Biography of Richard Watson Argue

Richard Watson Argue, who died April 24, 1916, was very well and prominently known in the oil industry of the Mid-Continent field, lived at Independence a number of years, and Mrs. Argue, his widow, is still a resident there and had proved her resourcefulness as a business woman in looking after the extensive properties left by Mr. Argue at the time of his death.

He was born near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 1, 1845, a son of John Wilson Argue, who was born in County Cavan, Ireland, went to America early in life, and followed farming in Canada. He died on his farm near Ottawa.

Reared in Canada, gaining his education in the public schools, Richard W. Argue spent the first twenty-one years of his life at home, and then took up the oil business at Titusville, Pennsylvania. He followed the oil fields, with all the ups and downs and fortunes and vicissitudes of that industry through Pennsylvania, operating in Titusville, Crawford County, Clarion County, and McKean County, and later established himself at Buffalo, New York, becoming an extensive operator in the gas fields in West Seneca. From Buffalo in 1897 he extended his activities into Wood and Allen counties, Ohio, and became a very prominent business man of Lima. In 1963 Mr. Argue came to Kansas, locating in Independence, and thereafter was an oil producer both in Kansas and Oklahoma. He had extensive interests in the Bolton pool in Kansas, the Glenn pool in Oklahoma, and in the oil fields near Ochleta, Oklahoma. Since his death Mrs. Argue had looked after the productions in the oil properties in Oklahoma and also those in Sedan and Wayside, Kansas. Mrs. Argue owned one of the fine residences of Independence located at 417 West Myrtle Street.

The late Mr. Argue was a republican in politics, and also gave much of his time to the affairs of the Methodist Church. At Lima, Ohio, he was one of the leading members of the Methodist Church there, serving as president of the official board. Fraternally he was prominent in Masonry, having affiliations with Bradford Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and Bradford Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, Bradford Commandery, Knights Templar, all in Pennsylvania, with the Templa of the Mystie Shrine at Dayton, Ohio, and with the Cousistory at Toledo. While a resident of Lima he served as a director of the Lima Trust Company, and was a stockholder in the City National Bank of Independence. He was a director of the hospital board in Lima, and that city especially benefited from his liberal and patriotic citizenship, and more than one church there was the beneficiary of his efforts and means. He was a member of the Young Men’s Christian Association board of that city.

On March 16, 1880, at Shamburg, Pennsylvania, Mr. Argue married Eva Jean Allport. Mrs. Argue was born near Kingston, Ontario, Canada, but was taken when a girl to Venango County, Pennsylvania, where she attended the public schools and finished in the Fredonia Normal School at New York. Before her marriage she taught at Derrick City in McKane County, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Argue, like her husband, had been deeply interested in church work, and did a great deal in behalf of the church organization at Lima. She is a member of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.

Her father, Norman Allport, was born at Kingston, Ontario, in 1883, and in 1870 moved to Venango County, Pennsylvania, where he became interested as an oil producer. He finally retired to live at Lima, Ohio, but died in January, 1913, while on a visit to Canada. He was a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Norman Allport married Catherine Snider, who was born in Outario, Canada, in 1837 and died at Rock City, Pennsylvania, in 1903. Her father Jacob Snider was born in Ontario in 1792, and died in 1876 on one of the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River. The father of Jacob Snider was a loyalist during the American Revolution, and aided his king in the war against the colonies. Mr. Argue’s maternal grandfather, William Allport, was born in Ontario, Canada, and was also the son of a loyalist who was with the British in their war against the colonies. William Allport spent his life as a farmer and died near Kingston, Canada, when Mrs. Argue was a young child. Mrs. Argue had an older sister, Ida Jennett, now deceased, who was the wife of B. F. Williams, an oil producer now living in Toledo, Ohio.

Mrs. Argue is the mother of four children. May, who was educated in the public schools of Buffalo, New York, graduated from Bradford Academy of Massachnsetts, and from the State Normal School of Albany, and also from the Teachers College of Columbla University, was a teacher in Lima, Ohio, but is now the wife of Clarence David Buckpitt, an insurance agent at Buffalo, New York, and they have a daughter Margaret. Edith, who graduated from the National Park Seminary at Washington, District of Columbia, is the wife of Bennett Frederick Lies, a traveling representative for the American Sparkler Company, and a resident of Buffalo, New York. Ethel Louise attended the National Park Seminary at Washington and is now a student in the Kindergarten Training School at Buffalo, New York. Walter Watson finished his education in the Jacob Tome Institute at Deposit, Maryland, where he made a brilliant record in athletics, particularly in track work, and on account of forcing himself beyond his powers in that branch of sports was compelled to leave school and is now engaged in oil production at Sedan, Kansas.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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