The Northern District of Oklahoma was formed from its eastern counterpart by Act of Congress in February 1925. In March of that year, John M. Goldesberry was commissioned as the first United States Attorney of the Northern District. To this day, the story is told about an incident involving him which occurred in the courtroom of United States District Court Judge F.E. Kennemer. With his hands in his pocket, Goldesberry continuously jingled coins to the distraction of the court. The judge stopped the prosecutor and asked him what kind and how much money he had in his pocket. "Six silver dollars, Your Honor," he replied, "Whys do you ask?" The judge then ordered Goldesberry to pay an immediate fine of five silver dollars, leaving Goldesberry with only one coin he was unable to jingle.
The Territory of Oklahoma was created on May 2, 1890. On March 1, 1895, the Indian Territory was divided into three districts: Central, Northern and Southern. On May 27, 1902, the Western District of the Indian Territory was established. The Act of June 16, 1906, merged the Oklahoma and Indian Territories, thereby forming the State of Oklahoma. Congress organized Oklahoma as two judicial districts, the Eastern and the Western, with one judgeship each, and assigned the districts to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Act was effective upon admission of Oklahoma as a state on November 16, 1907.
On February 16, 1925, the Northern District of Oklahoma was established. The Act transferred the temporary judgeship in the Eastern District to the Northern District and made that position permanent. The State of Oklahoma would then have three districts: Eastern, Western, and Northern.
On February 28, 1929, Congress assigned Oklahoma to the newly-organized United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Former United States Attorneys for the Northern District of Oklahoma
The following list is compiled from historical records maintained by the United States Attorney's Office and by the Department of Justice.
Danny C. Williams Sr.: 2012-2017
David E. O'Meilia: 2001-2009
Stephen C. Lewis: 1993-2000
Tony M. Graham: 1987-1993
Layn R. Phillips: 1983-1987
Francis A. Keating, III: 1981-1983
Hubert H. Bryant: 1977-1981
Hubert A. Marlow: 1977
Nathan G. Graham: 1969-1977
Lawrence A. McSoud: 1967-1969
John M. Imel: 1961-1967
Russell H. Smith: 1961
Robert S. Rizley: 1958-1961
B. Hayden Crawford: 1954-1958
John S. Athens: 1953-1954
Whitfield Y. Mauzy: 1937-1953
Clarence E. Bailey: 1933-1937
John M. Goldsberry: 1925-1933