Dewey Bartlett

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Dewey Follet Bartlett, Sr.

In office
January 3, 1973 – 1966
Preceded by Fred Roy Harris
Succeeded by David Boren

19th Governor of Oklahoma
In office
January 9, 1967 – January 11, 1971
Lieutenant Governor George Nigh
Preceded by Henry Bellmon
Succeeded by David Hall

Oklahoma State Senator
Assumed office 

Born March 28, 1919
Marietta, Ohio

(aged 59)

Died Tulsa, Oklahoma
Resting place Calvary Cemetery in Tulsa
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Ann Chilton Smith Bartlett (married 1945-1979, his death). She was later Ann Burke after the passing of Senator Bartlett.
Children Dewey F. Bartlett Jr.

Joan Chilton Bartlett Atkinson
Michael H. Bartlett

Alma mater Princeton University
Occupation Oilman, farmer, rancher
Religion Roman Catholic

Military Service
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1942-1946
Rank Captain
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Air Medal

Dewey Follet Bartlett, Sr. (March 28, 1919   March 1, 1979) was Republican U.S. Senator from 1973 to 1979 and governor of his adopted state of Oklahoma from 1967 to 1971. He moved to Tulsa in 1945.

Political life

Bartlett was the second Republican governor since statehood in 1909 and the first Roman Catholic to hold the position. In the 1966 gubernatorial general election, he defeated the Democratic nominee, Preston Jay Moore (1920-2004), an attorney from Oklahoma City. In 1970, however, Bartlett was narrowly unseated in his quest for a second term by another Democrat, David Hall (1930-2016), who polled 338,338 votes to Bartlett's 336,157. Bartlett was the first Oklahoma governor eligible to seek reelection. His predecessor Henry Bellmon waited twenty years after leaving office before his election once again in 1986.

In 1972, helped by the coattails of U.S. President Richard M. Nixon, who carried Oklahoma three times or President and twice for Vice President, Bartlett was elected to the U.S. Senate to succeed the liberal firebrand Fred Roy Harris (born 1930), who did not seek reelection and ran unsuccessfully for President in the 1976 Democratic primaries. Bartlett defeated the Demcrratic nominee, then U.S. Representative Edmond Augustus "Ed" Edmondson (1919-1990), the brother of former Governor J. Howard Edmondson (1925-1971). In 1978, Bartlett was diagnosed with lung cancer and did not run for reelection. He was succeeded by Democratic Governor David Lyle Boren (born 1941), later the president of the University of Oklahoma.[1]

Prior to the governorship, Bartlett was a one-term member of the Oklahoma State Senate for Tulsa County from 1962 to 1966. As governor, he pushed for reforms in the state Department of Corrections, school consolidation in mostly in rural areas, and vetoed a school code bill. In the U.S. Senate he was an advocate for the free market in the oil and natural gas industries.[2]

Throughout Bartlett's Senate career, his Oklahoma Republican colleague was also a former governor, Henry Bellmon.

Personal life

Born in Marietta in Washington County in southeastern Ohio, Bartlett graduated in 1942 from Princeton University in New Jersey, with an undergraduate degree in geological engineering. His senior thesis is entitled Water-flooding an oil formation.[3]

After Princeton, Bartlett enlisted first in the United States Navy but transferred to the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a dive bomber in the Pacific theater of operations in World War II. He met his wife, the former Ann Chilton Smith (1920-2013), known as Ann Burke in her second marriage, while he was stationed in California. She was a native of Seattle, Washington. The ceremony was held at the Roman Catholic Mission San Juan Capistrano in California.[4]

After the war, Bartlett moved to Tulsa and inherited Keener Oil and Gas Company from his father, David A. Bartlett. He was also involved in farming and ranching.[1]

Two months after retiring from the U.S. Senate, Bartlett died in Tulsa from complications of lung cancer. He is interred there at Calvary Cemetery.[5] In 1990, he was inducted into the Oklahoma CareerTech Hall of Fame.[6] In 2006, the U.S. Congress named the Post Office in Tulsa in his memory.

The Bartletts had three children, Dewey, Jr., Joan Chilton Bartlett Atkinson, and Michael H. Bartlett.[1] The junior Bartlett (born 1947), served as mayor of Tulsa from 2009 until his defeat for a third term in 2016 by fellow Republican George Theron "G. T." Bynum IV (born 1977), then a city councilor.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bob Burke, "Bartlett, Dewey Follett (1919-1979," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture
  2. Geneva Johnston Hudson, Statesman or Rogue: Elected to Serve (AuthorHouse, 2005), ISBN|1-4208-2503-8.
  3. Dewey F Bartlett (1942). Water-flooding an oil formation. Princeton University Department of Geological Engineering. Retrieved on July 11, 2021. 
  4. Tim Stanley, "Ann Bartlett, former first lady, dies at 92," The Tulsa World, January 27, 2013.
  5. Dewey Follet Bartlett. Retrieved on July 11, 2021.
  6. Gov. Dewey Bartle. Oklahoma CareerTech Hall of Fame.
  7. G.T. Bynum defeats incument Bartlett. Channel 6 (Tulsa). Retrieved on July 11, 2021.