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Lee Ann Collins (View posts)
Posted: 957268800000
Classification: Biography
Edited: 993311417000
Vol. 5, p. 1859

The founder of one of the thriving towns of Lincoln County is now a wealthy and prominent citizen of Pawhuska, in Osage County, with which locality he has been identified practically throughout the period of its greatest development. J. W. Stroud is an Oklahoma Eighty-niner, a man who came into the original territory with capital and business experience, and be his shrewd judgment, foresight and enterprise has not only lifted himself above the plane of modern success, but at the same time has assisted several localities to grow and prosper. He is one of the men whose names should be permanently linked with the history of Oklahoma during the past twenty-five years.

Born at Springfield, Missouri, August 2, 1859, he is of German parents, L. D. and Priscilla (SCHMIDT) Stroud. His father was a natural mechanic, handy with all manner of tools, and developed his trade into a business as builder. He helped construct the first buildings of the normal school at Warrensburg, Missouri. He was also a soldier during the Civil war, having served with the Second Missouri Artillery.

The only child of his parents, J. W. Stroud, at the age of fifteen, started out for himself, and is strictly a self-made man. He gained a limited education, but has improved all his opportunities by observation and experience and by industry and economy finally got started in the world along the lines for which he has shown special inclination and ability. He was reared on a farm, but soon developed his instinct as a trader and in 1881 established a small store near the City of Springfield, Missouri, and made that in a few years an important trading center for a large surrounding community.

Mr. Stroud came into Oklahoma in 1889 and soon after the opening was proprietor of a small grocery store on Main Street in Oklahoma City. With the opening of the country east and south of Oklahoma city to settlement, he set up a rough frame shack out on the prairie, put in a stock of goods, and that was the beginning of a settlement which came to be known as Stroud, the actual beginning of whose history was on April 6, 1892. He conducted his store in that locality until 1898, and in the meantime had taken an important part in securing the construction of the Frisco Railroad through Lincoln County, and then moved his store over to the railroad site, and his name was applied to the new Town of Stroud. He was first in all matters of public enterprise there, and that thrifty and prosperous community is well pleased to have his name identified with it. Mr. Stroud conducted a lumber yard at Stroud, was also vice president of the First National Bank, which he helped to organize, and later organized the City State Bank, of which he was president. He finally sold out his interests in both of these institutions, and had also in the meantime acquired a large amount of real estate, both in the city and the surrounding country.

Since January, 1907, Mr. Stroud has made his home and the center of his interests at Pawhuska. Among other important investments he has four brick buildings on Ki-hi-Kah and Sixth streets, and he has also build and occupies a beautiful bungalow home on the hill which is second to none of the Pawhuska residences of that class. Mr. Stroud also owns 1,200 acres in Osage County, County, and has much of his land under cultivation and improvement.

In 1909 Mr. Stroud drilled two gas wells on the city site of Pawhuska and then turned over the plant to the city at cost. As a result of this public-spirited enterprise the price of gas was at once reduced one-half, and fuel was furnished in abundance to the water and light plants. This act of public spirit made him a great many friends and admirers, and in turn the people of Pawhuska made him mayor of the city for two years.

Politically Mr. Stroud is a republican, was reared in the faith of the German Baptist Church, and in Masonry has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, being affiliated with both the Consistory and the Temple of the Mystic Shrine.

When a poor struggling young man back in Missouri at the age of nineteen Mr. Stroud married Miss Martha GREGG, who was born in that state. To their union were born seven children: Lucas lives in Texas; Priscilla is the wife of Henry WARD of Fairfax, Oklahoma; Samuel also lives in Texas; Alma is the wife of Henry MCMILLEN of Osage County; Charles lives on a farm in Osage County; Maude is the wife of W. H. SPURR, who is cashier of the First national Bank at Seminole, Oklahoma; LeMoyne is now attending law school at Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 1903 Mr. Stroud married for his present wife Ella FISHER, who was born in Nebraska.

Mention has already been made of Mr. StroudÂ’s part in helping to build the Frisco Railroad through Lincoln County. He was one of the active promoters of that line from Sapulpa to Oklahoma City, and not only lent all his influence and resources but assisted in making the survey and in securing the right of way and also conducted a canvass for funds to pay for the construction. He also laid out some of the townsites along the line, and the judgment of railroad builders and civil engineers has confirmed his excellent judgment in locating that line of railroad, which was one of the most considerable factors in the early days in establishing the preeminence of Oklahoma city. Since then he has helped in making the surveys of several other railroad lines in the state. In addition to his various other investments Mr. Stroud is president and general manager of the Acacia Oil & Gas company of Pawhuska, and Oklahoma corporation which is composed entirely of home capitalists and investors.

Transcribed by Lee Ann Collins, April 9, 2000

SOURCE: Thoburn, Joseph B., A Standard History of Oklahoma, An Authentic Narrative of its Development, 5 v. (Chicago, New York: The American Historical Society, 1916).
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