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O. Lonzo Conner, a native of Oklahoma and a representative of one of its old and highly respected Cherokee families, is identified with business interests of Vinita as a partner in the firm of Ramey & Conner, dealing in insurance, and is recognized as one of the most successful operators in this field in the state, while he also is interested in oil development work. He was born on a farm near Fairland, in Indian Territory, on the 12th of February, 1877, his parents being Frank M. and Rebecca (Duncan) Conner, the former of whom was born at Joplin, Missouri, in 1852, while the birth of the latter occurred in that part of Indian Territory known as the Cherokee Nation. For several years the father followed the occupation of farming near Fairland and then moved into the town, devoting his attention to the conduct of a mercantile establishment. He was also one of the organizers of the Citizens State Bank of Fairland but is now residing in Miami, where he is engaged in the real estate business. He is a man of high moral principles and as a minister of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has done effective work in extending the influence of that organization. He has been very active in the affairs of the Cherokee Nation, serving as a member of its council, and fraternally he is identified with the Masonic order, in which he has taken the thirty-second degree.
In the acquirement of an education O. L. Conner attended the public schools of the Cherokee Nation and for a year was a student at Bacone College, while later he completed a two years’ course at the Tahlequah Male Seminary. In 1896 he took charge of his father’s hardware establishment at Fairland, operated under the firm style of F. M. Conner & Son, and in 1900 he became connected with the Conner-Campbell Mercantile Company of that place. In 1902 he came to Vinita and served as deputy United States marshal under W. H. Darrow. He had entered the insurance field in 1895 and is now a member of the firm of Ramey & Conner, state agents in Arkansas and Oklahoma for the National Life Insurance Company of Chicago, maintaining offices at Little Rock and in Vinita. Mr. Conner has charge of the business in this city and owing to his thorough knowledge of the work and intelligently directed efforts has secured a large number of policy-holders in this state. He is an expert salesman and in 1918 served as President of the $100,000 Club, composed of representatives of the National Life who had succeeded in writing that amount of insurance during the year. Since 1908 he has been active in oil production in the Tulsa and Okmulgee fields and is an astute, far-sighted business man, whose interests are most capably managed.
At Maysville, Arkansas, on the 30th of December, 1896, Mr. Conner was united in marriage to Miss Kate E. Yeager, a Cherokee and a daughter of James C. and Mary Yeager, the former of whom is operating a farm on Beatty’s Prairie, in Delaware County, Oklahoma. He has been very successful as an agriculturist, accumulating large holdings in land, and his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Christian Church. Mr. and Mrs. Conner have become the parents of five children: Nevada. Maud, Lon Jay, Clifton S., James W. and Ramey E.
Mr. Conner gives his political allegiance to the Republican Party, for he deems that its policy best conserves national progress and promotes public stability. He is prominent in fraternal circles, serving as the first exalted ruler of the Elks lodge at Vinita, and while residing at Fairland became master of the Masonic lodge, being the incumbent in that office at the time of his removal to this city. He has also been master of Vinita Lodge, No. 5, F. & A. M., and in 1919 was grand master of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma. He belongs to the chapter at Claremore, to the council, commandery, and to Indian Consistory, No. 2, A. & A. S. R., at McAlester. In 1917 the honorary thirty-third degree was conferred upon him and he is also identified with St. Luke’s Conclave, No. 19, of the Red Cross of Constantine at McAlester; Akdar Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Tulsa, and is an honorary member of India Temple of Oklahoma City. He stands high in the order and endeavors to fulfill in his daily life its teachings concerning brotherly kindness and mutual helpfulness. He seeks recreation in hunting and fishing and during his leisure hours spends much time at Camp Conner, which is situated on Spavinaw creek. He occupies a position of prominence in insurance circles of the state and what he has accomplished represents the fit utilization of his innate powers and talents. His work sustains the enterprising spirit that has long been synonymous with the family name in this part of the state and Vinita numbers him among her foremost citizens.