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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 17, No. 3
September, 1939

Page 352


Frederick William Insull was born July 5, 1875, at Walthamstone, Essex, England, a suburb of London, the son of Henry and Helen (Pasfield) Insull. He died at Tulsa, January 14, 1939. His mother died in 1880. Two years later his father brought his children to Canada and went in the clothing business in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which business he continued until his death in 1920.

Frederick William was educated in the common schools of Winnipeg but did not finish school to the extent of receiving a diploma from the high school. At that early age he manifested a keen interest in electricity and devoted his efforts to studying this subject instead of the ordinary academic branches of learning.

The first work he engaged in was as newsboy selling papers on the streets of Winnipeg. At the age of sixteen he was working as repairman on a trolley wagon, and later he held positions as motorman and conductor on the street railway lines of Winnipeg.

In 1901 at the age of twenty-six he established his permanent residence in the United States at Chicago, where during the years of 1901 and 1902 he worked for the Chicago Edison Company and from 1903 to 1909 was secretary and treasurer of the North Shore Electric Company in Chicago. From 1909 to 1913 he was in Idaho, Oregon and Colorado with various electric and power companies.

In January, 1913, he came to Oklahoma and located at Tulsa, where he was largely instrumental in organizing the Public Service Company of Oklahoma, an electric light and power company with offices at Tulsa, furnishing light and power to a large portion of northeastern Oklahoma. At the organization of the company he was elected to the positions of director and president, which positions he held until his death. During these nearly twenty-six years he was largely instrumental in building up the company, keeping it abreast of the great growth of population and the development of industries in that portion of the state served by the company. He presided at every annual meeting and with one exception at every special meeting of the stockholders from the time of the organization of the company until his death.

He was also president of the Peoples Ice Company at Tulsa from 1913 until his death; was president of the Chickasha Gas & Electric Company with offices at Tulsa from 1913 to 1926; was vice-president of Oklahoma Power Company with offices at Tulsa from 1922 to 1924 and from 1929 to 1932 and was elected its president in 1933; was president of the Southwestern Light & Power Company from 1928 until his death; was president of Oklahoma Utilities Association in 1923; was president of Southwestern Geographical Division of National Electrical Association.

Mr. Insull was always deeply interested in all civic and charitable movements and organizations pertaining to the welfare of Tulsa and Oklahoma. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Tulsa Chamber of Commerce from 1920 until his death and was president of the Chamber in 1925. He took an active part in the activities of the Chamber of Commerce during all that time and was always a member of one or more of the major committees of the Chamber of Commerce and spent a great deal of time in the work. He was an active member of the Union Station Committee in 1924, which led to the erection of Tulsa's Union Railway Station. He was largely instrumental in the organization

Frederick Insull

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of Tulsa Community Fund in 1924, at which time he was appointed a director and served continuously until his death, serving as president from 1929 to 1932. He helped to create and maintain United Family Service Association and for a long while was a member of the Board of Directors of Tulsa County Public Health Association.

He was active in organizing the International Petroleum Exposition in 1923 and served as a director from that time until his death.

He took an active part in the establishment of the Tulsa Municipal Airport and was one of the underwriters of the project and was one of the guarantors on the loan for financing the building of the Skelly Stadium in Tulsa in 1931.

The members of the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce voted him the honor of being the most useful citizen in Tulsa in 1931.

He was director of Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce from 1929 until his death and national counsellor of United States Chamber of Commerce in 1932-1933.

He acted as trustee of the University of Tulsa from 1927 to 1935 and was a director of the Atlas Life Insurance Company at time of death; was a director of First National Bank and Trust Company from 1927 to 1932; was president of Tulsa Rotary Club for the year 1933-1934.

He became a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa in 1925 and held the position of deacon continuously from 1926 until his death; was chairman of Building Committee from 1930 until death; was a member and chairman of Finance Committee at various times and was a regular attendant at church services.

He was a member of Knights of Pythias, a 32nd Degree Mason, a member of Shrine, a member of Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, member of the Rotary Club, member of Tulsa Club, Tulsa Country Club, Southern Hills Country Club and Men's Dinner Club of Tulsa.

May 18, 1905, he married Margaret Parkinson, daughter of Joseph and Mary Alice Parkinson, of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He had two children, Margaret, the wife of Dr. Gifford Henry of Tulsa, and Rosemary, the wife of Robert Berry of Pawnee.

The widow and both daughters survive him.

Harry Campbell

Tulsa, Oklahoma


Thomas Chauncey Humphry was a son of Charles Brome Humphry and Elizabeth (Garner) Humphry, and a grandson of Rev. William Humphry, who was born in Isle Abbotts Parish, near Taunton, Somersetshire, England, on April 1, 1775. In 1797 William Humphry married Mary Brome, a daughter of Francis Brome, yeoman and land owner of Isle Abbotts Parish. William Humphry was a serious-minded man of pronounced religious convictions and in about 1800 became interested in the general religious revival inaugurated by the Wesleys a half century before. After a few years of serious thought, he decided to withdraw from the Established Church and organize a congregation of his own connections, which was that of the Free Baptist Order. He was ordained in 1815, preached for some years, and died on May 14, 1835.

Charles Brome Humphry, father of Thomas C. Humphry, was born at "North Hall," Isle Abbotts, on May 10, 1798, and at the age of 17, with a number of his relatives, set sail from Bristol, England, in the sail vessel "Brigganze," and after a six weeks' voyage landed in New York. The program was that Charles should go to his uncle's home in Ohio upon landing, but he secured work and remained in New York for eight months. Finally, in 1816, arriving at his uncle's home, the exterior appearances of which gave evidence of well-to-do-people, he, an unknown

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foreign relative, turned away because of his uncertainty as to what his position would be in the household. Subsequently he procured employment on an Ohio-Mississippi steamer; in time became a pilot on a keel boat, and later, with friends, organized a company to trade with the Indians. In February, 1828, he married Elizabeth Garner in Natchitoches, Louisiana. After the marriage they removed to Arkansas and ultimately settled in that part of Crawford County, which subsequently became Scott, and later Logan, County, Arkansas.

In 1835 Charles Humphry was appointed to fill an unexpired term as sheriff of the newly erected county of Scott, Territory of Arkansas, and was elected for two more successive terms. Following the expiration of his term as sheriff in 1840, he was elected to represent the county in the Third General Assembly of Arkansas in 1840-42. After his term of office as Representative expired in 1842 he made no further offer for political preferment; however, a number of years later he was appointed Commissioner of Internal Improvements for his district. This office he held until it was ended by the State's secession from the Federal Union in 1861. During the war between the states, Charles Brome Humphry at first opposed secession, but later espoused the Confederate cause and had four sons who served in the Confederate Army, two of whom received minor wounds. After the war he settled in Quitman, Van Buren County, where he died in March, 1877, in the seventy-ninth year of his life.

Elizabeth Straumit (Garner) Humphry was born in Anderson County, South Carolina, April 1, 1811. She was the daughter of James Garner, Jr., born in Maryland in 1771, died in Texas in 1823, and his life, Jane Nelson, born in South Carolina, 1777, died in Lawrence County, Arkansas (Mo. Territory), 1818.

James Garner, Jr., came with his father to South Carolina from Charles County, Maryland, after the Revolution. James Garner, Sr., the grandfather of Elizabeth S. Garner, was born in Stafford County, Va., about 1720-25; died in Orange County, North Carolina after 1790; was the son of Thomas Garner, born in Westmorland County, Va., before 1680. Thomas was the fourth son of John Garner, the immigrant, and Susanna Keene, his wife. John was born in England, 1630; came to Virginia Colony, Northumberland County, in 1650, being the part that was cut off into Westmoreland in 1653. Hence, Elizabeth was of the sixth generation in descent from John, the immigrant.

Charles Brome Humphry and Elizabeth Straumit (Garner) Humphry had the following children: Mary Jane, William, Henrietta, Joanna Cauthron, Henry Columbus, James Garner, Charles, Thomas Chauncey, John Wesley and Elizabeth Victoria.

Thomas Chauncey Humphry was born In Scott, now Logan, County, Arkansas on December 20, 1846. He attended school at his father's home, and was a studious pupil. On his fourteenth birthday, South Carolina seceded from the Union and before he was seventeen he was in the Confederate Army and served during the remainder of the war; he was at the battle of Prairie de Ann (near Prescott, Arkansas) and Marks Mill (near Fordyce, Arkansas). He served in Company I, Gordon's Regiment. After the war he removed to Quitman, Arkansas, but stopped at Galley Rock where he taught a three months' term of school. He then studied medicine with Dr. Talbot, who was a surgeon in the regiment in which he had served. After studying medicine while clerking in a drug store at Galley Rock, he borrowed money and attended the Missouri Medical College, then known as McDowell Medical College, at St. Louis, Missouri. This was in 1867. After graduating on the first day of March, 1869, he practiced medicine in Memphis, Tennessee, but remained there only about six months. During his residence in Memphis he met and conversed with Jefferson Davis during the occasion of the latter's visit to that city. In the fall of 1869 he returned to Arkansas and practiced

Thomas Humphry

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medicine, locating in Johnson County near Horsehead Creek for a short time, subsequently going to Quitman where he became interested in the drug business which he operated in connection with his practice as a physician until 1871. He married, on September 27, 1871, Anna Eliza McLeod, who at the time was a teacher of music at the Quitman College. Miss McLeod was born in South Carolina, a daughter of Adolphus Alexander and Anne Elizabeth McLeod of Lynchburg, Sumter District. She was educated at the schools of Columbia, South Carolina, and Jackson, Tennessee, was a first cousin to Senator Ella D. Smith of South Carolina, and the late Bishop A. Coke Smith, who was bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and also of the late Thomas G. McLeod, ex-Governor of South Carolina. She was born August 20, 1850; died March 23, 1931.

After his marriage, Thomas C. Humphry disposed of his drug interest in Quitman and removed to Judsonia, Arkansas, and in 1874 was elected to the legislature from White County. During his term he was the author of a bill to tax the railroad lands of the state, which became a law and was litigated through the court of Jackson County, the Supreme Court of Arkansas, and the United States Supreme Court—Chief Justice Waite delivering the opinion of the United States Supreme Court, holding the law constitutional. In 1892 he was again elected as representative from Sebastian County and was elected speaker of the House where he made a record as a parliamentarian, presiding over the House for three months without an appeal from any decision he made. After serving in the Legislature in 1874-1875 he moved back to what is now Logan County, locating in Paris. The young physician decided to abandon the medical profession and so began reading law and attended the University of Louisville, Kentucky, where he graduated in March, 1879. He returned home and was licensed to practice law by Judge John H. Rogers of Fort Smith, who was the circuit judge of that circuit. About this time a vacancy occurred in the county judge's office and Thomas C. Humphry was appointed by the Governor as county judge of Logan County. After this term expired he was elected to the office of county judge and served in 1880-82.

In 1886 he removed to Fort Smith, and when Judge John S. Little resigned to run for Congress, Mr. Humphry was appointed Judge of the Twelfth Circuit of Arkansas on March 30, 1890, holding court at Fort Smith, Greenwood and Waldron, Arkansas. Both before and after his appointment as circuit judge he practiced before Judge Isaac C. Parker, United States District Judge at Ft. Smith. During his practice of law in Arkansas he was in partnership with Jeptha H. Evans of Booneville, and with Joseph G. Ralls at Fort Smith, who later located at Atoka, Oklahoma; and C. A. Warner of Fort Smith. About 1895 he moved to Cameron, Indian Territory, and while living there organized what he called "The Smooth Riders," after the Rough Riders had been organized, but, of course, the Smooth Riders were never accepted. In 1896 when William J. Bryan ran for President on the 16 to 1, or free silver, platform, Thomas C. Humphry changed his political affiliations and from thence on became a staunch adherent of the Republican party. He returned to Fort Smith in 1897 on account of the schools, but in 1900 removed to South McAlester, in what was then the Indian Territory, where he practiced law until April 28, 1904, when he was appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt as United States District Judge for the Central District of the Indian Territory. He was appointed under the act authorizing additional judges for the four districts of the Indian Territory, which position he most capably held until Oklahoma became a state on November 16, 1907. After Oklahoma became a state he moved to Hugo, Oklahoma, where he continued to reside and carried on his profession until his death on December 3, 1937—just 17 days before his 91st birthday. He rests in the city cemetery at Hugo.

Page 356

In the fall of 1928, the electoral vote of Oklahoma was cast for the Republican ticket and Judge Thomas C. Humphry as one of the electors from the Third District cast his vote for Herbert Hoover.

Judge Thomas C. Humphry was a member of the Southern Methodist Episcopal Church, and a worker in that church. He was also a member of the Masonic fraternities, having served as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas from 1885 to 1886; as Chairman of Committee on Foreign Correspondence of the Indian Territory Grand Lodge until statehood, and of the Oklahoma Grand Lodge from 1912 until time of his death, and his final report was completed just about a week before he passed away.

Surviving Judge Thomas C. Humphry are three sons and three daughters—Charles A. Humphry of Evansville, Indiana; Thomas C. Humphry, Jr., of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Frank N. Humphry of Monroe, Louisiana; Mrs. Daisy Doss of Hugo, Oklahoma; Mrs. J. G. Griffith of Idabel, Oklahoma, and Mrs. R. R. Massey of San Angelo, Texas.

The contact of Judge Humphry with the pioneer days of the Southwest was quite complete. His career, having its inception amid environs necessarily crude, evidences his character of courage and native ability. He fully appraised the hopes and ambitions of the frontiersman, because he was one of them. He brought to the judiciary of the old Territory a service of the highest and most understanding character. His passing closed another chapter in the "Winning of the West."1

Thomas C. Humphry, Jr.

Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Samuel Henry Harris, 80 years old, veteran attorney and civic leader, died Sunday, April 9, 1939, at 2:30 p. m. in St. Anthony's Hospital, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, following an illness of several months. He had been in the hospital for three weeks. Until his retirement in 1926 he was general counsel of the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company.

Services were held Tuesday at 4 p. m. in the First Presbyterian church. Men who worked with Harris during his long lifetime of service were honorary bearers. The Knights Templar, Commandery No. 3, were in charge.

The honorary bearers were Roy Hoffman, O. N. Dailey, L. M. Jones, Dr. J. A. Ross, E. E. Westervelt, John M. Noble, Edgar S. Vaught, James R. Keaton, John J. Hildreth, W. R. Bleakmore, M. E. Trapp, Thomas H. Doyle, A. G. C. Bierer, J. R. Spielman, Sam Hooker and John Embry.

Harris was best known for his activity in connection with statehood. He was a leader in the movement to obtain congressional indorsement of an act to admit the Territory of Oklahoma as a state, including within its boundaries the adjacent Indian Territory.

Born at Carrolton, Arkansas, October 18, 1858, Harris was educated in the common schools and at the State Normal school at Warrensburg, Missouri.

Harris located at Norman in 1891 and in 1893 was appointed first county attorney of Noble county. He continued to reside in and practice at Perry until his removal in 1906 to Oklahoma City, where he became general counsel for the Pioneer Telephone Company, with which company and its successor, the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, he

Samuel Harris

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remained as general counsel at Oklahoma City and St. Louis, Missouri, until his retirement from active practice in 1926.

He was one of the organizers of the Territorial Bar association in Oklahoma. He was elected the second president of the combined association in 1905.

After the adoption of the Oklahoma State constitution in 1908, he was appointed chairman of the code revision committee and in 1908 to 1910 he was engaged in revising and arranging the statute laws of the new state, which revision was adopted by the legislature of Oklahoma in 1913.

While general counsel for the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company at St. Louis he compiled and was instrumental in the adoption of the retirement plan for employes, which is regarded as a model of its kind.

After retirement from active service with the company, he became secretary of the state game and fish commission, which position he held for several years. He was generally regarded as the father of the state's present game and fish laws and a leader in the conservation of wild life.

In Oklahoma City he was a member or past member of the Oklahoma club; the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club; the Men's Dinner club; Siloam lodge, A. F. and A. M., and all Scottish and York Rite Masonic bodies.

Mr. and Mrs. Harris were married in Norman, April 19, 1893. Mrs. Harris was Miss Minnie Ernestine Carlock, daughter of the late Andrew Means Carlock, widely known throughout a wide territory as an educator. A son, Samuel Lowe Harris, born June 28, 1899, now is general attorney for the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company for Kansas and western Missouri.

In addition to his wife and son, Harris is survived by three grandsons, Samuel, Edward, and John Harris, Kansas City, Missouri, and one brother, J. E. Harris of Amherst, Nebraska, father of Mrs. Solon W. Smith, 1505 Wilshire Boulevard.1

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