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Ollie Sweet Wilson. Oklahoma is essentially a labor state, has for years been known as the home of the industrious middle class, and in its general social composition and in the tendencies and practice of its laws and government shows many manifestations of the progressive policy which is seeking a fairer distribution of the burdens between capital and labor. Oklahoma labor is fortunate in having for one of its chief official representatives such a man as Ollie S. Wilson, who for the past four years has been secretary and treasurer of the Oklahoma State Federation of Labor. Mr. Wilson justifies his membership in the ranks of laborers by a long experience as a printer and he still carries a printer’s card. He is a man of intelligence, has firm convictions of justice and seeks every opportunity to advance the interests of his party, and yet could not be defined as a class man or a partisan in any sense of the term except a good one. Mr. Wilson was for a number of years a newspaper man at Pauls Valley, afterwards was connected with the Metropolitan Press in Oklahoma City, and as the official of the Federation of Labor has his offices in the Patterson Building at the capital city.
Ollie S. Wilson was born in Utica, Missouri, September 19, 1876, a son of Madison G. and Cynthia A. (Hart) Wilson, the former a native of Tennessee and the latter of Ohio. His father was a Union soldier during the Civil war and spent the last year with the Forty-fourth Missouri Infantry. When Ollie was seven years of age his parents moved to Vernon County, Missouri, where he attended common schools until the age of seventeen. Then followed an apprenticeship in a printing office, and he worked in varying capacities and in different localities as a printer up to 1899.
When Mr. Wilson located at Pauls Valley, Indian Territory, in 1899, he established the Chickasaw Enterprise, of which he became editor. Subsequently he founded the Pauls Valley Pantagraph, and was its editor until 1904, when he sold out his holdings at Pauls Valley and moved to Oklahoma City. For six or seven years he did newspaper work in the metropolis on the staff of the Oklahoma Daily Post and the Daily Oklahoman.
In 1910 Mr. Wilson was elected secretary-treasurer of the Oklahoma City Typographical Union and during the following year gave all his time to the duties of that position. This honor at the hands of union labor was followed in 1911 by his election as secretary-treasurer of the Oklahoma State Federation, and he has been retained in that position to the present time. For the two years that he served as secretary-treasurer of the Typographical Union he was also editor of the Labor Unit. Mr. Wilson has a vigorous pen as a newspaper and editorial writer, has the courage to express his views, and under his management the Labor Unit attained its high point in general distinction and editorial character.
His record as secretary-treasurer of the Oklahoma State Federation of Labor has been one of uninterrupted confidence in the minds of those he has so faithfully served, and every labor man in the state that knows of him or his work is his friend. He has been an ardent and effective advocate of the policy of drafting into state laws such measures that would tend to the establishment of equal justice to all toilers. As a member of the Federation Legislative Committee he is untiring during a session of the Legislature in his endeavors to write into the laws of the state provisions that will safeguard the laborer no matter in what position he may work. Conspicuous among the qualifications of Mr. Wilson for the place he holds is the fact that he secures the confidence and respect of every honest law maker or anyone else with whom he becomes acquainted, and is always given a respectful hearing when he has suggestions or requests to offer.
At Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, June 2, 1901, Mr. Wilson married Miss Loura Stark, daughter of Silas and Hell (West) Stark, the father a native of Missouri and the latter of Iowa. Mrs. Wilson’s father was a Confederate soldier. They have one daughter, Edith, born July 23, 1902.