Robert N. Linville
Robert N. Linville. Elk City, the thriving metropolis and commercial center of Beckham County, has not failed to draw to itself a due complement of able and successful representatives of the legal profession, and prominent among the number is Mr. Linville, who has here been engaged in active general practice since the autumn of 1911, and who has made a most admirable record in both the civil and criminal departments of practice. He has appeared in connection with much of the important litigation in the courts of Beckham County and has won forensic victories that fully attest his broad and accurate knowledge of the science of jurisprudence and his close and effective application to his chosen vocation, prior to entering which ho had achieved marked success in the pedagogic profession. As one of the leading members of the bar of this section of Oklahoma and as one of the broad-gauged and progressive citizens of Beckham County, he is entitled to special recognition in this publication.
Robert Neely Linville claims the old Keystone state as the place of his nativity and is a scion of a family that was founded in that historic commonwealth in the early colonial era, his paternal ancestors having been members of the colony that was organized in England by William Penn and that came to represent the first definite settlement in Pennsylvania. On his father’s farm, near the little hamlet of Georgetown, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Mr. Linville was born, December 7, 1869, a son of Benjamin J. and Rachel Rebecca (Graham) Linville, both natives of Chester County, that state, where the former was born on the 24th of May, 1833, and the latter in the year 1831. After his marriage Benjamin J. Linville removed to the farm near Georgetown, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where he remained until 1870, when he emigrated to Westmoreland County, Kansas, but in the following year he removed with his family to Illinois, and settled in Mason County, where he continued to be engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1887, when he established his residence on a farm in Adair County, Missouri. There he continued his activities as a farmer and stock-grower for about a decade, his wife having been summoned to the life eternal in the year 1897, soon after which deep bereavement he removed to the City of Des Moines, Iowa, where he continued to reside until April, 1915, since which time ho has been living in the home of his son, Robert N., of this review, he having attained to the age of more than eighty years, and finding the gracious evening of his life compassed by filial solicitude and tho well earned repose that should rightly crown the former years of his earnest toil and endeavor. Of the children the eldest is Highram F., who is a successful contractor and builder at Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and who is concerned also with the oil industry in that section of the state; Mary is the wife of David Berrier, a prominent contractor in tho City of Dos Moines, Iowa; Benjamin J., Jr., is a progressive farmer in Mahaska County, Iowa; Isaac G. is engaged in the hardware business at Maroa, Macon County, Illinois; Rosa, who died in 1909, was the wife of John Brown, an architect residing in Vinton, Iowa; Robert N., of this sketch, was the next in order of birth and is the youngest of the children.
He whose name initiates this article was reared to the sturdy discipline of the farm and acquired his early education in the public schools of Mason and Logan counties, Illinois, where the family home was established in the second year following that of his birth. He continued to be associated with the work and management of his father’s farm after the removal to Missouri until January, 1892, when he entered the North Missouri State Normal School, at Kirksville, in which institution, after intervals devoted to teaching, he was graduated in the spring of 1898, with the degree of Bachelor of Scientific Didactics. During the school years 1895-6 and 1896-7 he had held the position of superintendent of the public schools at Sumner, Missouri, and in 1898-9, after his graduation, he was superintendent of schools at Fairfax, that state. In 18991900 he devoted the school year to the pursuing of higher academic studies in the Christian University at Canton, Missouri, and during the summer and autumn of 1900 he did effective post-graduate work in Drake University, at Des Moines, Iowa, where he later continued his studies until his graduation, in June, 1902, in its College of Liberal Arts, from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He was soon afterward elected to the chair of political science in the Southwestern State Normal University at Weatherford, Oklahoma Territory, and he continued the able and popular incumbent of this position until July, 1908, in the meanwhile having become one of the prominent and influential figures in the educational circles of the territory, which was admitted to statehood while he was still a member of the faculty of the institution mentioned. In the spring of 1905 Mr. Linville received from his alma mater, the Missouri State Normal School at Kirksville, the honorary degree of Master of Pedagogy, and later he received from Drake University the degree of Master of Arts.
Having determined to prepare himself for the legal profession, Mr. Linville had, with characteristic zeal and energy, prosecuted the study of law while engaged in teaching and attending school, and in the winter of 1908-9 he rounded out his technical discipline by attending the law department of the University of Kansas, with the result that, in the spring of 1910, he proved himself eligible for and was admitted to the bar of the State of Oklahoma. Thereafter he was associated with Thomas W. Jones, Jr., in the practice of law at Weatherford, until October 1, 1911, when he established his residence at Elk City. Here he has built up and controls a substantial and important law business, the scope and character of which virtually cause his practice to engross his entire time and attention, the while his success has been in consonance with his assiduous application and recognized ability as a lawyer of high scholastic and professional attainments, his well appointed offices being in the State Exchange Bank Building. Having achieved appreciable financial success entirely through his own efforts, Mr. Linville has made judicious real estate investments. Besides his residence in Elk City he owns other property, real and personal, in Western Oklahoma, New Mexico and Montana.
In politics Mr. Linville maintains an independent attitude, with well fortified convictions touching matters of economic and governmental polity. Ho and his wife hold membership in the Christian Church in their home city, and here his Masonic affiliations are with Elk City Lodge No. 182, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Elk City Chapter No. 50, Royal Arch Masons, and Elk City Commandery No. 15, Knights Templar. While a resident of Weatherford he likewise was active and influential in Masonic affairs, as indicated by the fact that he is a past master of the lodge and a past high priest of the chapter at that place.
At Sumner, Missouri, on the 16th of August, 1899, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Linville to Miss Muriel Brown, whose father, A. B. Brown, is now one of the representative farmers of Beckham County, Oklahoma, where he and his wife maintain their home at Elk City. Mr. and Mrs. Linville have one child, Robert Neely, Jr., who was born June 7, 1910.