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Archiver > ARIZARD > 2009-03 > 1236642983

From: "Betty McCollum" <>
Subject: Re: [ARIZARD] PRATER [Rick L., read this]
Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 18:58:52 -0500
References: <><00af01c9a0f0$0b31d460$2e01a8c0@betty><B461BF9C13494F0595D2C28816A1818D@DORTHA>

Thanks, Dortha.
----- Original Message -----
From: "dortha gamel" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 3:48 PM
Subject: Re: [ARIZARD] PRATER [Rick L., read this]

> 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
>>>>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
>>>>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
>>>>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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