Excerpt from A STANDARD HISTORY OF OKLAHOMA by Joseph B. Thoburn, The American Historical Society, Chicago, 1916
JOHN N. INNIS. There is probably no better known or more picturesque figure in western Oklahoma than "Jack" Innis, now settled down to the routine of business affairs as manager of the York-Key Lumber Company of Supply, Oklahoma. He was in this country nearly 30 years ago, followed the range and trail over No Man's Land for several years, was connected with the government service in the different forts of western Oklahoma, particularly Fort Supply and was present at the founding of the modern Town of Supply and gave the community one of its stores.
John N. Innis was born in a log cabin in Ripley County, Indiana, on 1 September 1863, a son of James Innis. He is a brother of Joseph A., and a more particular sketch of the earlier generations will be found in the biography of Joseph. John N. was 3 years old when taken by his parents to Bates County, Missouri. He grew up there on a farm and was educated in the public shcools of that section of Missouri. As his family were pioneers before him, and moved successively to different points as civilization advanced toward the west, he was well-fitted by birth and environment for the accomplishment of his own career.
He was 23 years old in 1886 when he came into Old Indian Territory, 3 years before the first great opening of the Indian lands was made. His first adventures were as a cowboy on the ranch of Colonel C. W. Perry in No Man's Land (as it was designated then in the school geography and is better known today as the Oklahoma Panhandle). He followed the trail in that country for 4 years. In 1891, he entered the employ of the United States army as a teamster in the quartermaster's department with headquarters at Fort Supply. Subsequently, he was corral boss for 4 years at both Fort Supply and Fort Sill. Still later, he proved up claim in Harper County, Oklahoma; but when the town of Supply was founded in 1901, he established there the first general store.
John N. Innis married Miss Margaret Valker on 27 December 1897 at Woodward, Oklahoma. She was born at old Fort Supply, Indian Territory, on 1 December 1874, a daughter of Philip Valker. Her mother, now Mrs. L. Mason, came to Supply with her parents in 1868 at the time when the Fort was established. To their marriage were born seven children, 4 sons and 3 daughters: John P., born 31 January 1899; Robert Vinton, born 20 February 1901 and died 30 March 1901; Joseph Everett, born 19 July 1903; Archie Ward, born 28 September 1905; Josephine May, born 20 May 1907; Bessie, born 30 December 1910; and Mary Elen, born 19 February 1912.