The History of Oklahoma Biographies Vol. II DENNIS C. DEVILLIERS The junior member of the leading law firm of Vinita, that of Starr and Patten, has already won for himself an
enviable reputation in legal circles, and is a splendid representative of the wide-awake, brainy young men that
are doing so much towards promoting the rapid growth and prosperity of this part of Craig County. A son of Frank
P. Patten, he was born, January 11, 1883, in Keokuk, Iowa. His grandfather. David Patten, was an early settler
of Pike County, Illinois, and did much of the pioneer labor of clearing a part of the land.
by Luther B. Hill
Prominent among the noteworthy and esteemed citizens of Miami is Dennis C. DeVilliers, clerk of the District Court of Ottawa County, and who is performing his official duties in a manner commendable for its accuracy and expedition. A son of Joseph DeVilliers, he was born, March 11,1885, in Vernon County. Missouri, coming from excellent English ancestry, his grandfather, Henry DeVilliers, having been a native of England.
Spending all of the earlier years of his life in England, Henry DeVilliers immigrated to the United States in the latter half of the nineteenth century, locating first in Kansas. When Civil war was declared he volunteered in a Kansas regiment and served as a lieutenant in the Federal army. A lawyer by profession he was licensed to practice in Kansas in 1859, and after his removal, in 1865. to Missouri, he was chosen justice of the peace at Nevada, and proved himself well qualified for the position. He continued his residence in, or near, Nevada, until his death, at the age of seventy-five years. He married in England, and they became the parents of six children, namely: Henry; John; Emma, wife of Marion Moore; Richard; Maria, wife of Benjamin Tolson; and Joseph, all of whom with the exception of the youngest child were born in England.
Joseph DeVilliers was born, in 1851, in Nova Scotia, British North America, but grew to manhood in Linn County, Kansas, obtaining his education in the rural schools. After his marriage he located about fourteen miles south of Nevada, Missouri, and had there been successfully engaged in general farming ever since. Although not an active politician, he supports the principles of the Democratic party by voice and vote. He married, in Vernon County, Missouri, in 1878, Susie Wilson, a daughter of George Wilson, formerly a resident of Illinois, and to them three children were born, as follows: Benjamin E., of Baxter Springs, Kansas; Dennis C., of this review; and Cameron F., of Nevada, Missouri.
After leaving the district schools of his native county, Dennis C. DeVilliers entered the Gem City Business College at Quincy, Illinois, and was there graduated in 1904. The following year he taught school, and in 1905 located at Quapaw, Indian Territory, where he became bookkeeper for W. I. Bingham, a prominent merchant of that place. Will in the store when preparations for statehood were being made. Mr. DeVilliers became a candidate for the Democratic nomination for clerk of the District Court. He was not opposed in his own party, and defeated his Republican opponent by seventy nine votes. In assuming office the day of statehood he succeeded to the records of the Federal Courts, and in the subsequent discharge of his duties has proved himself capable and faithful, and acquired wide popularity for the courtesies shown the patrons of the office.
Mr. DeVilliers married, November 28, 1906, Myrtle Bingham, who was born in Bourbon County. Kansas, in August, 1889. a daughter of W. I. Bingham, his former employer, and they have two children, a daughter, Audrey DeVilliers, and an infant son. Fraternally Mr. DeVilliers is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, belonging to the Blue Lodge.
JOHN S. THOMASON
NO man in Vinita, mayhap, has a broader grasp of the industrial possibilities of this section of the new state of Oklahoma than John S. Thomason, who has acquired extensive individual and corporate interests in this vicinity, and holds a place of importance among the able business men of the city. A son of the late Samuel A. Thomason, he was born. August 13, 1863, in Lamar County, Texas.
Born in Tennessee in 1822, Samuel A. Thomason spent his earlier years in his native state. Removing from there to Texas, probably in the latter part of the fifties, he served during the Civil war in the commissary department of the Southern army. He subsequently migrated with his family to Siloam Springs, Arkansas, where he resumed general farming, residing there until his death in 1908, at a venerable age. His wife, whose maiden name was Emma Britt, is still living at Siloam Springs. Eight children were born of their union, as follows: James J., of Siloam Springs; William J., of Callahan County, Texas; Mrs. Nora Carl, deceased; Mrs. Mattie Bennett, of Stroud, Oklahoma; Alfred, who died at Siloam Springs: Kerry W., residing near his widowed mother; John S., the subject of this brief review; and P. H., of Callahan County, Texas.
Brought up near Siloam Springs, Arkansas. John S. Thomason acquired his knowledge of books in the common schools, while on the home farm he became familiar with various branches of agriculture. Coming to Vinita in 1885, he was clerk in a store for five years, and was afterwards engaged in mercantile pursuits on his own account for another five years. Having then as a result of his marriage acquired a right to engage in stock business, Mr. Thomason dealt in cattle for five years, running them upon the open range. Successful in this branch of industry, he disposed of his cattle interests in 1903.
Having then acquired ample capital for large investments, Mr. Thomason became financially interested in real estate, in mineral leases, and in prospecting for oil and gas. His individual deals along this line are connected with those of many of his fellow townsmen, and are carried on privately, but he is one of the promoters of the Security Investment Company; The Vinita and Chelsea Oil and Gas Company; The Big Chief Gas and Oil Company; The Phillips Oil and Gas Company; The Cherokee Oil and Gas Company; and The Central Investment Company. He is a stock holder of the First National Bank of Vinita, and owns valuable city property, including the Thomason block, a three story brick building which he erected in 1895, and his beautiful residence on Brown street.
On July 26, 1880, Mr. Thomason married, in Vinita, Rachel F. Nidiffer, who was born in the Cherokee nation, in 1870, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Nidiffer, Cherokees. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Thomason, namely: Bertha E., who completed her studies in Christian College, at Columbia, Missouri; and George L" a student in the Kemper Military School, at Boonville, Missouri. Mr. Thomason has extensive holdings of country real estate, owning fifteen hundred acres in one body. He is a man below medium stature, quiet and unassuming in manner, plain and approachable, and is universally popular among his fellow townsmen. Fraternally he belongs to the Knights of Pythias and to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
MATTHEW R. WALKER
A worthy representative of the native-born citizens of Ottawa County, is actively identified with the administration of public affairs, and as county clerk of Ottawa County is ably and promptly performing the duties of his office. A son of Percy L. Walker, a Wyandotte Indian, he was born August 4, 1874, in the Wyandotte nation.
Matthew R. Walker, Sr., Mr. Walker's grandfather, was engaged in agricultural pursuits in Kansas until 1867. He spent his remaining years and passed away, in 1867, at Wyandotte, Kansas. He was a Wyandotte Indian, and his wife, whose maiden name was Lydia Rankin, was one-fourth blood Wyandotte. They were the parents of seven children, as follows: Thomas ()., of Wyandotte; Malcolm, of the same place; Percy L.; Clarence, living in Claremore; Ada, who married Henry Crane and died in Wyandotte:, Louisa, deceased; and Lillian A., wife of John A. Hale, of Wyandotte.
Percy L. Walker was born, in 1847, in Wyandotte, Kansas, and in 1869 came with the family to the Indian Territory. He was for a number of years thereafter engaged in farming, later becoming a merchant, and is now a resident of Ogeechee, Oklahoma. He married Marv M. Audrain, who was born in the Choctaw nation, near Scullyville, a daughter of Peter Pierre and Mary (Wilson) Audrain, the former of whom was of Canadian French origin, while the latter was a Cherokee. Mr. and Mrs. Audrain both died at old Prairie City, now Ogeechee, leaving five children, namely: Jane, wife of I. N. Smith; W. Scott Audrain, of Fairland; Mary M., born in 1856, now the wife of Mr. Walker; Lucy, wife of James McGannon, of Seneca, Missouri; and Frank G. Audrain, of Fairland. The children born of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Percy L. Walker are Matthew R., the subject of this sketch; James A., clerk of the County Court of Ottawa County; Narcissa 0., wife of Jesse Forsythe, of Sarcoxie, Missouri; Earl P., of Pe Ell, Washington; and Gleason, of Ogeechee, Oklahoma.
A boy of nine years when his parents left the farm, Matthew R. Walker was given excellent opportunities to advance his education, after leaving the public, schools, being sent to Spalding's Business College, in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was graduated in 1894. He was afterwards variously employed for a few years, being first a farmer, then clerk in a drug store at Fairland, and subsequently as a mechanic taking up carpenter work, at which he continued until his election and induction into his present office.
Mr. Walker was nominated for county clerk by the Democrats without competitor, and, while the county vote was very close, he was elected by a majority of forty-two. Taking office on the day Oklahoma became a state, he made his records on sheets of blank paper until books could be brought from the factory and regularly installed in the office. In addition to his regular duties he has had to prepare lists of the taxable land in his county in order that the county commissioners might act intelligently in making up the rolls for the collection of public taxes.
During his career Mr. Walker has accumulated property having improved and cultivated his allotment near Narcissa, and owns land near Bartlesville. He was one of the promoters of the Miami Trust and Savings Company, and is a stockholder in the same. Fraternally he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, belonging to Lodge and Camp; is past consul and clerk of the Modern Woodmen of America; and is prominent in the Order of Eagles, in 1909 having been a delegate to the Grand Eyrie of Eagles, at Omaha, Nebraska.
On July 1st, 1894, Mr. Walker married Nannie E. Trail, who was born near Marshfield, Missouri, a daughter of John B. Trail, a white man. She was born in 1873, and was graduated from the Skiatook Mission School.
Mr. and Mrs. Walker have six children, namely: Reginald B., Waller W., Malcolm B., Joe, P., Paul T. and William.
RALPH J. TUTHILL
A wide-awake, brainy man, distinguished for his enterprise and public spirit, Ralph J. Tuthill, cashier of the State Bank of Miami and the mayor of the city, has been identified with this place since 1902, and in the advancement and promotion of its growth and prosperity has contributed his full share. A son of Robert Tuthill, he was born, April 20, 1880, in Barton County, Missouri. His grandfather, William Tuthill, a native of Pennsylvania, became an early settler of the Western Reserve, in Ohio, but subsequently moved to Illinois, where both he and his wife passed their last years. They reared three children, namely: Ella Tuthill, of Cleveland, Ohio; Mrs. Jane Hatch, who died at Primghar, Iowa; and Robert.
Robert Tuthill was born, in 1845, in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and there grew to manhood on the parental farm. He acquired a practical education in the public schools, fitting himself for. a business life. Coming west in 1871, he located in Crawford County, Kansas, living first on a farm, and afterwards establishing himself as a butcher in Mulberry. He subsequently engaged in coal mining, and a few years later the company for which he worked sent him to Galena, Kansas, to look after its lead and zinc interests, then opening up. Having joined the craft, he became a practical miner, serving as foreman, manager, and as owner of mining properties. While living in Kansas, he was manager for the Silver Plume Company, and after locating at Hattonville took an active part in the development of the new state.
Robert Tuthill married Olive Elliott, a daughter of Ithamar Elliott, of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Elliott spent her early life as a hostage to the Indians, who carried her off when she was a child. Four children were horn to Mr. and Mrs. Elliott, as follows: Mrs. Mary Starr, of Brecksville, Ohio: Mrs. Maggie Kellogg, of Akron, Ohio; Mrs. Robert Tuthill; and William, of Akron, Ohio. Of the union of Robert and Olive Tuthill four children were born, namely: Nettie, wife of W. C. Frederick, of Arcadia, Kansas; Bertha, wife of Charles Bixler, also of Arcadia: Ralph J., the special subject of this biographical record; and Mary, a teacher in the schools of Galena, Kansas.
During the days of his youth and early manhood Ralph J. Tuthill had a somewhat varied experience, working on the farm, and laboring with pick and shovel in the coal, lead and zinc mines. He passed through the graded public schools, and in 1898 was graduated from the Galena High School. Subsequently accepting a position as book-keeper in a foundry and machine shop, he remained in Galena until 1902, when he became bookkeeper in the State Bank of Miami. A few years later, being offered a better position in the Galena National Bank, Mr. Tuthill accepted it, but at the end of six months returned to Ottawa County as assistant cashier of the State Bank of Miami. His services in this capacity proved so satisfactory to all concerned that in February, 1908, he was made cashier, succeeding J. S. Cheyme who was elected vice-president of the institution.
Mr. Tuthill is financially interested in royalties on zinc and lead lands in Ottawa County, and also in the development and improvement of farm lands near the county seat. In 1909 he was urged by his Republican friends to become a candidate for mayor of Miami, and was elected to the office in the spring. His administration is handling a thirty thousand dollar contract for building a sewer system in the city, and has erected a municipal building in which to house the fire department and the city prisoners.
On September 17, 1903, Mr. Tuthill married, in Galena, Kansas, Minnie M. Burke, a daughter of Mrs. Emma Burke, who moved from Green County, Missouri, to Galena, Kansas, where Mrs. Tuthill was brought up and educated. The spirit of progress peculiar to the present generation dominates Mr. Tuthill, and its effervescence is one of the notable characteristics of the man, who has a positive aim in life, and is not drifting with the tide of events.
Frank P. Patten was born in 1853, in Bridgeville, Illinois, and was there reared to agricultural pursuits. Subsequently migrating to Iowa, he continued his fanning operations, meeting with fair success. He married Emma Richmond, who was born in 1859, in Quincy, Illinois, but was brought up and educated in Keokuk, Iowa. Three children blessed their union, as follows: Guy, the special subject of this sketch; Miss Jessie, successfully carrying on an abstract business in Grove, Oklahoma, and Henrietta, of Vinita.
Completing the course of study in the high school at Barry, Guy Patten continued his studies at Grant University in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He subsequently made a thorough study of literature and law, and after spending a year in Yale University had, in 1904, attained the legal efficiency necessary for admission to the bar in Chattanooga. In 1905 Mr. Patton was admitted to the Oklahoma bar before Judge Gill at Vinita, and here tried his first law suit. Forming a partnership early in 1906 with J. Caleb Starr, of whom a brief sketch may be found elsewhere in this work, their office has come to be one of the busiest places in Vinita. This firm is chiefly concerned with land matters and citizenship cases and other lines of practice before the interior department.
Among the more important cases handled by Starr & Patten was that against the Oil and Gas Company, resisting the attempt of the oil company to take the oil from under the land embraced in the lease without proper consideration. The plaintiff represented by the firm was a little Choctaw girl, whose allotment was taken in the rich oil field about Sapulpa. The tract was leased by the father, under improper influence and without proper protection of the child's interests. Starr & Patten became interested in the case, and after repeated trials and several years in the courts have finally ousted the defendants and obtained the court's decision in favor of their client.
Mr. Patten is a man of resources, and is actively interested in various enterprises, more especially in oil and mineral companies, many of which are producing abundantly for their owners, among them being the Missouri Mining Company; the Willard Oil Company; the Olympus Oil and Gas Company; the Riley Oil and Gas Company; and the Equitable Investment Company. He is also extensively interested with Mr. Starr, in farm lands in Craig and other counties. Politically he is a Democrat, and was city attorney of Vinita from 1907 until 1909.
On October 29, 1908, in Terre Haute. Indiana, Mr. Patten married Perle Baldwin, a daughter of Mrs. Ada Baldwin. Mrs. Patten was born in Bowling Green, Missouri, and is a woman of much culture and refinement. Fraternally Mr. Patten is identified with the Knights of Pythias.
ORION L. RIDER
Noteworthy among the active and prominent attorneys of Vinita, Oklahoma, is Orion L. Rider, a member of the well known firm of Parker, Rider and Brown. Assuming the duties of assistant district attorney of the Northern District of the Indian Territory in September, 1900, he has since been a resident of this city and state, and by his honest, upright life has gained the confidence of all with whom he has been brought in contact, either in business or socially. A son of Dr. Robert G. Rider, he was born, January 7, 1874, near Forest City, in Mason County, Illinois, and spent the first six years of his existence in that county. His paternal grandfather. John Rider, born in Boston, Massachusetts, married Jane Grear, a native of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, and migrated to Indiana, becoming a pioneer settler of that state.
Robert G. Rider was born in Ohio in 1830, and received his professional education at Jefferson College. Enlisting during the Civil war in the Eighty-fifth Illinois Infantry, he was made captain of his company and later promoted to major and served in the army under General Sherman. After the fall of Atlanta he continued the march to Savannah, Georgia, where he resigned his commission. Returning then to Illinois, he continued the practice of his profession in Mason County, remaining there until 1880. Removing then to Mount Ayr, Iowa, he resided there until his death, in November, 1899. Dr. Rider married Harriet M. Littell, a daughter of Aaron and Jane (Brown) Littell, and she is still living at Mount Ayr. Six children blessed their union, namely: J. Elmer, of Appleton City, Missouri; Etta J., county superintendent of schools in Ringgold County, Iowa; George E., of Madill, Oklahoma; Ola. deceased, married the late J. T. Todd; Orion L., the subject of this brief sketch; and Nathaniel L., deceased, who married Clarence Ashbrook, of Vinita.
Graduated at the Mount Ayr High School at the age of fifteen years, being the youngest member of his class, Orion L. Rider subsequently graduated from Iowa College, at Grinnell, receiving the degree of Ph. B. with the class of 1894. While in that institution he became intimately acquainted with G. H. Struble, a son of G. R. Struble, a prominent Iowa lawyer, and when through college secured a position in that lawyer's office in Toledo, Iowa. Taking up shorthand, Mr. Rider also did office work and read law until properly qualified for a student in a law school, when he entered the law department of Drake University, in Des Moines. Completing his course in that institution in June, 1900, he was admitted to the bar on examination before the Supreme Court. Accepting the position then offered him as assistant district attorney of the Northern District of the Indian Territory, Mr. Rider came at once to his work.
He tried his first suit in Muskogee, and during the seven years that he served as the government's prosecutor he gained skill, knowledge and an experience of great value. Retiring from office on the adoption of statehood, a movement which he favored although he opposed the adoption of the proposed constitution, he was for a time in partnership with Preston S. Davis, but since 1908 has been associated with his present partners, Judge Luman F. Parker, Jr., and Addis A. Brown. In 1909 Mr. Rider was elected mayor of Vinita, and his administration is most efficiently carrying on the much-needed work of street paving and general city improvement, and has allied itself with the movement to issue city bonds for the purchase of the auditorium and grounds.
On June 29, 1904, Mr. Rider married Grace Fortner, of Vinita, a daughter of Dr. B. F. Fortner and his Cherokee wife, Jennie Gunter. Dr. Fortner was one of the pioneers of Vinita. but has recently taken up his residence in Springfield, Missouri.
Since statehood Mr. Rider's practice has been connected with some important litigation, chief among which was the case of the United States against James P. Allen, et al., calling for the cancellation of certain deeds given by allottees, he having been one of the defending attorneys, and making the opening argument in the case, which is yet pending before the courts. Fraternally Mr. Rider is a Master Mason and an Elk.
JAMES I. WHITE
"A man, if he be active and energetic," so said a late political leader, ''can hardly fail, also, be he never so selfish, of benefiting the general public interest." This is certainly true of James I. White, of Wagoner, who is rendering excellent service as treasurer of Wagoner County, performing the duties devolving upon him in his official capacity with ability and fidelity. A son of George W. White, he was born, January 27, 1805, in Fulton County, Pennsylvania, of Irish ancestry. His great-grandfather on the paternal side emigrated from Ireland to the United States, locating in the Keystone state, where his descendants lived for many years, even unto the present day some of them being found there.
George W. White, a son of George White, and grandson of the emigrant ancestor, was born in Pennsylvania in 1836, and there spent all of his earlier years. Migrating with his family to Kansas in 1883, he settled in Lyon County, where he is now living, his home being near Americus. To him and his wife, whose maiden name was Catherine Newman, five children were born, as follows: James I., with whom this sketch is chiefly concerned; Ambrose; Virginia, wife of Alonzo Millar; Newton; and Elizabeth, wife of Rudy Lesh.
After moving to Kansas James I. White continued his studies, taking a business course in Lawrence. Giving up work on the home farm he subsequently embarked in commercial pursuits, becoming a first clerk in the business house of Trusler & Lowry, at Americus, subsequently being similarly employed with the jobbing firm of Catlin & Knox, remaining with them eleven years. Accepting then a position with the Harris Shoe Company, which manufactured shoes with the assistance of prison labor, Mr. White was for two years manager of the prison labor department of the factor}', after which he acted as traveling salesman for the company. Having thus grown into the shoe business, becoming familiar with its every phase, he afterwards entered the employ of the Geo. Naves Norman Shoe Company, and while he covered the territory assigned him in Oklahoma established his family in Coffeyville, Kansas. In 1904, enthused by the push and enterprise of the people of the coming new state, Mr. White decided to become a settler, and took up his residence in Porter, in what is now Wagoner County, and for three years was successfully employed. When the time came, subsequently, for nominating county officers, his name led those of the candidates for county treasurer, and at the polls he was elected by a handsome majority.
In November, 1886, Mr. White married, in Americus, Kansas, Fannie Grimsy, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Grimsy, who moved from Iowa to Kansas, becoming pioneers of Lyon County. The children born of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. White are Vivian, Percy, Virginia, Blanche, Thelma and Dorothy.
Rufus H. COUCH
A member of the law firm of Couch & McMichael, is a prominent member of the Tahlequah bar. He has been identified with the county since 1898, and passed the first nine years of his life in Westville, Adair County. He was born September 21, 1866, in Grayson County, Virginia, and three years later his parents left the Old Dominion and came into the southwest, stopping first near Fayetteville, Arkansas, and subsequently moving farther south into Wise County, Texas. He grew up in the community around Chico, was educated in the town schools and in Lee college. At twenty years of age he became a teacher in the country schools, and followed this occupation seven years, after which he devoted his time and energy to preparing himself for the bar. He read law with J. T. Burkalee in Decatur, and was admitted to the bar in 1894, before Judge Patterson of the District Court. He tried his first lawsuit before a justice of the peace at Bridgeport, and maintained his office in Chico until his removal to the Cherokee Nation.
His father, Alfred B. Crouch, was a merchant, and died in Westville, Oklahoma, in 1900; he was born in Tennessee in 1832, and graduated from the Mossy Creek College in that state. His early life was spent on a farm, and he began his mercantile career at Chico, Texas; later he moved to Oklahoma. He left a widow and several children at his death. Being reared in the south, and under influences tending toward the sentiment of the south, upon the beginning of the Civil war he joined Company C of the Twenty-second Tennessee Infantry; he was first under the command of General Zollicoffer, and took part in the battle of Mill Spring, Kentucky. He also served under General Early, and finally was attached to the Army of Northern Virginia, under the great General Lee, and followed the fortunes of his army to Appomattox, where the pride and glory of the Confederacy died away. Mr. Couch not only suffered from wounds received in battle, but also from the fatigues and hardships of strenuous campaigning, but returned home and took up his duties as a citizen with unflagging zeal. He was always a strong Democrat, and held a membership in the Baptist church.
The Couch family first emigrated from Germany and settled in Hawkins County, Tennessee, where Dempsey, father of Alfred B. Couch, lived and reared his family. He died there at the age of ninety-four years, and his children were: Jefferson, who died just after the war; Mrs. Maggie Goodman, who died at Springdale, Arkansas; Mrs. Jane Herald, who died in Hawkins County, Tennessee; Catherine Rimer, of Rush Springs, Oklahoma; and Alfred B.
Alfred B. Couch married Nannie J., daughter of Swinfield Anderson, who after her husband's death moved to Wellington, Texas, where she now resides. Her children are: Rufus H.; George C., of Johnson, Arkansas; Orville, of Wellington, Texas; Elizabeth, who died in Chico, Texas, in 1S84, unmarried; Mrs. Artie McGuire, of Fayetteville, Arkansas; Julia, wife of James Rogers, of Amarillo, Texas; Fred, of Westville, Oklahoma; Madge, who is married and lives at Fayetteville, Arkansas; Mrs. Eugenia Porter, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Claude, of Dustin, Oklahoma; and Ralph, of Westville, Oklahoma.
In political views Rufus H. Crouch is a Democrat, and from the inception of the statehood movement favored the union of the territories and the admission as one state. Ho was a delegate to the single statehood meeting in Oklahoma City, and took part in the campaign at the first election for constitutional delegates. He is city attorney of Tahlequah, president of Tahlequah Telephone Company, which docs a rural business, and vice president of the First State Bank of Tahlequah. He takes great interest in the upbuilding and progress of the locality, and has built himself a home in the city. He is widely known and esteemed, and takes a prominent part in all affairs of interest to the welfare of the city.
In his connection with the Cherokee County Bar Mr. Couch has been identified with some of the noted trials of recent years. Ho acted in defense of the Wyckliff brothers, accused of the murder of Deputy Marshals Vier and Gilstrap, and secured their acquittal; he also took part in the defense of Reuben A. Kirby for the murder of the Hubbard brothers, securing his acquittal. He is a member of the State and County Bar Associations.
Mr. Couch married, at Bridgeport, Texas. June 24, 1896, Mattie Lee, daughter of Walter W. Cannon, now of Fort Worth. Texas; she was born in Trigg County, Kentucky, in 1871, and was reared in Texas. The children of this union are: Flournoy and Glenn. Mr. Couch has taken the thirty-second degree in Masonry, being a member of the Scottish Rite, and is a member of the Knights of Pythias. He is a member of the Baptist church.
HARVEY W. C. SHELTON
The name of Harvey W. C. Shelton, of Vinita, will forever be associated with the development of the educational advantages of Craig County, his successful labors as its first superintendent of public instruction being worthy of special note. He is one of the old school men of the state, having been identified with the educational progress of the Cherokee Nation for nearly a score of the last year of his people's existence as a nation. Eminently fitted for his present position, he has effectually launched the barque of public education, and is trimming its sails in a manner auguring a safe journey during the first period of its voyage. Although a Cherokee by blood, he was born, November 17. 1864, in Lamar County, Texas, near Paris, where many of the tribe settled after the abandonment of the eastern home of the nation. His father, General Harvey Shelton, was a son of Jesse Shelton, the founder of the Shelton family in Texas.
Jesse Shelton migrated from Virginia to Texas about the time of its admission to the Union, locating in Lamar County, where he became identified with the extensive planters and slave owners of that section, being a loyal, warm-hearted, southern man. He married a Miss Marr, and they reared a large family of children. Three of their sons enlisted in the Confederate army during the Civil war. One, Irving, was killed at the battle of Vicksburg: Eli served throughout the war, and is now a prosperous farmer in Lamar County; and Harvey, who became a brigadier-general, died the year after the war.
General Harvey Shelton, born in 1821, was educated in the military schools of Kentucky and Connecticut. He was a man of strong mental and physical vigor, and on locating in Texas began his career as an agriculturalist. Enlisting in a Texan regiment at the breaking out of the Civil war, he served valiantly in the Confederate army, from time to time being promoted until receiving his commission as brigadier-general. He married, before the war, Andromache Bell, a daughter of Jack Bell, and great-granddaughter of John Martin, who came from England to America as an envoy to the Cherokee Indians, and here married and reared his family. She was born in 1804. and died in 1878, in Lamar County, Texas. To the General and Mrs. Shelton four children were born, as follows: Norman B., of Big Cabin, Oklahoma; Eugenia, wife of P. S. Williams, of Lamar County, Texas; Claud S., of Centralia, Oklahoma; and Harvey W. C, with whom this sketch is chiefly concerned.
Harvey W. C. Shelton received his primary and high school education in the schools of Boxton and Honey Grove. Texas. where his mother, after the General's death, was one of the teachers. He next attended the Cherokee National Male Seminary, where, in 1882, he and George Williams composed the first class graduated from that institution of learning. Then, after a time spent in the Kimball Union Academy at Meriden, New Hampshire, where he graduated in 1883, he entered Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire, where he took a full course in Greek, Latin, and German. French and English, leaving the college in 1880 with an excellent knowledge of the languages.
Returning to the Cherokee Nation, Mr. Shelton then accepted the charge of the department of belles lettres in the National Male Seminary, where he taught for three years. The work proving too strenuous for his constitution, he took up journalistic work, becoming editor of "The Telephone" at Tahlequah, later coming to Vinita to accept a similar position with ''The Chieftain." Having in the meantime studied law and been admitted to the bar, Mr. Shelton began the practice of his profession, but finding that the criminal phase of it, only, promised him a living he gave it up. Being then appointed clerk of the United States Court at Tahlequah, he served in that capacity for five years, and for three years of that time served as president of the National Board of Education of the Cherokees. When superseded in his clerkship by a Republican, Mr. Shelton returned to his school work, and taught in the Cherokee nation until appointed, or rather elected, to his present responsible position. His candidacy on the Democratic ticket for this office was universally accepted, no opposition at the primary developing, and he defeated his Republican opponent at the polls and assumed the duties of the position on November 16, 1907.
As the head of the educational department of Craig County, Mr. Shelton has been occupied with the organization of school districts, instructing the district officers in their duties, attending to the summer institute work, and organizing his teachers for such literary work as is required in the Reading Circles. More than seventy-five thousand dollars has already been spent in the work of preparation for effectual school labor in the county, and the real need is yet far from supplied. Mr. Shelton is president of the Oklahoma Reading Circle, and is associate editor of the "School Herald," a position which came to him without his knowledge. Ho was a member of the Co-operation Committee of Oklahoma to the National Education Association that met in Denver, Colorado, in 1909, and was one of the delegates appointed to the Educational Congress of the world held at Brussels in 1910.
In February, 1893, Mr. Shelton married a Cherokee lady, Miss May Duncan, a daughter of W. A. Duncan. She was born in Paris, Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Shelton have two children, namely: Harvey and Jesse.
WOODS BUCKNER ROGERS
The pioneer settler of Checotah, McIntosh County, has resided within the present limits of Oklahoma for more than forty years; was one of the first white children born in the state of Arkansas; his father was the founder of Fort Smith, and one of his brothers assisted in placing Denver on the map of the United States. Both, in his own person, and in his family connections Mr. Rogers is a character well worthy of extended notice in any history dealing with the west or southwest. He was born at Fort Smith, January 9, 1837, and is a son of John and Mary E. Rogers, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
John Rogers, the father, was a sutler connected with the United States army, and came into Arkansas with the first government expedition which ascended the river in 1818. The trading post at the site of Fort Smith was then called Bell Point. After Mr. Rogers had staked out the new town he was the first to settle on the plat,-conducting a hotel in the place until 1855. In 1854 his wife died, leaving a family of six children: William, the first-born, settled in the Creek nation. Indian territory, in 1855, and was among the first merchants at the town of North Fork; Hickory located in the Cherokee nation, where his family still resides; Thomas was the third in order of birth; Woods B., of this sketch, the fourth; Margaret married John Melvin, and Emma became the wife of James Johnson. All are now deceased except W. B.
Woods B. Rogers received his early education at Fort Smith and completed it at Arkansas College. Fayetteville. After leaving school for a number of years he was employed as a clerk on river boats, his route being from Fort Smith to Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1859 he left that employment to enter the Colorado gold rush. His brother Hickory had been settled in the locality of the present Denver for some time, and in 1858 secured permission, with others, to plat the town which he named in honor of Governor Denver. In 1860 W. B. Rogers returned to Fort Smith on account of his father's poor health; in fact, the elder Mr. Rogers died soon after the son's arrival, and William, the oldest son, was appointed administrator of the estate. W. B. went on to North Fork, Indian territory, to attend to his brother's mercantile interests and remained there until 1861. He then joined Confederate Army, Company F, of the Second Creek Regiment, under Colonel Chillie McIntosh, participating in several skirmishes with that command.
After the war Mr. Rogers located in business at Hilaby, in the Creek nation, and for some time afterward engaged in farming at Honey Springs, on the old Texas Road. In 1880 he entered the ginning field and continued in that line for four years, then returning to farming pursuits for the same length of time. His next venture was in the hotel business at Muskogee, when that town contained only eight hundred persons. Thus profitably employed until 1899, in that year he located on his present farm near Checotah, and, for those days, accomplished a vast amount of improvements. His farm then consisted of six hundred and forty acres. which he controlled until the period of government allotments, when he secured a quarter of the original section, his children obtaining the remainder. Although a lifelong Democrat and a successful and popular citizen, he has never participated in politics either as a resident of Indian territory or of the state of Oklahoma.
As one of the earliest settlers within the limits of the present Oklahoma, Mr. Rogers is the possessor of a fund of most interesting reminiscences; but perhaps he is most fond of remembering and relating the peacefulness and honesty of the people of the Creek nation in the days before the Civil war. Citizens prospered, and exposed their money without fear, or taking the precautions of firearms protection. As an illustration of the security and honesty prevailing in those days he tells a story connected with one of his business visits for his brother William in the late fifties. His brother had sent him to a full blooded Creek Indian near where Okmulgee now stands to buy five hundred five year-old steers at sixteen dollars apiece. Mr. Rogers left for his destination with a negro interpreter and a saddle-bag containing most of the purchase money in gold and silver. Upon their arrival at the Indian's hut they threw the bag down on the porch and went into supper, when Mr. Rogers stated his business errand. After due consideration, the Creek said that he could furnish the five hundred steers at the stipulated price, when the saddle-bag was safely produced from without and emptied of its contents, the balance being covered by the buyer in the form of a due bill on William Rogers. W. B. returned to North Fork without having seen the cattle for which he had partially paid good money, but, although somewhat uneasy, the greater fears of his brother were completely assuaged when the Creek Indian promptly delivered the five hundred steers at the time and place agreed upon.
On March 4, 1869, Mr. Rogers was married to Miss Kate Drew, daughter of William and Delilah (McIntosh) Drew, his wife's mother being of the famous family which has played a more prominent part than any other in the progress of the Creek nation. (A history of the family and its connections with the Creek nation may be found in the sketch of Cheesie McIntosh, of Checotah, its leading representative of today.) Mr. Drew was a Cherokee of quarter blood, was prominent in the affairs of his tribe, and the father of five children: George and Martha, both deceased, the latter being the wife of James N. Scott; Susan, widow of William Rogers: Kate, wife of Woods B.; and Jessie, who died as the wife of Tuxie Cary, also deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers have become the parents of the following: William P., deceased, who married Miss Augusta Cooper, of West Plaines, Missouri, and the father of two sons. Woods and John Joy; Woods B., Jr., who lives at home; Pearl D., wife of J. M. Jones, a farmer of McIntosh County; and Mary R., wife of John C. Wise, also fanner of McIntosh County, Oklahoma. Both Mr. and Mrs. Rogers are active members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. Mr. Rogers is prominent both as a Mason and an Odd Fellow, being a member of Checotah Lodge, A. F. and A. M., and of Albert Pike Council. No. 49, Checotah, R, A. M., as well as of the following lx)dies of I. 0. ¥., Checotah Lodge No. 20 and Encampment No. 34. of that place. He is also connected with Rebekah Lodge No. 9 and the Order of the Eastern Star, No. 25.
ANDREW KNAPP RALSTON
County superintendent of public instruction of Cherokee County since the establishment of state government, is a practical school man and a thorough organizer. Since taking office he has organized sixty-eight school districts, employing seventy teachers, has organized the annual county institute and the county reading circle, and is planning for graded schools as rapidly as conditions will permit. Here, as elsewhere in the Indian country, his work is in conjunction with the federal government in providing for joint education of Indians and whites in the country schools. He has accomplished much in securing a more general recognition among the people generally of the advantages of popular education, and is a real leader in the educational progress of the state.
He was born in Holmes County, Mississippi. March 5, 1869, and the following year his father. Aaron S. Ralston, took the family west to Tarrant County, Texas. Aaron S. Ralston. who died near Johnson Station. Texas, in 1905, aged seventy-three, was born in Indiana, spent his childhood and was reared to the life of a farmer in Mississippi, and served four years in the Confederate army as a member of the Fifteenth Mississippi. His regiment was under General Zollicoffer in 1802, and in the engagement at Mill Spring, Kentucky, and he saw much of the hardest service that was experienced by the soldiers of the Civil war. He married Elizabeth Davis, whose father was William Davis, a native of North Carolina and a farmer. Their children were: Andrew K.; Susan, wife of E. N. Logan: Minnie, wife of S. H. McMurry; Doke and Senter. twins; and Mary, wife of L. C. Griffin.
Andrew K. Ralston was reared on the farm near Johnson Station and from the country schools entered Fort Worth University. Then, after two years at farming, he became under sheriff of Tarrant County, a position he held five years, and then for three years was police sergeant on the Fort Worth police department. On leaving the latter place he came to Tahlequah district in the Indian Territory and was engaged in teaching school from 1905 until statehood. His schools were at Shiloh and Peggs, and with the approach of statehood his friends there were eager to support him for the first superintendent of schools. He had no opposition at the Democratic primaries, and at the election defeated his Republican opponent by one hundred and thirty-two votes.
CICERO W. ADDINGTON
One of the large merchants of Stilwell and member of the firm of Howell & Addington was born near Oak Grove in Adair County, Oklahoma, June 7, 1875. His education was obtained in that vicinity and in the Cherokee Male Seminary. He was reared among rural surroundings, and after attaining his majority spent nine years as a farm hand. He began his mercantile career by conducting a store at Oak Grove, and there acquired the experience which was so valuable to him in his later business. After four years he sold his interests there and established himself in Stilwell, the metropolis of Adair County. He is a son of Newton Addington, a white man who came west from Georgia and married Belle Akin. n daughter of Abijah Akin, whose wife was a Cherokee woman, a Miss Taylor. Mrs. Addington died in 1907, the mother of one child, Cicero W.
As a citizen of Stilwell, Cicero W. Addington has shown himself to have the progress and welfare of the city at heart, and has contributed his share towards the advancement of its property interests, having erected residence buildings. He votes the Democratic ticket, is clerk of the corporation of Stilwell, and fraternally is a Master Mason and an Odd Fellow, being secretary of Stilwell lodge of Masons. He owns a farm near Oak Grove and Claremore.
In September, 1899, Mr. Addington married, in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma, Mollie, daughter of Oscar and Kate A. (Rider) Adair; she was born near Sallisaw, Oklahoma, in September, 1875, and was educated in the old Dwight Mission there. Later she became a teacher in the schools of Sequoyah District. The children of this union are: Clarence Grady, Frederick and Jennings.
DAYTON BENNETT, M. D.
A prominent and prosperous physician of Texanna, has gained an extended reputation in the practice of his profession, his wide and varied experience having given him a knowledge and skill that invariably wins the confidence and esteem of his patients, and have placed him in the front rank among the many worthy medical men of McIntosh County. A son of Dr. Dayton Bennett, Sr., he was born, January 14. 1869, in Conway County, Arkansas, and was there bred and partly educated. The Doctor's paternal grandfather migrated from Illinois to Arkansas in territorial days, locating in Conway County, which then covered a large area, including what is now a portion of several other adjoining counties. He became very influential in public affairs, and in 1836, at the convening of the first state legislature, he represented his county. He married, and they became the parents of eleven children, of whom but one survives. George W. Bennett, of Morrillton, Conway County, Arkansas. Following in the footsteps of his father, this George W. Bennett, the Doctor's uncle, has been very prominent as a man and a citizen, and has served his county many terms as representative, as sheriff and as assessor.
Dayton Bennett, Sr., was born in Illinois, but was brought up in Conway County, Arkansas. Having a natural talent and liking for the study of medicine, he turned his" attention to that branch of learning, and in 1852 was graduated from the Medical School at Louisville, Kentucky, with the degree of M.D. Returning home, he opened an office, being the very first graduated physician to locate in Conway County. He met with success from the first, winning an extensive practice throughout the county. During the Civil war he enlisted in the Confederate service, and was surgeon in the regiment of Arkansas volunteer infantry commanded by Colonel Anderson Gordon, which was assigned to the Trans-Mississippi department. Returning to old Louisburg, now Morrillton, he resumed his practice, continuing there until his death in 1870. He married Carrie Griffin, who was born in Arkansas, and there spent her life, dying in 1887. They reared four children, namely: Phoebe, wife of A. E. How, of Socorro, New Mexico; George W. , M.D., of Talala, Oklahoma; Jennie, wife of J. 0. Alston, of Morrillton, Arkansas; and Dayton, the special subject of this sketch.
Dayton Bennett, Jr., received his elementary education in the public schools of Conway County, being graduated from the Morrillton High School. At the age of eighteen years, in 1887, he entered the medical department of the State University of Kentucky, at Louisville, and was there graduated with the degree of M.D. in 1890. Dr. Bennett began the practice of his profession in his home town, Morrillton, Arkansas, and during the ensuing four years met with flattering success. In 1894, perceiving the many advantages to be gained in an undeveloped country, the Doctor came to McIntosh County, Oklahoma, and has since been busily employed in his professional work at Texanna. When he first located here his practice covered a ride of at least twenty miles over a mere trail, (there being no roads in those days) made on horseback. There were then quite a number of white people in this vicinity who were engaged in stock raising on a limited scale, renting land for pasturing, but there were no negroes here then, and very few even now. Dr. Bennett has met with eminent success as a physician, and has also been successful financially, having by judicious investments acquired large real estate holdings of much value. He was the third physician to settle in Texanna, and is the only one now here, and also has the distinction of having opened the first drug store in this vicinity.
On December 4, 1899, Dr. Bennett was united in marriage with Annie L. Floyd, who was born in Texas, a daughter of Lee and Callie (Price) Floyd, who moved from Texas to McIntosh County, Oklahoma, in 1892. Mr. Floyd here followed his occupation of a farmer and stock raiser until his death, November 5, 1909, in Talala, Rogers County, where his family now reside. Mr. and Mrs. Floyd reared seven children, as follows: Annie L., wife of Dr. Bennett, James D., Miller, Ross, Alvin and Mabelle and one other. The union of Dr. and Mrs. Bennett had been blessed by the birth of two children, Dayton, Jr.. and Obie Alston. Politically the Doctor is one of the leading Democrats of the county, and a member of the Democratic Central Committee. Fraternally he is a member of Checotah Lodge. No. 20, I. 0. 0. F.
JOHN E. WEER
One of the honored pioneers and influential citizens of the state of Oklahoma, within whose borders he has maintained his home for nearly forty years, is John E. Weer, founder of the village of Weer, Wagoner County, which was named in his honor, and one of the extensive landholders and leading merchants of this section of the state. He still conducts a general store at Weer and is also the proprietor of the largest general merchandise business in the thriving little city of Coweta, where he now maintains his residence.
In Marion County, Indiana, within whose borders is located the fine capital city of that stale, Mr. Weer was born, and the date of his nativity was March 8, 1860, so that though he has the distinction of being a pioneer of Oklahoma he is still in the prime of active and useful manhood. He is a son of Hiram and Serena (Sluder) Weer, both of whom were born in West Virginia, where their respective parents located upon immigration from Germany. Hiram Weer, a man of sterling integrity and of indefatigable energy, became one of the successful farmers of Indiana, and he and his wife now reside in Hendricks County, that state. He is eighty-two years of age at the time of this writing, in 1909, and his wife is seventy-eight years old, their marriage having been solemnized in 1853. Of their seven children the subject of this sketch was the first born; Zimmery and Frank are deceased; Ulysses is a resident of Labette County, Kansas; Amanda is married; Alice is married and is a resident of Colorado; and Emma is the wife of James Cook, of Hendricks County, Indiana.
Hiram Weer, the honored father of him whose name initiates this sketch, was a valiant soldier of the Union during somewhat more than three years of the Civil war. He enlisted as a private in Company C, Twenty-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, with which he participated in a number of the important battles marking the progress of the war. He was twice wounded in one battle, and his injuries incapacitated him for further service and permanently crippled him. He received his honorable discharge in 1864, and since that time has been successfully identified with agricultural pursuits in Indiana. He is a Republican in politics and is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
John E. Weer was reared on the home farm, and his boyhood and youth were marked by assiduous application in connection with its operation, the while he was afforded the advantages of the district schools of his native county. In 1877, when seventeen years of age, he severed the home ties and set forth to seek his fortunes in the far west, moved not less by a spirit of self-reliance than by that of adventure. He remained one month in Kansas and then came to Oklahoma and located ten miles north of Vinita, in the Cherokee Indian nation. After locating here he returned to Kansas and attended school at Chetopah during two winters, having earned the money to defray his incidental expenses by his labors during the intervening summer seasons. Near Vinita he leased land from the Cherokee Indians and there engaged in farming and stock-growing, with which lines of industry he has since continued to be identified. In 1889 he removed to the present county of Wagoner and leased from the Creek Indians twelve hundred acres of land, upon which he expanded the scope of his operations as a farmer and stock-grower. When the enabling act was passed permitting the Indians to sell land for town-sites, Mr. Weer became associated with Louis McHenry in the purchase of many acres of land from the Creek Indians, later the two platted the town of Weer, in which they disposed of a number of lots and developed a prosperous village. The place now has a population of about one hundred and fifty persons, but prior to the construction of the railroad, which passed some distance from the place, it was a flourishing and prosperous town. The greater number of its residents removed to the town (if Broken Arrow, which is located on the line of the railroad. Mr. Weer now has under cultivation four hundred acres of land in Wagoner County, and a portion of this was purchased after the original transfer of land from the Indians. In 1891 he opened the first general store in Weer, where be built up a large and substantial business, which he still continues, as the village is n convenient trading point for a wide territory surrounding the same. The only handicap is the lack of direct railroad facilities. The business controlled from the establishment owned by Mr. Weer in the village named in his honor now reaches an average annual aggregate of about fifteen thousand dollars.
On the 26th of July, 1908, at a trustees sale, Mr. Weer purchased the stock of the Western Investment Company in Coweta, and the stock at that time had an inventory value of thirteen thousand dollars. He has since added materially to the stock, making it the most comprehensive in the various lines to be found in Coweta, which has a number of large and well conducted general stores. He now maintains a stock valued at about eighteen thousand dollars and the annual transactions reach the notable average of thirty thousand dollars. His is the largest general merchandise establishment in Coweta and the substantial business controlled is based upon the high reputation and personal popularity of the owner, whose career as one of the pioneer business men of the state has been marked by the most scrupulous integrity of purpose and by fair and honorable dealings. Mr. Weer still conducts extensive operations in the raising of cattle and also in buying and shipping the same. When he first took up his residence in the present village of Weer there were only three white families located between his home and the city of Muskogee, thirty-eight miles distant. Long accustomed to the wide stretches of land without white settlers, Mr. Weer felt somewhat "crowded'- when the influx of settlement was inaugurated, about two years after his establishing his home at Weer, but he views with satisfaction the transformation that has been wrought with the parsing years, as the territory mentioned is now thickly settled by a desirable class of citizens and the greater portion of the land is under effective cultivation. The land which he first purchased for twenty dollars an acre now commands sixty dollars, and the work of development and improvement moves on by leaps and bounds. The land is not only well adapted to general agriculture but is proving especially valuable for horticultural enterprise. Through approved ceremonial Mr. Weer was formally adopted into the Creek Indian council, with all the rights and immunities of the Creek nation. His elder children also inherited these full privileges, and are fully appreciative of the same. For some time Mr. Weer was an honored member of the Creek council, and he speaks the language of this tribe with marked fluency. Ho commands the implicit confidence and esteem of the Indians of the tribe in which he is an adopted son, and has in turn much admiration for their many sterling traits of character. He has had many interesting experiences in the country to which he came as a youth, arriving with but ninety-five cents in his pocket, and that he has made good use of his opportunities is evident when it is understood that he is now one of the substantial -capitalists and leading business men of the state of Oklahoma. He is a Republican in politics and takes a loyal interest in the party cause and in all that makes for the progress and prosperity of his home county and state. His wife holds membership in the Presbyterian church.
In the year 1881 Mr. Weer was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Yeakle, who was born in Fayette County, Illinois, and whose parents were natives of Holland. She is the younger of the two children who attained to years of maturity, and her sister, Lydia, is now the wife of John Clark, a representative citizen of Greenwood County, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Weer have six children, namely: John H., Elizabeth M., Frank, Clara E., Cora and Clarence. John H. has charge of his father's general store at Weer, and Clara E. is the wife of Ira Anglin, a successful farmer in that vicinity.
IRA L. MARSH
The leading druggist of Checotah and a young business man of energy and talent, is a native of Lawrence County, Missouri, born in 1879, a son of William R. and Sarah Ellen (Turk) Marsh. The Marsh family is Scotch, its American ancestors originally settling in South Carolina and Connecticut, the branch to which Ira L. is attached being the southern. The grandfather. Major Marion Marsh, migrated from Kentucky to Missouri at a very early day, and William R., the father, was born in Lawrence County, that state. Major Marsh, the pioneer in Missouri, was a prosperous farmer and stockman at the outbreak of the rebellion, and served in the war as a member of the Trans-Mississippi department of the Union army. He became the father of four children: W. R., father of Ira L.; Cassius, who is now deceased: Mary, who died as the wife of Dr. A. Denney, a dentist of Aurora, Missouri; and Day, now the wife of O. C. Temple, a merchant of Miller, Missouri.
W. R. Marsh was reared on his father's farm; engaged in agricultural pursuits for a short time, and then became a mining operator on leased lands in southwestern Missouri. In this business and section of the state he is widely known as a practical miner and an expert of high authority, and has held that position for the past twenty-five years. He is also engaged in many other enterprises, his lumber interests at Miller. Lawrence County, being especially large and important. He is a leading Knight of Pythias in his locality, as well as an influential Republican of the old-line. Besides Ira L., he is the father of a daughter, Goldie.
The father of Mrs. William R. Marsh was Colonel B. K. Turk, of Mount Vernon, Missouri, one of the wealthy stockmen and leading citizens of Lawrence County. He was the pioneer breeder of Short. Horn cattle and other fancy varieties. At the breaking out of the Civil war he refused to join either the Confederate or the Union forces, loving his country and its people too well to fight on either side. The good old man is still living in the locality where he has spent most of his life, the object of wide and sincere regard. To his first marriage with a Miss Gum, was born six children: Jane, wife of Robert Bowman; N. G. Turk and W. Turk, of Mount Vernon, Missouri: J. C. Turk, a resident of the same place; Sarah Ellen, mother of Mrs. Marsh; and Ida B. . who is now Mrs. Benjamin Rand, a farmer of Rich Hill, Missouri.
Ira L. Marsh received his early education in the public school of Carterville. and after graduating from the local high school, in May. 1808. located at Checotah and became a clerk in the retail drug store of 0. S. Coleman. After remaining there for about eighteen months, during which he finished a correspondence course in pharmacy, he moved to Muskogee and became connected with the drug business of Lee Wilson. In August of the following year (1900) he returned to Checotah and established a business of his own by purchasing the establishment of Henry Sharp. Mr. Marsh's business success has been pronounced, although its progress has not been uninterrupted. In 1907 his store and stock were burned, with little insurance upon either, but his energy and solid business abilities enabled him to promptly rebuild and he reached his former prosperity and prestige. Besides establishing a substantial drug business, Mr. Marsh has accumulated considerable city property, and the movements which he considers beneficial to the place of his residence always find in him a worthy champion. Although usually voting the Republican ticket, he is outspoken in his political views and holds himself hound only by conscience. As a Mason he is a member of Checotah Lodge, A. F. & A. M.: is also connected with the Council and Consistory (Indian No. 2 of the Valley of McAlester County), and is a Noble of India Temple of Oklahoma City.
In 1901 Mr. Marsh was married to Miss Latha May Powell, daughter of J. C. and Anna (Moss) Powell, early settlers of Webb City, Missouri. Mrs. Marsh is their only child. After the death of Mr. Powell his widow married Colonel Elmer E. Gates, of Webb City, a prominent miner of that place, and there they still reside. Mr. and Mrs. Marsh are the parents of one child. Lucille, and are active workers in the social functions of Checotah.
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DENNIS C. DEVILLIERS
The junior member of the leading law firm of Vinita, that of Starr and Patten, has already won for himself an
enviable reputation in legal circles, and is a splendid representative of the wide-awake, brainy young men that
are doing so much towards promoting the rapid growth and prosperity of this part of Craig County. A son of Frank
P. Patten, he was born, January 11, 1883, in Keokuk, Iowa. His grandfather. David Patten, was an early settler
of Pike County, Illinois, and did much of the pioneer labor of clearing a part of the land.