F. Hiner Dale
F. Hiner Dale
“F. Hiner Dale, for his wit and storytelling gift, has been termed the ‘Will Rogers of the Panhandle,’ and for his wide reading and learning, ‘The Sage of the Short Grass Country.’”
Frank Hiner Dale was born in Kentucky and moved with his parents to Missouri at the age of seven. He spent a year teaching to earn money to enter law school after completing his teaching degree at Missouri State Normal School (now Missouri State University). After several varied and interesting jobs, he graduated in 1906 from Missouri University School of Law. At the age of 25 he came to Muskogee, Oklahoma for a short time to practice law, but eventually settled in Guymon where he became so loved he was known as “Mr. Guymon.” After selling real estate, he was elected Texas County Attorney (1915-1921). In 1927, he was nominated to the First District Court by Governor Henry S. Johnson and was re-elected to the bench until his retirement in 1950. His retirement years were filled with gardening and membership in several community clubs until his death in 1968.
During the summer of 1905, F. Hiner Dale earned money by doctoring corns and warts using a wart removing recipe he had purchased from an Indian doctor. When he was appointed judge of the Oklahoma Court of Tax Review, his daughter, Beth, brought a lawsuit against Horn Seed Company of Oklahoma City that was defended by her brother, Vincent. Therefore, the case was prosecuted by a daughter, defended by a brother and son, and adjudicated by a father. The case was so unusual it was written up in Ripley’s famous series, Believe It or Not.
Dale came to Muskogee, Oklahoma in 1906 to open a law practice.