click picture to enlarge |Artist: Christopher
Sponsor: Cherokee Nation
Dedication: April 8,
Size: 24” x 36”
Type: Oil on Canvas
Location: House Lounge
Houston Benge Teehee was born
on October 14, 1874 in Sequoyah County to Stephen Teehee
and Rhoda Benge. He was a
Cherokee who was destined to bring honor and recognition
to his country. His father was a prominent farmer
and Baptist minister who spoke only the Cherokee language. Houston
attended the Cherokee common schools and later the Cherokee
Male Seminary at Tahlequah. After graduation from the
Seminary, he was a student at Fort Worth University.
He returned to Tahlequah and
after working as a clerk for a period of ten years, he
became Cashier of the Cherokee National Bank of Tahlequah
in 1906. During this time,
he studied law under Judge John Pitchford. He resigned
his position as Cashier of the Bank in 1908 and began the
practice of law in Tahlequah.
Teehee was highly regarded
in public life, serving as alderman and later as mayor
of his home city to 1910. He was
elected Representative from Cherokee County to the Third
State Legislature in 1910, and re-elected two years later
to the Fourth Legislature, where constitutional law was his
Teehee was appointed Registrar
of the United States Treasury and went to Washington, D.C.
in 1914. His name appeared
on all Federal notes and bonds during WWI, from 1915 to 1919,
under President Woodrow Wilson. He was responsible for the
Liberty Loans and other financial measures of the war and
it is believed that he signed his name to documents representing
more money than ever came under the control of another man
in the history of the world at that time.
In 1917, Houston Teehee was a keynote speaker at the dedication
of the statue of Sequoyah in the United State Capitol building.
He returned to Oklahoma and
served for a number of years as an executive with Continental
Asphalt and Petroleum Company headquartered in Oklahoma
also served as Assistant Attorney General of Oklahoma (1926-27);
was a member of the Supreme Commission of Oklahoma, representing
the First Judicial District of the Supreme Court (1927-31).
He returned to make his home
in Tahlequah and gave his time to his law practice. He rendered great service to many
leaders in affairs of the Cherokee nation, acting as counselor
and advisor in matters affecting individuals as well as families
and communities. He was a member of Cherokee Lodge
A.F. and A.M., the oldest Masonic Lodge in Oklahoma. He
was a deeply spiritual man and an ardent member and worker
of the Presbyterian Church. He was inducted into the
Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1942.
Mr. Teehee married Miss Haglund,
daughter of Swedish immigrants, on December 11, 1898. He died at Tahlequah in 1953,
survived by his wife. He had no children nor any living
brothers or sisters at the time of his death.
are copyright of The Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation
Fund, Inc. and the artist. Please contact Sandra Shelton
at 521-5663 or firstname.lastname@example.org for
further copyright information.