Elliott Centennial, 1879 - 1979

Elliott Centennial Committee


Page 182 - 183




    Frank Townsend of Michigan walked into the Elliott community carrying his carpenter tools. East of town, he turned south at the Plowman school corner, and soon came to the J. F. DeWitt mail box. He asked if they needed a hired man or someone to fix things. They did. Two weeks later they and their new hired man had dinner at W. L. DeWitt’s where Pauline was living while teaching the DeWitt school. The rest is history! Love, devotion, and a life time of helping both families every way they could as Uncle Frank and Auntie Pauline to the DeWitt children of both families.

    Frank Loren born 1868 in the Galesburg, Michigan area, died 9 Feb. 1944 at Tulsa, Oklahoma. His wife, Pauline Tyler, was born 21 April 1870 at Ottumwa, Ia. to T. D. and Sarah Ann (Wall) Tyler. She died 30 Nov. 1957 at Tulsa. Both are buried there in the Rose Hill Mausoleum. Frank built many houses in Tulsa, a large Hotel, garage and a large apartment house – all of which they owned, decorated, and furnished then sold to build again. In the Elliott area, he built the east barn on the W. L. DeWitt farm before 1900; and later spent 10 years there with niece Maude to salvage the Tyler-DeWitt home place after Till’s death.

    Frank and Pauline were married 3 Oct. 1900 at Red Oak, Iowa, and left that afternoon by train for Lamont, Okla. where they rented a farm. After five years of heat, no rain, and no crops, Frank again with hammer and saw, and Pauline with her paint box and canvasses, moved to Tulsa in 1905. Their first home there was a little brown barn remodeled into a one room home. Frank found a job as a carpenter, and Pauline, Tulsa’s first professionally trained artist, sold her paintings by calling house to house on the more affluent newcomers.

     Pauline, a student in Simpson College’s first Art Class in 1891, was there two years. Next to her easel was George Washington Carver’s. Pauline, in Who’s Who of Iowa Artists, in 1893 taught Art and Penmanship at Ames, Ia., and later in the DeWitt school near Elliott. In 1925 at the age of 55 she went back to Art School at Saugatuck, Michigan; and in 1932-33 she studied under Grant Wood at Stone City, Ia. He chose her paintings for exhibit at the Omaha Art Gallery.

    Her paintings are in many Iowa and Tulsa homes; at Simpson College, the Tulsa YMCA and University. Three of the more important ones are in the Presbyterian Church at Tulsa. She was chosen as THE Oklahoma Artist in 1957 for her paintings of over 50 years and was given a one-man showing of her work at the Philbrook Art Museum. She was still painting at the time of her death at age 87, leaving one unfinished. Her favorite paintings, 1891-1957, not promised to others, are in the home of her niece, Dorothy, in Oklahoma City.

    Artist, art teacher, poet, seamstress, interior decorator, she made every hour count. Her advice-don’t just stand and don’t walk empty handed-think-observe-and do.




~ Dorothy DeWitt Wilkinson