Biography of Casius M. Gay
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Casius M. Gay, who is now serving his third term as sheriff of Sequoyah county, is one of the prominent citizens of Sallisaw. He is a southerner by birth, born near Jacksontown, Leslie county, Kentucky, on the 5th of February, 1889, a son of Henry and Arkie (Davidson) Gay, both natives of that state, who are now deceased. The Gay family located in Kentucky prior to the Civil war and was one of the well known families of that state. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Gay five sons and one daughter were born, Casius M. being the second youngest child.
In the acquirement of an education Casius M. Gay attended the public schools of Kentucky and after putting his textbooks aside determined to learn the machinist’s trade. Removing to Hamilton, Ohio, he remained there for three years in connection with the Champing Costing Pipe Mill and Long & Alstetter Machine Shop, at the termination of which time he completed his apprenticeship. Two years later he returned to his home in Kentucky, where he remained for a short time and then came to Sailisaw, on the 12th of June, 1906. Four years he spent in the logging and lumber business and then left Sallisaw for a trip to all the important cities in the United States. In 1912 he returned here and subsequently took up farming, becoming one of the representative agriculturists in this part of the state. About three years later he entered politics, taking over the office of sheriff of Sequoyah county on the 1st of January, 1915, for a two-year term. The election of that year was very close. Gay receiving a majority of but seven votes and it was contested by his opponent, John E. Johnson, but decided in favor of Mr. Gay. The success he achieved in that official capacity was evinced by his reelection in November, 1916, and he was active in that office until September, 1917, when he enlisted in the United States army for service in the World war, and became a private in the Three Hundred and Eighty-eighth Field Artillery, and was assigned to Camp Travis. He won promotion to the rank of sergeant in the Quartermaster Department and was active in that capacity until the 20th of January, 1918, when he received an honorable discharge.
Returning to Sallisaw, he resumed his duties as sheriff but in April of the same year he enlisted again, being sent to Camp Travis, where he remained until his discharge on the. 19th of November, 1918. While in service he was nominated for a third term to the office of sheriff, but was not elected and for the following two years, after his return from the army, he engaged in farming and stock raising. In November, 1920, he was, however, elected for the third term, receiving a majority of eight hundred and fifteen votes. He assumed the duties of that office on the 1st of January, 1921, and is now active in that connection. At the time of his first election he was but twenty-four years of age, having the distinction of being the youngest sheriff in the state. He was also the first republican to be elected to any office in Sequoyah county.
Mr. Gay has been very vigilant in suppressing violations of the law, particularly in regard to moonshine. For some time previous to his entrance into politics he ran the Exchange Hotel in Sallisaw and also conducted a grocery and meat market.
Mr. Gay was united in marriage to Miss Mary Tucker at Muskogee on the 22d of December, 1917. Mrs. Gay is the daughter of Joseph and Lena Tucker, prominent residents of Sallisaw, where for some time the father has been active in the grocery business and in agricultural pursuits.
Since attaining his majority Mr. Gay has been a stanch supporter of the republican party and he has firm belief in the principles of that party as factors in good government. Fraternally he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and he holds membership in the National Sheriff’s Association. He is one of the best known and best liked men in Sequoyah county and has done much for the development and improvement of the community. He holds every public office to be a public trust and as a result has won the confidence and faith of every member of the community.