Biography of F. F. Finney

F. F. Finney, a native son of Oklahoma and a member of one of the pioneer families of the state, is a progressive, energetic and successful young business man and is now serving as superintendent of the gas department of the Indian Territory Illuminating Gas Company, his services being of great value to the corporation. He was born at the Kaw agency in June, 1884, and is a son of T. M. and Abbie (Florer) Finney, the former a native of Martinsburg, Ohio, while the latter was born in Ripley, that state. The father was born on the 13th of May, 1856, and ten years later went to Lawrence, Kansas, to reside with his sister, the wife of Colonel John R. Rankin, his parents having passed away.

There he acquired his education and in 1873, while Mr. Gibson was acting as agent, he went to the Osage agency and entered the employ of the government, working in the commissary department there and trading with the Indians for many years. From 1882 until 1884 he engaged in business on his own account in the western part of Osage county, trading with the Kaw tribe, and in the following year he returned to the Osage tribe, being associated with his brother-in-law, John M. Florer, in Indian trading at Gray Horse until the opening of the Cherokee strip. In 1888 he went down the Arkansas river and founded the town of Ralston, opening the first general merchandise store there. After conducting the enterprise for a year he again resumed his activities as an Indian trader with the Pawnee tribe, being there associated in business for three years with J. H. Sherbourne. He then returned to Gray Horse and again engaged in trading with the Osage, remaining at that place until 1912, when he went to Pawhuska, Osage county, where he carried on his trading operations with the Indians until 1914.

In that year he came to Bartlesville, where he has since resided, and in 1915 he formed a partnership with Charles Keener for the conduct of an establishment dealing in electric supplies, their place of business being located at No. 310 Dewey street. He is an old-time friend of George B. Kedler and while at the Kaw agency he served as postmaster. He likewise acted as postmaster at Gray Horse and Ralston and was the first candidate for the constitutional convention on the Republican ticket, but failed of election.

Coming to this state in territorial days, he has experienced all of the hardships and privations of pioneer life and has an intimate knowledge of the character and habits of the Indians, with whom he ever maintained friendly relations, owing to his honorable and straightforward dealing, while in the work of progress and up-building he has borne his full share.

F. F. Finney attended the public schools at the Kaw agency, completing his education in the high school at La Junta, Colorado. In 1904 he returned to Bartlesville and entered the employ of the Indian Territory Illuminating Gas Company, with which he has since been connected, at first working in the field and later winning promotion to his present position as superintendent of the gas department. The company employs about two hundred and fifty men and has gas leases in Osage county, covering three hundred thousand acres, on which they have three hundred wells on an average. Mr. Finney is thoroughly familiar with the gas business and is thus well qualified to direct the labors of those under him, so, managing his department that a high degree of efficiency is maintained in this branch of the business.

In 1902 Mr. Finney was united in marriage to Miss Ila G. Berry, a native of Fulton, Missouri, and they have become the parents of three sons, Thomas McKean and Frank F., Jr., aged, respectively, seven and four years; and Robert Berry, born December 11, 1921.

In business affairs Mr. Finney has made steady progress, thoroughly mastering every detail of the duties that have devolved upon him and winning advancement through merit and ability. He has wisely utilized hi, time, talents and opportunities and in business circles of his community he has become recognized as a man to be trusted.



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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