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Updated: 14 Aug 2013

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Updated: 07 Sep 2010


CHARLES FRANCIS COLCORD
and
HARRIET SCORESBY COLCORD

"His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix'd in him, that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, 'This was a man'."

Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 12, No. 4, Page 381
December, 1934
Charles F. Colcord

President of the Oklahoma Historical Society, died at his ranch in Delaware County, Oklahoma, Monday, December 10, 1934. His body was brought to his home in Oklahoma City Tuesday, December 11. The casket was placed in the rotunda of the Historical Building where his remains lay in state from 10:00 A. M. to 1:00 P. M. December 12, and were viewed by hundreds of sorrowing friends.

The funeral services were held in the First Christian Church at 2:30 P. M., conducted by Reverend J. H. O. Smith. Interment was in the Fairlawn Cemetery.


Colcord used his Glenn Pool profits to build Oklahoma's first skyscraper, a 12-story building in Oklahoma City, that he envisioned as a hotel -- and that's what it became 96 years later.

When he built the building in 1910, it was the first steel-reinforced building in Oklahoma and was used as an office building until last October when Tulsa developer Paul Coury of Tulsa remodeled it as a boutique hotel similar to his Ambassador Hotel in Tulsa. Colcord wanted the steel reinforcement because he had seen the devastation to buildings in San Francisco following the 1906 earthquake.

Born in Kentucky, Colcord moved to Texas with his parents as a child and later lived in dugouts in the Cherokee Outlet for several years while helping his father in a cattle business.  Visit the Kentucky Colcord Farms website at http://www.bluegrassfinishedbeef.com/
for photos of the Kentucky area.

Colcord bought a team of horses and a wagon for $66 and made the run into Oklahoma Territory April 22, 1889. He traded his horses and wagon for a shack and a lot in Oklahoma City that became Lot 1, Block 1.

Colcord served as Oklahoma City's police chief for several years and later was Oklahoma County's first sheriff. He was appointed as a U.S. marshal by President Grover Cleveland.

Colcord also made the run into the Cherokee Outlet and staked a claim in Perry where he also built a house.

He was involved in the move of the state seal from Guthrie to Oklahoma City in 1910 and served as chairman of the finance committee for building a new capitol on North Lincoln Avenue.

Colcord died in 1934 at his ranch in Delaware County near the town of Colcord that was named for him.

A 1935 Chronicles of Oklahoma article called Colcord the "First Citizen of Oklahoma." He had served in many civic organizations, including president of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, and was president of the Oklahoma Historical Society from 1926 until his death.

My mother was very beautiful, one of the belles of Kentucky. She was Maria E. Clay, the daughter of William Green Clay. There were four children in my mothers family, Thomas E. Clay, Sidney B. Clay, my mother and Mattie (Clay) Donaldson.

Colcord bought a team of horses and a wagon for $66 and made the run into Oklahoma Territory April 22, 1889. He traded his horses and wagon for a shack and a lot in Oklahoma City that became Lot 1, Block 1.

Colcord served as Oklahoma City's police chief for several years and later was Oklahoma County's first sheriff. He was appointed as a U.S. marshal by President Grover Cleveland.

Colcord also made the run into the Cherokee Outlet and staked a claim in Perry where he also built a house.

He was involved in the move of the state seal from Guthrie to Oklahoma City in 1910 and served as chairman of the finance committee for building a new capitol on North Lincoln Avenue.

Colcord died in 1934 at his ranch in Delaware County near the town of Colcord that was named for him.

A 1935 Chronicles of Oklahoma article called Colcord the "First Citizen of Oklahoma." He had served in many civic organizations, including president of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, and was president of the Oklahoma Historical Society from 1926 until his death.


The Reverend Thomas Scoresby, prominent Methodist minister living in Medicine Lodge, Kansas area was the father of Miss Harriet Scoresby. Mr. Scoresby was an Englishman of a well known family of seafarers and navigators. His great grandfather, Captain William Scoresby, discovered and planterd the British flag on what is still known as Scoresby Sound situated north of Greenland2

I went up to Elm Creek to attend a dance given by Mrs. Slack, an elder sister of Harriet Scoresby and fell violently in love with her at first sight and determined to have her for my wife.

The second time I met Harriet I was driving a herd of cattle from the range into Kansas. Her father, her uncles and all other members of her family were bitterly opposed to Harriet marrying a wild cowpuncher. I made up my mind all the preachers in Kansas could not stop me. I talked to Harriet's brother-in-law, who lived in Barber County, Kansas and he told me the whole family was opposed to me because people had exaggerated reports about me. I think this brother-in-law did a lot towards breaking down this opposition and Harriet's mother, who was one of the greatest women I ever knew, was favorable toward me from the very start. Also a young brother, O. C. Storesby, who was something of a wild kid himself, seemed to take a liking to me and often helped me out in meeting his sister.

Daily Oklahoman, The
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
June 26 , 1951, page 1

Mrs Colcord 86, Widow of Pioneer Developer, Is Dead


Mrs Harriet Scoresby Colcord, widow of the late Charles Colcord, pioneer city builder, died at 7:15 pm Monday in her home, 421 NW 31. She was 86.

Her husband, who died in 1934, was prominent in the development of Oklahoma City for 45 years. He built the Colcord building in 1910 and was influential in building the Biltmore hotel and Commerce Exchange buildings.

She is survived by four daughters and two sons. Private services are set for 10 am Wednesday in the home. Burial will be in Fairlawn cemetery.

 

 


Daily Oklahoman, The
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
June 26 , 1951, page 7

Harriett Colcord Grew With City

Mrs Harriet Scoresby Colcord, 86, widow of the late Charles Colcord, pioneer city builder and capitalist, died at 7:15 pm Monday in her home at 421 NW 30.

At her bedside were her six children. She had been in ill health for several years.

Mrs Colcord was aboard one of the first trains to roll into Oklahoma City, and, with her husband, her life paralleled that of the city.

When her husband first built the 12-story Colcord building at Grand and Robinson he was dubbed "the guy who built a 12-story building in a three-story town."

But her husband went ahead to point up the development of the city until his death in 1934, when he left an estate unofficially valued at $1,500,000.

Daughter of Minister

Mrs Colcord was the daughter of an English Methodist minister who settled in Kansas. She met Colcord, destined to become one of the most colorful pioneer builders in the southwest, when he was a roving cowboy. She married him over the protest of her family and the couple moved to Arizona.

In 1889, her husband made the run to Oklahoma City with a team of horses and a wagon and $66. Two months later Mrs Colcord and her three children arrived by train.

Her husband traded the team and wagon for a small shack on lot 1, block 1, in Oklahoma City. It was near the present site of the Santa Fe railroad depot.

Later, with her husband, then a peace officer whose sole income was $1 for every arrest he made, she moved to a small yellow house at NW 4 and Broadway, site of the Oklahoma Publishing Co.

Just Two Moves

In 1900, the couple built their present home at 421 NW 31, a showplace in the raw frontier town.

In 1910, her husband built the present Colcord building at a cost of $750,000. He later spearheaded the building of the Commerce Exchange building, the Biltmore hotel, and the elevated Santa Fe railroad tracks. The elevated tracks, Colcord
said, would promote the development of downtown Oklahoma City.

Throughout her life, Mrs Colcord had little time to devote to women's clubs.

"I'm too busy raising six children," she was quoted as saying in 1939 when her pioneer experiences were commemorated in Oklahoma City's golden anniversary celebrations.

Rites Are Scheduled

She was, however, one of the founders of the First Families of Oklahoma and later served as its president. She was also a member of the '89ers. In 1930, the state '89ers association held a New Year day open house in Mrs Colcord's home.

Private funeral services will be at 10 am Wednesday in the family home. Burial will be in Fairlwan cemetery under the direction of Street & Draper funeral home.

Surviving are four daughters, Mrs L.D. Callahan and Mrs James  White, both of the home; Mrs W.H. Helmerich and Mrs J.W. Bates, both of Tulsa; two sons, Ray Colcord of Rogers, Ark. and Sidney Colcord, Tulsa; nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren and one brother, Fred Scoresby, of Sterling, Kansas

Colcord Daughters Husbands' Full Names & 1 Cousin' Married Name:

* John Wesley Bates
* Walter H. Helmerich
* L. Dudley Callahan
* Grace Scoresby Wright

 

A call to the Fairlawn Cemetery office August 2, 2007, reveals that Charles and his wife Harriett were both buried there. [405-524-2559] I have searched all online links to Fairlawn Cemetery and found no listing of their names &or photos of their stones.



1Colcord, Charles Francis. The Autobiography of Charles Francis Colcord. C.C. Helmerich (privately printed), 1970. Library of Congress No. 73-140435.

photo ~ http://www.tulsaworld.com/webextra/itemsofinterest/centennial/centennial_storypage.asp?ID=070410_1_A4_spanc51006 

2Scoresby Sound, arm of the Greenland Sea, E Greenland. It has numerous fords that branch out generally westward to the ice cap. Some of the branches extend more than 180 mi (290 km) inland. At its mouth is the settlement of Scoresbysund (1995 pop. 483), the center of the district of Scoresbysund. The town is a fishing and hunting base.
"Scoresby Sound." The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia.
1994, 2000-2006, on Fact Monster.
20002007 Pearson Education, publishing as Fact Monster.
02 Aug. 2007 <http://www.factmonster.com/ce6/world/A0844093.html>

[NOTES: Mariah Louisa "Birdie" Colcord, sister of Charles Francis Colcord, believed born 24 Jan 1863 at Savannah Georgia, died in San Diego county California on or about the 15th of June, 1945.
Names of known spouses for Mariah L. Colcord include John Middleton (m 18 Dec 1879 Barber county KS, div ??. No children), Lee Briley (m 5 Jan 1884 Barber county KS, div ??. 1 son), Wm Edgar Griffiths (m 17 Dec 1889 Indian Territory, widowed, husband d. 13 Aug 1899. 2 children), Phenius Hughes (m ??, div. ??. 1 daughter), and Charles Runkey (m ??, widowed ??. No children). Mariah was listed as "Maria Bunkey" on Calif death index. source: http://boards.ancestry.com/localities.northam.usa.states.oklahoma.counties.oklahoma/3041/mb.ashx

see http://www.westernoutlaw.com/stories/files/John_Middleton.pdf for pic of Middleton and William and Maria Colcord plus history of the family during late 1880s

http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/C/CO020.html

http://www.colcordhotel.com/oklahoma_city_history.html
 

 


Sources:  fair use as stated above

Contributed by Marti Graham, August 2007. Information posted for educational purposes for viewers and researchers. The contributor is not related to nor researching any of the above.

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