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The History of Oklahoma Biographies Vol. II
by Luther B. Hill
Page 14


The first register of the United States land office at Mangum, Greer County, was Major H. D. McKnight, who for several years had been a successful lawyer at Perry until his appointment to that office in 1897. His opening of the office at Mangum was the first official federal act following the well remembered decision of the U. S. Supreme Court that Greer County was a part of Oklahoma instead of Texas. Major McKnight remained in the office at Mangum until April, 1901.

In the following July he was appointed register of the land office at Lawton, and as such was in active charge of the opening of the Comanche and Kiowa reservation, which took place August 6, 1901, and as one of the famous events of Oklahoma history is narrated in detail on other pages. Major McKnight has continued at the head of the Lawton office ever since, one of the most important subsequent events in which this office was concerned being the opening of the Big Pasture, lying south of Lawton.

Major McKnight has seen continuous service as register in Oklahoma since March 31, 1897, with the exception of a period of less than three months, serving now under his fourth official appointment, a record that proves his standing with the department, and it is also conceded by his fellow citizens that he is a highly efficient and capable and just official. While he holds an office that is usually regarded as apart from the regular institutions of a community, he has become thoroughly identified as a citizen with the growth and development of southwestern Oklahoma, having interests both at Mangum and Lawton.

Major McKnight is a lawyer by profession and has spent most of his career in practice. He was born at Ironton, Lawrence County, Ohio, April 11, 1844, son of William F. and Margaret (Higgins) McKnight. His mother is still living in Ironton, aged eighty-six, his father, who was a native, of Virginia and of Scotch-Irish ancestry, died there in 1901, at the age of eighty-three. After spending the first twenty years of his life in Lawrence County, where he was educated, he went into the army service during the last year of the war, enlisting July 13, 1864, in Company A, Eighty-eighth Ohio Infantry. His service was mostly in the quartermaster's department, in the command of General Thomas, Army of the Cumberland, while it was fighting those memorable battles in the last year of the war about Franklin, Nashville and other portions of Tennessee. The several years following the war were spent mostly at Ironton and in Washington, D. C. He studied law and was admitted to the bar, and for a number of years had a large practice in Washington, conducting pension and other claims in the departments of the federal government. At the time the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma was opened for settlement, he established himself in law practice at Perry and continued actively in his profession until the appointment as register of the land office in 1897. He is a Republican in politics, and in the first election under the new constitution in 1907, he was strongly urged by representatives of that party to become a candidate for Congress in the fifth congressional district. Major McKnight's wife is Harriet A. (Honaker) McKnight, a native of West Virginia. They have four children: Rufus D., Hal B., H. Howard, and Mrs. Clara M. Nankivel.


During the uncertain period in Oklahoma government between the opening of the territory on April 22, 1889, and the organization under the territorial act a year later, Guthrie as the chosen capital of the new territory and its most important city teemed with a life and varied activity that makes its early history unique among American cities. The entire territory being without law from a regularly instituted source, it was but natural that in adapting themselves to this anomalous condition, the people resorted to some expedients and practices that, while preserving the content and spirit of American law, were at least unknown in American custom if not somewhat arbitrary.

A meeting of Guthrie residents having been called soon after the opening, it was found that there were representatives present from every state in the Union, and, according to the usual picturesque fashion of a new country, it was decided to elect an administrative council composed of one member from every state in the Union. This council should administer government provisionally until a regular system should be furnished. The council, consisting of about forty men, organized for business and elected a mayor, a chief of police, a police judge and other minor officials, a committee drew up a set of ordinances for the government of the city, and, until the organization of the territory the following year, Guthrie flourished under the guidance of a government that was as nearly representative as could be found in the history of democratic peoples.

In the administration of justice, the police court was supreme, and in reality had jurisdiction in and tried all cases both criminal and civil. This court had the unique distinction of being the only one in the United States, outside of the Supreme Court, from which there was no appeal; all cases were tried and passed upon with final judgment, and, while the court remained in existence, the litigants had no further recourse. New lawyers from the states were at first amazed by this unique tribunal, but most of them soon acquiesced in its judgments, and it is highly complimentary to the judge of the court that when his decisions were afterwards reviewed by federal courts, they were upheld without a single reversal. The first judge of this court was Frank P. Cease, now a well known lawyer and citizen of Lawton. Judge Cease's court did a rushing business from the first day and continued for several months, the docket average, in number of complaints filed and decisions rendered, about fifty a day. It was a busy institution during the first months of Guthrie's history, with some fifteen or twenty policemen engaged in preserving order in town and bringing offenders to court or haling them to the hastily improvised jail. A large portion of the litigation consisted of disputes over lot jumping, which was the highest crime in the catalogue during those days. Some desperate characters were involved in such cases, notably the Dodge City gang, headed by Ben Tillman and his friends, and the trials required the carefullest handling. Old-timers of Guthrie say that while Judge Cease administered justice with an even hand, he at the same time displayed a coolness and firmness that more than once saved him from death and won him the respect of even the most hardened offenders. Before this court during the early months passed a long line, not only of lot-jumpers, but also of more common criminals, such as gamblers, bootleggers, dive and dance-hall keepers, and it required a discriminating and wise judge to give each his deserts. And yet, as the later rulings after the formation of the territory indicate, the ordinances adopted by the provisional government were based on principles of justice and common sense, and they were administered with equal fairness by the presiding judge. Back of the tribunal, and supporting its judge in dealing out justice, stood the great majority of the citizens of Guthrie, who were law-abiding by habit and previous training and were earnestly endeavoring to build up a good country, with as few of the frontier characteristics of looseness and wildness as possible.

Judge Frank P. Cease, whose career as the first police judge of Oklahoma, serving from April to September, 1889, gives him a unique place in the history of that period, was born in Mason County, Illinois, in 1851, being of Holland ancestry, both parents coming from Pennsylvania. While growing up to manhood on a farm in Mason county, he had few opportunities to attend school, and is mainly self-educated. In 1875 he located in Kansas, first in Allen County, and then at Greensburg, the county seat of Kiowa County, in the southwest part of the state, and from there went to join the rush into Oklahoma, immediately taking a prominent position among his fellow citizens of the new capital city. On leaving the office of police judge, he then founded the Noble Courier, a weekly newspaper, at Noble, in Cleveland county, but on the location of the county seat at Norman the following December, he moved to that place, and in January. 1890, was elected the first probate judge in Oklahoma for Cleveland county. He served in that office four years, and in the meantime studied law and was admitted to the bar. From Norman he moved to Lexington, in the same county, where he continued the practice of law until July, 1901, when he prepared to join in the settlement of the Kiowa-Comanche reservation and on the opening day, August 6th, became one of the first citizens of Lawton, where he has since been a resident and a general practitioner in all the courts, both federal and territorial. Judge Cease was married in Kansas in 1877 to Miss Minnie C. Reese. She is a native of Licking County, Ohio. Of their ten children, a son, George, is deceased, and the others are: James H., Ernest J., Carrie, Bertha, Josie, Frank, Helen, Glenn, and Marguerite.


One of the most active, vigilant and efficient of the criminal officers who preserved law and order in the old Indian Territory during the eighties is Heck Thomas, who now lives in Lawton and has been city marshal since the town started six years ago. His career and contact with criminal element of the southwest cover more than thirty years, and a review of his personal history will recall many events and noted criminals of this period.

Mr. Thomas no doubt inherits much of his fighting ability from an ancestry that has long been noted as soldiers. His father, Colonel Lovick P. Thomas, during the War Between the States, was commander of the Thirty-fifth Georgia Infantry, C. S. A., and won distinction in the conflict. Two of Heck Thomas' paternal uncles were also brilliant soldiers- Col. Henry Thomas commanding the Sixteenth Georgia Infantry, and Gen. Edward Lloyd Thomas being advanced, toward the close of the war, from command of the Forty-ninth Georgia to rank of brigadier general in command of the Thomas brigade. It was for the latter that Heck Thomas, then twelve years old, served as a courier at the front in the fighting in Virginia in 1862, and although born in 1850, he has the unusual distinction of being practically a veteran of the Civil war. He remembers distinctly the stirring events connected with the remarkable military campaigns waged by the two armies in Virginia in 1862 and 1863. The Thomases have been prominent in Georgia for many years. Col. Lovick P. Thomas was the first city marshal of Atlanta after the war, and his son, Lovick P. Thomas, Jr., was also city marshal of that city and for several years following was sheriff of Fulton County, and is now a prominent and wealthy resident of the city.

Born in Athens, Georgia, but reared and educated in Atlanta, Heck Thomas came to Texas in 1873, and for the following ten years was express messenger and agent for the old Texas Express Company, on the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, principally on the run between Denison and Galveston. That was the first road built into northern Texas, and along this pioneer line occurred many robberies and other exciting incidents in which he was more than once a participant. Among them was the well remembered holdup of the train of which he was messenger, at the little station of Hutchins, near Dallas, in 1876. The noted outlaw, Sam Bass, was the leader in this attempt-a desperado who a year or so before had placed himself in the front rank of train robbers by getting away with $60,000 in gold from an express car on the Union Pacific Railway. Owing to Mr. Thomas' foresight and strategy, in secreting the large amount of cash in his keeping that night and placing a number of "decoy" packages in the safe, the robbers got nothing of any value and the train had gone safely on its way before they discovered the deception. However, the holdup had not been accomplished without a fight, and in the shooting. Mr. Thomas was so badly injured that he was taken off from the messenger run and made agent for the company at Fort Worth, in which position he remained about six years and a half. In 1883 he was one of the candidates for city marshal in Fort Worth, being defeated by only 22 votes.

About this time, in an ugly neighborhood fight in Indian Territory, four men-Jim and Andrew Roff, Jim Guy and Guy Kirdendall - were killed by two desperate characters, Jim and Pink Lee. A reward aggregating $5,200 was offered for the capture of the slayers. Mr. Thomas took up the chase, and after four months of continuous pursuit he effected the capture of both and got the reward. Fort Smith, Arkansas, was then headquarters for the United States district court for the western district of Arkansas, which at that time had jurisdiction over all Indian Territory. After the event just mentioned, Mr. Thomas located at Fort Smith, and under the first Cleveland administration was appointed Deputy U. S. Marshal for service in the territory, and held a commission as officer under that court for nearly ten years.

In those early days the outlaw and criminal class had things about their own way in the territory, and it was an extremely difficult and dangerous matter to contend with them. But after having made this country their rendezvous and hiding place for many years, they were- finally driven out, thanks to the vigilance and bravery of such officers as Heck Thomas, and the thousands of settlers who came to Oklahoma after its opening to settlement in 1889 found it a peaceful and law abiding country.
During the latter part of Mr. Thomas' service under federal jurisdiction he was deputy marshal under U. S. Marshal Harry Thompson at Anadarko. This brought him in close touch with the great Kiowa-Comanche reservation country, and knew it perfectly before it was opened to settlement in August, 1901. On the day of the opening he became a citizen of Lawton. Besides the respect due his office as city marshal, he commands the high esteem of all his fellow citizens, and one of his most cherished prizes is a medal of gold presented to him as a token of their esteem and affectionate regard.


The First National Bank of Lawton, whose president is George M. Paschal, has a history continuous from the date of the founding of the town, on August 6, 1901. The First National and the City National both started on that day, the first home of the former being under a tent. On June 6, 1904, the First National was reorganized, the directors electing a new president, George M. Paschal, who had been connected with the City National as its president from the day of its founding. Under the present management, since the organization, the deposits in the First National have increased from $66,000 to over one million dollars in March, 1907, a remarkable growth indicating a wonderful progress in town and country, as well as successful bank management. The capital is $100,000, with surplus and profits of $10,000, and the bank is a United States depository. It is as sound as a financial institution can be, is thoroughly identified with the business interests and agricultural development of the rich new country tributary to Lawton, and enjoys the patronage and confidence of the public to an exceptional extent.

Mr. Paschal, its president, although still a young man, is one of the pioneers of this country, and having preceded other white immigration, is familiar with all the varied phases of its history. Born and reared and educated in Smith county, Tennessee, his parents being J. W. and A. E. (Smith) Paschal, he came to northern Texas during the early seventies, living there five or six years, and since the year 1878 has been closely connected in a business way with the Indian country of southwest Oklahoma, which at that time was still Indian Territory. In 1885 he established his home permanently in the Comanche reservation, in what is now Comanche county, his business being that of Indian trader and contractor. He has engaged in this line of business for a period of twenty-one years in the territory, since he is still carrying on trade with the Indians, having a store for this purpose at Fort Sill Sub-Agency, near Fort Sill, which was his home and headquarters for a long number of years. The opening of the Comanche reservation did not come until twelve years after the Oklahoma settlement of 1889, so that for nearly a quarter of a century his business interests were with the Indians. Mr. Paschal was married in Tennessee to Miss Sarah Shields, a native of Putnam County, that state. They have two children, Virginia and Hilda.


HE is vice president of the First National Bank of Lawton. Although banking has absorbed the greater part of his business energies since this part of Oklahoma became the white man's country and the seat of many thriving towns and widespread industry, his connection with the country antedates by many years the opening of the reservation. For thirty years he has known Fort Sill and the Indian tribes about it probably as intimately as any man living.

A native of St. Louis, where he was educated, and where he qualified himself for business, Mr. Quinette formed a partnership with Captain F. R. Rice, a retired army officer, and a well known cigar manufacturer of St. Louis, to engage in post trading. Mr. Quinette was to carry on the active operations of the firm in the Indian country, and for this purpose came to Fort Sill on October 1. 1878.
It is noteworthy in connection with this history that Rice & Quinette, which is still the firm name, is now the only firm of post traders actively engaged in business in the United States, all others having discontinued. It will be understood, of course, that there is a distinction between post traders and those who are licensed by the government to trade with Indians, the former being more of a recognized institution and having definite contractual relations with the federal government. Mr. Quinette himself has a license permitting him to do trading with Indians, and has always engaged in traffic with them. For nearly thirty years, therefore, Rice & Quinette have been a part of the various activities and affairs that constitute Fort Sill Mr. Quinette's memory of the events and incidents in this part of Oklahoma affords some interesting facts of history. In 1878 the nearest railroads were at Caddo, I. T., distant 190 miles to the east, and Caldwell, Kansas, 200 miles on the north. Travel was wholly dependent then by stage coaches between Fort Sill and railroad points which consumed about forty hours' time by relays of horses, every twenty-five miles at ranches. Fort Sill at that time was occupied by four troops of the Tenth Cavalry and four companies of the Sixteenth Infantry, the post commander being General J. W. Davidson, Lieutenant Colonel Tenth Cavalry. The Comanches were then in four distinct tribes-the Quo-haddies, the Noconas, the Penetethkes, and the Yamparekas. They were true aborigines, living according to primitive habits, none of them wore "store clothes," and had absorbed hardly a minimum of civilization which some of them have taken on in later years through contact with the whites. One of his oldest acquaintances among the leading Indians is the celebrated Quanah Parker, who has been the Comanches' chieftain so many years, though his mother was a white woman. Mr. Quinette's close association in a business way with the Indians, and his knowledge of the country through his numerous hunting and exploring expeditions give him a fund of information about southwestern Oklahoma and its resources not possessed by any other one person.

During the past six years he has established many interests and become closely identified with the rising town of Lawton. Depending for some of its important interests on the co-operation of the federal authorities, as all the towns in this locality have been compelled to do, it has at various times fallen to Mr. Quinette to journey to Washington in behalf of matters of public welfare to Lawton and the surrounding country.


The Fort Sill School for Comanche Indian children was established by the government in 1890, and the following year Julian W. Haddon was appointed its superintendent. Among the Indian schools of the country this is considered one of the best, credit for which must be given to Superintendent Haddon, who has occupied the position of principal responsibility in its conduct and management for twelve years. His term of service has not been continuous, he having been called to similar places in other Indian schools during four years, one year in Wyoming, one year in Dakota, and one year as superintendent and agent for the eastern Cherokees in North Carolina.

More than twenty years' experience in the work of education among the Indians has given Professor Haddon a place of distinction among the superintendents of Indian schools under the federal government. The future of the Indian depends on the training that the younger generation is now receiving to fit it for the responsible duties which this race will hereafter be called to meet, and as an educator among the Indians for the past two decades it seems that Mr. Haddon has performed a work, hardly surpassed in essential good by that of any engaged in the federal service. His close connection with this line of education in Oklahoma during the greater part of twenty years makes him an authority on this department of education.

He was well fitted for his present profession by the varied activities of law, journalism and teaching in the state of Mississippi. Born in Abbeville County, South Carolina, and reared on his father's plantation, he received the greater part of his education at Erskine College in his native county, graduating from that school in 1875. In 1876 he moved to Pontotoc, Mississippi, where he lived seven years. Read law and was admitted to the bar, he now combined the professions of law, journalism and teaching while a resident of Pontotoc, and for the greater part of the time was editor and publisher of a newspaper in that town. In 1886 he was appointed by the Department of Interior as superintendent of the Riverside Indian School for Wichita and Caddo children at Anadarko, Indian Territory, (now part of Caddo County, Okla.). Since then he has been continuously in this department of education.

Mr. Haddon is prominently identified with the Masonic fraternity in Lawton, being master of the blue lodge and is also a Knight Templar. While living in Anadarko he was married to Miss Nannie F. Freeman, of Pleasant Hill, Missouri, who was a teacher in the Anadarko Indian School at the time. Their four children are Robert F., S. Elkins, Julian B., and C. Page.


All who had the privilege of seeing the constitutional convention in session and of getting some insight into the practical workings of that body will appreciate and honor the ability that maintained the organization of clerks and stenographers at such a constant state of efficiency and kept the clerical machinery of such a convention moving with never a serious delay or break. The busiest man throughout the session of the convention was the secretary, upon whom devolved so much of the actual labor of drafting the new constitution, and whose services were highly commended by all the delegates. All agreed that it was a wise choice that selected John McLain Young, a rising young lawyer of Lawton, for the responsible position of secretary, and in the future, when this convention and its work shall have become historic, it will be just that his services receive a due share of the honor bestowed upon the convention. It should be mentioned that he received no pay for his services, which were given as a matter of patriotism, and actually incurred financial loss owing to the inadequacy of the federal appropriation for the convention. As a tribute to Mr. Young's ability, the convention elected him as president of the supreme election board of the new state, but, as is well known, this board has been abolished by subsequent court decision.

The convention's secretary was born at Pana, Illinois, December 28, 1872. His parents were Daniel W. and Mary (McLain) Young, the former a native of Virginia and an early settler in central Illinois. From 1873 to 1889 the family lived at Paris, Edgar County, Illinois, and in the latter year came to southern Kansas, locating at Medicine Lodge. Soon after the opening of the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma in 1893, they moved to Enid, where the parents still reside.

John McLain Young received a good education in the schools of Paris and of Medicine Lodge. Having come to Kingfisher, Oklahoma, January 1, 1893, he participated, on September 16, in the memorable stampede which marked the opening of the Strip to settlement. The new town of Enid became his home, and while that city was building up he was reading law in the office of Denton & Chambers, the former being Judge W. S. Denton and the latter Tom Chambers, city attorney of Oklahoma City. In 1897 he was admitted to the bar in Enid, and began a practice that was successfully continued four years. August 6, 1901, he took part in another famous opening, and with the founding of the city of Lawton on that day he became identified with its interests as one of the leading lawyers. Since arriving at his majority he has done practical work for the Democratic Party as a member of city and county central committees. His influential position in the party enabled him to take the lead in organizing the Democratic Party in Comanche county, under authority from the state committee, and he was selected the first territorial committeeman from this county. Mr. Young justly considers the highest honor that has come to him in his political and public career to have been his selection as secretary of the constitutional convention which adjourned in March, 1907, after framing the constitution of the forty-sixth state of the Union.

In Lawton Mr. Young is president of the Wichita Mountain Club, which was organized to promote outdoor sports and recreations, especially in the Wichita Mountains. He served as grand chancellor of the Knights of Pythias of Oklahoma in 1894 and 1895. He married, at Enid, Miss Elizabeth Wittemeyer, and they have two children, Margaret Christine and John Maurice.


At the establishment of the First National Bank in Lawton on the very day the town was founded, when a tent was used for a banking room, the organizers of the bank chose for their assistant cashier Milo A. Nelson. It is significant of the versatile ability characterizing the first citizenship of Lawton that men of talent and integrity were found who could at once assume the tasks involved in starting the machinery of business and civil government on the first day. In a few hours almost, Lawton had become organized and the various departments were running as completely as though the town had grown up through all the usual stages of progress in a city's life. Here on the opening day were many men whom previous experience and whose ready ability fitted to enter upon new duties and discharge them successfully. So in the case of Mr. Nelson, who had been engaged in banking for a number of years previous to coming to Oklahoma, and who at once proved a valuable assistant in the affairs of the First National. He remained officially connected with that institution about two years, until the confining nature of his duties made a change of occupation necessary. Since then he has been in the real estate and loan business, and is one of Lawton's successful and public-spirited citizens.

Mr. Nelson was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, in 1856, but was reared in Berrien County, Michigan, to which place his parents removed when he was an infant. His father died when he was six years old, and he practically supported himself after he was ten years old. He attended school two years at the Michigan Agricultural College at Lansing, and one year at the Northern Indiana Normal College at Valparaiso. Leaving Michigan in 1878, his subsequent career has been spent largely in the southwest. For three years, from 1878 to 1881, his home was at Appleton City, St. Clair County, Missouri. In 1882 he helped organize and erected the first brick building at the new town of Eldorado, Cedar County, Missouri, adjoining St. Clair County on the south, and here he was postmaster for more than two years. From there in 1885 he moved to southwestern Kansas, to the new country of which one of the settlements was Greensburg, where he located. He soon after assisted to organize Kiowa County, and was appointed the first county clerk by Governor Martin. In 1895, he returned to Appleton City and remained there until the summer of 1901, when he came to Oklahoma and took part in the opening of the Kiowa-Comanche reservation on August 6. Mr. Nelson was married in 1882 to Miss Mary E. Peck, of Illinois. She died January 29, 1906. There is one son, Paul Nelson, born in 1891.
In Masonry, Mr. Nelson is one of the best known members in Oklahoma. He is a Knight Templar and a thirty-second degree Mason, and also a Shriner.


HE was prepared to take a case the first day of Lawton's history, and has been one of the leading physicians and surgeons there ever since. Dr. Myers, who was born at Cambria, Columbia County, Wisconsin, and was educated at the Marshfield, Wisconsin High School, and at the State University of Minnesota, received his medical education in one of the most noted schools in America - medical department of McGill University, Montreal, Canada, where he graduated in the class of 1898. His first practice was at Colby, Wisconsin, then at his home town of Prentice in the same state. Later he was house surgeon of St. Mary's Hospital, Oshkosh, and also served for eight months as surgeon to St. Agnes Hospital, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. With this variety and thoroughness of experience, he came to Oklahoma and took part in the founding of Lawton, August 6, 1901, where he has acquired an excellent reputation as a careful and able practitioner. He is an ex-president of the Comanche County Medical Society, of which he is president, and is a member of the Oklahoma Medical Society and the American Medical Association. With Drs. Turner and Lewis he founded the Lawton Hospital, which became a private hospital in 1907. In 1908, he helped to establish the Lawton General Hospital. He is superintendent of the county board of health. Fraternally he is a member of the Masons, Elks and several other orders. Dr. Myers married Mrs. Daisy M. Herriott of Plattsburg, Missouri, and they have a daughter, Wanda Myers.

Dr. James Lang Lewis

He established himself in practice at Lawton August 6, 1901, the day of the opening, is a graduate from the medical department of Northwestern University at Chicago, class of 1901. Having been well prepared, he has practiced with success in Lawton, and is one of the able, high-minded young practitioners who have done so much in placing the medical profession in Oklahoma on a very high plane. One of the leading physicians in his own city, he also keeps thoroughly in touch with the profession at large. He is a member of the Comanche County and Oklahoma Medical Societies and the American Medical Association. He and Dr. William M. Turner own and conduct the Turner and Lewis private hospital and training school for nurses and he is secretary and treasurer of the U. S. Pension Examining Board at Lawton. Dr. Lewis, who is the son of Rev. James Lewis, a Presbyterian minister, was born at Detroit, Michigan, in 1873, and received most of his education and rearing at Joliet, Illinois, where his father lived for several years as pastor of one of the Presbyterian churches of that city. His advanced schooling was obtained at Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, where he graduated in 1897, afterwards taking up his medical studies. At Joliet Dr. Lewis married Miss Bessie S. Palmer. They have two children, Dorothy E. and Olive D.

Dr. R. H. Tullis

In 1905 the medical profession at Lawton was deprived of one of its esteemed members and a man of the finest character and standing as a physician, in the death, by typhoid fever, of Dr. R. H. Tullis, who had practiced here as a partner of Dr. Lewis. The late Dr. Tullis was born in Ohio, receiving his medical education in the medical department of Northwestern University, where he graduated in 1892. He practiced for a time in Colorado and then came to Oklahoma, where he was one of the most prominent and best known physicians. At the time of his death he was president of the Oklahoma Territorial Medical Association, and previous to that had been president of the Comanche County Association. He was very popular among the members of the profession, and took great interest in organizing the medical societies and in advancing the standards of the profession by all possible means. He had been established in practice at Lawton since the opening day, August 6, 1901.

Wm. H. Hornaday

While no newspapers were published in the Oklahoma Territory previous to the opening in 1889, this region, because of the activity of the boomers and the general interest of the outside public in the country, originated a great quantity of news matter that was collected on the ground by enterprising correspondents of the large metropolitan dailies. One of these early Oklahoma newspaper men, who wrote and sent from this field many articles that were published as leaders in papers of Chicago and St. Louis, is now a prominent business man and man of affairs in Oklahoma. Since the opening of the original territory in 1889 he has been identified with but one newspaper enterprise here, having had editorial management of the Republican-Courier of Ponca City, from 1900 till the opening of the Kiowa-Comanche reservation on August 6, 1901.

This former correspondent and newspaper man is William H. Hornaday, who has been prominently identified with business affairs in Lawton since the founding of that city, and by election in 1907, is commander of the Oklahoma Department of the Grand Army of the Republic. Since he was seventeen years old his career has been marked by varied and eventful experiences. Born in Marion County, near Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1844, he was a son of Isaiah Hornaday, a North Carolinian who became one of the early settlers of that portion of Indiana and was a figure in the early political and public life of his county. He was one of the organizers of the Republican Party in Indiana, and one of his son's boyhood recollections is of going with his father through the Fremont campaign. At the age of seventeen, in 1861, the son enlisted at Indianapolis in the Eleventh Indiana, Gen. Lew Wallace's Zouaves, and later joined the Sixty-third Indiana, as a member of which organizations he served with distinction throughout the war. In Chicago, after the war, he began his career as newspaper man, being reporter and then advancing to the more responsible rank of correspondent. He was an employee of nearly all the old Chicago dailies - The Times, the Tribune, etc. He became a member of the fire department, and as such saw duty in one of the greatest fires of history, the Chicago fire of 1871. A short time later he entered politics, and for awhile was deputy county clerk of Cook County. Newspaper work was more in his line, however, and he continued it in Chicago, and a while in New York, until 1884, when he joined the newspaper fraternity of Topeka, Kansas, where he was correspondent for New York, Chicago and St. Louis papers.

His first connection with what is now Oklahoma began in 1879, when, as a representative of the Chicago Times and other eastern papers, he wrote up the Indian Territory situation with special reference to the region even then called Oklahoma. It was his fortune to meet Capt. David L. Payne, and accompanied the famous boomer on one of his expeditions into the forbidden land. From that time on until the original opening on April 22, 1889, he was more or less constantly in touch with this country. Of the momentous and thrilling events and incidents of April 22, 1889, he wrote accounts that were published in the St. Louis Globe - Democrat and other papers. As a newspaper man he was also gifted with ability to make pen sketches, and in the days when photo-engraving had not yet been adapted to newspaper publication, his sketches were eagerly sought and in themselves were graphic portrayals of many scenes connected with the first days of Oklahoma history.

In 1900, after spending the intervening years mainly in newspaper work in the east, Mr. Hornaday returned to Oklahoma in anticipation of the opening of the Kiowa-Comanche reservation. Since locating at Lawton in August, 1901, he has not been actively identified with the newspaper profession. A few days after the opening he purchased claim No. 3, adjoining the original townsite on eh northwest corner (being the southeast quarter of section 25, town 2 north). This well known location has since been subdivided into lots and given the name of Mountain View Addition to Lawton. Lying on an elevation that overlooks the city, and with a splendid view of the Wichita Mountains, Fort Sill and surrounding country, this is esteemed to be the most beautiful and valuable addition to Lawton and is now within the corporation. A company organized by Mr. Hornaday is handling the property, in which he retains his own homestead. He is vice president and one of the directors of the Moncrief-Cook Company, real estate and financial agents, representing large interests not only in Lawton but in other sections.

Since coming to Lawton Mr. Hornaday has displayed constant enthusiasm and public spirit in the upbuilding of this new city of the southwest. He was one of the organizers and one of the most enterprising members of the Lawton Chamber of Commerce, which more than any other body has been influential in advancing the commercial interests of the city. A strong Republican in politics since he became old enough to vote, he has been active in the interests of his party since coming to Oklahoma, and in July, 1907, was chosen a member of the Comanche County delegation to the new state Republican convention at Tulsa.

Mr. Hornaday joined the Grand Army of the Republic almost at its birth in the sixties in Chicago, and his comrades have pushed him forward to many positions of honor in the order, as above stated, and elected him department commander of Oklahoma.

While a resident of Chicago Mr. Hornaday married Miss Nettie Jackman of that city, her father being of New England stock and an early settler of McHenry County. They have two children, Wallace, and Mrs. Clyde L. Clauser, the latter living in Denver.

Rev. Abraham Lincoln Snyder

Prominent among the more widely known and respected citizens of eastern Oklahoma is Rev. Abraham L. Snyder, clerk of the District Court of Wagoner County, and an active and earnest minister of the Methodist Episcopal denomination, having charge of the churches in both Wagoner and Claremore. For the past fifteen years he has labored as a pastor and missionary in Oklahoma, and in the various places in which he has been settled he will long be remembered not alone for the spiritual influence he has exerted, but for the material assistance he has given in establishing societies and building church edifices. He was born December 29, 1867, in Whitley County, Kentucky, which was also the birthplace of his father, Garrett M. Snyder, whose birth occurred seventy-three years ago. His grandfather, Eli Snyder, who came from pure Dutch ancestry, reared but two children, Garrett M., and Sarah, who, after her marriage with Frank Creekmore, moved to Davis County, Missouri, where she died, leaving a family.

Brought up under the influence of slaveholders, Garrett M. Snyder spent his earlier life in the employ of a rich southern planter, for whom he bought, sold and drove human beings, according to the custom of that section of the Union. Strange as it may appear, with the agitation of the questions that brought on the Civil War he changed his views on the subject and became a strong advocate of the abolition of slavery. He is now a resident of Milan, Kansas. He married Lorene Harmon, daughter of Rev. Henry Harman, pastor of a Baptist church in Kentucky, and a man whose sympathies were with the north during the Civil War. Two of Mr. Harman's sons, George and Samuel, served in the Federal army during the conflict, George being mustered in as a private, and subsequently being promoted to the rank of lieutenant. After the war was ended Lieutenant Harman was appointed supply agent at Bismarck, North Dakota, and while there visited the battlefield of the Big Horn a few hours after the massacre of General Custer and his company of brave men. Of the union of Garrett M. and Lorene (Harman) Snyder eight children were born, as follows: Henry E., living near Chattanooga, Tennessee; Margaret E., wife of Lee Evans, of Alberta, Canada; George W., of Milan, Kansas; Winnie, wife of Matt Gilliland, of Medford, Oklahoma; Abraham L., the subject of this sketch; Sarah E., wife of William Abbott, also of Milan, Kansas; Albert, who died in the ministry, unmarried; and Ida C., wife of Alonzo Beichelheimer, of Nashville, Oklahoma.

Leaving Kentucky with his parents when a small child, Abraham L. Snyder lived for a few years in Mercer County, Missouri, from there going, in 1874, to Sumner County, Kansas, where the family have since resided, being now in Milan. After leaving the common schools he continued his studies at the Methodist College in Winfield, under Professor Phillips, working his way through the institution by performing various duties of a menial nature, among others cutting, splitting and marketing stove wood, in the meantime, with his roommate, Daniel H. Switzer, now an ordained minister, becoming very familiar with the taste of graham mush and of other foods more nourishing that expensive. After his graduation Mr. Snyder taught school in Kansas, and at the same time began work in the ministry.
Coming to the Indian Territory in 1894, he was first given the Guthrie and Moore circuits, then the Deer Creek circuit, where he built two houses of worship and paid off the debt on a third church, in addition, organizing a congregation at Lamont and raising money enough to build its church, his home being in Deer Creek. Being next transferred to Garberm, Mr. Snyder there paid the indebtedness on the church and moved the building to Hunter, on the same circuit, where he subsequently established his own home. At Hunter Mr. Snyder remained three years, during which time the church building was enlarged to accommodate its increased membership, and a parsonage was built, his pastorate there being a memorable one for his parishioners. Mr. Snyder was then ordered by the Bishop to come to Wagoner to inject life and enthusiasm into the organization at this place, and also to take charge of the Claremore society. His financial ability enabled him to pay off a debt at Claremore, and subsequently Pryor Creek was added to his charge. The church at Tahlequah being then without a pastor Mr. Snyder was asked to take up the work in that vicinity, and in addition to his other ministerial labors preached there during the week, rendering the best service possible under the circumstances. The Tahlequah and Pryor Creek districts were afterwards detached from his circuit, the Wagoner and Claremore charges being retained. The Wagoner Methodist Episcopal church edifice was subsequently built, Mr. Snyder himself helping quarry and haul the stone used in its construction, also hauling lumber, and making himself generally useful as a manual laborer during its building. He is still at the helm as pastor of the church, also having charge of the congregations at Inola and Mazil, laboring without thought of self, but with the spirit of the Master manifested in all of his labors.

His work in the various religious organizations with which he has been associated has given Mr. Snyder a wide acquaintance throughout Wagoner county, and when his Republican friends placed him before the public as a candidate for political preferment as district clerk the people flocked to his aid, and he became the nominee without opposition and was elected by a majority of four hundred and sixty-five.

Rev. Mr. Snyder married, February 13, 1895, in Cleveland, Oklahoma, Cora A. Beardsley, daughter of S. P. Beardsley, now engaged in mercantile business in Wagoner, and they have five children, namely: Maudie, Ena D., Albert L., Margaret M. and Mary Lorene. Mr. Snyder has accumulated considerable means, owning property in both Wagoner and Norman, Oklahoma. He is interested in local affairs, and assisted in the organization of the Wagoner County Fair Association, of which he is the treasurer. Fraternally he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, to the Modern Woodmen of America, to the Ancient Order of United Workmen and to the Fraternal Aid Association.


Bringing to his independent calling good business methods and excellent judgment, John H. Dixon, of Big Cabin, is one of the many enterprising men that are successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits in Craig County. A native of Tennessee, he was born, February 18, 1844, in McMinn County, Tennessee, where his father, Eli Dixon, first opened his eyes to the light of this world, his birth occurring in 1798.

Eli Dixon was a life-long farmer and stock-raiser, being successfully employed in his pleasant occupation until his death in 1863. His wife, whose maiden name was Charity Jones, was born in Marysville, Blunt County, Tennessee, in 1809, a daughter of John Jones, and died in 1869. To her and her husband seven children were born and reared, as follows: Alexandria; Joseph; Miriam, married Professor Matlock; Sallie, who married Frank Rowen, of McMinn County, Tennessee; John H.; and Oregon and Texan, twins. Oregon married Sallie Moss, daughter of Sam Moss, and Texan became the wife of Ben Bayliss, who served during the Civil war in the Confederate army, being captain of a company.

Brought up on the home farm and educated in the district schools, John H. Dixon left his native state in 1863, going to McDonough County, Illinois, where he enlisted as a soldier in the Civil war, belonging to the Union army. Returning to Illinois at the close of the conflict, he was there engaged in general farming for ten years. The following nine years he was similarly employed in Nebraska. From there he came to Oklahoma, locating near Big Cabin, Craig County, where he has since been an esteemed and valued citizen. He is a stanch Republican in politics, and for a number of years served as postmaster at Big Cabin.

Mr. Dixon married on July 8, 1865, Lucinda Pearce, who was born, in 1844, in Jackson County, Illinois, a daughter of Jesse and Annie Pearce, who moved from that place to McDonough County, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Dixon have eight children and twenty grandchildren, a family of which they may well be proud. Their children are as follows: Emma, wife of Oscar Caldwell, of Fort Worth, Texas: Joseph, who married Becca Fisher, of Polk county, Missouri; Kittie is the wife of W. P. Coble, the postmaster at Big Cabin; Ed, married Mollie Scott, of Craig county, Oklahoma; Rosie is the wife of N. Smith, of Cass county, Missouri; Frank married Gussie Mereett, also of Craig county, and Maude and Anna Dixon, single.


When the present thriving and attractive little city of Coweta, Wagner County, was represented by a roster of not more than one hundred inhabitants, Dr. Walton here took up his abode and engaged in the practice of his profession. He is now to be designated as one of the pioneer physicians and surgeons of this favored section of the state, where he controls a large and representative practice, extending over a wide area of country tributary to Coweta, and where he is not only known as an able and successful member of his profession but also as a loyal and public-spirited citizen, meriting and commanding the unqualified confidence and esteem of the community.

The only child of J. Marion and Eliza (Laferty) Walton, the doctor was born in Izzard County, Arkansas, on the 19th of January, 1869. He has little authentic data concerning his parents, both of whom died when he was a mere boy, but so far as can be determined both were natives of Missouri, while there is reason to believe that the Walton family came to that state from Georgia. The maternal grandfather of the Doctor was Lorenzo D. Laferty, who was of Irish lineage. Dr. Walton was about three years of age at the time of his mother's death, and his father died two years later. The orphan lad was taken into the home of William T. Swan, a prosperous farmer of Izzard County, Arkansas, and the foster parents, who had no children of their own, reared him with utmost kindness and consideration. Dr. Walton assisted in the work of the farm until his nineteenth year, and in the meanwhile was afforded the advantages of the public schools at Mountain Home, Arkansas. At the age mentioned he initiated his independent career by engaging in the working of rafting logs down the White river, and through his labors in this capacity he earned the funds that enabled him to take his first course of lectures in medicine. At the age of twenty-one years he was matriculated in the medical department of the University of Louisville, Kentucky, where he continued his technical studies and graduated in 1892. In 1896 he entered the Barnes Medical College in St. Louis, Missouri, and in this institution he was graduated in the spring of the following year, duly receiving his well earned degree of Doctor of Medicine. He had previously located at Oakland, Marion county, Arkansas, where he was engaged in the practice of his profession from 1892 until 1903, when he went to the city of Chicago, where he not only completed an effective post-graduate course in the Chicago Polyclinic but also in the Illinois College of Electro Therapeutics. In the spring of 1904 he located in Coweta, Oklahoma, and here, in years of consecutive local practice, he now figures as one of the oldest physicians and surgeons of Wagner County. He has built up a large and appreciative professional business and his ministrations extend to the representative families over a radius of fully twelve miles from his home city. He has labored faithfully and unselfishly in relieving human suffering in this community and has won a secure hold upon the affectionate regard of those to whom he has ministered with so much of skill and kindly sympathy. He is one of the leading surgeons of this section of the state and in his practice makes effective use of his knowledge of electricity as a therapeutic agent, having excellent electrical facilities in his office. He is a member of various professional associations and keeps abreast of the advances made in both departments of his profession, to whose work he subordinates all other interests.

Dr. Walton is a staunch advocate of the principles and politics for which the Democratic Party stands sponsor and he takes a lively interest in its cause, as does he also in all that tends to advance the material and civic welfare of his home city, county and state. He is affiliated with the local lodge of the Masonic fraternity and also holds membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Woodmen of the World and the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

In May, 1893, Dr. Walton was united in marriage to Miss Virgie L. Layton, daughter of A. S. and Sue (Wilson) Layton, of Yellville, Arkansas, where her father was a prominent business man and influential citizen, having there established the first bank, in 1892, and having also conducted an extensive mercantile business. He died in 1903 and his widow still maintains her home in Yellville, and of their six children Mrs. Walton was the second in order of birth; Edna is the wife of J. C. Berry, a merchant of Yellville; Flory E. is the wife of Frank Pace, of Little Rock, Arkansas, a partner of ex-Governor Davis of that state; Walter E. is cashier of the bank founded by his father; Loney H. is a merchant in Yellville; and Willie E. remains with her widowed mother. Dr. and Mrs. Walton became the parents of five children, of whom two are living,- Walter W. and Augustus B.

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