Harmon County, Oklahoma
Biographies



William S. Cross
Cross, William S., banker of Hollis, Okla., was born April 26, 1866, in Mississippi. He is president of the Hollis State bank.
[Herringshaw's American Blue-Book of Biography by Thomas William Herringshaw, 1914 Transcribed by AFOFG]


Ernest L. Keys
One of the oldest business men of Wynnewood is Ernest L. Keys, who is now filling with admirable ability the office of mayor of that city. Mr. Keys has for fifteen years been identified with local business affairs at Wynnewood, has been one of the chief cotton buyers in that section and conducts a large hardware business.
He was born in Lawrence County, Alabama, September 3, 1872. His ancestors came from England to America and located in the State of Mississippi at a very early date. His grandfather, Jerry Keys, was born in Mississippi in 1822 and died in Lawrence County, Alabama, in 1898, having gone to the latter state when a young man. He combined the occupations of farming, carpentry and cabinetmaking and was a very substantial citizen. He was a democrat and a member of the Baptist Church.
C. M. Keys, father of Mayor Keys, was born in Lawrence County, Alabama in 1850, was reared there, and married Miss Mary McDaniel, who was born in Alabama in 1856. Her ancestor was Scotch-Irish and the McDaniels were settlers in that section of Virginia now known as West Virginia. Mayor Keys' maternal great-grandmother was Mary Warren, who died at the age of ninety-six at the home of C. M. Keys. Her husband was Lee Warren, who was a farmer in West Virginia. In 1879 C. M. Keyes brought his family to Johnson County, Texas, and for a number of years was engaged in farming and raising stock. In June, 1908, he moved to Hollis, Oklahoma, where he now continues his farming and stock raising interests. However, he is largely retired and the management of his farm of 160 acres North of Hollis is with his tenants. He is an active member and has for a number of years been deacon of the Baptist Church and is a democrat in politics. He and his wife became the parents of twelve children, namely: Crickett, wife of Rev. B. A. Copass, who is a Baptist Minister and is now assistant secretary of the Baptist State Missionary Society, living at Dallas, Texas; Berta K., is the widow of H. N. Spooner, a former hardware merchant, and she now runs the business herself at Hollis, Oklahoma; Ernest L; F. M. and Wood W., both engaged in the hardware business at Hollis; J. E., associated with Carl Cole in the drug business at Wynnewood; May, wife of Rev. W. A. Knight, pastor of the First Baptist Church at Frederick, Oklahoma; Yates, who is the wife of Jeff Pennington, assistant cashier of the First State Bank at Hollis; Johnnie, wife of Thomas Grissom, a druggist at Hollis; Rob, wife of Elmer Sheppard, a cotton buyer at Brady, Texas; Sam, who is in the automobile business at Hollis; and Mott a freshman in the state university at Norman.
Ernest L. Keys was about seven years old when the family moved to Texas and he acquired his early education in the public schools of Johnson and Ellis Counties, attending the high schools at Waxahachie and Alvarado. In 1895 he also took a business course in Sherman, Texas, under Professor J. W. Mayham. In September of that year he began buying cotton, and now for twenty years has never been entirely out of that line of business. The first year was spent at Midlothian, Texas, then three years at Venus, Texas and in 1898 he identified himself with the new and growing town of Shawnee, Oklahoma. Since 1901 his home has been at Wynnewood, and here he has prospered and built up a large and flourishing enterprise as a hardware merchant and cotton buyer. He has been quite active in local affairs, served as a member of the city council four years and in April 1914 was elected mayor for a term of two years. He is a democrat in politics, is a steward in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and is affiliated with Wynnewood Lodge No. 40, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, the Valley of Guthrie Consistory No. 1 in the fourteenth degree of Scottish Rite, with Bethel Lodge No. 109, Knights of Pythias at Wynnewood, of which he is past chancellor commander.
At Lawton, Oklahoma, in 1903, Mr. Keys married Miss Junia F. Worley. Her father was the late A. J. Worley, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, who was the first presiding elder appointed in the Oklahoma Conference. To their marriage have been born two children: Helen, born July 19, 1904 and Virginia, born May 9, 1909 both now in the public schools. (A Standard History of Oklahoma, by Joseph Bradfield Thoburn, Volume 4, 1916, Pages 1570-1571)

Walter Long. Cotton ginning has been the principal factor in the success that Walter Long, of Hollis, has made in his years of profitable labor in Oklahoma, although he was also a successful farmer in the Indian Territory prior to Statehood. He is a man of strong industrial inclinations, with a keen sense of business and a natural aptitude for making friends and retaining them. As a productive unit of the commercial machinery of the community he has been very valuable, since his cooperation with other industries has been the means of promoting the entire
progress and advancing the prosperity all along the line.

He was born in Hill County, Texas, February 18, 1878, a son of Ed and Mary (Kendrick) Long, and is one of six sons of his parents. He was educated in the local public schools and in 1900 began an independent career as a farmer at Lindsay, Oklahoma, where he rented the land and operated it for two years. He then became engaged in the ice business at Lindsay, shipping his product in from Chickasha and Ardmore and disposing of it during the Summer, while, during the Fall and Winter he operated cotton ginning plants. Associating with W. U. Baker, he built gins at Hobart and Hollis and afterward extended their enterprises to branch plants at Sentinel, Roosevelt, Cordell, Manitou, Tipton, Frederick, and Altus. He also produced a large quantity of cold pressed cotton seed oil at his plant at Duke, where he combined the oil production with ginning. The partnership with Mr. Baker was dissolved in 1923, Mr. Long selling his share in the Baker Cotton Oil Company and purchasing the Hollis gin, which has an annual production of three thousand bales of ginned cotton. Mr. Long also owns a number of business properties in Hollis and a number of residences. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Walter Long married, February 22, 1908, Lorina McGill, of Sulphur Springs, Texas.
(Source: Oklahoma, A History of the State and Its People by Joseph B. Thoburn and Muriel H. Wright; Volume IV; Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc. New York, 1929; transcribed by Vicki Bryan)

Lamar Looney

Born in March 1871 in Talladega, Alabama, Lamar Looney was mother of six children under age ten when her husband of twelve years, D. T. "Doc" Looney, suddenly passed away in Greer County, Oklahoma, in 1900. Although her youngest child was only months old, she went to work as a music teacher. She filed on a land claim, but in 1902 she left her farm and moved to Hollis, where she opened an insurance and real estate office. Her life took a political turn when she was elected Harmon County register of deeds and then county clerk in 1916. By 1920 when women won the right to vote, Looney was so popular that she was able to unseat the male incumbent, G. L. Wilson, to become the first woman elected to the Oklahoma Senate. A progressive Democrat, she came out strongly in favor of women's equality. Looney educated Oklahoma women by giving speeches on topics such as "The New Responsibility of Women Since Suffrage." Senator Looney served from 1921 to 1929. During her first term she introduced twenty-eight bills, chaired the State and County Affairs Committee, and because parliamentary procedure was a hobby, presided over the Senate when it was her turn. After her first legislative session, the men with whom she served presented her with a nice leather handbag. The media reported that "the favorable impression she had made as a member of the Senate meant much for the whole state." While in office, she was successful in enacting legislation that would create equality for women and improved child welfare. Looney sought national office, running for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, but never won. She died of heart disease at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City on September 3, 1935.

[Source: "Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture"]

Shaw D. Ray. As business manager of the Hollis Publishing Company, and editor of the "Harmon County Democrat," Shaw D. Ray occupies a position of importance in the life of Hollis and the surrounding country. He is a man of wide journalistic and editorial experience both in Texas and Oklahoma, and his services have proved a decisive factor in the success of the "Democrat" and the growth of his company.

Mr. Ray was born at Mineola, Texas, on August 14, 1889, a son of James L. and Martha (Moore)
Ray, of that place. He was one of seven children, and received his education in the public schools of his birthplace, graduating from the local high school. Mr. Ray had early decided upon a newspaper career, and following the completion of his academic training he removed to Ouitman, Texas, as the owner and publisher of the "Woods County Democrat." Here he acquired his first experience in independent publishing work, but in spite of a considerable success he was constantly on the alert for larger opportunities, and after three years bought the "Winnsboro Free
Press," at Winnsboro, Texas, disposing of his holding at Ouitman. For four years he operated the Winnsboro paper, building this property to a solid position and extending its circulation throughout the surrounding country. He soon won an important place in the life of the community, and in 1913 was appointed postmaster of Winnsboro, holding office from that time
until 1921. Meanwhile he continued on with his paper, remaining as its owner and publisher until
June 1922. Both as postmaster and publisher he served the best interests of the community faithfully and to the best of his ability.

For some time, however, Mr. Ray had been considering a move to Oklahoma, and in June 1922, he first came to this State, settling at Duncan, where he accepted a position in the advertising and mechanical department of the Duncan Publishing Company, and there remained for several years. In November 1928, he came to Hollis as business manager of the Hollis Publishing Company, also taking over the duties as editor of the "Harmon County Democrat" at that time, positions for which he was ideally suited by temperament, training and ability. He has been
a resident of this place since that time, giving his efforts and attention to his work with the publishing company, which has greatly benefited by his services.

The "Harmon County Democrat," which appears every Thursday, in the only Democratic weekly in Harmon County, with a present circulation of some twenty-three hundred. Its policies are liberal, and its influence among the people of the county is widely extended. As its editor Mr. Ray has initiated many progressive policies, and is constantly widening the scope and range of its appeal. These factors are reflected in increasing circulation, and continued progress.

In politics Mr. Ray is a consistent supporter of Democratic principles, while fraternally he is affiliated with the Free and Accepted Masons, holding membership in Winnsboro Lodge, No. 46, in all bodies of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, including Dallas Consistory, No. 2, and in Hella Temple, at Dallas, of the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. With his family he worships in the faith of the Baptist church.

On October 17, 1909, Shaw D. Ray married Madie Helen Smart, of Ouitman, Texas, whose death occurred at Duncan, Oklahoma, on May 13, 1924. Three children were born of this marriage: 1) Mary Agnes, now attending school at Duncan. 2) Elizabeth, who lives at home with her father. 3) Shaw D., Jr., also now living at home.
(Source: Oklahoma, A History of the State and Its People by Joseph B. Thoburn and Muriel H. Wright; Volume IV; Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc. New York, 1929; transcribed by Vicki Bryan)

Darrell K. Royal
(1924 - ) Darrell K. Royal, former football coach and Athletic Director of The University of Texas at Austin, one of college football's greatest legends, and an endearing figure in state lore, was born July 6, 1924, in Hollis, Oklahoma, to Burley Ray Royal and Katy Elizabeth Harmon. Royal came to The University of Texas at Austin in 1957, ironically after being an All-American quarterback at the University of Oklahoma and following coaching stints at Mississippi State and the University of Washington, and, after only three years, established the Longhorns as a national power. In the 1960s alone, UT claimed two national titles (1963 and 1969); six bowl games, had a cumulative record of 86-19-2, and was named Coach of the Decade by ABC-TV. Overall, Royal finished his coaching career with a record of 167-47-5, with three national titles, 11 Southwest Conference championships, and 16 bowl games in 23 years, before retiring in 1976. Royal also served the University as Athletic Director in 1962 and oversaw the athletic department until 1980. Among Royal's legions of honors were induction into the National Football, Texas and Oklahoma Sports Halls of Fame and the Longhorn Hall of Honor and was twice named coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association and three times by the Football Writers of America. Most importantly, Royal earned the respect and admiration of his players, coaches and opponents. "I'm not a football fan," President Lyndon Johnson said. "But I am a fan of people, and I am a Darrell Royal fan because he is the rarest of human beings." He married the former Edith Marie Thomason and is the father of three children.
[Source: http://www.cemetery.state.tx.us]


Hon. H. Treadway
The home interests of this member of the Fifth Legislature are as a farmer and progressive citizen of Harmon County with residence at Hollis. Coming to the Legislature with no instruction from his constituency save that he should exercise conservative business judgment in support of measures affecting their interests and the same judgment in opposing unwise measures, Mr. Treadway's career in the Fifth Assembly was studied and careful, as had been his acts in previous years as a public school official and a thrifty citizen of his community.
Mr. Treadway was born in Southern Illinois in 1871, and is a son of Van and Nancy (Hale) Treadway. His father, a native of North Carolina, was for fifteen years a merchant and for a long time a contractor in Southern Illinois. His paternal ancestry came from France, and a representative of the Treadway name settled in America during the Revolution. Mr. Treadway's mother was born in Georgia, and was left an orphan when a small child.
The only formal schooling enjoyed by Mr. Treadway was when a small boy in the primary grades of the country schools. However, he has always had an ambition for practical knowledge, and during his life has been a student of current events, public affairs and history. Circumstances forced upon his shoulders heavy responsibilities when still a boy, and in solving the successive problems of existence he has acquired a practical education that has made him a useful and influential citizen. The death of his father left him at the age of sixteen with the care of a younger brother and sister. His sister is now Mrs. E. R. Ensley of Delta, Colorado, and the brother B. O. Treadway, is a farmer and stock man at Hollis. They lived on a farm in Arkansas a few years, and in" 1892 located near Dallas, Texas, and later Mr. Treadway bought a farm in Denton County of that state and remained there four years. In 1906 he removed to Greer County, Oklahoma, settling on a farm near Hollis, which after statehood was made the county seat of Harmon County, which was formed from a portion of old Greer County. In that locality Mr. Treadway has been engaged in farming and stock raising. He owns two quarter sections of land, and is a practical exponent of the profitable idea of crop diversification.
Mr. Treadway has always taken an active and many times a leading part in school and church affairs in his community. During the past ten years he has at different times served as clerk and director of his home school district. His name was sixth on the list of names of men who petitioned for the establishment of a post office at Hollis. He took a prominent part in the campaign for the creation of Harmon County, and made the first speech opening the division campaign. After the creation of the county he was elected a member of the board of county commissioners, a position he filled with credit and with profit to the county for nearly six years. When efforts were made to dissolve the county after its creation, he led the fight in maintaining the organization intact. Harmon County now has an indebtedness of only $4,000, and far more than that amount in the sinking fund, and is one of the most prosperous in the state. Mr. Treadway took stock in the company that established the first telephone system at Hollis and also stock in the company that built the first railroad there. He is a charter member and a former president of the Farmers Institute of his county.
He was next to the youngest of eight children. He grew up on a farm but attended the public schools in Akron, and completed his education in the law department of Georgetown University at Washington, D. C., where he received his degree LL. B. in 1891.
Shortly afterwards, at the opening of the Pottawatomie Reservation, he came to Tecumseh, and for about a year made the law his primary business. He then was drawn into banking affairs, as cashier of the Tecumseh State Bank in 1893, moved from there to Shawnee, was made cashier of the Shawnee State Bank in 1895, and in 1897 became cashier of the Shawnee National Bank. In 1900 he bought the Oklahoma National Bank, of which he became president, and remained until 1907. In 1911 he removed to Bristow, and was president of the Bristow National Bank and is still at the head of that institution, though his home is in Sapulpa. In October, 1914, he acquired most of the stock in the First National Bank of Sapulpa, and has since been its active manager and president.
While his time has been so completely absorbed with banking, Mr. Benson has always shown a public spirited attitude toward local affairs. He has the distinction of having been the first county superintendent in Pottawatomie County, but held the office only one year. For six years he was a member of the board of regents for the Agricultural and Mechanical College, and was its treasurer. Besides banking he has some extensive oil interests, and is president of the Layton Oil Company. Mr. Benson is a republican, is affiliated with the Order of Elks, is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, belonging to the Consistory at Guthrie, and to the Mystic Shrine at Tulsa. He is a director in the Sapulpa Commercial Club.
In 1894 Mr. Benson was married at Tecumseh to Miss Grace Adams. They have one son and one daughter, Richard W. and Grace Alice.
[Source: A Standard History of Oklahoma Volume 4 By Joseph Bradfield Thoburn - Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer]



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