W. W. Hastings
W. W. Hastings
“You cannot go up and down the streets of Tahlequah, his beloved hometown, but that you see buildings and institutions that he had a hand in bringing here and building for the advancement and improvement of his home and country.”
William Wirt Hastings enjoyed life on a farm at Beattie’s Prairie, Indian Territory, and received a degree from the Cherokee National Male Seminary in 1884 before graduating from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, with a law degree in 1889. He came home to Oklahoma to open his law practice in 1889 and was a clerk in each House of the Cherokee National Council as well as serving as Superintendent of Education and U.S. Commissioner to the Cherokee Indians. He was also appointed as National Attorney for the Cherokee Nation from 1907 to 1914 and was active in tribal affairs with the Dawes Commission in Washington, D.C.
Hastings was elected to Congress in 1915 and served there until 1935. In 1934 he was honored for his tireless work in securing a law that authorized the Secretary of the Interior to give the records of the Five Civilized Tribes and other Native American tribes to the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Hastings was elected to Congress for nine terms, serving nearly 18 years consecutively. He was defeated by Miss Alice Robertson during one term in a Republican landslide that occurred across Oklahoma.
Hastings was raised at Beattie’s Prairie, near Maysville, in Indian Territory.