Hon. Sam Houston Hargis. The Fifth Legislature contains a number of interesting men, both young and old, and among them is Sam Houston Hargis whose name at once suggests the great State of Texas, where he was born, who was a soldier of the Confederacy during the war between the states, and who for a number of years has been identified with Central Oklahoma as a farmer and salesman, his home being at Ada, and he is in the Legislature as a representative of Pontotoc County.
Capt. Sam Houston Hargis was born in the Republic of Texas near Melrose in Nacogdoches County, August 8, 1842, a son of Joseph and Susan (Post) Hargis. Through his mother he is descended from soldiers of the Revolutionary war. His father, a native of Arkansas, built the first cabin at Melrose in Eastern Texas, and for several years was employed as a blacksmith to Gen. Sam Houston, the hero of San Jacinto and the first president of the Republic of Texas. When Captain Hargis was born Houston requested that he be christened Sam Houston, in return for which the eminent Texan agreed to present his namesake, when he reached his majority, with a league of land.
Captain Hargis received a meager common school education according to the facilities and opportunities that then existed in Eastern Texas. At the age of nineteen he enlisted among the first volunteers for service in the Confederate army as a member of Company D of the Second Arkansas Mounted Riflemen under General McIntosh. He was wounded in the battle of Wilson Creek and again at the battle of Pea Ridge. Later his regiment was transterred east of the Mississippi to Tennessee and throughout the remainder of the war he was among the troops commanded successively by Generals Bragg, Johnston and Hood. He was wounded in two of the great battles, Murfreesboro and Chickamauga. He was with the Confederate army that so bitterly contested the advance of Sherman’s troops from Dalton to Atlanta, a distance of 138 miles, with sixty-four days of almost continuous and stubborn fighting. Captain Hargis was under General Johnston when he surrendered at Greensboro, North Carolina.
His father had died in 1859 before the beginning of the Civil war. When the war was over Captain Hargis set out for the home of his mother, then in Northwest Arkansas. After ascending White River to Jacksonport, the head of navigation at that time, he walked the remaining distance of 300 miles and found his mother’s estate practically in ruins. Together they returned to Texas and in 1870 settled in Cooke County, where Mr. Hargis began his career as a farmer. He thus lived for several years close to the southern border of Oklahoma, and finally transferred his home and his business interests to this state.
While in Cooke County, Texas, Captain Hargis married Nancy E. Price, who is a relative of Gen. Sterling Price of the Confederate army. Of the ten children born to them, eight are still living: Mrs. John Steward, the oldest, lives in Gainesville, Texas; Henry P. is a traveling salesman with residence at Lindsay, Oklahoma; C. Crockett, of Ada, was for four years registrar of deeds in Pontotoc County; Sam H., Jr., is a member of the police force at Ada; Robert Lee is an employee of the city government of Ada; Mrs. Jennie Wilkerson is a resident at Chickasha; Mrs. Dixie Thompson also lives at Chickasha; Mrs. Luke Jackson lives at Ringling, Oklahoma.
The first experience of Captain Hargis in political affairs was in the office of county weigher of Cooke County, Texas, filling that place four years. In 1886-87 he was a member of the Texas Legislature, during the administration of Governor Ross. At that time Temple Houston, a son of the first president of the Republic of Texas, was in the Senate. It was that Legislature which received the completed capitol building of Texas, which had been begun in 1882. While a member of the Texas Legislature Captain Hargis was author of a law that established the first youths’ reformatory in that state.
In 1914 Captain Hargis was elected member of the Oklahoma Legislature, and in the fifth session served on committees on agriculture, penal institutions and other subjects. He has advocated retrenchment in public expenditures, and among other constructive measures which has received his support he was author of a bill granting pensions to indigent soldiers and sailors of the Confederate army and their widows. Captain Hargis is a member of the Farmers Union, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and of W. L. Byrd Camp No. 1545 United, Confederate Veterans, at Ada, of which he is commander. He is also commander of the Chickasaw Brigade, a district organization of the United Confederate Veterans of Oklahoma. In the Masonic Order he has taken the master’s degrees.