Horace Speed

Horace Speed (January 25, 1852 – December 28, 1924) was an Oklahoma pioneer and the first United States District Attorney for Oklahoma Territory.

Speed was born in Nelson County, Kentucky, and was a prominent attorney in Indiana with Benjamin Harrison. In 1889, he moved to Winfield, Kansas, and following the Run of '89 he established a practice in Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory. His experience with the Cherokee Commission led now President Benjamin Harrison to appoint him United States Attorney for the territory (1890–1894). He served again for a short time in 1900 as the last territorial US Attorney before it was divided into districts. As US Attorney he prosecuted many of the outlaws running rampant in the territory and the land fraud cases that troubled the land openings.

In 1901, following Territorial Governor William Miller Jenkins removal from office, President Theodore Roosevelt called Speed to Washington and offered him the governorship. Speed declined and Thompson Benton Ferguson was eventually appointed as a compromise.

After statehood, Speed moved to Tulsa and opened a law firm. He died there in 1924.

By Dean Hanley

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