Biography of Fred Roscoe Sutton, M. D.

Dr. Fred Roscoe Sutton, physician and surgeon of Bartlesville, has been successfully engaged in the practice of medicine in Oklahoma since 1898. The passing years have chronicled the steady growth and progress of the state and in keeping with the trend of change and advancement is the record of Dr. Sutton, who at all times has kept abreast of the latest researches and discoveries relative to the laws of health. He was born in Emporia, Kansas, January 14, 1874, and is a son of Dr. George W. Sutton, a native of Kentucky, whose birth occurred just across the River from Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1840, and who was largely educated in that city.

He pursued his professional course in the Cincinnati Medical College, from which he was graduated with the class of 1865. In the meantime, however, he had spent four years as a soldier of the Union army during the Civil war, having enlisted at Cincinnati in an Ohio regiment, in which he rose to the rank of captain. In 1871 he removed to Emporia, Kansas, where he soon became established in a large practice, his ability being at once recognized. He also became a prominent figure in connection with public and political affairs and was a most ardent exponent of the Republican platform. It was Dr. George W. Sutton who more than any one else, was instrumental in the rapid rise to prominence of Senator Preston B. Plumb. Dr. Sutton was recognized as a man of sound judgment and his opinions concerning any individual or any circumstance always carried weight with many of his friends. They learned to rely upon his judgment and his endorsement of Senator Plumb was a strong factor in obtaining public support. Dr. Sutton was also most active himself in the public life of the state. He served as a member of the state legislature of Kansas and after removing to Oklahoma became one of the lawmakers here. He would have been appointed governor of Oklahoma under President McKinley had he not declined to serve. He ever strove to advance the general welfare and his labors constituted an effective force for public progress and improvement. In young manhood he married Miss Kate King, a native of Indiana, and she is living at the old family home in Cleveland, Oklahoma. It was in 1887 that Dr. Sutton was appointed to the position of government surgeon at the Osage Indian agency at Pawhuska, Indian Territory, and from that time until his demise he lived in this section of the state, his last days being passed in Cleveland, Pawnee County, his death occurring in 1917. He also became a prominent factor in business affairs in Bartlesville, where he took active part in founding the First National Bank, of which he became President, making it one of the strongest financial institutions in this important oil and gas region. He was a thirty-second degree Mason, belonging to the Consistory at Guthrie. Death called him in the year 1917 and his passing was the occasion of deep regret throughout northern Oklahoma, for in the thirty years of his residence in this part of the state he had contributed largely to its progress and development and, moreover, had made for himself a firm place in the affectionate regard of his fellow citizens by reason of his public spirit and his valuable contribution to growth and progress in this section of the state.

His son, Dr. Fred Roscoe Sutton, spending his youthful days in Kansas, supplemented his public school education by study in Baker University at Baldwin, from which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1894. Whether inherited tendency, natural predilection or environment had most to do with his selection of a life work it is perhaps impossible to determine. However, he resolved to follow in his father’s professional footsteps and that he made no mistake in his choice of a life work is indicated by the result which he has achieved. He became a student in the University Medical College, from which he was graduated in March, 1898, and returning at once to Oklahoma, began practice in Cleveland. His desire, however, to reach the highest point of perfection possible in his professional labors caused him to go to New York, where he spent an extended period in postgraduate work in the New York Postgraduate Medical College, in which he specialized in surgery. He then received appointment to the position of assistant chief surgeon of the California and western divisions of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad at Los Angeles, California, and for five years he remained in that city, having direct charge of the hospital and office work for the railroad company. On the expiration of that period he returned to Oklahoma to resume the private practice of medicine and surgery and opened an office in Bartlesville. He has specialized in surgery, for which he is splendidly fitted by reason of his college training and his broad experience in connection with railroad hospital work. For seventeen years he has followed his profession in Bartlesville and has steadily forged his way to the front as one of the eminent medical and surgical practitioners of northern Oklahoma. Modern methods are thoroughly familiar to him and he readily adopts any plan or process which his judgment sanctions as of value to the profession. During the World war he served with the rank of Captain in the Medical Corps for sixteen months.

In 1918 Dr. Sutton was married to Miss Garnett Rhine, a native of Indiana, and they are prominent socially in Bartlesville. Aside from his professional interests Dr. Sutton was a director of the First National Bank, the founding of which he was associated with his father and George B. Keeler and of which his father became President. The three erected the First National Bank building, a picture of which appears in the historical section of this work. Dr. Sutton of this review has also been very successful in connection with oil development. He has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking, his support being given, however, to the Republican Party. Fraternally he is a thirty-second degree Mason and member of the Mystic Shrine and was one of the organizers of Bartlesville Lodge, No. 1060, B. P. O. E. In the line of his profession he has membership in the Washington County Medical Society, the American Medical Association, and the Oklahoma State Medical Association, of which he has been councilor. For more than a third of a century the name of Sutton has been associated with medical practice in Oklahoma and as borne by father and son has ever been a synonym for highest standards and utmost efficiency.


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.

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