Biography of Malcolm E. Rosser
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During a period of eight years Malcolm E. Rosser has been successfully engaged in the private practice of law in Muskogee and prior to that time was prominent as a public official of Oklahoma. He served for two terms as judge of the fifth judicial district of the state and at one time was Supreme Court commissioner. He is a western man by birth, training and preference.
Arkansas is his native state, his birth having occurred on the old homestead farm near Fayetteville, in Washington county, January 16, 1870, his parents being William E. and Virginia Frances (Hudson) Rosser, the former a native of Campbell county, Virginia, while the latter was born in the state of Mississippi and yet makes her home in Washington county, Arkansas. William E. Rosser was a representative of one of the old families of Virginia, being a son of Colonel Rosser, who owned and cultivated a large plantation in Virginia, serving also at one time as an officer in the state militia and as high sheriff of his county. About the year 1850 he removed with his family to Texas and following the Civil war became a resident of Washington county, Arkansas, there spending his remaining days.
William E. Rosser was largely reared and educated in Texas, being quite young when he accompanied his parents to that state. He joined the Confederate army at the outbreak of the Civil war and loyally defended the principles in which he believed until the close of hostilities, participating in numerous engagements in Missouri and Arkansas, of which he sustained several wounds.
In one of which he sustained severe wounds. While recovering from his injuries he was located in Washington County, Arkansas, and it was largely his influence that induced his parents to become residents of that county after the close of hostilities. William E. Rosser turned his attention to farming and stock raising in Washington County but devoted much of his life to the profession of teaching and was widely recognized as one of the able educators of that state. For more than forty years he was thus actively engaged in the work of the schoolroom and did much to further the development of the public school system of the state. He also gave personal supervision to his farm during this period. He passed away at his old home in Washington county in 1914, when seventy years of age.
Malcolm Edward Rosser, spending his youth upon the old homestead farm, was largely educated under the instruction of his father and also attended school at Prairie Grove, Arkansas. Eventually he went to the Atlantic seaboard and entered the University of Virginia, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1891, winning the Bachelor of Laws degree. Not long afterward he removed to Mangum, in Greer County, Oklahoma, and a little later he opened an office in Talihina, then a part of the Choctaw Nation and now in LeFlore County. During the period of nearly two decades which he there passed he gained a most prominent position as a lawyer.
He afterward took up his abode in Poteau and while there residing was elected mayor of the city in 1902. The ability which he displayed in the practice of law and his loyalty to high ideals of citizenship led to his election to the bench of the fifth judicial district, his service thereon covering a period of four years, during which time he made a most excellent record by the fairness and impartiality of his decisions. He resigned the judgeship to become supreme court commissioner of Oklahoma in 1,911 and after filling that position for two years, or until 1913, be resigned to enter upon the private practice of law in Muskogee. Here he has continued through the intervening period of eight years and his success constitutes an important chapter in the history of the Muskogee County bar. He has been retained as counsel for the defense or prosecution in many of the most important cases that have come up for trial in the district and at the same time he is regarded as a most safe counselor upon various points of corporation and civil law.
In 1898 Mr. Rosser was married to Miss Mary E. Rodgers, a native of Oklahoma and a daughter of Walker E. and Frances (Rutherford) Rodgers, prominent pioneer people of the state. Judge and Mrs. Rosser now have three children : Frances, Malcolm E. and Louise.
Judge Rosser belongs to the Muskogee County Bar Association and the Oklahoma State Bar Association and to an unusual degree he enjoys the respect and confidence of his colleagues and contemporaries in the profession. He belongs also to the American Bar Association, while fraternally he is connected with the Masons and the Knights of Pythias and socially with the Lions Club and the Town and Country Club. Thoughtful and earnest, delving deep to the root of all matters which he deems essential to the welfare of mankind and the betterment of the community, he nevertheless has a saving sense of humor and is quick at repartee. His host of friends place unusual value upon his companionship and he finds his friends among the young and the old, the rich and the poor.