Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Doors Part 3

The best resource for things like this is the Polk Directories. These annual city directories are cross-referenced by name and street with the streets listed numerically and alphabetically in the back. Once you figure out how to use them, they are an invaluable tool for research. The library has them dated back to the early teens, when they first began publishing them here. I knew the streets that I had to look on (and 2 doors had numbers on them)
so that was a place to start. It occurred to me, though, that since I knew the original owner’s name, perhaps I could go look somewhere down at City Hall and find old records of the land. That would help find a few of the needles in the haystack a little faster.
First stop was the 4th floor of the Central Library where the very helpful librarians confirmed that the Land Records Dept, in the Court Clerk’s office, was where I needed to start and off I went. Little did I realize what an education I was about to have.
The records in the city’s computer database only go back to the 1980’s. That meant I was going to be searching through the hand-written, giant ledgers that dated back to statehood 1907 one by one.
I’ll try to keep this short and not bore you to pieces here. The city is divided into blocks; the blocks that I was focused on were numbers 88 and 89 in original Tulsa. The ledgers show any purchases and sales of land or lots within the blocks.
Here is a visual for you:

So I pulled out the very first ledger and began looking to see just what all was going on back in Tulsa, 1907 with the land. Wow. Familiar names to Tulsa historians all jumped out at me- J.M. Hall, Lon Stansbery, C.B Lynch to name a few.

I was soon immersed in the history of our city and had to reign myself in and focus on the task at hand.
I pulled out a ledger from the 1950’s to see if I could find this man’s name anywhere. This turned out to be a very tedious task as entries were made for every block many times a year. I literally had to go through each ledger that contained the 2 blocks I was interested in page by page. I was about to give up when I finally struck pay-dirt!

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