Bedford County TN Biographies


Though a resident of Marlow, where his business activities are as a newspaper publisher and real estate man, William B. Anthony has been prominent as an Oklahoman since statehood, and in his present duties as state capitol commissioner to which he was appointed by the legislature, maintains offices in the State National Bank Building at Oklahoma City, and for the past two years has been giving close and faithful supervision to the monumental task of constructing a state capitol, which when completed will be the pride of every Oklahoma citizen.

William B. Anthony was born in Bedford County. Tennessee. January 9, 1871, a son of Jacob L. and Martha (Bruce) Anthony. Both parents were also Tennesseans, and his father was a farmer and mechanic. His early education came from the country schools of Bedford County, with a finishing course in Terrell College at Decherd. in the same state. In the office of a Tennessee lawyer he studied law, and though admitted to the bar of Tennessee in 1892, has never practiced the profession, though the knowledge has proved exceedingly valuable to him in many ways. After two years as a school teacher in Tennessee Mr. Anthony in 1893 identified himself with old Indian Territory, locating at Duncan, where for one year he taught school, and in 1894 removing to Marlow. in what is now Stephens County. There he continued his work as a teacher one year, and then engaged in the newspaper business as the publisher of the Marlow Review, and also opened a real estate office. Mr. Anthony has thus been engaged in business in Oklahoma twenty years and his long experience and familiarity with renditions and the people of the state have given him exceptional qualifications for the various public responsibilities entrusted to him.

When the Town of Marlow was incorporated in l899, he was elected its first mayor, serving as men seven years, from 1899 to 1900. In 1907, at the time of statehood, Mr. Anthony was elected a member of the House of Representatives from Stephens County, and by re election to the second and third Legislatures served from 1907 to 1913. He was speaker of the House of Representatives during the extraordinary session of the third Legislature. In the first legislature he was chairman of the committee on taxation and revenue, and during his entire legislative career devoted himself to the subject of taxation and revenue. One of the modern provisions of the Oklahoma constitution is that which wisely entrusts to the Legislature, with only general restrictions, such modifications of the taxing scheme which may l« conformed with the constantly changing requirement of the state and its subdivisions. Thus the taxation problem is one that is continually before the Legislature, and during the first five years of Oklahoma statehood it is conceded that no one man performed a greater service as a taxation expert and legislator than William B. Anthony. During the first three Legislatures he was author of every revenue law placed on the statute books.

From December, 1908, to January, 1911, Mr. Anthony was private secretary to Governor Haskell. July 31, 1910. when the state capitol was removed from Guthrie to Oklahoma City, with its attendant excitement, Mr. Anthony carried the great seal of the state. In 1913 he was chosen by the Fourth Legislature as one of the state capitol commissioners and in that capacity has been vigilant, progressive and exceedingly capable in forwarding the great enterprise now in course of construction at Oklahoma City. Outside of these official honors Mr. Anthony has never been a candidate for any political office.

Fraternally he is prominent in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being past grand of Marlow lodge and grand representative to the Grand Lodge. He was grand marshal of the Grand Lodge of old Indian Territory, and for two years grand marshal of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma. He is also a Mason and is a past chancellor of Marlow lodge, Knights of Pythias, and a representative to the Grand Lodge. His church is the Methodist Episcopal, South.

In 1893 Mr. Anthony married Miss Sarah Shaw, daughter of Thomas J. Shaw, of Lynchburg, Tennessee, one of the pioneer preachers in the Christian Church in Middle Tennessee. To their marriage have boon born five children: Shaw Anthony, who is a graduate of the Tonkawa Preparatory School and is a member of the class of 1918 in the University of Oklahoma; Curtis Anthony, a member of the class of 1913 in the Claremore Preparatory School; Gladys. Bruce and Marian Anthony still at home and attending the local schools of Marlow.

A Standard History of Oklahoma: An Authentic Narrative of Its ..., Volume 4 By Joseph Bradfield Thoburn 1916

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