Roberta Campbell Lawson

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Roberta Campbell Lawson

Roberta Campbell Lawson

“Mrs. Lawson comes from my home. She was born up the river about six miles from me, in fact, on the adjoining ranch. She is a very talented, high class type of woman, and has done some splendid work in the Federation of Women’s Club…I tell you us Cherokees are just getting started.”
Will Rogers


Roberta Campbell was the granddaughter of Rev. Charles Journeycake, last chief of the Delaware Indians. She was educated at private schools and Hardin College in Mexico, Missouri. Following her marriage to Eugene B. Lawson, she lived in Nowata, Oklahoma, until his death in 1931, when she moved to Tulsa. For nearly four decades, Mrs. Lawson served in a club or federation. She organized the first women’s club in Nowata, Oklahoma, assisted in the development of a park and public library, and frequently lectured on various phases of education. She also became a popular interpreter of Indian song. Maintaining an interest in the progress of America’s schools, she was a trustee of the University of Tulsa and a member of the Board of Regents of Oklahoma College for Women (now the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma) in Chickasha. From purely local activities, Mrs. Lawson quickly took a leading part in the work of the Oklahoma Federation of Women’s Clubs and from state offices, moved into the national, serving as president of the General Federation of Womens’ Clubs from 1935-1938. The beautiful Lawson home became an Oklahoma tradition to hospitality, and so grew her museum, said to be the finest private collection of Indian relics in the world.

Fun fact

It was said that when she was a child, Roberta Campbell met another girl, who was barefooted. Roberta asked why she was not going to Sunday School. “Because I have no shoes,” was the reply. The two disappeared beside the road and after a few minutes emerged, the young girl wearing Roberta’s shoes, while Roberta trudged on barefoot.

Oklahoma connections

Lawson was born at Al-lu-we in Indian Territory in Nowata County.




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