Joseph S. Murrow
Joseph S. Murrow
“The history of the commonwealth of Oklahoma will be an unfinished story without a chapter devoted to the life and achievements of this gentle, sweet-spirited old man.”
Dr. Joseph Samuel Morrow was born in Georgia and took his first position there as a minister at the age of nineteen. He was ordained in 1857 and was appointed by the Domestic and Indian Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention as a missionary to the Indians of the West. In 1859 he moved to the Seminole Nation and, in 1862, was appointed Confederate States Indian Agent for that tribe. In 1867 Dr. Murrow came to the Choctaw Nation where he established a post office and founded the city of Atoka. In 1872, he organized the churches of the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations and established the Choctaw and Chickasaw Baptist Association.
Over the course of his illustrious career in the ministry, Rev. Murrow organized more than seventy-five Baptist churches in the Indian Territory, and assisted in the construction and funding of many more churches across the area. He assisted in the ordination of more than seventy Native American pastors and baptized nearly 2,000 people, most of whom also were Native American. Murrow was among the founders of Bacone College, a Baptist institution at Muskogee.
Joseph Murrow is regarded as the “Father of Oklahoma Masonry” and was a pioneer of journalism in Indian Territory when he became the editor of The Vindica, a weekly publication first printed at Boggy Depot and later moved to Atoka.
Murrow and his wife settled in a little log cabin in old North Fork town, near Eufaula, in the Creek Nation in 1857.