Hon. Albert W. Barnett. Had the republicans of District No. 198 of Indian Territory been a few hundred stronger, Albert W. Barnett would have been the delegate from that district to the Constitutional Convention of 1906, and R. L. Williams, who afterward became the third governor of Oklahoma, would not have made a reputation in the convention that culminated in his being made the first chief justice of the Supreme Court and later in his election to the highest state executive office. Mr. Barnett was the choice of the republicans of the district by acclamation in convention. Being of Southern birth and understanding well the character of a majority of the people of his district, his chances for election were far more favorable than would have been the chances of a republican from the North. The campaign was full of interest. There had been no elections in Indian Territory and it was problematical whether the voters in this election could be strongly influenced to line up with party organizations. For a time it looked like any man’s victory, but the democrats won by a safe majority. For five years prior to the convention, Mr. Barnett had been a resident of the southern part of the district. He had engaged in farming principally, but was a public-spirited and stirring citizen and his acquaintance had become wide.
Two years after statehood Mr. Barnett went to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and became accountant for the Price Sand Company, a concern with which he remained for a period of three years, going to Achille in 1913 and engaging in the drug business, in which he is yet occupied. His store is one of the largest in the county outside of Durant, and his large, up-to-date stock is valued at $8,000. When the town was incorporated, in 1915, the people put politics aside and elected Mr. Barnett mayor without opposition. His legal title is justice of the peace, but his duties are similar to those of mayor in cities of the first class. He attends meetings of the trustees, but has no vote. The first ordinance passed under his administration fixed punishment for misdemeanors. The first case tried before Mayor Barnett involved the charge of assault and the trial resulted in a plea of guilty. The first fine paid into the city treasury was turned in by the defendant in that case.
Mr. Barnett was born in Whitfield County, Georgia, August 19, 1872, and is a son of John Wilson and Indiana (Cox) Barnett. His father, who was born in 1847, in Tennessee, is a veteran of the Civil war, in which he fought as a Union soldier, and at this time is residing at Calera, Oklahoma, where he settled in 1897. There were three sons and one daughter in the family: Albert W.; Robert H., who is chief engineer of the municipal water plant at Tulsa; Abraham Boyd, who is manager of the Scearce Grain Company at Calera; and Mrs. Claude Brown, the wife of a farmer living near Achille.
Albert W. Barnett was educated in the public schools of Georgia and the high schools at Flint Springs, Tennessee, and Anna, Texas. Later he completed a commercial course in a business college located at Sherman, Texas, and in 1902 settled in Oklahoma and became a farmer. Mr. Barnett was married November 17, 1902, to Miss Stella Holland, of Paucaunia, Indian Territory, and they have three children: Audrey Juanita; Entis Constance and Dudley Holland.