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Heritage Center exhibit tells about those who made history in the region

The Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center in Enid will present "A Night With Our Leaders," on Friday. Tours begin at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $20 per person, which includes heavy hors d'oeuvres and wine.

Featured community leaders are Laura Crews, who will be portrayed by Sarah Hardaway; Angie Debo, who will be portrayed by Mary McDonald; Marquis James, portrayed by Frank Baker; Henry Bass, portrayed by his grandson Bob Berry; Lewis Umstead, portrayed by Christopher Sneed; and Lt. Col. Leon Vance, who will be portrayed by Daron Rudy.

Laura Crews lived from 1877-1976 and she lived to be one of the last 1893 Land Run participants. She staked her claim between Garber and Covington, where oil was later discovered. The good fortune that came to her from her 16-acre claim was delivered back to the community of Enid through her philanthropic donations.

Angie Debo was an historian who wrote 13 books and hundreds of articles about Native American and Oklahoma history. Today her work is considered to be some of the most significant contributions to studies in American History.

Marquis James grew up in the Cherokee Outlet with an eclectic group of friends and a love for history. He helped launch the New Yorker Magazine and his works were so celebrated that he was awarded two Pulitzer Prizes for his work on biographies of Sam Houston and Andrew Jackson.

Henry B. "Heinie" Bass was a contractor who worked for decades building Enid bigger and better through construction of churches, schools, hotels and hospitals. He loved his hometown and showed it through his involvement in civic activities.

Lewis Umstead dedicated most of his life to teaching in segregated educational institutions. He taught and led many segregated schools across Oklahoma and in Indiana as well. Not limiting himself to teaching, Umstead opened Boy Scout Clubs, Hi-Y Clubs, and 4-H Clubs everywhere he taught.

Lt. Col. Leon Vance flew Liberator bombers in Europe during World War II. Traveling back to the states near the end of the war, he and 16 other men disappeared en route. Vance received the Medal of Honor posthumously and he is the namesake of Enid's Vance Air Force Base. 

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