloom in the center of the Union Cemetery, encircling the Flag Pole that Pappa also placed there. I like to think that they are symbolic for John Hamilton Driggs, my GG-Grandfather.
*A interesting note about the Deed to the Union Cemetery.
The Document is a huge thing, about 3 X 4 feet in dimension. It was filed in the State courthouse of original Oklahoma State Capitol - Guthrie, Oklahoma and has the original state seal.

On the 1900 Oklahoma Census record Lucinda Gould-Driggs stated that she was educated and was a "teacher of Music". After John Hamilton died in 1896, leaving her with the farm and three young children still at home, she taught music for some income. John's youngest living brother, Elliot Driggs, was also listed as part of the household at the time of the 1900 Census and probably helped out with the farm. I have learned from the granddaughter of Claude Driggs, my Grandfather's brother, that Lucinda Driggs did indeed teach music in the Cushing, Oklahoma area. She gave piano lessons. It's interesting to think and wonder how many people in and around the Cushing area can trace their musical background to the pioneer piano teacher from New York - Mrs. Lucinda J. Gould-Driggs, my GG-Grandmother.

Sometime after that, Lucinda took her younger children and moved to Fletcher, Oklahoma in Comanche County. All that my family knew was that she died down there in February, 1915.

NEW! Interesting information has come to light through another recently discovered LETTER  written by LUCINDA DRIGGS in 1913:

The following letter came from the records of Cynthia Gould, wife of James Gould, a Grandson of John Manly Gould, who was the brother of Lu Driggs:

- Click on thumbnail images below to enlarge -

  Page 1    Page 2     Page 3

Notice her signature at the close of her letter...." Mrs. L. J. London (Loudon / Landan)".

To my knowledge, no one in our family knew that GG-Gramma Lucinda Driggs had remarried after GG-Grampa died. Surely Uncle Charley who had been with his mother in Fletcher must have told somebody in the family of her marriage to Mr. London. From the letter above, it appears they lived there several years. Her youngest son, Charley Driggs (mentioned in the above letter), later returned to Payne county, where he lived & farmed in the Stillwater area near my Father's family. His son, Hilry Driggs, was the Chief of Police there for many years and still resides in Stillwater. My Father said that his family used to go to Uncle Charley's farm to visit when he was a kid. You would think that someone in the family would have known about Lucinda remarrying. It would seem that this was some sort of family secret, for some unknown reason. Strange.

Nonetheless, upon her death, her body was returned to Cushing, where she was buried next to J.H. Driggs in the Union Cemetery as "Lucinda Josephine Gould-Driggs - Beloved wife of J.H. Driggs".

J. H. Driggs family plot, Union Cem. Union Twp., Payne co., OKLA
See
Union (or old Driggs) Cemetery Page for story of it's founding and images

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Updated: 01/13/02

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"Annie"