Comanche-co. has had eleven different county attorneys during the past 42 years, or since the county first elected county officials. Of that number, six were elected as republicans and five as democrats. There have been eight one-termers, one served two terms, one served in all five terms, and one is now serving his eighth term. At least five of the number are now dead. Following is a list of the candidates for county attorney at each general election in this county, with a few facts concerning them:
W. A. TEMPLEMAN
The first county attorney for Comanche-co. was W. A. Templeman. He was the successful candidate at the first election for the selection of county officers, held on April 21, 1885. Mr. Templeman was elected as a republican, defeating J. W. McWilliams, democrat, by a vote of 1061 to 436. Mr. Templeman served only for the remainder of the next year 1885, as a successor was chosen at the fall election. He returned a few years later to his old home in Bethany, Mo. Mr. McWilliams, also moved from Comanche-co. during the latter 80s.
C. O. BLAKE
At the fall election in 1885, C. O. Blake, republican, was the successful candidate for county attorney. The other candidates were S. J. Osborne, democrat, and J. B. McCrary, greenbacker. The vote stood - Blake, 552; Osborne, 492; McCrary, 398. Mr. Blake served just one term, a short term of one year, and a few years later, moved to Oklahoma, where he took a prominent part in public affairs. He died in the fall of 1921.
S. J. OSBORNE
There were two candidates for county attorney at the election in this county in the fall of 1886. They were - S. J. Osborne, democrat, and H. A. Smith, republican. The vote stood - Osborne, 528; Smith, 523. Mr. Osborne served one term only, and later moved to Texas, where he continued the practice of law.
H. A. SMITH
Mr. Smith was successful in his race for county attorney at the general election in 1888. He defeated T. G. Chambers, democrat, by a vote of 483 to 473. Mr. Smith served one term, and a few years later, moved to Perry, Oklahoma. Mr. Chambers moved to Oklahoma City during the early 90s and became a prominent attorney of that state. He still lives in that city.
W. A. JACKSON
The general election in this county in 1890 resulted in the election of W. J. Jackson, democrat, for county attorney. He defeated Geo. W. Vickers, republican, by a vote of 304 to 252. Mr. Jackson and Mr. Vickers were candidates again in 1892, and again Mr. Jackson was elected, the vote standing - Jackson, 283; Vickers, 253. Both Mr. Jackson and Mr. Vickers moved, soon afterwards to the new country of Oklahoma, where they each took a prominent part in political affairs. Mr. Jackson died several years ago in Norman, Okla. Mr. Vickers died about 20 years ago, while a resident of Woods-co., Oklahoma.
S. P. DUNCAN
The general election in 1894 resulted in the election of Shelby P. Duncan as county attorney of this county. He was the republican candidate, defeating W. J. Jackson, who was a candidate for a third term. The vote stood - Duncan, 154; Jackson, 143. Mr. Duncan was a candidate for re-election two years later, but failed of election. He moved soon afterwards to Wichita, where he still resides.
DICK H. RICH
At the general election in 1896, Dick H. Rich, democrat, was the successful candidate for county attorney. He defeated Shelby P. Duncan, republican, by a vote of 192 to 123. Mr. Rich was a candidate for re-election in 1898, but was defeated by Chas. M. Myers, republican, by the very close vote of 173 to 171. At the 1900 election, and again in 1902, Mr. Rich was the successful candidate for county attorney. In 1930, he defeated C. M. Myers, who was a candidate for re-election, 265 to 160. In 1902, he defeated C. E. Baker, the vote being 214 to 195. In the 1904 election he was again a candidate but was defeated by R. A. Strain. At the general election in 1908 and in 1910, Mr. Rich was elected without opposition. He thus served as county attorney a total of five terms, or ten years. His total vote in 1908 was 380 and in 1910, 398. Mr. Rich is still a practicing attorney of this city. He is one of the real pioneers in the county.
CHAS. M. MYERS
As stated, Chas. M. Myers was the successful candidate for county attorney in 1898, defeating D. H. Rich. He was a candidate two years later, but failed of re-election, Dick H. Rich defeating him by a vote of 265 to 160. About the year 1902, Mr. Myers moved to Lawton, Okla., where he continued to make his home until the time of his death, which occurred about ten years ago.
R. A. STRAIN
As already stated, R. A. strain was the successful candidate for attorney at the 1904 general election, defeating D. H. Rich by a vote of 220 to 208. He served one term, and later served as clerk of the district court. His death occurred in July, 1910.
W. E. McCUNE
There were two candidate for county attorney in this county in 1906 - J. L. Stanley, republican, and W. E. McCune, democrat. McCune was elected, the vote standing - McCune, 272; Stanley, 232. Mr. McCune served one term. He died in this city on May 16, 1910. Mr. Stanley is still a resident of Coldwater.
C. E. BAKER
The general election in 1912 resulted in the election of C. E. Baker for county attorney, and he still holds that office having been elected at each succeeding general election. Hence, last January he entered upon his eighth consecutive term, thus breaking all records for the length of term in that office in this county. Mr. Baker's opponents at each general election, and the comparative votes, were as follows: In 1912, J. R. Vanhorn, socialist, 628 to 198; 1914 - Guy VonSchriltz, democrat, 982 to 496; 1916 - W. J. Masemore, democrat, 932 to 919; 1918 - W. J. Masemore 848 to 684; 1920 - W. J. Masemore, 1011 to 687; 1922, 1924 and 1926, no opposition.
A study of facts state above in regard to the election of county attorneys in this county reveals a few interesting facts:
Chas. M. Myers was elected by a majority of only 2 and in two or three other cases, the majorities were quite small. Two men - Dick H. Rich and C. E. Baker - have served the county as county attorney for a total of a little over 24 years, which is over half of the time since the first election was held. At a few of the elections, the total vote seems quite small. In some cases, the reason was the fact that there were then very few voters in the county, and in other cases, the small vote was due to a lack of any special interest in the outcome of the election, the election of the one candidate being conceded. One candidate - W. J. Masemore - was a candidate three times, but was defeated each time by C. E. Baker, Mr. Baker is what is usually referred to as an "old timer," having lived in this county since 1885. In his nine different races for election to the office of county attorney he has been defeated but once. That is a remarkable record.
Comanche County Officers, 1885 - 2007
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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