Saturday, July 23, 2011

Men of Tulsa ca 1916

Recently I thumbed through an old book titled "Men of Affairs and Representative Institutions of Oklahoma 1916".  It is self-described as "A Newspaper Reference Work" compiled by the World Publishing Company here in Tulsa.  This book is a virtual "Who's Who" of Oklahoma at that time.  I thought I would share some of the photos and findings that I found to be interesting and/or amusing, several are linked to previous blog posts.  Click on photos to enlarge.

First up is a true Tulsan.  He was born near here and returned to help our city grow and prosper.

I blogged about this next man's business HERE:

Here's an interesting young fella:

He was 34 in 1916.  Hurley invested in real estate and built Oklahoma's first apartment-hotel, the Ambassador.  He became secretary of war under President Hoover, becoming the first Oklahoman to serve in a presidential cabinet.  In WWII he became a brigadier general and later an ambassador to China.  

This next gentleman is someone I blogged about before:

The White City neighborhood was built on his land and Braden Park is named after him.

And this man needs no introduction:

At the time of the printing, this next gentleman had only begun his important contributions to our city:

He designed Central High School in 1910 and went on to design the Hunt Department Store (Brown-Dunkin) in 1918 and Trinity Episcopal's Church in 1922 as well as several prominent residences.

The city south of Tulsa bears this man's name:

This is a very modest biography of his work and contribution to our state.  You can read more about him  HERE.

Is this man to blame for our street woes?

I wonder exactly where this "country home" was located....?

This is another place of interest:

Located on Third Street, between Boston and Main was the Daniel Building

Down the street at 123 S. Main was Boswell's Jewelry

A few more businesses

And last, though not a Tulsan, is a man who would become the next Governor of our State:

This was my fraternal grandfather's uncle, making him my Great Great Uncle.  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mail-Order Homes

Sears Modern Homes, ordered and bought from a catalog, came delivered in shipments via train, ready for assembly. From 1908-1940 Sears, Roebuck and Co. sold thousands of these home kits that eventually came in 370 different housing styles.  Or, if preferred, a customer could design their own home and submit the blueprints to Sears who would then ship off the needed precut, fitted materials.  The kits came with everything needed from instruction manuals down to nails and varnish and came in price ranges for everyone.  Sears wasn't the first to offer these houses, but they became the largest. 

Rosemary Thornton has written several books about the mail-order Modern Homes sold through the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog.  Another book, written by Rebecca Hunt, titled "Putting Sears Homes on the Map" cited Oklahoma as one of two states with no kit homes. Recently, Tulsan Rachel Shoemaker contacted Thornton to inform her that  Oklahoma- Tulsa in particular- did indeed have Sear's homes. Several, in fact, as well as other kit homes.

And why wouldn't we?  While Oklahoma may not have become a state until 1907, trains ran through Tulsa long before then and immigrants from all over flooded the territories in the land runs.  When oil was discovered in 1901 near Red Fork it set in motion the beginnings of the oil boom which impacted the city and state immediately.  After the Glenn oil strike in 1905, the lid blew off of this city overnight. In 1907 the population in Tulsa was 7,298.  Two years later it was 18,182.*

Tulsan's weren't living in tee-pees, although there were still some who rode on horseback.  In fact, Tulsa had more automobiles per capita than anywhere else for a time because we had some of the wealthiest oilmen in the world living here.  Men like Josh Cosden (who many estimated to be worth $50 million dollars before 1920), Warren G. Skelly, Waite Phillips, Harry Sinclair and J. Paul Getty (to name a few) spread their wealth all over our city in the form of philanthropy, building our Art Deco heritage, airports (in 1929 Tulsa had 4 airports), museums, housing additions and more.  It is no surprise that many of our residents would have purchased kit-houses and had them built in some of our finest neighborhoods- Carlton Place, Brady Heights, Owen Park, Riverview and Buena Vista Park.  No surprise at all.

To see Rachel's (and Rosemary's) Tulsa finds, click HERE and HERE.

To read more about the history of Sears Modern Homes online, click HERE.

For an index to Bungalow Floor Plans click HERE.


Friday, July 8, 2011

43 Years Ago..... July of 1968, Bob Bell installed a roller coaster at his amusement park, bought for $225,000 and named Zingo, after another popular Tulsa roller coaster from the past.  The cost to ride Zingo: 60 cents.  Tulsa reference librarian Sherry Perkins posted recently on her Tulsa Area History blog and I thought I'd share (click on photo to enlarge):

Saturday, July 2, 2011