Richard Martin Fields, is one of the industrious and reliable farmers of Washington Township, classed with those who are acknowledged to be as broad and scientific in their methods as the workers in any other branch of modern industry. A full-blooded Cherokee, he was born two miles south of Fort Gibson, in the Cherokee Nation, now Oklahoma, August 3, 1855, and is a son of Wert and Sarah (Woddord) Fields, natives of Tennessee and members of the Cherokee Race.
The mother of Mr. Fields was the first to come to the West, being brought here among the first settlers of what was to later become the State of Oklahoma by her mother, with whom she returned to her native place. Later, when the Cherokees were removed from Tennessee by the United States Government she again came to the Indian Territory, and in the vicinity of Fort Gibson met and married Wert Fields. He died in 1857, and she was subsequently married to Cal Riley, and had two daughters by that union. By her marriage with Mr. Fields she was the mother of three children: William, who died at the age of seventeen years; Mrs. Ella Smith, who is now deceased; and Richard Martin, of this notice. During the early days in Tennessee, the Fields family was a wealthy and prominent one, Richard Fields, the grandfather of Richard M., having been the owner of a large plantation and of many negro slaves, as was also his son, Wert. The latter, on coining to Indian Territory, devoted himself to agricultural pursuits, and continued to be a tiller of the soil and a raiser of livestock up to the time of his death. He was an industrious and hard-working man, gaining prosperity by his earnest application and keen foresight, and was highly respected and esteemed by those among whom he lived.
Richard Martin Fields was reared in the vicinity of Fort Gibson, and was brought up on the farm, receiving the greater part of his education in the public schools, although he also attended the Cherokee Male Seminary, at Tahlequah, which was conducted by the Cherokee Nation, and where he was a student for a period of ten months. As a young man he removed to Webbers Falls, now in Muskogee County, Oklahoma, where he followed farming until 1900, and at that time came to his present property in Washington County, a tract of 100 acres, the greater part on the Caney River, his home being located two and one-half miles north of Dewey. Mr. Fields has devoted his entire attention to agricultural pursuits, and now has a valuable and productive farm, with modern improvements, substantial buildings and good equipment. He uses up-to-date methods in his work, and is known as one of the substantial men of his community, standing high in the esteem of all who know him. He is a democrat in politics, a member of the A. H. T. A., and a Master Mason.
In 1883 Mr. Fields was married to Miss Texanna Barnes, who was born three miles west of Fort Gibson, September 2, 1867, a daughter of Albert and Nan (Harper) Barnes, natives of the Cherokee Nation. Mrs. Fields’ father died when she was about six or seven years of age, while her mother survived until September
25, 1894. She had been married before, and had one child: James Keys, who is now a resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mrs. Fields was the only child by her parents’ marriage. To Mr. and Mrs. Fields there have been born five children, as follows: Charles, a successful farmer of Washington County, Oklahoma, who married Myrtle Hines; Wert, who is also successfully engaged in farming in this county, married Cora Teague; Jesse, who prepared for college at Tonkawa, and now a student in the medical department of the State University at Norman, securing a training for a professional career; Pearce, who resides at home; and Claud, who met his death by drowning, May 26, 1905, in the Illinois River, aged nineteen years, seven months, being a student in his senior year at the Cherokee Male Seminary at Tahlequah.