Philip Doddridge Brewer



Born near Hackett, in Sebastian County, Arkansas, June 18, 1861, died at
Oklahoma City on August 28, 1932. Son of John Oliver Brewer, born in 1834
in (Pike) County, Arkansas, and his wife Sarah Louise Brewer, nee Council,
born in Alabama. His paternal grandfather, William Lewis Brewer, a
Methodist preacher, located in an early day in Sebastian County, coming
from Pike County, Arkansas, where his father settled near Murfreesboro in
1818 or 1819, the Little Missouri River in said section being named by the
party of settlers who came with his father from Missouri. His father was
Oliver Brewer born in North Carolina in Hillsboro District, Chatham County,
from where he moved to (Tennessee) and ... Missouri ... and later to a
point near Murfreesboro in Pike County, Arkansas, where he died on October
13, 1834. Married twice, by his first wife he had (sons John and Oliver,
and) a son Henry Brewer, born in North Carolina, October 30, 1799, died
April 30, 1876, and buried in a cemetery at Murfreesboro, Arkansas, and a
daughter by the name of (Rosanna). By the second wife, who was born on
December 27, 1787, and died December 10, 1827, he had the following
children: Henderson Brewer born December 15, 1804, coming to Pike County,
in Arkansas Territory, with his father ... The said William Lewis Brewer,
born October 3, 1809 (in Bellevue), Missouri, coming with his father Oliver
Brewer to Pike County, Arkansas, died March 1, 1871, in Sebastian County,
Arkansas, and is buried at Mt. Olive Cemetery at Midland, Arkansas. His
wife was Elizabeth Sorrels, daughter of George Washington Sorrels, ... one
of the early judges of (Pike) County, Arkansas. Another son by the second
wife was James Stephen(son) Brewer, born in Pike County, Arkansas, July 26,
1811. The following daughters were by the second wife: Lucinda, born in
Missouri, December 13, 1813, whose first husband was John M. Dickson. After
his death she married Abijah Davis. Another daughter was Rebecca Brewer,
born in Missouri, January 12, 1815. Her first husband was named Sorrels,
her second was named Griffin, her third was named Orrick, and her fourth
named Barentine. Another daughter was Mary Brewer, born March 15, 1820 in
Pike County, Arkansas. She died March 14, 1841. Another daughter was
Mathilda Brewer, born April 3, 1823, died March 31. 1841. Another daughter
was Luvisa Brewer, born December 7, 1825. She married Major William
Preston, who in an early day was engaged in the mercantile business in
Murfreesboro, Arkansas. They had a son who was a distinguished officer in
the Confederate Army. The dates of births and deaths of the said >Oliver
Brewer and his wife and children are secured from an old family Bible in
the possession of Mrs. Cora Rountree, of Murfreesboro, Pike County,
Arkansas, who is a descendant of Lucinda Brewer. On the inside of the old
leather bound volume appears in faded ink the following words: "Lucinda
Davis - her book." On the front page of the Bible appears the following:

                  "Published by Waugh and T. Mason for the
                Methodist Episcopal Church at the Conference
                         Office 14 Crosby Street,
                           J. Collard, Printer

Brewer Owens, who was raised by his grandfather, Henry Brewer, says that
his said grandfather told him that Oliver Brewer, the original Arkansas
settler of their family, had a daughter by his first wife whose name he
does not remember and who was a full sister to said Henry Brewer ... John
H. Haynes, of Hope, Arkansas, is a descendant of (Oliver) Brewer, his
grandmother's name being Lucinda Brewer ... The Brewer family from which
Philip Doddridge Brewer was descended branched out ... settling in North
Carolina, the Missouri Brewers coming from North Carolina. The father of
Judge Philip D. Brewer, John Oliver Brewer, was named after his grandfather
Oliver Brewer ... O.J.M. Brewer, of Heavener, Oklahoma, is a son of William
C. Brewer, full brother of John O. Brewer of Sebastian County, Arkansas.
There is a division in the narration as to how the Brewer family came
from ... (Bellevue), Missouri to Arkansas, one branch of the family saying
they came down what was called the "old Buffalo Trail," by way of Little
Rock, which was afterwards surveyed and called the "Military Road," and
that by said trail the Brewer and their fellow settlers came from Missouri
with ox teams settling near Murfreesboro in Pike County, Arkansas, about
1818 or 1819. The other account is that said party floated down the
Missouri River to and down the Mississippi River, to and thence up Red
River disembarking at a point near Fulton, Arkansas, and settling at a
point near Murfreesboro in Pike County, Arkansas. In any event this party
were among the first settlers in said section in Arkansas Territory.

At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 Judge Philip D. Brewer's father,
John Oliver Brewer, was county surveyor of Sebastian County, Arkansas. He
enlisted in the Union Army, serving in that capacity until 1863 when he
died, being buried in the Union Soldier's section in the cemetery at
Fayetteville, Arkansas.

His mother Sarah Louise Council, who was born in Alabama, came to Arkansas
in 1858 whilst a girl, and married his father at a point near Hackett. His
father dying in his infancy he and his mother continued to reside in the
community, struggling against the adversities and vicissitudes, following
the war. She died in 1913 at the age of eighty-three years and is buried in
Hackett, Arkansas.

Being anxious to secure an education, the opportunities for which were
meager on account of the devastation occasioned by the Civil War in that
section, having attended available local schools, in 1877 he entered Asbury
College, now DePauw University, at Greencastle, Indiana, where he was a
student for a short while. This constituted all educational advantages
except what he received at home and through his own personal efforts as a
self-educator. Being ambitious to became a lawyer he studied at home and
under the occasional tutorship of the Hon. J.S. Little, of Greenwood,
Arkansas, State Prosecuting Attorney for that Circuit, and later Circuit
Judge, Congressman, and Governor. Judge Philip D. Brewer was admitted to
the bar after an examination in open court at Greenwood, Arkansas, on
December 20, 1886. J.A. Hale, who was afterwards his law partner, and C.D.
James, were admitted to the bar in the same order. He opened an office at
Hackett, practicing in the Circuit Court at Greenwood and Fort Smith and at
other points. He was elected as a Democrat to the Lower House of the
Arkansas State Legislature at an election held in the fall of 1890, serving
during that session which extended from January 12th to April 3, 1891.
Continuing in the active practice of law with an office at Hackett, when
the United State Court was established at Cameron, Indian Territory, in
1895 he opened an office at that point, under the firm name of Brewer &
Hale, the junior member being James L. Hale, who now resides at Poteau,
Oklahoma. He retained his residence and office at Hackett for a short
while, dividing his time with the Cameron office, until he disposed of
pending litigation on the Arkansas side. In the fall of 1895 he removed to
Cameron to take care of growing business on the Indian Territory side,
where he remained until the fall of 1897, then removing to McAlester,
Indian Territory, and engaging in the practice of law there under the firm
name of Hale & Brewer, the senior member of said firm being the late Jap A.
Hale. At the termination of this partnership he engaged in the practice of
law there under the firm of Horton & Brewer, the senior member being
William J. Horton. Later this partnership being dissolved he continued the
practice of law there under the firm name of Brewer & Andrews, the junior
member being Guy L. Andrews. In 1909 he was appointed by the Governor as
Judge of the Superior Court for Pittsburg County, which office had recently
been created by an act of the Legislature. In 1910 having been elected for
a full term to said office he continued in that capacity until he was
appointed to the Supreme Court Commission in 1911. On August 1, 1911, he
removed to Oklahoma City, having qualified as Supreme Court Commissioner,
all the time being a presiding judge of a division and holding such office
by reappointment, until he resigned in 1916 to engage in the practice of
the law in Oklahoma City under the firm name of Vaught & Brewer, the senior
member being Edgar S. Vaught now United States Judge for the Western
District of Oklahoma, and so continued in the practice of law until his
retirement in 1926 on account of his health, the firm being at that time
Everest, Vaught & Brewer.

The opinions prepared by him on the appellate court in reasoning,
statement, and language disclosed a sound judicial capacity, learning and
grasp of marked distinction. In the practice of law in the Capitol City he
appeared only occasionally in the trial courts, being constantly engaged
before the Supreme Court of the State, United States Circuit Courts of
Appeal and Supreme Court of the United States, when not engrossed as a
counselor, in all of which his work and achievements were of the first

He was a Mason, becoming a member of the Grand Lodge of the Indian
Territory in 1898 at Wynnewood, later serving as Grand Orator, Grand Senior
Warden, and Deputy Grand Master.

In 1903 he was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of
Indian Territory, serving one year. He had also served as Worshipful Master
of his local lodge. He received the Master Mason's degree in October, 1882,
in Amity Lodge No. 267 at Hackett, Arkansas, serving as a Deputy Grand
Master in the Arkansas jurisdiction. He received all degrees of Masonry
from the third to the thirty-second and the Scottish Rite Consistory at
McAlester, Oklahoma, and was a member of India Temple Shrine, Oklahoma

In politics he was a Democrat. In 1900 he became a member of the Indian
Territory Democratic Central Committee and so continued until 1904. In his
quiet but effective way for years he participated in the Democratic
organization activities. At McAlester he served a number of years as a
member of the school board.

A successful business man and a lawyer, for a number of years he was a
director of the First National Bank of McAlester, and after retiring
from the Supreme Court Commission, engaging in the active practice of the
law, he participated in the organization of, and became a director of
the Liberty National Bank of Oklahoma City, so continuing until his death.
For a number of years he was its general counsel.

In early life he became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South,
for years a members of the Board of Stewards of St. Luke's Methodist Church
at Oklahoma City, and at the time of his death a trustee.

He also took an active interest in the Oklahoma Historical Society, having
been for years prior to his death a Vice-President and Director. He was
a members of the committee appointed by the Oklahoma Historical Society at
an annual meeting, and approved by the Legislature, to act jointly with
the State Board of Affairs in the construction of the Oklahoma Historical
Building, his name being carved on the corner stone as a member of said

He was a member of the Oklahoma Golf & Country Club and Men's Dinner
Club at Oklahoma City.

Whilst on all occasions, displaying an admirable dignity, yet at times he
disclosed a sense of quiet humor that was refreshing. His attitude towards
early friends, especially those from the environs of his native country,
evidence highest appreciation of the refinements of friendship.

Able, well poised and open - frank, firm, but kind - he faithfully met
every obligation to his fellow man, country, Church and God. As a faithful
and dependable friend, kind and loving husband, and foster father and
grandfather he will be remembered. As an ethical lawyer and upright judge
he was the first rank, excelling not only in ability but also in character.

Married on November 25, 1894, at Hackett, Arkansas, he is survived by his
widow, Mrs. Anna L. Brewer. In his death the state lost one of its best

                               R.L. Williams

Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume 10, Number 4, December 1932, page 600-603.
Edited and corrected.

Update 03.21.01              David Kelley 1997                 BIO-0112.HTM