Biography of Wiley Terry Wisdom

Wiley Terry Wisdom, Vice President of the Exchange National Bank of Muskogee, was born in Jackson, Tennessee, February 22, 1875. His father, Colonel Dew M. Wisdom, was born at Medon, Madison County, Tennessee, February 3, 1836, and was a son of William S. and Jane (Anderson) Wisdom.

The grandfather was born in Rockingham county, North Carolina, in 1796, and when Colonel Wisdom was still an infant he was taken by his parents to McNairy county, Tennessee. He completed his education in the Cumberland University at Lebanon and is numbered among its alumni of 1857. He early took up the study of Latin and in his college days studied Greek and French. He prepared for the bar as a student in Cumberland University and after being admitted to practice he opened an office in Purdy, Tennessee, where he followed his profession until the outbreak of the Civil war.

He was unanimously chosen a member of the proposed constitutional convention which was never called into session, however, as the proposition was defeated by popular vote. When active hostilities began between the north and the south he joined Company F, Thirteenth Tennessee Volunteer Infantry, and was with the Confederate forces as a first lieutenant under Captain John V. Wright, whom he succeeded in the Captaincy when the latter was promoted to the rank of Colonel.

While commanding his company at Belmont, Captain Wisdom was twice wounded, but sufficiently recovered to participate in the battle of Shiloh. He took part in various other engagements including the storming of Fort Pillow.

Following the close of the war Colonel Wisdom entered upon the practice of law in Iuka, Mississippi, and for one term was a member of the state senate. He afterward removed to Jackson, Tennessee, where he became owner and editor of the Tribune, which later was consolidated with the Jackson Sun. In 1878 Colonel Wisdom was appointed clerk to the master in chancery of Madison County and continued in the position for twelve years. He removed from Tennessee to Fort Smith, Arkansas, in 1882 and there became one of the owners of the Fort Smith Herald, acting as its political editor and exercising considerable influence over the political situation in the state. At a later date he was made chief clerk of the Union Indian Agency, with jurisdiction over the Five Civilized Tribes and accordingly removed to Muskogee. From 1893 until 1899 he acted as Indian agent, resigning on the 3d of May, 1900, because of a change in the national administration. At one time he was mayor of Muskogee and later he resumed law practice, which he followed most successfully.

In 1862 Colonel Wisdom was married to Miss Annie Terry, daughter of Wiley B. and Mary (Gooche) Terry, and they are parents of three sons and a daughter: Lucile Eberle, William D., J. Fentress and Wiley Terry of this review. The father departed this life November 5, 1905, and in his passing Muskogee lost one of her honored and representative residents.

The youngest son, Wiley T. Wisdom, obtained his education largely in the schools of Fort Smith. He was afterward secretary to Senator Robert L. Owen for several years and then became identified with the banking business, first acting as messenger in the First National Bank and steadily working his way upward to the position of assistant cashier. In 1909 he organized the Muskogee State Bank, of which he became president and so continued until it was consolidated with the Exchange National Bank and Mr. Wisdom was made Vice President. He is likewise the president of the First State Bank at Morris, Oklahoma, and vice president of the Oklahoma State Bank at Council Hill.

He has thoroughly acquainted himself with every phase of the banking business and at all times his progressiveness is tempered by a safe conservatism that is productive of splendid results in connection with the up building of the institutions of which he is a representative.

In August, 1918, Mr. Wisdom was married to Miss Daisy May Griffin of Lamar, Missouri. Mr Wisdom belongs to the Chamber of Commerce and is deeply interested in all those forces and measures which make for public progress in his city and state. Fraternally he is connected with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and socially with the Town and Country Club. The family name of Wisdom has long figured prominently in connection with the history of the state and along other but no less important lees Wiley T. Wisdbm is carrying forward the work instituted by his father in connection with Oklahoma’s improvement and up building.



Benedict, John Downing. Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma: including the counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1922.

Search Military Records - Fold3

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top