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Presley H. Gallion. When the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservations were opened in Oklahoma in 1892, Presley H. Gallion came to this section of the country, and since that time he has been identified more or less conspicuously with the growth and development of the district. His career has been a widely varied one, and has led him into many fields of occupation, in as many different states in the Union. When he came to the Indian Territory, however, he found a country that made an appeal to him that he was unable to withstand. He was appointed postmaster at Arapaho in 1912, and is still occupying that position.
Presley H. Gallion is of German and English ancestry, though his family has been identified with American life since Colonial days, when the first of the name settled in Virginia. He was born in Middletown, Henry County, Indiana, on July 12, 1847, and is the son of Thomas N. and Ellen (Smith) Gallion. The father was born in Ohio in 1820, and died in Wayne County, Indiana, in 1858. The mother, born in Ohio in 1823, died in Howard County, Indiana, in 1912.
Thomas N. Gallion moved from his native habitat into Wayne County, Indiana, in young manhood, and was there married, after which he located in Howard County. That move took place in 1848, and soon after he returned to Wayne County. He went to Minnesota in 1856, but trouble with Indian outbreaks caused him to return to Wayne County, where he died. He was a blacksmith, and was a member of the United Brethren Church and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He was a man of excellent habits of life, and he stood well in those communities where he made his home.
Presley H. Gallion attended the schools in Howard County, Indiana, in his boyhood, and it will be recalled that in the ’50s and ’60s the educational advantages to be had in the country schools were not as valuable as those found in similar communities today. At the early age of thirteen he went to work for himself, and he was employed on farms in that vicinity as a helper, receiving a small monthly wage. He continued in that work until he was almost sixteen years of age, and in the summer of 1863 he enlisted in the One Hundred and Eighteenth Indiana Regiment of Volunteer Infantry. He was then barely sixteen years of age, and he served for a year, being mustered out on March 4, 1864. He took part in several important engagements during that time.
In 1864 the boy went to Hagerstown, Indiana, and there applied himself to the task of learning the trade of a stonemason. He was occupied in that work until 1869, when he went to Clinton, Missouri, and there ran a coal mine for one winter, after which he resumed his trade as a stone mason and worked at it for the balance of the year. In the spring of 1870 Mr. Gallion went to Lawrence, Kansas, and until 1872 he was employed at his trade in the summer months, and in the winter seasons he taught school. In 1873 he went to what is now known as Elk County, in Kansas, and there he took up a preemption claim, on which he lived until 1889. He then went to Moline, Kansas, and ran a general store for a year, after which he changed his line to hardware and continued in business.
In April, 1892, Mr. Gallion came to Oklahoma, the opening of the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservations attracting him to the new place. He secured a claim of 160 acres eight miles distant from Arapaho, and he still owns that property. He lived on it until 1902, when he moved into Arapaho and took up his residence in town, securing employment in a tin shop, where he worked until 1904. He then returned to his farm, and for three years gave his undivided attention to that well established enterprise. In 1907 he was offered a position in the Arapaho post office, which he accepted, and in 1912 he was appointed postmaster under President Taft. He has continued in that office down to the present time, his appointment having been confirmed under the democratic administration that followed. Mr. Gallion himself is republican in his politics, and has always been prominent in local politics wherever he has lived. He has been the friend of the public school system all his life, and has served many years as a member of school boards in his various communities. he is a member of the G. A. R., Custer City Post, and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 42 of Arapaho. He is past noble grand of the local order, and belongs to the canton and encampment as well.
On January 1, 1871, Mr. Gallion was married near Lawrence, Kansas, to Miss Anna Bailey, daughter of John A. Bailey, now deceased. He was a prominent farm owner and oil operator. Nine children have been born to the Gallions. Fred B. is a resident of Artesia, New Mexico, and is a farmer there. Fannie M. married J. C. Brower, and they live in Wichita, Kansas, where Mr. Brower is engaged in church work. Henry is a prominent rancher in California. Tom and John, twin brothers, are farmers at Fallon, Nevada. Roslyn is a teacher, and lives with her parents. Presley H. Jr. lives in California, and Robert I. is with him. Paul, a recent graduate of the Arapaho high school, is now at home with his parents.