Mary Brainard Issaacs

Mary Brainard Isaacs was Canadian's pioneer educator. She was born in Massachusetts on February 16, 1854. At the age of 34, her family moved to Canadian to join her brother, Ed Brainard who had already established John’s Creek Ranch in Roberts County. At this time, there were 20 families and a number of children, but no school in Canadian. Mary, who had left a good teaching position in New York State, took care of the town’s educational problem.

A one room school, known as the Rock School, opened in November, 1888, and is shown on the right. The first year there were 20 pupils and three years later it had grown to 72 pupils. Mary said the Indians would look in the windows as she taught her classes, smile in approval and go on.

After three years of teaching, Mary gave up the school to marry Will C. Isaacs, a cattleman, in 1892. They built a lovely home in Canadian, shown below, and rented rooms out to early teachers. Mary was one of the founders and moving spirits of the W.C.T.U. for half a century. She was largely responsible for turning the Temperance Union into an organization devoted to a wide variety of civic projects. Mary served as W.C.T.U treasurer and reported for the W.C.T.U. from 1904 to 1948. Mary was a Catholic and the first Mass in Canadian was held in her home.