From Oklahoma to Arizona
George Bradford Appleby
This article was written by Dee Appleby, for publication in the April 1988
issue of The Appleby Newsletter. Research included a personal visit with
George Bradford Appleby, living in Chandler, Arizona. Included in the visit
were George's sister, Pauline Dobson; his sister-in-law, Dorothy (Loomis)
Appleby, widow of Barney William Appleby; and Maecel, his former daughter-in-law.
The article, follows:
"Winter is still zinging some parts of the country at this time of year, but summer has come early to the
South-West, and George Bradford Appleby has already left for his summer home in the mountains. George
celebrated his ninety-first birthday last November and he long ago chose fishing the trout streams and lakes
in the cool Arizona pine country, to remaining in the desert region when the Arizona Sun turns it's
thermostat up to 110 degrees-plus.
In 1913, a year after Statehood, Mesa, Arizona and it's neighbor, Chandler, were ver small settlements a
few miles SE of Phoenix, itself not much of a town in those days. In that year, because of health reasons,
George's father brought his family to Mesa from their previous home in Noble, Oklahoma. After a brief
period of time, probably during the first summer, he decided it was just too hot and the family moved to Texas.
They farmed near San Antonio until a drought caused them to reconsider and give Arizona another chance.
This time, in 1917, they chose farm land in the vicinity of Chandler, and here they stayed....George Lee and
Emma Appleby and their three children, George Bradford, Barney William and Pauline Elizabeth Appleby.
Another son had died at the age of five years.
They were true Arizona pioneers, and this staunch quality of character is quite possibly an inherent one.
For, as George Lee Appleby moved further West with his family, hadn't his own father, George Barnett
(Barney) Appleby, participated in the Oklahoma Land Run, and hadn't his own grandfather, Hezekiah
Appleby, been one of the first settlers in Washington County, Arkansas, and hadn't his own great-great-
grandfather, William Appleby, come to America before the Revolutionary War and helped in proclaiming
this country's Independence; then, leaving Pennsylvania helped to open the new Southern frontiers in
Georgia and Tennessee?
Hezekiah Appleby was born 22 June 1798 in Georgia. He was a grandson of William and Elizabeth
(McKeehan) Appleby. He married Margaret Herron on 2 December 1819. Their children were: Joseph N.,
born ca. 1824-5, John Tate, born ca. 1826, Andrew Thomas, ca. born 1829, Mary Ann (Manervy) born ca.
1831, James Barnett (Barney), born 2 March 1834, and Margaret, born ca. 1836. There may have been two
other children, who died young.
No one seems to know for certain of whatever happened to Hezekiah Appleby. It is said, "during the Civil
War, with their lives endangered by Federal troops in the Fayetteville, Arkansas area, Hezekiah and a
neighbor loaded freight wagons with tools and household goods and set out for Waco, McLennon County,
Texas. On the way, both men became ill with typhoid fever and died, but it is not known where this happened
or if they were buried in Arkansas or Texas.
Three of Hezehiah's children, Andrew, John and Margaret are buried in Mount Comfort Cemetery,
Washington County, Arkansas. James Barnett (Barney) Appleby died at his son's home in Noble Oklahoma,
but was buried near his own farm in Tuttle, Oklahoma. Barney was born 2 March 1834, in Washington County,
Arkansas. He and Emilie (Emma) Newblack, were married 17 June 1895 in Tecumsah, Oklahoma. Emilie lived
until the age of 93, and George Lee until the age of 97. They are buried the Mesa Cemetery, Mesa, Arizona.
George Bradford Appleby married Elizabeth Rogers in 1922, in Glendale, Arizona. Elizabeth died in 1982.
They had five children, David Robert, Lucille Ruth, Mary Ella, Georgia Lee and Elizabeth. George's sister,
Pauline E., (Mrs. Roy Dobson and his sister-in-law, Dorothy (Loomis Appleby, both live nearby. His brother,
Barney William died a few years ago. Maecel Appleby keeps house for her father-in-law.
A daughter of William Hezekiah Appleby, Alta, lives in Oklahoma City. she is age 90 and last summer
visited her cousin, George Bradford Appleby, at his summer home in Overgaard, Arizona. Neither of them
had ever heard of their ancestor, Hezekiah Appleby, but that does not seem as important as knowing there
were hungry fish in the trout stream, just waiting for a fish-hook.
End of article.
Addendum: Other items of interest, that did not appear in the above article. One: In a phone conversation with
Dorothy (Loomis) Appleby, she said her husband, Barney William, was adamant that his given name was
Barney, never Barnett, like his father's middle name. Two: George Bradford, in discussing the death and
burial of his grandfather, James Barnett, said his father, George Lee, placed James Barnett, at his death, in the
back of a farm wagon and drove it several miles to the Tuttle Cemetery. Three: At a later date, George Bradford Appleby
said that he did know of his grandfather, Hezekiah, but he doesn't remember any details ever being discussed
within his family.
Points of interest during conversation: It is quite probable at some time, Hezekiah's burial site was known, by the
same persons that knew he had died of an illness.
George Bradford Appleby, died 26 February 1991, Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona. Pauline (Appleby) Dobson, died
15 January 1997.
page: 26 November 2003
reviewed: 07 March 2005