Keaton, James R.

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April 4, 1946
The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
page 1, photo

James Keaton, Widely Known Attorney, Dies
Heart Ailment Fatal To Crusader For Better Government

James R. Keaton, 84, prominent Oklahoma attorney since 1890, died at 7 pm Wednesday at Wesley hospital of a heart ailment following an illness of several days.

Formerly vice-president of the American Bar Association and president of the state bar, Keaton was noted for more than 50 years among Oklahoma City attorneys as a stickler for legal ethics, a crusader for governmental reforms and economy in all branches of government.

Identified with numerous non-partisan campaigns...

Known for his part in the fight against the Jack Walton administration which led to the impeachment of the governor. Keaton refused to run for corporation commissioner during the Walton regime.

In later years the prominent attorney took a stand against the encroachment of oil wells within the city limits...

Keaton was born in Carter County, Kentucky, December 10, 1861. He graduated from National Normal university at Lebanon, Ohio, in 1884 and took his law degree at Georgetown university in 1890.

Keaton left Kentucky in 1884 for Texas where he became the principal of Hico high school and served as publisher and editor of the Hico Courier for two years.

Admitted to the bar in 1890 he married Lucille Johnston of Denton, Texas, the same year and formed a law firm with John H. Cotterel at Guthrie, where he practiced law until 1896, when he was appointed associate justice of the supreme court of the Oklahoma territory.

Active in the state bar association since its founding. Judge Keaton served on the executive committee of the American Bar Association for three years and in 1935 was elected vice president of the national legal society.

He was delegate from Oklahoma county to the first state Democratic convention and served on the committee on resolutions. In 1902 he became a member of the law firm of Shartel, Keaton and Wells. The firm was re-organized in 1912 as Keaton, Wells and Johnston.

Judge Keaton, a lifetime member of the Oklahoma Historical Society, was admitted to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1937. He was a member of the Men's Dinner Club of Oklahoma City.

Survivors include a stepson, Clarence J. Keaton, 1710 N Eastern, a brother, E. F. Keaton, New Holland, Ohio. and a sister, somewhere in Kentucky.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by Street and Draper.

April 5, 1946
The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
page 14

Keaton Rites Set Saturday

Services for James R. Keaton, 84, prominent Oklahoma City attorney, who died Wednesday of a heart aliment, will be at 2 pm Saturday in the First Presbyterian church, Dr. John R. Abernathy and Dr. Ward Davis will officiate.

Keaton, formerly vice-president of the American Bar Association and president of the state association, was an attorney here for more than 50 years.

Active bearers will be Walter A. Lybrand, Claude Monnett, L. E. McElroy, Fisher Ames, Warren Edwards, and Granville Tomerlin.

Burial will be in Rose Hill cemetery, with arrangements by Street and Draper.

April 6, 1946
The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
page 11

James R. Keaton

Services will be in First Presbyterian church at 2 pm Saturday for James R. Keaton, 84, attorney, who died Wednesday. The body will lie in state at Street and Draper funeral home from 10 am to 1 pm Saturday. Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery.

Submitted by Marti Graham, August 2003. Information posted as courtesy to researchers. The submitter is not related to nor researching any of the above.

Family Researcher: Norma Zanetti July 2003.


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