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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 California.
Returning to 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.