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The History of Oklahoma Biographies Vol. II
by Luther B. Hill
Page 5


In the field of corporation and commercial law, Oklahoma City has some very able lawyers, whose abilities and learning will compare favorably with those of the similar department of the profession in larger cities both east and west. Russell Norman McConnell is a good example of this type of lawyer, and since locating in this city in 1804 he has pursued the practice of law, especially in his special department, with distinguished success.

Mr. McConnell was born at Woodhull, Henry County, Illinois, in 1868, son of James A. McConnell, who was a native of Juniata County, Pennsylvania, and became an early settler of Henry County, Illinois. About 1880 he went further west, to McPherson, in McPherson County, Kansas, and in the following year brought his family to that place. Both parents are now deceased. Coming to McPherson County when thirteen years old, Mr. McConnell was largely reared and educated there, spending his youth on a farm until he was sixteen. The grade and high school of McPherson and McPherson College, a well known educational institution of the Dunkards, afforded him his literary education. In the regular equipment for his profession he had splendid advantages, although he deserves the more credit since his education was entirely self-earned, from the time he entered high school until he was ready to practice law. He had begun teaching school when he was seventeen years old, and before he had reached legal age had obtained a state certificate attesting his qualifications. He was engaged in teaching for about seven years, most of the time in McPherson County. Entering the University of Michigan where he took courses in the law department and also in the academic department, he was graduated in law with the class of 1894, and after spending two months in his old home at McPherson, he located in Oklahoma City. Besides the other sources of his legal training, he acknowledges his former preceptor, John D. Milligan, a noted criminal lawyer of McPherson, under whom he studied for a time. In Oklahoma City, Mr. McConnell has won high standing at the bar and has also prospered financially. He owns valuable property in the city, including a beautiful home on West Thirteenth Street. By his marriage to Miss Myrtle Dye of St. Louis, he has five children: Edith, Vincent Dye, Carleton, Caroline and Russell Norman, Jr.


HE is the present referee in bankruptcy for the United States District Court at Oklahoma City, his jurisdiction embracing Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties. Mr. Goodrich has been a well known member of the bar at Oklahoma City since 1892, and before taking up his present duties made a specialty of land litigation. He has had an interesting career, as a soldier, in public life, and in business.
Born in Rutland County, Vermont, in 1836, he was reared just across the state line in Washington and Saratoga counties, New York. He began a life of great activity while in boyhood. Starting out without money, he worked his way up to Lake Champlain by driving horses on the towpath of the Champlain canal, and after several years' experience as a sailor boy on Lake Champlain became captain of a lake boat when only sixteen years old. Going west in 1856, he spent two years in Iowa, but returned to New York and was living there when the war broke out. He enlisted in 1861 from Saratoga County, in the following year, being assigned to duty in the One Hundred and Fifteenth New York Infantry, with which he served twenty months. He was then transferred as lieutenant to the Thirty-Third United States Infantry, which was the first regiment of colored men to be mustered into the Union service, and which was at first known as the First South Carolina Volunteers. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the author and distinguished abolitionist, was colonel of the regiment. Mr. Goodrich, who was later promoted to captain of his company, served in Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, most of the time in the Second Brigade, Second Division, Tenth Army Corps, Army of the James; this corps being consolidated with the Eighteenth Corps at Bermuda Hundred. Virginia. The engagements in which he was a participant were the three days' battle at Harper's Ferry, in September, 1862, where he was taken prisoner; in the Peninsular campaign of 1863, the battle of Fredericksburg, the capture of Morris Island in South Carolina, the battle of Bermuda Hundred, the charge on Fort Wagner, the battles at Jacksonville and Olustee, Florida, and many others. After the war he continued in the army, in the provost marshal service for the most part, until February, 1866, receiving his discharge at Morris Island.

The ambition to become a lawyer had come to Mr. Goodrich before the war, and he had begun his studies while living in Saratoga County. But the close of the war found him with other designs, and instead of entering the law he engaged in the watch and jewelry business at Alpena. Michigan. In 1880 he moved to DeLand, Florida, where he was elected mayor for six terms, and having finished his legal preparation entered upon the practice of law and soon became a prominent figure in the profession and in public affairs in that state. In 1888 he received the Republican nomination for member of Congress from the second Florida district. The result of the election was 16,817 votes for Goodrich and 20.012 for his Democratic opponent, Robert Bullock, but there was so much evidence of fraud in the conduct of the election that Mr. Goodrich made a contest of the validity of the returns. With great thoroughness and at heavy expense he carried out a detailed investigation in all the counties comprising his district. The voluminous evidence presented to the congressional committee on elections substantiated his claim that the election judges had refused to receive legal votes tendered for Goodrich, had refused to count legal votes, had failed to make return of all the legal votes cast, and that other frauds and irregularities had been committed during the election. The committee on elections, after reviewing the case, decided by a majority vote in favor of Mr. Goodrich, the result of their count of the legal vote giving him a majority of 337. However, the minority resorted to obstruction tactics to postpone the final decision, and failing to get a sufficient number of Republican members to carry out the ruling of the committee, Mr. Goodrich in the closing days of the congressional session allowed the contest to drop.

While in Florida, Mr. Goodrich became the head of a flourishing banking house. An absconding cashier almost wrecked the bank and in protecting his depositors Mr. Goodrich sacrificed a large part of the fortune which years of careful business management and hard work had built up. Mr. Goodrich has been a member of the Grand Army of the Republic since its first organization in the fall of 1866. In Masonry he has taken all the York Rite degrees, and is a Knight Templar and a Shriner. As a lifelong Republican, he cast his first vote for John C. Fremont in 1856, and for every Republican presidential candidate since that time. His wife is Lydia (Robinson) Goodrich, whose home originally was in Lapeer County, Michigan. They have one daughter, Grace Goodrich.


In January, 1902, John Hand Myers began the practice of law at Oklahoma City, and since that date has been continuously and successfully identified with the bar of this city. He had experience in the courts and as counselor during the closing years of the history of the territory and has an able record on which to continue his career in the new state. Several years ago he was associated in practice with Hon. Selwyn Douglas, and then with Hon. Frank N. Prout, formerly attorney general of the state of Nebraska.

Mr. Myers was born near Goshen, Ohio, May 4, 1876, son of Sumner B. and Mary L. (Irwin) Myers. He had a public school education, having graduated in normal studies and from the high school at Goshen, Ohio, in 1893. He taught in public schools for five years, then entered the University of Michigan, and was graduated from the law department in the class of 1901. He was admitted to the bar the same year before the Supreme Court of Ohio. He began practice in Oklahoma equipped by training in one of the best professional schools for lawyers in the Middle West. He has always identified his political actions with the Democratic Party. Fraternally he is a Mason, and has also taken all the degrees in Odd Fellowship.

In April, 1908, Mr. Myers was selected as one of the Freeholders for Oklahoma City to draft a charter for its government, and was recently selected secretary of the Ohio Society of Oklahoma.


The present department commander for Oklahoma and the old Indian Territory of the United Spanish War Veterans is Charles E. Hunter, who was a member of the famous regiment of Rough Riders. At the beginning of the Spanish-American war he was a resident of Enid, prominent there in newspaper and real estate business. He enlisted at Enid in April, 1898, and accompanied the regiment to Tampa and thence to Cuba, being present at and taking part in the battles of Las Guasimas on June 24 and San Juan on July 1, 2 and 3, of that regiment. He became sergeant of his company, and was mustered out as such at Enid in November, 1898.

Aside from his prominence as a Rough Rider, Mr. Hunter deserves historical notice as being one of the pioneers of Oklahoma, coming in on the first day, as one of the first printers and publishers of the territory and for a number of years an active newspaper man, and also as a factor in public affairs, especially in the growth and upbuilding of the city of Enid, where he lived until recently. Mr. Hunter was born in Brooklyn, New York, September 18, 1856, son of Daniel and Emma (Mueler) Hunter. His father, a native of Monongahela, West Virginia, where his father (also named Daniel and a shipbuilder by trade) had settled on emigrating from England to this country, was a civil engineer, and practiced this profession in Pennsylvania and New York, finally locating at Brooklyn, where he died during the youth of his son, Charles E. The latter had a good common school education, became an apprentice at the printer's trade at Poughkeepsie, New York, and in 1883 came west to Kansas City, where he engaged in the publishing business, for six years. He was well known in Kansas City business circles and also took prominent part in local politics.

The third train that reached Guthrie on the opening day in 1889 had Charles E. Hunter as a passenger, and he came to the capital to establish and represent the line of business in which he had always been engaged. It is an important point in the history of the press that he established the first exclusive job printing office in the territory. His first office was in a tent in that city, as were many early business houses, and the first Oklahoma cyclone struck Guthrie, with a heavy rain, about the middle of June, 1889, and seemed to take particular delight in hitting Hunter's tent and printing office and in less than one minute tent, type cases, racks and all kinds of printing material were scattered for a distance of two miles. Undaunted, he purchased another outfit and was in full running order within six days. Mr. Hunter was made a member of the provisional council from the first ward of Guthrie, and later was elected a member of the second and third councils on the Republican ticket.

At the opening of the Sac and Fox reservation, September 22, 1891, Mr. Hunter located at Chandler, and. besides being one of the founders of the town, established the Chandler News. Selling the News, he went to the Cheyenne and Arapahoe country that was opened up April 19, 1892, and again followed in the wake of the pioneer founders and builders, and helped to establish the town of Okarche, where he founded the Okarche Times. He was a resident until September 16, 1893, which was the opening day of the Cherokee Strip, at which date he located in Enid. The Daily and Weekly Eagle of Enid, which is still the most prominent paper in that city, had Mr. Hunter as its publisher for several years, and he undoubtedly created its success and made it a permanent newspaper property. After retiring from the newspaper business, in 1896, his energies were transferred to the general real estate business, and while successfully engaged in that he interested himself and took a prominent part in building up and making a city of Enid. He was a charter member and secretary of the Enid Commercial Club, which took the lead in the public spirited movements in the city. He was also one of the incorporators and a director of the Blackwell, Enid & Southwestern Railroad, helping to construct that important link in Oklahoma railroads. Among other movements of general benefit to Oklahoma in which he has taken part, it should be mentioned that he presided at the first meeting of the Free Homes League of Oklahoma, from which resulted the free homestead legislation. In politics Mr. Hunter has been almost equally prominent, having served as chairman of the Garfield county central committee, and as member of the statehood central committee of the Republican Party. After leaving Enid, in 1899, Mr. Hunter took up the promoting and building of the Blackwell, Enid & Southwestern Railroad, and he remained with that company from its inception until the road was completed, in 1905, from Blackwell, Oklahoma, to Vernon, Texas, a distance of 254 miles. Mr. Hunter located and founded twenty-two town sites in Oklahoma, among them being Frederick, the county seat of Tillman county, also Davidson, Mountain Park, Roosevelt, Custer City, Thomas, Hunter, and other prosperous towns. He was appointed clerk of the United States district court at Oklahoma City in April, 1906, resigning in August, 1907, at which time he was elected chairman of the Republican State Central Committee of Oklahoma.

He is at present the president of Roosevelt's Rough Rider Regiment, and clerk of the United States district court for the western district of Oklahoma.

He is married and with his wife, Mrs. Alma T. Hunter, resides at Oklahoma City with their two children.


The country lying adjacent to Oklahoma City on the northeast is now in process of development as suburban additions, and with the extension of transportation facilities to this part of the city, real estate values will rise and property become as popular here as in any other section. One of the men to whose enterprise many of these improvements are due is William F. Harn, a well known capitalist and real estate man of Oklahoma City. He bought and promoted Harndale addition, consisting of thirty acres, lying near Epworth University and intersected by Classen Boulevard. About ten years ago he acquired the ownership of a quarter section lying north of Maywood addition and fronting south on Sixteenth street, where developments are in progress that will convert this into one of the most valuable and attractive parts of the city. On the east this high-class residence district will be skirted by the new Lincoln Boulevard, which will be built north from the Lincoln school for a distance of four or five miles. Mr. Harn, J. J. Culbertson and others are associated in the building of a street railway line to reach this property, their intention being to give the same boom to this northeast section of the city that the Oklahoma Street Railway Company has given to the northwest section. In the new Harn addition trees have been planted everywhere, which will have reached nearly full growth by the time the lots are placed on the market. Pavements, sidewalks, sewers and other improvements will be put under way of construction before this addition is formally opened. In various other ways, Mr. Harn has taken an important part in building up Oklahoma City. Long before the future of this city was assured as it now is, he had given evidence of his strong faith in the possibilities of its growth and expansion.
In the early years of his residence in Oklahoma, Mr. Harn was best known for his prominence as a government official and as a lawyer. He was born in Wooster, Ohio, and graduated from Wooster University in 1880. Having read law under private tutors, he was admitted to the bar by the supreme court of Ohio in 1881. While in the practice of law, Mr. Harn conducted some of the most important lawsuits pending in the courts and was unusually successful. Large fees in these cases were the foundation of his large real estate interests, which, conservatively estimated, now greatly exceed a million dollars in actual value. Though he practiced in Ohio for several years, he was best known as a newspaper man, being editor and one of the owners of the morning paper at Mansfield. Through the instrumentality of the late Senator John Sherman of Ohio, he was appointed, as special agent of the department of interior to assist in the prosecution of perjury cases in connection with homestead entries in Oklahoma. This was in 1891, two years after the opening of the territory, and the courts were burdened with bitterly contested suits over the ownership of land. During the first year of his residence in Oklahoma City, Mr. Harn gave all his time to the secret work of his position, especially the securing of testimony for the conviction of the perjurers whose deceit had rendered the establishment of legal titles to homesteads so difficult. As mentioned elsewhere, this was a period of momentous importance in the history of Oklahoma. Had the perjurers and claim jumpers succeeded in their pretensions, a vicious element would have remained in the citizenship that a generation might not have been able to cast out, and the entire proceeding would have had a sinister and depressing moral effect on the people almost at the beginning of their struggles to establish a great commonwealth. As it was, these falsifiers and illegal claimants were defeated in nearly every case, and for this wholesome outcome such officials of the federal department as Mr. Harn deserve the gratitude of Oklahomans for their efficient and arduous labors in establishing just claims and bringing about law and order. Perjury was often accompanied by murder, and the strife and litigation cost the participants hundreds of thousands of dollars, which was so much subtracted from the capital available for the development of the new country. It is said that nearly every claim of prospective value within ten or fifteen miles of Oklahoma City was in dispute and litigation, and to prove the just merits of each case was a toil whose final accomplishment has few parallels in the history of land claims.

After leaving the service of the interior department, Mr. Harn began the practice of law in Oklahoma City. During one year he was clerk of the United States district court at Perry, and other places. This appointment was made by President McKinley, as a personal recognition to Mr. Harn for securing the Oklahoma delegation that helped to nominate him at St. Louis in 1896, President McKinley's interests in Oklahoma having been placed exclusively in the hands of Mr. Harn by Mark A. Hanna. With this exception he has been a resident of Oklahoma City since 1891. Mr. Harn has been actively engaged in politics from the day of his arrival in Oklahoma, but has seldom sought public office. In 1904 he was nominated by the Republicans of Oklahoma County for the Territorial Legislature by acclamation. In the contest he polled his full party vote, but was defeated by a small plurality. He was one of two persons that was called into consultation with Arthur I. Vorys and others at Kansas City, prior to the Oklahoma state convention for the purpose of laying plans to further the interest of Wm. H. Taft for the presidency. And it was largely through his influence that the Oklahoma delegation was instructed for Taft.

Mr. Harn is always among the largest contributors of money and time towards public enterprises. He alone induced the Mississippi Valley Trust Company of St. Louis, and the Denver, Enid & Gulf Railroad Company to agree to build the latter railroad from a point northwest of Guthrie to Oklahoma City, paralleling the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway for about thirty miles and to construct a terminal railroad in Oklahoma City to accommodate five new railroads. The Denver, Enid & Gulf Railroad Company was to receive a bonus of sixty thousand dollars, all of which was raised. Some delay was caused by promoters of other roads, who desired to be considered in the drawing of the leases, although the officials of the D., E. & G. R. R. Co. were urging the closing up of the contract, and before the citizens of Oklahoma City fully realized the importance of immediately signing up the papers, the D., E. & G. R. R. was sold in a night to the Santa Fe, which thus got rid of what would otherwise have proved a dangerous rival. Mr. Harn was married in Ohio, 1882, to Miss Allice, daughter of Dr. Thos. Moores, of Mohican, Ashland County, Ohio.


One of the most successful business careers that the history of Oklahoma contains is that of Charles F. Colcord. There is hardly a citizen of Oklahoma City who does not know of him either personally or because of his varied interests in the city. The contemplated modern ten story hotel on Grand Avenue at Robinson Street, one of the best of the buildings that will mark Oklahoma City's metropolitan greatness, will be built by Mr. Colcord, and it is his intention within a short time to erect another large building at Harvey Street and Grand avenue. These buildings represent very well his business enterprise, but there are various other proofs of his commanding position in the city to which most Oklahomans can point. He is vice president of the State National Bank, one of the strongest financial institutions of the state; is president of the Colcord Investment Company, and is president of the Colcord Park Corporation, which owns a tract of one hundred and sixty acres in the city devoted to public amusement and recreation, including the baseball park, the race track, Delmar Garden, etc.

The prominence of his present position shows that Mr. Colcord has been able to keep pace with the rapid upbuilding of Oklahoma City. On the day the city was founded, nearly twenty years ago, he was with the other thousands who participated in the rush, and had so quickly made his influence and leadership felt in the new community that, in the open election by the people before there was any official organization he was elected the first chief of police of the new town, and served in that capacity during the administration of Mayor Beal. When J. P. Gault became mayor by regular election, Mr. Colcord continued to act as chief of police until the fall of 1889, when he was chosen as the first elective sheriff of Oklahoma county, serving as such two years. Those two years are notable in the records of the county and territory, for at that time the forces of law and order had their heaviest tasks in endeavoring to restrain and drive off the cohorts of vice that beset Oklahoma as probably never before and certainly never since. In bringing the reign of outlawry in Oklahoma to an end, one of the early criminal officers who deserve credit for thorough efficiency and straightforward service untainted by personal corruption or deviation from the strictest ideals of duty, is Mr. Colcord, whose record as a public official may chance be forgotten in the light of his other present-day activities.

For over thirty years Mr. Colcord has been identified with the country that has since become the state of Oklahoma. Born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, in 1859, he is son of Col. William R. and Mariah E. (Clay) Colcord, both representing prominent families of Kentucky, where his father was an officer in the Confederate army during the Civil War, and his mother was a daughter of Hon. Green Clay, of Paris, Kentucky. In 1870 the family moved to Nueces County, in southwestern Texas, where Colonel Colcord went into the cattle and horse business, and became one of the well known stockmen of that typically live stock country.

In the Nueces Country Charles F. Colcord got the training and experience that fitted him for the stock business and brought him into that as a career. Driving a large bunch of cattle over one of the trails leading north out of Texas, he became in 1876 established in the old Cherokee Strip, in what is now Oklahoma. His range headquarters were near old Fort Supply, on the salt plains of the Cimarron valley, in what is now Woodward County, Oklahoma; while his business headquarters were at Evensville, Comanche county, Kansas, just across the state line. Here he organized what was known as the Comanche County Pool, a powerful organization of stock interests that at one time owned sixty thousand head of cattle. Until the strip was opened for settlement in 1893, this company was one of the principal occupants of that country. In the meantime Mr. Colcord had identified himself with Oklahoma City in the rush of April 22, 1889, and from being one of the leading stockmen of the territory had made a notable record as an officer of the law. Following his term as sheriff of Oklahoma County, he held the United States prison contract at Guthrie for five years. At the opening of the Cherokee Strip in 1893 he secured land there and established business interests at Perry. In 1898 he returned to Oklahoma City, which has been his permanent home. His many interests include property in the oil and gas fields in eastern Oklahoma. With Oklahoma City he has from the start been identified in many public-spirited ways, and as mentioned above his name is connected with some of the city's most important enterprises. His home in the north residence district is one of the beautiful residences that of themselves are evidence of the rapid progress of Oklahoma luring the last twenty years, the comforts and luxuries of life having as much place in this new country as in older states. Mr. Colcord's wife was before her marriage Miss Harriet Scoresby, daughter of Rev. T. S. Scoresby, of Hutchinson, Kansas. They were married at Hutchinson, and have six children, Ray, Marguerite, Caroline, Sydney, Cadiah, Harriet.


Oklahoma is still too young to have "native sons" prominent in affairs, and even of the pioneers whose work is permanently identified with Oklahoma history, there were many who had been active in other states before coming to Oklahoma. For this reason the records of many men whose careers deserve mention in this history pertain as much and in some cases more to other localities and events than to those of Oklahoma. An example of one who has elected to spend the declining years of life in Oklahoma, after he had seen and been active in some of the most important phases of the nation's history during the past half century, is Dr. Richard M. Ainsworth. Many are familiar with the Ainsworth homestead, adjoining the city, containing a quarter section of section 10 purchased from one of the original squatters. Despite the importunities of real estate men who have advised a subdivision of this land into town lots, the original quarter section has been kept intact up to the present time, and is one of the largest and most valuable tracts in the immediate vicinity of Oklahoma City. The residence, which was built by the Doctor shortly after he obtained the land, adorns an elevation that commands a view of the city and surrounding country. The place has been developed into a fine fruit farm, and it is an ideal home in which Dr. Ainsworth plans to bring his eventful life to a peaceful and contented close.
At the opening of Oklahoma Dr. Ainsworth came to the territory from Denison, Texas, where he had a drug store. Failing to secure the position of Indian agent at Fort Sill, for which position he had been strongly endorsed by many public men, he located in Oklahoma City soon after its founding, and for a time conducted a drug store on Third Street. He had purchased the land above mentioned and he soon discontinued the drug business and retired to his estate.

So much suffices to describe the career of Dr. Ainsworth since he came to Oklahoma, but about one who has earned the right to retire to pleasant ease and be content with the hard-earned honors and rewards of more strenuous years it is a natural curiosity and desire to know more about the antecedent career, although its events took place elsewhere than in the state of which this is a history.
Born in Montgomery county, Ohio, about five miles from Dayton, in 1829, where he lived ten years until the family moved to a farm near Piqua, Ohio, he was reared in these surroundings, received a' common school education and had begun the study of medicine when he was called into his first experience in pioneering. Early in 1850 he joined his brother and two other young men who were bound for California, the Eldorado that attracted thousands with its golden promises. Going by wagon from Covington, Ohio, to Cincinnati, they there loaded the wagon on a river boat, journeying in this way to St. Louis and thence up the Missouri to St. Joseph, where they bought an ox team to haul the wagon and then started across the plains. It was six months of toilsome progress, unmarred by fatal accident, before they reached their destination in the Sacramento River country of central California, the seat of the gold excitement. On the North Fork of the American river they tried placer mining for a time, with indifferent success, and then resorted to quicksilver mining, purchasing five machines for the prosecution of this industry, in which they were well rewarded. Later, however, a flood destroyed their mining equipment, and Dr. Ainsworth, becoming ill about the same time, determined to return home. After having been away about a year he reached home from the east, having made the journey by way of the Panama route, via Havana, and thence to New York and home.

Between his California experience and the next succeeding eventful period of his life, he continued his medical studies and also taught school in his home county. A course of lectures at Baker Medical College, Cincinnati, was followed by a finishing course in the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, where he was graduated in medicine in 1853. He began practice in Cincinnati in partnership with Dr. Gotwald, but having met at Philadelphia some Texas students who urged him to locate in that state, he undertook a trip in the fall of 1854 to investigate conditions in the new Lone Star state. By river he went from Cincinnati to New Orleans, thence by steamer to Galveston, and soon afterward went inland to Burleson County, then to San Jacinto, where he established a practice. He became a favorite among the Texans of that locality, but as yet the settlements were widely scattered, and so far as he could see there were no great possibilities open to the medical profession in that state. While in the east he had met Hon. Abelard Guthrie, delegate to Congress from the territory of Kansas (which had just been organized), and on the strength of his recommendations the Doctor decided to move to Kansas. Kansas was then, as all who are familiar with the history of ante-bellum days know, a center of contention between the free-state and pro-slavery forces, and to the peace-loving man a more terrible place would have been hard to find. In the face of these conditions, Dr. Ainsworth located in 1855 in the little log cabin village of Wyandotte, in what was then Leavenworth county, Kansas, just opposite Kansas City, where he became the physician by invitation of the Wyandotte Indian Council for their people. In November, 1855, a free-state man by the name of Branson was rescued from Sheriff Jones by a free-state party. This culminated in the Wakarusa war.

Dr. Ainsworth received a letter from Governor Lane dated December 1, 1855, stating that Lawrence was to be demolished without delay, and urging Dr. Ainsworth to bring an armed force to the defense of the city of Lawrence. This he did, having with him fourteen armed men, part of them Wyandotte Indians. They rode all night in a December norther. Here he met John Brown, who with his sons was stopping at the hotel in Lawrence, and who had recently come to Kansas to ally himself with the free-state movement. In the military force which was organized at Lawrence, of which General Robinson was commander in chief though General Lane was the actual commander and leader. Dr. Ainsworth was made aide de camp on the commander's staff, and as such served in the Wakarusa war. This was in December, 1855. While the agitation was at its height he made a trip east and stopped off at Bloomington, Illinois, where he addressed the citizens and explained the Kansas question in a light that increased the free-state sympathy in that locality. On his return to Lawrence he was assigned to duty as surgeon for Colonel Harvey's regiment, First Kansas Volunteers. He was with a detachment of this regiment, consisting of less than fifty men, that made the famous capture of 101 South Carolinians at the battle of Slough Creek, in the summer of 1856. Soon after the battle of Hickory Point, in which Dr. Ainsworth was also engaged, the Kansans were disarmed by the soldiers of the United States, through a proclamation of Governor Geary of Kansas, and this ended actual military operations in that region until the opening of the Civil war. The beginning of the war found Dr. Ainsworth practicing medicine in Johnson county, near Olathe, but when Price's first raid brought hostilities into that portion of Kansas, with Fort Scott as the principal object of the raid, he joined the forces of General Lane, who had been sent to repel Price from Fort Scott, and was assigned to duty as post surgeon at Fort Lincoln, Kansas. His duties kept him in Kansas for some time, first as surgeon at Fort Lincoln, a temporary barricade and hospital erected near Fort Scott, and afterwards as examining surgeon for recruits at Lawrence. Later he took the field with the Eleventh Kansas, under General Ewing, in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas, and after the battle of Prairie Grove, two hundred wounded lay on the field awaiting his services. Returning to Kansas City, the Eleventh was mounted and made a cavalry regiment and assigned to border duty against the bushwhackers. During the winter of 1864 and 1865 Dr. Ainsworth was stationed at Fort Leavenworth, and near the close of the war was sent with his regiment to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, where they continued in the Indian service until after the war had closed. Between the close of the war and his removal to Oklahoma, Dr. Ainsworth was engaged in practice in Kansas City for fifteen years. Dr. and Mrs. Ainsworth have two children, Neal Ainsworth and Mrs. Jeannette Lewis, the former being department manager for the Alexander Wholesale Drug Company of Oklahoma City. Before her marriage Mrs. Ainsworth was Miss Rebecca A. Neal, a native of Sidney, Ohio.


When, at the November election of 1906, the people of the twenty-eighth district voted for delegates to the constitutional convention, they made choice very decisively of their popular fellow citizen and able lawyer, William C. Hughes. A short time before, Mr. Hughes, in the Democratic primary, had received 648 votes to his opponent's 48, indicating his complete control of his own party. And it is fair to presume that he would have been elected president of the constitutional convention, as the organization seemed to be in his hand at the time in question, but sickness overwhelmed him, causing him to be placed under the care of his physician and to remain at home. As Oklahoma City's representative, he was a strenuous worker through the long session of the convention in behalf of what he believed to be fundamental to the highest welfare of the new state and especially of its largest city. It was with much propriety that he was made chairman of the committee on municipal corporations, where he did much effective work. He was a member also of the committees on judiciary and judicial department; on federal relations: on salaries and compensation of public officers; and on liquor traffic.

It will be of interest to recall some of the principles for which he stood when he made his campaign for election as a member of the convention. Briefly stated, they were-Railroads and other corporations should have exact justice but no more; Oklahoma should be a white man's country; there should be separate schools, separate coaches and separate waiting rooms; the municipality should furnish separate schools for the colored children and employ colored teachers for them, thus giving intelligent colored women a chance to earn a livelihood they might not otherwise be able to do; the railroads should be made to furnish separate coaches and clean ones, too, and separate Pullmans for the colored man and his family if they can pay the, price. He stood unequivocally for the initiative and referendum, believing that public matters of importance should be submitted to the people for their expression of opinion.

A few days after the substantial work of the convention was completed, Mr. Hughes expressed his confidence in the new constitution and his belief that it would eventually gain the complete approbation of the people. This statement is the more remarkable when we reflect that his home city was a hot bed of opposition to the same. Continuing, he declared that the constitution "means more to humanity than has any step in government since the American declaration of independence. ... If the people ratify the constitution, as I believe they will by a tremendous majority, and if the president approves it, as he will unless he turns away from the spirit of his life and all his professions, the star of the new state will rise as a new light of the world and lead free people everywhere to a condition wherein the rights of man will rise above every other earthly thing. . . . The constitution is radical, but it is safe; in its radicalism is the safety of the people." Part of this prophecy has been already justified, and it is probable that the course of history will substantiate all that he said.

Mr. Hughes is one of the ablest members of the Oklahoma bar, and has been engaged in practice in Oklahoma City for the past seven years. He is a native of Pettis County, Missouri, and when he was four years old his parents, Dr. B. F. and Catharine (Kidd) Hughes, both now deceased, moved from Georgetown, his birthplace, to Sedalia, the county seat, where William C. grew up and received his education in the Sedalia high school. During a period of eight years while he was performing the arduous duties of railway postal clerk, he was applying all his spare time to the study of law, and finally, in order to complete a suitable preparation for his profession, he left the railway mail service and continued his studies in two law offices at Sedalia and in an office at Kansas City. In the latter city he was admitted to the bar in 1899, and in the same year began practicing there. In March, 1901, he moved to Oklahoma City, where he has gained success and distinction in the law and public affairs. He makes a specialty of and devotes most of his practice to commercial law, in which branch of the law he ranks probably as the ablest lawyer of the state. As a Democrat in politics he has been an active campaigner for some years, and is known as an orator in both Missouri and Oklahoma. He was married in Missouri to Miss Luella Gaines, of Clinton, that state. They have three children, Jeannette Cameron, Elizabeth and Marjorie.


Not all of those who engaged in the rush of April, 1889, were seasoned men, mature in power and years, and capable of assuming the position in affairs which their industry and experience in other places fitted them for. While the organization of 89'ers is very proud of its distinguished member, Mr. William L. Alexander, who in the past ten years has become known all over Oklahoma, there are few who, twenty years ago, would have picked him out of the throng of boomers as a man of unusual ability and force of character. In fact, William L. Alexander was but twenty years of age when Oklahoma was opened, and was only beginning to develop the character that has since given him both position and influence in Oklahoma. Up to that time he had spent his active youth mainly as a Texas cowboy, with meager educational opportunities, so that his abilities lay unrecognized, waiting for the stress of circumstance and personal ambition to develop them.

Though one of the best examples of self-made men in Oklahoma, Mr. Alexander at the same time is a member of one of the oldest and most substantial families of the south, and is himself most appreciative of the inheritance and training derived from his family. Born at Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, in 1869, he is a son of Abdon and Martha J. (Sloan) Alexander, both natives of the same county. An earlier generation of the Alexander family was very prominent in promulgating the Mecklenburg declaration of independence, which was the pioneer document in the struggle for liberty from England. Charles Alexander was president of the convention which issued this stirring appeal. In 1870, while William L. was an infant, the family moved to Texas, to a farm in Grayson county, where both lived until death, the father dying in 1878 from illness resulting from wounds he had received while a Confederate lieutenant in the Civil war.

Reared in the country in northern Texas, Mr. Alexander passed his youth almost devoid of school advantages, though from his mother, who was splendidly educated, and from self-study he acquired much more enlightenment than those who grew up with him. It indicates the sterling, unpretentious and yet self-reliant character of the man that he is not ashamed or foolishly sensitive as to his early lack of education and the hardships he had to undergo in getting an education. As a cowboy in northern Texas he learned the cattle business, and was practical and had a reasonable degree of self-confidence when the test came for him to participate in the Oklahoma opening in 1889. He and his brother, J. S., entered Oklahoma County from the southeast, through the Pottawattamie Indian reservation. W. L. Alexander having made the trip from Texas on horseback. Arriving here without money and without training for other work than he had been accustomed to, he spent his first months in Oklahoma county performing odd jobs. Most of his early life in the territory was spent in school teaching, and it is the story of how he prepared himself for teaching that gives the keynote to his subsequent success.
At the opening of the Pottawattomie country in 1890 he got a claim of 120 acres about twenty miles east of Oklahoma City. So poor was he, however, at that time, that he was granted permission, under a provision of the homestead law, known as a "leave of absence" in effect then, to leave his claim temporarily for the purpose of earning a living. An education must have been the highest goal of the young man's ambition at that time, and teaching both as an end and a means. At Denton, Texas, he took a brief course in the North Texas Normal College, taught two terms of school in Texas, and then returning to Oklahoma County was engaged in teaching here three years. Six months after returning from Texas he rode in on horseback from his claim, took examination at close of Normal Institute, and out of 120 teachers in attendance at the institute he received the highest grade that was made. This honor brought him his first public recognition in Oklahoma-he was appointed a member of the Oklahoma County examining board. Since then he has become one of the best known citizens of the state. He was engaged in teaching at Choctaw and vicinity until 1895, when he took up his home in Oklahoma City.
In 1896, from a country school teacher, he had so advanced in the regard of the people, that he was nominated by the Democratic Party for the office of county treasurer of Oklahoma County, and was elected in that year and re-elected in 1898. His official record for four years was efficient and able, and when he left the office he turned over its conduct to his brother, J. S. Alexander, whom the people were pleased to take as his successor for two terms. When the Kiowa-Comanche country was opened to settlement, Mr. Alexander went into the real estate business at Hobart, Kiowa county, for a year and a- half, and then returned to Oklahoma City and established the Alexander Real Estate and -Insurance Business, which has since been incorporated as Alexander & Alexander. His brother, J. S., and Harry C. Upsher, are his associates, the latter having charge of the insurance department.

Mr. Alexander has been active for many years in pushing the interests and best welfare of Oklahoma City. He was an original member of the Chamber of Commerce and one of its directors for three years, but is probably best known to the general public as a successful campaign manager in the Democratic Party. He has served as a member of the territorial Democratic committee the past ten years, being an ex-secretary of the organization, and was one of the principal managers of the congressional campaign of William M. Cross in the election of 1902. He was delegate to the Democratic National Convention at Denver, Colorado. 1908. It is said of Mr. Alexander's political career that he has never yet failed in achieving his ends, and in the fickle game of politics this is saying a great deal.
Mr. Alexander is a member of the organization known as "The 89'ers" and formerly was secretary. He has been an Odd Fellow fifteen years, is affiliated with the A. O. U. W., and in the Masonic order is a thirty-second degree Mason, and is also a Shriner. His first wife, to whom he was married in Texas, was Miss Dora Johnston, a native of Alabama. Her death occurred in 1902. His present wife is Cleo (Greer) Alexander, to whom he was married in Sherman, Grayson County, Texas, her former home.

Those who know Mr. Alexander best have sometimes given what they considered the real reasons of his success, why it was that a poor country school teacher should quickly advance to rank among the foremost men of the state in influence. In the first place, his frank, open manner, indicating elemental honesty, won him the confidence of the people in the early days and resulted in his election as county treasurer. He has the faculty of welding together discordant elements in his party, and, by tact and patience and apparently yielding to opposing counsel, brings them around to his own advantage. One of his chief characteristics and sources of his strength is his loyalty to friends. He is one of the best read men in the state on political and general economics, his library being replete with works from the best masters on these subjects. In his political management there is nothing of the boss or autocrat. He is simply a plain, sincere man, although when occasion requires he is an aggressive fighter, having strong convictions and the courage to back them up. The most satisfactory truth that can be stated concerning him, is that he is straightforward and absolutely lacking in pretense. Such victories as he has won, both in business life and politics, have been achieved against heavy odds, attended by hard work, energy and earnestness.


The superintendent of the Oklahoma Territory Anti-Saloon League during the years when it was making its strenuous fight for the establishment of prohibition throughout the territory, culminating in the final triumph of 1907, when the stringent state-wide prohibition clause was adopted, was Rev. J. J. Thomson of Oklahoma City, who still continues as an active manager for the anti-saloon forces in the new state. A minister of the United Presbyterian church, he left the active pastorate to engage in the most important struggle for moral reform of the present century. He began work actively for the National Anti-Saloon League at Detroit, Michigan, and later at Toledo. Ohio. He came to Oklahoma as superintendent of the Oklahoma League on October 1, 1904, and having devoted all his time and energies to the prohibition cause, it is proper to say that much of the credit for this historically important movement belongs to the energetic and unfailingly enthusiastic superintendent of the anti-liquor forces.

Closely associated with him in the work was Rev. E. C. Dinwiddie, the national superintendent of legislation for the league, and now superintendent for the state of Oklahoma. The results of the prohibition victory in Oklahoma have been noted on other pages of this chapter, but when considering its importance on the welfare of the new state, its encouragement to the propaganda being carried on in other states, and its significance as an event in the great movement of prohibition sentiment that is sweeping over the country, it is no more than what is due to recall in the same connection the ability and success of Mr. Thomson as the manager of the movement which made this victory possible.

With the organization of the new state, Rev. Thomson's work will continue as before having charge of the work as superintendent of the Western District of Oklahoma, composed of what was old Oklahoma proper. The work of the League from this time forward will be in the line of seeing that the prohibition laws are enforced and proper legislative enactments made for that purpose.
Rev. Thomson was born at Aledo, Mercer County, Illinois, in 1860, his father being a native of Stranrauer, Scotland, and his mother of Ohio, and were early settlers of Mercer County. In the town of Aledo he received his preliminary education in the public schools and the local academy, and in 1888 graduated from Monmouth College (Illinois). Entering the Theological Seminary of the United Presbyterian church at Xenia, Ohio, he was graduated in 1891, having in the meantime taught school in Illinois and Iowa, and having been connected for awhile with the educational publishing house of Kellogg and Company of New York. From 1891 to 1894 he was pastor of the United Presbyterian church at Clayton, Illinois, and then entered educational work. After a period as professor in Grove City (Pa.) College, he was president of Stuttgart (Ark.) College for three years. While at Stuttgart he enlisted in 1898 in the Second Arkansas Volunteer Infantry for service in the Spanish-American war'; was made second lieutenant of Company I, and later promoted to first lieutenant of Company F. He was with the army at Chickamauga Park and Anniston, Alabama, until mustered out of service. Following this experience, and until he became actively associated with the prohibition work, he served as pastor of United Presbyterian churches at Omaha, at Monroe, Iowa, and at Findlay, Ohio. Rev. Thomson married for his first wife Miss Isabel S. Thomson. She died in 1891 during his first pastorate. At Tarkio, Missouri, he married Miss Sadie I. Dixon, a native of Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Thomson have three children, Mary Isabel, John Alexander and David Reid.

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