Biographical Sketch of Robert D. Knight

Robert D. Knight was born March 25, 1846, at Chouteau, Cherokee Nation, the youngest son of J. S. Knight, a Marylander, and a Cherokee lady, daughter of William Rogers, one of the old settlers. Robert attended several schools in the State of Pennsylvania, after which he spent three years at the academy in Bridgeton, New Jersey, finishing his education at Newtonia, Missouri. Leaving school in 1861, Robert entered the Confederate service, and served until the close of the war. After devoting ten years to farming, Mr. Knight moved in 1876 to Vinita, and there began the business of architect, contractor and builder, which employment he still pursues. In 1890 he opened a planing mill and factory in his town, putting up the first gasoline engine ever introduced in the Indian Territory. The factory is fitted with all modern improvements. Mr. Knight was superintendent of construction (on the part of the nation), of the Cherokee Female Seminary, a building which cost $65,000. He erected the national colored high school, near Tahlequah, which cost $10,000, as also the brickwork of the Halsell Institute. In April 1875, Mr. Knight married Miss Louisa West, daughter of W. West, of Greenville, Missouri, by whom he had one living child, named Herman. Mr. Knight is over six feet in height, and weighs 190 pounds. He is a fine, intelligent looking man, of first class business qualifications and is very popular. His factory and stock are valued at $3,000, while he has about ten town lots, and a few houses rented in Vinita, besides his own home and 160 acres of farmland in cultivation. He is also owner of the Vinita World, a paper established in 1890. [We have recently learned that the title of that paper has been changed to the Vinita Globe.]


Indian Territory,

O'Beirne, Harry F. and Edward S. The Indian Territory: Its Chiefs, Legislators, and Leading Men. St. Louis. 1898.

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