Rev. Frank Hughes, Jr.
In addition to new material being added on a regular basis reference the Read family,  there is also a new page added:  "The Old South."  Because John Read (grandfather of Charles "Savez" Read) owned slaves on a plantation but was a loyal Unionist and had grandchildren who wore the Confederate uniform, the antebellum period, sometimes referred to as "The Old South," is explored in both background and in current context.  Information is also included about the first slave owner in Virginia, who was himself Black, and other relatively unknown facts surrounding slavery in the south, and Native Americans  in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) who owned slaves.

New information on the Spengler family who are related to the Wauchope, Rutherford, Kendrick, and Read families. This is included on the "Wauchope Family Story" web page.

New information has been found that, after the War, Rev. A.A. Porter, Lillah Porter Read's father, considered moving with over 10,000 other Southerners to various South American countries.  Many of these settled in Brazil.  "The Old South" page also has a discussion about these ex-Confederates who left the United States.
Read Family Story
Rev. John Leighton Read, with his wife
Katharine Rutherford Wauchope:

From a letter typed by Rev. J. Leighton Read to his daughter Katharine, and her husband, Rev. Frank Hughes, Jr. concerning a problem they were facing:
Rev. J. Leighton Read was in the first graduating class of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary:
Here is what happened to the four who graduated with J. Leighton Read:
Rev. J. Leighton Read served as best man at the wedding of his seminary classmate, Rev. Charles F. Hancock, as reported in the Austin American-Statesman, 21 SEPT 1906:
One of the first churches
Rev. J. Leighton Read served before entering missionary work in Indian Territory, was
First Presbyterian, Gurdon, Arkansas:
Special Cake at the 130th Anniversary Celebration of founding of the church:
Rev. J. Leighton Read also served Central Presbyterian Church, Little Rock, Arkansas:
Information about Central Presbyterian Church on the Arkansas Historic Buildings Register:
Rev. J. Leighton Read was Chairman of the Christian Endeavor Society, Little Rock, Arkansas, as reported in the "Pine Bluff Daily Graphic Newspaper" 17 OCT 1913:
Newspaper announces Rev. J. Leighton Read leaving Central Presbyterian Church, Little Rock, Arkansas to work among the Indians in Colony, Oklahoma:
Newspaper article, Colony Currier, Sept 6, 1917, says Rev. J. Leighton (name misspelled) Read is coming to an Indian Camp Meeting, Colony, OK, to become acquainted with where he will begin working:
"Sasser your coffee"
I received an email from one of my Read cousins asking me if I had any stories I could relate in connection with the Read family.  One is in the following PDF file:
How the Indians cleaned their rugs before the days of Hoover: 
My mother told me that when it would snow, the Indian women would lay their rugs out on top the snow, then take a broom and sweep the snow lightly across the top of the rug, thus also sweeping the dirt with it.  Then, they would turn the rug over and do the same thing with that side.  With her supervising, I tried it once with one of her handmade Indian rugs and it worked.
Another good story that continued to be told long afterward by Jim and I, involved a scorpion that stung our Grandmother Read....but it's not what you think that made it such a good story.
On another occasion, I heard Granddaddy Read state the following poem (below).  I told him I liked it very much. So he typed out a copy on a small piece of paper on his old typewriter.
I carried it in my wallet for many years:

"Hearts like doors open with ease,
With tiny, tiny, little keys,
And two of these are
'Thank you,' and 'If you please.'"
Rev. and Mrs. J. Leighton Read wrote "Lights and Shadows on the Colony Field," (which was published), describing their experiences with Native Americans.  I obtained a copy from the Oklahoma Historical Society:
Katharine Read (Hughes) on Right; with Indian girl:
Pictures of Indians collected by Katharine Read (Hughes) with their names written on back of each:
While living in Indian Territory/Oklahoma, my Mother told me her father instructed her not to stray far from the Indian Mission, due to the outlaws who traversed the area and established hideouts there.  The following videos courtesy of the "Oklahoma Stories" series, and Youtube, is a case in point:

On September 1, 1893, fourteen deputy U.S. Marshals entered Ingalls, Oklahoma, to apprehend the gang, in what would be known as the Battle of Ingalls. During the shootout that followed, three marshals were killed, two bystanders were killed and one wounded, three of the gang members were wounded, and gang member "Arkansas Tom Jones" was wounded and captured. Doolin shot and killed Deputy Marshal Richard Speed during that shootout.

The next film describes what happened:

Rev. Hughes took this picture (seen below) in the 1950s, of Jim and Joe at the entrance to one of Jesse James' hideouts in Oklahoma.  He backed up the car to the entrance, and you could feel the cold air coming from the mouth of the cave.  (Mrs. Hughes' parents and grandparents were missionaries to the Indians in Oklahoma Territory, and the children were told to be careful and not stray far from the Indian school or church where they ministered; that the James Brothers did have a hideout nearby.  This has been verified by other original source material).

This is a picture of a robbers' cave in OK, used by both outlaws, Jesse James and Belle Starr, at different times, of course!  It is located in Robbers Cave State Park, Latimer County, OK.
From a new article by Michael J. Hightower in the current "Chronicles of Oklahoma," we get this information confirming the outlaw problem in Indian Territory/Oklahoma:

"Due to its geographic isolation and rugged terrain, far southeastern Indian Territory on the eve of Oklahoma statehood in 1907, was still a sparsely settle frontier.  It was ideally suited to outlaw gangs that robbed and plundered more settled regions with impunity before confounding their pursuers and vanishing along trails, or "thief runs" that crisscrossed the Choctaw Nation.  Belle Starr, Frank and Jesse James, and other outlaws whose names are lost to history knew they could regroup in the Kiamichi Mountains an plan further depredations."
For stories of the Starr family's and the James brothers' activities in southeastern Oklahoma, see Michael J. Hightower, "Banking in Oklahoma before Statehood" and David Fritze "Idabel."
At the time the gangs were still operating in that area, there was a proposal to establish the State of Sequoyah:

The State of Sequoyah was the proposed name for a state to be established in the eastern part of present-day Oklahoma. In 1905, faced by proposals to end their tribal governments, Native Americans of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory proposed such a state as a means to retain some control of their land. Their intention was to have a state under Native American constitution and rule. The proposed state was named in honor of Sequoyah, the Cherokee who created a writing system in 1825 for the Cherokee language.

I asked my Mother what was in the "panhandle" section of Oklahoma.  She said that when she lived in Oklahoma as a child, she was told that that area was considered a "no man's land" and used mostly as hideouts by outlaws.  (She said that the name "Panhandle" comes from the similarity of its shape to the handle of a cooking pan.) It is 166 miles long and 34 miles wide. Beaver county encompassed the panhandle area from 1890 until OK statehood. The panhandle was then divided into 3 counties: Beaver, Texas, and Cimarron.  Several Western movies and TV programs feature this area commonly called "Cimarron" or "Cimarron Strip."  It definitely was used for hideouts by outlaws, including the notorious "Robbers Roost."  In the map below,  it is called the "Neutral Strip."

Sons of the Pioneers song "Cherokee Strip" from the 1940 Movie, "The Durango Kid."

Robber's Roost was a rock fortress with stone walls 30 inches thick that was built by a band of outlaws led by 'Captain' William Coe in No Man's Land in the late 1860's. It had one door and instead of windows had 27 tall, narrow portholes. This region near the Black Mesa was left unclaimed in 1850 when Congress established the boundaries for Texas, Kansas and New Mexico. Therefore, Congress declared it "neutral" or "No Man's Land" and soon forgot about it. The result was a region without any kind of government or law where outlaws and thieves began congregating because of the security the area offered them.

Coe had around 50 followers that were known for stealing livestock from the Army and settlers in the area. Because of the nature of the structure known as Robber's Roost, the Army brought in a cannon to fire on the fortress to rid the area of the outlaws.

The painting, below, is of Robbers' Roost, by Wayne Cooper of Depew, OK, and hangs in the OK Statehouse.

Things were so bad in the Panhandle of Indian Territory, even Hollywood made a B&W movie about it.  The "Panhandle" in this film refers to the Oklahoma Panhandle.  There was another film Starrett starred in called "Outlaws of the Texas Panhandle."
There were multiple gangs of outlaws roaming through Indian Territory as indicated by these signs (some now advertising "tourist traps"):
Up in the Arbuckle Mountains, just a few miles north of the Red River, across the Texas border, in Oklahoma, is the site of the Turner Falls, named after Mazeppa Thomas Turner, a farmer who discovered the falls in 1878.  Now a park operated by the city of Davis, OK, it covers 1,500 acres, but at one time was home to outlaws in that region.
The following article from the Wichita Beacon (Kansas) for August 25, 1898, tells us what it was like in Indian Territory (I.T.):
A few more stories our Mother told us...........................

Jim and I also heard stories from Mother, about the frugal times she lived in, about the people who suffered in the "Dustbowl"area, and the lack of money for the basic necessities.  Oklahoma suffered from a depression in the 1880s, long before the Great Depression of 1929. 

She told me one striking story that has always stayed with me: that on one occasion, money was so tight, her mother, Katharine R. Read, had to pawn her wedding ring in order to get money to have the children's teeth fixed. During the Great Depression, she told how she and her grandmother (Lillah Porter Read, who lived with Rev. J. Leighton Read until 1940) had to learn to drink coffee, without sugar or cream; and how to bake without using much sugar.  She was a good cook, and said that she had learned it mostly from working in the kitchen with her mother, while growing up.  She said that her husband's mother complimented her on her cooking, and she felt that was high praise from her mother-in-law!  She would then tell how all she had learned in cooking had come from her own mother, Mrs. Read. 

And from what I can remember of those August summer vacations in Norman, OK, I remember the wonderfully prepared meals by my Grandmother Read, with my Mother assisting.  I learned to love tomatoes during those visits.  It was at her breakfast table that I first discovered what a poached egg was and how it was made. And then after supper, Granddaddy Read would show Jim and I how to work his hand-cranked ice cream maker, out on the back porch.  I remember the excitement it created when my cousin David Saunders would discover what we were doing and came out to watch and wait!

Jim and I once asked Mother about playing cards; were they OK to use?  She said "No." And then told us that her Mother, Grandmother Read, once discovered someone had brought some into their house, and she wouldn't touch them with her hands.  She used tongs from the kitchen and tossed them into the fire!

Mother also told us two other sayings her mother had: "If it's doubtful, it's dirty" (in reference to clean clothes); and "Study to be quiet."

While out one summer visiting our grandparents in Norman, our family took a side trip to the Dog Iron Ranch, Oologah, OK, birthplace of Will Rogers, to see his house.  (Mother said that it was spelled "Oolagah" before Oklahoma became a state; and amazed Jim and I because she could pronounce all the Indian place names with no trouble.) So I asked mother if she had ever seen Will Rogers.  She said that she had seen him perform in an outdoor rodeo arena.  The picture, on the left, is how she would have remembered him. (Photo courtesy of the Will Rogers Memorial Museum, Claremore, OK.)

Mother said that Grandmother Read, before she was married, attended a summer session at Union Seminary in New York City, which is the oldest independent seminary in the United States, founded in 1836, by members of the Presbyterian Church in the USA:
Mother said that she was told by her mother, that during a summer in New York City while attending Union Seminary, she attended a "student matinee" performance of Verdi's "Aida," because she couldn't afford to go to one at night, at the old Metropolitan Opera House, located at 1411 Broadway, occupying the whole block between West 39th St and West 40th St on the west side of the street in the Garment District of Midtown Manhattan; and believe me those blocks in NYC are not your typical city blocks; they are long! (Yes, I didn't know how to pronounce the name, and Mother had to teach us how it was pronounced: 

Aida (Italian: [aˈiːda]). 

Here are scenes from the Old Met Opera House, including the stage with it's gold damask curtain (the opera house is now located in Lincoln Center), as it would have looked when Grandmother attended a performance:

The stage is set for "Aida" Act 2, Scene 1, as Grandmother Read would have seen it:
It was during the Saturday matinee performances, Milton Cross would describe to radio listeners background commentary to the opera.  Here he is in 1941, during a live radio broadcast describing Act I of Aida, as Grandmother would have experienced it in person:
Now, here is an excerpt from the same opera, as performed in the new Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center, NYC:
Our Mother also told us that one summer, Grandmother Read, before she was married, took a trip to Pikes Peak, Colorado, and climbed up to the top where she signed a book, indicating she had been there. (Pikes Peak is named for Zebulon Montgomery Pike, an early explorer of the Southwest). Some modern pictures:

From the “The Free Lance,” (Fredericksburg, VA.) June 10, 1905:

Miss Katharine Rutherford Wauchope, future wife of Dr. J. Leighton Read, graduates from Fredericksburg College, with a degree in Music:

Upon her graduation from Fredericksburg College, Katherine Rutherford Wauchope taught school at the Presbyterian College, Durant, Oklahoma.
(More pictures of the college):
Here is Miss Wauchope in the faculty listings, taken from a doctoral dissertation by Anne Semple.

In 1910-1911: she taught Latin and French:
In 1911-1912: she taught Latin and French:
In 1912-1913, she taught Latin and German:
J.J. Read (Rev. John Jeremiah Read) is listed below, as a "pioneer missionary," and as one of the founding trustees of Calvin Institute (which later became Oklahoma Presbyterian College):


Calvin Institute, near Durant. begun by Rev. C.U. Ralston and named after his son, Calvin, who drowned.  On the Board were Rev. R.K. Moseley, head of the school;  Rev. J.J. Read, W.J.B. Loyd, Dr. Robert A. Lively. It was later supervised by Mrs. Mary Semple HOTCHKIN and her son Ebenezer in 1896. She secured tribal funds in 1900 for Indian boys and girls could attend. Later the city of Durant and Dr. Thornton R. SAMPSON led a fund drive and the name was changed to Durant College.  Became a girls' school in1907 and after it was relocated to a new site opened in 1910, as Oklahoma Presbyterian College for Girls, where Katherine Rutherford Wauchope would teach.

Rev. J.J. Read served on it's board of trustees.

Durant is situated at the intersection of U.S. Highways 69/75 and 70, fifty-two miles east of Ardmore and seventy-six miles southwest of McAlester. Occupation of the townsite began in November 1872, when a wheelless boxcar was placed on the east side of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway tracks. In 1873, Dixon Durant erected the town's first building, a wooden store, on the east side of the boxcar. Named "Durant Station" for his family, it was shortened to Durant in 1882.  Since the first settlers came to the area, agriculture has remained the town's economic base. The primary commercial crops were peanuts, cotton, wheat, and cattle. By 1902, there were eight churches, sixteen groceries, sixteen physicians, five hotels, fifteen attorneys, an ice plant, and numerous other businesses. Growth continued rapidly, due to a rapid influx of mixed-blood Choctaws and whites. Very few full-bloods lived in Bryan County at the time. In 1894 the Presbyterian Church opened the Calvin Institute, which evolved into Durant Presbyterian College and closed in 1966, as the Oklahoma Presbyterian College. On March 6, 1909, the Oklahoma Legislature approved the establishment of Southeastern State Normal School at Durant. In 1921, the institution became Southeastern State Teachers College and in 1974, Southeastern Oklahoma State University. In 1999 the state legislature proclaimed Durant "the Magnolia Capital of Oklahoma," and the town annually hosts a Magnolia Festival the weekend following Memorial Day. Oklahoma Gov. Robert L. Williams resided in Durant. In 1975, Chief David Gardner located the headquarters of the Choctaw Nation in the former Oklahoma Presbyterian College buildings. At the beginning of the twenty-first century Durant continued to grow with wholesale, retail, and light manufacturing businesses supported by one of the top-ranked public school systems in the state. The 1890 census did not include Durant in its list of important towns. In 1900 the population was 2,969, and 5,330 in 1910, rising to 12,823 in 1990 and to 13,549 in 2000.


    Source: The History of Bryan County, Oklahoma (Durant, Okla.: Bryan County Heritage Association, 1983).


    Other Sources Used: Bryan County Democrat (Durant, Oklahoma) , 18 December 1924. Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 9 November 1992 and 31 January 1999. Ellis Freeny, Peter Freeny and His Descendants in America (Oklahoma City: Ellis Freeny, 1995). The History of Bryan County, Oklahoma (Durant, Okla.: Bryan County Heritage Association, Inc., 1983). Amy Sanders, "Fifth-Generation Rancher Sets New Goals For Oklahoma's Oldest Family Ranch," Cattleman 83 (August 1996).

More information discovered about Calvin Institute:

Oklahoma Presbyterian College

Durant, Oklahoma


The OPC building is on the National Register and the application contains a history of the school as well as a description of the building. has the 1914 Ithanna, the school yearbook.  Dust Bowl Girls by Lydia Reeder is a history of the powerful OPC basketball teams of the 1930’s.  Ruth Ann Semple’s thesis, Origin and Development of Oklahoma Presbyterian College is online.


OPC is an outgrowth of Presbyterian mission work among the Choctaw Indian nation.  The first school, called Calvin Institute, opened in 1894.  Its success led to its being closed and reopened as a larger school called Durant Presbyterian College in 1901.

Durant Presbyterian College offered standard college courses.  But with a peak enrollment of 315, it needed more space, and the newly created Southeastern Normal College needed a home. So DPC sold its campus to the state and used the money to build a larger building and reorganize the school.

This reorganization brought Oklahoma Presbyterian College for Girls, which opened in the fall of 1910.  Semple notes that the school offered three degrees—Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Literature, and Bachelor of Science.  There was also a preparatory division.   Dust Bowl Girls says that the college girls—mostly whites—were required to sit at lunch with younger students—many of whom were Indians—to help with table manners.

The 1914 Ithanna shows a student body of around 100—more than half in the college. (One student, a Jewish girl, was murdered in November of 1913.) The curriculum was heavily weighted toward the liberal arts.  The fourteen-member faculty included four piano teachers—including Edward Baxter Perry from Leipzig, who had studied under Franz Liszt.  One faculty member taught voice, one taught art, and four taught languages and expression.  Bible classes were required.  Thirty-nine students were listed as members of the Utopian Literary Society and 61 were members of the competing Phi Delta Sigma Society.  Most Students were members of the YWCA or the Miriam Society –for younger girls.


The calendar shows a school year filled with parties, teas, luncheons, dramatic performances, recitals, and class competitions in athletics and academics.  Students apparently had some social interactions with those from Southeastern Normal School.


By 1935 the financially strapped OPC entered into a relationship with Southeastern Normal.  According to Semple, all instruction except for music and Bible was “surrendered” to Southeastern Normal.  In 1955 OPC again became co-educational.  But by 1966, financial problems caused the campus to close.

Bricks and Mortar

The new OPC building was located at 601 North 16th Street.  Measuring 160 feet by 50 feet, it was built of red brick with white stone trim at a cost of $100,000.  The basement and main floor contained classrooms.  The upper floor served as a dormitory.  Until 1941, a partial fourth floor—called the “Buzzard’s Roost”—contained a half-gymnasium. After a fire damaged the building, the fourth floor was removed.  In 1918 a second building was added immediately south of the main building.

In 1975 the campus became the home for the Red River Valley Historical Society.  It was placed on the National Register in 1976.


NEXT PHOTO:  The main building prior to the 1941 fire.  Note the Buzzard's Roost.  Image from Burke Library Archives of Columbia University.


            Team name: Cardinals

            Colors: Garnet and Grey

College Football Data Warehouse shows a football game in 1904—a 34-0 loss to Austin College.

Ithanna says that the girls basketball teams were forbidden to compete against other schools.

OPC’s real sports history began in 1929 when Sam Babb was hired as basketball coach.  The OPC teams—made up of Oklahoma farm girls—began a run of 88 consecutive wins from December 1931 to December 1934.  Most games were against post-college age AAU teams. Despite having only the “Buzzard’s Roost” of their own and the use of the SNS gymnasium 4-6 a.m., the OPC Cardinals won the AAU  national championship in 1932 and 1933, defeating the Dallas Golden Cyclones both years.  In 1933 the Cardinals went on to defeat the Edmondton (BC) Grads in Edmondton for the championship of North America, playing two games using men’s rules.   

Semple notes that under “independent sponsorship” the team toured Europe in 1934. The Tulsa World says that the Presbyterian board withdrew support for the team and that they all enrolled at Oklahoma City University.  


Six members of the 1932 national champions.  All-america guard Doll Harris is to the left.  Image from Truby Studio of Durant.

Oklahoma Presbyterian College update:
The following Minutes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, 1890, will give you insight into the work of Rev. J.J.Read and his colleagues:
Miss Katherine Wauchope is listed as Superintendent of Christian Endeavor Society:
Wauchope Family
Church Membership Records:
Katharine Rutherford Wauchope Read
Baptism Record:
Katharine Rutherford Read was baptized
by Rev. Frank Hall Wright, D.D. who was born in Boggy Depot.

The following information is provided which gives insight into the mission work which the Wright and Read families were involved in:

A Pipe Organ was purchased by the Oklahoma Presbyterian College, Durant, Oklahoma, and dedicated to the memory of Rev. Frank Hall Wright:
From the Tulsa Tribune, Sept 20, 1928:

NEW on the “Wauchope Family Story” web page:

Session Minutes covering the ministry of Rev. William C. Wauchope, Rev. Roe Wauchope, Rev. J.H. Baxter, Rev. H.A.Vanderwank, and Rev. J. Leighton Read, at the Columbia Memorial Presbyterian Church,

Colony, Oklahoma.  {Includes listing of Wauchope/Read children baptism(s).}

A recently discovered picture taken by Rev. Hughes of Rev. J. Leighton Read with his eldest daughter (Mrs. Frank Hughes, Jr.) He had just arrived at the airport for a visit to our home in South Norfolk, Virginia, after his wife had already passed.
J. Leighton Read and Katharine Rutherford Wauchope marriage license:
Newspaper announces the marriage of Rev. J. Leighton Read and
Miss Katharine Rutherford Wauchope:
While at Austin College, Sherman, Texas, John Leighton Read, Age 20, roomed with William Scott. 1900 Census:

The college was founded on October 13, 1849, in Huntsville, Texas, by the Hampden–Sydney and Princeton-educated missionary Dr. Daniel Baker. Signed by Texas Governor George Wood, the charter of Austin College was modeled after those of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.


Baker named the school for the Texas historical figure Stephen F. Austin after the original land on which it was built was donated by the Austin family. Two other important figures in Texas history, Sam Houston and Anson Jones, served on the original board of trustees for the college, and the former site in Huntsville later became today's Sam Houston State University.


Austin College's founding president was Irish-born Presbyterian minister Samuel McKinney, who served as the school's president a second time from 1862 to 1871. Under the tenure of the fourth president of Austin College, Reverend Samuel Magoffin Luckett,  Austin   College suffered several yellow fever epidemics and complications related to the Civil War. Texas Synod of the Presbyterian Church decided the college would be relocated to Sherman in 1876.


Construction of the new campus in north Texas came in the form of "Old Main," a two-story, red brick structure, which occurred between 1876 and 1878. Struggling with the Long Depression. Austin College saw little improvement to its building or grounds during the late 1870s; as such, Samuel Luckett resigned his position as president. From 1878 to 1885, the college continued to struggle from the aftershocks of economic depression; with an increasing debt and shrinking student body, the college turned to its 7th president, Reverend Donald MacGregor. A shrewd and well connected businessman, President MacGregor relieved a great deal of the college's debt and returned operations to normalcy. After MacGregor's death in 1887, the college welcomed President Luckett back to the campus. Throughout his second term as president, Samuel Luckett adopted a military program, grew the student body, introduced a YMCA chapter, established intercollegiate athletics and Greek fraternities, and added two wings to Old Main.


One of the school's most iconic presidents came in the form of Reverend Thomas Stone Clyce, who served as the Austin College president from 1900 to 1931; Reverend Clyce's presidency would become, and remains, the longest tenure in Austin College history.


On January 21 of 1913, Old Main was set ablaze and burnt to the ground in a matter of hours. A professor of Austin College, Davis Foute Eagleton described the incident:


"Austin College on fire and every particle of wood reduced to ashes--and walls rendered totally unfit for use. Oh, dies irae, dies irae! - The dear old building in which I have laboured for twenty-four years, gone! What traditions, memories, griefs, joys, were associated with it! The carpenters were approaching the completion of their work. The new English room was completed, the library room was soon to be ready. The literary societies lost everything. I lost all books, or, [those] in my class room. The laboratories were almost a total loss. Fortunately, the library, records, and office furniture were all in the new Y.M.C.A. building. Before the fire had begun to die out, the Senior class called the student body together and they pledged themselves by classes in writing to stand by the Faculty and the College, and that no one would leave. The Faculty also met shortly after and unanimously decided to continue college work the next day as usual, meeting their classes in places designated. Probably not another institution in the State could have done this. But the old College building is gone forever!!!"


Following the fire, the citizens of Sherman raised $50,000 to help the college rebuild. Now one of the oldest buildings on the Austin College campus, Sherman Hall housed administrative offices, an auditorium-chapel, and a library. Now the home of the humanities division, Sherman Hall boasted such guests as Harry Houdini, Harry Blackstone Sr., Madame Schumann-Heink, William Howard Taft, and George H.W. Bush.


To this day, the Austin College administration rarely cancels classes for weather or minor incidents in honor of the great commitment students and faculty made to continue on with regular coursework following the fire.


Austin College became co-educational in 1918, merging in 1930 with the all-female Texas Presbyterian College.


The Great Depression severely limited campus growth and educational expansion, however the college quickly regained momentum in the mid-1930s with the introduction of many courses, ground breaking on new facilities, and growth of previously established programs. Throughout 1942, Austin College trained some 300 men and women in engineering, science and management courses as part of the United States Office of Education's war efforts. The following year, Austin College undertook a Cadet nurses training program and hosted Naval Reserves, Texas Home Guard, Army-air trainees and Air Corps Cadets.


On September 20, 1973, the musician Jim Croce died in a plane crash in Natchitoches, Louisiana, on his way to perform the next night at Austin College. Six people died in the crash.


In 1994, Dr. Oscar Page joined the community as its 14th president. Under his tenure, 1994-2009, Dr. Page increased the school's endowment by nearly 80%, due in large part to his dedicated fundraising efforts as evidenced by the success of the "Campaign for the New Era;" a total of $120 million were raised and the campaign was heralded as the largest fundraiser in Austin College's history. Dr. Page orchestrated the construction of Jordan Family Language House, Jerry E. Apple Stadium, the Robert J. and Mary Wright Campus Center, the Robert M. and Joyce A. Johnson ’Roo Suites, and the Betsy Dennis Forster Art Studio Complex; as well as the renovation of the David E. and Cassie L. Temple Center for Teaching and Learning at Thompson House and of Wortham Center, and creation of the John A. and Katherine G. Jackson Technology Center, the Margaret Binkley Collins and William W. Collins, Jr., Alumni Center, and the College Green in Honor of John D. and Sara Bernice Moseley and Distinguished Faculty.


In the latter part of Austin College's history, the school would see de-segregation, welcome its first full-time black faculty member, first female head of a department, and, employ its first female president.


Dr. Marjorie Hass joined the campus in 2009 as both its first female and Jewish faith president. Since the start of her leadership, the college has seen the construction of the IDEA Center and two new housing complexes, the Flats at Brockett Court and the Village on Grand. Home to 103,000 square feet of multi-disciplinary and multi-purpose classrooms, laboratories, lecture halls and the largest telescope in the region found in Adams Observatory, the IDEA Center is a LEED Gold certified facility.


Cadets and their sponsors, 1890s:
Grandmother Read would go out in her Norman, Oklahoma neighborhood and invite the children into her home and teach Bible stories with flannel graphs, and sing songs while she played the piano.

"He Owns the Cattle on a Thousand Hills"

(Words and Music by John W. Peterson)


He owns the cattle on a thousand hills,
The wealth in every mine;
He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills,
The sun and stars that shine.
Wonderful riches, more than tongue can tell -
He is my Father so they're mine as well;
He owns the cattle on a thousand hills -
I know that He will care for me.  

Rev. J. Leighton Read (center of picture in suit) seen here in Lawton, OK, with his wife Katharine (seated at the pump organ) ministering to Indians.
An August 1958 visit to Virginia
with Rev. and Mrs. J. Leighton Read
During one summer, Rev. and Mrs. J. Leighton Read visited us in South Norfolk, Virginia.  Here is a picture Dad took of us down at Nags Head, N.C. on the beach.  From L to R: Joe, Mrs. Read, Rev. Read (in white shirt and tie) and Jim, sitting behind him playing in the sand. (Apologies for the small picture size; they were taken with a Kodak "Brownie" Camera.)
Rev. Read took this picture of us at Colonial Williamsburg.  From L to R:  Joe (being held by Dad), Rev. and Mrs. Hughes, Jim standing in front of Mrs. Read.
Jim, Rev. Read, Mrs. Hughes, Joe, Mrs. Read at Williamsburg
Joe and Jim at Williamsburg
Joe, Rev. Hughes, and Jim at Williamsburg
Pictures from a family reunion at Rev. and Mrs. Read's home, Norman, OK:
Front Row, L-R: Jim, David Saunders (making a face), Joe
Pictures of Read family with identification page written by
Mrs. Katharine Read Hughes:
Laddie and Jamie Read:
Read, Dillon, Hughes family members visit
Rev. and Mrs. Read
(Some photos were duplicated/enlarged)
Back row, L-R: Mother, Granddaddy Read, Aunt Mary Saunders, Grandmother Read.
Front row, L-R: unknown, Jim, unknown, David Saunders, Joe.
David Saunders on tricycle, Cheryl Saunders, Joe and Jim in wagon:
Cheryl Saunders standing, David Saunders on tricycle, Joe and Jim in wagon:
John Leighton Read, Jr. in WW2 uniform:
John L. Read, Jr. at Oklahoma University, Norman, 1948:
John was a member of Kappa Alpha:
John was a member of the IFC:
Katharine Anne Read at University of Oklahoma in 1934, was a member of Pi Epsilon Alpha, a religious organization:
Elizabeth Louise Read marriage
Grandmother Read holds Judy January while
Edward Bruce January holds camera:
Edward Bruce January holds Judy January:
Identified: L to R: Joe & Jim Hughes with cousins in Oklahoma:
The following 3 pictures were on the same roll as the previous ones taken in Norman, OK.  If any of my Read cousins knows where they were taken, please contact Joe.
At the Read's Norman, OK house, June 1954:
Nancy Dillon celebrates her first birthday, as Rev. Read looks on at the right.
Nancy and Ellen Dillon sisters:
Dr. Robert Morris Dillon, who married Elizabeth Read:
When our family visited the Dillon's in Oklahoma, Jim, who had already started taking trombone lessons at school, talked with his Uncle Robert about his music.  He gave Jim a copy of some music he had written and a recording of the Bethany High School Band.
Rare Diary and Bible Study Notes of Katharine Wauchope Read, found in the effects of her daughter, Katharine Anne Read:
Picture of my Aunt Teeny while visiting her sister Katharine Read, one summer, in Sulpher Springs, OK:
Betty, Mary, Cheryl, and Teeny:
My Aunt Teeny and Uncle Dan
Wedding Photos
(Notations of who is in each picture
by Katharine Read.)

Rice being thrown on the couple, as they leave
Rev. and Mrs. Read's house in Norman, OK:
Hughes family visited the D'Antoni family in New Orleans, here on "The President" paddlewheeler:
L to R: unidentified, Katharine, Teenie, Joe, Jim, one of the D'Antoni sons.
READ Children School Enrollment Card,
January 30, 1930.  (Note the name misspelled: "Cathirene ann Read"
which should be: "Katharine Anne Read."

Read Children School Enrollment Cards: 1927, 1928, 1931, 1932, 1934:
Read Children School Enrollment forms in PDF format:
Rev. J. Leighton Read receives
Doctor of Divinity Degree.
Vice-President of the U.S. is the guest speaker:
Thomas R. Marshall
Full newspaper story in two (2) parts:
Rev. J. Leighton Read was involved in the Child Evangelism Fellowship.  An article from The Oklahoman, June 6, 1941:
Recent Research (2019) on the Read
"family tree"

Early immigrant: James Read, Soldier and Blacksmith, 1607, Jamestown Colony (Source: National Park Service, Jamestown, VA.)

One of the first immigrants: Peter Read, from Kent, England, to Charles City, VA.  He came to America by 1654 indentured to Walter Brooks; transported to Charles City by Walter Barker and sons William Brookes, age 17, along with Steven Read, age 24, and a Richard Young, age 31.  They came from London by certificate from Minister to Gravesend.  This can be found in Public Record's Office E157/20.

Peter was born in 1634 in Kent, England.  With his wife Ann, they had a daughter, also named Ann, who died in 1685.  She married Dorrill Young and they had 4 children.

Peter and Ann also had a son, Henry, born 1660 in Prince George, VA; died Oct 7, 1712 in the same place.  Henry married Elizabeth Hancock and had 3 sons and 4 daughters between 1690 and 1705.

On April 3, 1688, Peter's wife also named Ann, was granted the administration of her late husband's estate.  This record can be found at Westover 10/02/1688, page 135, "Ann Read, admin., of Peter Read, dec'd, James Wallis and Edmund Irby to inventory estate."

Son: Henry, born, 1698, Virginia.

Son: Harmon, born 1698, Prince George, Virginia.

Son: Moses, born 1744, Isle of Wight, Virginia.

Son: William, born 1771, North Carolina

Son: John, born 1794, North Carolina

Son: John, born 1794, Mississippi.

Son: William Frances, born 1817, Tennessee.

Son: John Jeremiah, born 1842, Mississippi.

Peter Read
Henry Read,  son of Peter Read
Harmon Read,  son of Henry Read
Moses Read, son of Harmon Read
William Read, son of Moses Read
John Read, son of William Read
William Francis Read, son of John Read
William Francis Read died on Sunday morning, July 6, 1850, of typhoid fever.  He received some treatment from a Dr. A.B. Caldwell. He was buried in a Protestant cemetery northeast of Nevada City, California, close to Downieville, California.
Downieville, 1850:
Downieville, 1890:
Nevada City, 1856:
We find out want happened to William F. Read when he went to the gold field where he died, from Hewitt Clarke, in this excerpt from his book, "He Saw the Elephant":
My mother once told me that her father indicated a family connection between the Read family and George Read of Delaware, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  We are currently researching that connection.
James Read in Jamestown, 1607

James [Jamestown Settler, May 1607] READ


Birth: 1565 in Kent, England

Death: 13 MAR 1622

Immigration: 13 MAY 1607 Jamestown Settlement, Colony of Virginia;  First Landing; on the ?Susan Constant?

Occupation: Original Jamestown Settler (1st Landing); blacksmith and soldier

Jamestown Expedition: After setting sail on December 20, 1606, this famous expedition finally reached Virginia in April 1607 after enduring a lengthy voyage of over four months in three tiny ships (?Discovery?, ?Susan Constant?, and ?Godspeed?). The Susan Constant, at 120 tons, was the largest of the three ships led by Capt. Christopher Newport. She carried 71 passengers and was about 116 feet long. The Godspeed, led by Capt. Bartholomew Gosnold, carried 39 passengers and 13 sailors. She was a 40 ton brigantine about 68 feet long. The Discovery, under Capt. John Ratcliffe, was was a 20-ton ?fly boat? and carried 21 persons.

After exploring several sites along the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, the colonists, fearing pirates and Spanish competition, decided to explore further inland. Jamestown, because of its deeper off-shore waters allowing close mooring for the ships, was chosen instead. On May 13, 1607 the settlers landed at Jamestown ready to begin the task of surviving in a new environment.

Of the 105 survivors that established the town of Jamestown, over 50 would die in the 'sickly season' or 'seasoning period' of July to September.

James Read, blacksmith, was one of the original 104 Jamestown settlers and the only blacksmith. Below is a letter, translated into modern English, he wrote to his mother just 4 months after their arrival.

25 Sept. 1607

Dear Mom,

We finally made it to Jamestown. My job as a blacksmith is very important to our community. I have to make farming tools and pots and pans for people. I always have a fire going in my shop. It is nice in the winter but hot in the summer. I have to work many long hours.

We have built a 3-sided fort to protect us from the Indians. All of our homes and stores and the church tower are inside the fort. We also grow crops. Our houses all have thatched roofs. Every day is a lot of hard work. Besides working in the shop. We spend a lot of time caring for animals and fixing meals.

Our leader is named John Smith. The Indians once captured him but he is now making us a stronger colony. Because of his strong leadership we all survived. He made some rules one was "who does not work does not eat"

I miss you but don?t worry

Love, James Read

He survived the first few frightening months of colonial life in good health. But the blacksmith almost lost his life another way. In September 1607, during one of Smith?s absences on the river, the 2nd President, John Ratcliffe (aka Sicklemore), beat James Read, the blacksmith. Captain Edward Wingfield says the Council were continually beating men for their pleasure. Read struck back. For this he was condemned to be hanged. His life was spared in a last minute bargain, mostly because "killing the man who mends your guns, makes your nails, repairs your chisels, and fixes your locks, not to mention the shoes of your horses might not be the wisest." (Hume 162 -163).

From the account of Edward Maria Wingfield, first President of the Colony, in his “Discourse on Virginia,” we learn the truth of the James Read incident:

"The36 . . . daie of37 . . . the President did beat James Read > , the Smyth (Blacksmith).  38 The Smythe (Blacksmith, i.e., James Read) stroake him againe. For this he was condempned to be hanged; but, before he was turned of the lather, he desired to speak with the President in private, to whome he accused Mr Kendall of a mutiny, and so escaped himself.39 What indictment Mr Recorder framed against the Smyth, I knowe not; but I knowe it is familiar for the President, Counsellors, and other officers, to beate men at their pleasures. One lyeth sick till death, another walketh lame, the third cryeth out of all his boanes; wch myseryes they doe take vpon their consciences to come to them by this their alms of beating. Wear this whipping, lawing, beating, and hanging, in Virginia, knowne in England, I fear it would driue many well affected myndes from this honoble action of Virginia.

This Smyth comyng aboord the pynnasse wth some others, aboute some busines, 2 or 3 dayes before his arraignemt, brought me comendacons from Mr Pearsye, Mr Waller,40 Mr Kendall, and some others, saieing they would be glad to see me on shoare. I answered him, they were honest gent., and had carryed themselues very obediently to their gounors. I prayed God that they did not think of any ill thing vnworthie themselues. I added further, that vpon Sundaie, if the weathiar were faire, I would be at the sermon. Lastly, I said that I was so sickly, starued, lame, and did lye so could and wett in the pynnasse, as I would be dragged thithere before I would goe thither any more. Sundaie proued not faire: I went not to the sermon."

"The41 . . . daie of42 . . ., Mr Kendall was executed; being shott to death for a mutiny. In th' arrest of his judgmt, he alleaged to Mr President yt his name was Sicklemore, not Ratcliff;43 & so had no authority to pnounce judgmt. Then Mr Martyn pnounced judgmt.“

Historically, blacksmiths had been very important on the frontier. In addition to accompanying Captain John Smith on expeditions in June and December 1608, during which time Read had a point of land named after him. James Read survived to work as a blacksmith in Jamestown for 15 years.

Records by John Smith indicate that Read was one of several men who built a house for Chief Powhatan in advance of his coming to talk with Smith.

Records of the Virginia Company dated March 13, 1622, reveal that Joan, the daughter of James Read (Reade), and her mother Isabelle) stood to inherit her late father?s goods, which were in the possession of Captain John Martin of Martin?s Brandon (59). Joan was then in England (VCR 1:618).

New PBS Drama "Jamestown" features James Read played by a British actor.
Matt Stokoe plays a leading role as James Read in the new PBS "Jamestown" series.  He is cast, appropriately, as the blacksmith in Jamestown.
Rev. John Jeremiah Read
(Photo dated: May 1872)
(Courtesy of Presbyterian Heritage Center, Montreat, NC)
J.J. Read's father died when he was 7 years old and he spent most of his boyhood days on his father's plantation, attending a fine academy, where he was grounded in the rudiments of an English education, From there at age 15, he entered business at Raymond, Mississippi, spending 3 years as a clerk in a store.

It was after his time spent in the Confederate Army that he first wanted to become a professional teacher and wanted to seek a college education toward that end.

It was under the influence of his pastor, Rev. I.J. Daniel, that he was convinced of his duty to enter the ministry.  This led to his enrollment at Oakland College, the Presbyterian college of Mississippi in that day.
Here is the 1860 Census for Raymond, Mississippi, which shows him living there, working as a clerk in a store. His name is on line 38, and boarding with the Gibbs family, age 17:
Before attending seminary, J.J.Read attended Oakland College in Mississippi:
The Literary Society Building, built in 1850:

Oakland College Curriculum

contributed by Charles Dawkins from the original document in the MS Department of Archives & History, Jackson, MS:

Additional information on
Oakland College:
After attending Oakland College,
John J. Read attended
Columbia Presbyterian Seminary.

The seminary that he attended was located in Columbia, South Carolina, not Decatur, Georgia, as some information states. According to the Presbyterian Historical Center, Montreat, N.C., the seminary was actually started in 1828 in Lexington, Georgia, then it was moved to Columbia, South Carolina in 1830, which is the campus he would have attended.  It was not moved to Decatur, Georgia until 1927.

In 1830, Columbia, South Carolina, became the first permanent location of the seminary. The school became popularly known as Columbia Theological Seminary, and the name was formally accepted in 1925. The building was designed by architect Robert Mills as the Robert Mills/Ainsley Hall House.  As seen abandoned, circa 1920's:

It was in 1823, that Columbia merchant Ainsley Hall and his wife Sarah hired Robert Mills to plan this stylish Classical Revival townhouse, one of few private residences he ever designed. Ainsley Hall died before the house was finished, and Sarah sold the mansion to the Presbyterian Synod of South Carolina and Georgia, which established a seminary there in 1831 and opened the educational chapter of the property’s history.

This small building was removed from Columbia, SC to Rock Hill, SC in 1936, as the most important landmark of Winthrop College' history on the campus. The college began in this converted carriage house in 1886, when Winthrop Founder and First President, David Bancroft Johnson, then superintendent of Columbia’s public schools, received permission from the Columbia Theological Seminary to use the building for a teacher training classroom.

It had been designed by Robert Mills and built as a stable/carriage house in 1823 on the grounds of Ainsley Hall mansion in downtown Columbia. The one story, rectangular one-room masonry building had a high, arched central doorway for horses and carriages. It has load bearing brick walls and pilasters, semicircular arched doorways and end windows, slate shingled gable roof with an end parapet and boxed cornices, and plain vertical board doors. This arcaded masonry design was a Mills trademark and reflects the design of the Ainsley Hall mansion.


In 1830, the mansion was acquired by the Presbyterian Synod of South Carolina and Georgia for a seminary campus, and the carriage house was converted into a chapel for the Columbia Theological Seminary. The main arched doorway was removed and replaced with a smaller rectangular window. Additional sash windows were probably added then to light the chapel, but this is not documented. These windows probably were not in place during the building’s time as a stable. The stalls were removed and replaced with pews and a pulpit on a raised wood floor for the chancel.


The ca. 1830 chapel remains basically unaltered. In 1886, David Bancroft Johnson requested the use of the Little Chapel as a classroom for the inaugural academic year of Winthrop Training School. The Seminary was closed because of an internal religious dispute. Permission was granted by the Presbyterian Church and the Little Chapel became the birthplace of Winthrop as an institution. The Little Chapel only served Winthrop as a classroom during its inaugural year. In the fall of 1887, the Winthrop Training School moved to a much larger building on Marion Street in Columbia, SC which contained four large rooms and the chapel returned to its prior use as a religious center for the Columbia Theological Seminary.


In 1927, the seminary moved to Decatur, GA. and the Little Chapel was left vacated. With pleas from the Winthrop Alumnae Association, Winthrop  began a campaign to have the structure moved to Rock Hill. Their efforts were rewarded when the Seminary Board of Directors presented the Chapel to Winthrop on May 7, 1936. Plans were then set into motion to transport the building, brick by brick, to the Winthrop campus in Rock Hill, SC.

On the morning of September 29, 1936, with aid from a Federal Works Progress Administration grant, a long procession of cars and trucks set out from Columbia with 36,000 numbered bricks, massive hand-hewn timbers, and other building materials. Chaperoning these materials along its route to Rock Hill were such Winthrop dignitaries as Winthrop president, Dr. Shelton Phelps; former Winthrop president, James Pinckney Kinard and his wife, Lee Wicker Kinard; Mrs. D. B. Johnson, widow of Winthrop’s first president; and 55 representatives of Winthrop’s numerous alumnae chapters.


The reassembling of the chapel on campus under architectural supervision took several months and was completed in the early spring of 1937. A formal dedication of the Little Chapel was held on May 29, 1936 with numerous prominent South Carolinians present, including Archibald Rutledge, S. C. Poet Laureate and 4 of 5 living members of Winthrop’s first graduating class of 1887. President Johnson’s remains, buried on the front campus in 1928, were re-interred under the chapel in 1936. His wife, Mai Rutledge Smith Johnson, who died in 1978, is also buried at his side.


The chapel sits amid a grove of large oak trees on the plateau above the athletic field, northwest of the amphitheater. This pastoral area is all that remains of Oakland Park, which originally covered most of the campus. Laid out in 1890 by W. B. Wilson, the park attracted patrons from “downtown” Rock Hill who came out on Wilson’s privately built street car track. The park’s main features were a large pond where the depressed athletic field is now, a casino, bandstands, and landscaped walks.


The area immediately surrounding the chapel was landscaped in 1936 with sidewalks and shrubs. The building and grounds continued to be maintained through the years, however, by the early 1980s the larger surroundings of the chapel and the amphitheater, built around 1916, had fallen into disrepair and suffered from inadequate drainage. Also, the building was kept locked and was only used during special ceremonies.


In the early 1980s, a significant revitalization effort was implemented and the Little Chapel received much needed repairs. Following the completion of these repairs the Little Chapel was rededicated and reopened at a ceremony on October 13, 1983. These efforts were largely spurred on by Winthrop’s centennial celebration in 1986.


In 2005, effort was made to return the Little Chapel to a more prominent and appealing place within the campus community. The David Bancroft Johnson Bust which had been commissioned by the Winthrop Alumni Association to celebrate Winthrop’s centennial was removed from the front campus and relocated to the Little Chapel. Also, a sculpture garden was added to the lawn in front of the Little Chapel with Architectonic Benches and a meditative garden to further its appeal to visitors.


The chapel retains its 1830 integrity, even though moved from the original site. In 1970, as part of the Ainsley Hall House restoration, the carriage house was reconstructed on its original site by the Historic Columbia Foundation. This reconstruction is currently listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The original chapel is at least of equal significance.


President Woodrow Wilson, whose father was a professor at the seminary in the 1860s-80s, regularly attended services and lectures in the chapel. In 1873, he took vows to become a member of the Presbyterian Church there. Much of Wilson’s intellectual stimulation came from listening to sermons and philosophical lectures given in the chapel. Wilson had been a student at the seminary until 1886, when scientific and philosophical differences with established religion caused him to seek a career in secular academic life.


For many reasons this small building seems clearly eligible for National Register listing. It is a Robert Mills building of distinctive style and elegance; it was the site of President Wilson’s early education; and it was the original Winthrop Building. The careful 1936 move to Rock Hill was a pioneer accomplishment in historic preservation. An official State Historical Marker is already in place.


The Chapel as it appears today:
After graduating from
Columbia Presbyterian Seminary,
Columbia, South Carolina,
John J. Read was licensed to preach and supplied at the
Presbyterian Church, Port Gibson, MS. 

The church was first called Bayou Pierre Presbyterian Church; then later First Presbyterian. 
Pictures of the church (below) are how it looks today, little changed).
This church has one of the most unusual histories. "The Church with the Golden Hand," by Jim Woodrick, is very informative:

The present brick building housing the First Presbyterian Church of Port Gibson was completed in 1860. The Romanesque Revival church was created by James Jones, apparently a local architect, and bears a distinctive 165-foot high steeple crowned by an upwardly pointing gilded hand. First carved of wood by Daniel Foley in 1859, the original hand was replaced by one of sheet metal about 1901.

The perfect acoustics that the cove ceiling gives, (seen in the picture below) allows the preacher’s normal speaking voice, to be heard easily far in the back pew.

One man who recently visited the church developed this synopsis: "By 1859, they had outgrown their small brick building and hired a man from the North to build their new larger sanctuary. The contractor ran off after only completing the walls up to the roofline, which is so typical of Yankees, isn’t it? According to the church’s website, the congregation pulled together and completed the building by late 1860 with contributions from church elder H.N. Spencer.

"As it stands today, the church shows a high degree of craftsmanship in its design and workmanship on both the exterior and the interior. A fine Romanesque Revival style church, it relies on strong basic forms, including most prominently its rounded windows and door openings.

"On the interior, the simplicity of the Presbyterian creed comes through in the minimal decoration punctuated by the cove of the ceiling and again by the round arched forms. This simplicity allows the plasterwork archway behind the pulpit to really draw attention to the pastor and the preaching of the Word. A nice plaster cornice also surrounds the sanctuary, subtly showing off the cove in the ceiling."

Visitors will notice that the front windows are of a different stained glass than the side windows. The fronts are the original colored glass, while those in the sanctuary have been replaced with more ornate memorial windows over time.

Presbyterian records indicate that John Jeremiah Read was ordained on December 10, 1871, by the Brazos Presbytery.

John Jeremiah Read ordination

The Galveston Daily News DEC 13, 1871:

Rev. John Jeremiah Read served as pastor of 
First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas,
A reporter from the Galveston newspaper attended one of Rev. J.J. Read's worship services and mentioned that he preached an excellent sermon,....without notes:
John Jeremiah Read married
Lillah Porter on April 25, 1874. 
The service was conducted by
Dr. H.W. Dodge, pastor of First Baptist Church, Austin, Texas, 1871-1877.

From the "History of First Baptist Church" of Austin, Texas, 1923, Mr. John F. Smith, wrote this of him at the time of the churches' 50th anniversary celebration: "Brother Dodge has been justly called the old man eloquent.  He is liberally endowed with rich mental, moral, and social qualities, highly cultured and deeply learned.  He is an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile."
READ - PORTER Marriage License and Certificate on PDF:
Selma, Alabama newspaper announces wedding:

Atoka Independent AUG 30 1878:

From the

Caddo Free Press (Caddo, Oklahoma),

November 1, 1878, p. 16: 

A Report on Rev. John Jeremiah Read's work at Spencer Academy, from "The Gospel in All Lands," 1881, Vols. 3-4, page 78:

Spencer Academy, named for the then Secretary of War John C. Spencer, was built in 1824 for Choctaw boys and led by Reverend Alexander Reid (Presbyterian). After the Civil War, the school re-opened, and Reid opened nearby Oak Hill Industrial Academy to educate Choctaw freedmen. The famous and well-known gospel, "Swing Lo, Sweet Chariot," was first sung and heard at the Spencer Academy by freed people "Uncle Wallace and Aunt Minerva." (Source: Oklahoma Historical Society).

More information about
Spencer Academy:

A noted school for boys, Spencer Academy was established by the Choctaw Nation in 1841 and named for Secretary of War John C. Spencer, who served in the John Tyler administration. Students who became Choctaw leaders included Allen Wright, Jackson McCurtain, and Jefferson Gardner. Two elderly black slaves, Uncle Wallace and his wife, Aunt Minerva, hired out by their Choctaw owner to work for missionaries at the academy, first sang "Swing Low Sweet Chariot," "Roll, Jordan, Roll" and other spirituals composed nearby.

Rev. Alexander Reid, principal of Spencer Academy, was a native of Scotland, and came to this country in his boyhood. He graduated from the college at Princeton, N. J., in 1845, and the theological seminary there, three years later. He was ordained by the Presbytery of New York in 1849 and accepting a commission to serve as a missionary to the Indians of the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory, was immediately appointed superintendent of Spencer Academy, ten miles north of Fort Towson.

He was accompanied by Rev. Alexander J. Graham, a native of Newark, New Jersey, who served as a teacher in the academy. The latter was a roommate of Reid’s at Princeton seminary, and his sister became Reid’s wife. At the end of his first year of service he returned to Lebanon Springs, New York, for the recovery of his health, and died there July 23, 1850. Rev. John Edwards immediately became his successor as a teacher.

Alexander Reid while pursuing his studies learned the tailor’s trade at West Point and this proved a favorable introduction to his work among the Choctaws. They were surprised and greatly pleased on seeing that he had already learned the art of sitting on the ground “tailor fashion” according to their own custom.

The academy under Reid enjoyed a prosperous career of twelve years. In 1861, when the excitement of war absorbed the attention of everybody, the school work was abandoned. Reid, however, continued to serve as a gospel missionary among the Indians until 1869, when he took his family to Princeton, New Jersey, to provide for the education of his children.

While ministering to the spiritual needs of the Indians his sympathies and interest were awakened by the destitute and helpless condition of their former slaves. In 1878 he resumed work as a missionary to the Choctaws making his headquarters at or near Atoka and in 1882 he was appointed by the Foreign Mission Board, superintendent of mission work among the Freedmen in Indian Territory. In this capacity he aided in establishing neighborhood schools wherever teachers could be found. In order that a number of them might be fitted for teaching, he obtained permission of their parents to take a number of bright looking and promising young people to boarding schools, maintained by our Freedmen’s Board in Texas, Mississippi and North Carolina. He thus became instrumental in preparing the way, and advised the development of the native Oak Hill School into an industrial and normal boarding school.

In 1884, owing to failing health, he went to the home of his son, Rev. John G. Reid (born at Spencer Academy in 1854), at Greeley, Colorado, and died at 72 at Cambridgeport, near Boston, July 30, 1890.

“He was a friend to truth, of soul sincere, of manners unaffected and of mind enlarged, he wished the good of all mankind.”

Uncle Wallace Willis and Aunt Minerva

Uncle Wallace and Aunt Minerva were two of the colored workers that were employed at Spencer Academy, before the war. They lived together in a little cabin near it. In the summer evenings they would often sit at the door of the cabin and sing their favorite plantation songs, learned in Mississippi in their early youth.

"Swing low, sweet Chariot"

In 1871, when the Jubilee singers first visited Newark, New Jersey, Rev. Alexander Reid happened to be there and heard them. The work of the Jubilee singers was new in the North and attracted considerable and very favorable attention. But when Prof. White, who had charge of them, announced several concerts to be given in different Churches of the city he added,

“We will have to repeat the Jubilee songs as we have no other.”

When Mr. Reid was asked how he liked them he remarked,

“Very well, but I have heard better ones.”

When he had committed to writing a half dozen of the plantation songs he had heard “Wallace and Minerva” sing with so much delight at old Spencer Academy, he met Mr. White and his company in Brooklyn, New York, and spent an entire day rehearsing them. These new songs included,

“Steal away to Jesus.”
“The Angels are Coming,”
“I’m a Rolling,” and “Swing low, sweet Chariot.”

“Steal Away to Jesus” became very popular and was sung before Queen Victoria.

The Hutchinson family later used several of them in their concerts, rendering “I’m a Rolling,” with a trumpet accompaniment to the words:

“The trumpet sounds in my soul,
I haint got long to stay here.”

These songs have now been sung around the world.

When one thinks of the two old slaves singing happily together at the door of their humble cabin, amid the dreary solitudes of Indian Territory, and the widely extended results that followed, he cannot help perceiving in these incidents a practical illustration of the way in which our Heavenly Father uses “things that are weak,” for the accomplishment of his gracious purposes. They also serve to show how little we know of the future use God will make of the lowly service any of us may now be rendering.

These two slaves giving expression to their devotional feelings in simple native songs, unconsciously exerted a happy influence that was felt even in distant lands; an influence that served to attract attention and financial support to an important institution, established for the education of the Freedmen.

New Spencer Academy

In the fall of 1881 the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions re-established Spencer Academy in a new location where the post office was called, Nelson, ten miles southwest of Antlers and twenty miles west of old Spencer, now called Spencerville.

Rev. Oliver P. Stark, the first superintendent of this institution, died there at the age of 61, March 2, 1884. He was a native of Goshen, New York, and a graduate of the college and Theological Seminary at Princeton, N. J. In 1851, he was ordained by the Presbytery of Indian which, as early as 1840, had been organized to include the missions of the American Board.

As early as 1849, while he was yet a licentiate, he was commissioned as a missionary to the Choctaws, and, locating at Goodland, remained in charge of the work in that section until 1866, a period of seventeen years. During the next thirteen years he served as principal of the Lamar Female Seminary at Paris, Texas. His next and last work was the development of the mission school for the Choctaws at Nelson, which had formed a part of his early and long pastorate.

Rev. Harvey R. Schermerhorn, became the immediate successor of Mr. Stark as superintendent of the new Spencer Academy and continued to serve in that capacity until 1890, when the mission work among the Indians was transferred from the Foreign to the care of the Home Mission Board. The school was then discontinued and he became pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Macalester. After a long and very useful career he is now living in retirement at Hartshorne.

These incidents, relating to the work of the Presbyterian Church among the Indians, especially the Choctaws, have been narrated, because the men who had charge of these two educational institutions at Wheelock and Spencer Academies, were very helpful in effecting the organization of Presbyterian Churches, the establishment of Oak Hill Academy and a number of neighborhood schools among the Freedmen in the south part of the Choctaw Nation.

Photos of principals involved at Spencer Academy, noted in above article:
1. Secretary of War, John C. Spencer
2. Rev. Alexander Reid
3. Allen Wright
4. Jackson F. McCurtain
5. Jefferson Gardner
Editorial written by Rev. Frank Wright, about the excellent work rendered by Rev. J.J. Read at the Spencer Academy:
Spencerville, Oklahoma:

Spencerville today, is an unincorporated community in northern Choctaw County, Oklahoma. It is 12 miles northeast of Hugo, Oklahoma, adjacent to the Pushmataha County border. The improved Ft. Smith to Ft. Towson military road of 1839, ran north-south thru Spencerville after crossing the "Seven Devils" on its way southeast to Doaksville. This wagon road was heavily used by the U.S. Army from 1839–48, especially during the War with Mexico.


Spencerville, named for U.S. Secretary of War John C. Spencer, was home to Spencer Academy, a Choctaw Nation boarding school for boys. The trace of the military road today serves as the access road from Spencerville 1/4 mile north to the site of old Spencer Academy. A large Oklahoma Historical Society marker identifies the site.


Spencer Academy was founded in 1844. It was here that Negro freedman "Uncle" Wallace Willis composed “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”. He was inspired by the Red River which reminded him of the Jordan River and of the Prophet Elijah being taken to heaven by a chariot. Spencer Academy was operated on behalf of the Choctaw Indians by the Presbyterian Board of Missions.


Prior to Oklahoma's statehood Spencerville was in Towson County, Choctaw Nation—but only barely. A United States post office operated at Spencerville, Indian Territory from January 22, 1844 to July 22, 1847 and was established again on May 17, 1902. The community and its post offices took their name from the academy. The academy later relocated to Nelson, Oklahoma several miles to the west.

Deep bass guest soloist Stan Toal from Robinson Memorial United Church in London, Ontario, performs Wallis Willis' famous spiritual "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" as part of the July 13, 2008 Sunday service at Strathroy United Church accompanied by Edith Hanselman on the Boston grand piano.  (SEE MUSIC AUDIO FILE BELOW THIS ARTICLE).

"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" is an American Negro spiritual. The first recording was by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1909. In 2002, the Library of Congress honored the song as one of 50 recordings chosen that year to be added to the National Recording Registry. It was also included in the list of Songs of the Century, by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.

While sung primarily in Protestant churches and in concerts throughout the United States, it also has a large association with English rugby union and is also regularly sung at England national rugby union team matches. It is sometimes called "Coming for to carry me home".

"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" was composed by Wallis (Wallace) Willis, a Choctaw freedman in the old Indian Territory, sometime before 1862. He was inspired by the Red River which reminded him of the Jordan River and of the Prophet Elijah being taken to heaven by a chariot. Some scholars (see Songs of the underground railroad) believe this song and "Steal Away to Jesus"—also composed by Willis—had some hidden lyrics referring to the Underground Railroad.

Alexander Reid, a minister at a Choctaw boarding school, heard Willis singing these two songs and transcribed the words and melodies. He sent the music to the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. The Jubilee Singers then popularized the songs during a tour of the United States and Europe.

The song enjoyed a resurgence during the 1960s Civil Rights struggle and the folk revival; it was performed by a number of artists, perhaps most famously during this period, by Joan Baez during the legendary 1969 Woodstock festival.

The song was adopted by England rugby union fans during the last match of the 1988 season.

Traditional lyrics
Lyrics are as follows:


Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home
Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home

I looked over Jordan and what did I see
Coming for to carry me home
A band of angels coming after me
Coming for to carry me home


Sometimes I'm up and sometimes I'm down
Coming for to carry me home
But still my soul feels heavenly bound
Coming for to carry me home


The brightest day that I can say
Coming for to carry me home
When Jesus washed my sins away,
Coming for to carry me home.


If I get there before you do
Coming for to carry me home
I'll cut a hole and pull you through
Coming for to carry me home


If you get there before I do
Coming for to carry me home
Tell all my friends I'm coming too
Coming for to carry me home


Born: 1820s
Died: 1860s

The story of Wallace Willis begins on a plantation in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Wallace “Uncle” Willis and his wife, Aunt Minerva, were slaves of Britt Willis, a wealthy half-Irish, half-Choctaw farmer. When the Choctaws were relocated by the United States government as a result of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit, Britt Willis walked the Trail of Tears with his Choctaw wife to Oklahoma’s Indian Territory. Among the 300 slaves that made the trip with Britt were Wallace and Minerva.

The group settled near Doaksville, Oklahoma, which is located near present-day Hugo and Fort Towson. It was here that Wallace composed “plantation songs” while working the cotton fields of Britt Willis. Britt’s granddaughter, Jimmie Kirby, recalled: “Mama said it was on a hot August day in 1840. They were hoeing the long rows of cotton in the rich bottomland field. No doubt [Wallace] was very tired. They worked in the fields from sun-up to sundown. And sundown was a long way off. South of the field, he could see the Red River shimmering in the sun. Can’t you just imagine that suddenly Uncle Wallace was tired of it all?”

And so “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” was born. The mournful lyrics are a classic example of black spirituals of the time period – songs that were sung by slaves toiling under back-breaking labor in the fields. Taken at face value, the lyrics of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” express hope that divine help was on its way. Most historians also attribute a secret meaning to Willis’ lyrics with many arguing that they were used as a coded message about escaping the shackles of slavery and heading north. It is written that some slaves would even change the lyrics to “Swing Low, Sweet Harriet” in reference to Harriet Tubman, who was the leader of the Underground Railroad that ferried slaves north to freedom.

Buried in an unmarked grave located within the slave burial section of the old Doaksville Cemetery.

~ The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture.

Another old photograph of Spencer Academy:
The picture above, appears in the pdf file: "Read Family Story, Part 1."  It is a picture of Indian Boys playing Stickball.  Here is a video that explains the game:
Old hotel at Doaksville, Indian Territory:
A short history of Doaksville, Indian Territory, and it's founding as a trading site:

An archaeological site today, Doaksville was once the largest town in the Choctaw Nation. The settlement got its start in the early 1820s when a man named Josiah S. Doaks and his brother established a trading post. Anticipating the arrival of the Choctaw Indians to the area after the signing of the Treaty of Doak’s Stand in October, 1820, the brothers moved westward on goods laden boats up the Mississippi and Red Rivers. Not long after they established their store, other settlers moved into the area for mutual protection.


Raids from Plains Indians, especially those from Texas, caused nearby Fort Towson to be established in 1824. Afterwards, Doaksville began to grow and gave every indication of becoming a permanent town. Commerce grew with the establishment of several roads built to supply Fort Towson.


Sitting at the center of these crossroads, Doaksville prospered from the Central National Road of Texas that ran from Dallas to the Red River, before connecting with the Fort Towson Road which went on to Fort Gibson and beyond to Fort Smith, Arkansas. In addition, steamboats on the Red River connected with New Orleans at a public landing just a few miles south of Doaksville, carrying supplies to Fort Towson and agriculture products out of the region.

In 1837, the Choctaw and the Chickasaw signed the Treaty of Doaksville, which allowed the Chickasaw lease the western most portion of the Choctaw Nation for settlement.


By 1840, Doaksville had five large merchandise stores, two owned by Choctaw Indians and the others by licensed white traders. There was also a harness and saddle shop, wagon yard, blacksmith shop, gristmill, hotel, council house, and a church. A newspaper called the “Choctaw Intelligencer” was printed in both English and Choctaw.


A missionary named Alvin Goode, described the settlement at the time:


"The trading establishment of Josiah Doak and Vinson Brown Timms, an Irishman, had the contract to supply the Indians their rations, figured at 13 cents a ration. A motley crowd always assembled at Doaksville on annuity days to receive them. Some thousands of Indians were scattered over a tract of nearly a square mile around the pay house. There were cabins, tents, booths, stores, shanties, wagons, carts, campfires; white, red, black and mixed in every imaginable shade and proportion and dressed in every conceivable variety of style, from tasty American clothes to the wild costumes of the Indians; buying, selling, swapping, betting, shooting, strutting, talking, laughing, fiddling, eating, drinking, smoking, sleeping, seeing and being seen, all bundled together."


 In 1847 a post office was established in Doaksville and by 1850, the town boasted more than thirty buildings, including stores, a jail, a school, a hotel, and two newspapers. The same year, it was designated as the capitol of the Choctaw Nation. For the next several years, the settlement continued to thrive until Fort Towson was abandoned in 1854. Without the business from the soldiers at the fort, Doaksville began to decline. However, it would continue to be the tribal capital for the next nine years.

(by Kathy Weiser from "Legends of America")

Doaksville: An Oklahoma Ghost Town

The principal antebellum town of the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, Doaksville was located immediately north and west of the present Choctaw County community of Fort Towson. Named for Josiah Doak, Doaksville was founded between 1824 and 1831. Doaks co-owned the Mississippi trading post, or stand, where a Choctaw removal treaty was negotiated in 1820. He and his brother preceded the Choctaw to Indian Territory and erected a store above the mouth of the Kiamichi River. They relocated north along Gates Creek when Fort Towson was established in 1824, or after the army reoccupied the site in 1831. The area, a part of Miller County, Arkansas, until 1825, was occupied by settlers, many of whom joined the Doaks near the fort. Immigrating Choctaws inhabited the settlement after 1830.

Served by steamboats plying the Red River, Doaksville prospered. Several general stores, a gristmill, blacksmith, and hotel operated there before 1840, and two newspapers, the Choctaw Telegraph and the Choctaw Intelligencer, were soon published. Doaksville served as the capital of the Choctaw Nation in 1860 63. A convention held there in 1860, resulted in the ratification of the Doaksville Constitution, the document that guided tribal government until 1906.

Doaksville, where Confederate Gen. Stand Watie surrendered in 1865, declined after the Civil War. The Choctaw capitol was moved to Chahta Tamaha in 1863, and a postwar labor shortage hurt local agriculture. Businesses closed, but the Doaksville post office functioned until 1903. Except for the cemetery, nothing remains of the townsite, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Doaksville - Off US 70 in Fort Towson, take the north road to the cemetery (signs posted). Drive to the back of the cemetery (which is worth a visit in its own right, with WPA built stone walls and hand carved tombstones) and you'll find a set of stairs. After traversing them you'll enter a trail leading to the old Doaksville settlement. An archeological survey done by the Oklahoma Historical Association uncovered several stone foundations. Along the trail, signs explain what the remnants once contained.
Josiah Dudley Doak:
Dudley Nail Doak, described in the following article, was the son of Josiah Dudley Doak:

Near this cistern, the last Confederate General, Stand Waite (Cherokee) surrendered in 1865:

Site of Doaksville Jail:
The following article (with some typographical errors/article will appear "as is") appeared in the aforementioned "A Standard History of Oklahoma," concerning Rev. J.J. Read:


REV. J. J. READ. Authorities on the subject of the

advancement of the American Indian are agreed that no

agency has been more powerful than the Protestant missionary

in bringing the red man from a state of savagery

to a moderately high standard of civilization. Certainly

there are no more interesting chapters in the history of

the Indian than those that relate to the hardships, priva

tions, industry and philanthropy of the pioneer mission

ary. But for his influence and painstaking labor there

would never have been developed so great a fund of

pretty romance, so rich an intermingling of the blood of

reds and whites, out of which has been developed as high

professional talent as the transfusion of the bloods of

any other races show, and the work of the missionary

also helped to bring about the highly organized form of

government which was maintained in some of the tribes.

In any record and appreciation of the missionaries who

long labored in old Indian Territory, a high place must

be given to the late Rev. J. J. Read.


The story of his life as a missionary begins while he

was pastor of a large and fashionable Presbyterian

Church in Houston, Texas, and with his marriage to Miss

Lillah Porter, a leader in church, social and club life in

the City of Austin. The second chapter finds them, fort

years ago, in the wild solitudes of the Choctaw Nation,

setting about the task of learning the Indian tongue in

order that the cause of Christ might be advanced among

the heathens—for Indian Territory forty years ago was

regarded as a foreign missionary field just the same as

if an ocean separated it from the rest of America. Chap

ter three covers a period of twenty-two years and em

braces more than a mere volume of experiences that are

as vital to Oklahoma history as all the Indian treaties

and all the Indian laws. The devoted labors of Mr. Read

ended with his death in 1898.


Born at Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1843, he was the

son of William and Mary Louise Read. He was educated

in a plantation school in Mississippi, where he had one of

those picturesque classical instructors who were often the

peer of any members found in college faculties. Later

he attended Oakland College at Oakland, Mississippi, and

finished his preparation for the ministry in a theological

seminary of the Presbyterian Church at Columbia, South

Carolina. Mr. Read served four years as a soldier in the

Confederate army, entering the ministry soon after the

war and being assigned to a church in Texas. Until he

took up missionary work he filled some of the best pastorates

in Texas. In 1876 he was elected superintendent

of Spencer Academy of the Choctaw Nation, located ten

miles from the present village of Doaksville. This was

one of three important schools maintained in the Choctaw

Nation at that time, the others being known as

Wheeler Academy and Pine Ridge Academy.


After five years Rev. Mr. Read resigned from the

presidency of the academy and was transferred by his

church to the Chickasaw Nation. He and his young wife

settled four miles from the present site of Wapanucka,

on a tract of land still owned and occupied by Mrs. Read.

Boggy Depot, twelve miles distant, was their nearest

post Office, but Mr. Read shortly started a movement to

have the post office established nearer his home. It was

necessary that the distance to Boggy Depot be measured

in order that the Post Office Department could be assured

of the distance filling the requirement of the rules of the

department. Mrs. Read accordingly tied a red cloth to a

buggy wheel and counted the revolutions of the wheel all

the way to Boggy Depot, by which simple means the distance

was officially established. Mrs. Read was given

the honor of selecting the name for the office, and she

took from Cooper's "The Last of the Mohicans" the

euphonious word "Wahpanncka" (sic), which was the name of a

chieftain clan of the Delaware Indians. The field of

labor in this region embraced four or five charges, scattered

from a point north of Stonewall to Red River and

west to the Santa Fe Railroad. At each place Mr. Read

organized a church and in due time assisted in the construction

of a church edifice at most of them. Indians

who had been converted sawed and hauled lumber and

worked under his direction as carpenters. In the beginning

he held services under trees and bush arbors and in

crude schoolhouses. Like the pioneer country doctor of

Indian Territory, no ugly demonstration of the elements

or other agency which were within the power of man to

endure deterred him from his work, and thousands of

Indians revere his name today. Among those who were

his students in Spencer Academy are Dr. E. N. Wright,

one of the leading men today of the Choctaw Nation;

Peter Hudson, a Choctaw leader who frequently has been

suggested for governor of the nation ; Rev. Silas Bacon,

for a number of years principal of the Goodland Indian

School ; and Rev. William McKinney, who later graduated

from Harvard and became a prominent politician among

the Choctaw.


Throughout all his years in Oklahoma Mr. Read was a

member of all organizations that assisted in uplifting the

red men and the pioneer white men, and individually did

such a work that its record should always be a permanent

memorial to his name. He was affiliated with the Masonic

Lodge. To Mr. and Mrs. Read were born six children :

E. D. Read, a civil engineer in Oklahoma; Rev. John Leighton

Read, now pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church at

Little Rock, Arkansas; Mrs. T. N. Binnion, wife of a

traveling salesman of Pauls Valley; D. L. Read of Arizona;

Mrs. R. T. Ball of Wapanucka; and Theodore P. Read,

who lives with his mother and conducts the old farm at


Rev. J.J. Read in the news:
He preached the annual sermon on foreign missions, 1875:
Rev. J.J. Read attended the October 28, 1891 Presbyterian Synod of Texas meeting where the Indian Presbytery became a member:
Rev. J.J. Read served as Moderator, 1895:
At the 1896 Texas Synod meeting, Rev. J.J. Read presented two Memorials for Indians who were ordained ministers:
Rev. J.J. Read attends Synod of Texas, 1872:
Another individual has placed the following photo of a church on the Ancestry site, stating it is the Presbyterian Church in Wapanucka, OK, "where Rev. John Jeremiah Read preached."  However, there is no additional confirmation that this is an accurate photo:
Background information about early Oklahoma, the Ball family, and a history of Wapanucka:

The Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church built the Wapanucka Female Manual Labour School in 1851-2. The school, which opened in 1852, was named for a nearby creek. Local residents often called it Allen's Academy, for James S. Allen, who supervised it. Later many dubbed it Rock Academy for its impressive stone building. The school closed in 1860 after the Presbyterian Board withdrew its financial support. The Confederate forces used the building during the Civil War as a hospital and a prison. After the war the academy reopened, serving male and female students. In 1890 it became a boys' school. In 1911 it was permanently closed and the property sold. The Wapanucka Academy site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NR 72001065) in 1972.

Mrs. J.J. Read was instrumental in the naming of the Post Office, Wapanucka:
Rev. J.Leighton Read preaches at his father's church in Wapanucka, Oklahoma:
Wapanucka Academy:
Public School, Wapanucka, 1900s:
Lime Kilns in Wapanucka (1909):
O'Neals store and pharmacy, Wapanucka:
Wapanucka in 1904 photograph:
Boggy Depot Bridge and Creek:
Overland Stage at Old Boggy Depot, painting by Joe Beeler:
The Overland Butterfield Stage, seen in the picture below, in Arizona circa 1860s, followed a route through Oklahoma, westward, and through the small town of Apache, Arizona; the place where John W. Richhart would murder a Deputy Sheriff in 1913, and later murder his second wife, Lillah Read Ball, (daughter of Rev. John Jeremiah Read). (Story follows near bottom of this page).

The Butterfield Overland Mail Co. operated from 1858 to 1861 under contract with the U.S. Postal Department, providing transportation of U.S. mail between St. Louis, Missouri, and San Francisco, California. Nearly 200 miles of the route cut a diagonal through what would become southeastern Oklahoma and along that route still stands Edwards Store, which served as an unofficial stop on the stagecoach route. The only such original structure in Oklahoma, Edwards Store is eight miles northeast of Red Oak in Latimer County. Built in 1858, the establishment served meals and offered a place to safely rest horses. Although in poor condition, the structure is easy to access off Norris Road. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

Edwards Store on the Butterfield Stagecoach Route:

Old Boggy Depot Civil War Skirmish


On April 24, 1865, fifteen days after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, Virginia, a party of twenty Confederates moving north from Boggy Depot was attacked by Union forces under the command of Brigadier General Cyrus Bussey. Three Confederates were killed and their mail captured. A letter from a Confederate paymaster stated that General Stand Watie’s command was expected soon at Old Boggy Depot to collect horses due by April 25 from forage camps in Texas. Watie, the paymaster related, would then take the offensive across the Arkansas River. For this reason General Bussey recommended that the Federal line on the Arkansas be strengthened by the addition of more troops. The mail also indicated the Confederates had no news of the fall of Richmond and Lee’s army.


(From Civil War Sites in Oklahoma by Muriel H. Wright and LeRoy H. Fischer)


The W.H. Ball Company was located in Boggy Depot until 1869, then moved to Wapanucka; it is listed on this diagram:
Boggy Depot School, circa 1900.  Children identified, L to R: Jimmie, Ollie, Kittie:
The two articles that follow concerning the work of Rev. and Mrs. J.J. Read, are written by Natalie Morrison Denison.  (NOTE: no attempt has been made to correct the numerous typos/misspelling's in the articles, but are reprinted here "as is.")

It was here, at Spencer Academy, that Negro freedman "Uncle" Wallace Willis composed “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” He was inspired by the Red River, which reminded him of the Jordan River and of the Prophet Elijah being taken to heaven by a chariot. Spencer Academy was operated on behalf of the Choctaw Indians by the Presbyterian Board of Missions.  I heard my Grandfather Read explain this to my father.

Spencer Academy Cemetery information:
Because John Jeremiah Read's first child Isabel, died while they were at Spencer Academy, and had to, according to papers about him, leave her buried there, it is almost certain that her burial was in this cemetery:

Spencer Academy, Choctaw Nation, 1842-1900, By an act of the Choctaw Council in 1842, the Nation authorized a boarding school for boys at a site 10 miles north of Fort Towson at Doaksville. It was named for the Secretary of War, John C. SPENCER. Three dorms were named for trustees Peter P. PITCHLYNN, Robert M. JONES and William M. ARMSTRONG, Indian Agent.

In 1851, Spencer Academy was overwhelmed by measles and out of 100 boys, 70 were ill; four died. During the Civil War, Spencer Academy did not function as an educational institution but the dormitories in 1863 were used as a Confederate hospital. Gen. Douglas COOPER with the Wells Battalion established headquarters there.

The academy was rebuilt by Calvin ERVIN and reopened the school on Nov. 2, 1870. The academy was relocated in Soper as New Spencer in 1882 where new facilities were erected. On Oct. 3, 1896, main building and storeroom burned. Five students died and seven were seriously burned. The school reopened in fall 1898. Spencer burned again June 23, 1900.

Graduates include principal chiefs B. J. SMALLWOOD, Jefferson GARDNER, Allen WRIGHT, Jackson McCURTAIN, Gilbert DUKES; Judge Charles VENSIN and national treasurer William WILSON. Educators Peter J. HUDSON and Simon DWIGHT, Dr. Elijah Nott WRIGHT, the Rev. Frank Hall WRIGHT, Gabe PARKER were teachers during its last years.

 Sponsored By: The Presbyterian Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions;  Superintendents: Edmund McKinney, 1843-1845;  Rev. James B. Ramsey, 1846-49; Alexander Reid, 1849-1855; Rev. J. H. Colton, 1871-1875; John H. Read 1876-1881; Oliver P. Stark; Harvey Schermerhorn, 1888; Rev. R. W. Hill, temporary; Alfred Docking, 1889-1891; W.A. Caldwell; J.B. Jeter; Wallace B. Butch. John Jeremiah Read, a Presbyterian,  had charge of Spencer from 1877-1882.

From a dissertation by Eloise Spear, Oklahoma University, 1977, a discussion of Rev. J.J. Read at Spencer Academy:

Rev. J.J.Read was instrumental in having the Indian Presbytery enrolled as a Member in the Texas Synod.

From the Fort Worth Gazette,

October 29, 1891:

From the The Houston Daily Post,

(Houston, TX.) October 21, 1896:

Rev. John Jeremiah Read was included in the booklet, "Work Among the Indians"
Presbyterian Mission work among the Indians:
The Christian influence of
Rev. John Jeremiah Read is seen in the life of Rev. Silas Bacon, as told in the following article:
Rev. J.J. Read died without a will.  Mrs. Read had to make application for probate, as seen below:
This is a photo from the original document (on right hand side of page) which provides greater resolution:
Here is a PDF file of the same document, which gives very high photo resolution.  With the higher resolution, you can read the names of the Read children, and note that Lillah put Eugene's age at 20 years old when this document was filed.  This confirms what David L. Read stated on Eugene's death certificate as his being born in 1878. (See information about Eugene further down this page about his conflicting birth dates).
Lilliah Pratt Porter Read: background information from a granddaughter:
Laleah Logan penned this note concerning Eugene Daniel Read (more information about him near bottom of webpage):
Additional information about Mrs. J.J. Read can be found further down on this page.
Wauchope and Spengler
Family Information:
these two families are directly related to the Read family.

(In order to avoid duplication, the Spengler Family information and their relationship to the Read and Wauchope families, has been moved to the "Wauchope Family Story" web page).
New Genealogy Research (2015-2017): Wauchope, Spengler, Rutherford

After he retired, my father and mother visited several sites in Virginia and West Virginia.  They found a very old lady living in Capon Bridge, WVA, who, as a child, knew the Wauchope family.  She told my mother, that "they had a very large family." My mother also visited Woodstock and Strasburg, Virginia. She was able to locate some information that is on this website.  She also indicated to me the Read and Wauchope family connection to the Spengler family, also included on the "Wauchope Family Story" web page.
Church Membership Record, Colony, OK, for Kate A., Katherine Rutherford, Edward H., William C., Mary A. Wauchope:

Wauchope children in 1886, at Capon Bridge, WV: (left to right)

Edward Houston, Samuel Kendrick holding Mary Armstrong, Joseph Alleine, William Crawford ("Bill"), and Arthur Douglas. Katharine Rutherford was not born yet.

Wauchope/Walkup Family: 1880 Census, Capon Bridge, WVA.

Note: Joseph W. is listed as “Clergyman”

Wife, Kate is listed as “Housekeeper”

Son, George Armstrong is listed as “School Teacher.”

There is also a servant listed, who was born in Maryland, living with them:

A pdf file of the 1880 Census:

Joseph Wauchope (sometimes spelled as “Walkup”) and his family in 1897: Samuel Kendrick Wauchope (1), Joseph Walker Walkup (2), Katherine Kendrick Wauchope (3), Katherine Rutherford Wauchope, my Grandmother (4), George Armstrong Wauchope (5), Mary Armstrong Wauchope (6), Joseph Alleine Wauchope (7), William Crawford Wauchpe (8), Arthur Douglas Wauchope (9), Edward Houston Wauchope (10). Edward graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in 1897, so that must be the occasion for this picture.  (NOTE:  There are some problems with the designations someone gave to this picture as reproduced here:  girls have been given boys names and Katherine R. Wauchope was misidentified!  See PDF file for correct information).


George Armstrong Wauchope was the only child of Joseph Walkup and Jane Armstrong. Jane died shortly after George's birth. Joseph served as a Chaplain with commission as Captain in 18th Va. Regiment of Infantry during the Civil War. He married Katherine Kendrick, daughter of Samuel Kendrick and Clarinda Spengler in 1869, and had seven more children.

Early picture of Presbyterian Church, Capon Bridge, WVA:
A 1991 photo showing the Capon Bridge Methodist Church on the right; and on the left side is the Old Presbyterian Church, now used as the Capon Bridge Senior Center:
Here are pictures of the Presbyterian church and manse at Capon Bridge, WVA taken by my father during a "genealogy" trip my parents took:
Post Office at Capon Bridge, WVA:
Dad also took pictures of Strasburg and Woodstock Presbyterian Churches in Virginia, which are referenced in information further down on this page. These churches were also served by Wauchope ministers, who were ancestors of Katherine Rutherford Wauchope, my Mother's mother:
Additional Hughes, Read Pictures/Information
Katharine Anne Read was born in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The attending doctor was Dr. H.H. Kirby:
Katharine Anne Read in Okemah, OK
Between 1938-1940, Katharine Anne Read (my mother) was teaching school (Latin and English) in Okemah, Oklahoma High School and Junior High School. Okemah had a population of 3,811.  She rented a room with an elderly lady named Mrs. Lura Allen Box, whose husband, James Harrison Box, had already died; and their adopted son (by a previous marriage) John Harrison Box. The Box family owned a local hardware store. 

Here are some pictures of Okemah, and newspaper articles that mentioned Miss Read, as teacher (one paper misspelled her first name):
Trixie June Nash who also graduated from Oklahoma University and taught with Mother, were involved in directing the Junior High School Cantata:
Trixie June Nash who taught school with Katharine Read:
Okemah is located just off Interstate 40

My mother told me that Okemah was named after a Kickapoo Indian chief. In March 1902, Chief Okemah built a bark house in his tribe's traditional fashion. He had come to await the opening of the townsite, which took his name on April 22, 1902. In the Kickapoo language, okemah means "things up high," such as highly placed person or town or high ground.

Here is a picture of the first oil well "gusher" in Okemah:

Okemah, Oklahoma Early History

Okemah was named after a Kickapoo Indian chief. In March 1902, Chief Okemah built a bark house in his tribe's traditional fashion. He had come to await the opening of the townsite, which took his name on April 22, 1902. In the Kickapoo language, okemah means "things up high," such as highly placed person or town or high ground.


In the town's first week, the following stores were established: four general merchandise, two hardware, one 5 & 10 cent store, three drugstores, four groceries, three wagon yards, four lumberyards, three cafes, one bakery, two millineries, four livery barns, three blacksmiths, two dairies, two cotton gins and two weekly newspapers. Eight doctors settled there, four lawyers, two walnut log buyers, and one Chinese laundryman. Two hotels were quickly put up, including the three-story Broadway hotel, which set the city apart as an important town in early Oklahoma.

Okfuskee County History, courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society:

James Harrison Box' Hardware Store was located on Broadway St, Okemah, OK:
House where Woodie Guthrie was born in Okemah, OK.
The next two photos are of early schools in Okemah, not where Katharine Read taught.
Next photo includes photo of the Junior High School where Katharine Read taught school in Okemah, OK:
Here is a picture of some Indian boys who were playing "Stick Ball" in Okemah, Oklahoma, 1924.  The sport (forerunner of Lacrosse) and how it is played, is discussed elsewhere on this page.
Blue Eagle, Creek Indian:
Before my mother came to teach school, Okemah was subject to occasional vigilante justice.  Law enforcement and justices of the peace were located some distance away...and in 1911, a black woman and her teenage son were lynched by a mob of white men, having been accused of killing a police officer in an altercation at their home.  They were kidnapped after being held at the jail and the county courthouse, and hanged from a suspension bridge over the North Canadian River:
I know this "Parking Meter Tombstone" has nothing to do with the Read/Wauchope/Hughes family, and I apologize to my Read Cousins; but when I found this in the Okemah cemetery, it was so unusual, I couldn't resist putting here:
A Video tour of Okemah, Oklahoma, courtesy of Youtube:
High Bridge Presbyterian Church
New Providence Presbyterian Church
Strasburg Presbyterian Church
Woodstock Presbyterian Church
Central Presbyterian Church, Arkansas, where Rev. J. Leighton Read ministered.  Letter, Church history, Session Minutes that reference him:

Rev. J. Leighton Read (from an original photograph in my mother's collection.)
J.Leighton Read: 1900 Census, while he was in school at Austin College, Sherman, Texas:
J. Leighton Read: 1930 Census, Fort Sill:
J. Leighton Read: 1930 Census, Fort Sill Indian Mission
Photograph of Fort Sill Indian School:
J. Leighton Read: 1920 Census, Colony, OK (Note the misspelled family members' names).
Rev. W.C. Wauchope and Rev. J. Leighton Read both served as Missionaries to the Indians, in Colony, Oklahoma. (See list below:)

The ordained Indian missionaries who served at Colony were: Frank Hall Wright, 1895-7; Walter C. Roe, 1897-1913; Arthur Brokaw, 1904-5; L. L. Legters, 1905-6; Richard H. Harper, 1907-9; W. C. Wauchope, 1909-10; John H. Baxter, 1910-13; Henry A. Vruwink, 1913-17;                J. Leighton Read, 1917-23; John H. Baxter, 1923-6 (second term); Richard H. Harper, 1927-9 (second term); Peter Van Es, Jr., 1930-2.

Colony was originally founded by John Seger and was known as the Seger Colony.

Colony is one of the oldest towns in Western Oklahoma founded in 1886, by John Seger and the Cheyenne-Arapaho on the banks of Cobb Creek. Seger Indian Industrial School operated here from 1892 until 1932. Local tradition holds this was a starting point for the Land run of 1892. Dutch Reformed Mission opened here in 1895. Post Office established Jan. 8, 1896. Long before the 20th Century, Native Americans occupied the surrounding land c. 904-1400 A.D. George Bent lived in the area and is buried nearby. PowWows held here since late 1930's by Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribe. (Source: OK Historical Society).
Information about the Columbian Memorial Church, Colony, Oklahoma, where Rev. W.C. Wauchope and Rev. J. Leighton Read served:
A later picture of the Columbia Memorial Church, Colony, Oklahoma.  The church was founded and operated under the Dutch Reformed Church denomination.
Note:  because of the extensive number of documents (minutes of the Colony Church Session) found concerning both Rev. W.C. Wauchope and Rev. J.Leighton Read, these have been placed on the "Wauchope Family Story" web page.

Rev. J. Leighton Read served as Supply Pastor of Minco Presbyterian Church, Minco, Oklahoma, February 1941-1945. (Source for dates: Rev. J. Leighton Read's Bible)

Additional Read, D'Antoni, Dillon, Hughes pictures and information
Next 2 Pictures,  L to R: Grandmother and Grandaddy Read, Jim, Katharine Hughes, Joe (who is holding a Bible Rev. Read gave him):
Next 2 pictures:  My 3 Aunts and Uncle John; Mother is 2nd from Right:
Mr. and Mrs. D'Antoni and my Mother:
L to R: Mrs. Hughes, Jim Hughes, and Betty and Bob Dillon; front row: Joe Hughes, Nancy and Ellen Dillon.
Mr. and Mrs. D'Antoni family with Joe, Jim and our Mother, Katharine:
Baptism Record for
Elizabeth Louise Read Dillon
(She was baptized, September 12, 1920, by
Rev. Frank Hall Wright, D.D.)

John L. Read, Jr. ("Jack")
(son of Rev. J. Leighton Read)
marriage license

JOHN LEIGHTON READ, JR., born in Colony, OK on August 21, 1921, died on November 29, 2009, in Palo Alto, CA. He is survived by his sons and their wives, J. Leighton Read, III and Carol of Palo Alto, CA, and Timothy Thomas Read and Lee of Roswell, GA; his five grandchildren, Travis and Haley Read of Palo Alto, CA, Katie Read of Charlottesville, VA, James and Leighton Read of Roswell, GA, other loving family and countless dear friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Margaret eleven weeks earlier and second son, James Andrew Read (1954-1978) and his four sisters, Katherine, Mary, Betty and Eleanor. John was a graduate of Norman High School (OK) and earned his B.S. in Geological Engineering at Oklahoma University where he was also President of the OU chapter of the KA fraternity. His studies were interrupted by service in the Army Air Corps, where he served as a B-17 navigator in the 483rd Bombardment Wing in Italy, surviving 35 missions over Central and Eastern Europe. After graduation, he earned a M.S. in Geology at Stanford University in 1950. He was married to Mary Margaret Tillery of Tulsa, OK for 61 years. John and Mary Margaret lived in Palo Alto, CA during his graduate studies. He began his career in Tyler, TX as a Field Geologist for Amerada Petroleum, Manager of Exploration and Production of W.H. Bryant Interests, and then an independent consultant in oil and gas exploration and production. He published articles on his work in the AAPG Bulletin and other leading publications. He served as President of the East Texas Geological Society and was a Legion of Honor Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.John and family moved to Houston, TX in 1967, where he continued his work as an independent geologist, exploring in the Mid-Continent, Rocky Mountains, Gulf Coast, West Texas, New Mexico and California. He and Mary Margaret were active in a number of tennis organizations, and he was a founding director and regular player in the World Oilman's Tennis Tournament. He began another adventure with Mary Margaret when they moved to Santa Fe, NM in 1992 where they greatly enjoyed old and new friends and the historic desert mountains. Their latest move was a return to Palo Alto, CA in 2005.The son and grandson of Presbyterian ministers, John was an active member of various congregations of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), where he was a teacher and church officer, including First and Highland (Tyler), Memorial Drive (Houston), First (of Santa Fe) and Menlo Park Presbyterian Churches. In Santa Fe, he was also a member of The Church of the Holy Faith and was a founding volunteer of Mentoring, Santa Fe. John will be remembered for his passion for petroleum exploration, sports, people he admired and his family and the gentle, thoughtful way he dealt with those around him. His life was celebrated in a service at Classic Residence by Hyatt in Palo Alto, CA on December 4, 2009. His remains and those of Mary Margaret will be interred at 11AM on December 28, 2009, in a service at Memorial Oaks Cemetery in Houston, TX. A reception will follow at the Houstonian at noon. For those inclined, the family recommends that memorial contributions be made to the A.I. Levorsen Research Fellowship, School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305.


Published in Houston Chronicle on Dec. 22, 2009
JOHN AND MARY MARGARET HAD 3 SONS: John Leighton, III, James Andrew, and Timothy Thomas.
JOHN LEIGHTON READ, III, school picture:
Several scholarly articles have appeared in newspapers about Dr. Read's work:
James Andrew Read, second son, school pictures and information:
Timothy Thomas Read, third son, school pictures:
Mary Margaret Tillery Read
wife of John Leighton Read, Jr.
Mary Margaret Tillery (Read) at
University of Oklahoma:
Mary Lillah Read
(daughter of Rev. J. Leighton Read)
was married
on January 1, 1936, to David Hollis Saunders,
in the Central Presbyterian Church,
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
by the Rev. Frank R. Dudley:

Central Presbyterian is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Indian Nations Presbytery.  In 2016, they have been in Oklahoma City for 108 Years.
Mary L. Saunders, from an OU photo, 1951:
My Aunt: Mary Lillah Read Saunders
(her husband, David H. Saunders) had two children: Cheryl Jeanne and David Leighton. David was born: December 1, 1945, Wilbarger, Texas; died: September 22, 2002, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Mary and husband David H. Saunders with daughter Cheryl on her first birthday:
The obituary for my Aunt Mary (below) has the names of several family members misspelled:
From "The Messenger" newsletter, South Norfolk Baptist Church:
Information about Mary's husband, David Hollis Saunders:

David Saunders was born on May 25, 1915, in Ringling, Oklahoma. He had one son and one daughter with Mary Lillah Read. He then married Elizabeth Marie Williams in April 1951 in Carrizo Springs, Texas. He died on December 7, 2004, in Dalhart, Texas, at the age of 89, and was buried in Dalhart, Texas.


DALHART - David Saunders, 89, died Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2004.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday in First Baptist Church with Rodney Weatherly, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery by Horizon Funeral Home.

Mr. Saunders was born May 25, 1915, near Norman, Okla. He married Elizabeth Marie Williams on April 21, 1951, in Carrizo Springs.

Survivors include his wife; a son, James Patrick "Pat" Saunders of Indonesia; three daughters, Cheryl Smith of Ponca City, Okla., Susie Hale of Stratford and Kelly Wood of Allen; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

David Leighton Saunders
(in high school photo)
Son of David H. Saunders and Mary Lillah Read.

Born: Wilbarger, TX, December 1, 1945; Died: Tulsa, OK, September 22, 2002, age 56. Arrangements by Adams-Crest Cremation Center. Private funeral service. (Source: Tulsa World Newspaper, Oct. 5, 2002).

Newspaper article, 1974:
Cheryl Jeanne Saunders
David H. Saunders and
Mary Lillah Read;
granddaughter of
Rev. and Mrs. J. Leighton Read
She married Alfred L. Smith on June 25, 1959 at 8 pm in the Baptist Student Center, Oklahoma University, Norman.
She attended: University of Oklahoma High School, Norman High School, Sacred Heart Academy, Vinita, OK, and then Benedictine Heights School, Guthrie, OK.  (Vinita, OK. is the second oldest town in the state, the oldest incorporated town on Oklahoma Route 66, and the first town in the state with electricity.)

(Alfred Smith received the B.A. and M.A. degrees from Oklahoma University).

The Norman Transcript (Norman, Oklahoma) · Sun, Jul 5, 1959 · Page 15:

Enlarged detail of the wedding article above:
Alfred L. Smith, husband of Cheryl Saunders
(Some photos from Ponca City High School where he attended):

It is with deep regret that I must tell my Read cousins that our Grandfather’s home, at 304 S. University Boulevard, Norman, Oklahoma, has been sold, and is now being used by Moon’s Unification Church.

Information about the Children of William Read
(Son of John and Dicey Read)
and Mariah Louisa Dotson
From the 1850 Census:
Includes a nephew, Joseph Madison Dotson (sometimes spelled 'Dodson'), born 1835, in Macon, Tennessee.

Joseph Madison Dotson, born 1835, in Macon, TN, lived with William Read family in 1850, when he was 15 years old.  Later joined the CSA: 55th Regiment, TN Infantry (Brown's) 56th Infantry, Company H.  He was captured in 1862, at Island No. 10 in the Vicksburg Campaign and sent to Camp Randall, Madison, Wisconsin, then to Camp Douglas; then, he was sent to Vicksburg in a prisoner exchange.

It is interesting that his name on the 1850 Census, his Confederate service records, and his marriage license of 1867, is spelled "Dotson." Yet, on the marriage certificate signed by the minister, it is spelled "Dodson."  His name, and names of his children are also listed as "Dodson" as is his tombstone inscription.  And the tombstone lists his birth as 1844!
I was recently asked by a Read cousin if any of William or John Read's children were found to be a member of the KKK.  The answer is "No." There is no evidence that any of them were members of that organization formed at the end of the War Between the States.
A Tribute to the Confederate Navy:
Charles W. Read   ("Savez")
New photo of Charles Read discovered at the DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.  It is from a "cartes de visite" group portrait, titled: "Distinguished Officers
of the Confederate Navy."

Distinguished Officers of the Confederate Navy; middle, clockwise from top: Admil. Buchanan, Lieut Maury, Com. Semmes, Capt. Hartstein [also spelled as Hartstene], Capt Maffit, Lieut Reed [also correctly spelled as Read], Com. Hollins. Verso: Published by E. & H. T. Anthony, 501 Broadway, New York. Manufacturers of the best photographic albums.

The Photographic History of the Civil War
 Volume 7 - Prisons and Hospitals


Confederates in a Northern Keep — Fort Warren, Where Charles "Savez" Read was imprisoned for awhile:

Charles W. Read is No. 21 in picture below, while in prison:
Civil War Navy magazine presents article by R. Thomas Campbell about Charles Read:
A newly discovered original oil painting of Charles W. Read,
Herb Mott
commissioned especially for the Old Depot Museum, Levee Street, Vicksburg. 
My thanks to the Museum Curator for allowing me to photograph these paintings, done without flash, to protect the paintings' surface. 
There are no known prints of them available.

Plaque mounted underneath painting:
Artist details on the painting:
Additional original, one-of-a-kind, oil paintings in the Old Depot Museum:
(Lt. Charles W. Read served on the CSS Arkansas, subject of the next painting):
Dabney Minor Scales, a friend of Savez Read, later served on the CSS Shenandoah, which sailed to Australia at the close of the war.  His diary was recently found in an attic in Tennessee, and has been bought by a historical museum in Victoria, Australia, which was a port-of-call for him before the war ended.

An 1861 photograph of Dabney Minor Scales:
Picture of Charles Read seen in the Old Depot Museum, Vicksburg, MS:
Sword of Charles Read, housed in the Civil War Museum at Confederate Memorial Hall, New Orleans, LA:
Charles "Savez" Read, in later life, following the War Between the States.
Charles "Savez"Read, graduation photo,
U.S. Naval Academy, 1860:
"Savez" Read at the Navy Academy
(September 20, 1856--June 15, 1860)

When “Savez” Read was attending Annapolis, all the students were rated as “Acting Midshipmen, on probation.”  On graduating they became “Midshipmen.”  After the War Between the States, they were called “Naval Cadets” and finally, years later, they became known as just “Midshipmen.” At the Academy there were also several “old” Midshipmen studying at the Academy, taking a one-year course prior to standing examination for promotion.  They had returned, were older, and were housed in separate quarters.

U.S. Naval Academy waterfront in the late 1860s with the barracks and school ships USS Constitution and Santee tied up in the background. Other ships not identified.

Hospital at the Academy, where "Savez" spent a few days as recorded in hospital records.

(Hospital Records are below:)
Photograph of the “Old Quarters” with the Recitation Hall on the extreme left, circa the 1860's.
"ANCHORMEN"  The Legends of Annapolis
by James S. Robbins:
As a member of the "Second Class" (aka his Junior Year) in 1859, "Savez" was still the "Anchorman":
(New York Times, OCT. 8, 1895)
It was fortunate that "Savez" was not dismissed in the following incident that occurred in 1859, while at the Academy:

Tarring and Feathering at the US Naval Academy


As first reported: April 20, 1859, in the “Augusta Chronicle” (Augusta, Georgia).  And then reported on April 21, 1859, in the “Charleston Mercury” (Charleston, South Carolina):

The Acting Midshipmen are reinstated,

As reported on May 25, 1859, by “Louisville Daily Courier” (Louisville, Kentucky): 

Background to the story:  It was Acting Midshipman Henry D. Foote who was tarred and feathered.  He attempted to rape and then beat a Black female servant at the Academy.  He beat her so severely, that it prompted his classmates to tar and feather him.  My research indicates that "Savez" was not one who was dismissed/reinstated.  (Those dismissed were: Fister, Robertson, McCarty, Fuller, Ogden, and Lambert);  all the others had to go on board the ship for the summer and be quarantined during the cruise.  Those dismissed were later reinstated.

Newly Appointed Midshipmen

As reported on Tuesday, June 19, 1860, in the Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, Virginia)