Thomas W. Champion. Since
1909 Judge Champion has been a representative and honored member of
the bar of Carter County, for in that year he here associated himself
in practice with his twin brother, Joseph B., who had preceded him to
Oklahoma by about six months. The firm of Champion & Champion
forthwith assumed a position of priority at the bar of the county and
the active alliance of the twin brothers continued until the election
of Thomas W. to the bench of the County Court, in the autumn of 1914,
since which time Joseph B. Champion has continued in active charge of
the substantial and important law business built up by the firm at
Ardmore, the judicial center of the county. He is made the subject of
individual mention on other pages of this publication.
Judge Thomas W.
Champion was born on the homestead farm of his parents in Livingston
County, Kentucky, and the date of his nativity was July 21, 1879. His
father, Joseph B. Champion, Sr., was born in that same county, in
1849, and there passed his entire life, his active career having been
marked by close and successful identification with the fundamental
industries of agriculture and stockgrowing, of which he was a
prominent representative in his section of the old Bluegrass State.
He was a man of strong mentality, well fortified convictions and
impregnable integrity of character. His political allegiance was
given without reservation to the democratic party, he was affiliated
with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and both he and his wife
were zealous and consistent members of the Baptist Church, on the
official board of which he served many years. He died at the old home
in Livingston County, Kentucky, in May, 1912. and his widow passed
the closing years of her life with her sons, at Ardmore, Oklahoma,
where she was summoned to eternal rest in 1909. Her maiden name was
Ella Nelson, and she likewise was born and reared in Kentucky, the
year of her nativity having been 1859. Of the three children the
first born were the twin brothers, Thomas W. and Joseph B., and the
younger brother. Robert, is a successful and popular teacher, being
established in the work of his profession at Wagon Mound, New Mexico,
at the time of this writing, in 1915.
schools of his native county afforded to Judge Champion his
preliminary educational advantages, and in 1896 he was graduated in
Hampton Academy, at Hampton, Kentucky. He devoted the ensuing two
years to teaching in the schools of Livingston County, and thereafter
pursued a course of study in the Kentucky Southern Normal School, at
Bowling Green, where he was a student in
this institution two years. In preparation for the profession of his
choice he entered the law department of Bowling Green University, in
which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1902 and from
which he received his degree of Bachelor of Laws. He was an active
member of the Justian Society, maintained by students in the law
department of the institution, and was active and popular in
connection with athletic affairs at the university.
After his admission
to the bar of his native state Judge Champion was signally favored in
that he was able to serve his professional novitiate in the office of
Hon. Ollie M. James, at Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky, Mr.
James having at that time been a representative of his district in
the House of Representatives of the National Legislature, and is now
a United States senator, and the twin brother of Judge Champion
likewise was associated in this initial stage of their law practice.
In 1904 the two brothers opened an independent law office at Marion,
where they continued to be associated in practice until 1908. In
September of that year Joseph B. came to the new State of Oklahoma
and established his residence at Ardmore, Carter County, where he was
joined by his twin coadjutor in the following February. The firm soon
built up a successful law business, extending into both the civil and
criminal departments of practice, and the effective alliance
continued unimpaired until Thomas W. Champion was elected judge of
the County Court, in November, 1914. On this bench Judge Champion is
giving a most able and satisfactory administration, and he holds high
vantage-ground as one of the representative lawyers and jurists of
Southern Oklahoma. He is aligned as a staunch supporter of the cause
of the democratic party and is essentially progressive and
public spirited in his civic attitude. At the primary election in
which he was nominated for the office of county judge he had four
opponents, and the popular estimate placed upon
him was distinctively manifested at this
time, for he received more votes than did the four other aspirants
combined, and carried every precinct in the county except one.
Judge Champion is
vice president of the Carter County Bar Association, and is
identified also with the Oklahoma State Bar Association and the
American Bar Association. He is affiliated with the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks and the Woodmen of the World. Judge Champion
is the owner of 500 acres of valuable farm land, in Carter and
Jefferson counties, and also owns improved residence property in
Ardmore, including his own attractive home, on G Street Southwest.
It may be noted that
Joseph Benjamin Champion, the grandfather of Judge Champion, was born
in Livingston County, Kentucky, in 1811, and there passed his entire
life as a farmer and stockgrower, his death having occurred in 1903,
after he had attained to the venerable age of ninety two years. His
father was a Kentucky pioneer from North Carolina, and the original
American progenitors of the Champion family came from France, in the
colonial era of our national history.
In November, 1904,
was solemnized the marriage of Judge Champion to Miss Daisy Towery,
daughter of Judge Aaron Towery, who formerly served on the bench of
the County Court of Crittenden County, Kentucky. Judge and Mrs.
Champion have one child, Charles, who was born on the 4th of October,
1905, and who is attending the public
schools of Ardmore.