Grady County, Oklahoma
JOHN T. OWSLEY
The general insurance agency of Mr. Owsley, who is an underwriter of virtually all lines of insurance except that of life, has gained prestige as one of the most successful and important in the State of Oklahoma, and it is doubtful if there is another agency of the kind in this vigorous young commonwealth that has developed and controls as great a volume of business as does this representative institution, the headquarters of which are in Suite 412-13 First National Bank Building in the thriving City of Chickasha, the metropolis and judicial center of Grady County The career of Mr. Owsley has been one distinguished by remarkable initiative and executive ability and he has proved himself a veritable captain of industry, the while his advancement has been achieved entirely through his own efforts. The City of Chickasha can claim no more reputable, straightforward and popular business man and no citizen of greater civic loyalty and public spirit, so that consistency is observed in according, in this history, due recognition to Mr. Owsley.
John T Owsley was born at Magnolia, Columbia County, Arkansas, in the year 1867, and is a scion of a colonial American family of distinguished lineage, the genealogical line tracing back to Sir Thomas Owsley who bore also the title of captain and who evidently was of English birth and ancestry. This distinguished ancestor came from the West Indies to America prior to the War of the Revolution and the supposition is that he acquired his military title through service as an officer in the Continental line in the great war for national independence. In a later generation another specially distinguished representative of this family was Hon. William Owsley, who served as governor of Kentucky and who was a member of the Supreme Court of that state at the time of his death.
James R. and Jane Antoinette (Furlow) Owsley parents of him whose name introduces this review were both born and reared in Alabama, where their marriage was solemnized. James R. Owsley removed to Arkansas at the time of the Civil war and there enlisted in the Confederate service, as a member of a gallant Arkansas regiment that took part in many engagements and made an admirable record. Mr. Owsley continued his service as-a loyal soldier of the Confederacy until the close of the war and then turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. He later engaged in the merchandise business in Arkansas, in which state he continued his residence until 1901, when he came to Chickasha, Oklahoma, where he has since been actively engaged in the marble business and where he is still alert and vigorous as a man of affairs, though both he and his wife are now venerable in years.
The early educational discipline of John T. Owsley was acquired in the schools of his native state and was effectively supplemented by a course of higher study in Bethel College, a well ordered institution in the State of Kentucky. When but ten years of age he initiated his association with practical business by assisting in the general store of his father, and during this period of service as a clerk he attended school only three months of each year. Prior to attaining to his legal majority Mr. Owsley was appointed deputy circuit clerk of Columbia County, Arkansas, and of this position he continued the incumbent five years. He then, in 1890, assumed an executive position in the Gate City National Bank of Texarkana, Miller County, Arkansas, where he continued his services until 1892, when he resigned to accept the position of general utility clerk in the Texarkana National Bank, with which institution he remained seven years and rose through the verious grades of promotion until he became its chief clerk. In 1899 he resigned his position and engaged in the fire-insurance business at Texarkana, where he continued his association with this enterprise for three years. Within this period ho became interested also in the wholesale grocery business, as vice president of the Texas Produce Company, his home city in Arkansas lying near the line between that state and Texas and thus gaining its title of Gate City. In 1902 Mr. Owsley sold his insurance business and assumed the active management of the business of the Texas Produce Company, which he served in this capacity, as well as its vice president, for the period of seven years. Within this time he effected the organiation of the Clay Products Company, of which he become president, and this corporation is still actively and successfully engaged in the manufacturing of pottery and other like products, with headquarters at Texarkana, Arkansas. In 1909 he organized the Mexican Tropical Fruit Company, of which he became president. This company placed in commission a line of steamships between Port Arthur, Texas, and the State of Tabasco, Mexico, for the purpose of transporting bananas and other tropical fruits from that section of Mexico to the markets of the United States. The company leased a number of large banana plantations in Tabasco, the same lying along the Griholm and affluent rivers, and after operations had been carried forward about eighteen months the company was forced to abandon its business, owing to disastrous floods, which destroyed all the banana plantation and practically inundated the extensive area of land through which the company was operating.
In January, 1911, after disposing of the most of his business interests in Arkansas and Texas, Mr. Owsley came to Oklahoma and established his residence at Chickasha, where he purchased a half interest in the Price Insurance Agency. A few months later he acquired the entire control of the business and the agency has since been conducted under his name and able management, the while he has shown great discrimination, energy and progressiveness and placed the enterprise upon a most substantial basis, with a business that is constantly expanding and is excelled in scope by that of few, if any, similar agencies in the state. As a practical insurance man of fine conceptions of the functions and benefits of fire and other material indemnities aside from the domain of life insurance, Mr. Owsley has a high reputation and this, with his careful and honorable methods and policies, constitutes his best business asset, his agency being representative of an appreciable number of the strongest and best fire insurance companies operating in Oklahoma, and his facilities also being unexcelled in the underwriting of reliable insurance against tornadoes, floods and other material forces that may cause loss or destruction of property. Mr. Owsley is a member of the National Association of Local Insurance Agents and is specially active and influential in the affairs of the Oklahoma State Association of Local Insurance Agents, in which he is chairman of the executive committee.
As may naturally be inferred, Mr. Owsley is found aligned as a staunch supporter of the cause of the democratic party and is emphatically loyal and progressive in his civic attitude. In the time-honored Masonic fraternity he has received the thirty-second degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, his affiliation being still with Arkansas Consistory, No. 1, in the City of Little Rock, the while he still retains membership also in Sahara Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Paine Bluff, that state. His basic York Rite affiliation is with Texarkana Lodge, No. 341, at Texarkana, Arkansas, where he is affiliated also with Texarkana Lodge, No. 399, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, which he served two terms as exalted ruler. In his native City of Magnolia, that state, he has held all of the official chairs in the lodge of the Knights of Pythias, of which he is past chancellor, and he is identified also with the Sigma Nu college fraternity. He is a charter member of the Chickasha Country Club and was chairman of its golf committee in 1915.
In December, 1891, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Owsley to Miss Elizabeth Sharman, daughter of Robert R. Sharman, who was a pioneer at Magnolia, Arkansas, and who owned and conducted the largest and most important mercantile business at that place. Mrs. Owsley was summoned to the life eternal in 1897, and is survived by two children, Sharman and Hazel.
"A Standard History of Oklahoma", Volume 3, 1916; By Joseph Bradfield Thoburn - Transcribed by Cathy Ritter
Since the spring of 1910 Mr. Cabell has been engaged in the practice of his profession in Oklahoma City, where he gives his attention principally to general civil and corporation law, and his definite success attests alike his personal popularity and his admirable equipment for service as an attorney and counselor, his well appointed offices being in Suite No. 1014-17 Colcord Building. He is a man of fine intellectual and professional attainments and is a valuable acquisition to the legal coterie in the capital city of Oklahoma.
In the fine little City of Bowling Green, Kentucky, John V. Cabell was born on the 15th of June, 1877, and he is a son of Rev. Benjamin F. Cabell, D. D., and Ellen Douglas (Patterson) Cabell, the former of whom passed to the life eternal in September, 1909, and the latter of whom is still living. The lineage of the Cabell family in America traces back to Dr. William Cabell, who emigrated from England in 1741 and established his residence in the colony of Virginia, the paternal great-grandfather of the subject of this review having removed from the Old Dominion to Kentucky in the early part of the nineteenth century and having been a pioneer in that state. Rev. Benjamin F. Cabell was born and reared in Kentucky and was a distinguished clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, as well as a prominent and influential figure in connection with educational affairs in his native state. He was graduated in the Ohio Wesleyan University, in the City of Delaware, Ohio, where he was n classmate of Senator Stone of Missouri and Hon. Charles W. Fairbanks, of Indianapolis, former vice president of the United States. He was identified with educational work during virtually his entire active career and for twenty years was president of Potter College, at Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his death occurred and where his widow still maintains her home.
John W. Cabell was signally favored in being reared in a home of distinctive culture and refinement and his educational advantages in his boyhood and youth were of the best. At Ogden College, Bowling Green, Kentucky, he was graduated as a member of the class of 1898 and with the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. Thereafter he completed a post-graduate course in Vanderbilt University, at Nashville, Tennessee, from which he received in 1899 the degree of Master of Science. In the law department of the same institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1901, and after receiving his degree of Bachelor of Laws, with concomitant admission to the bar of Tennessee, he was engaged in the practice of his profession in the city of Nashville about two years. Thereafter he passed about eighteen months in travel through the West, especially on the Pacific coast, and in 1904 he came to Oklahoma Territory and engaged in the general practice of law at Ardmore, Carter County. He became one of the representative members of the bar of that county but in March, 1910, he found a broader field of professional endeavor by establishing his residence in Oklahoma City, where he has built up a substantial practice that shows a constantly cumulative tendency, as he is indefatigable in the work of his profession and has established an excellent reputation for effective service as an attorney and counselor at law. Mr. Cabell has identified himself most fully with Oklahoma and its capital city and is here financially interested in a number of industrial and commercial enterprises.
He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; he is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and his political allegiance is given to the democratic party.
In July, 1912, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Cabell to Miss Lula Garrison, daughter of George W. and Ann Garrison, of Oklahoma City, her father having lost his life by assassination while in performance of his duty as sheriff of Oklahoma County. Mr. and Mrs. Cabell have one child, Ellen Ann.
"A Standard History of Oklahoma", Volume 3, 1916; By Joseph Bradfield Thoburn - Transcribed by Cathy Ritter
In the City of Tulsa can be found many of the veterans of the oil industry, and whose experience covers every oil district in America, if not in the entire world. One of the local oil operators and producers who has been identified with practically every phase of the business and in various states is John Arthur Campbell, who has had his office in Tulsa since June, 1913, and is an extensive independent operator.
John Arthur Campbell was born in Washington County, Ohio, July 16, 1871, the third of five living children of John P. and Jane Elizabeth (Thompson) Campbell. His father was born in Connecticut and died at the age of sixty-six, and his mother in Ohio and died at the age of sixty-four. John P. Campbell was engaged in the general merchandise business at Cowrun in Washington County, Ohio, and later in the same business in Marietta, Ohio, and was one of the first to take up the development of the oil districts of Ohio. In early (life he had voted with the whig party and subsequently was a republican.
John A. Campbell received his education from the public schools. His first work when quite young, about thirteen years of age, was as a farmer and farm hand. He worked in tobacco fields, and was also a tobacco stripper in Ohio up to the age of nineteen. Since that time his activities have all been centered about the oil industry. He began as a teamster, later sharpened oil well tools and then had some experience in the drilling of wells. He helped put down some of the wells in Ohio, and subsequently began as an oil well contractor, following which he engaged in the oil business himself as an independent operator. His experience covers the different oil districts of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, and from those states he came to Tulsa.
Mr. Campbell is a republican in politics. On September 23, 1896, he married Miss Clara L. Rake, who was born in Washington County, Ohio. They have two children, Glen and Grace C.
"A Standard History of Oklahoma", Volume 3, 1916; By Joseph Bradfield Thoburn - Transcribed by Cathy Ritter
The president of the O. K. Transfer & Storage Company of Oklahoma City is one of those valiant and self-reliant men from whom success can not long withold her hand, and he has been in the most significant sense the essential medium through which he has worked his way to definite prosperity. He is now one of the substantial business men and liberal and progressive citizens of the capital city of a state to which he first came the year prior to its creation as a territory. Mr. Weicker has been one of the world's productive workers, has ordered his course with unwavering integrity of purpose and well merits the high regard in which he is held by his fellowmen.
Ambrose Claborn Weicker was born in Mississippi County, Missouri, on the 9th of April, 1861, and is a son of George Otto Weicker and Mary Jane (Lett) Weicker, the former a native of Germany and the latter of the State of Tennessee. When the subject of this review was five years of age his parents transferred their residence to a farm in Carroll County, Missouri, and there he attained "the rural schools at regular intervals until he had attained to the age of sixteen years, in the meanwhile having giving effective aid in the work of the home farm. After leaving the parental roof he was employed two years on a farm in Jackson County, Missouri, and he then went to Leadville, Colorado, which mining town was then in the height of its ambitious industrial activities, and after there being employed one year as a workman in the smelters, he returned to Jackson County, Missouri, where he remained three years, within which he took unto himself a wife three months prior to the celebration of his twentieth birthday anniversary. He then removed with his wife to St. Clair County, that state, where he devoted the ensuing three years to farming and sheep-raising, his ambition ever prompting him to forward movement and to making the best of opportunities presented. The next stage of Mr. Weicker's activities was at Garden City, Kansas, and after having there been employed one year as driver for a transfer company, he purchased a horse and wagon and engaged in the same line of business on his own responsibility, his cash capital at the time of initiating this independent enterprise having been only .fifty dollars.
A year later, when Oklahoma Territory was opened for settlement, Mr. Weicker heard the voice of opportunity and decided to cast in his lot with the pioneers of the new territory, to which he came in July, 1880, about one year prior to the formal organization of the territory. He established his residence at Guthrie, where he found remunerative employment with a firm engaged in the transfer business. In 1893 he purchased the interest of one of the partners and after continuing the business, as senior member of the firm of Weicker & Fairfield, for three years, he sold his interest to his partner and removed to Denver, Colorado, where he became associated with his brother, Robert V., in the same line of business. The enterprise was made successful through their energy and close application, and at the expiration of four years Mr. Weicker disposed of his interests in Denver and came once more to Oklahoma, the year 1900 having thus marked the establishing of his permanent residence in Oklahoma City. Here he purchased the business of G. W. R. Chinn & Sons and became the sole owner of the substantial enterprise conducted under the title of the 0. K. Transfer & Storage Company. The business is now incorporated with a capital of $75,000, Mr. Weicker owning 95 per cent of the stock and being president and manager of the business, which is the largest and most effectively managed enterprise of the Bind in the state.
Concerning his vigorous and effective management of this important business the following pertinent statements have been made:
"Since Mr. Weicker assumed control of the O. K. Transfer & Storage Company the history of that corporation has been parallel with that of Oklahoma City itself,-an upward march day by day, hour by hour. Upon the massive wagons and vans of the company is painted a handsome picture of the globe, and beneath appears the inscription, 'The world moves; so do we. Whoever comes to Oklahoma City enlists the service of the 0 K Company in moving the household effects to the new home, and if a resident changes location it is the O K. wagons that are called to make the careful and expeditious transfer, for the company has proved itself in every sense reliable and just in its dealings. Though somewhat peripatetic in his movements before he found the exact place that fitted his idea of the real one for the development and upbuilding of the business of his choice, Mr. Weicker knew when he came to Oklahoma City that he was finally anchored in the desired port, and the progress of his splendid business, which in scope and importance he has made second to no other of the kind in the West, testifies to the accuracy of his judgment.
There is not in Oklahoma City to-day a more lucrative, and more carefully and systematically conducted business of any nature than that of the 0. K Transfer & Storage Company, and in every detail can be traced the capable directing power of its president. Facing the Frisco Railroad Station at the corner of First and Hudson streets, is the mammoth home of the O. K. Transfer & Storage Company,- a fireproof, reinforced-concrete structure, seven stories in height and occupying a ground space 75 by 120 feet in dimensions Within the walls of this immense building are afforded the best of facilities for the storage and safeguarding without impairment of valuable household goods and of her personal effects, and all patrons realize that tins steadfast and popular business concern will take better care of the properties entrusted than could the owners themselves."
Both as a citizen and as a business man Mr. Weicker has high standing in the community. He is a democrat in politics, is a member of the local lodge of the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks, and is affiliated with all Of the Masonic bodies in Oklahoma City, m which great fraternity he has the distinction of having received , the thirty-second degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.
At Independence, Missouri, September 29, 1880, was recorded the marriage of Mr. Weicker to Miss Lucy Ann Walker, daughter of Andrew J. and Polly (Braden) Walker her father having served in Quantrell's command as a Confederate soldier during the entire period of the Civil war. The wife of Mr. Weicker's youth was summoned to the life eternal on the 24th of December, 1910 and of their three children the eldest, Marian Evah, who was born March 9, 1882, died at the age , of twenty years; Robert Andrew, born July 7, 1890, and Oliver Francis, born September 26, 1898, are now associated with their father's business.
In Oklahoma City, on the 27th of December 1913 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Weicker to Mrs. Cora (Storm) Jordan, who had come to this city in 1901 and who through judicious local investments, soon accumulated an appreciable fortune in valuable proper. She still owns in her own right the modern fourteen apartment brick building at the corner of Sixth and Harvey streets, as well as several fine cottages m desirable sections of the city. The family home one of the attractive residence properties of the capital city, is at 104 East Fifth street.
GEORGE S MARCH
Among the men who have been observers of and participants in the developments which have formed the history of Oklahoma, one who has passed through many interesting experiences both in the earlier and lawless days of Indian Territory and the young state and in its later period of civilization and prosperity, is Hon. George S. March, former judge of Montague County, Texas, and now a leading member of the Marshall County bar, at Madill .
The March ancestry extends back in this country before the Revolutionary war. George O. March, one of the Colonial forefathers, became a book publisher at Lebanon, Ohio, and Francis A. March, who settled in Pennsylvania, became the father of Col. Peyton C. March, who assisted in the capture of Aguinaldo in the Philippines. The maternal grandmother of Judge March- the mother of Clementine Elizabeth (Sory) March still lives at the age of ninety-four years, and an interesting character of the maternal ancestry of the Judge was Col. Robert Haltom, his mother's uncle, who built the first courthouse and jail, in Rusk County, Texas. A. M. March, the father of Judge March, who was a surveyor, was among the first settlers at the historic site of Spanish Fort, on Red River, just over the river from the Indian country. There he made settlement in 1857, nine years after he had made his advent to Texas from Jackson, Tennessee, and built one of the first log houses in Rusk County. Comanche Indians frequently were on the war-path in that day and the log houses bore "port holes" on each side, being thus transformed into forts for the protection of the settlers against the hostiles. Mr. March was a member of a party of Texans who participated in the last fight with the Comanches, at Eagle Point Texas, in 1876. Twenty years later he died, and his body lies buried in the old cemetery at Montague,
As it appears in retrospection, the cattle range epoch of former Indian Territory was one of the most fascinating periods of this section's history, and tragedy frequently split the even trend of the day's events. Judge March recalls the important facts of a fight which took place during a roundup at Erin Springs, near the present Town of Lindsay, in 1886, between two rival forces of cattlemen, when his father, who dealt extensively in cattle in that section, accused one Wyatt and Curg Williams and Frank Murry of taking unlawful possession of some 300 to 400 head of his cattle. Men on both sides were armed, as were all frontiersmen of these days, and twenty to thirty men were engaged, the result being that four or five were killed. The after-effects reflect the spirit of the time: there was peaceful division of the herd and Mr. March secured all the cattle that he had claimed.
The early education of Judge March was obtained in the public schools of Texas. His first experience as a cowpuncher was secured under U. S. Joines, now a wealthy citizen of Ardmore, who was a pioneer ranchman of the Indian Territory. The ranch was situated on Mud Creek and from it drives were made every year over the Chisholm Trail into states of the North. On one of these drives the man in charge of the herd came to the conclusion that he had more men then were needed and five of them (among them Judge March) were discharged in a lonely and uninhabited region of the northern end of Indian Territory. These men set out on their return to the Spanish Fort country of North Texas, and their lack of food and being forced to eat green corn from roasting-ear patches near the southern end of their journey, are incidents characteristic of the hardships of the day. The annual spring roundups on Big Valley were among the chief events of the time in the cattle country and many a young man was initiated into the mysteries of cowpunching degrees while learning a new occupation on these occasions.
After his cowboy days, Judge March returned to Texas, furthered his educational training and became a teacher in the rural schools. Finding himself adapted to this vocation, he pursued it with vigor and increasing knowledge and later taught in some of the leading schools of North Texas. In the meantime, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in July, 1890, at Montague, Texas, and four years later was elected county judge of Montague County, Texas, and as such was ex-officio county superintendent of schools. During the four years he filled this office he labored with Prot. J. M. Carlyle, one-time state superintendent of public instruction of Texas, in behalf of a law creating the office of county superintendent of schools and their efforts finally resulted in success. For twelve years Judge March was a member of the executive committee of the Educational Association of Texas.
Judge March returned to Oklahoma in 1901, being among the throng that came from all over the southwestern country and made up the population of the Town of Lawton, which was established during that year. Here he found a return to the era of lawlessness, and after the brief annals of the new city had been stained with the Hood of many murdered men, he joined the forces, 5,000 strong, of young Robert Goree, a party which marched down the notorious Goo Goo Avenue and cleared the city of crooks and gamblers. Later Judge March returned to Nocona, Texas, where he made his home after retiring from the judgeship of Montague County, and there remained until 1910, when he settled in the practice of law at Madill, which has since been his residence and the scene of his labors. He has taken his place as one of the most forceful learned and thorough lawyers of the Marshall County bar, and his connection with a number of important cases has given him prestige and attracted to him a most important professional business. Judge March served one term as city attorney of Madill and during his administration the city hall was erected and the sanitary sewer system installed. In Marshall County he became a leader of the organization at Madill that, after five elections, succeeded in securing the courthouse for this city, the election being won by twenty-two votes. Later a magnificent courthouse was erected at a cost of $75,000 and Judge March was the first man to try a case therein. He is a member of the Marshall County Bar Association, of the Madill Commercial Club and of the Madill Civic League, and his fraternal connections include membership in the Knights of Honor, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Woodmen of the World, the Rebekahs and the Woodmen's Circle. With his family, he belongs to the Methodist Church. While the days of lawlessness have passed, a glamour sets upon the country to this day, and there is an interesting and singular twinkle in the eye of the judge who passed through the epoch of the cattle range and who finds in retrospection the material for many charming stories.
Judge March was married April 12, 1888, at Mount Enterprise, Texas, to Miss Margaret Westfall, and they have eight children living: Miss Lester, who recently completed a course at Chillicothe Business College, Chillicothe, Missouri, and has chosen a business career for herself: and Clyde, Mona, Marguerite, Lucile, George S., Kathleen and John Abe, living at home. Four of the eldest have made perfect records in attendance and unusually high grades in the public school and two are graduates of the high school. The brothers and sisters of John March are: John S., who for thirty years has been engaged in the hardware business at Nocona, Texas; Mrs. Clementine E. McNew, of Oklahoma City; Mrs. Rhoe Matlock, widow of the late Judge Matlock, of Texline, Texas; R. L., who for twenty-five years has been a lawyer at Duncan, Oklahoma; Mrs. Frankie Hagler, of Nocona, widow of the late Will Hagler; W. W., who met an accidental death while hunting near Nocona in 1909; and Abe and A. M., who are pioneer hardware dealers of Lawton, Oklahoma.
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