Thomas Fleming Southgate. Twenty-three years is a long time in Oklahoma, and spans almost the entire period of development and improvement. That is the length of residence of Thomas F. Southgate of Wanette. Mr. Southgate was first a pioneer homesteader in the vicinity of Shawnee, but for the past ten years has lived at Wanette, where he has been closely identified in business and civic affairs with the growth of that community. His interests are now varied and include the ownership of a large amount of land, a position as cashier in the First National Bank of Wanette, and several official relations with the town and community.
A Kentuckian by birth Mr. Southgate was born at Walton, in Boone County, January 25, 1866. He comes of an old American colonial family, the Southgates having emigrated from England to Virginia before the Revolutionary war. Richard Southgate, the first of the name in this country, became a planter in Virginia, and spent his life there. Mr. Southgate’s father was Dr. B. W. Southgate, who was born in Virginia in 1830 and died at Walton, Kentucky, in 1872. Growing up in Virginia, he subsequently moved to Ohio, where he married, and then for a long period of years practiced his profession as a physician and surgeon at Walton,
Kentucky. He was a member and elder of the Presbyterian Church. Doctor Southgate married Eleanor Fleming, who was born in Ohio in 1837 and died at Walton, Kentucky, in 1873. A brief record of their children is as follows: Miss Louise, who is now a well established medical practitioner in Cincinnati, Ohio; George M., a farmer at Shawnee, Oklahoma; Eleanor, wife of R. C. Green, cashier in the Walton Deposit Bank at Walton, Kentucky; Virginia, who is principal of one of the grade schools at Cincinnati, Ohio, and lives in Covington, Kentucky; Thomas F.; and Bernard, whose home is in Covington, Kentucky, but who is employed as a chief inspector of lighthouses by the United States Government.
Thomas Fleming Southgate as a boy attended the public schools in Walton, Kentucky, graduated from high school with the class of 1884. He then crossed the Ohio River, spent two years as a bookkeeper in Cincinnati, was employed in a mercantile establishment at Canton, Ohio, four years, and after one year of residence in Kansas arrived at Shawnee, Oklahoma, in 1892, when that town was still in its pioneer days and stages. His first venture here was to settle on a claim of 160 acres five miles east of Shawnee. He proved up that claim, made it a farm and still owns it. Since then his interests in Oklahoma farm property have been constantly growing, and he is now proprietor of 560 acres, all located close around his original quarter section.
From farming Mr. Southgate turned his attention to banking, and in 1902 became assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Tecumseh. His home was in Tecumseh until 1905, when he moved to Wanette and took the post of assistant cashier in the First National Bank. He was made cashier in 1909, and now has practically the entire executive management of this substantial institution.
The First National Bank of Wanette was established February 6, 1903. It has a capital stock of $25,000, surplus of $5,000, and is housed in a substantial building at the corner of Main Street and Clardy Avenue. The present officers are: J. M. Ayedelotte, of Oklahoma City, president; S. C. Vinson, of Shawnee, vice president; Mr. Southgate, cashier; and C. E. Cotton, assistant cashier.
Mr. Southgate is president of the Pat Murphy Oil & Gas Co. of Wanette, Oklahoma, and is a stockholder in the Wanette Development Company. He has been one of the movers in and closely associated with all town improvements at Wanette for the past ten years. He is now treasurer of the Wanette School Board and has served as town treasurer. In politics he is a democrat and is chairman of the Democratic County Central Committee of Pottawatomie County, a position which gives him an influential place in county politics. Fraternally he has been chiefly interested in Masonic work, and is a member and worshipful master of Wanette Lodge No. 171, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons; a member of Norman Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; of Oklahoma City Commandery of the Knights Templar; of India Temple of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine at Oklahoma City; and is worthy patron of the Wanette Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star. He is an active supporter of all religious and moral movements in his home community, and is a deacon in the Baptist Church and superintendent of its Sunday-school.
At Tecumseh, in 1902, Mr. Southgate married Miss Hattie Durham. Her father, the late W. M. Durham, was well known in Pottawatomie County, and at one time filled the office of county treasurer. To their marriage have been born three children: William M. died in infancy; Thomas F., born January 25, 1906, and George M., born September 19, 1908, are both attending the Wanette public schools.