Mayor L. VOYLES, 1946 Picher, Ottawa, Oklahoma

The exciting or stressful times in our lives are easy to talk about, but most of our time is spent on mundane things. This week we’ll focus on the more mundane tasks- specifically, the Picher City Council meeting of Monday, May 6, 1946. There were a couple of highlights to the meeting for at least 4 of the attendees since they were sworn in as the newly elected officials to City Council. Here is the newspaper transcription from The Tri-State Tribune of Picher, Ottawa County, Oklahoma dated Thursday, May 9, 1946.

“City Council Meets”
The regular meeting of the City Council was held Monday night, with the mayor, L. VOYLES presiding. Claims were approved and the new elective officers were sworn in. They were: Ed DOBBINS, Frank POOLE, Archie HISE and H. O. GREEN.

Sufficient funds were set aside to buy a street truck and $500 was voted as a payment on the grader. Dr. H. C. HUNTLEY and Mr. NEEL of Miami, county health officers, were present at the meeting ad a discussion was held on sanitation in the city.

[Note: If more of this article exists, it was cut off on my photocopy of the paper. Also, capitalization of last names was added by me to more easily identify names for genealogical purposes.]

This week’s participants were difficult to identify. Upon review of records, residents in the area who may have been Mayor L. VOYLES include Lawrence VOYLES who resided in Picher as of the 1930 census. He was born about 1891 in North Carolina and was a collector in 1930.

Another possibility includes James Lawrence VOYLES, born about 1889 in North Carolina who resided in Quapaw (Picher area) in 1920 and was a miner. It is very possible that Lawrence and James Lawrence are the same person.

There is a Louis Sumner VOYLES residing in neighboring Craig County, however I have found nothing to indicate that he ever lived in Ottawa County. Since all records indicate that Louis Sumner VOYLES lived in Craig County all his life, I have discounted him as a possibility.

In both the 1920 and 1930 censuses, Lawrence VOYLES and James Lawrence VOYLES are single. Records indicate that James Lawrence’s parents were William Lafayette and Talitha Rose REES(E) VOYLES. One of James’ siblings, Goldey I. (a brother), also lived in Ottawa County, Oklahoma in 1920. James Lawrence was residing with an Osburn family who also had other persons of different last names residing in the home in addition to James Lawrence.

I was able to locate a website stating that Lawrence VOYLES was Picher City Clerk in 1921. (http://www.cardinkids.com/OTHERS/Picher%20History-1.htm) I have not found any further information about the Lawrence VOYLES residing in Picher in 1930.

This is, unfortunately, all the information about either Lawrence or James Lawrence VOYLES that I have found. I have been unable to find any other articles, photographs or any other information to help positively identify Mayor VOYLES. For being a public figure, Mayor VOYLES left very few clues that he existed.

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