Ben B. Burney


Ben B. Burney. A great deal of history is connected with the name of Burney in Oklahoma, as there is also about the names of Cheadle, Overton, Harris, Byrd, Guy and Maytubby in the old Chickasaw Nation, for Ben C. Burney, father of the county treasurer of Marshall County, was one of the several governors of the Chickasaw Nation. Governor Burney, who has been dead for several years, was born in Louisiana while his parents were en route from Mississippi to Indian Territory during the historic migration of the Indian tribes. For many years he was one of the leading men of the nation and once was a delegate from that nation to Washington, District of Columbia. He was a full-blooded Chickasaw and possessed much of the sort of talent that made the government of the Chickasaw Indians probably the best ever conceived and conducted by red men.
County Treasurer Ben B. Burney, of Madill, Oklahoma, was born in 1881, near the present Town of Aylesworth, eleven miles east of Madill. His mother, who was also of Indian extraction, was before her marriage Miss Louisa Alberson. Mr. Burney’s education was acquired in Harley Institute, at Tishomingo, an institution conducted by the Chickasaw Government, and in the public and high school at Pottsboro, Texas. After finishing his education at Pottsboro, he returned to Indian Territory and for five years conducted a ranch at Cumberland in Marshall County, and after statehood, in 1907, was selected as deputy county clerk of Marshall County, a position which he held for two years. In 1914 he was elected county treasurer, having for the democratic nomination defeated Miss Ava Milner, of Madill by seven votes. He took possession of the office, July 1, 1915.
Mr. Burney has one brother and one sister: Paul E., who was formerly county clerk of Marshall County and is now assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Woodville; and Mrs. R. E. McGaugh, who is the wife of a farmer and stockman at Aylesworth. Mrs. W. M. Archerd, of Lynn, Marshall County, Oklahoma, and Mrs. J. J. McAlester, of McAlester, Oklahoma, wife of a former lieutenant-governor of the state, are sisters of Governor Burney, and E. S. Burney, of Chickasaw, is a brother.
Mr. Burney is a member of the local lodge of the Woodmen of the World, and is one of the county’s most progressive young men. He belongs to that interesting class of native sons to be found in Oklahoma, a class that is helping to make the state more prosperous and cultured. It is especially interesting, as well as fitting, that the son of a former governor of the Chickasaw Nation should be engaged hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder with the white man in the conduct of the business of government. Mr. Burney has shown his faith in the future of his state by investment in property, is an active agriculturist and is the owner of a valuable farm in the vicinity of Aylesworth, Marshall County.