Code Talker Otis Leader, 1st Division, Co. H, 16th Infantry, was born near Citra in Hughes County, on November 5, 1882. One of the oldest men in the service, and one of the most notable heroes of WWI. He attended Oklahoma Presbyterian College and Texas A&M. Upon his arrival in France, he was chosen to pose as the model representative of the American soldier by a French artist commissioned to paint portraits of the Allied army by the French Government. His portrait and statue are in Paris and London. Leader was called one of the "war's greatest fighting machines" by General Pershing. November 2, 1917, Leader's company drew the first relief assignment, moving into the trenches at Bathlemont. His company defended the flank in the first engagement of American in combat of World War I. On May 28, 1918, Leader was wounded and gassed during the American offensive at Cantigny. he rejoined his division in July who was still in battle On October 1, 1918 he was wounded again and hospitalized at Vichy. he was still in the hospital when the armistice was signed November 11.
*Tewanna Anderson-Edwards said as a young girl she would eat raisins, scrunch her nose in disgust and repeat the action, just to hear her great-uncle's laugh. "His smile just radiated warmth". It just makes you so proud his blood runs through your veins".
He died March 26, 1961. He is buried in Colgate, Oklahoma