Albert Z. English. It
has been given to this well known citizen and substantial capitalist
of the City of Muskogee
to achieve prominence and influence not only as a representative
member of the Oklahoma bar and as an efficient public official but
also in the domain of large and important business and capitalistic
enterprises, the while his success and prestige are the more
gratifying to contemplate by reason of
the fact that his advancement represents the results of his own
ability and worthy efforts.
A scion of the
staunch old family in whose honor his native town was named, Albert
Z. English was born at Englishtown, Monmouth County, New Jersey, on
the 24th of November, 1808, and is a son of James E. and Mary E.
(Ely) English, both of sterling Scotch-Irish lineage, the English and
Ely families having been founded in New Jersey several generations
ago and in the colonial period of our national history. James E.
English, father of the subject of this review, was a farmer by
vocation and his death occurred when Albert Z. was but thirteen years
of age, his wife having survived him by a number of years.
He whose name
initiates this review passed the days of his childhood and early
youth in his native town and there received his rudimentary
education. At the age of thirteen years, soon after the death of his
father, he became a student in the public schools at Montclair, Essex
County, New Jersey, and after his graduation in the high school at
that place he attended Princeton University.
In 1890, shortly
after attaining to his legal majority, Mr. English came to the West
and during the ensuing period of about twelve months he held the
position of stenographer and bookkeeper for the Ash Grove White Lime
Company, in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1891 he came to Indian
Territory and established his residence at Muskogee, where he assumed
the position of stenographer in the law office of William T.
Hutchings, a pioneer member of the territorial bar. Under the
effective preceptorship of Mr. Hutchings he pursued also the study of
law, and in 1892 he was admitted to the bar of the territory.
Thereafter he was associated in practice with his honored preceptor
until 1897, when the partnership alliance was dissolved.
In 1898 Mr. English
manifested his initiative ability and progressiveness by effecting
the organization of the Muskogee National Telephone Company, and as
principal owner and general manager of the business he continued his
effective administration of the affairs of this company until 1904.
when the business and equipment were sold to the Pioneer Telephone
Company. Mr. English gave other distinctive evidence of his civic
loyalty and enterprising spirit when, in 1899, he completed the
erection of the substantial office building which bears his name and
which he still owns. From July, 1902. until November of the following
year he served as chief deputy clerk of the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma
Territory, on the bench of which tribunal Judge Charles W. .Raymond
was then serving. From January 1, 1904, until January 1, 1907, Mr.
English was general manager of the Muskogee Title & Trust
Company, and thereafter, owing to impaired health, he spent about two
years in travel and in a recuperative sojourn in the State of
Muskogee in May, 1909, greatly improved in health, Mr. English did
not resume active association with business affairs until the
following year, when he became associated with his father-in-law, the
late Frederick B. Severs, in the erection
of the Severs Hotel, which was not completed until September, 1912,
Mr. Severs having died on the 23d of the preceding April. This
essentially modern and attractive building, of ten stories, is one of
the best hotels in the state, and since the death of Mr. Severs his
two sons-in-law, Mr. English and William J. Cook, have served as
joint administrators of the large estate of Mr. Severs, Mr. English
now devoting the major part of his time to the executive and other
detail duties thus devolving upon him and having virtually retired
completely from the practice of his profession.
Mr. English accords
staunch allegiance to the republican party, has received the
thirty-second degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in the
Masonic fraternity, besides being affiliated with the Ancient Arabic
Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine and the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks.
In 1894 was
solemnized the marriage of Mr. English to Miss Bessie E. Severs,
concerning whose father mention is made in the following sketch, and
the one child of this union is Fred Severs English. The family is one
of marked prominence and popularity in connection with the?
representative social activities of the City of Muskogee.