OCTOBER 31, 1878


Born at Alluwe, Indian Territory, Lawson was granddaughter of the last Delaware (Lenape) chief.  Studying music at Hardin College, she blended legends and chants from her grandfather into her compositions.  In Nowata, in 1903, she became president of the Women’s Club.  In 1917, the Governor of Oklahoma (OK) appointed her head of the Women’s Division, OK Council of Defense.  From 1917-19, she presided over the OK State Federation of Women’s Clubs (FWCs) & from 1918-35, she held offices in the national General FWCs.  As music chairwoman, she wrote Indian Music Programs for Clubs and Special Music Days.  As FWC President, she led FWC work on uniform marriage & divorce laws, birth control, and civic service.  In 1933 & 1934, Lawson served on:  The National Committee for the Mobilization for Human Needs; Board of Regents, OK College for Women; and Board of Trustees, Tulsa University.  She was inducted into the OK Hall of Fame in 1935 and died in Tulsa, December 31, 1940.

Source:  Linda D. Wilson, “Lawson, Roberta E. Campbell (1878-1940),” Oklahoma Historical Society.  Retrieved 7/17/2019, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=LA034
Photo:  Edward M. Cook, circa 1900-1910.  Public Domain in the US:  Pre-1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.