At the age of five, Bertha Read traveled by covered wagon from Cedar Glade, Arkansas, to the Wilburton, Oklahoma area. She was born in Cedar Glade to Cleveland and Gracie Read, February 22, 1922. Bertha had two brothers and two sisters.

At the age of five, Bertha Read traveled by covered wagon from Cedar Glade, Arkansas, to the Wilburton, Oklahoma area. She was born in Cedar Glade to Cleveland and Gracie Read, February 22, 1922. Bertha had two brothers and two sisters.

Cleveland Read had a two hundred acre farm near Wilburton where he raised crops and livestock. He worked for the WPA during the depression. Bertha’s mother, Gracie, was a trader. She traded all kinds of livestock, chickens, etc. She was also a midwife and treated the sick using herbal medicine.

Bertha went to school at Poteau but left school in the 10th grade to take a job as a waitress at the Green Frog Café in Wilburton. She worked there several years until she married Clarence Aaron. Her sister, Bernice, married Clarence’s brother, Bill. The story goes that the boys took off during their lunch hour at work, went to get the girls and they all got married in Henrietta.

The newlyweds lived on the farm with Bertha’s parents for a while. In 1949, they moved to rural Oklahoma City where Clarence worked in a pipe yard and then as a guard at Spring Lake Amusement Park.

Bertha said, “Sometime before their son, Jerry, was born, they drove to California to work in the fruit fields. But when they got there, the California natives chased them off to come back to Oklahoma because they did not want ‘Okies’ taking their jobs.

Clarence worked as a carpenter and maintenance man at Mid-Dale School in Midwest City where he worked until he retired.

The Aarons had one son, Jerry, who was born in Oklahoma City. He went through school at Star Spencer School. The family lived there until 1983 when they moved to Harrah after Clarence retired.

During their married years, Bertha was a housewife. She raised a big garden, canned fruits and vegetables. She raised chickens, ducks and guineas. She loved to cook and bake and was a spotless housekeeper.

The Aarons owned two race horses that they raced at tracks around Oklahoma. Bertha said, “We did pretty well racing them for a few years, winning lots of races.”

They celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary before Clarence passed away in 2002 of lung cancer.

Bertha continued living alone in her home at Harrah until in 2015 when she fell and broke her hip. After that she was not able to live alone, so she came to Primrose Retirement Community in Assisted Living so that she could receive good care. She has three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Her son and daughter-in-law still live at Harrah and visit her often.

Bertha is proud to be an American especially proud of one of her very prominent ancestors, George Read, her 4th great-grandfather who had a big part in the establishment our great country.

His tombstone reads:

George Read

Born A.D. 1732, Died 21st September 1798

Member of the Congress of the Revolution

The Convention that framed the Constitution of the U.S

And of the first Senate under it.

Judge of admiralty.

President and Chief Justice of Delaware, and

Signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Note: Story submitted by Pat Gaines on behalf of Primrose.