Fred Bartram, Northwest Tribal Collection next ‘Listen and Learn’ program

Ponca City Now - April 9, 2019 11:54 am

Northwest tribal artifacts collected by Fred Bartram now on display at Marland's Grand Home.

Indian agent and government employee Fred Bartram taught at several Indian reservation schools in the early 1900s.

Bartram was a beloved teacher and he also loved his students. His gentle and affirming ways contributed well to building friendships with the Indians.

Bartram’s first assignment was in 1905 at the Quileute Reservation in northwest La Push, Wash., and his last assignment was at the White Eagle Reservation, located south of Ponca City.

While working as an agent, Bartram was given or purchased many special tribal items from the Hopi, Pueblo, Navajo and Walpi tribes in Arizona and the Northern Cheyenne, Sioux and Blackfoot tribes in Montana.

In 1918, Bartram took a job with the newly established Marland Oil Company, as one of the company’s first accountants.  He worked at Marland Oil until 1929, when the company was overcome in a hostile takeover by J.P. Morgan Jr., a New York City banker.  Bartram then began a private accounting service in Ponca City, where he worked until the late 1950s.

Prior to Bartram’s death in 1959, he donated his Native American artifact collection to the City of Ponca City.  The Bartram Collection was added to the Indian Museum that E.W. Marland had started at the local library in 1926, with items Marland himself had collected.  Various families have also donated artifacts over the years to the Indian Museum, which is now located in Marland’s Grand Home.  The Indian Museum was moved from the library to the Marland’s Grand Home in 1967, when the City of Ponca City purchased the property.

Mary Lou Bates, granddaughter of government Indian agent, Fred Bartram, views a photo album of her grandfather’s photos taken at La Push, Washington, while on assignment as a reservation school teacher with the Quileute tribe.

Mary Lou Bates, granddaughter of Fred Bartram, and Barbara Brotherton, curator of the Seattle Art Museum’s Indian Exhibits, will be at the Marland Grand Home to present a Listen and Learn series program titled “Fred Bartram and the Northwest Tribes” at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 27.  Bates will speak to the life and career of Fred Bartram and Brotherton will speak to the northwest tribes and their artifacts.

After the program, guests will be invited to view the Bartram collection.  The Bartram collection contains about 800 different pieces, most of which are on display in the Indian Museum area.

To make a reservation to attend, please call Marland’s Grand Home at (580) 767-0427.  For more information on  Marland’s Grand Home, visit Marland’s Grand Home.

The home, at 1000 E. Grand Avenue, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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