Hailing from the county of Sequoyah in Oklahoma, Petway Coapland Conn is only the second oddly named politician from the Sooner State to be profiled here on the site (the first being Mazeppa T. Turner back on January 28th of this year). With a first name that brings to mind a pet supply business, Mr. Conn served in the first Senate session of the newly formed state of Oklahoma and other than a brief mention of him in the 1908 work First Administration of Oklahoma, very little else could be found on him!
Petway Copeland Conn was originally born in Tennessee on May 2, 1852, the son of the Methodist minister William W. Conn. It has been lost to history as to why Conn was endowed with the unusual first name "Petway" and his middle name Copeland is also listed as being spelled "Coapland" and "Coplan".
Nothing exists online in regards to Conn's early years. He is noted by the First Administration as being "well educated, having graduated with an A.B. degree", but no mention is given as to where he attended college or when he graduated. Conn later removed to Arkansas and married on September 18, 1879 to Ms. Fannie Lenora Dye. The couple later had several children including Ulan Petway Conn (1884-1903, died in Izard County, Arkansas) and a son, Leslie Dye Conn (birthdate unknown). Petway is listed as being a physician for the majority of his life and he relocated to the town of Gans, Indian Territory (now in modern-day Oklahoma) in 1901 with his family.
Conn later became the Mayor of Gans for an indeterminate amount of time and also was a member of the local Methodist Episcopal Church. Described by the First Administration of Oklahoma as an "all around Democrat", Conn was elected to the Oklahoma Senate in 1907, shortly after Oklahoma attained statehood. Taking his seat in 1908, Conn chaired the committee on State Library and Statistic History as well as the Committee of the Whole.
Nothing is known of Petway C. Conn's life after leaving the Senate in 1910. He is recorded on October 1, 1922, when he would have been around 70 years of age. A burial location for him is also unknown at the time of this writing.
A memorial notice for Petway C. Conn that appeared in a 1922 edition of the State Sentinel.
You Can Help!
With the small amount of information available online on Petway C. Conn, I believe its time for one of my famous "You Can Help" segments. This is a brief shout-out to any of our SNIAPH Facebook friends, readers, lurkers, amateur historians or possible descendants of Mr. Conn asking for your assistance in finding some more information on him! If anyone wants an interesting project to fill their time with, see what you might be able to dig up on this oddly named (as well as obscure) Oklahoma resident!