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The History of Oklahoma Biographies Vol. II
by Luther B. Hill
Page 4


HE has been a member of the Oklahoma City bar since 1905. He located at the metropolis in order to afford his growing professional interests a larger field. He came to Oklahoma, a young lawyer, in 1899, and at Sayre, in western Oklahoma, began a practice which brought him pronounced success and soon connected him with important and diverse interests over a large part of western Oklahoma. These interests, in large part, he still retains, and at Oklahoma City is also attorney for several large business concerns. His dealing in municipal, county, township and school bonds has brought him a large acquaintance with the investing public. As a representative Democrat, Mr. Welty has come into considerable prominence in campaign work. The campaigns leading up to the making and adoption of the constitution of the new state enlisted his services, and he was a delegate from Oklahoma in the National Democratic convention of 1904, and was a member of the committee that notified Mr. Davis of his nomination for the vice-presidency.

Mr. Welty is a native of Illinois, born at Pittsfield, Pike County, in 1877. Reared and educated there, he studied law in the office of Williams and Williams and of Edward Yates, of that city, and was admitted to the bar at Pittsfield in 1898, coming to Oklahoma the following year. Mr. Welty is a prominent Odd Fellow, was first noble grand of the lodge at Sayre, and is a member of the encampment and is deputy grand lecturer for Oklahoma. He married, at


He has attained a position of distinction at the bar of Oklahoma City, and this stands as an unmistakable evidence of his ability in his chosen calling. He was born in Williamson County, Tennessee, in 1871, a son of R. A. and Nancy (Scales) Crockett. The mother, who is still living, is a member of the well known North Carolina family of that name. The father, Dr. R. A. Crockett, died during his son's early youth, and his family belong to the Tennessee branch that produced the noted Davy Crockett, who lost his life in the Alamo in 1836.

Albert P. Crockett received his early educational training in the Webb School at Bellbuckle, Tennessee, completing his studies at Vanderbilt University of Nashville, where he graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1892. He then took up the study of law in the legal department of Vanderbilt University, from which he graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1894. He was then fully prepared to enter the ranks of the law practitioners and accordingly located at Hopkinsville. Kentucky, where he achieved distinguished success in his profession and also served two terms as the attorney of that city. While there he was appointed and served as counselor for Kentucky of the Tennessee Central Railroad. In 1902 Mr. Crockett located in the city of Oklahoma, which has since been his home and where he repeated the success and more which came to him in his Kentucky home. He is a member of the law firm of Burwell, Crockett & Johnson, with offices in the Lee Building. He is a general practitioner in all of the courts and enjoys a large and important clientage and he is president of the Oklahoma City Bar Association. Mr. Crockett was married, at Hopkinsville, to Miss Elizabeth Russell, of that city. He has fraternal relations with the Masons, the Elks and the Odd Fellows.

A member of the representative law firm of Burwell, Crockett & Johnson, with offices at 415-417 Lee Building, Oklahoma City, Mr. Crockett is a man of fine professional attainments and his precedence at the bar of the state of his adoption is based upon results achieved.

Mr. Crockett was born in Williamson County, Tennessee, in the year 1871, and is a son of Dr. Rufus A. and Nancy (Scales) Crockett, the latter a representative of the old and prominent Scales family of North Carolina. Dr. Rufus A. Crockett, who was an able physician, continued in the practice of this profession in Tennessee until his death, which occurred when his son Albert P. was a boy, his widow still being a resident of that state. Doctor Crockett was a scion of the historic old Crockett family of Tennessee, that produced the great frontiersman and patriot, Davy Crockett, who lost his life in the memorable massacre of the Alamo, in Texas, in 1836.

In the Webb School at Bellbuckle, Tennessee, Albert P. Crockett acquired his early educational discipline, which was supplemented by a course in Vanderbilt University, in the City of Nashville, Tennessee. In this institution he was graduated in 1892, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and he forthwith entered the law department of the university, in which he completed the prescribed curriculum and was graduated as a member of the class of 1894. After the reception of the degree of Bachelor of Laws he engaged in the practice of his profession at Hopkinsville, where he served two terms as city attorney and also gained noteworthy recognition in being appointed as counsel for Kentucky of the Tennessee Central Railroad Company.

Fortified through excellent and varied experience in connection with legal work of important order, Mr. Crockett came to Oklahoma Territory in 1902, since which year he has continued in the active practice of law in Oklahoma City, and where since 1908 he has been a member of the well known law firm of Burwell, Crockett & Johnson, which controls a large and important practice, extending into the various courts of Oklahoma, both state and federal. In 1908 Mr. Crockett was president of the Oklahoma City Bar Association, of which he continues an active and valued member, and he is identified also with the Oklahoma State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. In the Masonic fraternity he has received the thirty-second degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite; he is past exalted ruler of Oklahoma City Lodge, No. 417, Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks; is affiliated also with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and holds membership in the Oklahoma City Club, the Men's Dinner Club, and the Golf and Country Club, all representative social organizations of the Capital City.

In 1907 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Crockett to Miss Elizabeth Russell, daughter of James D. Russell, of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and their residence in Oklahoma City is at 506 West Thirteenth Street.
(A Standard History of Oklahoma, transcribed by Sandra Stutzman)


Combining a successful law practice with the real estate business, John L. Francis has been a representative member of the Oklahoma City bar for the past ten years. The real estate firm of Francis and Miller, of which he is senior partner, have made a specialty of handling fine residence tracts in the northeast part of the city, particularly Northeast Highlands, which they promoted, and in this way the members of the firm have become known to a large proportion of the citizens of Oklahoma City. Mr. Francis himself owns a beautiful home in this portion of the city, at the corner of Geary and East Twenty-third streets.

Mr. Francis is one of the able men contributed to the new state of Oklahoma from the southern states. He was born in Mitchell county, North Carolina, in 1867, son of Perry and Caroline (Scoggin) Francis, the latter dying during the infancy of her son. The father, a native of North Carolina, and still a resident of Rutherford county, that state, is a descendant of a Scotch-Irish family who came to America and settled in North Carolina just prior to the Revolutionary war. John L. Francis was reared in Rutherford County, where the family home was established in 1869. He belongs to the class of men who, because of the circumstances and fortunes of human life during the period of youth, are deprived of the comforts and advantages that come to the majority of American youth and are early compelled to enter the struggle for life's necessities and rewards. His father had a large family of children, and upon John fell a share of this labor as soon as he was old enough to be of material assistance. He was nearly twenty years old before he could spare the time to get the schooling he so much desired. In the few years then allowed for preparation, he concentrated the efforts that are usually diffused over the entire period of childhood, and gained a practical knowledge and training that has been at the foundation of his success. He worked his way through college, displaying an earnestness and steadiness of application that promised and have since proved to be among the most valuable traits of his character. He studied law at Morganton, North Carolina, in the famous law school of Judge Avery, who was one of the supreme justices of the state and a noted legal educator. Having completed his studies there and been admitted to the bar in 1896, he practiced his profession a year and a half in Newport, Tennessee, and in 1898 moved to Oklahoma City, where he has since been actively identified with the law and business.

A Republican in party affiliation, but actively allied, with the prohibition movement, Mr. Francis was one of the prominent workers in the campaign for state-wide prohibition which was settled in the election of September 17, 1907. He is a member of the Baptist Church of Oklahoma City. Mr. Francis is author and publisher of the "Denominational Tree," an engraved chart, with explanatory letter-press, showing the origin, descent and a brief history of all the Christian denominations since the beginning of the Christian era. It is a valuable, interesting and unique work, showing at a glance a vast amount of ecclesiastical history that would require a great deal of study and research to acquire in any other form. Mr. Francis married Miss Helen Sperry of Grayson County, Texas. Mrs. Francis received her education in the Kidd-Key College at Sherman. They have a daughter, Mary Caroline Francis.


Of Oklahoma City, has extended and diversified a successful career in the law by very prominent activity in public and political affairs. As a campaign manager he is probably one of the strongest political workers in Oklahoma, his power in this respect being indicated in the fact that he has been retained as one of the managers in nearly every election of importance held in the territory during the past fifteen years. In the strenuous campaign waged by various candidates for nomination in the summer of 1907, he was one of the managers for Samuel W. Hayes, who was seeking the nomination for supreme judge at the primaries on June 8. Judge Hayes was elected by a majority of about four to one. It is said that Mr. Byers has the faculty of being able to "pick winners" in the political race. This is probably due to the fact that in politics he always acts on his best judgment as to the fitness of the man for the place, working on the theory that the public will at last endorse the best man. His judgment and foresight in these matters have proved valuable factors in several important political contests, and he naturally stands high in the councils of the Democratic Party.

Mr. Byers has an interesting and varied career. Coming into Oklahoma on the date of the first opening, he has the unusual record of having participated in every subsequent opening - that of September 22, 1891, when the lands of the Sac, Fox, Iowa and Pottawatomie Indians were thrown open to settlement; the Cheyenne and Arapahoe opening on April 19, 1892; the Cherokee Strip, on September 17, 1893, and the Kickapoo Reservation opening, May 23, 1895. Mr. Byers was born in Webster county, Kentucky, in 1868, son of Richard and Rosina (Harris) Byers, now deceased, who were both natives of Tennessee and connected with some of the prominent families of that state. Richard Byers' mother was a Cooke, of the family for which Cookeville, Putnam County, Tennessee, was named, this town being the home of Senator Cooke. Bolivar H. Cooke was another noted representative of the family. Virginia was the original seat of the family, but members later went to Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and in the Civil War some of them fought on the Union side and some for the Confederacy. On the mother's side a distinguished representative was the late Senator Isham G. Harris, who was the war governor of Tennessee.

Mr. Byers was reared in Tennessee and at Springtown, in Parker County, Texas, where the family had located when he was fourteen years old. Though brought up on a farm, his ambition and natural aptitude for a wider circle of activity caused him to secure a first class education and begin a self-supporting career when quite young. He began teaching when he was sixteen years old, and his education was paid for out of his own earnings. Springtown College was the first institution of learning above the common schools that he attended. He taught at Bridgeport and at Decatur in Wise County, Texas, and came from the latter place to the opening of Oklahoma on April 22, 1889. For the first four years he was a resident of Guthrie, where some successful transactions in real estate netted him sufficient money to complete his education in Vanderbilt University. Taking both academic and law courses, he was graduated from the law department with the class of 1891. While a resident of Decatur he had studied law with Judge Bullock, one of the prominent lawyers of Texas and the southwest, and had been admitted to the bar in that state. His education and general training for the law was very complete, and in August. 1891, he took the examination and was admitted to practice by the Oklahoma supreme court. He has also been regularly admitted to practice law in the District and Circuit Courts of the United States, and in the Supreme Court of the United States, and enjoys a fair share of the federal practice arising in his section.

When Mr. Byers became one of the first settlers of the Cherokee Strip in September, 1893, he took a leading part in the affairs of the new county of Kay. He gave the name to the town of Newkirk, which became the county seat, and was also the first County Attorney, serving from 1893 to 1895. He was a resident of Newkirk until 1899, and since then has made his home and conducted his practice in Oklahoma City. His success at the bar and his very active part in politics have given him an unsurpassed knowledge and intimate familiarity with the political history of the territory, and it is likely that he has a larger acquaintance with the men who have been prominent in shaping the territory's affairs than any other one citizen. He was active in the territorial Democratic central committee in 1894, and in that year received the endorsement of his home county, Kay, and several other counties for the Democratic nomination for Congress; however, he threw his support to Joe Wisby, who got the nomination. In 1896 the Democratic congressional convention was presided over by Mr. Byers, and this was the convention that nominated J. Y. Callahan, the only Democrat ever sent to Congress from Oklahoma Territory. In Oklahoma City, besides attending to a fine practice, Mr. Byers has several connections that are noteworthy. He is one of the highest Masons in the state, having attained the thirty-second degree in Scottish Rite, and is a member of India Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He is one of the trustees of the Oklahoma College for Young Ladies and Conservatory of Fine Arts, at Oklahoma City. His daughter, Miss Gladys, is a student in this institution. Mr. Byers married at Winfield, Kansas, Miss Carrie Greenland, a native of Ohio, and they have just the one child.


He began practice at Oklahoma City in 1903. He had already won distinction in the law in his native state of South Carolina, and quickly came into prominence for his special abilities displayed in practice with the territorial bar. A special feature of his career before the Oklahoma bar is that he holds a record for obtaining the quashing of more indictments than any other attorney in the state; perhaps as much could not be said concerning any other attorney in any other state. As a brief writer Mr. McAdams has no acknowledged superior in the local practice, and to this he adds brilliant and forceful qualities as a speaker, and an alertness and quick wit which have been effective means in winning cases before a jury. An exceptional familiarity with former decisions in all classes of litigation enables him frequently to obtain for clients the quashing of indictments or discontinuance of cases without going to trial. Judge R. Y. H. Nance, of the probate court of Anderson County, South Carolina, paid Mr. McAdams, then practicing in that county, the tribute of saying that no other young man ever came to the bar of South Carolina who rose to eminence and acquired the confidence of the people so rapidly as did Mr. McAdams. Mr. McAdams was born in Anderson County, South Carolina, in 1876, son of John O. and Malinda (Casey) McAdams, both of whom are still residents of that county. The McAdams family is of Scotch ancestry, the paternal great-grandfather of the Oklahoma lawyer having come from Scotland and located in the Carolinas during the colonial period, and having been the ancestor of practically all the McAdams family in the United States. Mr. McAdams was reared in Anderson County, receiving most of his education in the Georgia Agricultural and Military College at Dahlonega, a branch of the University of Georgia. He spent four years as deputy probate judge of Anderson County, and having read law in the office of Tribble and Prince at Anderson, the county seat, was admitted to the bar in 1900. He had already, through his connection with the courts as deputy, acquired a practical working knowledge of the law and had written the majority of the opinions of the probate court. He became County Attorney for his home county, and served as such with distinction. Since locating in Oklahoma City he has won unqualified success in the law. In the spring of T907 he was candidate for the Democratic nomination for the office of attorney general of the new state. He was given the endorsement of the entire bar of Oklahoma City, also received the active support of most of the attorneys of the territory, but through a combination of political circumstances was defeated in the primaries.


The president of the Oklahoma and Indian Territory Bar Association in 1905 was Hon. Samuel H. Harris, one of the distinguished lawyers of the territories, who has been identified with the Oklahoma bar since the early years of Oklahoma territory. His practice is connected with some of the largest corporate interests of the new state and in earlier years he was closely identified with the official affairs of several localities of the territory. Mr. Harris has resided in Oklahoma City since August, 1906, where, besides a large general practice, he was soon appointed general attorney for the Pioneer Telephone and Telegraph Company.

Mr. Harris came to Oklahoma and located at Norman, in Cleveland County, on March 15, 1891, and was among the early lawyers of that town. With the opening of the Cherokee Strip in 1893 and the organization of its territory into counties, he was appointed by Governor Renfrow to the office of County Attorney of the new county of Noble. Following his term of office, he continued his residence and practice at Perry, and it was there that he made his reputation as one of Oklahoma's ablest lawyers. Since his admission to practice before the supreme court of the United States in October, 1902, he has handled much business before the federal courts. He was one of the advocates on the celebrated Black vs. Jackson case before the Supreme Court, and also appeared in the U. S. circuit court of appeals in the case of Sharpe vs. United States. Another honor that came to him was his appointment as judge advocate general of the Oklahoma National Guard.

Mr. Harris is a native of Carroll County, Arkansas, where he was born October 18, 1858. During his childhood his parents moved to Johnson county, Missouri, where he was reared, receiving his education in the public schools and the State Normal University at Warrensburg. While preparing for the practice of law he earned his own living, and has depended on his own efforts to lift him into professional prominence. He finished his legal education with a three-year course in the office of Joseph G. Lowe at Washington, Kansas. (Mr. Lowe has since become a well known figure in Oklahoma, in the statehood election of 1907, having been elected district judge of the thirteenth district and resides at El Reno.) Mr. Harris was admitted to the bar at Washington. Kansas, June 28, 188Q, and practiced there until his removal to Oklahoma about two years later. Mr. Harris has taken an active part in the extension of the Knights of Pythias order in Oklahoma, being one of its foremost representatives in the new state and is a past grand chancellor of Oklahoma. He is a Mason and a member of India Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. Mrs. Harris before her marriage was Miss Minnie Carlock, who was born and reared in Cleburne, Texas. They have one son, Samuel Lowe.


Of the present Oklahoma bar, there is probably but one lawyer whose practice had connected him with the territory more than twenty years. That is Tom F. McMechan, one of the ablest attorneys of Oklahoma City and also one of the strongest factors in Democratic politics in the new state. Born in Adams County, Illinois, eight miles north of Quincy, in 1860, a son of James and Jane (Wray) McMechan, natives of Ireland and both now deceased; he was reared on a farm in his native county, where he lived until 1886. He was educated in the Quincy schools, and graduated from the Chaddock Law School of that city in 1886, being admitted to practice by the supreme court of Illinois on June 23, 1886. On the 3d of July following he came to Wichita, Kansas, and at once began the practice of law in that young and flourishing city.

His first case came through his appointment by the federal judge at Wichita to defend a couple of Indians who were charged with a heinous offense alleged to have been committed in the Seminole Nation, for which they were sentenced to death. Mr. McMechan, convinced that a mistake had been made by the government interpreter in the trial of the case, made an overland trip at his own expense through the territory to the Seminole Nation, got evidence of the interpreter's mistake, and secured the release and acquittal of the prisoners. Through this and subsequent professional services, he soon got the reputation of being thoroughly interested in getting justice for the Indians and thus earned the friendship and regard of a large number of the red men. About that time the Cheyennes and Arapahoes were very much dissatisfied with what they considered unfair treatment at the hands of the federal treaty commission. Major Walter Barker was the Indian trader for these tribes, with headquarters at Darlington, and he succeeded in interesting Mr. McMechan in the affairs of his protégés. In keeping with previous efforts, Mr. McMechan became an earnest advocate of the Indians' rights before the commission, and his testimony formed an important part of the evidence adduced by Captain Lee of the Indian Rights Association, who later became a general in the war in Cuba. His work in behalf of the Indians took Mr. McMechan to Fort Reno and to various other portions of Indian Territory and Oklahoma before it was opened to settlement, when the only white occupants were federal employees, cattlemen and "bad men."

April 22, 1889, Mr. McMechan became an actual settler, living at Kingfisher the first six months, and since then Oklahoma City has been his permanent home. He served as first assistant U. S. district attorney of Oklahoma during the second Cleveland administration, a term of four years from 1894 to 1898. Besides being one of the foremost members of the bar, he has taken a conspicuous part in public affairs. He was one of the organizers of the Columbia Bank and Trust Company of Oklahoma City, and is its general attorney and one of the directors. May 16, 1907, the Democratic convention gave him the nomination by acclamation for state senator from the fourteenth senatorial district, comprising Oklahoma and Canadian counties, the largest and wealthiest district of Oklahoma. In the midst of a campaign which would certainly have resulted in his being the first senator of this district in the new state legislature, he was compelled to withdraw his candidacy on account of ill health. Mr. McMechan's career, which is now at the height of usefulness, is so varied as to include influential activity throughout the time of early history and the settlement, growth and development of the territory to statehood. Mr. McMechan's wife is Mrs. Mary (Conboy) McMechan, a native of Jacksonville, Illinois.


To one of the counties carved out of the Creek Nation was given the name of Moman. By this means the delegates to the convention sought to honor as he deserved one of the notable characters in the political history of Oklahoma, and one of the ablest fighters for statehood. The name of the county is the Christian name of Hon. Moman Pruiett, who for eleven years was prominent as a lawyer and in political affairs at Paul's Valley, and since the fall of 1907 has practiced law in Oklahoma City. His services and activities can best be appreciated by those who are familiar with his career of self-advancement and his rugged, virile character. He began life a bootblack and reached distinction through the rough process of self-training and stimulating contact with all classes of men from boyhood to the present. He was born July 12, 1872, at Alton, Perry County, in southern Indiana, son of Warren L. and Elizabeth (Moman) Pruiett. (He was named in honor of his mother, who belonged to the aristocratic Moman family of Kentucky.) At the age of seven years he accompanied the family to Benton County, Arkansas. He had only thirteen months of school education - six months in Perry County, Indiana, four months as a pupil of Prof. Wolsey at Rogers, Arkansas, and three months in the public schools at Hackett City, Arkansas. With these exceptions he began the serious work of life at the very entrance to boyhood. He earned his first money as a bootblack and by doing such jobs as came to him. Notwithstanding some notable examples of history, it is the exception when a boy, thus circumstanced, rises to prominence, since the opportunities of fortune do not reach down to this plane, and in order to rise the boy must make his own opportunities. In those days Moman Pruiett displayed something of persistence and force of character, and with an ambition to gain prominence through the profession of law he quietly sought the advantages which had been denied him as a boy. For seven months he was a law student under Phil D. Brewer at Hackett City, Arkansas, and for fifteen months under Col. J. C. Hodges of Paris, Texas, at which place the family had taken up their residence. In 1805, when twenty-three years old, he was admitted to the bar at Paris, and in the following year began his professional career at Paul's Valley, in the Chickasaw Nation. He grew up with the town, and in a few years his personal influence and his reputation as a lawyer were known throughout his section of Oklahoma and Indian Territory. He was elected the first city attorney at Paul's Valley, holding that position two terms, when he was chosen mayor of the city, and was also chosen a member of the Indian Territory Democratic executive committee.

Mr. Pruiett was one of the delegates sent to Washington as a representative of the amalgamated Democracy of the two territories, to work for statehood. His activity in this connection and his work during the constitutional convention entitled him to the recognition which he received from the delegates when they gave his name to one of the new counties of the state. He was a member of the Democratic state campaign committee for the election of delegates to the constitutional convention. It is especially noteworthy that he was practically the father of the primary election provision in the constitution, having introduced in the Democratic convention the resolution recommending the convention to adopt a mandatory primary law, which was done.

Mr. Pruiett is one of the most tireless and successful political fighters in the new state. It may be truthfully said that he has never been a quitter, a bolter or a compromiser. His loyalty to friends is remarkable, and one of the principal sources of his power, since his friends are in turn bound to him by the strongest ties. His rough and tumble experience in earlier life seems to have resulted chiefly in increasing his natural talents and powers to a finer point of efficiency, and has left him a man of utmost self-reliance, without the faintest tinge of pretense, who always fights in the open, and is generous to a fault.

As a criminal lawyer Mr. Pruiett is one of the strongest of the Oklahoma Bar. He has the somewhat remarkable record of having defended over eighty persons charged with murder. On moving to Oklahoma City last year he established offices at 112 West Main Street. By his marriage to Miss Leda Olivia Sniggs, of Alva, Oklahoma, and a daughter of A. T. Sniggs, ex-member of the territorial legislature. Mr. Pruiett has one daughter, Gail Hamilton Pruiett.


HE is regarded as one of the ablest lawyers of Oklahoma County, being a member of the well known firm of Fulton, Stringer and Grant. He has practiced law in Oklahoma City since I903, and has taken an active part in public affairs. One of the things for which he deserves much credit, as having been very instrumental in effecting it, was the location in this city of a detail of military instructors for a military school, as a result of which the headquarters of the Southwestern Division of the army were located in Oklahoma City for a time, though later removed to St. Louis.

Captain Grant had an interesting career as a lawyer and soldier before coming to Oklahoma. Born at Clarkesville, Georgia, in 1869, son of W. D. and Samantha J. (Holland) Grant, he comes of distinguished ancestry. On the paternal side it is Scotch. His great-great Grandfather, Asa Grant, and his great-grandfather, William Grant, were both officers in the continental army during the Revolutionary war. Coming down to the preceding generation, his father was an officer in the Confederate service during the Civil war, while his mother was the daughter of Captain John Holland, also an officer of the Confederate army. Captain Grant was reared and educated at Clarkesville, and in early life taught school as a means of furthering his own education. His law studies were begun in Clarkesville, in the office of Judge Logan E. Blakely, chief justice of the supreme court of Georgia. After being admitted to the bar in Clarkesville in 1891, he moved to Anderson, South Carolina, in the following year and was engaged in practice there until 1808. While away on a business trip to Sioux City, Iowa, the Spanish-American war was formally declared, and he at once hurried home to recruit and organize a company for the First South Carolina Volunteer Infantry, of which company he became lieutenant and later captain and regimental adjutant. His service that year was spent in camp at Chickamauga, till his discharge in November. In July, 1899, he received re-appointment as captain of volunteers and was assigned to command of Company M of the Twenty-Ninth United States Volunteer Infantry. The regiment was sent to the Philippines, and after some field service there Captain Grant was detached from his regiment and appointed judge advocate, being assigned to duty in the Department of Southern Luzon. He was next appointed civil governor of the province of Leyte, and later was elected by ballot, with a large majority, as governor of that province, the capital of which is the town of Tacloban. Governor Grant's administration of affairs in this province, until his resignation in March, 1903, and return home, was marked by thorough efficiency, and his equitable and conscientious performance received high commendation both from the United States military authorities and the people of the province.

Captain Grant was married at Anderson, South Carolina, to Miss Lillie May Fant, a member of a prominent South Carolina family of that name. They have two children, both born in the Philippines, Mary Ermita and George.


He was chosen to the office of city attorney of Oklahoma City on the Democratic ticket in April, 1907. Mr. Chambers' previous career has been held to guarantee a most competent administration of the city's legal department during his term, for he has been a successful lawyer in the general practice at Oklahoma City since 1895, and has gained the confidence of the bar and the people generally. He was born at Charleston, Coles County, Illinois, his father being a prominent physician and surgeon, well known to the profession in Illinois, who had located at Charleston in 1858. Reared in his native town, Mr. Chambers received a good education, graduating from DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, in the class of 1884, and graduating in law from the St. Louis Law School in 1886. In the fall of the latter year he located at Coldwater in the southwestern , part of Kansas, in what was then a new country, and there for the following eight or nine years built up a growing and successful practice. In 1893 his district elected him a member of the legislature, a session made notable by the great populistic movement that swept the state. However, Mr. Chambers was elected to the assembly as a straight Democrat. Since coming to Oklahoma City in 1895, he has practiced in all the courts, and has taken a prominent part in affairs of the city. He has devoted himself mainly to the civil side of practice, although he has been retained in some of the notable criminal trials of the city and territory. Mr. Chambers was married at Wabash, Indiana, to Miss Flora G. Gossett of that city. They have three sons, Robert W., T. Gavin, and Myron.


Began the practice of law in Oklahoma City in September, 1905, had a distinguished career as a lawyer and in public life in the state of Kentucky before moving to Oklahoma. His prestige has suffered none by the change of residence, since he is regarded as one of the most accomplished members of the bar in this city, and has a high standing in business and professional circles. In business affairs he is probably best known to the public as vice-president of the Columbia Bank and Trust Company, one of the solid financial institutions of the city, mentioned elsewhere in this history.

Judge Pratt is a native of Woodford County, Illinois. In his childhood his parents moved to Hopkins County, Kentucky. His mother died early in life, and his father, being a cripple, could give little assistance to the son in his early struggles, and in fact had to rely on the boy for partial support. With such a setting of circumstances, the youth of Judge Pratt was spent in a struggle for the necessities of life and for the attainment of those ideals of education and professional accomplishment on which he early set his mind. At least one product of his early experience was self-reliance, a quality that has probably been one of the main factors in the success that has since come to him. Among the various occupations of his youth, he learned the printer's trade. Most of his education was obtained under the instruction of Professor H. Boring, Boring's Institute in Hopkins county, being one of the most thorough and efficient schools in Kentucky. Studying law at Madisonville, Kentucky, he was admitted to the bar in 1876 and became one of the law firm of Waddill and Pratt of that town.

Having begun the practice of law, he almost immediately took a prominent place in the profession. The ability and initiative which had enabled him to gain entrance to the profession pushed him forward so that he escaped the proverbial starvation period of the young lawyer. For over a quarter of a century he remained one of the leading lawyers of the state, noted for the high ability of its legal profession. While still a young man, in 1879, he was elected to the Kentucky state senate, and his two terms were marked with practical political service. In politics Judge Pratt has always been Republican, and it was in spite of this party affiliation and always against great odds, that he went into political contests and won notable victories. The honors he achieved in public life were a tribute to his sound ability rather than to his partisan stamp. After his service in the senate he was elected circuit judge, in a district that was Democratic by 1,500 majority, and for five years continued on the bench. In 1000 he was the Republican nominee for the office of attorney general of the state. It is only necessary to mention that this election was the one in which Taylor was elected governor, to recall the strife and bitterness, that were aroused throughout the state and have not yet been effaced from the political records of the state. The election was thrown into the courts to decide its legality, and Mr. Taylor and all other members of his ticket, with the exception of Judge Pratt, were ruled out and not allowed to take the oath of office, Governor Beckham becoming governor instead. Through the latter's administration Tudee Pratt served two years as attorney general. It was a high honor thus significantly bestowed in allowing him to take office when all his associates were debarred, and was a tribute to his high standing in the profession and with the people, regardless of politics. Having the fair and impartial character of the natural judge, he had never been drawn into the bitter personal politics of the time, and it was with general satisfaction on all sides that he was elected and retained in the office of attorney general. His judicial career in Kentucky had some noteworthy features. The spirit of kindness and justice that gave him such esteem among people generally was extended, while he was on the circuit bench, especially to the cases of youthful offenders. As a result he often gave kindly advice and personal encouragement rather than harsh judgments to youthful culprits, practicing the spirit that in later years has found expression in the founding of juvenile courts in some of the larger cities, a practice that is now regarded as a distinct evolution in the administration of justice. Judge Pratt left the attorney general's office at Frankfort with a good record behind him, and without a taint of the odium of the political strife that involved the Goebel tragedy and other discreditable transactions. While a resident of Kentucky, Judge Pratt acquired substantial financial and property interests, and was president of the Hopkins County Bank. He is now thoroughly identified with the civic spirit and activities of Oklahoma City, and is one of its best known residents. His two sons, W. R. and Lawrence Pratt, had preceded him in taking up their residence in the west. Mr. W. R. Pratt is now a prominent business man of Independence, Kansas, where he has served as mayor of the town. Judge Pratt's wife is Mrs. Sallie (Waddill) Pratt.

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