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Lamar, John Basil (05 November 1812–15 September 1862), writer and planter, was born in Milledgeville, Georgia, the son of Zachariah Lamar, a merchant and planter, and Mary Ann Robinson. Lamar attended Nathan S. S. Beman’s school at Mt. Zion, Georgia, and the University of Georgia for one year (1827–1828). He never married. After 1830 his main residence was in Macon in a house that he called the Bear’s Den. He also had a house in Americus, Georgia, near the plantations that he managed. He owned land in thirteen Georgia counties and Florida....

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MacDonald, Betty (26 March 1908–07 February 1958), author and farmer, was born Anne Elizabeth Campbell Bard in Boulder, Colorado, the daughter of Darsie Campbell Bard, a mining engineer, and Elsie Tholimar Sanderson, an artist. Until she was nine, when her family settled in Seattle, MacDonald moved with her family from one mining project to another in the Far West and Mexico....

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Will Rogers Left, with Will Hays, c. 1925. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-83080).

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Rogers, Will (04 November 1879–15 August 1935), entertainer and social commentator, was born William Penn Adair Rogers near Oologah, Oklahoma, in what was then the Cooweescoowee District of Indian Territory, the son of Clement Vann Rogers and Mary America Schrimsher, Cherokee ranchers. Rogers County, which contains both Oologah, site of the historic Rogers home, and Claremore, site of the Will Rogers Memorial and Museum, is named after the prominent father, not the prominent son. “Uncle Clem” was a major player in Oklahoma politics before and after statehood (1907), serving as a judge, as a member of the Dawes Commission (to distribute Indian lands prior to statehood), and as the first local banker. Will’s loving wife, the former Betty Blake, whom he married in 1908, later remembered that “Will had everything he wanted. He had spending money and the best string of cow ponies in the country. No boy in Indian Territory had more than Uncle Clem’s boy.” (Yet being “Uncle Clem’s boy” could have its downside, too.)...