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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.