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From: "dortha gamel" <>
Subject: Re: [ARIZARD] PRATER [Rick L., read this]
Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 15:48:28 -0500
References: <><00af01c9a0f0$0b31d460$2e01a8c0@betty>

Betty, I think I have a picture of the family,I will look in my Prater file
and see if you do not hear from Sandi Dortha
----- Original Message -----
From: "Betty McCollum" <>
To: <>; <>; <>
Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 2:48 PM
Subject: Re: [ARIZARD] PRATER [Rick L., read this]

> Hi Peggy:
> Was there a picture with this? These are relatives of mine.
> Thanks for sending.
> Betty McCollum
> ----- Original Message -----
> To: <>
> Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 5:53 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARIZARD] PRATER [Rick L., read this]
>> Seems we have discussed PRATER family on Izard List. These two articles
>> found on "Shoebox Clippings" link of 3 Forks Genealogical Society,
>> Wagoner, Wagoner County, Oklahoma:
>> Family Claims Championship In Cheating Death
>> Pictured above are thirteen brothers and sisters who are laying claim to
>> a
>> record of having been more successful in cheating the grim reaper than
>> any
>> other group of the kind and size in the state. They are the sons and
>> daughters of Mr. and Mrs Basil PRATER, pioneers of Arkansas, and with one
>> exception, all of them now live in Oklahoma, the family having moved into
>> this state in 1895.
>> They never have lost a brother or sister by death and they all credit
>> thier excellent health to the fact that they all, men and women alike,
>> followed the plow in their youth.
>> Members of the group, standing, left to right are: Noah PRATER, Marlow,
>> Oklahoma; Mrs. Mary Magdalene PENDLEY, Marlow; W. L. PRATER, evangelist,
>> Sapulpa; Mrs. Camora REAMES, Erick; P. E. PRATER, Oklahoma; Mrs Dorothy
>> LONG, Hutchinson, Kansas; S. A. PRATER, Gore, Oklahoma; C. C. PRATER,
>> Marlow. Seated, Left to right, are: Mrs. Sallie PRICHARD, Holdenville;
>> Mrs. Charlotte McCARTY, Marlow; Mrs. Ada WALLS, Marlow; Mrs. Nancy
>> Emmaline CYPERT, Shawnee; and Mrs. Mercy BENNIGHT, Marlow.
>> Mrs. CYPERT, 63, is the partriach of the group and C. C. PRATER is the
>> "baby" member at 37.
>> As fathers and mothers, these thirteen are the parents of 67 children.
>> There are also 61 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. That is
>> probably
>> another record of some kind.
>> Submitters Note: Mary Magdalene PRATER PENDLEY mentioned is my
>> great-grandma.
>> Submitted by: Sandie Prater Choctaw,Oklahoma
>> ~~~~~~~~~~
>> Note: Not sure when above was submitted so Sandie's address my not be
>> current.
>> Thursday, September 24, 1998
>> Sergeant John L. PRATER, born in Davis, Indian Territory in 1882, was in
>> the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years. A Newark, NJ newspaper article,
>> probably 1923, details some of his accomplishments.
>> Serg. Prater, Retiring After 20 Years, Was All Over World. Met The Kaiser
>> And Menelik. Settles Down for good as Guard of Bank of Newark.
>> "Sergt. John L. Prater of 720 Franklin Avenue, Nutley, N.J., vowed many
>> times that if he ever doffed the uniform of the United States Marine
>> Corps
>> he never would get into another. He said he was "all shut" of uniforms.
>> Then, just as if to play a huge joke on him, Fate stuffed his six feet of
>> height and 187 pounds of brawn in a new bank (sic) in Newark.
>> Whatever may be his experience in life from now on, bank robbers and
>> crusty patrons to the contrary notwithstanding, Sergt. Prater's life
>> cannot be any more hazardous or more interesting than it has been the
>> last
>> twenty years. Twenty years means five hitches in the Marine Corps. In
>> that
>> twenty years he has done things many another man of twice his age -- he
>> is
>> only 42 -- has not even attempted.
>> He is the only one among 115,000,000 other Americans who has been
>> personal
>> guard of three United States Presidents, who has completed five trips
>> around the world, who has put foot on nearly every naval ship of the
>> United States, who has done guard duty over the body of Admiral John Paul
>> JONES, who has visited every port of the world in which a naval ship
>> could
>> enter and who has stepped from the torrid zone to the temperate zone and
>> from that to the frigid zone as easily as the average commuter boards a
>> train for home.
>> Sergeant Prater has ridden a camel across the Sahara Desert and has
>> sailed
>> up the Congo River in a boat. He has been reviewed by two Kings of
>> England
>> and has saluted the former German Emperor. Admiral of Ship Is a Girl Now
>> he has retired from service after twenty years, has built a California
>> style bungalow on a wooded knoll in Nutley and is commander of his own
>> ship. He is not the admiral, however. That position is left to Priscilla
>> Louise Prater, who is 4 1/2 years old, and has her hands full attending
>> to
>> a large family of dolls. That is the occupation of the "admiral," while
>> Sergeant and Mrs. Prater are reading poultry journals.
>> Twenty years is not long when one looks back on it, Sergeant Prater says.
>> He has been out of the service only a few weeks, but he says it seems
>> almost yesterday that he was a youngster in Davis, Okla., when that was
>> the Indian Territory and old Fort Arbuckle had recently been replaced by
>> the newer Fort Sill. Out there in those days there was military
>> atmosphere
>> in abundance.
>> Johnnie Prater's grandfather, Henry C. DECOURTNEY, had been a major in
>> the
>> Mexican war and wounds prevented him from enlisting in the civil war, so
>> he became a government contractor. The De Courtneys were some of the
>> first
>> white settlers in the Territory.
>> Johnnie's paternal grandfather was of a less war like career. He was,
>> until he died, Prof. Prater, teaching romance languages in the University
>> of Heidelberg, Germany.
>> When Theodore ROOSEVELT recruited his Rough Riders for the Spanish War
>> Johnnie was 16 years old. He made application for the regiment and was
>> rejected as too young. He bided his time. Five years later, on September
>> 5, 1903, he enlisted in Kansas City as the first marine coming from the
>> Indian Territory. He was fortunate in the nature of travel in those first
>> six months. Almost immediately after his enlistment he was ordered to New
>> York and went aboard the old Brooklyn, which set out for Mediterranean
>> waters.
>> Twenty years ago Christmas, Sergeant Prater passed in the Holy Land.
>> There
>> was trouble in that section then, as there has been in other times and
>> seasons. The Turks were killing the Syrians and the Brooklyn was sent to
>> prevent bloodshed. For many weeks, Sergeant Prater stood guard over the
>> Presbyterian School for Syrian Girls in Beirut, visits Menelik in
>> Abyssinia.
>> Following that experience there came orders to proceed to Abyssinia to
>> make a treaty with King MENELIK. Sergeant Prater was selected to
>> accompany
>> the official party, which traveled by gunboat through the Suez Canal and
>> Red Sea to Jibuti on the Gulf of Aden, thence by camel train to Menelik's
>> capital. "Menelik was a rattling big ebony fellow," said Sergeant Prater,
>> "and his style was a silk hat and a breech clout. But he was a king all
>> right. Not one in the thousands of his subjects disputed that fact. It
>> would have been intensely unfortunate for them if they had. Menelik
>> received us in royal style, took us hunting big game and was very
>> courteous. I wonder if he would have done so had our business been less
>> official."
>> It was the report that Col. THORPE, then major, gave to President
>> Roosevelt of the expedition that kindled the first desire for big game in
>> Africa, Sergeant Prater said. That same year, on the return trip,
>> Sergeant
>> Prater saw the then German Emperor. The Brooklyn visited the Kiel Canal
>> and the Kaiser came aboard. Full honors were done him, with officers on
>> deck saluting and the guard presenting arms. Sergeant Prater said the
>> KAISER himself a tall man, was of excellent military appearance and
>> closely inspected every six-footer he found. But there was another
>> mission
>> to be done, this time the incident which gave rise to Roosevelt's remark:
>> "Perdicaris alice or Raisuli dead." Raisuli, an African bandit, had
>> captured Ian Perdicaris, a former resident of Trenton, and had held him
>> for ransom.
>> President Roosevelt sent out an expedition which included Sergt. Prater
>> in
>> its personnel. The expedition was unsuccessful in getting the bandit out
>> of the wilds and the ransom was paid instead. But the sergeant remembers
>> well the nights in the jungle, with wild animals howling near the water
>> holes and the awe the strange noises inspired.
>> It seemed that Sergt. Prater was preordained to live up to the legend:
>> "Join the Marines and see the world." He was constantly traveling. His
>> next look at a king, after seeing Menelik was in England in 1905, when he
>> saw King Edward driving in Hyde Park. It was that year the United States
>> decided to bring back the body of John Paul JONES, which had lain buried
>> in France for 115 years. The Marine Corps was called on for a guard
>> detail. Sergt. Prater his penchant for the unusual skill at work, was
>> selected as one of six that had the honor and until the body was placed
>> in
>> the Naval Cemetery at Washington Sergt. Prater stayed beside the coffin.
>> Afterward he was transferred to the Marine barracks in Washington.
>> President Poosevelt needed an orderly. He remembered the youngster who
>> had
>> tried to enlist in the Rough Riders and had him detailed. By that time
>> Sergt. Prater already had been one of a party of 125 officers and men
>> received by the Pope in Rome, had seen King Alfonso in Madrid and had
>> been
>> present when the Khedive of Egypt reviewed the Royal Irish Fusileers, the
>> British troops stationed in Egypt. He also had met Richard Harding DAVIS
>> at Cape Town in South Africa and Jack LONDON in Sitka, Alaska. Prater's
>> duty with Roosevelt was continued to the Presidency of TAFT.
>> Three times he visited the Canal Zone with each of those Presidents, the
>> first time viewing the ruins of the canal left by the French, and later
>> seeing the new canal in full operation. When marine officials were called
>> upon to furnish a guard for President WILSON, Prater was recommended as
>> competent and familiar with the duties. President WILSON sent for him and
>> it was on the European trip that Prater became well acquainted with the
>> President, for he was ordered never to leave the President's side.
>>>From Brest to Paris he went with the Presidential party. He remained with
>>>the party when President Wilson visited King George and Queen Mary in
>>>Buckingham Palace; when they visited King Albert in Brussels and Victor
>>>Emmanuel in Rome. His services in Mexico permitted him to inspect a whole
>>>flock of Mexican Presidents -- Diaz, Huerta, Carranza and Obregon.
>>>Meanwhile his travels had taken him to Japan, where he had sailed on the
>>>Inland Sea and had seen the Emperor and Empress of Japan in Tokyo when he
>>>was an orderly to Admiral Sebree, in command of the Asiatic station.
>> Sergt. Prater said he was a warm admirer of Roosevelt and had great
>> respect akin to love for Wilson. He said Wilson had been a victim of much
>> misunderstanding. He viewed President Taft as less democratic toward the
>> enlisted man than either Roosevelt or Wilson.
>> Sergt. Prater will tell you the world is small. Not many years after he
>> met Richard Harding Davis in Cape Town, he saw him again at Vera Cruz
>> when
>> that place was occupied by United States troops in 1914. Again he saw him
>> in South Africa and finally met him in on July 4, 1917, in Paris, shortly
>> before Davis died. After meeting Jack London in Sitka he saw him later at
>> San Francisco, again at Honolulu, again at Vera Cruz and lastly in
>> Mexico.
>> He has met many newspapermen in his travels. Sergeant Prater speaks
>> Spanish fairly well and knows at least a phrase or two of a score or more
>> of languages and dialects. He speaks a bit of Chinese he picked up at the
>> legation in Peking.
>> Just before the World War Sergeant Prater was appointed as military
>> instructor at St. John's College. When the United States entered the war
>> Sergeant Prater was transferred to active duty on the U.S.S. Seattle,
>> heading the convoy for transport ships. He made serveral trips on the
>> convoy before he was trasnferred to be guard for President Wilson. He was
>> one of two men picked from among seventy on the Seattle to be the
>> President's orderly. On recommendation of President Wilson Sergeant
>> Prater
>> was sent to the officers' training school at Quantico, VA., where he
>> remained four months, but he did not accept the commission he was
>> offered,
>> explaining that he wanted to stay an enlisted man.
>> It was not until the close of the war that he saw his half-brother,
>> Thomas
>> H. DENT of Phoenix, Ariz, who had enlisted in the Sixth Regiment of
>> Marines. Sergeant Prater's own regiment was the Fifth. After the war
>> Sergt. Prater was detailed to go with the "Roving Marines," a recruit
>> detachment that traveled about the country to advertise the service. He
>> was listed as a singer and dancer. He admitted he was a bettter marine
>> than a singer, although he has an excellent tenor voice. He traveled with
>> Sergt. Dan DALEY, "grand old man of the Marine Corps," who was twice
>> decorated with the Congressional Medal. His last recruit duty was in
>> Newark, and it was there he was discharged at the end of twenty years,
>> with a substantial pension coming to him from the Government and a new
>> position -- in uniform -- open to him.
>> But there was one paper to which he attached his signature that had a far
>> different meaning to him than the scores of military papers he had
>> signed.
>> One of military papers he had signed, One Students League exhibit in New
>> York. That was 1917. He had seen hundreds of famous paintings in his Old
>> World travels and he had an especial interest in art. A picture which was
>> marked for the first prize attracted his attention. It was called
>> "Antiques." "Gosh, that's good!" said the sergeant. "I wonder who painted
>> that!" "I did," said a girl at his elbow, and the sergeant said she was
>> far from being an antique herself. "And who might you be?" he said.
>> Thenceforth the conversation is not recorded. Suffice it to say that on
>> April 8, 1918, between trips that Sergt. Prater made across the Atlantic
>> he and Miss Priscilla Louise CATTELL, the painter of "Antiques" and
>> winner
>> of the first prize, were married by the minister of an uptown
>> Presbyterian
>> church. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Cattell of 212 West
>> Eightieth Street.
>> Sergeant Prater's new uniform isn't near so resplendent as his old one.
>> So
>> sometimes when on holidays he hangs out the American flag on the new pole
>> over his bungalow he puts on his beloved uniform, with the gold and red
>> chevron and the gunnery sergeant chevron that goes with them. Across his
>> breast are two rows of ribbons that include Mexican service, Haitian
>> service in 1915-1916, Nicaraguan service in 1912, the Cuba pacification
>> service in 1906, the World War service with Maltese cross for escort
>> service in the submarine zone and the regimental decoration of the Fifth
>> Marines. He says he has been in virtually all the engagements the marines
>> have entered since the Spanish-American War.
>> He looked all over the world for a place to settle down and he has found
>> it at last in New Jersey. He has chosen a high point, because of a
>> military advantage, he says. There is one other matter in which Sergt.
>> Prater stands out as both a marine and a civilian. He has never smoked,
>> drunk liquor or gambled. His discharge papers carry the word "Excellent"
>> in every report for the entire twenty years. "Probably you think I'm fit
>> to be a parson," he grinned. Sergt. Prater, with his body straight as an
>> arrow and with muscles like steel that bulge under his uniform, is no
>> namby-pamby. You will mark him at once as a regular fellow."
>> Submitted by Candace Gregory
>> ~~~~~~~~~~
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