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The History of Oklahoma Biographies Vol. II
by Luther B. Hill
Page 10


In connection with the extensive improvement of streets in Oklahoma City, particularly the miles of cement and brick sidewalks that are now pointed out with pride by the citizens, it should not be forgotten that much of the credit for this lies with the contractors and builders who make a business of laying sidewalks. On West First Street, extending to Main, is a large plant for manufacturing cement walks, from which has come most of the material for the sidewalks laid in Oklahoma City during the last few years. Eli O. Parsons, the owner, has gained the reputation of being the largest sidewalk contractor in the new state. Miles of sidewalk, both brick and cement, in this city testify to the extent of his business and to the thoroughness of his management and methods. He has twenty years' experience as a guarantee of his reliability, and since coming to Oklahoma City in 1900 has built up his splendid business by the most exacting rules of business success. He employs a large force of skilled workmen, and besides the making of sidewalks is a manufacturer of various other kinds of cement structures.

Mr. Parsons came to this city from Kansas City where he began contracting for sidewalk building when a young man, some years before the era of cement construction had arrived, at which time brick and flagstone were the popular materials. He is a native of Indiana, born in 1861, and was reared in Hamilton county of that state. He married Sarah L. Parsons of Kansas, and has five children, Goldie M., William P., Orval and Laverne and Leferne, twins.


The sheriff's office in Oklahoma county during the last few years has made a record that indicates the status of law and order in the county, and also brings into prominence one of the most courageous and high-minded criminal officers the southwest has ever known. The death of Sheriff George W. Garrison, who was killed by Alf. Hunter, a Negro desperado, near Hitchcock, June 5, 1908, is said to have caused more excitement on the streets of Oklahoma City than any event since the early days, when a concourse of indignant citizens under arms was a not extraordinary event. Sheriff Garrison died in the performance of duty, and there is little doubt that during the course of his long career in hunting criminals he had become expectant of such a death, and was indifferent or resigned to the perils of his daily occupation. On May 19, Alf. Hunter had killed Mrs. Susan Pride in Oklahoma City, and had been a fugitive from justice until Sheriff Garrison with a posse of deputies had found him in the hills north of Watonga. A desperate pistol fight ensued during which the sheriff was instantly killed and M. R. Sanders, a deputy of Arcadia, was wounded. This tragedy closed the career of one of the most useful and picturesque officials of Oklahoma.

Immediately after his election to the office of sheriff in 1904, George W. Garrison organized the affairs of his office on a good business basis, and commenced systematically to run down many old criminals who had hitherto escaped the law. As stated by a public print, he "spent his own salary trying to enforce the statutes of Oklahoma, not merely depending upon what the law paid him for his services. Upon many occasions he has gone down in his own pocket and paid out money that there might be law enforcement in Oklahoma County and an uplift in the morals of the community in consequence. It is conceded on all sides that he is a very strong character, that he is very popular, and that his popularity is not merely to be found within his own party (the Democratic). He has tried to give the people of this county a moral administration, and his friends can point with pride to the fact that the improvement of moral conditions is in a great measure due to him. No one has ever been able to point to anything dishonest, either in the private life or the public career of George W. Garrison." The above was written toward the close of Mr. Garrison's first term, and, since his re-election in 1906, applied to him and to his official career with double force.

Mr. Garrison had experience practically all his life as a criminal officer. While still a boy, at Fort Smith. Arkansas, he was appointed and served as an officer under the U, S. marshals. He had to deal with many notable cases. One of them that will be readily recalled by the citizens of Oklahoma County was that involving the pursuit and killing of the outlaw Billy Isabel, which occurred during his term as sheriff. Eight or nine years before Mr. Garrison became sheriff this man had committed two murders in Oklahoma County, and was also wanted for crimes in Texas. He had taken refuge in the almost inaccessible mountainous country of the Choctaw Nation, and, secure in his isolation and in the awe felt by his few neighbors for his prowess, he had occasionally taunted the officers of Oklahoma County, writing that if they ever took him they would have to take him in a box. One of these letters fell into Mr. Garrison's hands after he became sheriff. Without hesitation he secured a new warrant for Isabel from Judge Burwell, and with Deputy Sheriff Bartell of Oklahoma City set out for South McAlester, where he secured the co-operation of the U. S. marshal's office, Deputy U. S. Marshal Jim Dowell joining them there. At Hartshorne they hired a rig for the ostensible purpose of going out hunting, but drove to the retreat in the hills that Isabel had picked out for his headquarters. They waited about the outlaw's house until daylight, when one of the party, pretending that he was a cattle buyer, learned from Mrs. Isabel that her husband had gone fishing and would not return till evening. The officers picketed the house till evening, when Isabel returned home and was shot dead by Deputy Bartell, who was guarding the path taken by the outlaw.

Sheriff Garrison was born in Gilmer, Upshur County, Texas, September 20, 1857. In 1862 he came with his parents to Grayson County, that state, where the family located, his father at that time, and throughout the Civil war, being a soldier of the Confederacy. In the fall of 1866 the family moved to Charleston, Arkansas, a short distance below Fort Smith where the boy was reared and educated. From here he returned to Texas in 1883, locating at Sunset in Wise County, and therewith began another interesting chapter in his record as a criminal officer. Wise County at that time was so infested with criminals that Mr. Garrison and a number of his neighbors organized a vigilance committee to deal with them, and succeeded in a measure in breaking up the open outlawry that plagued that district. Situated twenty miles from railroad, and on what was still a part of the Texas frontier, the community was exposed to criminals as dangerous as any on the Texas border. Owing to the skill and energy displayed by Mr. Garrison in this organized effort to suppress the border outlaws, he was appointed in 1884 as deputy sheriff under Tom Allen of Wise County, one of the notable sheriffs of western Texas and soon afterward was also appointed deputy under Sheriff Eli McLean of Montague County. As deputy sheriff for two adjoining counties, he was a participant in many stirring events that marked the driving out of the criminal element and the preservation of law and order. He was the officer who followed the notorious Jim Sinkler, horse thief and murderer, who had committed numerous crimes in north Texas and had constantly defied the officers. Mr. Garrison traced him to Jack County where he succeeded in killing the desperado.

In 1889 Mr. Garrison began his mercantile career in Sunset and was soon one of the leading business men of that place. In the summer of 1897 he moved to Ardmore, Indian Territory, and established a large store, which he conducted with success until it burned at a loss of $15,000. In July, 1899, he moved to Oklahoma City and established the first saddle factory in this city. In 1902 he sold this business to the E. M. Jones Saddlery Company, and from that time until his election to the office of sheriff was engaged in the hotel business in Oklahoma City. In 1902 he had the great misfortune to lose his wife by death. Before marriage she was Miss Martha Hunter, and their union occurred at Charleston, Arkansas, when he was only nineteen years of age. Their seven children are: Mrs. Allie Leola Overholser, H. D., M. L., Sula, Elmer, Herbert and Pauline. Mr. Garrison was a prominent Mason, a Knight Templar and Shriner, and also belonged to the Woodmen, Knights of Pythias and the Eagles.


Since May 1, 1904, the city has had the services as city engineer of William C. Burke, one of the ablest civil engineers in the southwest. He was the construction engineer in the building of the Oklahoma branch of the M. K. & T. Railroad from Bartlesville to Oklahoma City, and it was on the completion of this work early in 1904 that he was appointed to the head of the city engineering department by Mayor Van Winkle. The era of expansion and upbuilding into which the city had just entered required an expert to supervise the extensive works for sewerage, paving and other large projects, and it is in this capacity that Mr. Burke has served the city. Mayor Messenbaugh reappointed him, and Mayor Scales also, in the spring of 1907. The business and other substantial interests of the city have had good reason to appreciate his services as engineer. The rapid growth of the past few years has demanded municipal improvements in advance of the actual resources of the city. Hence, so far as consistent with first-class work, economy has been the desire and aim of the administration. For this reason the citizens congratulate themselves on the absolute honesty of their engineering department and its insistence in safeguarding the interests of the public. Mr. Burke has seen to it -that the contractors always furnish material in accordance with the specifications of the contract, and that thorough work be done in every branch of municipal construction. William C. Burke, whose career as engineer includes work on irrigation and railroad projects of the southwest covering a period of nearly thirty years, was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1857. His parents were of Canadian birth, his father being of Irish ancestry and his mother of Scotch. At the age of fourteen he came with his parents to Kansas City, and received most of his education in that city. In the University of Kansas, at Lawrence, he studied engineering and was graduated technically equipped for the practice of his profession in 1876. He was connected with railroad building enterprises from 1876 to 1886. During that time he made the preliminary surveys from Fort Worth, Texas, to Arkansas City, Kansas, located the line from Fort Worth to Purcell, and had charge in building the line from Gainesville to Purcell. These lines comprising the Atchison system from Kansas to Galveston, and known as the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe, were completed in 1887. While engaged in this work, in 1886, Mr. Burke camped on the present site of Oklahoma City, not far from where the Santa Fe station now stands, this being three years before the opening of the territory. During those earlier years of his career he also did engineering work for the Kansas City Fort Scott and Memphis road and the M. K. & T. Railway of Texas. In 1886 he began the contracting and irrigation business in eastern Colorado. The first big irrigation dam on the Arkansas River was the result of his design and construction, and many other important projects of this character in the Arkansas valley were designed and promoted by him during the following thirteen years. Colt, Reinhart and Burke of Las Animas, Colorado, is the title of the firm which constructed these works, and their business is still carried on under that title. They constructed three large irrigation canals, and another, the Rocky Ford High Line, eighty miles long and the highest ditch in that district, they not only built but financially promoted. Mr. Burke has thus brought a large amount of experience and skill to his present position, and has been able to exercise beneficial influence on the construction of public works that are at the foundation of Oklahoma City's metropolitan greatness. Mr. Burke and family have resided in the city for several years. Before her marriage Mrs. Burke was Miss Daisy M. Colt, of Clinton, Missouri, her family having originally been residents of Niagara Falls, New York. They have three children, Morris Colt, James McDonald, and Mary Frances.


Largely through the influence and efforts of Dr. W. Marvin Hubbard, a city health department was established in August, 1907. The department has been given sufficient powers of inspection and sanitary policing to become an effective instrument in safeguarding the city's health, and the officials of the department have already instituted a vigorous campaign for wholesome sanitation in the city. The milk and food supply is receiving special attention. According to the city ordinance establishing the health department and defining its powers, penalties ranging from five to one hundred dollars, or imprisonment, may be meted out to those convicted of food adulteration. A rigid inspection of the milk supply is being undertaken, and sources of contamination are being investigated from the time the milk is in the dairy until it reaches the consumer. City water, nuisances of all kinds, and both public and domestic sanitation are subjects of inspection and control by the department.

Dr. Hubbard, who has been so active in securing these means of reform, and who directs the work of the department, was appointed city physician and ex-officio president of the board of health. He at once began intelligently and vigorously to organize a public health department. In order that this city might be protected by methods as modern and efficient as those employed by the sanitary officials in older cities, he inspected the chemical laboratory and health departments of several eastern cities, such as Cleveland, Cincinnati and Buffalo. He has studied the local situation and organized his forces along lines of greatest effectiveness, and when time allows a more complete summary of the results of his efforts, Dr. Hubbard will doubtless be given credit for founding the system by which the public health of the city is protected.

Dr. Hubbard, who has been in active practice in Oklahoma City since 1901, was born at Clark, Randolph County, Missouri, where he was reared and attended school. He received his finishing education in the University of Missouri at Columbia and in the University of Chicago. He pursued his medical studies in the Rush Medical College, (affiliated with the University of Chicago), and on his graduation from that institution in the class of '01 was engaged in general hospital work in Chicago for a few months before locating in Oklahoma City. He is a member of the staff of St. Anthony's Hospital, and belongs to the state, county and the Southwestern Medical associations. His wife is Mrs. Anna (Janse) Hubbard, formerly of Fort Madison. Iowa.

Bushrod M. DILLEY

From August, 1893, until the expiration of the second administration of President Cleveland, the registrar of the U. S. land office at Oklahoma City was Judge Bushrod M. Dilley, who previous to his appointment was a prominent lawyer and a leader in Missouri politics. Since leaving the land office he has been a resident of Oklahoma City, engaged for a time in the practice of law, and in later years devoting his time to his property interests here.

Judge Dilley was born in Licking County, Ohio, in 1848, was reared in that county, and received his literary education in Denison University. Granville, Ohio. At Zanesville he studied law, was admitted to the bar, and in 1872 located the scene of his career in Hamilton, Caldwell County, Missouri, where he lived until coming to Oklahoma. Starting as a young lawyer in Hamilton, he soon made his mark in the legal profession of Missouri. For several years he was a law partner of Judge M. A. Lowe, a distinguished lawyer who is now general attorney for the Rock Island System in Kansas and a resident of Topeka. In 1879 Mr. Dilley was elected to the lower house of the Missouri legislature, and in 1882 was elected to the senate, representing the eighth senatorial district, comprising Carroll, Ray and Caldwell counties. In 1889 he received from Governor Francis the honor of appointment as a member of the board of curators of the University of Missouri. He was elected vice-president of the board, and was influential in its administration during a period when this board was entrusted with the expenditure of half a million dollars for the improvement of the university. The responsibility touching expenditures, etc., resting in the main in three of the members of which Mr. Dilley was one. The improvement of the university as inaugurated under that board has since been carried on, especially under the direction of President Jesse, until the Missouri State University now ranks among the leading educational institutions of the country. Judge Dilley was chairman of the Democratic state convention in 1892 which nominated William Stone for governor. While a resident of Missouri he became very active in the Odd Fellows order, and at the time he left Missouri was grand patriarch of the encampment branch. In the spring of 1907, after an absence from his old home for fourteen years he was pleasurably surprised by being presented by the Grand Encampment of Missouri with a beautiful gold medal in recognition of his former services as grand patriarch. Mr. Dilley was married in Missouri to Miss Corinne L. Harvey, a native of Indiana and reared at Keokuk, Iowa. They have one daughter, Mrs. Daisy Reed.


The present city clerk of Oklahoma City is George Hess, a well known Republican, a real estate man, and prominent in various ways in the city. His interest in politics has continued from youth, when he began manifesting more than ordinary concern in local affairs and the machinery by which they were conducted. He was elected city clerk of Oklahoma City in April, 1905, and at the last city election in April, 1907, was re-elected, having received his nomination in the Republican primaries. Mr. Hess is prominent in fraternal affairs of Oklahoma. An Odd Fellow, a member of Oklahoma Lodge No. 2, he is secretary of the Odd Fellows Building Association in Oklahoma City, and has represented his lodge in the grand lodge three successive years, in 1905-06-07. He has membership in Lodge No. 3, F. and A. M., at Oklahoma City, and also in the Consistory.

Mr. Hess was born February 29, 1868, son of Francis N. and Mary J. (Johnston) Hess. He was reared on his father's farm in Illinois, and attended school there. From the farm he went to teaching, and for eleven terms taught in the district schools of Saline County and in the city schools of Harrisburg, the county seat. While a resident of this locality in Illinois, he first became active in affairs of citizenship, being elected tax assessor of Harrisburg and serving in that capacity for three years. From Harrisburg he came to Oklahoma City in 1900, and during the following four years was engaged in the real estate business. For a time he was associated with W. C. Jackson as a partner in a real estate and grocery business, and later was with W. M. Smith in real estate and loans. Mr. Hess married in 1901, at Raleigh, Illinois, Miss Sarah S. Smith. They have a daughter, Mabel.


The office of County Attorney was one of the few in Oklahoma County to be filled by a Republican in the general statehood election of September 17, 1907. Although the county as a whole, like the state, was almost solidly Democratic, there were cases, where owing to the personal popularity of the candidate or his known qualifications for official preferment, the choice of the people fell upon men of the opposite party. This was true of Edward Emmet Reardon, the present County Attorney. A young lawyer, who had been engaged in active practice at Oklahoma City since 1901, he was placed upon the Republican county ticket as one of its strongest candidates in the recent election, and was easily elected. He has conducted the affairs of his office in such a manner as to deserve the confidence of the people, and has a place among the officials who are working out the problems connected with the civic and political development of the new state.

Edward Emmet Reardon was born at Delavan, Illinois, December 22, 1867, son of Bryan and Anna (Fleming) Reardon. His father, now deceased, was of Irish extraction, coming from Rhode Island to central Illinois, where he was a farmer. Following an education in the grammar and high schools at Delavan, Mr. Reardon took his collegiate courses at the University of Illinois at Champaign, and was later graduated, in 1901, from the law department of the University of Nebraska with the degree of LL. B. In the same year he was admitted to the bar before the Nebraska Supreme Court and was also admitted in Oklahoma the same year. Before entering the profession of law, he was engaged in the federal service for several years, as superintendent of Indian schools from 1894 to 1899. His headquarters while in this work were at Tama, Iowa, at Winnebago, Nebraska, and at Shawnee and Fort Randall, South Dakota. He resigned from the service to enter the University of Nebraska and prepare himself for his profession. Throughout his earlier career he had an ambition to become a lawyer, and made that the aim of his efforts while employed in other work. Though busy with his practice and official duties, Mr. Reardon also has inclinations for farming, and has made that a profitable recreation. He was married at Lincoln, Illinois, August 18, 1897, to Miss Corinne O. Sumner, daughter of Josiah W. Sumner, a veteran of the Civil war from the state of Ohio. They have two daughters, Audrey B. and Catherine A.


The first county clerk of Oklahoma County, chosen in 1890 at the first election after the organization of the territory, was William L. Bradford, now a well known business man of the city. He was re-elected, thus serving two terms in this office.

Mr. Bradford is a member of one of the pioneer Oklahoma families. Born at Council Grove, Morris County, Kansas, in 1865, he is the son of Rev. William and Martha E. (Branch) Bradford, both of southern stock. His father, born in Ohio of southern parentage, was a well known pioneer Methodist minister, and prominent in the denomination, especially in the west where most of his work was done. He located in the Kaw Valley of Morris County. Kansas, in 1857, and in the same year, going as one of the Methodist missionaries so well known in the history of pioneer countries, he established the first Methodist church in the then frontier town of Denver, Colorado. About the beginning of the Civil war he returned to make his home on the farm in Morris County, Kansas, where he lived during the war period. His home was in the midst of the murderous and bitter warfare that characterized the border, but so completely did he command respect as a man of the highest character and principles that he was unmolested by the partisans of either side and was allowed to pursue his home affairs and his advocation as a minister, in peace. After the war had closed he moved his family to Missouri and for a number of years was engaged in the ministry at different charges in that state and later in Kansas. In the meantime he had kept his farm at Council Grove, and with the growth and development of the surrounding country this became a very valuable property, where the raising of fine stock was a specialty. On the day that Oklahoma was opened to settlement. Rev. Mr. Bradford joined the pioneers of this region and took up a claim of one hundred and sixty acres a little northwest of Oklahoma City. Here he continued to live, growing in esteem among his neighbors and friends, until his death which occurred in 1900. His widow is still living in Oklahoma City. She is a native of Virginia, related to some of the prominent families of that state, particularly some of those that came west in the early years of settlement and located at Lexington, Missouri, and vicinity. Her step-father was Mr. Price, of the General Price family of Confederate fame, and on her mother's side she is related to Jo Shelby, the noted Confederate cavalry leader. Mrs. Bradford retains an active memory and talks interestingly of the earlier years and the well known people connected with southern history and her experiences in the Middle West.

William L. Bradford, though born in Kansas, was reared and educated largely in Missouri, principally in the town of Fayette, where he attended Central College, the noted educational institution of the Southern Methodist church. Later he attended school at the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan, leaving that institution to come to Oklahoma in 1889. He arrived shortly after his father and having brought in a carload of fine milk cows, he took up a claim near his father's place and established a dairy business, which was a much needed industry in the new country and hence became quite profitable. After serving his two terms as county clerk, Mr. Bradford became a traveling representative of a school furniture and supply house, but soon left the road in order to establish a permanent headquarters for that line of trade in Oklahoma City, and has continued this business with growing proportions ever since. He handles the line of goods made by the old established A. H. Andrews Company of Chicago-school furniture and supplies of all kinds, church and auditorium seats, etc. As a side line Mr. Bradford has also dealt to some extent in Oklahoma school bonds. Of the old Bradford Homestead, five miles northwest of the center of town, Mr. Bradford has retained forty acres for his home, but the rest has been set aside for a residence subdivision. A few years ago it would have been considered folly to expect Oklahoma City Jo broaden out to include property so far away, but it is now seen that, at the present rate of growth, it is a question of only a short time when the Bradford addition of Lakeview, which adjoins Belle Isle on the north, will become a populous center of homes. Mr. Bradford's wife is Estelle (Rice) Bradford, a native of Marshalltown, Iowa.


The first register of deeds of Oklahoma County under statehood, and the present capable incumbent of the office, is Joel Smith Coates, who received the nomination from the Democratic county convention and was elected to the office in September, 1907. Mr. Coates has been more or less identified with public and political affairs since attaining his majority but for the office he now holds his principal recommendation was an especial business fitness. On coming to Oklahoma in 1897 he engaged in the real estate and abstract of title business, and on January 6, 1903, was appointed deputy register of deeds. He was therefore the legitimate successor of the office, and has proved an excellent official in one of the most important county offices.

Mr. Coates was born at Moberly, Missouri, in 1871, son of Judge John T. and Julia F. (Smith) Coates. His father was a lawyer and a member of the Missouri judiciary. After a preparatory education in the public schools, Mr. Coates also attended the Decherd Normal School at Decherd, Tennessee, where he graduated in 1893. He has had legal training, having attended the law department of Washington University at St. Louis. He was reared on a farm, but on beginning active life he accepted a place in the internal revenue service, for some time being connected with the Eastern Missouri district. Aside from his official and business duties Mr. Coates has a decided fondness for the life outdoors, and hunting and fishing and the outdoor sports make a strong appeal to him and often gain him as an active devotee. He was married in 1898, at Moberly, Missouri, to Miss Ella T. Samuel. They have three children, two sons and a daughter, Glenn C, Mary Louise and John J.


The citizens of Oklahoma City give much credit for the new sewer system to the chairman of the committee on sewers while this public work was under way. Elected a member of the council in 1905, on the Republican ticket, Leonidas L. Land at once assumed an important place in the council, and devoted himself with characteristic thoroughness and energy to the city's work. As chairman of the committee on sewers he first mastered every detail of sewer construction, and gave expert opinion and supervision to the city's work although at a considerable sacrifice of his own business affairs. This fact is greatly appreciated by his fellow citizens, who realize that perhaps no other man could have acted in that capacity as well as he. In the summer of 1907 he gave up his work on the sewer committee in order to be able to devote more time to his duties as chairman of the water committee and as chairman of the sanitary committee, which latter position makes him a member of the newly created board of health. As a member of the latter committee he accompanied Mayor Scales and Dr. Hubbard in August, 1907, to Kansas City, where they studied the details of the workings of the board of health in that city, and, on returning, laid the foundation for a similarly effective system in Oklahoma City. Mr. Land keenly appreciates the moral responsibility of the city toward the poorer citizens in the maintenance of sanitary regulations that will safeguard their health, and the use of precautionary measures for protecting the public health and welfare. Mr. Land has also given valuable service to the city as a member of the board of education for a period of four years, during which time many of the public school improvements and buildings were constructed. He is enterprising and public spirited in all that he does, and is also a successful and one of the earliest of Oklahoma City's business men.

Mr. Land was born in Clinton County, Kentucky, in December, 1858. The family were old settlers of the county, his paternal grandfather being one of the pioneers. Leonidas L. was reared on a Kentucky farm, and lived there until 1885 when he moved to Kansas, locating first at Anthony and then at Coldwater, both in southern part of the state. He took part in the Oklahoma rush, but entered the territory from the south, having gone to Texas in order to come into Oklahoma City on the Santa Fe from that direction. Since the opening day, April 22, 1889, he has been a resident of this city. On California Street, between the Santa Fe tracks and Broadway, he got a lot and built a grocery store, and during the first nine years of his residence here was in that line of business. He has since been most active in the real estate business, having been unusually successful in his investments and management. He lives in the Maywood addition, where he has a fine residence. Just before leaving Kentucky he was married to Miss Ida Evans of Clinton County. They are parents of three children, Bessie, Garnet, and Hazel.


During many years Dr. McChesney Smythe was one of the prominent physicians of Oklahoma, his residence in Oklahoma City covering the period of the city's greatest growth and development, for it contained a population of only ten thousand when he came here, and through the period of its growth and upbuilding he faithfully responded to all demands made upon his professional skill, and became one of the city's widely known and loved physicians. Through judicious investments during the period of his residence here he was enabled to acquire substantial property interests, chief among which is the magnificent residence built by him for a home at 417 West Thirteenth Street, in the heart of the richest residence section.

Dr Smythe was born in Adams County, Illinois, in 1860, and he was reared there and educated for his profession in the Columbian College of Osteopathy, Medicine and Surgery, at Kirksville, Missouri. Coming to the city of Oklahoma in 1900 he established himself in practice here and continued with uninterrupted success until his death, which occurred on the 21st of January, 1908. He was of Scotch ancestry, a gentleman of fine accomplishments and a valued citizen whose loss was deeply mourned and regretted. He was survived by his mother, who lives at the beautiful home in Oklahoma City, and by his wife and two children, Carl and Adah.

Mrs. Smythe was before her marriage, Miss Agnes Caskey, a native of Adair County, Missouri.


The historian of Oklahoma usually counts time from the memorable year of 1889. All before that belongs to the hazy, almost prehistoric period, when this region was really Indian Territory, the domain of the Indian, the range cattlemen and the forces of the federal government. The history of the medical profession belongs well within the last twenty years, and yet more or less transient representatives of the profession gave invaluable aid in healing and surgical skill to the residents of the territory years before actual settlement. These duties generally fell to the army surgeon, either stationed at one of the army posts or attached to one of the regiments that protected life and property there. The army surgeon in the southwest had experiences and responsibilities that made his career probably the most interesting of all army officers, and when it is considered that his duties were not confined to the soldiers and officers, but his skill was often called to aid the civilians around him, it becomes clear that his office bestowed benefits beyond the range of any other federal officer. One of the most prominent physicians in regular practice in Oklahoma City was until recently an army surgeon, and the experiences of Dr. Frederick Stanley Dewey cover the southwest country for a period of years long ante-dating the opening of Oklahoma to settlement. He was stationed with the Fifth Cavalry when it guarded the north line of the territory on April 22, 1889, and was a witness of the great rush. A short time later he was stationed in the new town of Oklahoma City with the Tenth Infantry under Captain Stiles, who had charge of the troops in this vicinity.

Few if any of the regular physicians of Oklahoma have had a more varied professional career than Dr. Dewey. Born at Collinsville, Illinois, in 1856, he comes from a family of physicians. His father was Dr. George H. Dewey, a native of the Berkshire Hills region of Massachusetts and a cousin of Admiral George Dewey. He was a physician all his active life, as were other members in his branch of the family. His wife was Isabel (Tutt) Dewey, a native of Culpeper county, Virginia, and belonging to the well known family of that name in Virginia. Collinsville remained Dr. Dewey's home during most of his youth, and his higher education was received in Blackburn University at Carlinville and at McKendree College in Lebanon. He was professionally educated at the St. Louis Medical College, where he was graduated with the class of 1880. The same year he received appointment as contract surgeon for the Sixteenth Infantry at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and in this way began the career which has connected him with army life during the greater part of his subsequent life, all on the southwestern frontier. From Leavenworth he soon went with his regiment to Colorado, where they engaged in the dangerous work of quelling the Ute uprising in the southwestern part of that state. He was with the troops engaged in New Mexico and Arizona during the last great outbreaks of the Apaches, when their power was finally broken. Dr. Dewey, after spending the years 1881 and 1882 in New Mexico, came to western Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, the headquarters of the troops with which he served being at Fort Supply, Fort Sill, Fort Reno, and elsewhere. At different times he was with the Ninth Cavalry, the Tenth Infantry and the Thirteenth and Twentieth Infantry, and his life here gave him a thorough familiarity with the territory before it was opened. Dr. Dewey remained with the army until 1893, then engaged in private practice at Oklahoma City for several years, but in 1898 re-entered the old service, being assigned to Fort Sill and later to Fort Sam Houston and Fort Ringgold in Texas. In 1899 he was commissioned as surgeon for the Thirty-eighth Volunteer Infantry, with the rank of captain, for service in the Philippines. He remained in the islands until 1901, when he returned home and received his discharge on account of illness. While the Southwestern Division of the army had its headquarters at Oklahoma City, he was re-engaged as surgeon, but since the removal of the headquarters to St. Louis he has been in private practice. Dr. Dewey married at Edmond, Oklahoma County, Miss Grace E. Williams, a native of the state of Arkansas. They have a daughter. Frederica Dewey.


One of the most prominent physicians and surgeons of central Oklahoma, is a native of northern Alabama, born in 1854, but he was reared and received his elementary training in Polk County of eastern Tennessee. Passing from the scenes and environments of boyhood's life to the realization of a future life work he entered the Louisville Medical College and later the medical department of the University of New York, in New York City, graduating from the former institution in 1879 and in the same year he began practice at Ducktown, in Polk county. But he has made further and deeper research into the two great sciences to which he is devoting his life, pursuing general post graduate work in the leading institutions of New York, Chicago and St. Louis, while in 1884 he located for practice at Hope, Kansas, and in 1901 he came to Oklahoma City. Since that time he has been actively engaged in the practice of his profession in this city. He is the medical superintendent of the Board of Health of Oklahoma County, and belongs to the County, State and American Medical Associations. He is Democratic in politics.

Dr. Hunter was married first in Polk County, Tennessee, to Miss Ida Lowe, and married second to Miss Cedie McMillan, natives of Spartansburg, South Carolina. The nine children are Mary, George, Nora, Thomas, Kate, William, Samuel, Margaret and Mildred, five by the first marriage and four by the second.


Oklahoma City lost one of its most talented and successful physicians in the death of Dr. Wilson Stuve on August 31, 1905. He had been engaged in practice in this city since 1893, and as an experienced physician of easily recognized ability, quickly won his way to prominence in professional and civic affairs. For some time he was a member of the board of education, and it was through his efforts mainly that the Garfield school building was secured for the south side of the city.

Dr. Stuve was born in Hickman, Kentucky, January 10, 1859. He inherited his genius for medical practice from his father and grandfather, who were both of German birth and won prominence in surgery. Dr. Bernard Stuve, the father, besides being a physician, illustrated the versatility of his talent in the practice of law and in the field of writing. He was born in the duchy of Oldenburg, Germany, in 1829, came to America with his parents in 1833, and for many years practiced medicine in Kentucky and in Cincinnati, Ohio. He moved to Springfield, Illinois, in 1866, and soon after took up the study of law and became one of the leading members of the bar of that city and county.

Wilson Stuve was educated at Springfield, graduating from the high school in 1877 and also from a business college, and later began the study of medicine with Dr. Ryan of Springfield. After finishing his medical training at the St. Louis Medical College he practiced seven years at Springfield and was then appointed physician to the Pottawattomie agency at Nadeau, Kansas. While at Nadeau he met Miss Alice Ford, and on May 27, 1890, they were married at St. Mary's, Kansas. Mrs. Stuve received most of her education in the St. Mary's Academy at South Bend, Indiana. During her husband's life she co-operated with him heartily in his interests, and she has taken a prominent part especially in the women's club movements of Oklahoma City. She was one of the original members of the Philomathea Club. She introduced the resolution in that club which led to the organization of the Library Association, of which she was made secretary, and she later took a very active part in the establishment of the Carnegie Library in this city. She has long been a devoted member of the First Presbyterian church, of which her husband was also a member. She is a woman of superior culture, and has directed her influence effectively in certain movements that are distinctly uplifting and beneficial.


The medical profession of Oklahoma has probably its most versatile member in Dr. J. Melville Finney, of Oklahoma City. In medicine and surgery he is known both as a practitioner and an educator. At Oklahoma City, where he located permanently in June, 1906, he has a large practice, and is also demonstrator of anatomy in the medical department of Epworth University. Dr. Finney's talents and inclinations are essentially scientific, and in lines of investigation allied to his active profession he has accomplished results that give him rank as a scientist of high order. In geology, paleontology, biology, embryology, his studies and his practical work have made real contributions to those branches of natural science. At the University of Oklahoma, at Norman, of which he was a member of the faculty three and a half years, he founded a department of permanent educational value in establishing the museum, which is now known as one of the best equipped general museums in the west. As illustrative of several branches of natural history, it contains a fine collection of specimens, drawings and charts which were prepared by Dr. Finney. His wax reconstruction work in the department of embryology has won him commendation from the highest sources and as a direct result of this and his other attainments he has several times been offered chairs in eastern institutions.

To the general public Dr. Finney is probably best known through his work as an illustrator and his contributions to current literature. His cartoons in the Oklahoma Daily Post have been enjoyed by thousands. He has the ability to sketch, with vigorous suggestiveness, current events and matters of human interest, and in this branch of modern journalism reaches and influences the public in a way that newspaper writers cannot do. Having spent most of his life in the southwestern country, and a number of years in the deserts of Arizona, he became noted during the earlier period as an illustrator of western life and scenes for eastern magazines. At the same time he was cow-boy, scout and newspaper writer. His experience included all the phases of southwestern life-in the mining camps, the cattle ranges, the military posts, and the Indians, who were making their final great stand against the whites. Arizona, New Mexico, Lower California, northern Mexico, he studied and came to know both as a keen observer of people and as a natural scientist. For Frank Leslie's Weekly and other publications he made many sketches of Apache Indian life, of the Grand Canyon, and of scenes of the desert, and his magazine and newspaper articles from that interesting and romantic region were the most illuminating literature of the day on those subjects.

Knowing Dr. Finney's personal history would lead one to believe that his talents and attainments are in considerable measure clue to inheritance. In the field of invention and applied science, his father, Dr. J. R. Finney, who died in December, 1899, deserves a place in history with the noted inventors of the past century. While practicing his profession of dentistry at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, he became interested in electrical invention, and as a result he patented over three hundred inventions in electricity and improved devices for the dental profession. The overhead trolley system was originated in his fertile mind, and his first patent for its practical adaptation was taken out in 1871. It is also claimed that he first introduced electricity as a motive power in the United States. While the father was a practical scientist, the mother was talented in another direction, and as an artist in water colors had more than local note.

J. Melville Finney was born to these parents in Youngstown, Ohio, and being taken to Boston when he was two and a half years of age, was reared and educated in that city. While he was a child, one of the callers at the Finney home was Ralph Waldo Emerson, who remarked upon the boy's aptitude for the arts and advised his mother that he should be educated along that line. As a result he studied art in the Boston Art School. He was eighteen years old when he came to the southwest, in 1879, and for nearly thirty years has remained identified with this country, engaged in the various lines in which talent and ambition have directed him. His frontier life caused no digression in his scientific studies, and by regular examination and license he entered the profession of medicine. Later he matriculated as one of the first students in the medical department of Fort Worth (Texas) University, from which he graduated in 1900. He made a specialty of anatomy while a student, and established the Museum of Anatomy at that university. Since leaving Fort Worth he has been in the main connected with educational work and regular practice in Oklahoma. He continues his work as artist and cartoonist, making illustrations for magazines, newspapers and book covers. His clay relief work illustrations have gained him special notice among illustrators, and, demanding ability in both painting and sculpture, they reveal the versatility of his talents in art as his other pursuits do in science.

In 1902 Dr. Finney married Miss Ollie Lovelace of Texas. They have one child, Melville.

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