William Miller Jenkins
|William Miller Jenkins|
|5th Governor of Oklahoma Territory|
April 15, 1901 – November 30, 1901
|Appointed by||William McKinley|
|Preceded by||Cassius McDonald Barnes|
|Succeeded by||William C. Grimes
as Acting Territorial Govenror 1
April 25, 1856|
|Died||October 19, 1941
|Spouse(s)||Delphina White Jenkins|
|^1 William C. Grimes served as Acting Governor until President Roosevelt appointed Thompson Benton Ferguson to the Governorship|
The son of Henry J. and Lydia (Miller) Jenkins, William Miller Jenkins was born at Alliance, Stark County, Ohio, on April 25, 1858. He attended public schools and later attending Mt. Union College at Alliance. Jenkins would teacher school in Stark County from 1876 until 1878. On December 21, 1878, Jenkins married Delphina White of Doublin, Indiana.
Jenkins and his wife removed to Shelby County, Iowa, in 1880 where he was admitted to the bar in 1883. In 1884 he established his residence at Arkansas City, Kansas, where he operated a private law practice. In 1888, he served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention.
When the Cherokee Outlet was opened to settlement on September 16, 1893, causing a land-rush, Jenkins succeeded in securing a homestead in Kay County where he would continue to practice law untli he entered government service. When President William McKinley appointed Cassius McDonald Barnes as Governor of Oklahoma Territory, he also appointed Jenkins to serve as the Territory's Secretary. Jenkins assumed that position in June 1897 and would serve for four years until President McKinley elevated him to the governorship. Jenkins took the oath of office on April 15, 1901. During his administration, the Comanche-Kiowa-Apache and the Wichita-Caddo Indian reservations were opened for settlement in August 1901.
Questions of Governor Jenkins's fidelity arose following the renewal of contracts for the care of the insane in the Territory. Following the assassination of President McKinley on September 14, 1901, those questions developed into an outright opposition. Newly elevated President Theodore Roosevelt immediately received demands to removed Governor Jenkins from office. Without affording the Governor an opportunity to defend himself, President Roosevelt summarily removed Jenkins from office on November 30, 1901. Territorial Secretary William C. Grimes became acting Governor until President Roosevelt appointed Thompson Benton Ferguson to the Governorship on December 9, 1901.
Territorial Governor Ferguson would later report to the Secretary of the Interior Jenkins had "suffered a great injustice."
Late life and death
Subsequent to his retirement, Governor Jenkins spent a few years in California but upon his return to Oklahoma, settled at Sapulpa, Oklahoma and in 1920 was elected Court Clerk of Creek County, Oklahoma. He died at Sapulpa on October 19, 1941 and is buried in the South Heights Cemetery near that city.
Cassius McDonald Barnes
|Governor of Oklahoma Territory
William C. Grimes
Acting Territorial Governor