Charles Colcord

Stop 25: West of the SW corner of W Sheridan and Ron Norick Blvd at Myriad Gardens, Downtown

Cowboy, police chief, legislator, wildcatter, entrepreneur, and developer

Charles Colcord, a native of Kentucky, spent his formative years as a cowboy in western Oklahoma, Texas, and Arizona. In 1889, at age 29, he came to Oklahoma City looking for opportunity, and found it by trading his horse and bridle for lot 1, block 1, next to the Santa Fe tracks on Reno. His wife soon joined him, spending her first night at the Arbecka Hotel across from Santa Fe station and complaining about the noise of carousers in Hell's Half Acre.

Colcord was soon serving as a deputy U.S. marshal, doing his best to maintain law and order in the frontier city. In the fall of 1889, he and his wife bought a house at the corner of 4th and Broadway, which would later be the site of the Daily Oklahoman.

A year later, Colcord was elected as the first territorial police chief in Oklahoma City. He would later serve in the territorial legislature, and when oil was discovered at Red Fork, near Tulsa, he became a wildcatter. His success as an entrepreneur in oil and real estate made him a prominent citizen. In 1903, he built a large house on 13th Street at the edge of what is today the Heritage Hills neighborhood, and in 1910 he built the Colcord office building, which today is the Colcord Hotel.

  • 1862
    The Homestead Act opens up settlement in the western U.S. by allowing any adult American to claim up to 160 acres of free federal land. 15,000 claims are made by the end of the Civil War.
  • 1866
    The Civilized Tribes are forced to cede large portions of their land, including the Unassigned Lands, to the U.S. Government for relocation of other Native American nations.
  • 1880
    Boomers begin attempts to settle in the Unassigned Lands. The U.S. military repeatedly forces them out.
  • 1887
    The Santa Fe Railroad from Kansas to Texas is completed. Multiple stops are opened in the Unassigned Lands.
  • January-March 1889
    Creek and Seminole Nations release claims to the Unassigned Lands, and Congress approves opening the land for settlement.
  • March-April 1889
    "Boomer camps" pop up along and inside the borders of the Unassigned Lands.
  • March 23, 1889
    President Harrison's Proclamation sets noon on April 22 as the time and date for the Land Run
  • April 19, 1889
    Prospective settlers are escorted from the Kansas and Texas borders to the perimeter of the Unassigned Lands. Those already inside are required to leave.
  • April 20, 1889
    Land east of the railroad tracks at Oklahoma Station is reserved for military use
  • April 22, 1889 at noon
    Oklahoma Land Run officially begins.


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