Bess B. Truitt

Class of
Bess B. Truitt

Bess B. Truitt

“Here’s to the land so great, yet new, Founded by pioneers sturdy and true, Men of adventure with iron wills, Here’s to the land of a million thrills.”
Bess Truitt, from her poem, Oklahoma…A Toast


Bessie B. Truitt was born in Kansas in 1884. After arriving in Enid in 1893 she attended the city’s first school and was a member of the third graduating class of Enid High School in 1901. She attended Valparaiso University in Indiana in 1907, graduated from Phillips University (now Northern Oklahoma College) in Enid, Oklahoma, in 1932, and received her master’s degree there in 1934. In all, she taught school for 30 years, 17 of them in schools in the Enid area. Miss Truitt was the elected court clerk of Garfield County for eight years in the 1920s and taught night classes for those obtaining citizenship. For many years she was editor of the Journal of the Sons and Daughters of the Cherokee Strip and was also listed in the Who’s Who of American Women in 1959.

Fun fact

Bess Truitt was a poet laureate emeritus of Oklahoma, a life member of the Poetry Society of Oklahoma, and member/president of the National League of American Pen Women.

Oklahoma connections

Truitt came with her mother to Oklahoma in the Cherokee Strip Land Run on September 16, 1893.




Poet Laureate





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