DECEMBER 31, 1866


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,
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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