Elliott Centennial, 1879 - 1979

Elliott Centennial Committee


Page 191-192-193




    Jim Wilkinson born 18 Feb. 1906, near Hitchcock, Blaine Co., Okla., Indian Territory, son of Bert O. Wilkinson of Harrison Co., Mo., and Pearl (Thrasher) Wilkinson of Edgar Co., Illinois; and Dorothy Helen DeWitt were married 4 July 1931 at Van Buren, Ark. Dorothy, born 7 March 1905, daughter of W. L. “Till” Dewitt and Minnie (Tyler) DeWitt of Elliott, is a descendant of pioneer families who came to the Elliott community in 1868 and 1883. She was born on the farm formerly owned by I. H. Page where the Wilson Post office was located, later owned by T. D. Tyler, W. L. DeWitt, and jointly owned with her sister until Maude’s death 13 Nov. 1977. Dorothy now owns the Century farm but resides in Oklahoma City, Okla. at 2519 N. W. 66 St. Dorothy has lived in Oklahoma since June 1929 when she accepted a position as Speech Instructor at Oklahoma State University.

    Jim graduated in Dairy Manufacturing, School of Agriculture, Okla. State University; managed the Quality Milk Co., Fort Smith, Ark.; and became Asst. Manager of the Oklahoma City Branch Wholesale Dep’t of Wilson and Co., Meat Packers, until health forced his early retirement in 1958. A Flying Master Sergeant, B-24 Bomber, Engineer Gunner, he completed 50 missions as the oldest air-borne, combat man in the 15th Air Force.

    Dorothy received her B. A. degree in 1926 from Grinnell College; taught English and Speech in the Elliott High School 1926-1928; and obtained her M. A. in Speech at the University of Michigan in 1929. By 1933 she had become an Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State Univ.; however, as an economy move, Speech Therapy was discontinued, and she as a former Faculty Advisor to the Blind and Deafened, entered the field of Social Service. In 1934, on a Government Scholarship, she attended the School of Social Work at Tulane University; New Orleans, and later at the University of Oklahoma. She continued in Social Work for 10 years. As Associate State Employment Director, W. P. A. she resigned to enter W. W. II American Red Cross Hospital Service – first as Asst. Field Director, WAC Hospital, Des Moines, Ia., followed by the position of Field Director, Red Cross, McClaskey General Hospital, Temple, Texas. As a social worker, she was first certified by the American Academy of Social Work in 1933-34.

    When Jim completed his 50 missions with the 460th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force, and was to return to the States for reassignment as a Gunnery Instructor in Boise, Idaho; Dorothy returned to Okla. City and began employment with the Air Force as an Organization and Procedured Analyst, in Management Services. She retired from Civil Service in 1956, and except for two years caring for her aunt, Pauline Tyler Townsend in Tulsa, she has devoted all of her available time to Genealogical or Family History research as an instructor, lecturer or consultant; and research for original records as evidence about her own ancestors’ backgrounds. Her objective is to teach more people to help themselves in finding more of their ancestors. “One doesn’t find time, you have to make or steal time”, she says. “Everyone has and needs ROOTS.”

    In order to increase her knowledge, she enrolled in Genealogical Research, American University Graduate School, Wash. D. C. in 1965; in non-credit Genealogical courses, Imperial University, London, England, in 1977; and again this spring in London when she researched Vital Records, and Non-Conformist Church Registers at Englands’ Public Record Office, London. She also had some work at Edinburgh, Scotland.

   Dorothy, since 1965, has been in WHO’S WHO, AMERICAN AND CANADIAN WOMEN, as a Genealogist. She is a Fellow of the Texas State Genealogical Society, Life-time Honorary Member of the Oklahoma Genealogical Society, and Honorary “Miss Kitty”, Dodge City, Kansas—an honor awarded by the Kansas Genealogical Society. The Texas and Kansas honors were awarded because of her work in behalf of their Military records. Her favorite project now is the growth of the Genealogical Historical Collection at the Elliott Public Library. Toward this objective, she presented two 18-hour courses in Genealogical Research, co-sponsored by the Elliott Library and Iowa Western Community College, Council Bluffs, in November 1978; and will present another series this year at the Second Annual Elliott Genealogical Institute. Although Jim is not a genealogist, he shares and helps with Cemetery and Court House Records, and transportation of their portable genealogical library, where needed in connection with workshops and seminars.

    Dorothy has also devoted much time in Chapter, State and National Vice Chairman, Lineage Research efforts, to helping DAR applicants find their Revolutionary Ancestors—1776-1783 being her favorite period of American History. She became a DAR in January 1930, National Number 259017, on the Robert Coe line; however she cites John Stanclift, Senior, Conn. Line, the grandfather of Sarah Eliza (Stanclift) DeWitt as the DAR or SAR ancestor from whom her DeWitt Stanclift relatives descend and Thomas Wilkinson, Revolutionary Soldier, New York line from whom her Wilkinson relatives (by marriage) descend. (This line is in the process of being proved.)

    Although Dorothy has lived in Oklahoma 50 years, she has kept in touch with her Elliott students, friends, relatives and their later generations. “Once an Iowan, always an Iowa”, she says, “and Elliott will always be back home.”



~ Dorothy DeWitt Wilkinson