Hon. Richard A. Billups.
For more than fifteen years Richard A.
Billups has been regarded as one of the most aggressive lawyers and
useful citizens of Oklahoma Territory and State. Mr. Billups’ home is
at Cordell, and from that district he went as a senator to the first
and second legislatures of the new state. He has been a factor in
politics for a number of years but now has practically retired from
the political arena and is giving his attention to a fine clientage
which he enjoys as a lawyer.
Of an old Southern
family, Richard Alphonzo Billups was born April 24, 1878, at
Jefferson in Carroll County, Mississippi. His
father was Dr. William Billups, who was born at Monroe, Georgia, in
1825, and was educated in the Medical University at Charleston, South
Carolina. In 1853 he moved out to Jefferson, Mississippi, and
continued the practice of his profession there until his death on
August 2, 1899. He was a kindly and capable physician, a man who made
friends wherever he was, and proved a valuable counselor and adviser
to all the aspiring young men of his acquaintance. He was prominent
in the Baptist Church. Dr. William Billups married Irene Kimbrough, a
woman of sweet and gentle disposition, who was born in Carroll
County, Mississippi. They were married in
1864. She died in 1895.
Richard A. Billups
during his youth in Mississippi enjoyed the advantages of a good home
and such opportunities as local schools afforded. He had an ambition
for a higher education and a professional career, but in order to
attain the object of his ambition he found it necessary to earn his
own way, and he actually paid his expenses while a student of law in
Cumberland University at Lebanon, Tennessee. He was graduated from
that old institution with the degree LL. B. in 1899.
Soon after leaving
Cumberland University he came out to Oklahoma Territory, and began
practicing in Washita County in 1899. He was soon marked for official
honor. He was elected to serve as Probate Judge of Washita County
from January, 1901, to November 16, 1907, giving up the office when
Oklahoma Territory was merged into Oklahoma State. In the meantime he
had been elected from the Sixth Oklahoma State Senatorial District as
Senator, and took his seat in the first Senate of the new State of
Oklahoma, serving during the first, second and the first special
sessions of the Legislature.
In 1902 Mr. Billups
was elected secretary of the Oklahoma Democratic State Committee and
in 1904 was elected a member of the Democratic National Committee for
Oklahoma Territory, being the youngest member ever elected to the
National Committee, and held that office four years. He has been a
delegate to every democratic convention in Oklahoma since 1899, and
attended the national conventions in 1900, 1904 and 1908, and was a
delegate to the Baltimore Convention of 1912, where he consistently
cast his ballot for Woodrow Wilson until the nomination was complete.
Mr. Billups is a
director of the Cordell National Bank and director and president of
the Beacon Publishing Company, and the owner of some of the best
farms in Washita County. He has a good home and sufficient business
interests to insure a competency. Fraternally he is affiliated with
the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias
and the Woodmen of the World. In church affairs he is a Baptist and
is superintendent of the Baptist Sunday School at the First Baptist
Church of Cordell.
At Duck Hill March
30, 1902, he married Beatrice Tyler, daughter of W. E. and Virginia
Tyler of Duck Hill. Mr. and Mrs. Billups have a fine family of grown
children: Richard Lee, aged twelve; Beatrice Virginia, aged eight;
Irene Louise, aged six; William Tyler, aged three; and Sarah
Kimbrough, who was born in 1915.