Carl, Chell & Susan Propp
Six generations of Propps have lived on the family farm which in 1999 was named as one of the state’s Centennial farms. To earn this recognition, the farm must have been owned by a member of the family for at least 100 years. The farm was started in 1889 by Fredrick Wihelm Propp who emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1867 at the age of 13. He married Mary Eleanor Archer who was 1/16 Cherokee Indian. They moved to Indian Territory in 1889. When land was allotted to the tribe members, they received the 80 acres which they had been living on.
Fredrick’s dad, Karl Propp lived with them on the farm the last 19 years of his life. In years that followed, four additional generations of Propp boys were raised on the same farm. Carl Willard was born in 1906, Carl William (Bill) born in 1933, Carl L (Chell) born in 1954 and Ethan born 1993. All four were the only boys born to their families. However, they each had sisters who moved away from the farm to start their own families. Carl Williard had one sister (Karlene). Bill had three sisters (Betty, Mary, and Shirley). Chell has three sisters (Kathy, Leisa and Lori), and Ethan has two sisters (Angie and Emily). Another interesting fact of Mayes County history is that Carl Williard was serving as county commissioner when he died in 1952. His wife Susan England Propp was appointed to finish his term. She is the only woman to date to serve as county commissioner in Mayes County.
Over the years many more acres have been added to the farm in both Mayes and Craig County. The farm has also been divided by State Highway 69 and the Union Pacific Railroad. Currently Bill lives on the west side of the highway, while Chell and Susan and Ethan live east of highway across the railroad. The farm is a cow-calf operation, There are bridges under the railroad and the highway allowing movement of the cattle to each side. The Propps also raise and bale their own hay. Bill enjoys harvesting pecans to share with family and friends.
All four family members are also employed away from the farm. Bill, age 85 drives a bus for NE OK Votech at Afton. Chell, part owner of Pryor Veterinary Hospital, has worked there since he graduated from OSU School of Veterinary Medicine in 1979. Susan, daughter of Jim and Faye Packard, obtained her license as a CPA in 1993 and works for Kolker & Kolker, Inc. Than graduated from OSU in 2016. After spending a year at the University of Florida as the livestock judging coach, Ethan returned to the farm in July 2017. He is currently one of Vo-Ag teachers for Locust Grove Public Schools.
The last four generations of Propps have all been active in the Mayes County Fair exhibiting livestock. Ethan has probably been the most active with a lot of help from his dad, winning numerous Grand and Reserve Champion awards. But even his grandfather and great-grand father can claim Grand Champion honors. The tradition continues again this year. Chell and Susan’s grandson, Braden Boston, and Bill’s great-granddaughter, Zoey Potts, will be showing steers born and raised on the Propp farm in the MCCA performance steer program.
Chell, Susan and Ethan are active members of the First Baptist Church of Adair, and Bill attends the Nazarene Church in Claremore. The Propps are also current members of the Mayes County Cattleman Association where Chell serves as a board member. They were given the “Cattleman of the Year Award” in 2006. The Propps are honored to be recognized as the 2018 “Farm Family of the Year”.