Biography of Guy Patten
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Guy Patten, Mayor of Vinita, is also well known in other connections, being an extensive oil operator and one of the leading agriculturists and stock raisers of northeastern Oklahoma, and in every line of activity to which he has directed his attention he has gained a position of leadership through his ability and tireless energy, which never falls short of the attainment of its purpose. He was born at Keokuk, Iowa, on the 11th of January, 1883, and is a son of F. P. and Emma (Richmond) Patten, both natives of Illinois. The father has devoted his entire life to agricultural pursuits, first following that occupation in Iowa, after which he removed to Illinois, locating near the city of St. Louis, Missouri, and in 1904 he came to Oklahoma. He is now operating a farm near Chelsea and the mother also survives.
In the acquirement of an education Guy Patten attended the grammar schools of Pike County, Illinois, and the high schools at Baylis and Barry, that state, after which he engaged in teaching for a time. He then entered the law school of Grant University at Chattanooga, Tennessee, through which he worked his way, receiving the LL. B. degree in 1904, and this was followed by a year’s postgraduate work at Yale. Thus well qualified for the work of his profession, he came to Vinita and opened an office, engaging in general practice and devoting considerable attention to those branches of jurisprudence pertaining to corporations and land titles. He soon proved his ability, becoming recognized as a strong and able lawyer, clear and concise in his presentation of a cause and sound in his reasoning, and was entrusted with much important litigation. In 1907 he was called to public office, being elected city attorney and capably discharging the duties of that position until 1910, during which period fifty miles of sidewalk were built in Vinita and the downtown section was also paved. He continued to engage in practice until 1916, when he discontinued his professional activities in order to devote his entire attention to his extensive business interests. In 1908 he had begun operating in the Alluwe oil fields of Nowata County and now has extensive holdings in oil lands in Oklahoma and Kansas. In 1913 he purchased a farm in Rogers County, this state, and began raising Hereford cattle, starting his operations on a small scale and gradually adding to his original tract until he became the owner of a large acre-age. He has brought his land to a high state of productivity and has placed many improvements on his farm, which is a model property and one of the show places of northeastern Oklahoma. He raises the best grade of cattle in the state and is thoroughly conversant with the details connected with the breeding and care of stock. His standards of farming are high and as agriculture has progressed as a science he has advanced with it. He is also a director of the First National Bank of Vinita and his business interests are important and extensive. Since establishing his home in Vinita success has attended his efforts, for when he came to this city in 1905 he had no capital except enterprise and determination and is now the possessor of a very substantial competence.
At Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1908, Mr. Patten was united in marriage to Miss Perle Baldwin, a native of Pike County, Illinois, and a daughter of Fielding and Ada (Bennett) Baldwin, the former deceased, but the latter is still a resident of that city. One child has been born to this union, Frances. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and Mr. Patten has done much to promote the moral uplift of his community, assisting in the erection of every Church in the town. He has closely studied the questions and issues of the day, and believing that the principles of the Democratic Party contain the best elements of good government, he has labored for its success. ” In 1919 he was chosen Mayor of Vinita and has since served continuously in that capacity, his retention in that office being unmistakable proof of the excellence of his administration. In public office he has always stood for development and for constructive measures and since 1908 no one has been selected for the Mayoralty who has succeeded in obtaining for the city a greater number of improvements than has Mr. Patten. He regards a man in public office as a servant of the people and his course has won the unqualified approval of Vinita’s citizens. He is a member of the Rotary Club and the Hillcrest Country Club and his fraternal relations are with the Masons and the Knights of Pythias. His loyalty and patriotism have ever remained unquestioned and during the World war he laid aside all personal considerations and devoted practically all of his time to the service of his country. By nature modest and unassuming, he is recognized as a man of marked ability who has constructed his own success, and what he has accomplished represents the fit utilization of his time, his talents and his opportunities. His labors have been a vital force in the growth, progress and improvement of his community and he stands today among the foremost citizens of Vinita.