Biography of Hiram Rufus McBee

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Hiram Rufus McBee, a member of one of the pioneer families of Ottawa County, has been identified with mining activities since he was eighteen years of age and has long been a contributor to the development of the mineral resources of Oklahoma. He is now residing in Miami and is the owner of one of the finest homes in the County. He was born in Belleville, a small mining town in Missouri, on the 10th of March, 1885, his parents being Samuel and Susan McBee, the latter of whom passed away in 1893. The father followed agricultural pursuits and also engaged in mining in Missouri until his removal to Indian Territory in 1891, when he purchased a farm near the village of Peoria, in Ottawa County.

For several years he continued to operate that place, his labors being rewarded by excellent returns, and he is now living retired in commerce. As one of the pioneer farmers of Ottawa County he has been an important factor in its agricultural development and he is widely and favorably known in this section of the state. Fraternally he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and in his political views he is a Republican.

His son, Hiram Rufus McBee, attended the log schoolhouse near the home farm in Ottawa County and for two years was a student at the Indian school in Wyandotte. He early showed a spirit of independence and enterprise, beginning when but eight years of age to work at odd jobs for a few cents a day during the summer, while in the winter season he pursued his studies. He was employed at farm work until his eighteenth year, when he turned his attention to mining, with which he has since been identified. He first worked in the mines near Lincolnville, where some of the richest holdings in the County were being developed, and later he followed that occupation at Commerce until valuable mineral deposits were found on his wife’s land. He is now capably looking after her interests, his long experience having made him thoroughly familiar with every phase of mining operations, and the income derived from this property is a very substantial one.

In Miami, in 1908, Mr. McBee was united in marriage to Miss Sarah E. Gordon, a daughter of Henry and Kitty Gordon, the latter a member of the Quapaw tribe of Indians. They reside on a highly cultivated and well improved farm located one mile east of Commerce and Mr. Gordon raises high grade Hereford cattle and Poland China hogs, while he also operates a dairy, being very successful in his various activities. Mr. and Mrs. McBee reside in Miami, in one of the most beautiful homes in this district. They have seven children: Ethel Leoma, Jessie Leon, Gordon Frank, Max Willard, Sarah Wynona, Ruth Hiawanda and Newana Imo-gene. Mrs. McBee’s allotment, as a Quapaw adjoins the town of Commerce and on it is situated the Emma Gordon mine, which contains one of the richest deposits of lead and zinc in this part of the state. Mr. McBee gives his political support to the man and measures of the Republican Party and he is a member of Elks Lodge, No. 1320. Actuated by laudable ambition to succeed, he early started out to win a livelihood, working untiringly and persistently to reach the desired goal. He is thoroughly reliable in all business matters, loyal, progressive and public-spirited in citizenship, and is a worthy representative of an old and highly respected family of Ottawa County.

MLA Source Citation:

Benedict, John Downing. Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma: including the counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1922. Web. 20 December 2014. - Last updated on Dec 3rd, 2011

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