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Biography of J. A. Patterson

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This prominent and wealthy citizen of Muskogee, was born in September, 1819, at Lincoln County, Tennessee, the second son of William Patterson and Annie Newberry, of the same place. He attended neighborhood school until thirteen years of age, when his father moved to Cherokee County, Alabama. Here the young man assisted his parents until his father’s death in 1848, when he assumed the responsibility of taking charge of his mother, sisters and brothers. In 1854 he came to the Creek Agency in the employment of Colonel Garrett, the agent, and afterwards became teacher of a Creek school for two years. In 1856 he entered the general mercantile store of Stidham & Bright, at the agency; with these gentlemen he remained until 1860, when he opened business with D. W. Stidham, at Shieldsville, and here continued until November, 1861, when the war broke out, and they removed their stock of goods back to the agency. Soon afterwards he became sutler for the refugee Creeks, at Fort Washita, which position he retained until the close of the war, after which he went into business with Major J. Harlin, in cattle trading and merchandise, at Tishomingo, Chickasaw Nation. Closing out in twelve months, Mr. Patterson returned to the agency, and in 1867 again connected himself with Judge Stidham in the mercantile trade, doing an immense business all over the nation, and continuing the same for at least six years. In 1873 he opened at Muskogee, and later on took A. W. Robb as a partner in that place. Soon afterwards he opened a branch house at Eufaula, and appointed C. E. Foley as manager, giving him a share in the profits of the establishment. Messrs. Robb & Foley had both clerked for him previous to this time. Mr. Patterson’s establishment in Muskogee, is one of the finest buildings in the Indian Territory, and contains a stock of $45,000 or upwards, while the Eufaula building is one of the largest in that town, and contains a stock of $30,000 or over. Mr. Patterson is also interested in the establishment of T. O. Boyer & Company, Wagoner, Indian Territory. He is one of the oldest white residents in the Creek Nation, coming at the same time as Captain Belcher, Mr. Whitlaw, L. P. Job, and Shelton Smith. No businessman is more universally known in the Indian Territory; his success from the outset until the present has been something remarkable, and it is said by some that he never made a failure in his life. He is a man of fine business qualifications, gentlemanly exterior, and pleasant manners. Mr. Patterson is five feet ten inches in height, and weighs 140 pounds.

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