theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

Living

October 28, 2012

Family celebrates centennial in Ada

Ada — When Mary Elizabeth Simmons Choate prevailed her husband, Austin, to bring their family to Ada in 1912, she may not have imagined their roots and descendants would be compared to the large pecan tree at stood in front of her home at the time of her death in 1947.

That house at 410 W. 9th Street in Ada, was built about the time of their arrival in Ada. Earlier this month the house returned to family ownership after an absence of 37 years. It was purchased by some of Mary's descendants for family history and enterprise purposes.

The tree was planted by Mary and Austin's son, Walter, from seedlings he brought from their homestead in San Saba County, Texas.

Mary's parents, Joseph Pickens and Frances Virginia Mason Simmons, moved from Tarrant County Texas, in the 1880s and farmed land near Latta. Mary's mother died in Ada just two years before Mary and Austin arrived with six of their children.

The Choate family moved to Ada by covered wagon drawn by a milk cow and donkey.

"It appears that a main reason for their relocation was the limited public education in their previous area, which called for waiting until there were enough children to start a class," said William Wesley Choate. "Their twins, Earl Lesley and Irvan Wesley, had not started school until they were 9 years old. Ada had a state teacher's college, East Central, from which Irvan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Arts in 1929. Irvan's grandsons, David Earl and William Irvan, as well as his wife, Susan, also graduated from East Central University."

"It is expected now that, as with that pecan tree, others in the next generation and beyond will continue to benefit from East Central and contribute to the development of Ada," Choate said.

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