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J. W. Master is the pioneer clothing merchant of Bartlesville. He had the first store of that kind in Bartlesville when it was a village of only 500 population. As a merchant he has prospered on the solid foundation of fair and square dealing, and has done his share toward the development of one of the leading cities of Northern Oklahoma. Mr. Master has spent the greater part of his life either in or close to the border of Oklahoma.
J. W. Master was born in Monroe County, Ohio, August 21, 1871, a son of H. C. and Sarah J. (Parks) Master. His parents were also natives of Monroe County, Ohio, and lived there until 1886. They then removed to Arkansas City, Kansas, and H. C. Master took part in the opening of the Cherokee Strip in 1893, and was the first man to hold the office of sheriff in Kay County. In 1894 he returned to Arkansas City, and in 1913 removed to Ramona, in Washington County, Oklahoma, where he and his wife now live retired. Practically all his life has been spent as a general merchant, and he has also dealt in real estate. Ho is a republican in politics, and has frequently been honored with positions of trust and responsibility. There were seven children in the family, three sons and four daughters, one of the latter being deceased.
J. W. Master learned the merchandise business with his father while getting an education in the public schools. From 1893 to 1903 he was with Newman Dry Goods Company of Arkansas City, and in the latter year, with a thorough experience and with more enterprise than capital, came to Bartlesville and established the first mercantile store handling men’s clothing. He opened his stock of goods on Second Street, which was then the only thoroughfare in the village of 500 people. Subsequently he removed to Johnston Avenue, and now has the finest store of its kind in Washington County, located at 301-303 Johnston Avenue. He employs from seven to ten clerks and has a splendid volume of trade. He also owns a store at Ramona, in Washington County, with a stock of both men’s clothing and dry goods, and this is conducted by his brother, W. H. Master, as manager. Formerly he owned a three-quarter interest in a store at Okmulgee, but sold that.
In August, 1895, Mr. Master married Miss Ada Nelson of Emporia, Kansas.