Oklahoma Governor. Having no academic training, he became a teacher at age 18, taught school for three years in Putnam County, Ohio, studied law, was admitted to bar in 1880 and practiced law in Ottawa, Ohio. He moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma, in 1901, where he organized and built a successful railroad business. He also organized the Territorial Trust and Banking Company and purchased the New State Tribune newspaper. He was elected to the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention, in 1906 and when Congress approved the unification of the Indian and Oklahoma Territories, he was elected as a Democrat the first Governor of Oklahoma, serving (1907-11). While in office, he oversaw the organization of Oklahoma's state institutions, signed legislation establishing a labor code, a bank guaranty law and a graduated income tax. After leaving office, he, he resumed his previous business interests and engaged in the oil business, until his death from pneumonia.
Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith