Bird S. McGuire Collection

1903-1909

0.10 cubic foot

portrait of Bird McGuire

Biographical Sketch of the Creator of the Collection

Bird Segle McGuire, a territorial delegate then representative from Oklahoma, was born in Belleville, Illinois, on October 13, 1865. He spent his childhood in Missouri and Kansas, eventually becoming a cattle rancher and teacher. After returning to school at the University of Kansas to earn a law degree, McGuire passed the bar in 1889. He was a prosecuting attorney in Kansas until 1894, at which point he moved to Pawnee County, Oklahoma Territory. In Oklahoma, McGuire immersed himself in territorial politics. Appointed as a United States district attorney by President William McKinley, McGuire earned his political reputation as a faction leader in the Republican Party.

Elected as territorial delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1903, McGuire was one of the most powerful Republicans in Oklahoma Territory and constantly at odds with other powerful Republicans, especially Territorial Governor Thompson B. Ferguson and his successor, Frank Frantz. McGuire and the governors fought over control of the territory and the party. In 1907, McGuire became the representative of Oklahoma's First District in the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he held until 1915. While in the House, McGuire served on the Committee on Indian Affairs, chaired the Committee on Expenditures in the Indian Department, and chaired the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Commerce and Labor. In 1915, he declined renomination and returned to his ranch and law practice in Tulsa. McGuire died in 1930.

Scope and Content of the Collection

The McGuire Collection consists of only six folders containing personal correspondence from 1903-1909. The majority of correspondence is with D.L. Larsh, chair of the Republican Central Committee of Cleveland County, Oklahoma, and secretary of the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma. Topics are for the most part limited to private pension bills, local appointments to postmaster and marshal, construction of a bridge across the South Canadian River, and a land grant for the University of Oklahoma. McGuire's role as a vanguard of statehood and as a Republican leader are not represented. In addition, there is nothing to recount his activities in Washington.

There is an item-level inventory to this collection. For more information on the archival holdings, please contact the Carl Albert Center.


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