William R. Redder of El
Reno was three years in advance of the great rush of white settlers
into the original Oklahoma Territory. He became identified with what
is now Oklahoma in the capacity of a teacher in the Indian service,
and resigned from that service about the time of the first opening
and thenceforward was closely identified with politics and business
in and about El Reno.
Born on a farm in
Dutchess County, New York, in April, 1862, he inherits good stock
from both his father and mother, John and Mary (Brannam) Redder, the
former a native of New York and of German ancestry, and the latter of
Irish lineage. John Redder was born in 1836 and died in 1892. and
spent all his active career as a fruit grower in Dutchess County, New
York. His wife was born in 1843 and died in 1891. To their marriage
were born twelve children, four daughters and eight sons, namely:
Elizabeth, John, Cornelia, Henry, George, Maria, Howard, Mary,
Edward, William R., Charles and Robert.
Mr. Redder grew up
on his father’s farm in Dutchess County, New York, and acquired a
good education in the local public schools. When eighteen he began
learning the trade of butcher and for a time was also a barber. Then
in 1886 came his appointment as teacher in the United States Indian
service, with appointment to the Arapahoe School at Darlington,
Indian Territory. Mr. Redder has a great many interesting
recollections of the old Darlington agency and knew all that part of
the country as it was before the invasion of the white settlers. In
1889 he was transferred to the sub-Indian agency at Old Cantonment in
the capacity of issue clerk to the Indians.
When Oklahoma was
opened to settlement in 1889 he resigned from the
Indian service and located at old Reno City, subsequently identifying
himself with El Reno.
For a great many
years Mr. Redder has been an active factor in democratic politics in
this section of the state. For four years he was secretary of the
central committee of Canadian County, and was frequently a delegate
to state conventions. He served as postmaster at El Reno for three
years from September 1, 1893, and in 1897 was a messenger in the
Territorial Council, in 1908 a messenger in the State Senate.
Fraternally he is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd
On December 17,
1890, at El Reno, he married Miss Alice Gray, daughter of Edward
Gray. Mrs. Redder was born in Iowa, January 22, 1862, and before her
marriage was also for a number of years connected with the United
States Indian school service as a teacher.