missouri The Olivers

RB Oliver 1911

Robert Burett Oliver (1850-1934), known locally as "RB", was a native of Cape Girardeau County. He established a law practice in Jackson in 1878 and in 1879 married Marie Watkins and together they had 4 sons and 1 daughter. RB began an active political life as delegate to the democratic state convention in 1873, and elected as delegate from Cape Girardeau County from 1878-1928. In 1882 he was elected State Senator and was instrumental in securing the first legislative campus building appropriation for the University of Missouri at Columbia.

His other life's accomplishments include:

Marie Oliver 1909 Marie Oliver (1854-1944) also earned a place in history. She was an active member of the DAR in Missouri. Meeting at a DAR conference in 1908, Marie and other members discovered that Missouri had no official state flag. She became a woman on a mission. She corresponded with Secretaries of every state requesting legislative histories for an adoption of an offical state flag. After receiving answers to her letters, and finding out how to pursue legislative enactments, Marie researched an appropriate flag design to include in a draft for a bill before the Missouri legislature. With her artistic friend, Mary Kochititzky, they crafted the red, white and blue striped flag with the state seal emblazoned in the center. They believed this design represented Missouri as a state and also part of the Union. In 1913, the legislature adopted Marie's design as the official state flag of Missouri. Marie's original flag that was presented before the legislature, deteriorated but in a restored, stabilized condition is currently on display at the Missouri State Archives in Jefferson City. Mrs. Oliver has merited the sobriquet "The Betsy Ross of Missouri."

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