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Jay R. Hannah. For the past decade Oklahoma has offered a specially inviting field in which to initiate professional or business activities on the part of young men of ability and the vital spirit of ambition. The product of the state’s university and other educational institutions of higher learning has scattered itself in the most favored communities and accounted well for itself. Probably no other state in the Union of comparable population has so great a percentage of vigorous and successful young men engaged in professional work. In nearly every town of importance in every county of the state may be found one or more young men who are laying the foundation for professional prestige of high order and who exemplify fully the progressive spirit of the vital young commonwealth with which they have cast in their lot. The field has naturally been inviting also to young men from other states, especially Texas and Kansas, and the universities of those states have made what may be termed far more than normal contribution to the citizenship of Oklahoma. Among the young men who have come here from the University of Kansas is Jay R. Hannah, who has been engaged in the practice of law in this state since 1912 and who is now the junior member of the representative law firm of Elting & Hannah, of Durant, the judicial center of Bryan County, where it controls a substantial general practice that is constantly expanding in scope and importance. By his classmates and by the legal fraternity in Kansas he will be recalled as editor, in 1911-12, of the Kansas Lawyer, published at Lawrence, the seat of the University of Kansas, and constituting the official organ of the legal fraternity of that state. In 1912 Mr. Hannah completed in the law department of the University of Kansas the course which leads to the degree of Bachelor of Laws, and a few months after his graduation he returned to Oklahoma, where his parents had established their home in 1900, and engaged in the practice of his profession at Tonkawa, Kay County, where he remained until the spring of 1913, when he established his residence at Durant, where he has since continued in practice and where he has made a record that places him among the leading lawyers of the younger generation in this section of the state. He acquired his early education in the public schools of the City of St. Joseph, Missouri, and after the removal of the family to Oklahoma he here completed, in 1908, a course in the university preparatory school at Tonkawa, after which he entered the law department of the University of Kansas, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1912, as previously noted. Mr. Hannah is a member of the Bryan County Bar Association and the Oklahoma State Bar Association, the Phi Delta Phi college fraternity claiming him as one of its valued and appreciative fraters. He is actively identified with the Durant Commercial Club and is affiliated with the local organizations of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Woodmen of the World, besides which he holds membership in the Kansas University Club, his political allegiance being given to the democratic party.
Jay R. Hannah was born at Newton, the judicial center of Jasper County, Iowa, in the year 1889, and is a son of Dr. Joseph Warren Hannah and Nora Edith (Holmes) Hannah. Doctor Hannah was born in Ohio, a representative of one of the honored pioneer families of that state, and after his graduation in the Northwestern Medical College at St. Joseph, Missouri, he was engaged in the practice of his profession in Iowa for a number of years. In 1900 he came to Kay County, Oklahoma, where he continued his professional labors until his removal to Durant, Bryan County, where he built up an excellent practice. He and his wife now maintain their home in the State of Missouri. His father was one of the pioneer members of the bar of the State of Iowa, there continuing in practice many years and for a time serving on the bench of the County Court.
In 1913, at Tonkawa, Oklahoma, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Hannah to Miss Mayme Goodman, daughter of Dr. Sanford T. Goodman, a pioneer physician and surgeon of Kay County. Mrs. Hannah was graduated in the University of Oklahoma, and later did effective post-graduate work in Leland Stanford University, in California; the great University of Chicago, and Cornell University, at Ithaca, New York, besides which she took a course in the Patton School of Expression, in the City of Chicago. Mrs. Hannah prepared herself for professional work and for two years was teacher of expression at the University Preparatory School at Tonkawa, Oklahoma. While in Chicago she had for a time the active charge of the Junior Dramatic League of America. Since her marriage she has to a certain extent continued her professional work and her gracious personality and high attainments make her a popular favorite in social circles, the while her distinctive talent as a dramatic reader causes her interposition to be much sought in connection with public entertainments of varied orders. Mr. and Mrs. Hannah have a daughter, Mary Bess, who was born in the year 1914.