Percy Cornelius comes of a family that was established in the Carolinas in Colonial days. His people were of Scotch and Irish ancestry, and pioneered to Kentucky in an early day. He was born in Russelville, Logan County, Kentucky, on April 4, 1878, and is a son of H. F. and Kate (Morrow) Cornelius.
H. F. Cornelius was born in Logan County, Kentucky, in 1845, and all his life was passed within the borders of that state with the exception of two years which he spent in New Mexico in early manhood. He was a farmer and stock raiser all his life, and was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, serving on its official board through many years. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias but had no other fraternal affiliations. His wife was born in Logan County, Kentucky, in 1855, and their two children are Percy of this review and Cecile, who married James W. Rice of Adairsville, Kentucky, where he conducts a coal and feed business.
Percy Cornelius attended the public schools in Russelville, Kentucky, and he. later entered the Vanderbilt Training School at Elton, Kentucky, which was followed by a course of training in the Cherry Brothers Business and Normal College at Bowling Green, Kentucky. He was graduated from the commercial department of that institution in 1899, and in 1900 he came to Mangum and engaged in the bakery and confectionery business. He was fairly successful in this enterprise, and when the Cherokee Strip was opened he went to Lawton and invested in a number of business lots at that place. Returning a little later to Mangum he was engaged by J. C. Gilliland & Company, and he kept books for them for two years. He was next connected with the Rock Island Railroad in their offices for a year, and then spent a year with the Mangum Wholesale Grocery Company. In 1905 he entered the City National Bank, now the City State Bank, as assistant cashier, and one year later he was promoted to the cashiership, which position he still holds.
The bank was first organized as a loan company, and in 1901 or thereabouts it became the Farmers State Bank. In 1903 it was nationalized and in 1907 it became the City State Bank. T. S. DeArman is president of the bank, with J. D. Carruthers vice president, Mr. Cornelius cashier, and W. C. Terry assistant cashier. The capital stock of the bank is $25,000, with a surplus of $10,000. Its building is situated on Oklahoma Avenue, corner of Commerce Alley.
Mr. Cornelius has served as city treasurer of Mangum, and he is a member of the Christian Church. He is a member of Mangum Lodge No. 61, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Chapter 35, Royal Arch Masons, and Lodge 38 of the Knights of Pythias, of which he is past chancellor. He is a member of Lodge No. 1169, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of Mangum, Mangum Camp No. 110 Woodmen of the World, Mangum Lodge of the Modern Woodmen of America, and of the Fraternal Union. He was at one time a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He has membership in the Oklahoma State and American Bankers Association.
In 1903 Mr. Cornelins was married in Mangum to Miss Nora G. Campbell, daughter of James W. Campbell, a tinner and hardware merchant of Mangum, now deceased. Two children have been born to them,–Kathleen and Frances Eugenia, both attending school.