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The History of Oklahoma Biographies Vol. II
by Luther B. Hill
Page 8


A prominent real estate dealer and owner of valuable property interests in Oklahoma City, was born at Charleston, Coles County, Illinois, in 1849. His father, a native Kentuckian, was one of the early pioneers in Coles County and built the first house in Charleston. His grandfather was a native of Dunbar, Scotland.

Attaining to manhood's estate in his native city of Charleston, Charles U. Dunbar lived there until his removal to Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1885. In 1898 he came to Oklahoma City, but the city at that time was a place of uncertain future, as shown later on the eve of its great growth and expansion which has continued without interruption since the completion of the Sapulpa branch of the Frisco here. His first business enterprise was the establishment of the up-to-date steam laundry, the second steam laundry to be built in the city, but in later years he has devoted the most of his time to the real estate business and is a member of the real estate firm of Spain & Delaney. He owns valuable property interests, and has a fine home at 519 East Tenth Street.

Mr. Dunbar married Miss Susan C. Highland, a member of a Scotch family, and she was born and reared in Charleston, Illinois.


Real estate men and the railroads in co-operation have done more to develop the southwestern country than any other agency. Everyone is familiar with the homeseekers' excursions which have been a semi-monthly event with every trunk line leading from the middle and northern states into the southwest for some years past. Every two weeks, especially during the fall and winter months, a flood of investors of homeseekers are poured into Oklahoma and Texas, many of whom remain to become citizens or at least leave money invested in land and other property. After the railroads have carried the people into the new country, other agencies are needed by which the investors may find most conveniently the objects for which they came, and this need is supplied by representatives of the railroad company or through individual real estate operators. In the course of a few years the southwestern country will be "settled up" and the heavy movement of emigration will partly cease. The present methods of bringing people to the country and placing them in homes will then become obsolete and it will be a matter of history to recall them and state distinctly their importance to the solid welfare of the country.

In connection with what we have just said concerning the agencies of immigration, it will be with peculiar propriety that the name of Captain Thomas R. Lash is mentioned, since for years he was connected with the railroad service that linked Oklahoma with the eastern and northern states, and at the present time is land and immigration agent for the Kansas City Southern Railroad, besides being at the head of a successful real estate business conducted under the firm name of T. R. Lash and Company, at Oklahoma City. Mr. D. M. Bliss is his partner in the firm; Captain Lash has established a splendid reputation as a good judge of real estate values, and besides making himself serviceable to the large number of transient landseekers, he has gained a considerable permanent clientage, for whom he has made many profitable deals in realty. Captain Lash, who was born in Hampshire County, Virginia, in 1849, was reared in eastern Iowa, his parents moving to Henry County in that state during his childhood. He grew up in the town of Mt. Pleasant and received the advantages of the well known educational facilities of that place, including the Iowa Wesleyan University, where he finished his schooling. He was still a youth when he began the railroad business, reached the position of conductor, and for thirty-five years was a popular and well known railroad man throughout the west and southwest. At one time he was superintendent of a railroad in Arkansas. During most of these years his service as conductor w-as with the Missouri Pacific, the Missouri, Kansas and Texas, the Rock Island, and the Santa Fe, besides two or three years with the Denver and Rio Grande in Colorado. He was conductor on M. K. & T. trains through Indian Territory before Oklahoma became a separate territory. A large part of this railroad experience having been spent in Arkansas, he resided at Little Rock for twenty years, and for a time was Deputy LT. S. marshal there. In 1902 Captain Lash discontinued railroading and has since been permanently located in Oklahoma City in the real estate business. In politics a straight Democrat, Captain Lash has never in his life scratched his ticket.

Fraternally he is a member of the Order of Railway Conductors and the Knights of Pythias. His wife is Lena (Spain) Lash, to whom he was married at her home in Memphis, Tennessee. They have three children, Charles, Kate and Josephine.


The extension of Oklahoma City to the west has received its principal impetus in recent years in the Carle and Colcord's addition. This consists of 160 acres of land, originally comprising the well known farm of ex-Governor Stone (of Iowa), and was purchased in the late nineties by James S. Carle. Mr. Carle and Charles F. Colcord have since undertaken the development of this property into city lots, and placed it on the market and had it officially recorded as the Carle and Colcord's addition. This has since become one of the popular residence districts of the city. It lies one mile west of Walker street, and is intersected by West Main street, eighty acres lying north and eighty acres south of that thoroughfare. With the rapid development of the city this addition is becoming absorbed and converted to the uses of an increasing population, and with the extension of transportation facilities and other municipal conveniences the once noted farm is becoming a network of streets and covered with good homes.
The principal promoter of this addition, Mr. Carle has been thoroughly identified with Oklahoma City affairs since locating here in 1899, and is a public-spirited citizen. His early life was spent in Indiana, where he was born in 1850, on a farm three miles from Indianapolis. This farm, it is of interest to state, had been in the possession of his family since 1832, at which early year in Indiana history his parents had located there. After attending public schools in his home district and in Indianapolis, he received first-class collegiate training, at Franklin, Indiana, at DePauw University in Greencastle, and later at the Normal College in Lebanon, Ohio. He earned his college education. The first money toward that purpose was the proceeds from a field of wheat that he planted and tended to the harvest.

Other funds to help him through college were obtained by teaching school. Some of the best schools of his native county of Marion had him as teacher. Mr. Carle was prepared for the profession of law, having pursued his law studies in the office of Judge Downey of Rising Sun, who was one of the justices of the supreme court of Indiana, The hard times in the seventies, following the panic of 1873, caused him to discontinue his connection with the law, and at first he resumed school teaching for some years and then went into commercial life. As the traveling representative of one of the large agricultural implement houses of Indianapolis, he traveled over a large portion of the west, and in the Dakotas and Minnesota his business acquaintance was especially large. Mr. Carle's wife is Mrs. Ellen (Trotter) Carle. They have six children, Robert L., Thomas R., William H., Lowden, James S. and Susie, who married Robert L. Stone, of Redfield, Iowa.


The Pryer-Hitt-Gardner Company in the field of general real estate is one of the best known in Oklahoma City, and its business connections extend to many parts of the state. The firm was established by J. W. Pryer, who has been identified with the commercial life of the territory since the opening of Oklahoma in 1889. A business man of wide acquaintance and recognized high ability, he brought these personal qualities as principal assets of the real estate firm, and with his associates has established an excellent business. The company own or control a number of the best additions to Oklahoma City, including Armourdale, Walnut Grove, Avoca, West Point, Hiawatha, Lucile and Alta Vista, and have business and residential property in every part of the city.

Mr. Pryer is a figure in some of the large capitalistic undertakings that are now having so important a bearing on the development of Oklahoma. During 1906 and 1907 he spent considerable time in promoting the Oklahoma City and Henryetta Railroad, projected to run from Oklahoma City to Henryetta (in the old Indian Territory, thus opening up coal fields and other rich territory.
Mr. Pryer is a man of ample financial resources and has the highest standing in the business world. However, he began life at the bottom of the ladder, and practically his entire career and business experience has been passed in the southwestern country. He was born at Hastings, Barry county, Michigan, May 28, 1863, was reared and educated there, learning the profession of pharmacy, and in the fall of 1882 came west and at Holton, Kansas, became pharmacist in the drug store of Scott and Hall. He continued this work for some years, in the spring of 1886 becoming connected with the drug store of D. Holmes on Kansas Avenue in Topeka. His first important promotion in business came in the fall of 1888 when he assumed the management of the A. B. Whiting Paint and Glass Company at Topeka. In the spring of 1889, as traveling representative in the southwest for the C. D. Smith Drug Company, wholesale, of St. Joseph, Missouri, he established his headquarters in Oklahoma City about the time of the founding of the town, and has never changed his permanent residence. For thirteen years he represented the company that first sent him here, and by his personal activity and in directing other salesmen from his headquarters he built up a large trade in this section of the country. The experience and acquaintance thus gained were especially valuable when he entered the real estate business. Mr. Pryer was married at Woodlawn, Kansas, to Miss Lilly May Magill of that town. They have four children, Russell Mead, Lynn Mantell, Loran Eugene, and Margaret Lenore.


Next to the actual opening and settlement of Oklahoma by industrious white men, the most important factor in the development of the state has been the influx of capital and business enterprise from the older states. From the money chests of the nation, safely held in the eastern towns and cities, comes the wealth needed to back up the efforts of the pioneers. The first comers in a new country, those who break the sod and plant the first crops, are proverbially rich in energy but poor in capital, and without money the development of this same country proceeds slowly. Those most conversant with the situation in Oklahoma today agree that the rapid development of the state has been largely due to the influx of capital needed for the extension of industry into all the counties and for the building up of manufacturing and kindred enterprises; and further more, that in proportion as capital continues to flow into this country will its progress go on to the goal to which the citizens are urging their new state.
More than any other class the real estate and investment brokers of Oklahoma have induced outside capital to accept Oklahoma property as investment or security. Oklahoma farm mortgages are held in every state of the Union and are rated as gilt-edged investments. Active and energetic, and convincing in presenting this side of Oklahoma's greatness, the real estate men may easily claim a leading place among those agencies that have developed the state.

At Oklahoma City one of the oldest firms of the kind is Thorne Brothers, of which Edward Charles Thorne has had the active management since the beginning, and which is now owned and controlled by him. Through this firm millions of dollars have been loaned on farm property-and without any losses, a record that has gained them an enviable reputation among eastern capitalists. Prompt, fair dealing has characterized their transactions in every field.

Edward C. Thorne came to Oklahoma City in 1800, at the beginning of its metropolitan progress, and has been active in its business and civic affairs from that time. No man in the state is better acquainted with land values and the richness and resources of Oklahoma. As to Oklahoma City, he has been and is a firm believer in its metropolitan greatness, looking forward only a few years until it will have a population of one hundred thousand. Clean city government has been one of his hobbies, and during the recent campaign he was actively allied on the side of state prohibition.

Mr. Thorne was born in Will County, Illinois, March 19, 1858, son of William H. and Frances Cornelia Thorne, his father being a mechanic in early life and later a successful farmer. His parents moving to Connecticut, Mr. Thorne spent his childhood there until 1871, and then until his coming to Oklahoma lived in Kansas. He had only a common school education, a few terms in a log schoolhouse and a better one later on while living on a farm near Parsons, Kansas. On leaving the farm he began teaching in the district schools of Labette County. There was sturdy and character building environment during his early life that compensated for higher advantages. Brought up very strictly, with no chance to form bad habits, with no time for idle amusements, his principal recreations were the protracted or camp meetings, the literary societies and spelling schools of the country school houses, and an occasional singing school and the annual circus. His business career began with a position with an investment company in 1888. There he learned the farm loan business, and on his inspection trips covered the larger portion of southeastern Kansas, where he is still well remembered by the farmers and business men of that section. Being in charge of the branch loan office at Fredonia, Kansas, he lived there until August 2, 1899, when he resigned. With a thorough experience in all the details of the business, he moved to Oklahoma City and formed the partnership with his brother, W. F. Thorne, in the firm name which still continues. He came here practically without money, and measured by this alone his business success has been unusual, since his personal liability would now be estimated in six figures. While a resident of Fredonia Mr. Thorne served as mayor of the town. In politics he is a Republican, the son of a veteran of the Civil war. He married at Parsons, Kansas, January 15, 1885, Miss Cornelia A. Cline. Their children are Raymond A. and Jessie A.


HE is prominently known throughout the city of Oklahoma as a builder and capitalist. He came here when a young man with a limited capital of forty-five dollars, and is now a man of high financial standing with valuable business property interests that are constantly increasing in value, having made his money through hard work and the careful husbanding of his resources and also through his unbounded faith in the city's future. He built and is the owner of the Balzer building, a first-class three-story structure op North Broadway adjoining the Threadgill. This is the part of Broadway that is undergoing such a remarkable increase of value on account of the business center moving northward, particularly since the building of the large office building of the Pioneer Telegraph and Telephone Company at North Broadway and Third street. In the fall of 1907 he built another modern business building, three stories and a basement, with a twenty-five foot front, on West Main Street, east of the Lee Hotel.

Previous to coming to Oklahoma, Mr. Balzer resided on a farm fourteen miles from Wellington, in Sumner County, Kansas, and during the winter of 1880, he resided at Gainesville, Texas, coming to Oklahoma City from Purcell on the day of the opening of the territory, April 22. He staked off the middle lot of the tract where the Threadgill Hotel now stands, on Broadway, at the corner of Second Street. When it was proposed to build a fine hotel at this location Mr. Balzer sold his lot to Dr. Threadgill with the understanding that a first-class modern building was to be erected thereon, and this was done. For several years after coming to this city he was engaged in the retail liquor business, from which he has since retired and is devoting his time and attention to his building and realty interests. During the earlier years of his residence here he dug the first well north of Main street, it having been sunk on the ground where the Threadgill Hotel now stands, and he also helped to dig the first three cellars in the city, a span of mules having been used for this purpose. Two of them were located on the corner of Broadway and Main. He has contributed liberally to various agencies that go to build up a city.

Mr. Balzer suffered the misfortune of losing his wife by death on the 5th of October, 1904, and a few years previously, in 1900 his sister died, while in February, 1907, his mother was called to the home beyond. Mrs. Balzer bore the maiden name of Martha Mills, and was born and reared in Missouri.

He belongs to the Eagles, and in political matters is a Democrat, but he firmly believes in placing only high-grade men in official positions regardless of politics. In former years he was a prominent worker in the party ranks, and served as central committeeman from the First ward. His residence is located at No. 24 East Fourth Street.

Eldora C. Ross

During the past two years the well known contractor and builder, Eldora C. Ross, has completed on an average one structure in Oklahoma City every five days. This is one of the proofs that might be adduced showing the remarkable growth of the city and its building activity. Naturally such a business record means that the contractor has an unusually large force of men and carries on business on extensive scale. Since locating in the city in 1901 Mr. Ross has in fact been one of the prominent building contractors of the city, making a specialty of fine residences. Some of the best and most modern homes in the city may be pointed out as his work; among them, the R. H. Drennan residence, E. C. Thorne residence, and the Lewis flats. In the fall of 1907 he erected the magnificent building of the Lakeview Country Club, costing twenty-five thousand dollars, located at the northern edge of the city, near Belle Isle Lake. Among the structures of a more public nature may be mentioned the building of the United Presbyterian church, and the Oklahoma Military College (now the Oklahoma College for Young Ladies). His own residence, which he built, is at 718 East Ninth Street. In the conduct of his extensive business he uses great quantities of building supplies, and operates his own planing mill.

Eldora C. Ross was born in Randolph County, Indiana, in 1871. His ancestry is Scotch-English, and the British General Ross, engaged in the invasion of Washington during the war of 1812, was one of the direct ancestors. Reared and educated in Randolph County until the age of eighteen, he then came west and at Oelwein, Iowa, a division point of the Chicago Great Western Railroad, learned the carpenter trade in the railroad shops. Subsequently moving to Waterloo, Iowa, he engaged in the contracting and building business for himself. He came to Oklahoma City in 1901 and soon afterward located here permanently. Besides his regular business, he is owner of and takes much pride in managing a fine fruit farm of two hundred and forty acres, with five thousand fruit trees, in Oklahoma County, twelve miles southeast of the city. Mr. Ross married Miss Neva Mills, who was born and reared in Randolph County, Indiana. They have two children, Mabel and Floyd.


HE is one of the well known pioneers of the city of Oklahoma City, and throughout the years of his residence here he has been prominent in its business and official life. He served as a deputy under Sheriff DeFord, the first elected sheriff of Oklahoma County, and has since served under other sheriffs as a deputy collector. Commercial collecting has been his principal business for a number of years, and in this occupation he has been connected with a number of the leading banks and business houses, and also, while retaining his home in Oklahoma City, he has spent practically twelve years on the road as a collector for the Wrought Iron Range Company of St. Louis. His travels have taken him through twenty-six states and to British Columbia and the northwestern provinces of the Dominion of Canada.

Mr. Owens was one of the first citizens to build homes in the Maywood addition of Oklahoma City, and his own residence at 1012 East Eighth street is one of the pretty homes in that section of the city. He has taken an active interest in the beautifying of Maywood, and is an officer of the Oklahoma City Civic Improvement Club, while at the same time he has set an excellent example for other residents by beautifying his place at 610 East Tenth Street with trees, flowers and shrubbery.

Born in McDonald County, Missouri, in 1860, Mr. Owens is a son of John and Margaret (Foster) Owens, the father a native of Indiana and the son of a native Virginian. John Owens moved from Indiana to McDonald County, in southwestern Missouri. Four of his brothers served as northern soldiers during the Civil war, and all lost their lives in the cause of their country. Mrs. Owens was a member of a family from Tennessee, but they were early residents of Missouri. B. F. Owens spent his early years in his native county of McDonald, but while yet a youth became a resident of Joplin, in Jasper county. Missouri, from whence in February, 1891, he came to Oklahoma City, becoming one of its prominent pioneer residents.

He married, in Kansas City, Miss Mary E. Sill, who was born in Illinois of Pennsylvania parents, and they have a son and a daughter, Arthur H. and Irma V.


HE has the distinction of conducting the only exclusive automobile livery business in Oklahoma, the proprietor of the Auto Livery Company. This company was established at the time of his coming to Oklahoma City in the spring of 1907, and the business has in the meantime assumed large proportions and has been one of the principal means of making the city notable as an automobile center. The business is devoted exclusively to passenger automobile service, and is the only line of its kind in the city, while the best machines, always in good running order and driven by thoroughly experienced chauffeurs, make this service not only of great convenience for business purposes but a source of much pleasure and recreation to home people and tourists as well.

The proprietor of the Fowler Auto Livery Company, Orin S. Fowler, claims Cincinnati, Ohio, as the place of his nativity, born in 1860. But in his early childhood his parents moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and the little son was reared and educated in that city and vicinity. In 1881, he began his business life as an employee of Messrs. John V. Lewis & Company, of that city, the pioneer cotton seed oil manufacturers, an industry that was just beginning at that time. Mr. Fowler was connected with that line of business in St. Louis until 1889, when he located at Memphis, Tennessee, in association with a large cotton seed oil mill of that city which when the American Cotton Seed Oil Company was formed became the Tennessee branch of that corporation, and Mr. Fowler remained associated with this branch of the business until 1900. Early in that year he came to the panhandle of Texas and located in Panhandle City to engage in the land business. In 1901 he came to El Reno. Oklahoma, and in partnership with L. L. Rardin established and operated the El Reno bus line in that city until the spring of 1907, when he came to Oklahoma City and organized the Fowler Auto Livery Company, which, as above stated, is the only exclusive automobile livery business in the state of Oklahoma and has brought to its proprietor prominence and notoriety.

Mr. Fowler married in Tennessee Miss Maude Cody, of Arlington, that state, and they have one son, Orin Cody Fowler.


Throughout his life time William R. Shelton has been identified with the interests of the southwest, and he is a native son of Comanche county, Texas, born in 1877, a son of William W. and Mary J. (Henry) Shelton, the former of whom was born in Mississippi and the latter in Tennessee. During many years, however, they resided in Texas, their home being in Comanche county, but in 1889 they came into the new territory of Oklahoma, making the run on the opening day, April 22, and located on a farm in Canadian county, twelve miles west of Oklahoma City. William H. Shelton retired from active farming life some years ago, and with his wife is now living in the city of Oklahoma.

Their son, William R. Shelton, was reared and educated in Oklahoma, and while still a youth he entered the railroad service, continuing for three years as a locomotive fireman on the Frisco Railroad in Oklahoma. In 1899 he located in this city, engaging first in the laundry business, but later drifted into the livery and stock business, in which he has enjoyed splendid success and through which he has become a citizen of ample financial and property resources. As a dealer in horses, however, he is more prominently known, and either owns or controls some of the best breeding horses in Oklahoma, both racing stock and for general purposes. His stables are at 430 West California Avenue.

Mr. Shelton was married in Oklahoma to Miss Ethel Leach, a native of Arkansas, and they have four children, Albert, Gilbert, Lillian, lone and Thelma. Mr. Shelton is a member of the order of Odd Fellows.


HE is the manager of the interior cotton department for Mitsui & Company, of Tokyo, Japan, one of the largest commercial houses in the world. The Mitsui family originated with the famous Fujiwara clan of the fifteenth century. The foundation of the business was laid at Matsuzaka early in the sixteenth century, and a short time later established at Tokyo. In 1687 Mitsui-Takatoshi was appointed by the government as purveyor and public exchange controller. In 1723 five brothers of the house of Mitsui formed a permanent partnership and agreement, under which the business has ever since been conducted. The house was the financing agent for the new government that came into existence at the restoration of the Meiji era, and as a reward for the firm's achievements in this and other directions Baron Hachiroyeman Mitsui, the present head of the house, was created a peer and other members or partners were all given various kinds of titles. The present Mitsui house is a collective body or joint association, consisting of eleven families or partners, all of the Mitsui name. Through the various departments and ramifications of the business they carry on a large percentage of the entire commercial transactions of the Japanese Empire. The business embraces banking, wholesale merchandise, manufacturing of products, including large cotton mills, and they own large interests in steamship lines and railroads, in coal mines and in fact engage extensively in every department of modern commercial and industrial life. This company, however, should not be confounded with what in America are known as trusts. On the other hand Mitsui & Company lend every encouragement to the building up of every worthy enterprise in the Japanese Empire.

H. Waragai, the representative of the company's interests in Oklahoma, was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1878, and receiving his education in the University of Japan was trained for business pursuits in the commercial department of the University. Upon his graduation from that institution in 1895 he entered the employ of Mitsui & Company, the great commercial house of Japan. In 1900 he came to America as a representative of what is known as the trading department of Mitsui & Company, the headquarters of which are in New York City, where Mr. Waragai took up his residence. Most of the interests of the trading department in America lie in the buying of cotton for the company's cotton mills in Japan, and in 1905 he came to Oklahoma City and established here the headquarters of his company's interior cotton department, and from this headquarters Mitsui & Company are large buyers of Oklahoma and Texas cotton. The establishment of this office in Oklahoma City was in recognition of Oklahoma's constantly increasing importance as a cotton raising state. Mr. Waragai and his wife spend a little more than half of the year, from September to May, in Oklahoma City, where they have a pleasant home at 931 West Sixteenth Street, while during the remainder of the year they reside in New York City. Mr. Waragai has substantial property interests in this city, and has taken a keen interest in its upbuilding and in its social and business life.


The Red Ball Transfer and Storage Company of Oklahoma City, which was organized in the spring of 1902 and was incorporated under that name in January, 1903, is one of the most important of the business enterprises which have been formed in recent years to afford the necessary facilities demanded by the varied commerce of the Oklahoma metropolis. In a small village, a wagon, an old horse and one man often comprise the transfer business and are equal to the task of conveying all the freight, trunks and other goods from one point in town to another. But in a city like Oklahoma City, the transfer of freight within the city assumes proportions a thousand-fold more extensive and complex than in the small village, and consequently demand a large equipment, a disciplined organization, and able executives to manage the many details. The Red Ball Company, though a recent establishment, has the facilities and is conducted on the scale of the largest business enterprises of the city. The offices and warerooms at 131-33 West First Street make one of the conspicuous landmarks in the business district.

The president of the company is Frank Napoleon Buck, a Missourian, who has been identified with Oklahoma for several years. He was attracted to this new country as a result of correspondence with friends, and came here in 1900, being engaged in various business enterprises until the spring of 1904, when he and Mr. John Varvel organized the transfer company. He was elected president of the incorporation and has since held that office.

Mr. Buck was born in Atchison County, Missouri, February 28, 1862, son of Eben H. and Susan (Davis) Buck. His father's farm was situated on the banks of the Missouri river, and the situation of that turbulent river nearby furnished many experiences not in the life of the average boy. He became an expert riverman, and during the overflow seasons of the river valley, that annually come, he more than once figured as a daring rescuer for some one in the power of the flood. As a result of the erosion by the waters of the freakish Missouri, the farm on which he spent his boyhood is now entirely obliterated, having been cut away and crumbled, acre by acre, into the river current. Mr. Buck was educated in the country schools and became a practical farmer before he had attained manhood, and for some years before coming to Oklahoma was engaged in fanning in Clay County, Kansas. By his first marriage, in 1882, Mr. Buck has the following children: Hazel, Bernice and William R. In 1904 he married Miss Minnie Jones. Agnes and Paul are the children of this marriage.


The secretary of the Red Ball Transfer and Storage Company (decribed under Frank Napoleon Buck) is Horace Trimble, an energetic and able business man who has been identified with Oklahoma City and this company since its organization in 1904. Though a Tennessean by birth, Mr. Trimble has divided his years among several states. He was born at Winchester, Franklin County, Tennessee, July 18, 1862, son of Aaron Duff and Mary E. (Whitman) Trimble. In his native state he attended private schools, and later was a student in Bethel College at Russellville, Kentucky. His first business experience was that of merchant, as proprietor of a hardware store at Seymour, Missouri. Not being satisfied with the business possibilities of that locality, though he was enjoying a fair trade, he moved to Galveston, Texas, in 1894, and established a steam laundry business, with branches in Houston and Beaumont. The Galveston flood inflicted a loss on his business, although he resided in a substantial house out of the zone of complete devastation and escaped personal danger. As a result of this business set-back he came to Oklahoma, residing a short time at Hugo, Indian Territory, before removing to Oklahoma City, which attracted him not only for its business opportunities but also because of its educational and social advantages. Mr. Trimble married at Seymour, Missouri. Miss Anna M. Travis, daughter of Colonel Thomas Tennel Travis, a noted California forty-niner who took a conspicuous part in the affairs of the coast during the gold discoveries. Mr. and Mrs. Trimble have three daughters and one son: Lucile M., Vashti, Elizabeth and Horace Gordon Barrell.


Vice-president of the Red Ball Transfer and Storage Company, of Oklahoma City, is an active participant in the management and development of one of the most extensive enterprises of the kind in the state. He is a native of Linn County, Missouri, born on the 4th of November, 1861, being a son of Jefferson and Jane (Roberts) Varvel. He received his education in the public schools of his native county, was there raised on a farm, and upon attaining his majority he removed to Brookfield, Missouri, where he engaged in the dray and transfer business.

Mr. Varvel became a resident of Oklahoma City in 1890, and entered the employ of D. M. Phillips, with whom he obtained an insight to the transfer business as conducted on a metropolitan scale. Mr. Phillips was the pioneer in that line in Oklahoma City, and his employee so profited by his valuable experience under him that a successful outcome of any venture made by the younger man was assured from the first. In 1903, with F. N. Buck, Mr. Varvel incorporated the present business under the name of the Red Ball Transfer and Storage Company, and the enterprise has expanded into very extensive proportions. Both in the transportation and storage of goods the company provides the most prompt, safe and convenient facilities, the accommodations being modern in all ways. Mr. Varvel has been twice married - first, to Miss Jessie Ridgeway (deceased), by whom he had a daughter, Louise Pearl; and, secondly, to Miss Lulu Lowe, daughter of F. A. Lowe, of Oklahoma City.


He has lived in Oklahoma City since 1892, and for many years was known among a wide circle of friends as a traveling salesman, is now engaged in conducting some large mining interests in the Colorado field. As president and general manager of the Little Bernice Mining and Milling Company, of Custer county, Colorado, and as one of the directors of the New Bull Domingo Mining and Milling Company, in the same county (the latter being a lead and silver proposition), he has been instrumental in developing some first-class properties and in placing them within the control of his Oklahoma City friends. Notwithstanding the location of the mines, the properties might well be considered an Oklahoma affair, since Mr. Link and his financial associates have promoted them.

Mr. Link was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1860, and after being educated in that city became identified at an early age with mercantile pursuits, being located for several years in St. Louis and Kansas City. For eleven years he traveled in the interests of the Cudahy Packing Company, also several years for the McCord-Collins Company wholesale grocers. His territory was Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and other portions of the southwest, and the acquaintance formed with the substantial business men of this section was a very important factor in his success when he took up independent business. He gave up all other business connections in 1905 in order to devote his entire time to the promotion of his mining interests in Colorado. He had made exhaustive study of mining, not only from the geological and scientific standpoint, but from the standpoint of the practical business man conducting mining on a legitimate basis the same as in any other business. He has applied strict business principles and management to every feature of his business, from the work of the prospector to the organization of the company, establishing the plants and installing machinery, and as a result his enterprises have proved financially successful and have brought a large number of investors to pin their faith in his sound judgment and methods. He has a high standing in the business circles of Oklahoma City.

At Kansas City, Missouri, Mr. Link married Miss Delphine H. Howard, a native of Minnesota, but who was reared in Wisconsin. In their pleasant home in Oklahoma City they have a family of four children: Hortense, Delia, Louise, Harry H.

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