Skip to main content

About this collection

Conducted by the Junior League of Tulsa in the late 1970s and early 1980s, this oral history collection features discussions with pioneer Tulsans on medicine, lifestyles, architecture, government, business, education, journalism, and many other subjects regarding the early history of Tulsa. The audio for the collection is available online, but we are in the process of transcribing all of the interviews and could use your help. If you would like to assist with transcription, please contact me.

 

Interviews

Item Number

Biscup, Walter

Topic:  Journalism, Newspapers

Date:  1979-11-12

Interviewer:  Danna Sue Walker

Location:  Tulsa World

This is a biographical narration of his experiences as a reporter, with particular focus on dealing with the criminal element in the 1920s.

Note: This history has been transcribed.

001jlt

 

Gideon, Russell

Topic:  Journalism, Newspapers

Date:  1979-10-26

Interviewer: Danna Sue Walker

Location: Tulsa Daily World

The audio is a biographical narrative of his early experiences as a journalist at the Tulsa Daily World. He worked at the Tulsa Daily World from the mid-1920s.

Note: This history has been transcribed.

002jlt

 

Cathey, George R.

Topic:  Business

Date: 1979-12-19

Interviewer:  Carol Minshall

Location: Cathey’s 816 S. Main

This is a biographical narration of the development of Cathey’s Home Furnishing from 1921 to 1980.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

003jlt

Showman, W.A.

Topic:  Medicine

Date:   1980-02-05

Interviewer:  Cherie Poyas

Location:  3605 S. Gary

Showman relates the history of medicine and medical facilities in Tulsa from 1927 to 1980, with emphasis on dermatology and syphilology. Mr. Showman was one of the original occupants of the Medical Arts Building.

Note: This history has not been transcribed.

004jlt

Logsdon, Dr. Guy

Topic:  University of Tulsa

Date:  1980-02-07

Dr. Logsdon discusses the history of the University of Tulsa and support by the oil industry for TU and the College of Petroleum Engineering. The discussion includes the Depression, KWGS, and the “Petroleum Abstract” published by TU. Includes a discussion of the University’s relationship with the oil industry.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

005jlt

Eustice, Joe

Topic:  Reservoir Hill

Date:  1979-11-16

Interviewer:  Julie Doss

Location:  1120 E. Latimer Pl.

Mr. Eustice talks about his life in Tulsa beginning in 1910. The main emphasis of his discussion is Reservoir Hill neighborhood. He also talks about his work at W.C. Narris.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

007jlt

Parks, Mabelle

Topic:  Business, Milliner

Date:  1980-02-01

Interviewer:  Marty Sheehan

Location:  7th West 14th

This is a recollection of her business in Tulsa and of traveling. Of interest are pictures and narration of Chicago fashion shows and Junior League shows.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

008jlt

Saunders, A. Cecil

Topic:  Judicial, Lawyers

Date:  1979-10-24

Interviewer:  Sallie Slemaker

Location:  Bank of Oklahoma Building

Mr. Saunders comments on his memories of his life as a Tulsa lawyer. He started to practice in 1919.

Note: This history has been transcribed.

009jlt

Stevens, Edgar

Topic:  Transportation

Date:  1980-02-12

Interviewer:  Carolyn Elder

Location:  405 N. Roosevelt, Sand Springs

Mr. Stevens relates his experiences on the Sand Springs railroad from 1918-1958 and discusses the effect of trolley service between Tulsa and Sand Springs and Charles Page.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

010jlt

Jackson, Ann

Topic:  Early Tulsa Radio

Date:  1980-01-08

Interviewer:  Danna Sue Walker

Location:  3047 S. Peoria

Ann Jackson’s account of her experiences as program director in early Tulsa radio. For instance, she had to plan all local talent and weave stories around programs. Also, she organized the news programs. Finally, she ends with a discussion of the future of radio.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

011jlt

Gussman, Herbert

Topic:  Tulsa Philharmonic

Date:  1979-12-03

Interviewer:  Barbara Gussman Heyman

Location:  4644 S. Zunis

The focus is on the early organization of the Tulsa Philharmonic, the location of the theater and the artists that came to Tulsa.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

012jlt

Gussman, Mrs. Herbert

Topic:  Early Tulsa

Date:  1979-10-14

Interviewer:  Barbara Heyman

This audio is a narration of her family experiences with particular focus on lifestyles during 1919-1929. Some discussions include the Race Riot, Arkansas flood, trolley cars, the Rexall Drug scandal, early oil people, the Jewish community, Edna Ferber, and the Philharmonic.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

013jlt

Partridge, Jonas

Topic:  Indian Influence

Date:  1980-01-15

Interviewer:  Priscilla Iba

This includes a brief Creek history. It is mostly biographical with a good story of seeing one of the Bradshaw outlaws killed in 1916 or 1917 on Main Street.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

014jlt

Henneke, Dr. Ben

Topic:  Early Tulsa Radio

Date:  1979-10-14

Interviewer:  Nancy Garrett

Location:  1015 E. 19th St.

Dr. Henneke discusses his beginnings in radio, the importance of Tulsa in early radio, and several radio personalities who had their beginnings in Tulsa.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

015jlt

Gilmore, Leon

Topic:  Indian Influence

Date:  1980-01-14

Interviewer:  Priscilla Iba

Location:  717 N. Peoria

This is a narration on Native American Church, the settlement in Tulsa of the Gilmore family, and mention of his possession of very interesting records of Gilmore-Knepper Construction Co.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

016jlt

Gelfand, Sadie

Topic:  Judiciary, Court Reporter

Date:  1979-11-07

Interviewer:  Sallie Slemaker

This is a narrative on Sadie’s almost 50 years’ work as a court reporter at the Tulsa County Court House. She moved to Tulsa in 1920.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

017jlt

Mitchell, Margaret

Topic:  Journalism, Newspaper

Date:  1979-11-14

Interviewer:  Danna Sue Walker

Location:  1438 S. Florence

This is a biographical narration concerning her years as one of the first women reporters for the Tulsa World.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

018jlt

Nelson, Frank MD

Topic:  Medicine

Date:  1980-02-11

Interviewer:  Cherie Poyas

Location:  5925 S. Columbia

This is a biographical narration of Dr. Nelson’s involvement in the practice of medicine in Tulsa beginning in 1931. Dr. Nelson worked for Pierce Oil Co. in Sand Springs from 1919-1926. Dr. Nelson was a co-founder of the Glass-Nelson Clinic, and he practiced Internal Medicine.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

019jlt

Foresman, Bob

Topic:  Journalism, News Stories

Date:  1980-05-19

Interviewer:  Danna Sue Walker

Location:  Tulsa Tribune

Mr. Foresman begins by giving some of his personal history. After the short biographical section, he discusses some of the important news stories of the 1930s and 1940s (also some more recent stories). He tells of a murder case, police reporting, and criminals in Tulsa. He also discusses the Tulsa political structure, the city’s atmosphere, and some cultural events. He ends this section by telling of Will Rogers’ plane crash, the Mid-Continent strike, the Kennedy assassination, and the direction of the future.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

020jlt

Frisco, Ernie

Topic:  Early Tulsa Radio

Date:  1980-05-23

Interviewer:  Danna Sue Walker

After a short biographical narration of his life, Mr. Frisco discusses radio starting in the 1920s. Included in the audio are discussions of programming, Bob Wills, popular shows, sports, his war experience and changes in radio. He concludes with a discussion of the future of radio.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

021jlt

Hardy, Bob

Topic:  Architecture, Lee Clinton Home

Date:  1979-12-12

Interviewer:  Sylvia Campbell

Location:  1322 S. Guthrie

The interview with Bob Hardy discusses the restoration of the Lee Clinton home. The home was designed by George Winkler, a well-known architect of the early 1900s. Mr. Hardy has detailed information concerning its history, the history of those involved in its creation, and much of Tulsa history.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

022jlt

Gratiana, Sister

Topic:  Medicine, St. John’s School of Nursing

Date:  1980-04-28

Interviewer:  Cherie Poyas

Location:  Franciscan Villa Nursing Home, Broken Arrow

Sister Gratiana was the second director of St. John’s School of Nursing, arriving in the early 1930s and remaining for 25 years. She shares a few of her remembrances of the early days at St. John’s School of Nursing.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

024jlt

Griffin, Eula Brown

Topic:  Early Tulsa

Date:  1980-03-03

Interviewer:  Julie Doss

Location:  1446 E. 32nd Pl.

Mrs. Griffin discusses her grandfather’s arrival in Tulsa, the forming of the Christian Scientist Church, her home in Owen Park, and the early builders, early families in Irving Place, the water pump station, Charles Page Home, and Social Clubs, Riverside Park, Sand Springs Park, the war effort, and the fly-catching contest, tent revivals and Tulsa’s present and future.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

025jlt

Alfreda, Sister

Topic:  Medicine

Date: 1980-04-28

Interviewer: Cherie Poyas

Location: Franciscan Villa Nursing Home, Broken Arrow

Sister Alfreda came to St. John’s Hospital in 1926, a few weeks after its opening. She served as supervisor of surgery for many years and is a living legend among the doctors and nurses who worked with her. In this audio, she recalls the life and growth of St. John’s Hospital.

Note: This history has been transcribed.

029jlt

Anthony, Alta

Topic:  Professional Women

Date:  1980-03-12

Interviewer:  Laura Martens

Location:  1326 E. 32nd Pl.

She was born in Kansas in 1899 and moved to Tulsa, by herself, at age 16 to work 70 hours a week for $10. Here she discusses prescription-filling work at downtown Vandevers, her marriage in 1925, the Depression, and she has anecdotes about the difficulties of the “good old days.”

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

030jlt

Barnes, Elaine

Topic:  Professional Women

Dates:  1980-05-06

Interviewer:  Laura Martens

Location:  2324 South Florence Pl.

She moved to Tulsa when her mother needed to support the family. Her mother worked as the social columnist for the local paper. Here she remembers how hard it was to find a place to live. She attended TU and obtained degrees in accounting and law; she taught business courses, worked in the land area of an oil company. This audio includes early anecdotes and her activity with Jewell Mann fighting for women’s rights.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

031jlt

Bate, Charles MD

Topic:  Medicine

Date:  1980-05-06

Interviewer:  Cherie Poyas

Location:  1602 N. Cincinnati

Dr. Bate is a black physician who came to Tulsa in 1940. He was the first African American admitted to the Tulsa County Medical Society and has been a leader in the North Tulsa community for many years. He is currently researching a book on the history of Black medicine in Oklahoma. In this audio he shares some of this information.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

032jlt

Campbell, Frances

Topic:  Auditor-City of Tulsa

Date:  1980-03-14

Interviewer:  Polly d’Aquin

Location:  Tulsa City Hall, 11th Floor

This is a biographical narration of family and personal experiences and observations that led up to his experience as the City Auditor for the City of Tulsa. Mr. Campbell became City Auditor in 1970 and had in 1980 been elected to his sixth term.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

034jlt

Castelaz, Margaret

Topic:  Education

Date:  1980-02-11

Interviewer:  Julie Doss

Location:  221 N. Rosedale

Castelaz describes her teaching career in Tulsa. The main emphasis is on her 34 years at Pershing School. She talks about the families and students from the Owen Park area.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

035jlt

Dickason, Irene

Topic:  Early Tulsa

Date:  1980-06-03

Interviewer:  Carolyn Elder

Location:  2745 South Birmingham Place

Included is a discussion of her growing up in early Tulsa, with remembrances of shopping, schools, social life, etc.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

036jlt

Essley, John

Topic:  Early Tulsa

Date:  1980-01-24

Interviewer:  Priscilla Iba

This has a good description of Tulsa as early as 1901 or 1902 and some of its early settlers. Mr. Essley’s father was Superintendent of Schools in 1901 and 1902. He discusses the Race Riot, Teapot Dome scandal, his meetings with John D. Rockefeller, and Indian police. Included is a good story about the criminal Bill Baber.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

037jlt

Farmer, Mrs. Al

Topic:  Architecture, Al Farmer Home

Date:  1980-02-21

Interviewer:  Sylvia McCormick-Campbell

Location:  2222 S. Madison

The interview with Mrs. Farmer includes a tour of her home, which had been designed by George Winkler, a well-known architect of the early 1900s. They brought in the finest craftsmen to work on it. The house features elaborate plaster sculptured ceilings and walls. The furnishings for most of the house came from Europe.

Note: This history has not been transcribed.

038jlt

Burns, K. C.

Topic:  Architecture, Brick and Terra Cotta

Date:  1980-03-06

Interviewer:  Sylvia McCormick and Fran Swanson

Location: 1420 E. 20th St.

This audio includes a history of the brick business in Tulsa and surrounding area. He also discusses Art Deco. Mr. Burns has been a long-time brick salesman, and he identifies the origin of brick used on many Tulsa buildings. He also discusses some early day and present Tulsa personalities.

Note: This history has not been transcribed.

039jlt

Harrington, Gladys Stone

Topic:  Business

Date:  1980-02-16

Interviewer:  Laura Martens

Mrs. Harrington gives background on her husband, Lee Harrington, and how he started the store. She also discusses their marriage in 1921, the effects of the Depression on the store. Mrs. Harrington did not become actively involved in the store until after the death of her husband.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

040jlt

Holleman, Maxine

Topic:  Early Tulsa

Date:  1979-10-19

Interviewer:  Laura Martens and Carol Johnson

Location:  1718 South Cheyenne

In this recording, Maxine tells about the people who came to Tulsa from the east, the Market Crash, Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa Country Club, and famous Tulsans such as Waite Phillips, Skelly, Thomas Gilcrease and the Oliphants. Also included is a discussion of prejudices of the 20s and 30s, and Tulsa aviation.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

041jlt

Helland, Erling

Topic:  Tulsa

Date:  1980-04-23

Interviewer: Polly d’Aquin

Location: University Club Tower

Biographical and historical narration of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission. Mr. Helland headed Erling Helland and Associates (his wife, Thordis, was the “Associates”) and became the first “regular” director of the Planning Commission in January 1954. He served until the fall of 1955. This audio primarily covers Mr. Helland’s involvement in the Planning Commission.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

042jlt

Jones, Richard Lloyd Jr.

Topic: Transportation, Aviation

Date:  1980-08-14

Interviewer:  Jay Jones and Carolyn Elder

Location:  KVOO 3701 S. Peoria

This audio begins with a history of early aviation in Tulsa, the formation and development of the Tulsa airport. The discussion also includes the early passenger planes, early aviators, women in aviation and the use of computers on planes.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

043jlt

Jones, Mrs. Waldo

Topic:  Business, Greenwood District

Date:  1980-01-16

Interviewer:  Carol Minshall

Location:  2434 N. Main

This is a biographical narration of the history and development of the Greenwood Business District, and family experiences.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

044jlt

Russell, George R. MD

Topic:  Medicine

Date:  1980-03-06

Interviewer:  Cherie Poyas

Location:  3143 E. 58th Pl.

This is a biographical narration of his personal experiences related to his medical career in Tulsa from 1933 to 1980. It also includes impressions of Tulsa, the treatment of blacks, and the old and new medical treatments.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

045jlt

Rasmussen, Harry

Topic:  Early Tulsa Radio

Date: 1980-03-26

Interviewer:  Danna Sue Walker

Rasmussen discusses the history of radio and television in Tulsa, starting in the 1930s, including the technological developments from tape recorders to the videodisc.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

047jlt

Porter, Horace H. MD

Topic:  Medicine

Date:  1980-03-07

Interviewer:  Cherie Poyas

Location:  3040 S. Quaker

This is a recollection of the developments in the field of medicine while Dr. Porter was in general practice in Tulsa beginning in 1930.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

048jlt

Kerbel, Louis

Topic:  Early Tulsa

Date:  1980-01-28

Interviewer:  Priscilla Iba

Location:  Woodward Park Apartments

This audio is a biographical narration of Mr. Kerbel. He is a Russian Jew who came to Tulsa in 1915. Here he discusses early Tulsa, professional wrestling, the race riot, early sheriff elections, and the flu epidemic of 1919.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

049jlt

Kramer, Mrs. Otto (Mary Belle)

Topic:  Neighborhood, Mapleridge

Date: 1980-02-10

Interviewer:  Julie Doss

Location:  3701 N. Cincinnati Ave.

She and her husband came to Tulsa and bought property from “Uncle John” Kramer at the start of the development of Mapleridge. Here she discusses the move to Tulsa, the first home in Mapleridge, the early stores in Mapleridge, and ends with learning to drive.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

050jlt

Suellentrop, Sister M. Lioba

Topic:  Medicine

Date: 1980-04-28

Interviewer:  Cherie Poyas

Location:  Franciscan Villa Nursing Home, Broken Arrow

Sister Lioba was the first director of St. John’s School of Nursing. She recalls some of her impressions of the beginnings of the School of Nursing. The audio includes changes to nursing, areas of nurses’ training, and diseases of the period.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

051jlt

Stephenson, Malvina

Topic: Newspapers

Date:  1980-03-12

Interviewer: Danna Sue Walker

Location: 3720 South Birmingham

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

052jlt

Shannon, Mrs. L.D.

Topic Neighborhood, Reservoir Hill

Date:  1979-12-06

Interviewer:  Julie Doss

Location:  2216 N. Elwood

Mrs. Shannon talks about her early life in Oklahoma. She and her husband moved to Tulsa in 1935 to open Shannon Feed Store. She still (as of 1980) lives on Reservoir Hill. On the second side she discusses working women and Pauline Lambert.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

053jlt

Sippel, Mary Edna MD

Topic:  Medicine

Date:  1980-03-20

Interviewer:  Cherie Poyas

Location:  1815 E. 32nd St and 3220 E. 30th Pl.

This is a biographical narration of Dr. Sippel’s recollections of the history of Tulsa, particularly in the field of medicine. Dr. Sippel had been active in the practice of medicine in Tulsa from the 1920s. Here she discusses women in medicine, the treatment of Indians, house calls, professional women’s club, and her personal experiences as a doctor.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

054jlt

Russell, Orpha

Topic:  Professional Women

Date:  1980-03-13

Interviewer:  Laura Martens

Location:  8920 E. Oklahoma Pl.

She was born in 1908. Her father worked in Glenpool. They move to Tulsa in 1911. She speaks of floods in 1919 in the 6th and Peoria area, her observations of the 1921 Race Riot, her various jobs, and the difficulties during the Depression. She is a long-time member of Tulsa Business and Professional Women’s Club.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

056jlt

Martin, D.E. “Bill”

Topic:  Indian Influence

Date:  1980-01-28

Interviewer:  Priscilla Iba

Location:  Thurston National Building

Mr. Martin narrates the history of the Osage Indians. He discusses the Osage influence on Tulsa, important Osage legislations, the independence of the Osage women, and Osage voting procedures.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

057jlt

Meyer, Lewis

Topic:  Early Tulsa Radio

Date:  1980-03-26

Interviewer:  Danna Sue Walker

Location:  Meyer’s Book Store

Mr. Meyer gives his personal experiences and views of life in Tulsa and on early Tulsa radio. He discusses his personal history, KVOO Radio, the people he worked with, Patti Page, some of the various shows, and the war influence.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

058jlt

Nichols, W.I.  (Nick)

Topic:  Neighborhoods, Owen Park

Date:  1980-03-22

Interviewer:  Julie Doss

Location:  560 N. Rosedale

On this audio, Mr. Nichols talks about visiting the Owen Park area in the 1920s and then living there beginning in 1938.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

059jlt

Blair, Dayton

Topic:  Journalism, Wire Services

Date:  1980-01-22

Interviewer:  Danna Sue Walker

Location:  Tulsa Tribune

On this audio, Mr. Blair gives a short biographical narration then he discusses the history of the wire service in Tulsa. He speaks about Morse code, how they selected the stories, some interesting stories, women in journalism, and the future improvements to the wire service.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

060jlt

Mann, Jewell Russell

Topic:  Working Women

Date:  1980-05-19

Interviewer:   Laura Martens

Location:  1108 Thompson Blvd.

She moved to Tulsa in 1925 to attend law school at TU. She also went on for post-graduate work in accounting. She has been a member of Business and Professional Women’s Club since 1919. Here she speaks of discrimination in the working world against women—especially during the Depression, her activity in forming a lobby which later helped push her first bill through Congress (allowing tax exemptions for dependents). She also discusses her efforts for women in Oklahoma to be named on juries and run for elective office. She wrote the women jurors bill. Finally, she discusses running for judge in 1956 and performing proxy weddings during World War II.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

061jlt

Sorethumb, Bessie

Topic:  Indian Influence

Date:  1980-01-17

Interviewer:  Cherie Poyas

Location:  West of Sand Springs

Here she mentions her ancestors, one being Taylor Postoak, and gives a brief description of going to Tulsa on a train. She also describes early Tulsa, the board sidewalks, tent town, her archery, and the people buried in her family plot.

Note: This history has been transcribed.

062jlt

Wallace, Charlotte

Topic:  Medicine

Date:  1980-04-29

Interviewer:  Cherie Poyas

Location:  350 North Union

Mrs. Wallace came to Oklahoma as an RN in 1912 and practiced nursing until 1943. She was the first African American to practice at St. John’s Hospital, working there from 1926-1936. She recalls her experience in the field of medicine as a nurse between those years. She describes the campaign for an African-American hospital, medical training for African Americans, and the beginning of the “Negro ward” at St. John’s. She discusses conditions in Tulsa during the 1920s, the treatment of blacks at St. John’s, diseases that were prominent from 1912-1943, and the nursing profession, in general, during that time period. Her work included practicing as a traveling nurse during the 1910s and as a public health nurse from 1936-1943.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

063jlt

Lownsberry, Dolly

Topic:  Neighborhood, Brady Heights

Date:  1980-02-04

Interviewer:  Julie Doss

Location:  1011 N. Cheyenne

Here she discusses Burgess Hill, the early neighbors, the early builders and stores, the Conway Brun School, the downtown entertainment, and Brady Heights.

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

065jlt

Williams, Dr. Mary Clay

Topic:  Professional Women

Date:  1980-05-15

Interviewer:  Laura Martens

Location:  3442 S. Delaware

Dr. Williams is most reluctant to divulge her age and avoids giving dates. She obtained her doctorate from Columbia University and TU. Here she speaks on the campus life, league tearoom, Miss Jackson’s and de Haven’s stores, and some memories of 1921 Race Riot.

Note:  This history has been transcribed.

066jlt

Baker, Mary Smith

Topic:  Lifestyles

Date:  1981-01-23

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

067jlt

Leech, Mary Veasey

Topic:  Founding of Holland Hall

Date:  1981-01-26

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

068jlt

Heavey, Eliza Bennett

Topic:  Holland Hall School

Date:   1981-01-15

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

069jlt

Spees, Marjorie Bacon

Topic: Owen Park

Date:  1981-02-09

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

070jlt

Schad, Blanche Opal

Topic: Early Tulsa Life

Date:  1981-02-03

Note:  This history has not been transcribed.

071jlt

 
Select the collections to add or remove from your search
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
 
OK