In the demise of John Brown Churchill, Bartlesville lost one of its most highly respected and public-spirited citizens, who during the period of his residence in Washington county, took a most active and helpful part in promoting the work of public progress and improvement and left the impress of his individuality for good upon many lines of the state’s development and up building. He was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky, September 28, 1867, and traced his lineage back to the noted Churchill family of England. His parents were William and Gillie Ann (Allen) Churchill, who were also natives of the Blue Grass state, and the father devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits.
John Brown Churchill’s’ education was acquired in the grammar schools of Hodgenville and he attended high school in Kansas, going to that state when sixteen years of age. There he took up a homestead, which he improved and developed, and later he traveled out of Kansas for the Emerson-Newton Company, implement dealers, continuing to fill that position for fifteen years and gaining broad experience along business lines. In 1903 he came to Bartlesville and here made his home until his demise.
He played an important part in developing the rich oil fields of this section of the state, purchasing oil property at Copan, in Washington County, which proved to be a splendid investment, and the wells are still operated by his widow. In association with others he laid out and sold a tract of thirty-five acres, constituting the greater part of the town of Copan, and his interests were most capably and judiciously conducted, a spirit of marked enterprise actuating him throughout his business career.
In 1904 Mr. Churchill was united in marriage to Miss Pauline Wuthrich, a daughter of John and Julia (Spangler) Wuthrich, the former a native of Switzerland and the latter of Germany. Mrs. Churchill was born on a farm in Lagrange county, Indiana, and was educated in the schools of Lima, that state. She now resides in a beautiful home at No. 1009 Osage avenue and has many friends in this locality.
Mr. Churchill passed away on March 22, 1917, thirteen hours after the demise of his father, in the faith of the Baptist church, of which he was an earnest and helpful member, guiding his life by its teachings. In Masonry he had attained the thirty-second degree and his political allegiance was given to the Democratic Party. His fellow citizens, recognizing his worth and ability, called him to public office and he was elected clerk of the district court of Washington county, in which position he served for three years, being the first incumbent in that office following the admission of Oklahoma to statehood. He was afterward made assessor, acting in that capacity for two years, and in both connections he made a most creditable record, characterized by efficiency and devotion to duty. He was a man of generous impulses and no good work done in the name of charity or religion sought his aid in vain.
He was ever free from ostentation in his giving, preferring that no one but the recipient should know of his beneficence. Preeminently public-spirited, he took the deepest interest in everything that pertained to the welfare and advancement of his community along material, intellectual, social, political and moral lines. A self-educated and self-made man, his high ideals, irreproachable character and incorruptible integrity fully entitled him to the esteem which was universally accorded him.