A.B. Mayberry: Served his Coworkers, his Community and his Church
Recently, the A.B. Mayberry property at 303 East 4th Street, Claremore, Oklahoma, was put up for sale. Lauren and Jacob Garrison purchased the home to create a community events venue at what is now fondly referred to as the Mayberry Mansion. This transaction got us thinking. Who was A.B. Mayberry?
On an autumn day, November 20, 1878, in Coles County, Illinois, John and Susan Mayberry welcomed their newborn son, Alvey Benson Mayberry, into the world. Not much is known about young Mayberry until the 1900 U.S. Census which lists the 21-year-old, A.B. Mayberry as an unmarried schoolteacher living in the home of his stepfather, J.H. Kennady, and his mother, Susan Mayberry Kennady. On May 29, 1898, not long before the 1900 census was taken, the widowed Susan Mayberry had married J.H. Kennady, in Saline, Illinois. A.B. Mayberry would not reside in his stepfather’s household for long.
On May 1, 1901, at age 23, A.B. Mayberry married Miss Viola Leodocia “Docia” Ramsey (February 13, 1883 – April 17, 1971) the daughter of Robert and Nancy Ramsey, also of Coles County, Illinois. To them were born John Ovid Mayberry (1904 – 1977); Ocie Jewell Mayberry Ortner (1910 – 1987); and Robert Odell Mayberry (1913 – 1932). By December 2, 1902, A.B. Mayberry was appointed and served as Postmaster at Texas City, Saline County, Illinois, and was compensated $147.81 for his efforts.
Nine years after their marriage, according to the 1910 census, 31-year-old Alvey B. Mayberry; Leodocia, his 27-year-old wife; their 6-year-old son, John Ovid; and one-month-old daughter, Ocie Jewell, were no longer living in Illinois. They were renting a home on South Third Street, Esculapia, Benton, Arkansas. Mr. Mayberry had been promoted from being a schoolteacher to being the Superintendent of Public Schools of Rogers County. Yet this was just one step in the journey towards the Mayberrys’ future in Claremore.
The November 8, 1917, issue of The Claremore Progress (CP) announced, “Claremore Adds Another Family – A.B. Mayberry, of Rogers, Ark., has recently accepted a position in the wholesale department of the E.E. North Co. Mr. Mayberry brings his family to Claremore with him and will make this his permanent home.”
Settling in to their new community in 1917, A.B. and Docia Mayberry dedicated themselves to working hard for their community, supporting civic events, and being devoted, active members of their church - the First M.E. Church of Claremore.
Despite their great enthusiasm for Claremore, the Mayberry family did not lose ties with their Arkansas friends and family. In 1919, Mrs. A.B. Mayberry and children, Ocie and Odell, went to Arkansas on a visit and to attend a family reunion. Mrs. Mayberry returned to Rogers, Arkansas, in February 1920 to be at the bedside of her mother, Mrs. Nancy Ramsey, who at the time was very sick. Sadly, with a heavy heart, A.B. Mayberry received a telegram from Mrs. Mayberry stating that her mother passed away from this illness at the family farm near Jonesboro, Arkansas. Internment was made at the family burial place in Illinois. (CP: 8/14/1919; 2/26/1920)
By the 1920 U.S. Census, A.B. Mayberry (41), Docia (36), John Ovid (15), Ocie (9), and Robert Odell (6) were renting a home, living at 330 Third Street (this home still stands at 332 Will Rogers Boulevard), Claremore, Oklahoma. By then Mr. Mayberry was working as a bookkeeper of the wholesale company.
It wasn’t until the 1930 U.S. Census that it is recorded that the Mayberrys had moved to their beautiful home at 303 East Fourth Street, now called Mayberry Mansion. By then Mr. Mayberry was a salesman of school supplies, a wage earner. A.B. (52), Docia (47), Ocie (20 [sic]), Odell (16) and Lorene Allanso (a 17-year-old female, Native American servant) were living in the home.
Yet in 1932, tragedy again struck the Mayberry family. The youngest child, their son, Robert Odell Mayberry died at 18 years of age.
The 1940 U.S. Census lists Alvey (61) and Docia (57) as the only Mayberry family members living in the home at 303 East Fourth Street. P.H. Kelley, the 43-year-old Band Master at the Oklahoma Military Academy, and Mae Berie (55) were boarding at the Mayberry residence. Mr. Mayberry continued as a school supply salesman at the time.
Claremore Business Leader
Upon removing to Claremore, A.B. Mayberry worked for the E.E. North Company. The E.E. North Company, owned and operated by E.E. North, ran retail 10-cent stores located throughout Oklahoma and surrounding states. By March 1920, these 10-cent stores were located in Claremore, Nowata, Miami, Chelsea, Picher, and Pawhuska, with more stores planned to be open within the year. E.E. North; his son, S.B. North; C.B. Holtzendorff; F.E. Carlstrom; and J.M. Bridwell were on the Board of Directors of the company. During his tenure as bookkeeper at the E.E. North Company, A.B. Mayberry traveled to various Oklahoma cities such as Nowata, Tulsa, Picher, Oklahoma City, and even as far as Springfield, Missouri. On his 1918 World War I draft card, 39-year-old A.B. Mayberry claimed that he was working as a credit man at E.E. North Company. (CP: 3/18/1920; 8/21/1919; 4/29/1920; 4/27/1922; 9/16/1920; 7/31/1919; 8/1/1919; 3/9/1922)
With a burst of inspiration, in 1920, Claremore businessmen, members of the Claremore Commercial Club, took a “Booster Trade Extension Trip” to surrounding communities to raise awareness and patronage of local Claremore businesses. This parade of twelve cars, complete with forty Claremore boosters, drove along its route stopping first at Tiawah, then Inola, Chouteau, Pryor, Adair, Big Cabin and Vinita. In each town Boosters gave good will speeches, their traveling band entertained with music, businessmen and preachers shook hands with the public, and Claremore souvenirs were distributed to promote interest in the wealth of fine Claremore businesses available just a short distance down the road. In this popular extravaganza the June 17 Claremore Progress highlights, A.B. Mayberry and S. B. North represented North Wholesale Company and 10c Store by placing “a souvenir in the hands of every child” that attended the gathering at Pryor. “Not one of the little fellows changed position while the band was playing, but after the half bushel of tin whistles had been given them by the North 10c Store, and each one was told to ‘blow for Claremore,’ 225 pairs of little lips got busy.” A.B. Mayberry and his co-worker, S.B. North, became the most popular men in the parade. (CP: 6/17/1920)
As a hard-working, contributing Claremore businessman, A.B. Mayberry was concerned about promoting the educational development of the members of his community. With this in mind he served on the Commercial Club’s “House Committee” (appointed to look after the sale of tickets and other details) as the Commercial Club backed and made arrangements “to put the Lyceum course (a higher education correspondence course) in fine shape” so Claremore individuals would have opportunity to improve their education and skills by participating in this institution’s higher level course instruction. The following year, at a meeting of The Claremore Commercial Club at the Sequoyah Hotel (March 1921) the “standing committees of the Commercial Club were announced as follows: Education – A.W. Bevers, chairman, A.B. Mayberry, and C.O. Brown.” It was fitting that A.B. Mayberry continued to look after the educational well being of the Claremore community. Business was thriving. Claremore was growing. Economic prosperity flourished. (CP: 10/7/1920; 3/24/1921)
The July 14, 1921, Claremore Progress announced the E.E. North Company’s 13th anniversary celebration with the following news release. “Last Saturday (July 9, 1921) was the thirteenth anniversary of the E.E. North Store in Claremore. It was thirteen years ago (1908) that E.E. North first came to Claremore and set up a rather humble New York 5 and 10 cent Store. By hard work and close application the business grew and grew. First but two persons were employed. Today there are on the payroll of the E.E. North company 90 persons. From the humble beginning, there are now, in addition to the large wholesale concern located in Claremore, five other retail stores in the chain, each with a large stock of fresh and seasonable goods. The stores are located at Claremore, Nowata, Pawhuska, Bigheart, Hominy and Picher. After E.E. North had been in Claremore four years, he was joined by his son, S.B., and family. The junior Mr. North had for some time been at the head of one of the Kress stores at Memphis, Tenn., and it was there that he received the training that has proven so valuable in the upbuilding of the large business that the North Company now represents. The senior Mr. North and family came to Claremore from New York state. This state also was the homeland of S.B. and family. Today North Wholesale has the following officers: E.E. North, president, J.M. Bridwell, Vice-president, S.B. North, secretary-manager. Their trade territory at present includes five states Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Texas. Seven traveling men are employed by the concern and in addition to the comfortable orders they turn in each week, the Wholesale does a large mail order business. It can truly be said that the E.E. North Co., is a decided credit to a town much larger than Claremore, but Claremore is appreciative of the magnitude of the concern on this its thirteenth birthday. May it prosper as the years roll on.”
Unfortunately, the E.E. North Company did not prosper; its good fortune came to an abrupt end. December 13, 1921, the “E.E. North Company, was duly adjudicated bankrupt.” Mr. and Mrs. E.E. North sold their residence at the corner of Sixth Street and Choctaw Avenue and left Claremore. They moved to Marlow, Oklahoma, where they made their future home. (CP: 12/15/1921; 9/21/1922; 9/28/1922)
So how did this effect A.B. Mayberry? Mr. Mayberry was “bookkeeper for the North Wholesale Company in Claremore. Later he became a salesman for Peabody School Supplies in Oklahoma,” wrote Mr. Mayberry’s daughter, Ocie Ortner, in the Mayberry segment found in The History of Rogers County Oklahoma. In 1942, on his World War II draft card, 63-year-old A.B. Mayberry claimed that he was self-employed. But A.B. Mayberry had other interests besides his job that made him an effective leader in the Claremore community.
Claremore Civic Leader
A.B. Mayberry and his wife, Leodocia were active participants in the civic affairs of the Claremore community. In February 1918, A.B. Mayberry was in charge of Ward One along with J.H. Stephens, W.D. McClure and J.C. Reed for the sale of Thrift and War Savings Stamps. During World War I, the February 21, Claremore Progress stated it was one’s “patriotic duty to buy these stamps” to support the war effort. The collection of these funds was “money loaned to the government … money that will be saved for a rainy day.” A.B. Mayberry served on the collection team for this war effort initiative.
November 10, 1921, it was noted that A.B. Mayberry was elected corresponding Secretary of the Young Men’s Christian Association of the state of Oklahoma, and again the January 26, 1922, issue of the Claremore Progress reported that A.B. Mayberry was “a corresponding member” of the Oklahoma State Y.M.C.A.
Mrs. Mayberry was a helpful hostess according to the Claremore Messenger (June 4, 1920) when it reported, “The Loyal Women of the Christian Sunday School were loyally entertained Friday Evening by Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Bridwell, at their home on South Choctaw in a most pleasant manner… At the close of the business the hostess, assisted by Mrs. A.B. Mayberry and Mrs. Raymond Bridwelll, served her guests with ice cream, wafers, Angel Food cake and coffee.”
And in the fall of 1922, the ladies of the Big Four Unit of the Methodist Church Ladies’ Aid Society put on an enjoyable six o’clock dinner at the home of A.B. Mayberry, on East Third Street. “The dinner was served on the lawn and consisted of all good things to eat. After the dinner and a good social hour, the president of the Unit called the party to order, and in a nice talk presented the pastor of the church and his wife with a fine quilt made by the ladies, taking the red ribbon at the county fair. This quilt contained the names of about two hundred and fifty of the citizens of Claremore. It brought a goodly sum of money into the treasury of the unit and was a most suitable gift and will be highly prized by the recipients. Mrs. Dale, one of the members, gave an original poem describing the history of the quilt in its making and presentation to the pastor and wife. The members of the Big Four and their families went home feeling it one of the most enjoyable evenings ever spent.” (CP: 10/5/1922)
According to her daughter, Ocie Ortner, Mrs. Mayberry was known to be active in a variety of other civic affairs such as the Quest Club, Garden Club and Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Both Mr. and Mrs. Mayberry focused on the social and intellectual development of the Claremore community, but there was another area in which the Mayberrys invested a large amount of time and energy.
Claremore Church Leader
There was much written about A.B. and Docia Mayberry’s dedication to serving their church - the First M.E. Church of Claremore. Most notably, A.B. presided as Superintendent of the Sunday school for a season. There appeared to be no separation in the Mayberry’s minds about serving the Lord, their community, and their country. Each area of service was braided into the entire tapestry of their lives.
A Service Flag was a banner displayed by family members to honor their loved ones serving in the United States Armed Forces. This banner had “a white field with a red border, with a blue star for each family member serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities. A gold star (with a blue edge) represents a family member that died during Military Operations.”* As the U.S. was in the throws of World War I, in June 1918, the First M.E. Church, Claremore, held a “Service Flag” unveiling ceremony to honor their eighteen men who had died serving their country in the fight to preserve worldwide freedom. For this event, A.B. Mayberry served as the scripture reader choosing Ephesians 6:10-20 (KJV – “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil…”) for his Bible text. The Claremore Progress (June 6, 1918) expounded, “The dedication of the Service Flag at the First M.E. Church Sunday evening was one of the most beautiful and impressive services ever held in the church. The program was a success from start to finish, and though solemn, was greatly enjoyed by the large audience. After the opening prayer by Rev. T. T. Coup, A.B. Mayberry read Ephesians 6:10-20 and Miss Beulah Bassman sang, ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning,’ following which the boys and girls of the Sunday School gave ‘The Spirits of the War Council’ which depicted the necessity and patriotism of labor and food conservation. …The dedicatory address by the pastor, Rev. E.C. Moore was well rendered and will long be remembered as was testified by the moistened eyes… The timely service, in a small measure, expresses our appreciation of our eighteen boys who have made the supreme sacrifice for liberty and humanity.”
December 1918, A.B. Mayberry was once again in a leadership role at the M.E. church. This time he guided those congregated in prayer when the new pastor, Rev. H. Tomison, and his family were honored with a reception given by members of his new flock. At this reception, “a large crowd, consisting of the members of the church and friends, was present to extend them a hearty welcome.” Food, fellowship and an interesting program were enjoyed. The, “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” A.B. Mayberry’s prayer, an address of welcome by H.H. Makemson and more were presented. “Rev. Gardner told, in a very amusing way, of the ‘absent treatments’ frequently administered to the Claremore pastors by their congregation. In due time those present were served with sandwiches, cake and coffee by the ladies of the church.
The occasion was a very pleasant one, and the spirit of co-operation and good fellowship was manifest thruout [sic] the entire evening.” (CP: 12/5/1919)
Yet A.B. Mayberry is best known for the leadership role he took in the M.E. Church Sunday School. In March 1919, “A.B. Mayberry, J.E. Lafferty, T.C. Coup, Miss Ruie Coup, Mrs. L.B. Shaw, Mrs. H.H. Makemson and Rev. Howard Thomison, of the Methodist church, went to Oklahoma City” to attend the State Sunday School Convention held in the capitol city. That October, Claremore was selected as the meeting place for the County Sunday School Convention for 1920. When the County Sunday School Convention officers were elected, A.B. Mayberry was chosen as State Committeeman for Rogers County. At a meeting of the Methodist Sunday School Board at the end of 1919, A.B. Mayberry was elected to be the First M.E. Church’s Sunday school Superintendent for 1920. (CP: 3/27/1919; 10/30/1919; 1/1/1920)
That same year, “in the Brotherhood class (a group within the Methodist Church) a Gospel Team was organized with S.B. North as captain; A.B. Mayberry, A.W. Kelley and H.H. Makemson as lieutenants. The newly organized team went to Foyil, Oklahoma, and put on a Gospel Team meeting in the afternoon that was considered productive. “It is the intention of the team to put on a Gospel Team meeting every Sunday afternoon at some point near Claremore.” These were to be good old revival meetings in locations near Claremore. The following April (1920), S.B. North, H. H. Makemson, A.B. Mayberry and others went to Miami, Oklahoma, as delegates from the Methodist Gospel Team, to organize a team for the church in Miami. In an interesting side note, as the gospel revival work was going on, Mrs. A.B. Mayberry was “on the sick list for several days.”(CP: 11/13/1919; 4/2/1920; 11/21/1920)
As Claremore High School graduated its largest graduating class in its history in May 1920, (among its thirty-one members being Edward Bushyhead and Mary Ella Davis - grand daughter of John and Mary Bayless), A.B. Mayberry again took a leading spiritual role. “Commencement exercises were held at the Baptist church and were excellent throughout. A church full of people saw this fine class formally finish their high school course with individual credit and receive their diplomas as a mark of honor and merit… Then followed a beautiful chorus, ‘Merry June,’ by the Girls’ Glee Club while A.B. Mayberry pronounced the benediction.”(CP: 5/27/1920)
The Claremore Christian Builders, a federation of the Claremore Bible Class, met at the First Baptist church in October 1920 for organizational purposes. It was stated that this was “an organization composed of the Men’s Bible classes of the different churches in Claremore and their work is of a constructive and up-building movement for the betterment and a greater Claremore. The organization met every fourth Monday night, usually at the Baptist church.” Officers at the organizational meeting were elected and A.B. Mayberry was chosen as president. A.B. Mayberry led a general discussion, following the adoption of the Constitution and By-Laws, on the future work of the organization. At its first regular meeting, The Claremore Christian Builders met at 8 o’clock on the fourth Monday evening of October at the First Baptist church, “with President A.B. Mayberry presiding. About 50 members were present and the following business was transacted: Song service led by Supt. A.W. Bevers, with F.C. Stevens at the piano; remarks by A.B. Mayberry on how to make the association a success. Minutes of the meetings held October 4th, and October 14th were read and approved.”(CP: 8/25/1921; 10/21/1920; 10/28/1920)
At its second monthly meeting, the Claremore Christian Builders gathered at the High School Auditorium where President A.B. Mayberry presided and a goodly number was present. “The evening was spent in singing several selections accompanied by the O.M.A. (Oklahoma Military Academy, located in Claremore) orchestra, composed of C.O. Brown, leader, Tom and John Loden and J.H. Deal. “(CP: 12/2/1920)
The Christian Builders continued to meet on Monday evenings throughout the year. The August meeting was held at the Baptist Church “in regular session, Pres. A.B. Mayberry in chair. The program consisted of song service, led by D. Esco Walker, a season of prayers, discussion of the proposal to buy a moving picture machine for the High School, and many other matters were discussed for the betterment of Claremore and its vicinity.” It was “the urgent desire of the officers that the members of the different Men’s Bible classes in the city become active members and attend as often as possible.”(CP: 3/31/1921; 8/25/1921)
A reception for all of Claremore Schools and the Oklahoma Military Academy’s schoolteachers was a community event held at the high school auditorium and sponsored by The Christian Builders, together with the Community League. A program was arranged for this event and refreshments were served. A.B. Mayberry, President, and D. Ferrara, Secretary, encouraged all Christian Builders to be present for this service event. (CP: 9/15/1921)
Also in the fall of 1920 the Rogers County Sunday School Convention, was held, November 5, 1920, at the Presbyterian church, Claremore, Oklahoma. Committeeman was A.B. Mayberry; President, R. A. Atkisson and Secretary, Addie Blair. (CP: 10/28/1920)
But as is often the case in such a busy life, plans did not always go smoothly as expected. In December 1920, it was noted, “the superintendent of Sunday school for the M.E. Church, Mr. A.B. Mayberry, was absent on account of sickness… He continued on the sick list for several days.” (CP: 12/2/1920)
In the spring of 1921 to increase Sunday school attendance the Methodists came up with an ingenious idea – they devised an attendance contest in which, actually, everybody who attended, won. “The Methodist Sunday School at Nowata and the Methodist Sunday school of Claremore have entered into a three months attendance contest. The contest began last Sunday with Claremore six points in the lead. Let’s keep ahead by being 100 percent loyal to our Sunday school. Loyalty to our school and loyalty to Claremore should prompt every member of the school to do his ordered best to put our school ahead of Nowata with a safe margin. Loyalty to our Master and His work and our duty to the unsaved should inspire us with an unconquerable zeal that will insure our success. Every Methodist and every member of the school is urged to individually and collectively work for the betterment of our school. Manifest your interest and good intentions by being present every Sunday. Nothing succeeds like success. A.B. MAYBERRY, Superintendent.” (CP: 3/10/1921)
In April 1921, two very important issues were put before the Methodist Church’s leadership. The first was that teachers and officers were encouraged to be present at the regular monthly meeting of the Methodist Sunday school Board. A report was given from the state convention and a definite program formulated for April and May’s attendance activities. “It is your duty to be there. Please respond. A.B. Mayberry, Superintendent.” And at a special session of the Quarterly Conference of the Methodist church, a campaign was voted on to begin raising funds for a new church. “A.B. Mayberry, W.H. Bassmann, A.W. Kelly, S.B. North and B.J. See were elected to a committee to launch this work in connection with the drive for the Oklahoma City College. More room is badly needed and the new church movement is one in the right direction.” The following week, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Thomison, J.E. Lafferty and A.B. Mayberry left “for Miami (Oklahoma), to attend a district conference of the Methodist church.” (CP: 4/7/1921; 4/14/1921)
Methodist Day was observed in Claremore on a Sunday in June 1921. “The Methodists of Claremore and other towns and communities thruout [sic] Rogers County had a very pleasant and profitable all-day meeting Sunday which was largely attended. The Sunday school, as the opening service of the day, had unusually interesting features and an attendance of 343. Upon the adjournment of Sunday school, the congregation went to the high school auditorium, where the services were continued. Quite a number of visitors were present, Foyil being well represented. Supt. A.B. Mayberry made a pleasing speech of welcome to the visitors, stating that the purpose of this get-together meeting was to encourage and hearten Christian Workers and show the strength of Methodism in Rogers County. Mr. Mayberry also noted the growth of the Claremore Sunday school and church membership in the past three years. The Methodist Sunday School in Claremore is the second largest school in the Tulsa district. The male quartet of Inola rendered a special number and there was also a solo by Mr. Wheatley. Rev. Thomison preached a splendid evangelistic sermon and many became deeply interested, one large class of boys being led to realize their need of divine guidance. One young man united with the church. At the close of the preaching service, the company repaired to the church lawn where a splendid picnic lunch was served to some 490 people.” (CP: 6/16/1921)
A.B. Mayberry continued to be active in The Brotherhood Class of the Methodist church. In November 1921, Rev. Thompson, pastor of First Church, Tulsa, visited the meeting and spoke on the “Safety of the Nation.” “A.B. Mayberry also spoke briefly on ‘How to improve the Sunday school.’ The ladies of the church were invited as guests of the Brotherhood Class, and an enjoyable evening was spent by all.”
The ladies were invited again in December. It was reported, the “Members of the Brotherhood Class of the Methodist Sunday School proved themselves to be very good entertainers… at the open meeting of the class, to which the ladies of the church were invited, the main feature of the entertainment being in honor of Thanksgiving Day. The church was comfortably filled with members and friends of the Brotherhood and King’s Daughters’ Classes. The following well rendered program occupied the greater part of the evening: Music, Church Songs; Prayer, Rev. T.C. Coup; Welcome to King’s Daughters’ Class, Rev. H. Tomison; Coming of the Pilgrims, Beulah Eldridge; Traits Concerning the Pilgrims, A.B. Mayberry; Thanksgiving, Ocie Mayberry; The Way of Modern Thanksgiving, G.N. Goddard; Readings, Mrs. R.R. Heath; Pantomime, Pilgrims going to Church; Corn Song, Edith Spangle; When the Frost is on the Pumpkin, H.H. Makemson. At the close of the program a social hour was spent, during which members of the Brotherhood Class served pumpkin pie and coffee. The evening was a very enjoyable and profitable one. (CP: 10/6/1921; 11/3/1921; 12/1/1921)
Services at Methodist Church that fall were reported as good. “There was a decided increase in attendance at the Sunday school and the sessions in all department were helpful. Rev. Thomison, on his return from conference, to take up his fourth year of work in Claremore, was met with a large congregation at both the morning and evening services. At the morning hour, A.B. Mayberry, the lay delegate to the annual conference held in Oklahoma City … made a fine report of the work of the conference. Rev. Thomison’s report of the work accomplished during the last year by the Claremore church was one of the very best reports made at the conference. An outline of the ensuing year’s work was also made by Rev. Thomison. The evening service was a very good one with an unusual interest to all. Seven persons went forward for prayer and there was one conversion.” A personal worker’s “year around evangelistic campaign,” was planned for the Wichita area and all local Methodist churches would closely adhered to the program. (CP: 10/27/1921)
The following year, the Methodist Conference met at Ponca City, Oklahoma. Rev. Howard Thomison attended the annual meeting along with Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Mayberry who were elected as lay delegates from the Claremore church. (CP: 10/19/1922)
On April 24, 1948, at age 69, Alvey Benson Mayberry was laid to rest beside the many other Mayberrys in Claremore’s Woodlawn Cemetery, his work on earth complete. One imagines that when the Master greeted Alvey at the gates of heaven he must have quoted this verse from the Bible, (Matthew 25:23-KJV), “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”
This short biography only begins to tell the story of the long and productive legacy of A.B. Mayberry. In The History of Rogers County Oklahoma, Ocie Ortner remembers, Alvey’s son Odell attended the University of Oklahoma at Norman. Son, John Ovid “attended Springfield Business College and graduated O.U. in 1926.” At OU Ovid “played basketball and went out for track, winning many awards.” Daughter, Ocie went on to attend Baker’s University, Baldwin, Kansas. Ovid and Ocie married worthy spouses and had children of their own, providing the senior Mayberrys with many grandchildren. The Mayberry’s Claremore spirit lives on through the generations that follow them.
As we turn our thoughts to the beautiful Mayberry Mansion that still stands on Fourth Street and North Choctaw Avenue, we return to answering the original question that inspired the writing of this story.
“Who was A.B. Mayberry?” We can attest to the fact that A.B. Mayberry was a diligent leader in his work, his community, and his church. All he accomplished through a lifetime of service to others enhanced the lives of the people around him. His legacy lives on as we consider the beautiful home he left behind for others to enjoy and as his story of faithful service to others is told, once again, to those who will listen and be inspired.
Sources: Find a grave – 34084580; 34095859; 44479240 Ancestry.com – A.B. Mayberry Claremore Progress US Census – 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 *Wikipedia The History of Rogers County Oklahoma