Sager, Meta Chestnutt | 1939
- Birth and Death Year | 1863 - 1948
- Induction Year | 1939
- Profession | Educator
- Oklahoma Connection | Sager came to Oklahoma in 1889 to organize the state’s first co-educational institute of higher learning.
- Hometown | Minco
Meta Chestnutt Sager actually shook the hand of President Theodore Roosevelt in the summer of 1906 while in a receiving line in Washington, D.C. with women pushing prohibition. When she greeted him she said, “Mr. President, I’m not here in the interest of Prohibition, but I would like statehood for Oklahoma.” She recalled he gave her an interested look and with a smile said, “Yes, Madam, it’ll come in time.” He signed the proclamation making Oklahoma the 46th state the following year.
“I’ve got the people behind me. Every time the wheels of progress slow, God, in true persons, shows me the way.” - Meta Chestnutt Sager, 1894
Meta Chestnutt was born in North Carolina and received degrees from Peabody Normal School (now the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University) in 1888 and the University of Nashville in 1889. In the fall of 1889, Meta came to Indian Territory and established a school at Silver City, near the old Chisholm Trail before she and other townspeople established Minco in 1890. The construction of the Minco Academy was lovingly overseen by Meta and became the Sunny South School and church. With visions of greater education services, Meta inspired the building of a 21-room school house built in the middle of a 10-acre campus. Eventually it became El Meta Bond College, and more than 2,500 students passed through its halls before it closed its doors in 1920. Meta married J. Alba Sager in May of 1906 after he came to the college as head of the music department. In 1939, a park was created on ground that was formerly part of the El Meta College surroundings and a bronze plaque was placed as a memorial to the “tall, stately lady with gray eyes and steadfast courage.”