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Claude P. Spriggs. Many of the interesting annals of old Indian Territory center about the region of Fort Towson. It is interesting to recall that in 1905, two years before statehood, the Town of Fort Towson, which is built near the site of the old military post of that name, was incorporated and entered upon an era of municipal prosperity equal to that of other towns animated by the spirit of development which was promoted by approaching statehood.
It was upon the application of Claude P. Spriggs, then a young lawyer of Fort Towson, that the incorporation charter for Fort Towson was granted by United States District Judge William H. Clayborn. When the first municipal election was over Mr. Spriggs became the town’s first municipal attorney. Among the other interesting activities of Mr. Spriggs in Fort Towson during its early years was his association with W. E. B. Leonard in the organization of the Fort Towson Bank. A little later this bank was consolidated with another and the First National Bank of Fort Towson was established. Associated with Mr. Spriggs and Mr. Leonard in this latter transaction was W. W. Wilson, former treasurer of the Choctaw Nation. Mr. Spriggs and Mr. Wilson with R. D. Cheatham also promoted and pushed to completion the first telephone line in Southern Oklahoma east of Hugo. They organized the Fort Towson Telephone Company, of which Mr. Wilson became the first president, and the line was built between Hugo and the Arkansas line. In 1907 Mr. Spriggs moved to Hugo to continue the practice of law on a broader scale. His residence there was the first to be built on the Frisco Addition to Hugo. The same year he and his brother, E. L. Spriggs, under the firm name of Spriggs & Spriggs, established an office at Idabel, with E. L. Spriggs in charge. The Hugo and Idabel offices were consolidated in 1915, at which time Claude P. Spriggs moved to Idabel, where he now resides.
Mr. Spriggs was first secretary of the Choctaw Democratic County Central Committee after statehood and was secretary of the county campaign committee in the campaign that followed. Later he served as a member of the Democratic State Central Committee. In 1910 he and J. P. Ward had charge of Choctaw, McCurtain and Pushmataha counties in the campaign that nominated and elected Lee Cruce of Ardmore to the office of governor.
Born in Magnolia, Columbia County, Arkansas, December 28, 1875, Claude P. Spriggs is a son of Edward G. and Luie (Laughlin) Spriggs. His father, who died in 1900, was born in Georgia, settled in Arkansas during pioneer times and engaged in the lumber and mercantile business. His sawmill was the first established in Hempstead County, and in it was sawed the lumber used in the first building erected at Hope.
Claude P. Spriggs attended the Arkansas public schools and was graduated in 1899. Soon afterwards he took up the study of law and in 1900 was admitted to the Arkansas bar beginning practice at Horatio, he was appointed local attorney for the Kansas City, Pittsburg & Gulf Railway Company, now the Kansas City Southern. Three years later he gave up this position and his private practice in order to identify himself with the new Town of Fort Towson.
On September 6, 1902, Mr. Spriggs married Miss Mattie E. Hicks. Mr. Spriggs has four sisters: Mrs. O. G. Graddy, wife of a jeweler at Ashdown, Arkansas; Mrs. William Harvell, wife of a contractor at Ashdown; Mrs. Alex Stedman, whose husband is a farmer stockman at Ashdown; and Mrs. John Stedman, wife of a Frisco railroad construction foreman. While his home has been in Southeastern Oklahoma only a few years Mr. Spriggs is one of the best known men in that section of the state. He is a member of the County and State Bar Associations and has affiliations with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World.