Family Photo Album

Barthel Family

About 1917-1920 in Muskogee. Driver is Frank Barthel.
Passengers are Dorothy (Darrow) Barthel and her husband William Wirt Barthel.

Frank G. Barthel (1858-1923) and Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" Kerr (1872-1901)
November, 1890 Wedding Photos

From the Muskogee Weekly Phoenix, Indian Territory, Nov. 13, 1890: "On the 18th inst at the residence of Mr. & Mrs. G. W. Elliott, in this City, Frank Barthel and Miss Mollie Kerr will be united in marriage. They will make their home in Dallas, Texas."

The move to Dallas was temporary and due to contracts that had to be fullfilled. Mollie was back as early as 1893, but they officially returned to Muskogee in 1895.

Muskogee Daily Phoenix, October 31, 1895:
"Frank Barthel of Dallas, Texas, formerly of Muscogee will return and reside in Muscogee. He will build a home on E. Okmulgee Avenue."

Frank Barthel was one of the early pioneers of Muskogee. He was of German descent and came from New York to Fort Smith, Arkansas in the late 1880's for health reasons. During his brief stay in Fort Smith, his roommate was a Mr. Carberry, the secretary to the famous "Hangin' Judge" Parker. When the Female Seminary was being built in Tahlequah, Frank secured the bid to do the painting. While working in Tahlequah, he met Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" Kerr a one quarter Cherokee, and in November, 1890, they were married.

Mollie's great grandmother was Jennie Ross, sister to Chief John Ross. Mollie and Frank Barthel had four children. Mollie died during chidlbirth in 1901 and is buried in Muskogee's Greenhill Cemetery. Frank never remarried and it is said he could never get over the loss of Mollie.
According to the book, The Story of Sally Brown by Dr. Donald William Ruth, D. D., (page 30) Frank Barthel had the first milk pasteurization plant in Muskogee. He was also a building contractor and painter. The Barthel Painting Contractors went out of business in Muskogee in the 1980's when Frank and Wirt Barthel retired.

Photos and information contributed by Jeane Barthel Freeman, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

©Sue Tolbert 2001, 2002

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