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Biography of Hoy Harsha

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Hoy Harsha, Mayor of Haskell, also figures prominently in financial circles as cashier of the Haskell National Bank and in both connections his record is such as to secure for him the respect, confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens. Oklahoma is proud to number him among her native sons, for his birth occurred in Muskogee, this state, on the 14th of December, 1881. His parents are William S. and Laura E. (Newcomb) Harsha, the former a native of Iowa, while the latter was born in New York. The father came to this part of the country in pioneer times, casting in his lot with the settlers of Indian Territory in 1877. He first located at Okmulgee, whence he subsequently removed to Muskogee, where he engaged in merchandising as a member of the firm of J. E. Turner & Company. Later Mr. Turner sold his interest in the enterprise, at which time the firm style of Harsha & Spaulding was adopted, Mr. Harsha retaining his connection with the business until 1901, since which time he has lived retired in Muskogee in the enjoyment of well earned rest, and the mother also survives. Mr. Harsha is one of the oldest and most highly respected residents of Muskogee and served as one of the first aldermen of the city.

In the public schools of his native city Hoy Harsha acquired his education and after laying aside his textbooks he assisted his father in ranching for a time, while later he was employed in a store for four or five years. On the 4th of January, 1902, he became Secretary Treasurer of the Choska Trading Company of Choska, Oklahoma, and on the 12th of April, 1905, the business was removed to Porter, this state. In 1907 the enterprise was taken over by the Clarksville Trading Company and in February of the following year Mr. Harsha organized the Porter State Bank, of which he was made cashier, the institution having the financial support of D. M. Fink, who is now serving as President of the Commercial National Bank of Muskogee. In July, 1909, the Porter State Bank absorbed the interests of the American State Bank, at which time D. M. Fink was chosen President, with J. W. Capps as Vice President and Mr. Harsha as cashier. On the 9th of November, 1909, the Porter State Bank was sold to Walter Howard and his business associates, and on the 16th of the same month Messrs. Capps and Harsha bought the controlling interest in the First National Bank of Porter, the former becoming President of the institution, while the latter was made cashier. In 1911, in association with Mr. Fink, they purchased the First Bank of Haskell and changed its charter, converting the enterprise into the Haskell State Bank. Mr. Harsha was elected President and Mr. Capps cashier and later the institution was nationalized. On the 1st of August, 1919, Mr. Harsha sold his interest in the First National Bank of Porter, Oklahoma, to W. S. Vernon and associates, and on the 15th of May, 1920, he increased his holdings in the Haskell National Bank, of which he was chosen cashier, and took up his permanent residence in Haskell. J. W. Capps is filling the office of President, and, this is now regarded as one of the most substantial banks in Muskogee County, the business being conducted in a fine modern building which is owned by the stockholders. The capital stock has been increased from twenty-five thousand to fifty thousand dollars, while the deposits now average three hundred thousand dollars. With keen insight into business affairs and situations and with a thorough under-standing of every phase of banking, gained through, long experience, Mr. Harsha is promoting the success of the institution by conscientious and efficient work and is recognized as one of the progressive and trustworthy financiers of his part of the state. He also has farming interests in Wagoner County.

On the 23d of May, 1904, Mr. Harsha was united in marriage to Miss Mollie Goldsborough and they now have four children: Virginia, who was born August 28, 1905; Frances, born May 28, 1907; Ruth, March 24, 1910; and William, May 7, 1914.

Mr. Harsha is a Presbyterian in religious faith and in his political views he is a stanch Democrat, deeply interested in the welfare and success of the party. His fellow citizens, recognizing his worth and ability, have called him to public office, and in April, 1921, he was elected Mayor of Haskell. He brings to his official life the same shrewdness, intelligent grasp of conditions and executive ability which have gained him success in business and is seeking earnestly .to advance the interests of the town through a progressive and capable administration. Fraternally he is identified with the Masonic order at Haskell, and since 1903 he has been a member of the Elks Lodge at Muskogee. He is doing effective service for the public good, and his influence is at all times on the side of those things which are a matter of civic virtue and civic pride. His interests and activities have touched various phases of life which are factors in public progress and improvement, and he is recognized as a man of strict integrity whom neither fear nor favor can swerve from the course which he believes to be right.


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