Lilah D. Lindsey
Lilah D. Lindsey
“One of the greatest living women in Oklahoma, great both for her character and personality and for her varied works she has accomplished and in which she is interested, is Mrs. Lilah D. Lindsey of Tulsa.”
Lilah Denton Lindsey was born near Blue Creek in the Coweta District, Creek Nation, Indian Territory. Her mother was of a missionary family and had attended the Tallahassee Mission School, where Lilah also attended. She received a degree from Hillsboro-Hyland Institute in Ohio in 1883, becoming the first Creek woman to earn a degree. The Presbyterian Board of Missions then appointed her to teach in the Wealaka Mission School and, two years later, the First Presbyterian Church in Tulsa was organized and Mrs. Lindsey became the director of their missions school. She remained in the Tulsa school system until her retirement in the late 1890s, at which time she turned her talents and interests to civic affairs. She organized the Woman’s Relief Corp as Auxiliary to the G.A.R. Post and was active in temperance work promoting many welfare projects sponsored by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. When suffrage came, she compiled and published a booklet on the Laws of Oklahoma pertaining to women and children. In 1954, the Tulsa school board passed a resolution to honor Lilah Lindsey by changing the name of Riverview School near her old home to Lilah D. Lindsey School.
Lilah Lindsey’s mother, Susan McKellop Denton, was considered by the Creek Indians to be a medicine woman and she often took Lilah along by horseback or wagon “over the district ministering to the sick.”
Lindsey was born in the Creek Nation, Indian Territory.