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Graphics by Rhio

 The Beginning of Tulsa
By J. M. Hall (1927)

(c) Karolyn Kay Garland (1997)

Nothing here is free for the taking. This book is reproduced here with the permission of the copyright holder - see copyright statement.

 Page 66

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Lack of Gas Saved School (con't)

from J. P. Harter. They carried this note for a number of years when it was finally paid by the college. The university still owns this land and it is worth about $50,000 now. A long history could be written about this school and the efforts to keep it alive in the early days.
        This unselfish contribution to the school still goes on. E. P. Harwell built a gymnasium at a cost of more than $100,000. The late E. R. Kemp built a dormitory at a cost of about $30,000.

        Capitalist, who has always been willing to invest in Tulsa's future.
        J. M. Gillette arrived in Tulsa in 1895 from Missouri, renting a farm on Flat creek. He soon found that farming was not profitable and he and P. L. Price erected a store building on the east side of Main street, between First and Second streets. A fire destroyed this structure and Mr. Gillette then turned to real estate, the interest he has maintained since that time. He was interested in the Gillette- Hall addition to the city. He owns some valuable properties. He is a stockholder and director in the Tulsa National bank and the Tulsa Trust Co. Old timers know him as a man who is always willing to make an investment that appears to have a chance of being profitable. He needn't work; he has an independent fortune. He does because he likes to be busy. He married after coming to Tulsa and lives at 2130 Terrace Drive.

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        A few years ago the name was changed to the University of Tulsa and the synod of Oklahoma and the Presbyterian board of New York agreed to relinquish absolute control. There was an indebtedness of more than $200,000 and 10 public spirited citizens paid it off. Now the school is controlled by a board of 36 trustees, 12 of whom are selected by men who contributed $5,000 or more to the university, 12 by the synod of Oklahoma and the other 12 by these 24.
        Comparatively recently the trustees have been very fortunate in procuring Dr. John Duncan Finlayson as chancellor. He has had many years of experience in educational work and has had splendid success. He and the trustees are making plans for the expansion of the school. It was necessary to turn students away at the start of 1927-28 term because of the lack of room.
        H. C. Tyrrell, one of Tulsa's most public spirited citizens, has promised to erect a $125,000 fine arts building if another man, or a group of men will match that amount in another building.
        E. P. Harwell has agreed to donate several blocks of ground adjoining the campus for these new buildings. This ground is valued at $75,000.
        Within a short time the University of Tulsa will be one of the best and largest schools in the southwest.


        It was in 1921 when the agitation for the formation of a society of old time Tulsans took concrete form. Drs. S. G. and J. Kennedy invited the pioneers to be their guests at a barbecue and dinner to be given in the grove west of the Tulsa Country club on September 17. The old timers thronged to the celebration and listened to many reminiscent speeches. It was the thirteenth anniversary of the arrivals of the Kennedy's in Tulsa and this lent added joy to the occasion.
        A souvenir booklet of the meeting tell something of its importance in the lives of the pioneers. It says that during Tulsa's years of existence many notable things had happened but that for the old timers the barbecue and get together meeting climaxed the series of reunions and picnics. It spoke the affection of the early Tulsans for the two physicians who later became millionaires by oil and investments.

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