Local author to teach free writing class at Stillwater Public Library March 15

mary jane warde(STILLWATER, OKLA. / March 4, 2014) – The Stillwater Writers will host author Mary Jane Warde at their monthly meeting on Saturday, March 15 at 1 p.m. in the Stillwater Public Library.  Warde, whose new book, “When the Wolf Came: The Civil War and the Indian Territory” was published last fall, will provide insight and advise on researching and writing events from history.

“Warde has been chosen as our first speaker of the year because of the complex research that went into her most current  book, which describes the dilemmas Indians faced when the Civil War erupted shortly after their forced removal to the ‘Promised Land,’” said Mary Lynn Benningfield,” Stillwater Writers member. 

Wardes’ book is a part of “The Civil War in the West” series published by the University of Arkansas Press.  Released in November, 2013, it earned the Daughters of the Confederacy’s Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal for furthering the preservation of Confederate history.

Other significant work of Wardes’ also covers Indian Territory, including “George Washington Grayson and the Creek Nation, 1843-1920,” which was published in 1999 and a third book titled “Washita.”  Each of these required extensive research.

Warde is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin with degrees in English and history. Since moving to Stillwater in 1972, she has completed a master’s and a doctorate degree at Oklahoma State University.

As an Indian historian and archivist, for eight years, at the Oklahoma Historical Society, Warde collected nearly eighty oral histories (mostly Indian) and helped design the Indian Gallery in the Oklahoma Museum of History which was completed in 2005. 

Following retirement in 2006, she has continued to do private contract work for the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office, the National Park Service and private clients. Her devotion to Native Americans has continued through her projects for Indian tribal governments and her exhibit research for the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, under construction in Oklahoma City.

To date, Warde has written 24 successful National Register nominations, and wrote the National Historic Landmark nomination for Oklahoma’s “Honey Springs Battlefield.”

“Dr. Warde is an amazing individual who has devoted a lifetime to create a better understanding of what the native population of Oklahoma has had to endure,” said Benningfield. “Anyone interested in writing, or in writing history, should try to attend what promises to be a historical revelation,”

Stillwater Writers meet at 1:00 p.m. the third Saturday of each month, except December.  Anyone interested in writing is encouraged to join.  Annual dues are waived for the first year; to give everyone an opportunity to see if they think our group would benefit them. 

Monthly meetings topics vary. Three months each year are devoted to speakers, while other meetings are devoted to members reading from works they have completed or have in progress.  The group also participates in exercises to sharpen writing skills, discussions about common writing problems and monthly critiques.

The Stillwater Writers program is free and open to the public.  Registration is not required.  For more information, contact the Stillwater Public Library at (405) 372-3633 or e-mail askalibrarian@stillwater.org

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Avenue).