The lumber industry of Washington County finds a prominent representative in L. W. Servey, who as President of the Ochelata Lumber Company is controlling a large and growing business, which he has developed through close application, capable management, energy and determination. He was born in Dempsey town, Venango County, Pennsylvania July 2, 1813, of the marriage of A. J. and Adeline (Weikal) Servey, both now deceased. The father, who was a building contractor, went to Kansas in 1868 and there took up a homestead, which he improved and developed.
L. W. Servey completed a course in the high school at Iola, Kansas, after which he attended the normal school at Mankato, Minnesota, and a business college at St. Paul, that state. Following the outbreak of the Spanish-American war he became a member of the Fifteenth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Captain Spicer. After receiving his discharge Mr. Servey entered the employ of the Clark & Bates Lumber Company, first working in their plant at Gas City, Kansas.
He was then sent by the firm to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, arriving there on the 1st of December, 1899, and eating his first meal at the National Hotel, which was the first good hostelry established in the town and was situated on the present site of the Model Clothing Store, being operated by Frank Overlees. The yards of the Clark & Bates Company were then located where the Union Bank now stands; Keeler’s store was at that time in the old town of Bartlesville; and on the present site of the courthouse there was an oil well.
Mr. Servey also went to Collinsville and Ochelata in the interests of the firm, with whom he continued until 1916, during which period he acquired a comprehensive knowledge of the business. He then embarked upon an independent venture, establishing the Ochelata Lumber Company, of which he has since been the President and the directing head. They have two employes and their stock, which is valued at fifteen thousand dollars, consists of large timbers used in oil development work and they also handle paints and varnishes, their yards covering an area two hundred and six-teen by one hundred and twenty-eight feet. Mr. Servey’s powers of organization and his executive ability have enabled him to build up a business of large proportions and he controls all of the lumber trade for several miles adjacent to Ochelata.
On October 18, 1905, was solemnized the marriage of L. W. Servey and Daisy Maude Castain of Iola, Kansas, and the circle of their friends is an extensive one.
Mr. Servey gives his political allegiance to the Democratic Party and has taken a prominent part in public affairs. He has been chairman of the Washington County election board for the past twelve years and from 1903 to 1904 he acted as city clerk of Collinsville while from 1906 until 1908 he served as mayor of Ochelata, giving to the town a businesslike and progressive administration, characterized by various needed reforms and improvements. When leisure permits he finds recreation in shooting and is considered an expert marksman.
In all of his business career he has held closely to the rules which govern strict integrity and un-abating industry and through the wise utilization of his time and opportunities has gained a substantial measure of success, while at the same time his labors have contributed to the development and up building of his community, his worth as a man and citizen being generally acknowledged.