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Albert Columbus Couch. No other name has more intimate associations with the history of the original Oklahoma than that of Couch. It will be sufficient to say that Albert C. Couch, who has recently filled with credit and efficiency the office of Commissioner of Oklahoma County, and is a prominent business man and citizen of Luther, is a son of Captain William L. Couch in order to give a relationship which will at once identify the son with one of the most aggressive pioneers of early Oklahoma. .
William L. Couch was born in the State of North Carolina in 1850, and moved to Johnson County, Kansas, in 1865, and four years later settled in Butler County of the same state. In Kansas he became recognized as a man of affairs, a sturdy citizen, and one of the foremost factors in the early history and development of Western Kansas. The impress of his individuality and influence was left on early Kansas statutes, and he was regarded as a specially active character and guardian of the western half of the Sunflower State. In 1880 he became fully identified with Payne’s Oklahoma Colony, and after the death of Captain Payne in 1884 was elected president, and thereafter was the natural leader of that aggressive organization for the opening of the Indian country to civilization. It was a cardinal part of his belief that Oklahoma had been in every proper sense a part of the public domain since the treaties of 1866. “Bill” Couch, as he was familiarly known, familiarized himself with all the country now embracing the State of Oklahoma, and during the ’80s spent much time in Washington and was one of the most prominent in conducting the lobby before Congress which eventually resulted in the bill for the opening of the original Oklahoma Territory. Again in April, 1889, he was among those who participated in and assisted thousands of others in locating homes at the opening of Oklahoma. He came to Oklahoma and located his claim on the quarter section where the present court house of Oklahoma County stands, and put up one of the first rude homes there. His claim was contested by J. C. Adams, and as a result of this contest on April, 22, 1890, just one year after the original opening, Captain Couch was shot and killed by Adams. In the organization of a provisional government for the new City of Oklahoma he took an active part, and was elected the first mayor. As a pioneer his name must always take a place before those representing the men who came into Oklahoma on that eventful day of April 22, 1889, since for years before he had dreamed the dreams of Oklahoma and had done certainly as much as any other one man for the realization of his ideals. Captain Couch married Cyntha E. Gordon, also a native of North Carolina, and she and her family remained in Oklahoma City after the death of Captain Couch, and she is still a resident of Oklahoma County.
Albert Columbus Couch was born in Wichita, Kansas, December 19, 1875, and was a boy of thirteen when his father was killed. He remained at home with his mother, received his education in the public schools, and for the past twenty years has been located at Luther in the northwest part of Oklahoma County, and actively identified with its principal business interests. His own activities contributed much to the development of the little city, and he held the office of vice president and director of the First National Bank. In 1912 Mr. Couch was elected a member of the board of county commissioners of Oklahoma County, and for two years gave his undivided time to a careful and businesslike attention to the vast business necessary in a county with a 100,000 people, upon whom about one-tenth of the tax burden of the States of Oklahoma is levied. Mr. Couch was elected to this position on the republican ticket at a time when his party was anything but harmonious, his personal popularity and especial fitness for the positions having far more to do with his selection than his politics. In 1914 he was the republican nominee for sheriff, but was unable to overcome the immense democratic majority. It is not a difficult prediction to state that he will be heard from in the future, as he is aggressive and capable, qualities which he no doubt in part inherited from his father, has his father’s marked leadership, and is a type of the young, rugged westerner who knows no such thing as fail when he feels that he is in the right. His whole life has been devoted to the upbuilding of the splendid county of which his distinguished father had so much to do in opening and where he sacrificed his life.
Mr. A. C. Couch was a page in the first territorial legislative assembly at Guthrie in 1890. Fraternally he is identified with Luther Lodge No. 262, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and with Oklahoma City Lodge No. 1, Knights of Pythias. October 14, 1901, in Oklahoma City, he married Miss Inez Fall, daughter of M. M. and Sarah (Reamer) Fall, both natives of Iowa. They are the parents of two sons and one daughter: William Albert, born August 21, 1902; Howard Francis, born March 20, 1904; and Olive Inez, born November 27, 1910.