Noteworthy among the extensive & prosperous agriculturist of Craig county is Sam LeForce, who for many years was actively interested in general farming & stock-raising, but now confines his time & attention almost entirely to stock dealing & shipping. He has been a resident of Vinita for nearly a quarter of a century, during which time he has traveled extensively in the central states, his business as a stock buyer calling him to many parts of the Union. He was born January 22, 1864, a son of John B. LeForce, the descendant of a pioneer family of Kentucky.
John B. LeForce was born, in 1839, in Kentucky, & during his active career was engaged the greater part of the time in general farming. Public-spirited & loyal to his country, he served as a soldier in the Civil war, being a member of the Union army for three & one-half years. Coming to the Indian Territory in 1886, he continued his agricultural labors, for a number of years making a specialty of raising-stock. He is now living retired in Vinita. He married Amanda Blankenship, a daughter of Anderson & Eliza Blankenship, of Kentucky, & of the eight children born of their union two died in childhood (incorrect), & six are living, as follows: Jim, who married Fannie Keys, of Vinita; Mollie, wife of Charles A Banzet, of Labette county, Kansas; Viola, wife of N. B. Chamberlain, of Pheasant Hill, Oklahoma; E. E., unmarried; Clara, wife of Russell Hunt, of Vinita; & C. W. who married Grace Chamberlain, of Centralia, Oklahoma.
His parents moving to Illinois in 1866, Sam LeForce lived in Crawford county, that state, one year, & the following seven years was in Howell, Missouri, where he first attended school. Going then with the family to Labette county, Kansas, he continued his studies there for a short time, receiving a limited knowledge of the common branches of learning, his time being mostly employed on the farm. Coming to the Cherokee Nation in 1886, Mr. LeForce located near Vinita, where he has since resided. Resuming the occupation to which he was reared, he met with genuine success as a tiller of the soil, & is now equally successful as a stock buyer & shipper, his operations being extensive & well paying.
Mr. LeForce is a steadfast Republican, active in party ranks, & for a number of terms served as school director of the Indian Territory. In Nov., 1907, at the first election, he was chosen councilman from the first ward of Vinita. He also ran for county treasurer, but was defeated by Colonel Ficklin, of Craig county.
Mr. LeForce married on October 26, 1887, Sallie Keys, a daughter of Monroe & Lucy Keys, Cherokee Indians, well educated & true Christian people & belonging to the best families of the Cherokee Nation. Mrs. Lucy Keys is a granddaughter of one of the old Cherokee chiefs, George Lowrey. Mr. & Mrs. Keys raised a family of seven children, all married & living near their mother, their father having died in 1881. They are: Mrs. Mary Balentine, Mrs. Lydia Taylor, Mrs. Fannie LeForce, Mrs. Sallie LeForce, Mrs. Lizzie Athey, Monroe Keys & Mrs. Lucy Miles.