T.M. Richardson and the Oklahoma Bank
Lumberman, Banker, and Business Leader
On the afternoon of April 22, T.M. Richardson, and his son T.M. Jr., from Albany, Texas, staked a claim at the northeast corner of Clarke Street (later Grand, and today Sheridan) and Harvey, where the Devon Tower stands today. This became the site of the Jones and Richardson Lumber Company, which would soon be the largest lumber company in the region.
At the southwest corner of Broadway and Main Street, he purchased a lot and opened the Oklahoma Bank, arguably the first in the new city, in a tent. The next year it was given the name First National Bank, and within a few years Richardson had built a three story building for the bank on the same corner.
He was a founding member of the Board of Trade, its first treasurer, and a member of the railroad and finance committee. His First National Bank would live on through panics, recessions, mergers, and takeovers until it became a part of Bank of America in the 1980s.
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.
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.
Boomers begin attempts to settle in the Unassigned Lands. The U.S. military repeatedly forces them out.
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.