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Nancy Bellzona's Picture Book
The Osages - Ura May Jones


Ura May JonesUra May (pronounced, "your a May") Jones, Holt, Finn, daughter of Metza He Bertha Big Eagle, Jones and Dennis Homer Flynn Jones was born May 2, 1923. She died November 29, 1974. This picture was taken in 1940 when she was elected Pow Wow princess of the Ponca Tribe due to the efforts of her uncle, Lee Otis Jones's wife, Velma Louise Pensoneau Jones.

Lee and Velma ranched "The Strike Axe Place" which adjoined Ura May's father's ranch.

Ura May's mother, Metza Bertha Big Eagle died when she was fourteen. Dennis Homer Flynn Jones, her father, became her source of encouragement. Because Dennis was away a lot of the time, the responsibility of the ranch and the children fell to Lee and Velma.

Ura May had a beautiful, trained soprano voice. Her aunt Velma was anxious to see her perform. While wearing this dress, she sang the song, Indian Love Call in the Miss Oklahoma contest. Under spot lights, casting a shadow from her Eagle head piece she made a striking impression.

Tragedy seemed to follow the family around Ura May. First with her mother, Bertha. Her brother, Warren Curtis Jones, was shot and killed by his wife's uncle, and Ura May herself died with cancer. She left four young sons with the responsibility upon the older to raise the younger. It wasn't unusual for so much grief as well as pleasure to be brought to the members of the Osage Tribe. The amount of the oil wealth surrounding them was responsible for this.

Dennis, her father, protected Ura May from the hard realities required in preserving the family land and funds and she was not aware he was doing so. He sacrificed everything he owned to finance his last court battle in order to keep the land and oil royalties for her children, his grandchildren. In doing this he literally became ragged and thin. His surviving days were spent with his brother, Lee, who had to be responsible for his medical necessities because of Dennis's pendulum like mental health, which could easily be understood due to his valiant fight for his remaining family.

Doggedly, Dennis set his jaw to his purpose and didn't waver until he had won his battle through the courts. To win, he sold an article a month from the material wealth accumulated. One month, a silver sword, the next month, a piece of cut glass, a player piano and on like this for eight years. The estate was totally depleted but the oil royalties and the lands were held for his Osage grandsons. Dennis and Bertha's lovely ranch home that was lavishly furnished was like a battlefield stripped of its green fields.

The few things left were scavenged. Occasionally something of theirs shows up in a museum. The house itself, sets in total disrepair, with tenant houses, dairy-barn, hay-barn, two car garages are all lost. These were the last reminders of the owner's triumphs and sorrows.

Dennis died a pauper and was buried apart from his family in a cemetery in Foraker, Oklahoma which he probably helped to establish.

A well established businessman of Ponca City, Herman Smith "Smitty," who had known Dennis through the years dropped by the house on a casual visit. Dennis was walking across the yard toward the back of the lot. Smitty made the comment, "Well, there's the old gentleman."

Ura May is buried in Wheatridge, Colorado.

As of 1998, three of her sons, John, Richard and Author have expired. Author was an attorney.


Ura May in informal dress, standing beside her grandmother, Bellzona.
Warren, Ura May's brother in front of them.


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