Elizabeth Fulton Hester

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Elizabeth Fulton Hester

Elizabeth Fulton Hester

“[She was] a pioneer Indian missionary worker in Oklahoma and one of the best known persons in Eastern Oklahoma…loved by thousands.”
Muskogee Times Democrat, 1929


Born in Georgia, Elizabeth Fulton Hester began her missionary career after arriving in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, in 1856 to teach in a missionary school. She and her husband George, already a prominent merchant, ran a local general store there before moving to Boggy Depot in the Choctaw Nation in 1861. While George opened a new store in the area, Elizabeth taught at the local National school, which had been organized by the Indian Legislature. In 1878, they returned to Tishomingo to form the first unit in her area of the newly authorized Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and helped form auxiliaries throughout Indian Territory. She encouraged women’s suffrage and was chaplain of the United Daughters of the Confederacy of Oklahoma. After George’s death, Elizabeth moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma, in 1901 and was a founder of the historic Muskogee Day Nursery.

Mrs. Hester was the first female to be inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and was the mother-in-law of Oklahoma Senator Robert L. Owen.

Fun fact

Serving as a nurse throughout the Civil War, Mrs. Hester cared for a number of powerful leaders as they came through Boggy Depot, including General Stand Watie.

Oklahoma connections

Hester came to Tishomingo, Oklahoma, as a teacher in 1856.




Civic Leader





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