W. H. Henke.
Of the young men who have shown ability
in handling the larger responsibilities of financial institutions in
Oklahoma, special mention should be made of W. H. Henke, cashier of
the Erick State Bank, who has been identified with banking in Western
Oklahoma for the past twelve years. His many friends say that he has
some unusual talents as a financier, and his good judgment is as much
considered as his thorough integrity is considered above question.
Born at Westphalia,
Osage County, Missouri, October 23, 1881, William H. Henke is a son
of Henry H. and Mary (Radnacher) Henke. His father was born near
Osnabruck, Prussia, in 1848 and the mother at Van Buren, Missouri, in
1853. While living in Germany the father served the regular time in
the Prussian army, also learned the trade of merchant tailor, and was
well prepared to make a living for himself and family when he came to
America in 1869. He located at Westphalia, Missouri, and is still
living in that village, being now retired from active affairs. He and
his wife are the parents of five children: Joseph J., a physician of
Hydro; William H.; Charles, a mechanic still living at Westphalia,
Missouri; Annie, wife of Henry Eicholz of St. Louis, Missouri; and
Regina, wife of Andrew Fennewald, a dry goods merchant at Westphalia.
It was in Westphalia
that W. H. Henke spent his youth and early boyhood. He attended the
public schools, graduated from high school at the age of sixteen, and
very soon afterwards qualified and began to teach school in Osage
County. He remained at that work three years, and the patrons and
pupils would have been glad enough to have retained his services in a
position where he was giving so much satisfaction. However, his
tendency was towards business, and in 1903 he moved to Hydro,
Oklahoma, and organized the bank of Hydro. He remained as cashier in
active charge for five years. On September 1, 1909, he transferred
his services to Erick and became cashier of the Erick State Bank.
The Erick State Bank
was established in 1901 by Mr. Jones as a state institution and at
the present time the officers are: L. B. Meyers, president; D. R.
Meyers, vice president; W. H. Henke, cashier; E. T. Cook, assistant
cashier. The capital stock is $10,000 and surplus $1,000. A modern
brick bank building both for bank quarters and offices was
constructed in 1912 at the corner of Main Street and Broadway, and
this is now the best known corner and business center of the town.
Mr. Henke is a
republican in politics, and for four years gave Erick a very capable
administration as mayor. He is a member of the Oklahoma State Bankers
Association and well known among the men of his calling throughout
the state. He is also a stockholder in the Farmers State Bank of
Mead, and is interested in mercantile enterprises at Willow and
Moravia, Oklahoma. His possessions also include a ranch of 1,450
acres north of Erick and a cotton gin in that village. For a man not
yet thirty-five years of age his prosperity seems unusual, and is due
entirely to his vigorous efforts and a thorough business ability.
At Hydro, Oklahoma,
in 1908 he married Miss Golda Spiker. Her father, S. D. Spiker,
is a hotel proprietor at Corpus Christi, Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Henke
have two children, William Douglas, born January 19, 1909, and now at
public school; and Beatrice May, born March 25, 1912.