Fairfax resident William Hobart “Bill” Elliott died on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, at the age of 89.
Bill was well known and respected throughout Oklahoma for a lifetime of successful cattle ranching, as well as his integrity and leadership in the cattle industry and Fairfax community. Bill’s health declined in recent years, but he knew he was fortunate to be able to enjoy ranching until the end of his long life. He owned cattle, a horse and greyhound hunting dogs until the day he died.
Bill Elliott was born on March 26, 1924, east of Fairfax to Hobart and Beulah Elliott. Bill had three siblings, Kathryn, Harold and Vic Elliott. Bill graduated from Fairfax High School and attended Oklahoma A&M University for two years.
World War II intervened and Bill enlisted in the Army and was deployed to France. He was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, of the famous Third Infantry Division, 7th Army, U.S. Army – Europe. He saw battle action in France, Germany (including the Siegfried Line, Colmar Pocket, Worms, Nuremburg, and Munich), and the mountains of Austria. He served through the end of the war, plus a year of post-war occupation of Germany. Bill finally talked about his war-time experiences in recent years. On the lighter side, he came across a post-war rodeo in Austria where he used his ranching talents to win the calf-roping competition. He was discharged from the Army in July 1946.
In 1948, Bill married Betty Jo Files, the pretty lady from behind the soda fountain at Fairfax Drug. They had three children, Bill, Lee and Charlie Elliott. Bill and Betty Elliott loved life. Bill liked western books and movies, horseback riding, horse races, and coyote hunting with friends. Betty loved books, genealogy research, travel, and shocking people with her quick, one-line jokes. They both enjoyed golf, dancing, and Ray Price music. They loved their boys, sometimes with tough love, and they adored their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Five generations of Elliotts have lived in the Fairfax area. Bill’s paternal grandparents, Andrew Jackson Elliott and Mary Elizabeth Norris Elliott, came with their children in 1900 from Novelty, Knox County, Missouri, to Fairfax on the Osage Indian Reservation. They initially share-cropped for Alex Tall Chief (Sr.) east of Fairfax, and later rented land for farming.
Next, son Hobart Elliott assumed management of the Elliott farm. Later, Hobart and his son Bill gradually sold the land they owned and then leased land in the Burbank area of Osage County for ranching. Bill operated the ranch until his death. Two additional generations have lived in Fairfax.
Besides ranching, Bill also prospected for uranium in the Four Corners area of the west; he operated cattle commission companies at the Oklahoma Auction Yard in Hominy and the Oklahoma City Stockyards; and he co-owned and jointly operated Pawnee Livestock Sales near Pawnee. He served for many years on the Indian Electric Cooperative board of directors, and he served several terms on the Fairfax School Board.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Hobart Frank Elliott and Beulah Fern Ballard Elliott; his wife, Betty Jo Files Elliott; his three siblings: Kathryn Elaine Elliott Robbins and spouse George Henderson Robbins, Harold Hudson Elliott, and Victor Floyd “Vic” Elliott; and, one grandchild, Hank William Elliott, who did not survive childbirth.
Bill is survived by his three children: William Michael “Bill” Elliott of Durant; Lee Hobart Elliott and spouse Paula Heath Elliott of Fairfax; and Charles Lynn Elliott and spouse Emily Kathleen Ray Elliott of Pawnee; six grandchildren: Jill Anne Elliott Sones and spouse Graham Sones of Dallas, Justin Michael Elliott and spouse Julie Ann Ham-Elliott of Bozeman, Montana, Jennifer Nichole Elliott Morse and Jacob Morse of Dallas, Nina Jo Elliott of Tulsa, Leah Marie Elliott of Tulsa, and Alexander Jackson “Alex” Elliott of Pawnee; two great-grandchildren: Sofia Sones and Finley Morse of Dallas; his brother Harold’s wife, Doris E. Cotton Elliott of Guthrie; his brother Vic’s wife, Betty Ann Balcer Elliott of Temple, Texas; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Funeral services for Bill Elliott were held on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 at the Christian Church, 559 S. Hunsaker Street, Fairfax, with burial immediately following at the Fairfax Cemetery. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Salvation Army in Tulsa. Arrangements were under the direction of the Hunsaker-Wooten Funeral Home in Fairfax.
An online guestbook may be signed at www.hunsakerwootenfuneralhome.com