|Birth: ||Mar. 28, 1897|
|Death: ||Apr. 28, 1991|
Zelma O'RILEY was born April 28, 1897 in Durant, Blue County, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory (later to become Durant, Bryan County, Oklahoma with Oklahoma statehood on November 16, 1907) the last of nine children of John O'RILEY (8/28/1850-1/19/1904) and Mary Catherine (HARKINS) NAIL WILLIS O'RILEY (8/12/1854-8/8/1934). Her siblings (including herself) were: Ada O'RILEY (1879-1880), Cora O'RILEY (1881-1881), Arlee (O'RILEY) REED BOYET (1883-1972; married 1st to Major Frankness REED on August 23, 1902 and 2nd to Morris Brice BOYET, date unknown), Lester Roy O'RILEY I (1885-1960; married to Margaret Bessie “Maggie” MOORE about 1909), Zula (O'RILEY) COOPER (1888-1972; married to Cicero L.C. COOPER on December 17, 1919), Lula (O'RILEY) AUSTIN (1890-1968; married Lewis Adolphus AUSTIN about 1915), Lela Josephine (O'RILEY) McINERNEY (1892-1986; married to John Raymond “Jack” McINERNEY, Sr. on February 17, 1917), Ora Catherine O'RILEY (1894-1964; never married), and Zelma O'RILEY (1897-1991; never married).
Zelma was 1/4 Choctaw Indian from her mother Catherine and an original enrollee of the registration of the Five Civilized Tribes by the Dawes Commission. She and her family were registered on September 12, 1903. Their names appear in field #3449 of the Dawes Choctaw Rolls. Her enrollment is listed as #9821.
Zelma never married. She died on April 28, 1991 in Austin, Travis County, Texas at the age of 94.
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OBITUARY from the Monday, April 30, 1991 issue of the American-Statesman (Austin, Texas) newspaper on page B-1:
ONE-TIME PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, UT FIXTURE 'BICYCLE ANNIE' DIES by Michelle T. Johnson, American-Statesman Staff
"Bicycle Annie," the colorful woman known to generations of Austinites for riding her bicycle around the University of Texas campus, has died.
Zelma O'Riley, 94, died Saturday (i.e., April 28, 1991) at home of natural causes. During her more than 50 ears in Austin, the Durant, Okla., native had acquired something of a legendary reputation. Only weeks before her death she had been interviewed by the city archivist.
"Despite her infirmity and not being in great financial shape, she had a lot of dignity," said Biruta Celmins Kearl, archivist for the Austin History Center.
Kearl, who interviewed O'Riley on April 11, said although O'Riley was known mostly for her bicycle riding, she was a woman of many talents.
After moving here in the late 1930s, she began publishing a community newspaper called Up and Down the Drag, selling advertising and subscriptions to sustain it from 1941 to 1948.
It was in her newspaper in 1948 that O'Riley announced her candidacy as the first woman to run for president of the United States.
In the story, O'Riley wrote of herself, "She believes it will take a woman to save America and will conduct her campaign on the preparedness plank."
About 15 years ago, O'Riley fell off her bike and broke her hip, forcing her to abandon her cycle for crutches or a walker. O'Riley broke her hip a second time several years later while attempting to board a bus.
O'Riley, who was also known as "Indian Princess," said her mother was a Choctaw. She was extremely proud of her heritage, Kearl said.
In her interview with Kearl, O'Riley said she had studied many subjects, including journalism, art and law.
She claimed to have attended the Univeresity of Texas School of Law, Kearl said, to learn how to reclaim Indian lands taken by the government. She also told Kearl she had studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Kearl said she could not confirm O'Riley's claims.
At the time of her death she lived in a one-room apartment in the 4400 block of Guadalupe Street and was rarely seen away from the area.
Although many people considered O'Riley to be eccentric, Kearl said she was very cooperative during her interview for the city's archives.
"She was touched that people still remembered her," Kearl said.
Services will be today in Durant at St. William's Catholic Church at 11:30 a.m.
She is survived by three nieces, Mary Thomasson of Dallas, Mary Jane Miller of Memphis, Tenn., and Margaret O'Riley of Durant; three nephews, John O'Riley of Durant, John Boyet of Riverside, Calif., and Dabney Austin of Fort Worth.
John O'Riley (1850 - 1904)
Mary Catherine Harkins Nail-Willis-O'Riley (1854 - 1934)
Lorena M. Nail Morgan (1872 - 1920)**
Lester Roy O'Riley (1885 - 1960)*
Zula O'Riley Cooper (1888 - 1972)*
Lula O'Riley Austin (1890 - 1968)*
Lela Josephine O'Riley McInerney (1892 - 1986)*
Ora Catherine O'Riley (1894 - 1964)*
Zelma O'Riley (1897 - 1991)
Maintained by: Gerald Miller
Originally Created by: Michelle💕ღ
Record added: Jul 21, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39696785