Daniel W. Purcell. Of the men who, coming as pioneers of the white race to that part of Indian Territory which is now included within the boundaries of Stephens County, Oklahoma, have since continued to devote their energies to the building up of enterprises which have contributed to the business prestige and material prosperity of this thriving locality, Daniel W. Purcell is an excellent example. In the year 1893, when his advent occurred, there were attractive advantages offered men of ability, courage and industry, and Mr. Purcell so improved his opportunities that he was able to build up a business that still stands as one of the leading enterprises of the City of Marlow.
Daniel W. Purcell was born at Marseilles, LaSalle County, Illinois, September 4, 1848, and is a son of Patrick and Hannah (O’Brien) Purcell. His grandfather, Thomas Purcell, was the original ancestor of the family in America, emigrating from his native Ireland to Canada, where he passed the remaining years of his life in farming. On the maternal side, Mr. Purcell’s father was John O’Brien, also a native of Erin, who died after some years spent in farming in Canada. Patrick Purcell was born in the Province of Ontario, Canada, in 1807, and there was engaged in farming up to the time of his marriage, when he came to the United States and settled at Marseilles, Illinois. In 1866 he came to the Southwest, settling in Robertson County, Texas, and there passed the remaining years of his life as a farmer and stockman, dying in 1867. Mrs. Purcell, who was born in Canada, in 1812, died the same year as her husband. They were the parents of five children: Thomas, a justice of the peace at Calvin, Oklahoma; Daniel W., of this review; Margaret, who is the widow of Mr. Malone and resides in Wise County, Texas; Katie, who died in Wise County, Texas, was the wife of Robert P. Webb, now a farmer of Clay County, Texas, and Elijah, who resides at Fort Worth, Texas.
The public schools of LaSalle County, Illinois, and Robertson County, Texas, furnished Daniel W. Purcell with his education, and until he was twenty years of age he was engaged in assisting his father on the home farm. He was then offered and accepted a position as overseer of a large plantation in Milam County, Texas, on which there was much stock, and capably performed the duties of the ranch for three years, at the end of which time he turned his attention to saw-milling in Eastern Texas. For a quarter of a century Mr. Purcell was widely known as a prominent millman, principally in Cass County, where he built up a firmly established reputation for integrity and fair dealing, qualities which have characterized his operations in each locality in which he has been a resident. In 1896 Mr. Purcell moved to Wise County, Texas, where he engaged in dealing in lumber, cotton and grain, and continued there until 1903 when he came to Marlow, then in Indian Territory. Here he erected a cotton gin, which has since grown and developed to large proportions, being located on Main Street) east of the tracks of the Rock Island Railroad. His gin has a capacity of fifty bales a day, and his trade is attracted from all over this and surrounding counties. Mr. Purcell has always been active in politics and civic affairs, has served on the school boards of both Texas and Oklahoma, and for two years was mayor of Marlow, his term ending May 1, 1915. In public life as in business affairs, he has evidenced a conscientious desire to discharge efficiently every duty devolving upon him, and those with whom he has come in contact as an official bear testimony to his absolute integrity and probity of character. He is a democrat in politics and accounted an influential man of his party at Marlow, is a faithful member of the Christian church, and is fraternally connected with Marlow Lodge No. 102, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he was past grand in Texas, and the Woodmen of the World, in Texas.
Mr. Purcell was married in Cass County, Texas, in 1877, to Miss Margaret Ragsdale, a native of Alabama, and to this union there have been born six children: Sarah, who is the wife of A. C. Jacobs, of Marlow, partner of Mr. Purcell; Frank, who is the proprietor of a pharmacy at Marlow; Chester, postmaster of Burnet, Texas; George, cashier of the Rock Island Railroad, at El Reno, Oklahoma; and Elijah and Bryan, who reside with their parents at Marlow.