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Joe Martin Lynch. It is in a large degree a matter of fulfillment of expectations to find Joe Martin Lynch filling an important place in public affairs and in the profession of law since he belongs to a family which has been distinguished in the old Cherokee Nation from its first identification with Indian Territory. Mr. Lynch is a successful lawyer at Stilwell, Adair County, and is now serving as probate attorney for the two counties of Adair and Sequoyah.
Born in Adair County July 30, 1881, he is a quarter blood Cherokee and of one of the most distinguished Cherokee families. His father, Cicero L. Lynch, served as the last chief justice of the Cherokee Nation, while the grandfather was first chief justice of that nation after it became established west of the Mississippi. Cicero L. Lynch, who is still living, was born in the Delaware District of the Cherokee Nation May 9, 1841. His father was Joe Martin Lynch, Sr.. who came to the Indian Territory with the first Cherokee immigrants. Cicero L. Lynch married Nannie E. Bell, who was born in the Flint District of the Cherokee Nation, a daughter of John Bell, who with other members of the Bell family were prominent in tribal affairs. The record of Cicero L. Lynch is found plainly written in the annals of the Cherokee Tribe. Besides his work as chief justice, he held many positions of honor and trust, was sheriff, and was chief justice until the Cherokee Nation was absorbed in statehood government. Since statehood he has lived retired on his farm in Adair County and now makes his home with his son Joe M. Lynch at Stillwell. he is now in his seventy-fifth year and for several years has endured the misfortune of blindness. He and his son are the only representatives of the family still living.
Reared in Adair County, Joe Martin Lynch acquired his preliminary education in the rural schools of the Cherokee Nation, attended the Cherokee Male Seminary at Tahlequah, the Normal University at Valparaiso, Indiana, and in 1911 graduated in law from Cumberland University at Lebanon, Tennessee. Returning at once to Oklahoma, he took up the practice of his profession at Stilwell. Several years previously he had given his first public service as clerk in the Oklahoma State Constitutional Convention, and at statehood was elected the first register of deeds for Adair County. Since his service in that office of three years he has steadily practiced law with growing prestige and success at Stilwell. On February 17, 1914, he was appointed United States probate attorney with joint jurisdiction in the counties of Adair and Sequoyah, and has since made an admirable record in this responsible office.
Since early manhood Mr. Lynch has been actively interested in the democratic party. His name is known all over Adair and Sequoyah counties. Fraternally he is a Royal Arch Mason and Knight of Pythias, and a member of the Methodist Church. In 1913 Mr. Lynch married Miss Hazel C. Mason, who was born in Iowa.