DECEMBER 31, 1866

CHEROKEE U.S. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAM WIRT HASTINGS BORN

Born in Benton County, Arkansas, Hastings’s family moved to Beattie’s Prairie, Delaware District, Cherokee Nation.  Graduating from Cherokee Male Seminary (1884), he taught school (1884-86) before earning a law degree from Vanderbilt University (1889) and beginning a law partnership in Tahlequah, Indian Territory.  Hastings also served the Cherokee Nation as: principal of the Orphan Asylum, education superintendent (1890–91), attorney general (1891–95), and national attorney (1907–14).  In 1905, he helped draft a constitution for the proposed state of Sequoyah.  From 1915-21 and 1923-35, Hastings represented Oklahoma’s 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives, chairing the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Interior (1917-19) and serving on the Indian Affairs & Appropriations Committees.  After Congress, he resumed his law practice in Tahlequah.  Hastings died on April 8, 1938, in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Source:  Todd J. Kosmerick, “Hastings, William Wirt (1866-1938),” Oklahoma Historical Society.  Retrieved 9/19/2020, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=HA051
Photo:  Harris & Ewing, 1905.  Source: Library of Congress, Digital ID hec.21019.  Public Domain:  There are no known restrictions on publication.

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