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William Edward Delehant, organizer and promoter of the Cardinal Drug Company of Muskogee, conducting both a whole-sale and retail business, has long been recognized as a dynamic force in the commercial circles of Muskogee. Starting in business here with an extremely limited capital, he has steadily developed his interests and the scope of his activities until his position in commercial circles is one of prominence and leadership. He has ever been a man of broad vision in relation to business affairs and his life record should serve as a source of encouragement and inspiration to others, showing what can be accomplished through individual effort. Mr. Delehant was born in Buffalo, New York, on the 6th of April, 1873, and is a son of Michael Vincent and Bridget (Maloy) Delehant. The father devoted his life to the milling business, operating a flour mill for an extended period.
William E. Delehant supplemented his public school training by study in the University of Buffalo at Buffalo, New York, from which he was graduated in 1892 on the completion of a course in the department of pharmacy. He afterward devoted two years to service in the United States Marine Hospital at Buffalo, New York, filling the position of hospital steward. He next went to Helena, Montana, where he remained for five years and during that period was engaged in the retail drug business.
On leaving the northwest he came to Oklahoma, settling in Muskogee in March, 1906, and through the intervening period of more than fifteen years he has resided in this city, more and more largely leaving the impress of his individuality and ability upon the commercial history of this part of the state. On the 6th of January, 1907, he organized the Cardinal Drug Company and is now sole owner of the business conducted under that name. He purchased a retail drug store at a cost of fifteen hundred dollars, making there on a cash payment of one hundred and fifty dollars. He bent every energy toward the development of the trade and the up building of the business and soon was enabled to discharge all of his indebtedness and to extend the scope of his activities. After a time he established a second store and then a third and is now the owner of three fine and well appointed drug stores, owning all the fixtures and carrying a large stock of drugs and druggists’ sundries.
He has likewise established a wholesale store and his business represents an investment of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The wholesale department, situated at Nos. 110 and 112 North Main Street, occupies a building fifty by three hundred feet, two stories in height with basement. One of the retail establishments is situated at Main and Broadway, a second at Okmulgee and Second streets and the third at 317 West Broadway. The company today employs fifty people. Thus Mr. Delehant has constantly broadened his business and is today one of the foremost druggists in his section of the state. He was formerly President of the Muskogee Retail Druggists Association and he is a member of the executive board of the Oklahoma, Pharmaceutical Association. He is likewise a member of the public relationship committee of the National Association of Retail Druggists and is constantly studying the trade from every possible standpoint in order to further the interests and promote the favorable conditions under which the drug trade is carried on.
On the 25th of June, 1908, Mr. Delehant was married to Miss Josephine Madge McNerney, a native of Ohio. Their residence is at No. 1517 West Okmulgee and is one of the attractive homes in the city, erected in 1920. Mr. Delehant is fond of baseball and athletic sports and turns to these for rest and recreation. He belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, to the Town and Country Club and to the Sequoyah Club, all of which expresses his appreciation for the social amenities of life. He also belongs to the Rotary Club and to the Chamber of Commerce and is in full sympathy with their efforts to extend trade relations, to improve business conditions and to uphold the civic standards of the community. His life has been fraught with successful accomplishment and his course has been marked by a steady progression that has taken him out of humble surroundings and placed him in the field of large opportunity.