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French S. E. Amos. In his official capacity as private secretary to Governor Cruce Mr. Amos maintained his headquarters in Oklahoma City, his home being at Vinita, Craig County, where he is publisher of the Vinita Leader. He has been a prominent figure in educational activities in the State of Oklahoma and was a member of the original faculty of the University of Oklahoma, his deep and abiding interest in the civic and material welfare of the new commonwealth being shown alike by his valued contribution to his publication and by his having been the organizer of the Oklahoma State Historical Society, of which he was the first president and of the archives of which, under state control, he continued the custodian.
Mr. Amos was born at Fairview, Marion County, West Virginia, January 1, 1871, and is a son of Luther J. and Paulina (Evans) Amos, representatives of fine old Southern families. The father continued to be one of the successful agriculturists and live-stock dealers of West Virginia until 1880, when he removed with his family to Texas, his residence in the Lone Star State having continued until 1889, the year when Oklahoma Territory was opened to settlement. The proclamation of the President of the United States for the opening of nearly 40,000 square miles to settlement was issued on the 29th of March, of that year and designated high noon of the 22d of the following month as the time of the formal opening of this vast territory. It has consistently been written that the opening of the territory to settlement was marked by the immediate entrance of 50,000 immigrants, and one of the number who appeared at the date of opening was Luther J. Amos. His original location was at Britton, Oklahoma County, and later he became the owner of the first exclusive boot and shoe store in Oklahoma City, the present metropolis of the state. He is now a member of the clergy of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and is pastor of the church of this denomination at Gilroy, Santa Clara County, California, both he and his wife being zealous in all departments of religious activity in their community.
He whose name initiates this article attended the public schools of West Virginia until he was nine years of age, when, in 1880, the family removed to Texas and established a home at Lampasas, the judicial center of the county of the same name. In this embryonic city Mr. Amos completed the curriculum of Centenary College, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1888 and from which institution he received the degrees of both Bachelor and Master of Arts. For the ensuing four years he was a valued instructor in his alma mater, at tlie expiration of which, in 1892, he resigned his position to assume that of one of the members of the first faculty of the University of Oklahoma, which, as the date implies, was founded under the territorial government. After three years of successful work in this institution Professor Amos resigned his post, to accept that of co-Principal of Willie Haskell College, at Vinita, Indian Territory. After one year of effective service in this pedagogic capacity he became editor of the Vinita Leader, a weekly paper that had been established in 1895, and which, under his effective management has become one of the important newspapers of the state and of which he is editor and publisher.
When Hon. Lee Cruce became governor of Oklahoma, through election in 1910, Mr. Amos was appointed his private secretary, a position of which he continued the valued incumbent until the termination of the gubernatorial term, in January, 1915, when he returned to Vinita and resumed his personal supervision of the paper which he has made an effective exponent of local interests and of the cause of the democratic party, of the principles and policies of which he has ever been a staunch advocate and supporter.
While he was a member of the faculty of the University of Oklahoma Mr. Amos effected the organization of the Oklahoma Historical Society, of which he became the first president. It was most fortunate that the new organization was soon able to add to its embryonic archives a valuable collection of newspaper files and other material of historic interest that had been collated by William P. Campbell prior to that time and that was an integral part of the nucleus around which is being assembled the excellent and enduringly valuable collection of the historical society. Mr. Campbell was chosen custodian of the Oklahoma Historical Society, and of this position he has since remained the valued incumbent, the historical society being now under the control of the state government and being supported principally by contributions on the part of the commonwealth.
While a student in Centenary College, Texas, Mr. Amos became editor of the college paper, and in this service he acquired his initial knowledge of and predilection for the newspaper business, or the so called profession of journalism, as an exponent of which he has proved both versatile and successful as well as a director of public sentiment and action. His literary and historical appreciation is shown by the fact that he is an assiduous collector of old books, and of his more ancient publications in this line he has several that were printed and published about the middle of the fifteenth century.
Mr. Amos has been an influential force in the councils and activities of the democratic party during the period of his residence in Oklahoma and has made his newspaper an effective advocate of the party cause. In Craig County he had the active supervision of party interests through two vigorous campaigns, each of which resulted in decisive victories for the party of which he is a representative.
At Vinita, where he resumed his residence after his retirement from the office of private secretary to the governor of Oklahoma, Mr. Amos is affiliated with the lodges of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and with the camp of the Modern Woodmen of America. He has been twice married and has one daughter, Veva Rookh.