JAMES HIRAM EARP, M. D.
BIOGRAPHY and GENEALOGY
(1863 TX -aft. 1910)
Lawrence County, Alabama & Texas
Though a physician of high standing and many years’ experience, Doctor Earp moved to Oklahoma City in 1903 and was primarily concerned with the development of local real estate. Many of the fine homes in the northwestern quarter of the city were constructed by Doctor Earp, who lived in that district for several years, but he later occupied an ideal suburban home on the south Side, situated on the rural free delivery route No. 8. Doctor Earp was also prominent in the democratic party of Oklahoma, and was regarded as one of the strongest influences in this section of the state and a campaigner of notable energies and success.
James Hiram Earp was a native of Texas, born in Gilmer, Upshur County, November 3, 1863. His parents were Buel (this named was probably Ruel) M. and Mary H. (Wilson) Earp, the former native of Lawrence County, Alabama, and the latter of Tennessee.
His father had a prominent military record. As a young man he was a soldier in the war with Mexico in 1847, and fourteen years later when the conflict broke out between the North and South, he joined the Confederate army and was fighting the southern cause until the end of the war. He was wounded at Chickamauga, but soon recovered and was back on the fighting line. At another time he was captured, and spent about three months in an Ohio federal prison. The greater part of his service was under General Hood.
Doctor Earp received his early education in the common schools of Texas, and in 1889 graduated from the Louisville Medical College of Kentucky. Some years later he took a post-graduate course in the Policlinic at New Orleans, finishing in 1896. For fifteen years, Doctor Earp, carried on a successful practice as a physician in Texas, being located at San Antonio and Corsicana.
When Doctor Earp came to Oklahoma City in August, 1903, he entered actively into the real-estate business, building, buying and selling. About that time the city entered upon its career of expansion, and he interested himself in the development on the Northwest Side. He purchased a number of lots in the Putnam Heights Addition, and built more than thirty fine homes in that one quarter. He sold most of these, but still owned the finest of all the large homes he constructed on that addition, though the place was later occupied by a tenant. Doctor Earp moved to the South Side, and on ten acres of land close to the Moore interurban (?) improved one of the ideal rural residences of Oklahoma City. At his suburban home he had everything modern, including his own waterworks plant, lighting plant, a fine pond stocked with game fish, a splendid bearing orchard, vineyard, and all the surroundings and facilities which represent his ideals of a home.
In politics, Doctor Earp was regarded as a partisan democrat, but most of his work was accomplished within the ranks of the party in behalf of his friends and political favorites. “He was not an aspirant for political honors himself, but any man in Oklahoma politics counted himself fortunate if he could secure the friendship and support of this Oklahoma physician. In state affairs he was an ardent supporter of Congressman W. H. Murrey, with whom as a boy he went to school and picked cotton in Texas. Those ties of early friendship were never abandoned, and when Mr. Murrey announced as a candidate for governor, Doctor Earp dropped all his own business and spent his time and money freely to further his cause. He was also an enthusiastic supporter, in the fall of 1914, of Chief Justice Hays, when that able jurist was a candidate for the democratic nomination for United States senator against Senator Gore. While he worked emphatically and energetically on behalf of his own friends before the primaries, after the ticket was made up he was equally stanch and regular with his party, and was a strong factor in every election wherein the votes of Oklahoma City were concerned.
At Crockett, Texas, July 3, 1895, Doctor Earp married Miss Mary Nunn, daughter of Col. D. A. and Helen (Williams) Nunn. Colonel Nunn was a Confederate captain of the Civil war. His wife’s brother was Judge F. A. Williams, one of the prominent lawyers and judges of Texas. Only six months after their happy marriage, Mrs. Earp died, December 1, 1895.
Doctor Earp married for his second wife, at San Antonio, Texas, April 10, 1900, Miss Nellie Thompson, daughter of Tom and Julia (Luthey) Thompson. Both her parents were natives of St. Louis, and her father was for years head of the St. Louis Baggage & Transfer Company. To this union two daughters were born:
- Mary Annette Earp, born March 25, 1908 died 1963
- Eleanor “Nelsie May Earp born April 8, 1910 – died 1991
- Jessie Kerr Earp born 1916- 1985
Mrs. Earp was a member of the St. Luke Methodist Episcopal Church of Oklahoma City. Dr. Earp passed away Jan. 19, 1922 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma and was buried in Fairlawn Cemetery, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma along with his wife, Nellie, who died Jan 4, 1941.
1.(Transcribed by Lee Ann Collins, October 21, 1998 -Vol. 3, p. 1325, 1326)