William Ribble


William Ribble. One of the strongest and most forceful figures in the business life of Oklahoma City, William Ribble is now engaged in a project which, if successful, as it shows every indication of being, will contribute more to the advancement of the city’s interests than any single accomplishment in the municipality’s history. As an ex-president of the Oklahoma Mutual Oil and Gas Company, Mr. Ribble is at the head of a venture the very difficulties of which would defeat a man of less courageous character, but during a long life of determined struggles and well-earned successes he has gained an irresistible reliance in his own judgment, and his dominant, confidence-inspiring personality has led other men to believe as he does.
Mr. Ribble was born in the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1868, and is a son of John R. and Mary J. (McDonough) Ribble. His father, who spent the greater part of his life in Philadelphia, enlisted in Company D, Twenty-eighth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, at the outbreak of the Civil war, and fought throughout that struggle, a service of four years. the public schools of Philadelphia furnished William Ribble with his education, following which he served an apprenticeship to the bookbinding trade, which, however, he did not follow. He was twenty-one years of age when he embarked upon a career of his own, going to the City of New York, where he engaged in selling stove polish. In this line he met with some measure of success, and soon returned to Philadelphia with a small capital, which he proceeded to invest in the coal business. His marked business talents found a field for expansion in this line and for twenty-one years he continued to deal in coal, accumulating a comfortable fortune. In the meantime he had become interested in the real estate business, first in a modest manner, and later as one of the large dealers of Philadelphia, where he erected forty-four brick homes, in addition to other structures.
Mr. Ribble left Philadelphia in 1910 and came to Oklahoma City, where he at once became a recognized figure in the realty field. His operations have since expanded in scope and importance, and he still continues to transact a large volume of business annually. He developed and sold the Ribble Addition to Oklahoma City, is the owner of the Oklahoma News Building, a beautiful residence at Twelfth and Dewey streets, and various other valuable properties in the city and county. In 1912, during the development of the Cushing oil fields in Oklahoma, Mr. Ribble visited the property and not only became thoroughly familiar with the oil and gas industry, but decided it was possible to bring in oil wells in Oklahoma City, and accordingly, in January, 1913, organized the Oklahoma Mutual Oil and Gas Company, of which he has since been president. He at once began development work eight miles northeast of Oklahoma City, where he leased 2,500 acres of land, and proceeded in his drilling operations. In spite of handicaps and discouragements of the most disheartening kind, the company has kept steadily onward in its work, and at this time has a well 2,600 feet deep. Since the beginning of operations, it has been Mr. Ribble’s wise management, foresight and acumen which have carried the work evenly along, and which have encouraged his associates to look to him for leadership and advice. He is now president of the Universal Oil and Gas Development Company, and many other oil interests in Oklahoma and Texas. Mr. Ribble maintains offices at 508% Ribble Building, which building he erected in 1910 and which he owns. He is a member of the Junior Order United American Mechanics, the Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Sons of Veterans.
In 1902 Mr. Ribble was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Ozella Bly, daughter of Mason Bly, of Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, and she died in 1907, leaving one son, Jack Mason. Mr. Ribble was married a second time, in 1912, when Miss Belle Jackson, daughter of Mrs. Anna Belle Jackson, of Pennsylvania, became his wife. They have had one son, Billy Jackson. They are well known in social circles of Oklahoma City, and have hosts of friends.