William S. Vernon is a prominent figure in financial circles of northeastern Oklahoma as president of the First National Bank of Coweta, which he organized in July, 1903, and of which he has been the chief executive officer since 1910. His birth occurred near Fayetteville, Arkansas, in October, 1871, his parents being James A. and Woodson (Alexander) Vernon, the former a native of Arkansas, while the latter was born in Missouri. James A. Vernon has devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits in Arkansas and Texas throughout the greater part of his life, having made his way to Texas in 1874. He operated a cotton gin in connection with his farming interests but at present is living retired at McKinney, Texas, enjoying in well earned rest the fruits of his former toil.
William S. Vernon, who was but three years of age when the family home was established in the Lone Star state, obtained his early education in the public schools of Texas and subsequently pursued a course of study in Grayson College, from which he was graduated with the class of 1893.
During the succeeding four years he engaged in teaching school and at the same time studied law, being admitted to the bar in 1898. He then took up the practice of law in Texas, but at the end of four years devoted to the legal profession in that state he came to Coweta, Oklahoma, in July, 1903, and here organized the First National Bank. Of this institution he acted as cashier until 1910, in which year he purchased the interest of the president, U. G. Phippen, and has since occupied the position of chief executive officer, while his brother, Lem Vernon, is the efficient cashier. The bank is capitalized for twenty-five thousand dollars and has deposits of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. It is housed in a handsome building which Mr. Vernon erected in 1904 and has become widely recognized as one of the strong moneyed concerns of northeastern Oklahoma, its progressive policy being tempered by a sound conservatism that safeguards the interests of depositors and stockholders alike. Mr. Vernon is also the president of the First National Bank of Porter and a stockholder in the First National Bank of Muskogee. He likewise owns extensive farming interests.
In December, 1895, Mr. Vernon was united in marriage to Miss Clara German and they have become the parents of three children Irving, twenty-five years of age, who was graduated in geology from the University of Oklahoma and is now representing the Standard Oil Company in South America; William, who passed away May 13, 1917, when nineteen years of age; and Joe F., who is attending the Wentworth Military Academy at Lexington, Missouri.
Politically Mr. Vernon is a stalwart democrat and is at present serving as mayor of Coweta, giving to the city an administration that is furthering its best interests and most substantial development. He has also been a member of the school board for fifteen years and is acting as democratic state committeeman. Fraternally he is identified with the Masonic order, in which he has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite and has crossed the sands of the desert with the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. His wife is a consistent and faithful member of the Christian church. They have won a host of friends during the period of their residence in Coweta, where Mr. Vernon occupies an enviable position as a leading banker and prominent and prosperous citizen.