G. R. Mckinley.
In point of enterprise, energy and
determination, O. R. McKinley is looked upon as one of the leading
men of Bartlesville, to which place he came in 1905 as agent for the
Santa Fe Railroad.
He may be termed
what is known as a "hustler," for he has made his own way
in the world since boyhood, and has now attained a position of
independence and prominence in his community, being cashier of the
Bartlesville State Bank, and one of his community’s most
public-spirited and useful men.
Mr. McKinley was
born at Lawrence, Kansas, February 24, 1869, and is a son of James B.
and Julia A. (Porter) McKinley. His grandfather, George McKinley, for
whom he was named, was a native of Scotland and was brought to the
United States as a child by his parents,
the family settling in Pennsylvania, where the grandfather passed
the remaining years of his life, dying when his son, James B., was a
lad of eight years. The latter, a second cousin to the father of the
late President William McKinley, was born in Venango County,
Pennsylvania, and there grew to manhood on a farm, receiving his
education in the common schools. He was but seventeen years of age
when he entered upon his career as a teacher in the country schools,
then becoming a bookkeeper for a Pittsburgh concern, with which he
was connected until the outbreak of the Civil war. On two occasions
he attempted to enlist in his native state, but both times was
rejected because of his small stature, and he finally, in 1861,
removed to Kansas, where he succeeded in enlisting in Company I,
Fourteenth Regiment, Kansas Volunteer Cavalry. He served with this
organization until the close of the war and was promoted to orderly
sergeant, and during his service participated in numerous
engagements, but never suffered a wound or was captured by the enemy.
When he had received his honorable discharge he established a lumber
yard at Lawrence, Kansas, and also engaged in farming in the vicinity
of Burlington, Kansas, but was finally compelled to retire on account
of ill health, at that time taking up his residence at Burlington,
where he died in 1900, aged sixty-three years. He was reared in the
faith of the Presbyterian Church, and in politics was always a stanch
republican from the time he cast his first presidential vote for
Abraham Lincoln. Mrs. McKinley, who was born at Findlay, Hancock
County, Ohio, still survives her husband and resides at Burlington,
Kansas, the mother of four sons and three daughters, all living.
George R. McKinley
was reared on the home farm, but an agricultural life did not appeal
to him, and while he was securing his education in the district
schools he applied himself assiduously to a study of telegraphy, with
the result that when still in his teens he secured employment as a
telegrapher with a railroad company. He was later made station agent
and then rose to be chief clerk in the trainmaster’s office of the
Southern Kansas Division of the Santa Fe. In 1905 he came to
Bartlesville, Oklahoma, as station agent, a capacity in which he
continued until 1907, when he entered the Bartlesville National Bank
as assistant cashier. Seven months later he was elected cashier of
this institution, and after the bank was sold to Phillips Brothers
he remained with the new owners until 1909, when he accented his
present position, that of cashier of , the Bartlesville State Bank.
Under his careful supervision, the affairs of the bank, which already
occupies an important position in the monetary circles of this part
of the state, are in a flourishing condition, and a steady and
constantly increasing business denotes the high favor in which it is
held by the people. Mr. McKinley is a stanch and uncompromising
republican. His fraternal connections include membership in the
Scottish and Shrine Masons, the Benevolent and Protective Order of
Elks and the Modern Woodmen of America.
In September, 1892,
Mr. McKinley was married to Miss Nannie A.
Chesnut, a native of Indiana, whose mother was a cousin of Stephen A.
Douglas. Two sons have been born to this union: George J., born May
28, 1893, assistant general superintendent Wichita Gas & Oil
Company; and William, born January 29, 1898, the birthdate of
President William McKinley, after whom he was named and from whom he
received three letters during the administration of that martyred
president. He is now a high school student, and on April 23, 1915, as
the representative of his school, lectured at Coffeyville, Kansas, on
“The Cost of the War,” in an oratorical contest between
the high schools of Washington County, Oklahoma, and Montgomery
County, Kansas, and on April 21, 1916, lectured at Dewey, Oklahoma.