A native of Ohio, he traveled to Kansas and California in the late 19th century. Afterward, he sold his claim and settled in the new town of Edmond. He became an early wildcatter and oil producer.
He evidently lived there until he decided to go to Kansas in 1884, where he met with David L. Payne.
However, Galbreath did not join the movement, but traveled on to California in 1889. lieutenant would seem that he did not find what he was seeking, because he returned to Indian Territory in 1889.
They entered the 1889 Land Rush for the Unassigned Lands. The pair claimed land near the present town of Hennessey.
They soon sold the claim and moved to Edmond.
Robert held a variety of jobs after arriving in Edmond, including serving as postmaster and starting a newspaper. Robert participated in the 1893 Cherokee Outlet. Following that experience, he moved his family to Perry, where he published the Perry Evening Democrat.
In 1895, he was appointed as a United States Commissioner headquartered in Shawnee.
(At this time, to have a case for federal court, a commissioner was tasked to decide if enough evidence existed). In 1899, Galbreath moved to Oklahoma City to open a real estate business.
The well became a successful producer, providing Galbreath with enough money to continue wildcatting. Ida was a mixed-blood Creek Indian, while Robert was white.
She had received the land by allotment.
Galbreath reportedly paid about three cents per acre for the lease. Galbreath named the well "Ida Glenn Number. 1." The two men operated the drilling rig themselves.
On November 22, 1905, it produced a gusher and initiated a major oil boom in the area.
The gusher was the first strike in a very large field that Galbreath named Glenn Pool. lieutenant became the state"s largest oil field
Galbreath moved to Tulsa to continue his activities in the oil fields. Galbreath continued to drill two more producing wells in the Glenn Pool field
Together, these three wells earned him the names "Oil King of the Southwest" and "the richest man in Oklahoma." In 1907, he drilled the first producing well in the Bald Hill Field in Okmulgee County.
In 1909 he sold his Glenn Pool holdings to J. East. Crosbie and turned his attention to politics. He defeated West. Tate Brady in the 1912 election for National Committeeman of the Democratic Party. His other business interests included building the three-story Galbreath Hotel in the town of Bromide, where he intended to develop a health spa based on the local mineral water.
The Great Depression caused the idea to fail.
He also attempted to mine iron and manganese in southeastern Oklahoma. Robert and Mary Ellen had four children: Robert, Leona, George Francis and Glenn Pool.
Robert died in Tulsa on December 12, 1953. Robert Galbreath Junior, Died on December 12, 1963 in Tulsa oklahoma, He is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery.