William P. Keen. In any field of human endeavor the ultimate criterion of ability is success, and determined by this one effective gauge Mr. Keen is consistently to be designated as one of the leading younger members of the bar of Beckham County, his achievement in his profession marking him as a true devotee of his exacting vocation and as one whose powers have enabled him to win success and prestige of unequivocal order. He is engaged in the practice of his profession at Elk City, the thriving metropolis of the county, his offices being eligibly located on Broadway. His law business includes both civil and criminal practice and he is the attorney for Oklahoma of the Pittsburgh Mortgage Investment Company, an important Pennsylvania Corporation. He has been a resident of Oklahoma from boyhood and is thoroughly in touch with the progressive spirit of this vigorous young commonwealth.
William P. Keen’s original American ancestors on the paternal side immigrated to this country from England in the colonials days, and representatives of the name were sturdy pioneers in both Tennessee and Illinois. Mr. Keen was born in Wright County, Missouri, on the 27th of December, 1886, and is a son of James E. and Addie (Parker) Keen, who now maintain their home at Cheyenne, the judicial center of Roger Mills County, Oklahoma, the father having been born in Illinois, in 1863, and the mother being a native of Tennessee, where she was born in the year 1859. Of the children the eldest is Flora B., who is the wife of Arthur Smith, a prosperous lumber dealer at Elmer, Jackson County, Oklahoma; Mamie, Nona and Freda- remain at the parental home, the first named being a trained nurse and the other two successful and popular teachers in the public schools; Paul is a member of the class of 1917 in the Southwestern State Normal School at Weatherford, Oklahoma; Clifford is in the preparatory department of the same institution; and Thelma is attending the public schools.
James E. Keen was reared and educated in his native state, and as a young man he removed from Illinois to Missouri, first locating in Texas County and thence removing to Wright County, where his marriage was solemnized and where he continued his activities in the lumber business and the operating of a saw mill until 1898, when he came to Oklahoma Territory and entered claim to a homestead of 160 acres eleven miles northwest of Cheyenne, the present county seat of Roger Mills County. He reclaimed this land into a productive and valuable farm, and he still owns the property, though he is now living practically retired in the Village of Cheyenne. He is known and honored as one of the representative citizens of Roger Mills County, has served as county treasurer and held other offices of local order, and is a staunch advocate of the principles and policies for which the democratic party stands sponsor. He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
William P. Keen, immediate subject of this review, acquired his rudimentary education in the district schools of his native county, in Missouri, and was a lad of about ten years at the time of the family removal to Oklahoma Territory, where he was enabled to continue his studies in the village schools of Cheyenne. There he was graduated in the high school as a member of the class of 1905, and for the ensuing three years he was a student in Southwestern Normal School, at Weatherford, where he completed the work of the junior year. In the meanwhile, in consonance with his well defined ambition, he had given considerable attention to the preliminary reading of law, and after leaving the normal school he was matriculated in the law department of Cumberland University, at Lebanon, Tennessee, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1909 and from which he received his well earned degree of Bachelor of Laws.
After his graduation Mr. Keen was engaged in the practice of his profession at Cheyenne, Roger Mills County, until November, 1913, when he removed to Elk City, which place has since continued the stage of his specially active and successful professional activities. He was elected city attorney in 1915, but resigned this office in the early part of 1915, owing to the demands placed upon him by his private law business, which has touched both the civil and criminal calendars of the courts of this section of the state. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party, he is affiliated with the masonic fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and both he and his wife hold membership in the Baptist Church.
In January, 1914, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Keen to Miss Lela Jones, whose father, William W. Jones, now resides at Fairfield, Texas, in which vicinity he owns and operates a valuable farm.