In no profession does advancement depend more entirely upon individual merit and ability than in the law. Close application, keen analysis, clear mental perception and careful preparation are indispensable elements in the life of every man who attempts to gain prominence in this arduous calling. That John William Bartholomew is lacking in none of these requisites, is indicated in the fact that he is numbered among the most capable lawyers of Miami and throughout his career he has maintained the highest standards of professional ethics. A native of Indiana, he was born near Morocco, in Newton County, November 20, 1858, his parents being George C. and Nancy (Moorman) Bartholomew. The father was born in Upper Kent, England, and there followed the trade of a miller. Coming to the United States; he engaged in farming in Indiana until 1861, when he enlisted at the first call for volunteers, becoming a member of Company E, of the Ninety-ninth Indiana Regiment. He valiantly defended the interests of his adopted country during the Civil war and lost his life at the battle of Peach Tree Creek, which occurred on the 22d of August, 1864. The mother, who is of English parentage, was born in Indiana and is now residing in Newton County, that state.
In the acquirement of an education John W. Bartholomew attended the grammar schools and the high school at Burnettsville, Indiana, and from the age of fourteen years has been dependent upon his own resources for a livelihood. He first engaged in newspaper work and became the owner of a paper at Buckingham, Illinois, his publication being known as the Monitor. This was before he was twenty-one years of age. Later he sold the paper and went to Logansport, Indiana, where he read law, being admitted to the bar of that state at Monticello in 1882. He engaged in practice in that city until 1884, when he went to Grand Island, Nebraska, being accompanied by his law partner, and he became connected with some of the most important criminal and civil cases tried in the western part of that state, while he also took an active part in political affairs. In 1891 he went to East St. Louis, Illinois, and there successfully followed his profession until 1905, building up a large practice. He was also popular in club and social circles and established an enviable reputation as an after-dinner speaker. Failing health compelled him to seek a change of climate and he came to Oklahoma, devoting his attention to hunting and other outdoor sports until he had regained his former vigor and strength. Following the organization of Jackson County in 1906, Mr. Bartholomew took up his residence at Altus, there conducting a law office until 1911, when he removed to Oklahoma City; where he spent seven years, and in 1918 came to Miami, where he has since engaged in practice, building up a large clientele. He is studious, well versed in the law, and has been entrusted with important litigated interests, winning for his clients many favorable verdicts.
At Logansport, Indiana, on the 19th of October, 1879, Mr. Bartholomew was united in marriage to Miss Nettie Yopst, a daughter of John Yopst, who was nearly ninety years of age at the time of his demise and was one, of the oldest and most prominent Masons in Indiana. He was a wholesale shoe merchant, first conducting his interests at Lafayette and later removing to Monticello, Indiana, where his demise occurred. Mr. and Mrs. Bartholomew have become the parents of two children: Stella Elizabeth, the wife of J. E. Thomas of Chicago, and the mother of four children; and O. A., a resident of Miami, who is married and has two children, Ethel May and William Stewart.
Mr. Bartholomew is an eloquent orator and during the World war he devoted much time to speaking in behalf of the various Liberty Loans, being sent into districts known to be apathetic and succeeding in arousing great interest and enthusiasm in the work of promoting the government drives. He is an earnest and sincere member of the Christian Church and both he and his wife have contributed substantially to its up-building and to the extension of its influence, Mrs. Bartholomew organizing the Church of this denomination at Grand Island, Nebraska, while she is also active in charitable work. While residing at Altus, Oklahoma, Mr. Bartholomew organized the Christian Church there, conducting services in the courthouse and assisting in building the fine new edifice. He was also actively connected with the Church at Oklahoma City and frequently preached in nearby towns, never accepting remuneration for his services. He is a Republican in his political views and one of the leaders of the party in Oklahoma. He finds much enjoyment in hunting expeditions and is a prominent member of the Knights of Pythias, serving for six years as chairman of the finance committee of the Imperial Council of the Dramatic Order of the Knights of Khorassan. His life has been an exemplary one in all respects. He is a self-made man who has constructed his own success, for when but fourteen years of age he started out in the world on his own account and through perseverance, diligence and the wise use of the talents with which nature has endowed him has risen to an enviable position in the ranks of his profession, being accorded the respect and confidence of his fellow practitioners and also of the general public.