January Lunch & Learn – “A Life on Fire: Oklahoma’s Kate Barnard”

Bartlesville Area History Museum 401 S. Johnstone Ave. 5th Floor, Bartlesville, OK 74003

The Bartlesville Area History Museum is excited to announce our January “Third Thursday Lunch and Learn” event will feature guest speaker and author, Connie Cronley.

Years before the FBI arrived in Osage Nation to investigate suspicious Native deaths, Kate Barnard sent her investigators there. “Before ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’” Cronley said, “there was Kate Barnard.”

Cronley’s latest book, “A Life on Fire: Oklahoma’s Kate Barnard,” has been named the best book of the year by the Oklahoma Historical Society. It is the biography of Catherine Ann “Kate” Barnard (1875–1930), a fiery political reformer and a fearless activist on behalf of the weak and helpless. Barnard was the first woman elected to state office in Oklahoma as commissioner of charities and corrections in 1907—almost fifteen years before women won the right to vote in the United States. She was a national celebrity, known as The Good Angel of Oklahoma.

As a progressive reformer she shaped the young state in policies for public education, child labor, penal reform and a juvenile court, and modern care for patients in mental health hospitals, jails and prisons. However, when she took on the “Indian Question,” it ruined her department, her career and her health. She died a recluse.  “History has proven her right,” Cronley said. “And although Barnard is the most important woman in state history, few Oklahomans know about her.”

Guests are encouraged to bring their own lunch or enjoy light refreshments provided by BAHM while Connie gives a discussion on her book followed by a book signing. Cronley will provide copies of her book “A Life on Fire: Oklahoma’s Kate Barnard,” for the cash or check sell of $30.00 and will personally autograph each book sold!

This event will be held Thursday, January 18th, from 12:00 p.m. – 1 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to enjoy the museum’s newest exhibit “Street Scenes: Now and Then” on display from January 5th through March 29th. Tables and chairs will be set up for people who bring a lunch, and little ones may enjoy our street scene coloring station.

The Museum is open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (closed on weekends and holidays) at 401 S. Johnstone Avenue, 5th Floor. Museum entry is free, but donations are always welcome. No reservation is necessary. If you have questions, you may reach Bartlesville Area History Museum staff at (918) 338-4290 or [email protected].