Legacy of Rush Family

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The Legacy of the Rush Family

FRANK RUSH

It Started in the late 1800's when Granddad Rush and Mamo (May Seymour) his wife to be, lived in Coffeeville, KS. Granddad Rush made the land run into Oklahoma Territory on April 22, 1889 when he was 23 years old. He "proved up" his land claim near Gotebo, Oklahoma where he became a student of the outdoors. He had a passion for learning about and protecting the plants and animals for the "Great Plains." In 1907, through the efforts of President Theodore Roosevelt, land was set aside in Oklahoma to become the Wichita Forest and Game Preserve. Frank Rush was recommended to President Roosevelt as having all the qualities to be Supervisor of the Wichitas.

Frank Rush began work for the government and established his headquarters on land known today as the Wichita Plains Wildlife Refuge. He became to be known as the "Naturalist" while working on the famous 101 Ranch. Remember this was almost a century ago before the term "Environmentalist" became known. He became an expert in the field of livestock management. He believed in the concept of preservation co-existing with controlled development. He became celebrated as "Frank Rush, the Cowboy Naturalist."

Granddad Rush was not only the preservationist. In an interview with Mamo (Grandmother Rush). She was responsible for reestablishing Wild Turkeys that now populate the Wichitas. She also helped with the Buffalo and brought the Longhorns and Elk into the area. By the 1930's, the American Bison count was up to 20,000. Oklahoma's largest wildlife refuge at 59,000 acres. Unlike the majority of the Buffalo left living in the North America, they are able to roam free.

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When Frank Rush retired in 1924, he built Craterville just north of Cache near Quanah's home (thirteen years after his death of Parker). Both of these men helped bring the American indians and White communities together through their efforts to form the town of Cache.

There was an All-Indian Fair at Craterville that was the front runner of the modern "Indian Exposition" seen today that exists in Anadarko. The agreement for the Fair between Frank and the American Indian tribes was drawn up on a tanned buck skin. It drew people from all over to attend this unique festival. Will Rogers even made the trip to see the sight.