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Oklahoma Biographies 4

 AL BROWN

In the city of Tulsa not to know "Al" Brown is virtually to argue oneself unknown, and even as he is one of the most popular citizens of this thriving center of commercial and industrial activity, so also is he recognized as a representative business man and as one whose progressiveness and civic loyalty have caused him to make noteworthy contribution to the development and upbuilding of the city of his adoption. Mr. Brown was actively identified with commercial affairs for a long period and in the same made an admirable record, and in his individual and associate connection with the oil industry and other lines of productive enterprise he has achieved large success during the period of his residence in Oklahoma. He is one of the aggressive and public-spirited citizens to whom it is most gratifying to give specific recognition in a publication of the province assigned to the one here presented.
Mr. Brown was born in the fine old Town of Bowling Green, the judicial center of Warren County, Kentucky, and the date of his nativity was July 23, 1876. He was the seventh in order of birth of a family of twelve children, of whom six are living, and is a son of James W. and Cecilia Honora (Chamagne) Brown, the former of whom was born in Ireland and the latter in France, and the marriage of whom was solemnized in the State of Kentucky. The father died in 1908, at the age of sixty-nine years, the devoted wife and mother having been summoned to eternal rest in 1900, when about sixty years of age.
James W. Brown was reared in his native land to the age of fourteen years and there attended school with good results, this enabling him to lay a substantial foundation for the broader education which he was destined to receive under the preceptorship of that wisest of all headmasters, experience. At the age noted he came to the United States and disembarked in the City of New Orleans, where he was variously employed during the ensuing three years. He finally engaged in the handling of hoop-poles, and in this line of enterprise he eventually developed a large and profitable business. He purchased his stock at eligible points along the course of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and for the transportation of the same to his headquarters in New Orleans he operated a line of barges, his annual transaction having expanded in scope and importance until his business averaged from $150,000 to $200,000 a year. He continued his fruitful activities in this enterprise for twelve or more years, and thus early in his residence in the United State he proved himself resourceful, energetic and purposeful, with the result that he became distinctively successful, the while his sterling character gained to him the staunchest of friends. Prior to the Civil war he had made extensive investment in farm land in Warren County, Kentucky, and there he developed a large and prosperous enterprise as a substantial agriculturist. He retained in his service a corps of about thirty-five slaves and when he finally offered them their liberty five of the number refused to leave him, with the result that he continued to care for them with kindliness and consideration, paid them consistent wages, and acceded to the request of those of the number who wished to adopt his family name.
In 1885 Mr. Brown disposed of his valuable holdings in the old Bluegrass State and removed with his family to Wichita, Kansas, in which state he engaged extensively in the range cattle business, with which he continued to be successfully identified until 1897, after which he lived virtually retired from active business until the time of his death. A stalwart and effective advocate of the principles and policies of the democratic party, Mr. Brown was influential in its ranks both in Kentucky and Kansas, in which latter state he was appointed police commissioner of Wichita after the adoption of the commission system of municipal government, as an official under the metropolitan-police system he thus served under the administrations of Governors Llewellyn and Leedy. On one occasion he was made the democratic nominee for representative of his county in the lower house of the Kansas Legislature, but a republican landslide in the ensuing election compassed his defeat, though by a very small majority. While a resident of Anness, Sedgwick County, Kansas, he there served as postmaster during the first administration of President Cleveland. He was a close friend of Governor Llewellyn, and that honored executive of the Sunflower State not only looked upon him as a valued friend and counselor but also tendered to him the office of Warden of the state penitentiary, a position which he declined. He was one of the leaders in effecting the nomination of Governor Llewellyn in the democratic state convention, and he was otherwise influential in the councils of the democratic party in Kansas, his enthusiasm in the cause having been shown not only though effective personal service but also through liberal financial aid.
To the excellent public schools of Wichita, Kansas, Alexis Brown is indebted for his early educational advantages, and later he attended the schools at Fort Scott, that state. At the age of nineteen years he became a traveling representative and salesman for the Otto Kuehne Preserving Company, which maintained headquarters both at Topeka, Kansas, and Denver, Colorado. In this capacity he remained with this company about eleven years and was most successful as a commercial salesman. That his services met with due appreciation is shown by the fact that the company then entrusted him with the opening of its branch establishment in Oklahoma City, where he continued as manager of the business from this headquarters until 1907, with several traveling salesmen under his direction, and in that year, which marked the admission of Oklahoma as a state, he established his residence in the ambitious and vigorous City of Tulsa, where he held for the ensuing five years the position of city salesman for the wholesale grocery house of Ratcliff & Sanders. Upon resigning this position Mr. Brown here engaged in the fire-insurance and real-estate loan business, and in those lines he built up a most substantial and prosperous enterprise. He severed his association with this business in 1913, in the meanwhile having become concerned, as early as 1907, with the oil industry in the celebrated fields about Tulsa. Mr. Brown was associated with the opening of the western extension of what is known as the Flatt Rock Pool, and with others opened also the oil properties of the Collinsville Pool and the East Glen extension. He still continued his association with the oil and gas producing industry and in consonance with his increasing financial success has his appreciation in a practical way, as he has made judicious investments in city real estate in Tulsa and advanced local interests by the substantial improvement of his various properties. He has erected and sold nearly fifty excellent houses in Tulsa, and the major number were completed within the year 1914. Greater civic pride and loyalty has no man than this, that he shall provide means for the local enjoyment and exploitation of America's great national game, baseball. In this field Mr. Brown came gallantly to the front in Tulsa by establishing the Association Base Ball Park, which he improved at a cost of several thousand dollars and by this means made it possible for Tulsa to become represented in the Western League. He was the owner and fist president of the Tulsa Club of this league, and has continued his enthusiastic interest in the club and in the game in general.
As a stalwart democrat Mr. Brown has been active and liberal in the support of the party cause and the furtherance of the political ambition of his party friends, but he has manifested no desire for personal preferment in political affairs. He is one of the active and valued members of the Tulsa Lodge, No. 946, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
(A Standard History of Oklahoma, transcribed by Sandra Stutzman) 

 

DONALD R. BONFOEY

The business career of Donald R. Bonfoey at Oklahoma City, dates from October 1912, but during the short space of three years he has built up an enterprise in the line of insurance which places him among the substantial business men of the younger generation. Mr. Bonfoey, who is a member of the firm of Beverly H. Bonfoey & Sons, has also become widely known in military circles through his long connection with the Missouri and Oklahoma National Guards.
Born in Putnam County, Missouri, June 29, 1887, Mr. Bonfoey is a son of Beverly H. and Anna (Webb) Bonfoey. His father, a native of Texas, was a resident of Missouri for forty years, beginning life as a civil engineer, subsequently practicing law for a time and finally engaging in the insurance and investment business. Under appointment of Governor Dockery, he was a member of the World's Fair Commission of St. Louis, and acted as secretary of that body. Mr. Bonfoey's mother is a sister of Alexander Russell Webb, who was for a number of years city editor of the St. Louis Republic, and under one of President Cleveland's administrations consul to Manila, Philippine Islands. In the family of Beverly H. and Anna Bonfoey there were five sons: Donald R., of this notice; B. L., who is in the farm loan and insurance business at Kirksville, Missouri; Percy W., who is secretary-treasurer of the Bonfoey Loan & Investment Company of Oklahoma City; L. P., who is sales manager of the Monroe Drug Company, at Quincy, Illinois; and Warner T., who lives with his parents at Oklahoma City and is a student in the high school.
Donald R. Bonfoey attended the public schools of Unionville, Missouri, and in 1905 entered the University of Missouri, completing, in 1909, the law course and graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. During the next year he took a special course in agronomy in the University of Missouri and in 1910 entered upon his business career when he accepted a position with the Travelers Insurance Company and remained for some time in the office of that company at Hartford, Connecticut. Returning to Missouri, he became special agent for the Travelers Company with headquarters at St. Louis. In October, 1912, he moved to Oklahoma and became state agent for the National Fidelity and Casualty Company, retaining the position until June, 1914, when he resigned and was appointed state agent for the London & Lancashire Guaranty and Accident Company and the London & Fire Insurance Company. He is the home office for Oklahoma, and through industry and natural adaptability for the work he has built up one of the leading businesses of the state in his line.
At the age of thirteen years, by special permission of the major of cadets, Mr. Bonfoey enlisted in the Fourth Infantry of the Missouri National Guard. On August 9, 1907, he was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant of Company B, of that regiment, and February 8, 1910, was promoted to captain of his company. While a student in the University of Missouri, in which he graduated in military tactics and science, he was commissioned colonel of the University Cadets. On January 12, 1912, after coming to Oklahoma, he was commissioned colonel on the military staff of Gov. Lee Cruse. Under authority of Adjt.-Gen. Frank Canton, Mr. Bonfoey was chiefly instrumental in the organization of Troop B, First Cavalry Regiment, Oklahoma National Guard, at Oklahoma City, of which he was appointed captain, February 6, 1914. On January 22, 1915, he was commissioned major on the military staff of Gov. Robert L. Williams. During his military experience he was a private, corporal and sergeant before attaining the rank of commissioned officer, and thereafter filled the ranks of lieutenant, captain, major, lieutenant-colonel and colonel and every general staff office in the National Guard.
Mr. Bonfoey was married April 4, 1911, to Miss Lillian Donforth of St. Louis, the daughter of a prominent grain dealer of many years active in Southeast Missouri. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri, class of 1909, and was a student also at one time of Hardin College, at Mexico, Missouri. Mr. Bonfoey is a member of the Presbyterian Church. He belongs to the Beta Theta Pi college fraternity, at Columbia, Missouri, and has filled all the offices in his chapter, and is also a member of Siloam Lodge No. 36, Free and Accepted Masons, Oklahoma City, the local lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Casualty Men's Association of Oklahoma.
(A Standard History of Oklahoma, transcribed by Sandra Stutzman)



CLINTON E. B. CUTLER

To have come to a fertile but scantily populated region of the old Choctaw Nation at a time when there was political, commercial and social unrest, just preceding the abandonment of a territorial form of government, and to have observed the drastic changes incident to the latter days of the territorial period and the pioneer times of the statehood era, might have lacked interest to a mind less given to the study of political economy than that of Clinton E. B. Cutler. To him that was more than interesting, in view of the part that he played in the transition.
In his former home in Illinois, Mr. Cutler's activities for a number of years had formed an important part of the political history of that state, but in Oklahoma, tired of the battle front in the field of practical politics, he devoted himself to the energies that bespeak leadership in the ranks of the people who say little, suffer much and vote right in movements started toward the goal of better government. He became a factor, therefore, in the termination of a no-self-government period and the establishment of a form of self-government that was applauded all over the country. The Constitution of Oklahoma, believes Mr. Cutler, is one of the greatest documents of human liberty ever written, especially since it makes such ample protection of the rights of the laboring man and itself contains so much of the legislation demanded by that class, thereby forestalling the possibility of legislatures, weak in patriotism, failing to properly provide the things demanded. Mr. Cutler came to Indian Territory in 1905, settling at Lehigh, an important coal-mining town of what afterward became Coal County, and remained there until, after statehood, by a vote of the people, the county seat was transferred to Coalgate.
Clinton E. B. Cutler was born at Joliet, Will County, Illinois, July 3, 1871, and is a son of Azro C. and Elizabeth (Miller) Cutler. His father, a native of New York, was a business man of Chicago as early as 1844 and in later years became a progressive farmer in the vicinity of Joliet, in the fertile County of Will. The ancestry of the Cutler family dates back to the time of William the Conqueror, when Sir Gewasse Cutler was a prominent figure in the invasion of England and participated in the battle of Hastings. The family had its founder in America prior to the War of the Revolution, and representatives of the name assisted the colonies in securing their independence. Manasseh Cutler, one of the American family, became governor of the Northwest Territory. He was born at Killingly, Connecticut, May 3, 1742, was graduated at Yale in 1765, became a lawyer 1767, a Congregational minister in 1771, and a chaplain in the Revolutionary army in 1776. After the war he helped form the Ohio Company and had a leading part also in the forming of the State of Ohio. He was elected to Congress in 1800, and died at Hamilton, Massachusetts, July 28, 1823. The mother of C. E. B. Cutler was a native of Switzerland and came to America with her parents when a child. There were two children in the family: C. E. B.; and Miss Ida Lucy, who is a teacher in the public schools of Chicago.
The early education of C. E. B. Cutler was acquired in the public schools of Illinois, in which he completed the high school course. Later he entered the Law Department of the University of Valparaiso, Indiana, where he graduated June 5, 1895, and in that year was admitted to the bar. He did not begin the practice of law actively, however, for several years, in the meantime following the occupation of teaching. At the age of twenty-four years, having entered politics, he was strongly republican, so that he never attained the honors in political life to which he early aspired. He was a member of the noted "train robber" convention, in Illinois, in which William Jennings Bryan denounced the methods of Roger Sullivan, and was a sympathizer of the Sullivan element, although a stanch disciple of the famous Nebraskan. Later he would have been a member of the Illinois State Legislature but for the activities of Sullivan, who caused his defeat because of Mr. Cutler's attitude toward a gas measure in which the Illinois politician was interested. The case was taken to the Supreme Court, where Mr. Cutler won, but later he was deprived of the right of having his name on the ballot by virtue of a ruling made by the attorney-general of the state.
Mr. Cutler was married February 5, 1910, to Miss Frances Brooks, of Dallas, Texas. They have a modern and beautiful home situated four miles from Coalgate on a picturesque eminence of a fertile 280-acre farm.
Mr. Cutler is a member of the Episcopal Church, to which his wife belongs also. He holds membership in the Coal County Bar Association, among the member of which he is held in deservedly high esteem. While he was devoted himself studiously to his profession at Coalgate, thereby coming to be a successful and wifely known lawyer, Mr. Cutler has never been too busy to assist in the upbuilding of the town, which is one of the most modern of its population in the state. He is gratified that untoward, unsatisfactory conditions have passed and that the people of former Indian Territory now enjoy the best modern things of civilization. He takes a justifiable pride in his handsome home, as well as in the broad acres of his farm, on which are grown oats, cotton, jay and other staples, as well as watermelons of enticing flavor and great number.
(A Standard History of Oklahoma, transcribed by Sandra Stutzman)


CEPH SHOEMAKE

Whoever of talent has been a teacher in the rural schools of the Choctaw Nation during the first few years after statehood, has contributed an incalculable amount to the advancement of a section of the state that for years had suffered because of meager school facilities and a high percentage of illiteracy. In view of this fact, the experience of Ceph Shoemake as a district as a district teacher is an interesting part of the fast-developing history of Bran County. His first school was in District No. 20 of Bryan County and it was taught in a log schoolhouse. His preparation for the profession of pedagogy made him especially successful in the work and for five years he continued to teach in rural schools. This experience attracted to him the notice of County Superintendent McIntosh, who, feeling the heavy burden of his efforts to make rural education the more effective in the county, asked Mr. Shoemake to become his assistant in the office, and the two entered upon what promises to be a most fruitful term of service on July 1, 1915.
Mr. Shoemake was born in Chickasaw County, Mississippi, in 1888, and is a son of Elijah and Hallie (Miller) Shoemake. His father, a farmer in the vicinity of Bennington, Oklahoma, since 1894, is one of the progressive men of the district. Mr. Shoemake had his education in the common schools of Indian Territory and Oklahoma, the University of Valparaiso, in Indiana, the Central State Normal School and the Southeastern State Normal School of Oklahoma, so that he is well equipped for the work he has chosen. He is a member of the County and State Teachers' associations, and fraternally is associated with the Masonic order and the Woodmen of the World. His early farm training instilled in him a love for farm life, and he still maintains an active interest in agricultural enterprises on his farm near Bennington.
(A Standard History of Oklahoma, transcribed by Sandra Stutzman)

H. F. TYLER

Is the practical man in charge of what is recognized as the largest manufacturing plant in the State of Oklahoma, the Dewey Portland Cement Company at Dewey. This company was organized and incorporated in 1906, with a capital of $1,000,000. The general offices are in Kansas City, and the principal officers of the company are: Frank E. Tyler, president; Fred L. Williamson, vice president and sales manager; and J. R. Mulvane, of Topeka, treasurer. The large plant at Dewey was built immediately after the incorporation of the company, and has a maximum capacity of high grade Portland cement aggregating 4,000 barrels per day, while the average production is 3,500 barrels. The company also does a large business in crushed stone, and furnishes crushed stone for building and other uses throughout the country in a radius of 100 miles around Dewey. There are few places in the United States with greater advantages for a Portland cement factory than Dewey, where there is an abundance of limestone and shale, with fuel from the gas and oil district almost at the doors of the factory, and it is also very near the coal fields of Oklahoma and Southern Kansas. The cement is largely sold in Oklahoma, but is also exported to neighboring states. About 200 men are employed in the Dewey plant.
Mr. H. F. Tyler is manager of the works at Dewey and constructed the plant and has had active charge of its operation for nearly ten years. The plant is one of most modern equipment and its engines generate 4,800 horse power.
H. F. Tyler was born at Chatfield, Minnesota, in 1865, a son of D. W. and Harriet M. (Freeman) Tyler. The Tyler family is one of historic prominence in this country, and John Tyler, one time president, is of the same stock. Mr. Tyler's father was born in Massachusetts and his mother in Ohio. He died at Junction City, Kansas, May 31, 1914, at the venerable age of eighty-one, while the mother is still living at Junction City. D. W. Tyler was a machinist by trade, and during the Civil war volunteered as a private, and subsequently was made inspector of artillery. He was one of the early settlers in Minnesota, and lived there as a farmer until 1871, when he located at Dubuque, Iowa. H. F. Tyler attended the public schools until 1883, and then went out to Marion, South Dakota, then Dakota Territory, and became bookkeeper in a flour mill erected by his father and a partner. He remained in Dakota Territory until 1893, and then went to Junction City, Kansas. His father and his brother Frank and Mr. Tyler erected a flour mill and grain elevator at Junction City, and he became one of the prominent business men there. In 1901 he was influential in getting the Interurban Railway constructed between Junction City and Fort Riley and is still a director in that company. Since 1906 he has been closely identified with the building and management of the Dewey Portland Cement Company.
Mr. Tyler saw Dakota Territory made into states, and was also in Indian Territory when it was merged with Oklahoma Territory to form one state, and voted in favor of statehood in both South Dakota and Oklahoma. In addition to his chief business Mr. Tyler has extensive oil interests in Northern Oklahoma. His father was a member of the first State Legislature from South Dakota.
Mr. Tyler has one son, Donald M., who is a draftsman and mechanical engineer at the Dewey cement plant. This son was educated in Oklahoma and in the University of Kansas, and by his marriage to Ima Irwin, daughter of John S. Irwin, has one child, Helen Louise.
(A Standard History of Oklahoma, transcribed by Sandra Stutzman)

FRED WOOD HANFORD

In the months following the opening of the Cherokee Strip Fred W. Hanford established the pioneer hardware store at Alva. For nearly fifteen years he was the leading merchant in that line in Alva, kept his business growing along with the growth and development of the city and surrounding country, and left it in such flourishing condition and with such well established confidence among its patronage that the store is still continued by his estate and enjoys the prestige which long years of reliable merchandise service give to any such institution. Fred W. Hanford was a fine type of the Oklahoma pioneer, and a man whose business achievements and whose character fitly deserve commemoration.
Fred W. Hanford was born June 12, 1866, in Lenawee County, Michigan, and died at Alva, April 14, 1909. His parents were James and Emma (Wood) Hanford, the former native of New York and the latter of Michigan. Of the four sons all are deceased except R. G. Hanford, now a resident of Spokane, Washington.
The late Mr. Hanford grew up on a Michigan farm, in the vicinity of Tecumseh, and his education was concluded with his graduation from high school. At the age of twenty he and his parents moved out to the new state of Kansas, locating on a farm in Pratt County. It was in a hardware store at Pratt that the late Mr. Hanford learned the hardware business, and when he came to Oklahoma he brought with him a thorough experience and considerable capital. For a number of years he was traveling representative for an agricultural implement house. It was in October, 1893, that he opened a stock of hardware and agricultural implements in Alva, and was one of the first merchants in that town. Since his death the business has been continued under the old name and under the management of the estate. Mr. Hanford left a widow and two children.
In politics he was a democrat, but was not an office seeker and confined his efforts primarily to the development of a reliable service as a merchant and to the fulfillment of those responsibilities and duties which come to every individual in the social sphere. He loved his home, was generous and clean minded, and had a high place in the esteem of those who knew him best. He was a member of the Baptist Church.
At Pratt, Kansas, on November 17, 1891, the late Mr. Hanford married Miss Alice L. Simpson, daughter of James F. and Lee A. (Hilbert) Simpson. Both her parents were natives of Ohio. Mrs. Hanford was born at Rosemond, Illinois, July 2, 1871. During her long residence at Alva, while primarily devoted to the interests of her home, she has also become well known in church and club work, and is a factor in the woman's activities and circles of that city. Her oldest child, Ernest, born May 27, 1895, died in infancy. The daughter, Neva Jane, born June 16, 1897, was graduated in 1915 from the Southern Seminary at Buena, Virginia, where she specialized in the classics, music and art. The son, Fred Wood, Jr., was born May 3, 1901.
(A Standard History of Oklahoma, transcribed by Sandra Stutzman)

E. L. AURELIUS

During the past five years the name of E. L. Aurelius, president of the Aurelius-Swanson Company, Incorporated, has become as familiar to the residents of Oklahoma City as a household word, being indissolubly associated in the mind of the public with a number of enterprises, which have not only added to the city's prestige, but have also placed comfortable homes within reach of the industrial classes, and have incidentally added to the projector's fortune. These achievements, it may be added, have been accomplished before their architect has reached the age when slower minds are beginning to comprehend life's possibilities.
Mr. Aurelius was born at Pecatonica, Winnebago County, Illinois, in 1883, and is a son of J. P. and Ida (Johnson) Aurelius. His father, a native of Sweden, is a minister in the Lutheran Church and with Mrs. Aurelius resides at Fremont, Kansas. There were two sons and three daughters in the family: E. L., of this notice; Harry E., a graduate of Bethany College, at Lindsborg, Kansas, class of 1914, and now associated with his brother in business at Oklahoma City; Mrs. J. E. Liljedahl, who is the wife of a minister at Salina, Kansas; Miss Esther, who resides with her parents at Fremont, Kansas; and Miss Ruth, who is attending the high school at Salina, Kansas.
E. L. Aurelius received his preliminary education in the graded schools of Wakefield, Nebraska, and his high school training at El Campo, Texas. Thereafter he spent several years as a student at Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas, and when he left college, in 1901, accepted a position as traveling salesman, a capacity in which he represented several wholesale houses during the next few years. In 1909 he came to Oklahoma City and entered the real-estate and loan business, in which he developed his now well-known system of home-building. In five years he and his associates have built over 100 modern residences in Oklahoma City, and recently that feature of the business has been extended to Norman, the seat of the University of Oklahoma. The Aurelius-Swanson Company was organized and incorporated in 1914, with a capital stock of $50,000 and a financial responsibility of $100,000 and Mr. Aurelius has continued as president of this concern and in active management of its affairs. The company has a suite of offices on the tenth floor of the State National Bank Building. Its principal business is the selling of first mortgages on city and farm real estate and its clientele is found in many states of the North and East. Dr. J. E. Swanson, a member of the company's directing board, is a capitalist of Sioux City, Iowa. On the theory that mortgages on improved city real estate are considered the choicest of all investments, this company has brought hundreds of thousands of dollars into Oklahoma for the development of city property. Their securities are actual first liens on improved real estate that is worth several times the amount of the mortgage.
Mr. Aurelius is a member of the Swedish Lutheran Church. He belongs to the Oklahoma City Ad Club, and has been a helpful factor in a number of movements for civic betterment.
(A Standard History of Oklahoma, transcribed by Sandra Stutzman)

FINIS E. SADLER, M. D.

The progresisve [sic] faculty possessed by some men stands as one of their dominating characteristics and gives to them a marked advantage in attaining distinct prestige in any line to which they may confine their efforts. Doctor Sadler is a substantial physician and surgeon of Coal County, Oklahoma, whither he removed from Wapanucka, then Indian Territory, in 1906. He has since been one of the most valued residents of Coalgate, where he has achieved prominence in both professional and municipal circles.
A native of the Lone Star State, Doctor Sadler was born in Fannin County, Texas, February 10, 1879, and he is a son of John W. and Isabel (McGee) Sadler, John W. Sadler is likewise a native of Texas and for many years past has been known as a prosperous farmer and rancher in Fannin County, that state. Of the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Sadler, H. E. and Roy are ranchers and stockmen in Fannin County; Lillie is the wife of Cowan Lattie, cashier of the First National Bank of Dodd City, Texas; and Dr. Finis E. is the immediate subject of this sketch.
Doctor Sadler received his preliminary educational training in the common schools of Fannin County, Texas, subsequently attended high school at Bonham, that county, and he completed his literary education in Hawthorn College, at McKinney, Texas. Early deciding on the medical profession as his life work, he entered central University, at Louisville, Kentucky, and there completed a special course on the diseased of children June 29, 1903. April 29, 1904, he was graduated in the Memphis Hospital Medical College, at Memphis, Tennessee, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine, and June 30, 1904, he completed a special course in therapeutics and gynecology under Dr. Edward Speidel of the faculty of Central University, Louisville, Kentucky. Being thus well equipped for his life work Doctor Sadler entered upon the active practice of his profession at Wapanucka, Indian Territory, in 1904, and removed thence to Coalgate, Oklahoma, in 1906. Here he has built up a splendid medical practice and for several years past has served most efficiently as local surgeon for the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company. For five years he was city health officer of Coalgate, also the county physician for five years, and he is a valued member of the Coal County Medical Society, the Oklahoma State Medical Society, and the American Medical Association.
In 1906 was solemnized the marriage of Doctor Sadler to Miss Addie E. Caldwell, of Sherman, Texas. This union has been prolific of three children, namely: Isabel, born in 1909; Doris, born in 1911; and Ewing Caldwell, born in 1913.
Doctor and Mrs. Sadler are devout members of the Presbyterian Church at Coalgate and in a fraternal way he is affiliated with the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks. Doctor Sadler is greatly interested in the general progress of his home community and at the present time is giving most efficient service as a member of the Coalgate Board of Education. As a man of refinement and culture, as well as unusual medical skill, his residence in Coalgate is much appreciated by his fellow citizens.
(A Standard History of Oklahoma, transcribed by Sandra Stutzman)

JOSEPH M. FRANKLIN

Though he is now retired from legal practice, Joseph M. Franklin for upwards of forty years gave a distinctive service as an attorney in the old Chickasaw Nation and during the tribal days of government there was probably no more influential white man in the Nation than Mr. Franklin. He has always been loyal to his adopted people, and they owe him much for the interest and enthusiasm with which he has handled their affairs. Mr. Franklin is now taking life somewhat quietly at Colbert.
Born in Sullivan County, Missouri, on December 3, 1854, he is the son of Edmond Franklin and a grandson of Conrad Franklin. The latter was born in England of English parents, came to America in young manhood, and after moving about for several years settled permanently in Missouri. Reared in Missouri, Edmond Franklin became a farmer and a preacher of the Methodist Episcopal faith. He was married in that state to Miss Didema Knifong, whose father was a native German and had settled in Missouri where he reared a family. To Edmond Franklin and wife were born six children. The oldest, James H., died near Mead eighteen years ago, and his son Edward Q. is still living there. W. C. Franklin, who died four years ago, was a resident of Texas. Anna married a Mr. Dennis of Milan, Missouri. John Wesley lived at Joplin, Missouri, until his death. Jesse H. is now living at Milan, Missouri. Of the six children Joseph M. was the youngest. All the others served in the Civil war, and his youth alone prevented Joseph M. from participation.
Mr. Franklin finished his education in the public schools of Dennis, Texas, in 1871. The following year he was attracted into the Indian Territory and located in what was known as Panola County of the Chickasaw Nation. In 1873 he was licensed to practice law in the Indian courts of that Nation, and was later admitted to practice in the Federal courts, while with the coming of statehood he was admitted to the Oklahoma bar.
Mr. Franklin has an enviable reputation in the Chickasaw Nation as a public servant, due to the fidelity and care which he exercised in every responsibility entrusted to him. His first elective office in his adopted nation was that of representative. Before he entered the campaign he pledged his people that he would not seek more than one term, and that if they wanted him to run again and felt that he had served them justly, he would do it, but he would not seek election on his own initiative. He was elected to office in the campaign which followed, and in the second campaign his party brought him forward as a candidate, while in the third he was the unanimous choice of all parties. After serving several terms as representative, he ran for the office of attorney general of the Chickasaw Nation on the ticket with Governor Guy, but they were counted out by the Byrd party, after they had legitimately won the race. When the Chickasaw Council passed a law disqualifying any intermarried citizens from holding office, Mr. Franklin did not ask the indulgence of the people. He was content to serve them in an unofficial capacity, and his interest in their welfare was as strong then as it ever had been. He was prominent in the fight for statehood and was a member of the first party organized with that end in view. After statehood he aligned himself with the democratic party, though he was a strong opponent of the Haskell faction in that party, and was equally stanch in his support of Bruce and also of the present Governor Williams.
Some months ago Mr. Franklin gave up his active practice of law altogether and now devotes himself chiefly to the operation and management of his farm.
In 1875 he married Miss Tennie S. Colbert, a member of one of the most noted families of the old Chickasaw country, a daughter of Sam and Elizabeth (Reynolds) Colbert of Rock Springs, Oklahoma. Sam Colbert was a cousin of Frank and Jim Colbert, and members of the Colbert family are given considerable space on other pages of this work. Mrs. Franklin died in February, 1876, less than a year after her marriage. In 1881 Mr. Franklin married Miss Eliza A. Shelton. To their union have been born seven children: Jesse Edmond, who finished his education in the Durant Presbyterian College; William, who lives at Lehigh, Oklahoma; Joan, who was also educated in Durant Presbyterian College and is the wife of G. E. Kennedy of Texas; Benjamin Guy, also a graduate of Durant College; Mary Ellen, now the wife of O. P. Jones of Kingston; Lilah, a graduate of the Colbert High School, of Durant College, and now a student in the Southeastern State Normal; and Erma, a student in the Colbert High School. The Franklin family represents some of the finest qualities of citizenship, and its members are popular in whatever circles they move. They are members of the Presbyterian Church, and Mr. Franklin has served the church as one of its ruling members for the past thirty-six years. He is a Mason and an Odd Fellow and prominent in both orders.
(A Standard History of Oklahoma, transcribed by Sandra Stutzman)

H. J. SMITH

The work by which Mr. Smith has most closely identified himself with the affairs of the world and from which he has gained his chief success has been in the general commercial field, first as a merchant, and more recently around his home town of Dewey, Oklahoma, as an oil operator and producer. Mr. Smith sank some of the pioneer wells in some of the richest oil districts of Northern Oklahoma, and should be remembered for his important work in this development of some of Oklahoma's greatest resources.
His life has been spent in many parts of the country. He was born in Henderson, Minnesota, October 24, 1866, and comes of a family of missionaries [?sic], who spent their lives largely on the frontier in the service of church and humanity. His parents were Rev. D. Z. and Emma (Ricksecker) Smith. Both the maternal and paternal grandparents were of that splendid sect of early American pioneers known as the Moravians, and many members of both families were missionaries. The maternal grandfather of Mr. Smith was a missionary in the West Indies, and the latter's mother was born at Kingston, Jamaica, in May, 1826, and died at Mound City, Missouri, in 1909. Mr. Smith's father was born at Springplace, Georgia, in 1822, and died in 1882 at Laketown, Minnesota. He had for fully forty-two years been in the active service of the church both as a missionary and as pastor. Much of his work had been done among the Indians and he was a natural linguist who spoke fluently the Cherokee, Delaware, Pawnee and half a dozen other tribal dialects. Mr. Smith's paternal grandfather was a cousin of Count Zinsendorff of Saxony, Germany, who is best remembered in America for his laudable though unfortunate enterprise in attempting to colonize the German people in the Texas republic. Both Rev. D. Z. Smith and his wife received their early education at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
H. J. Smith gained his early schooling at Salem, North Carolina. From there he went to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and followed the trade of machinist from 1881 to 1888. During one winter of that time he taught school and for two winters worked in a store. In 1888, going to Craig, Missouri, he engaged in the mercantile business under the firm name of H. J. Smith & Company, and remained there until 1897. His next location was at Warrenton, Missouri, and while there his business interests were of a somewhat more varied nature. While there he established his first rural mail route in 1901.
Mr. Smith has been identified with the Dewey community in Oklahoma since 1902. He was bookkeeper for J. H. Bartles & Son until August 1, 1906, and then resigned to become an active operator in the oil industry. To Mr. Smith's credit should be mentioned the drilling of the first well in the Turkey Creek pool. This well started off with a production of 750 barrels per day. He also drilled the first well in the Rice Creek pool. For several years he has done an extensive business in the buying and selling of oil leases.
While looking after his business interests Mr. Smith has not neglected his duties to the public, and his name has been associated with several local offices. In 1910-11 he served as police magistrate, and was city assessor during 1913-14. Politically he is independent. He was the first president of the school board at Dewey after statehood, having been chosen as one of the three directors of that board, and the other two members made him president. In this capacity he deserves most of the credit for getting the present school built at Dewey, and in fact he planned and closely supervised its construction. Mr. Smith also organized Dewey Lodge No. 292 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and was its first representative to the Grand Lodge which met at Tulsa in 1905.
On August 31, 1892, he married Miss Mary L. Ward, who was born October 6, 1872, in Harlem, Kentucky, a daughter of John A. and Mildred D. (Price) Ward, her father a native of Kentucky and her mother of Virginia. Mr. Smith was one of four children, namely: Charles M., who lives in Missouri; Joseph H. and Harry, both of St. Joseph, Missouri; and Mrs. Smith. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have one child, Hubert A., who is now a student in the law school of the State University at Norman. This son was born January 27, 1894, at Craig, Missouri. Mr. H. J. Smith was one of the six children of his parents. The oldest, Elizabeth, married Rev. A. W. Benson, a Presbyterian minister at Minneapolis; Emma L. is deceased; Rev. D. C. lives at Lawrence, Kansas; C. T. lives at St. Paul, Minnesota; Alberta C. is the widow of G. W. Murphy of Oregon, Missouri; and the next two children died in infancy. Mrs. Smith is a member of the Presbyterian Church at Bartlesville. In addition to other business activities Mr. Smith has performed a great deal of commercial service as an auditor both in Oklahoma and Kansas, and has been commissioned to examine the books of a number of corporations in these two states.
(A Standard History of Oklahoma, transcribed by Sandra Stutzman)

ROBERT H. WILSON

That the honored citizen whose name initiates this paragraph is a man of high intellectual attainments and marked executive ability needs to further vouch than the statement that his he is the valued and efficient incumbent of the exacting and important office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction for Oklahoma. This mere statement does not, however, convey to the casual reader an idea of vigor and earnestness he brings to bear in his official service, nor does it deal to an adequate objective conception of the basic reasons for his enthusiasm in making strenuous efforts to afford to the youth of Oklahoma the best possible educational advantages. This desire has been primarily the result of the difficulties he encountered in his own efforts to acquire a liberal education, for he felt the lash of necessity in his youth, had to make opportunities for himself and emerged triumphant only after a battle that proved the caliber of the man-invincible courage and determination and steadfast and worthy purpose having been his animating motives in this formative period of his character, even as they have been in his later years of definite achievement for the benefit of himself and fellowmen.
Near Scottville, the judicial center of Allen County, Kentucky, Robert H. Wilson was born on the 25th of August, 1873, and in the same fine old Bluegrass State were born his parents, John A. and Mary E. (Briley) Wilson, he being the eldest of a family of eight children-five sons and three daughters. In his native state Mr. Wilson was reared to the age of eighteen years under the sturdy discipline of the farm, and in the meanwhile he attended the country schools of the locality whenever opportunity presented. The school terms in the vicinity, however, were very short, and at no time did he attend more than three months in any one year, the while the study [sic] work of the farm caused no wax strong in physical power and to gain a lasting appreciation of the dignity and value of honest toil. Early in life he determined to acquire the best education within the compass of his ability and opportunities, and this ambition was even then one of action, for he applied himself to reading and the study at home, his diligence in these lines having been on a parity with the time and means afforded him
When Mr. Wilson was eighteen years old he accompanied his parents and his brothers and sisters on the removal of the family from Kentucky to Texas, and settlement was made near Whitewright, Grayson County. The financial resources of the family being very limited and he being the eldest of the children, he gladly did his part in assisting his father in the work and management of the new homestead farm in the Lone Star State, and up to the time when he attained the age of twenty years his entire scholastic discipline had been confined to that received through his desultory attendance in the rural schools of Kentucky and to the advancement he had been able to make through individual application. As has often proved the case with others trained under similar conditions and circumstances, what he had learned he had learned well, and when finally there came to him an opportunity to enter Grayson College, at Whitewright, Texas, he found himself sufficiently fortified to take up the studies of the preparatory department. Boarding at home and riding four miles to the college, he started his work when twenty years of age and with a determination to finish his collegiate course. To meet his incidental expenses while thus striving to attain his ambitious purpose he was compelled to borrow money and to pay on the same interest at the rate of ten per cent. This seeming handicap inured in fact to his advantage, because he denied himself all of the privileges and pleasures of school society and while his classmates were enjoying themselves in the social amenities incidental to school life he could be found in his room digging away with no time for envy, but resolute in his purpose to cover within the shortest possible time the most extra school work, in order to get advanced standing as soon as this could be compassed [sic].
After three years in college, Mr. Wilson devoted one year to teaching, and in the following autumn he re-entered college. During the time he was teaching he worked as diligently at his college studies as though he had been still attending regular sessions and upon resuming his place at Grayson College he found himself sufficiently advanced in his studies to become a member of the senior class. He was compelled to leave the institution, however, before the end of the term, owing principally to his limited financial resources, and soon afterward he was offered and accepted the position of teacher in a country school in his home community. From that time forward until December, 1903, he continued as a successful teacher in the rural schools of Texas during the winter terms and during the intervening periods he gave his attention to farming, he being the only member of this immediate family who ever became a representative of the pedagogic profession. He is essentially and thoroughly a type of the self-made man that true and loyal Americans have ever delighted to honor, and it is doubtful if any man serving in public capacity has worked his way forward under more difficult conditions and circumstances than the present state superintendent of public instruction in Oklahoma. He often has stated that his enthusiasm for better school conditions is inspired more because of the hardships which he had to overcome than by any other one agency. He believes that no one can fully understand and appreciate the real problems of rural life unless he himself has faced them in childhood and youth. His spirit of helpfulness has been vitalized and accentuated by his own struggles, and in aiding others he manifests a high sense of stewardship as well as an inviolable determination to spare to other aspiring young men and women the difficulties and obstacles which he himself was compelled to overcome.
In December, 1903, Mr. Wilson established his residence at Chickasha, Indian Territory, and later he became a teacher in the public schools of that city, where he continued his efficient services in this capacity until November, 1907, when he assumed the duties of county superintendent of the public schools. Upon the organization of the state government he was elected without opposition to the office of county superintendent of public instruction in Grady County, of which Chickasha is the judicial center, and of this position he continued the incumbent until January, 1911. Mr. Wilson entered upon his first race for the office of county superintendent of public instruction very much against his own wishes. He has never placed other than unduly modest estimate upon his own ability and it never had occurred to him that it would be possible for him to secure the position to which he was elected at that time. As county superintendent of Grady County he effected the organization of seventy-one new school districts and the erection of an equal number of new school buildings. He was one of the first county superintendents in Oklahoma to organize and establish consolidated and graded schools for children living in rural districts. When he assumed the office of superintendent Grady County, as a county, had no definite corps of teachers, and he forthwith applied himself to securing for the county the best possible coterie of teachers, his selections having been carefully made and his enthusiasm having inspired earnest cooperation on the part of those whose services were thus enlisted. When he left the office of county superintendent there were only three counties in Oklahoma that could claim a greater number of first-grade teachers employed within their limits than could Grady County, and these other three counties had been somewhat favored through being situated in the former Oklahoma Territory, while Grady County had been within the limits of Indian Territory.
In 1908 Mr. Wilson was elected president of the Oklahoma School Officers' Association, and in the following year he was elected chairman of the executive committee of the Oklahoma State Teachers' Association. While the incumbent of the office of county superintendent of public instruction in Grady County he also served 2½ years as a member of the board of education of the City of Chickasha.
In his first campaign for the office of state superintendent of public instruction Mr. Wilson was nominated by a majority of 15,000 in the primary election, and in the ensuing general election, in November, 1912, he was one of only four on the state ticket who received a majority of all the votes cast, the result being that he defeated his leading opponent by a plurality of 25,000 votes. In August, 1914, Mr. Wilson was renominated for the office of state superintendent of public instruction by a majority of 28,000, after having made an active campaign of only seven days' duration. On the 3d of November, after having given but one day's time to the general campaign, he was re-elected, being one of the three at the head of the ticket. On the 6th of the same month further distinction was conferred upon him, in that he was elected president of the Oklahoma State Teachers' Association by an overwhelming majority, notwithstanding his previous declaration that he did not wish his name to be presented to the association in connection with such official preferment.
Within the period of his administration as state superintendent Mr. Wilson has endeavored to have the laws of the state so revised as to improve the rural school conditions and to assure for the rural schools a better qualified class of teachers. Through his efforts laws have been passed which have put teachers' warrants at par-a condition never previously existent in the state. He has sought to take the state educational institutions from the domination and influence of the cities in which they are situated and to make them in fact as well as in name institutions of the state at large. He has established the rule that no teacher shall be elected without first being nominated by the president or superintendent under whose administration such teacher must work. He has raised the standard of state certificates for teachers and also the requirements for county certificates. He was the first to advocate the millage tax for state institutions, and recommended this measure to the Fourth Legislature. He was the first to take the stand for a cleaner class of moving-picture shows, which as properly conducted he believes may be made a valuable educational agency. Superintendent Wilson is a strong believer in the county-unit plan of school government, as he realized that justice demands that the country child shall have an equal opportunity with the child residing in the town or city. He maintains that teachers' certificates should be issued on the basis of breadth and thoroughness of scholarship instead of on technical examinations, which are often abortive and have slight specific significance, and he has given the assertion that during the four years of his second term as state superintendent he will give his time largely to the improving of rural-school conditions throughout the state. He greatly favors the so-called moonlight schools and believes that the state owes to the people who have been denied early educational advantages the opportunity to make good this handicap.
In politics Mr. Wilson is a staunch advocate of the principles and policies for which the democratic party has ever stood sponsor in a basic way, and though none of his immediate family has ever taken any active part in the politics other than to exercise the franchise, the family name has stood for simon-pure democratic allegiance in past as well as the present generation and he is the only representative who has ever become an aspirant for public office. It may consistently be said that no public officer puts in a greater number of hours of hard work than does Mr. Wilson. He and his family hold membership in the Baptist Church. He is loyal to his friends, considerate and tolerant in his judgment, with naught of intellectual bigotry, and while he never shrinks from opposition and has the courage of his convictions he is in no sense a man of bellicose tendencies but openly and firmly stands for the principles which he believes to be right, so that opposition cannot daunt or flattery cajole him, nor will he sacrifice conviction for the sake of personal expediency. What Mr. Wilson has done and shall do for the advancement of the educational interests of Oklahoma will become an integral part of the history of this favored commonwealth, which shall ever owe to him and his memory a tribute of honor. Under such conditions, together with the consideration of his courtesy in acting as one of the advisory board of this History of Oklahoma, it is most gratifying to the publisher of the work to be able to incorporate within its pages this review of his career and to mark their appreciation of his services.
On the 17th of September, 1899, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Wilson to Miss Grace Womack, daughter of William M. and Maggie (Blanton) Womack, of Whitewright, Texas, and they have two children-Robert Lee, who was born January 6, 1901, and Mary Grace, who was born October 16, 1909.
(A Standard History of Oklahoma, transcribed by Sandra Stutzman)


 

 



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