The life and legacy of Cherokee Chief J.B. Milam


Exhibit honors Cherokee Chief J.B. Milam
The life and legacy of Cherokee Chief J.B. Milam, who served from 1941 until his death in 1949 by appointment of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, is on display at Will Rogers Memorial Museum. It was most recently at Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah and loaned to the Claremore Museum through the generosity of Mickel Yantz, CHC Museum curator.
The 23 large panels, lining the 63-feet of walls in the east wing of the Memorial Museum leading to the library and business office, tell the story of Milam, his family and his service to the Cherokee people. Viles1 bestIncluded in the exhibit is his traditional Cherokee coat, his personal desk, certificates of appointment signed by the Presidents, and a 1940 seasons greeting print of the Milam’s Claremore home from the Will Rogers Memorial Museum archives.
And it gets better. Claremore museum curator Jennifer Holt said that Yantz is sending a just-received letter signed by Milam initiating the first Will Rogers Days in Claremore.
While Will and Betty were living in New York, they wrote Milam and asked his help in arranging the purchase and delivery of new fully-equipped Buick sedans for delivery to his Chelsea sisters, Sallie McSpadden and Maud Lane, on Christmas morning, which he did.

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