Upcoming Programs

Scheduled for the Fort Worth Westerners.


February 20, 2024
Dr. Michelle M. Martin

February 20, 2024: Dr. Michelle M. Martin, "A Trail Bride: Mary Taylor Olivette Bunton on the Chisholm Trail"

"A Trail Bride: Mary Taylor Olivette Bunton on the Chisholm Trail"

"A Trail Bride" explores the experiences of several women who made the arduous trek from Texas to Kansas on the famed Chisholm Trail during the late 19th century. Martin's program shares multiple women's experiences but focuses primarily on the first-hand account of Mary Taylor Olivette Bunton. Bunton made the trip up the Chisholm Trail with her husband shortly after their marriage, and she later chronicled her adventure and published her experiences.

Meet Dr. Michelle M. Martin

Dr. Michelle M. Martin is a Michigander by birth and a Kansan and Okie by choice. Martin is a historian who earned her doctorate at the University of New Mexico in May 2022. Her research probes interracial marriage, gender, race, and power in the Mvskoke Nation in the Indian Territory from 1870-1897.

She earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees in history at Western Michigan University. After graduating, Martin embarked on a nearly twenty-year career in academic and public history. For nine years she taught full and part time at the two and four year college level in Kansas and Oklahoma. She also worked in the television and film industry for nearly ten years as a researcher, script writer, and field producer. Projects she has contributed to have aired on PBS, A&E, History Channel, Investigation Discovery, and at National Park Service units in Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas. For several years Martin worked as a museum director, and she has served on numerous museum boards and has provided consulting services for small museums in Kansas and Oklahoma. Martin has also lectured on various historical topics across the country for museums, state and national historic sites, and educational institutions.

Her research interests include the intersections of gender, race, and ethnicity in the U.S. West from 1800-1900, the history of Indigenous-Euro American relations in the Indian Territory (in the Mvskoke and Semvnole Nations specifically) from 1840-1925, interracial marriage and families in the United States during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and gender and race based violence in the West.

She is currently an Assistant Professor of History and the Coordinator of the Public History Certificate in the Department of History at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Tahlequah is the capital of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee.

Martin lives in Tahlequah and is a proud cat mamma to Josie. Her husband, Dr. Donald Fixico (Mvskoke/Semvnole/Shawnee/Sac and Fox) is a Distinguished Foundation Professor and Regents' Professor of History at Arizona State. The couple travel back and forth between their two homes. When not working, Michelle enjoys hiking, travel, photography, documenting severe weather, watching college and professional football, and volunteering as a living history interpreter at various state and national historic sites.

Prior programs