“My family…and the pioneers…they couldn’t be bought – they wouldn’t compromise with wrong – they believed that any one man who tells and lives by the truth today can be a majority tomorrow."
Ross Rizley was born in No Man’s Land in the Oklahoma Panhandle to pioneering parents and began his teaching career at age 17. He later attended a business college in Oklahoma City and held several county offices before deciding to sell his team of mules and use the money to attend the Kansas City School of Law. He returned to the panhandle to practice law in Beaver County until 1918, and then moved his practice to Guymon. In 1930, he was elected state senator and was in the forefront of the “hot oil” debate during Governor William H. Murray’s administration. Rizley was elected to Congress from 1941 to 1949 and was chairman of the credentials committee at the 1952 Republican National Convention. He later served as a member and chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board, as assistant secretary of agriculture, and as a federal judge of the western district of Oklahoma.
When Ross Rizley was a child, his parents had saved an entire year’s wages – a $10 bill – but lost it in a wind storm. The very next day, it was found stuck to a thorn tree.
Rizley was born in a combination dugout and sod house in 1892, in Beaver County.