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Lewis A. Salter, lawyer and one of the owners of the Headlight, in Carmen. Oklahoma, has been identified with this region since 1893. when he played an active part in the opening of the Cherokee Strip. He was one who made the race for land, and he located on a tract half a mile south of the Town of Alva. where he lived for seven years, and then removed to Augusta and established the Headlight. A year later he moved the plant to Carmen, and here he has since continued. Mr. Salter was born January 7, 1858, on a farm in Calhoun County, M’chin*n. and he is the son of Melville J. and Sarah E. (Hinklel) Salter.
Melville J. Salter was born in 1838 in old New York State, and he came to Michigan with his parents in early life. His father was David N. Salter, all his life a farmer, and Melville Salter was reared to the same industry. He attended the public schools, though they offered little in the way of educational training beyond the limited knowledge of the “Three R’s,” and when he was still in his teens he left home and in 1852 made a trip with a party by wagon to the gold fields of California. He remained there a few years, experiencing only indifferent success as a prospector, and then returned to Michigan, making the long trip via the Isthmus of Panama. Until 1871 Melville Salter remained in Michigan. His years in the West had wrought in him a kind of discontent of his early home, and he went to Kansas, then undeveloped to any extent, and bought land in Neosho County. He was active in the development of Southeastern Kansas, and was for a number of years president of the Settlers’ Protective Association. Mr. Salter was a republican, and in 1874 he was elected to the office of lieutenant-governor of Kansas, his reelection following in 1876. The year 1877 brought his resignation, for he had been appointed registrar of the United States Land Office at Independence, Kansas, which post he accepted and filled most creditably until 1884, when he resigned following a change in national politics at Washington. Returning to his Kansas home he went into the merchandise business and for some years was successfully occupied. He died at Pawnee, Kansas, in 1896, when he was only fifty-eight years old. He had been a valuable citizen of his adopted commonwealth from the first, and was a lifelong member of the Baptist Church.
Melville Salter was married in Marshall, Michigan, in 1857, to Sarah E. Hinkle, the daughter of Jeremiah and Rebecca (Allison) Hinkle. Mrs. Salter was born in Pennsylvania on January 8, 1834, and she died at Carmen, Oklahoma, at the home of her son, on May 5, 1909. Like her husband, she had long been a member of the Baptist Church. They were the parents of three children, all living at this writing. Lewis A., of this review, was the first born. Albert Lincoln, the second son, was born on November 7, 1860. He married Emma Davis in 1881, and they have seven children,–Ralph, Edna, Gertrude, Albert, Raymond, Chester and Emma Louise. The second child, Edna, died young. William Salter, the third son, was born in 1865. He married Cora Snyder in 1885 and they have one child,–Florence.
Lewis A. Salter went from Michigan to Kansas with his parents in 1871. He was educated mainly in the Kansas schools and the Kansas State Agricultural College in Manhattan, finishing there in the class of 1879. In 1882 he opened a hardware and agricultural implement store in Argonia, Kansas, where he remained until 1893, studying law in spare hours. In 1887 he was admitted to practice at Wellington, Kansas, and in 1893 he went to Oklahoma, in time for the opening of the Cherokee Strip in that autumn. In 1900 he established the Headlight in Augusta, but that town proved a failure, and Mr. Salter moved the plant bodily to Carmen, which gave splendid promise for the future. He is still one of the owners of the paper, but he devotes himself mainly to the practice of law.
Mr. Salter has been a republican all his life, and the Headlight under his management is a strong and influential voice of the party, as well as being the pioneer paper of Alfalfa County. He was a justice of the peace for two years in Carmen and at present is filling the office of city attorney in a creditable manner.
Mr. Salter is a veteran of the Spanish-American war. He enlisted on July 20, 1898, at Kingfisher, Oklahoma, and was mustered out on February 20, 1899, at Albany, Georgia. He went in as a private in Company M, First Territorial Regiment, recruited from Oklahoma Territory, Indian Territory, Arizona and New Mexico. He was appointed quartermaster’s sergeant on the organization of the company and served in that post until the end of the war.
On September 1, 1880, Mr. Salter was married at Silver Lake, Kansas, to Miss Susan M. Kinsey, daughter of Oliver and Teresa Ann (White) Kinsey. Mrs. Salter was born March 4, 1860, in Ohio, and was educated in the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan. It was there she met her husband. Mrs. Salter is a woman of culture and brains. She was elected mayor of Argonia, Kansas, in 1887, being the first woman ever elected to the office of mayor in the United States. She has always been active in social and club circles, and is a leader in Carmen.
To Mr. and Mrs. Salter have been born seven sons and two daughters, of whom brief mention is made as follows: Clarence E., the eldest, was born June 3, 1881.
Frank Argonia, born February 13, 1883, was the first child born in Argonia, Kansas. He is editor and manager of the Headlight. He married Edythe Kelley in 1911 and they have one child, Winifred.
Winfred A. was born on November 20, 1885. He is a linotype operator in Oklahoma City.
Melva O., born March 20, 1887, was married in 1913 to William C. Harris, and now lives in Detroit, Michigan. They have one child–Madora Harris.
Bertha Elizabeth, born in March, 1889, was educated at the Oklahoma State University and the Kansas State Agricultural College.
Lewis S., born on March 20, 1891, is a teacher of music in the University of Oklahoma at Norman.
Leslie E. was born on May 10, 1895.
William E. is the youngest. He was born on May 10, 1897. The fourth born, a son, died in infancy.