Biography of John Caleb Storr
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John Caleb Storr, a native son of Oklahoma and a member of one of the oldest families of the state, has resided in Vinita for the past twenty-three years and has become well known as an attorney, farmer, stock raiser and oil operator, being a man of versatile talents whose efforts are resultant factors in whatever he undertakes.
He was born in the Flint district of the Cherokee Nation, near Stilwell, Indian Territory, October 15, 1870, and his parents were James and Emma Jane (Rider) Storr, the former born in Tennessee in 1832, while the latter was a native of the Cherokee Nation. In 1837 the father accompanied his parents on their removal to Indian Territory, settlement being made in the Cherokee Nation, and from 1878 until his demise James Storr followed the occupation of farming in Delaware County. He was very successful in his agricultural operations, accumulating large holdings in land, and he also devoted a large part of his attention to the breeding of fine driving horses. He was one of the leading men of his community and passed. away at Grove, Delaware County, in 1901, in the faith of the Catholic Church. The mother survives and is still a resident of Grove.
After completing the work of the grammar and high schools John C. Storr entered the Tahlequah Male Seminary, from which he was graduated in 1890 with the B. S. degree. At intervals for three years he attended a business college at Fort Worth, Texas, and in 1894 came to Indian Territory. For a time he assisted the Treasurer of the Cherokee Nation in the distribution of allotments, after which he engaged in merchandising at Grove and for two years was postmaster of that place. In 1897 he began reading law and in the same year was chosen the first Mayor of Grove, making a most creditable record in that office. In 1898 he came to Vinita, where he has since made his home, and has thoroughly identified his interests with those of the town. He pursued his law studies under the guidance of Judge John H. Turner and ex-Congressman R. M. Blue, being admitted to practice in all of the courts of Oklahoma in 1905. From 1900 until 1905 he represented the Cherokee Nation at the Dawes commission. In 1906 he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, purchasing forty acres in Craig County, and as the years have passed he has gradually added to his holdings until he now owns twelve hundred acres of land, his property being located in both Craig and Delaware counties. He has devoted particular attention to wheat raising, specializing in the growing of Marvelous, Red Cross, Ferguson No. 71 and Red Texas seed wheat, in which he has been very successful, shipping his grain all over the country, and is a director of the Oklahoma Seed Growers Association. He also raises a fine grade of stock, having Aberdeen Angus cattle and Duroc-Jersey hogs. His farm is one of the model properties in northeastern Oklahoma and he brings to his operations a scientific knowledge of agriculture and a progressive, open mind. He keeps abreast of the times in every way and has done much to elevate farming and stock-raising standards in this part of the state. In 1907 he began operating in the Alluwe oil field, starting on a small scale, and he now has holdings in Tulsa, Rogers, Nowata and Washington counties, Oklahoma, his wells producing fifteen hundred. barrels of oil per month. Since his admission to the bar he has followed his profession at Vinita and his clientele is now a large and representative one. He is Well versed in the principles of jurisprudence, prepares his cases with great thoroughness and care, and the ability with which he presents his cause has won for him many favorable verdicts.
At St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1894, Mr. Storr was united in marriage to Miss Libbie Belle Zimmerman, a native of Missouri, and they have four living children : Jessie Belle, the wife of John T. Dameron, a prominent oil operator of Vinita ; James Clarence, who is a graduate of St. Thomas College of St. Paul, Minnesota, and is now attending Georgetown University at Washington, D. C. ; and Martha Elizabeth and Charles Jennings, twins, the former a student at St. Theresa’s Junior College at Kansas City, Missouri, while the latter is pursuing his studies at St. Mary’s College of St. Marys, Kansas.
The family are Catholics in religious faith and Mr. Storr is a trustee of the Church of the Holy Ghost. 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 ever labored for its success. He has thrice served as chairman of the County central committee and his labors have been effective forces in promoting the interests of the party in this section of the state. His fellow citizens, recognizing his worth and ability, have called him to public office and in 1911 and 1912 he acted as Mayor of Vinita, while for the past twenty years he has been a member of the town council, in which connection he has rendered important and effective public service. He has taken the fourth degree in the Knights of Columbus and is also a member of the State Council, the Diocesan Council and the National Catholic Council of Men of the Oklahoma District, while his social nature finds expression in his identification with the Hill Crest Country Club. He is a patriotic and public-spirited citizen and during the World war did all in his power to aid the government, serving as chairman of the Craig County Council of Defense and also as County fuel administrator. Opportunity has ever been to him the call to action, and his interests and activities have covered a broad scope. His labors have at all times been of a constructive nature, contributing to public progress and prosperity as well as to individual aggrandizement, and he is a native son whose record reflects credit and honor upon the state.