Dr. Elmer Ellsworth Kirkpatrick and his wife Helene Claudia (Spencer) Kirkpatrick of Oklahoma City were parents to four boys and a girl, all who were born between 1901 and 1918. Dr. Kirkpatrick was one of the first licensed dentists in Oklahoma Territory. Claudia’s father, Lewis M. Spencer, was one of the founders of Yukon, Oklahoma where he lived with his wife Mary Julia (Siceluff) Spencer. Dr. and Mrs. Kirkpatrick’s children grew up in Oklahoma City and all of their children attended Oklahoma City schools. Nevertheless, while most of these growing up years were spent in Oklahoma City, the family also had a cabin in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado where they stayed most summers.
The four brothers, Spencer, Elmer, John and Claude all applied to the military academies at an early age. Spencer and Elmer graduated from the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York while John and Claude graduated from The Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Mary lived with her brother Elmer and his family and, after graduating from high school in New York, she married J. D. [John Dean] Moorman, himself a West Point graduate. All of these siblings became parents, extending their families across the United States and the world.
As the United States entered World War II and these brothers were called away from home, their relationships and family ties remained strong. Spencer and Mary’s husband J.D. lost their lives during the war, while the other three Kirkpatrick brothers held various demanding jobs during naval battles or in preparation to deliver the atomic bomb. The three brothers returned from war to continue military careers either in active or reserve status.
Early military careers and the involvement of war touched the lives of the Kirkpatrick family and would return as a theme for generations to follow.