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Biography of Arthur Ogden Archer

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Arthur Ogden Archer, who is president of the Archer Petroleum Company of St. Louis, in which city he has resided since 1912, was born in Stock township, Noble county, Ohio, and spent his youthful days upon his father’s farm. He represents one of the old and highly respected families of the Buckeye state, its men always being inspired by courage, fidelity and loyalty to duty. His grandfather, Absalom Archer, was a son of Simon Archer and was born in Stock township, where he devoted his life to agricultural pursuits. He wedded Rhoda Swainey, who belonged to one of the pioneer families of that district, and they became the parents of five children: Isaac, who became a Union soldier in the Civil war and died at the front in 1865; Aaron; Adaline, whose daughter, Rhoda McGovern, Is a Sister of Charity in Nebraska; George W.; and Andrew Jackson, who died in boyhood. Of this family Aaron Archer became the father of Arthur O. Archer and was born in Stock township, Noble county, October 24, 1844. Following the inauguration of hostilities between the north and the south he joined Company G of the One Hundred and Eighty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry and during the war was injured in an explosion at Chattanooga, Tennessee, but after a brief period spent in a hospital rejoined his regiment. Following his discharge he resumed the occupation of farming, in which he was engaged until 1890, when he removed to Caldwell, Ohio. He married Cordelia Riddle, a daughter of Michael and Susanna Riddle, her father being one of the substantial citizens of that community. Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Archer had a family of five children, one of whom died in infancy, while the others are: Isaac E., formerly a school teacher and railroad man and afterward one of the superintendents of decorations in connection with the American exhibit at the Parts exposition and now a resident of Cleveland, Ohio; Columbia A., the wife of Marshall E. Merry, a leading live stock dealer of Caldwell, Ohio, and they have one child, L. Walton; and Marilla, who married Irvin Currey and lives at South Charleston, Ohio.

Arthur Ogden Archer, the other member of the family, was reared in the usual manner of the farm boy, early becoming familiar with the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. He acquired an academic education and when twenty years of age took up the study of law under the direction of Judge A. Leland, of Caldwell, who was later associate judge for the territory of New Mexico. Three years later Mr. Archer was admitted to the bar, winning second honors in a class of fifty-nine, in which only seventeen passed the examination. He entered upon the practice of law at Caldwell, where he remained for six years and then removed to Lorain, where he successfully followed his profession. When twenty-three years of age he was elected mayor of Caldwell, a very high compliment to his ability, as he was the youngest mayor ever elected in that city and at the time was the youngest mayor in Ohio. He served as a member of the cabinet for the fifteenth congressional district of the Ohio Republican League and was long an active party worker in that state. It is said that he was without a peer as an orator in southeastern Ohio during the time in which he practiced law in that section of the state and on many public occasions he was called upon to address large audiences.

In March, 1904, Mr. Archer was appointed assistant United States attorney of the Dawes commission to the five civilized tribes of Muskogee, Indian Territory, by President Roosevelt, whose intimate friendship he enjoyed. He became the attorney representing the government in enrolling and allotting the lands in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian nations, his appointment to the position being an unusual recognition of ability in one of his years. He performed his work most satisfactorily there and continued a resident of Oklahoma after the admission of the state and exercised considerable influence over the development and progress of the section in which he lived. In 1912 he left Oklahoma for St. Louis and here turned his attention to the oil business, organizing the Archer Petroleum Company, of which he is president and practically the owner. This company operates in Texas, Oklahoma and Kentucky and owns eight thousand acres of land in various oil districts and has a large number of producing wells.

On the 8th of February, 1906, at Keytesville, Missouri, Mr. Archer was married to Miss Florence McFarland, a daughter of J. J. and Mary (Finnell) McFarland, her father being one of the extensive and prominent farmers of western Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Archer have one child, Arthur Ogden, Jr., born in 1907, now a student at the Western Military Academy, Alton, Illinois. Mrs. Archer is an officer of the Twentieth Century Art Club and takes a very active part in its affairs, and is also an active member of Emanuel Baptist church.

Mr. Archer is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, connected with the lodge at Coalgate, Oklahoma, and he is identified with the Knights of Pythias at Caldwell, Ohio. He is a member of the Christian church and his life has ever been actuated by high and honorable principles, while along business and professional lines he has been stimulated by a laudable ambition that gained him high rank as a lawyer and has made him one of the successful representatives of the oil industry in St. Louis.


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