J. E. Thrift


J. E. Thrift. Few lawyers at the Creek County Bar are generally acknowledged to have a more sound and ready judgment in broad and intricate matters of civil jurisprudence than J. E. Thrift, who since 1909 has been engaged in practice at Sapulpa and since 1912 has been the representative of the great Jones oil interests here. Mr. Thrift’s mastery of the law is remarkable alike for its accuracy and comprehensiveness, and in its application he is forceful, concise and logical, which accounts for the high and substantial position he occupies in public opinion, as well as for the professional standing that has elevated him to the presidency of the Creek County Bar Association.
J. E. Thrift was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, January 26, 1872, and is a son of J. E. and Sally (Bowcock) Thrift. His parents were natives of Virginia, members of old families of that state, the father being of Scotch-English and the mother of Scotch-Irish stock, and members of both families took part in the Revolutionary war as soldiers of the Continental line. At the outbreak of the war between the states, the father, then a lad of sixteen years, joined a Virginia volunteer cavalry regiment, and fought throughout the entire period of the war. seeing much hard service, participating in numerous hard-fought battles and being wounded three times. When the war had ended he returned to his home in the Old Dominion and there continued to be engaged in agricultural pursuits for the remainder of his life, the mother also dying there. They were the parents of four sons and two daughters.
J. E. Thrift received his early education in the public schools and remained at home until he was sixteen years of age, at which time his independence asserted itself and he began to shift for himself. After following various occupations, at the age of nineteen years he applied himself to the study of telegraphy, an occupation which received his attention until he was twenty-six. In the meantime he had become interested in law, and after some preparation entered Washington and Lee University, from which old and distinguished institution he was graduated in 1897 with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. He at once engaged in practice in Madison County, Virginia, where he secured recognition in a short time, and was elected prosecuting attorney, the duties of which office he discharged for ten years. He also served one term in the West Virginia Legislature. In January, 1909, Mr. Thrift sought the comparatively new regions of the West, taking up his residence at Sapulpa, where he has since continued in a constantly growing practice. He became assistant county attorney under L. B. Jackson, the first county attorney under statehood, and served for eighteen months in that office, his labors therein attracting favorable attention to him. In 1912 he was given the position of attorney for the interests of B. B. Jones & Brother, generally accounted to be the largest individual oil owners in the world. Mr. Thrift is known as an attorney of broad legal information, engaged in the successful handling of involved and important litigation; a man of scholarly tastes and thoughtful disposition, and a logical and forceful speaker. Among his professional brethren he is held in the highest esteem, a fact emphasized by his election, in 1914, to the presidency of the Creek County Bar Association. Politically he is a democrat. His fraternal connection is with the Masons, while his religious belief is that of the Presbyterian Church, which he attends with the members of his family.
Mr. Thrift was married in 1898 to Miss Carrie M. Bell, a native of Virginia, and daughter of John W. Bell. To this union there have been born five children: James E., Jr., Izzie B., John Marshall, Constant A. and Mildred B.