William M. Jenkins

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William M. Jenkins

William M. Jenkins

“I have never been disappointed that I came west…I have liked the people, the progress and strides this part of the country has made.”
Gov. William Jenkins, 1940


Oklahoma’s fifth Territorial Governor, William Miller Jenkins, was born in Ohio and later moved with his family to Louisiana where William was admitted to the Bar in 1883. He practiced law in Kansas before making the race into the Cherokee Outlet in the Run of 1893, where he secured a homestead in Kay County. Mr. Jenkins served as Secretary of the Territory from June, 1897, until he was appointed Governor in May, 1901. A “whispering campaign” against him challenged his fidelity in relation to certain contracts for the case of the insane at the hospital in Norman and developed into furious opposition following the death of U.S. President McKinley. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt did not afford Gov. Jenkins the opportunity for defense and summarily removed him from the office. Following his retirement as governor, he spent a few years in California, but returned to Oklahoma and settled in Sapulpa where he served as court clerk for Creek County.

Fun fact

In 1901, William Jenkins was appointed Territorial Governor by his friend, President William McKinley. Governor Jenkins served for only 7 months, when upon the assassination of President McKinley, he was removed from office by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Oklahoma connections

Jenkins came to Oklahoma in the Land Run of 1893.




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