Skip to main content

Charles Francis Colcord Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: WHC-M-115

Scope and Contents


Civic leader and businessman. Correspondence (1910-1935) relating to Colcord's oil and other business activities; general correspondence (1909-1930) to Colcord, filed alphabetically, and correspondence (1909-1930) from Colcord, his wife, Harriet Scoresby Colcord, his sons, Ray and Sidney Colcord, and his brother, Will C. Colcord; genealogical material concerning the Colcord family; scrapbooks and newspaper clippings (1910-1934) relating to Colcord, including some concerning the 1934 Charles F. Urschel kidnapping case, for which Colcord offered a reward; miscellaneous printed material (1920-1934) collected by Colcord; and a manuscript of his autobiography, published in 1970.

This collection contains material from about 1904 to about 1938, with the majority of the material being from 1910-1934. Personal and business letters and legal and business records make up most of this collection. Colcord's original secretary's filing system has been largely maintained. Thus, under "B" Miscellaneous Correspondence can be found correspondence to and from individuals whose names begin with "B," businesses whose names begin with "B," and information on products and services which begin with "B" (such as booksellers, etc.). Unless otherwise indicated, materials within all folders are sorted by date. Most of the collection (Boxes 1-42) is organized in alphabetical order. Boxes 43-45 contain various miscellaneous material, mostly of historical interest or relating to Colcord's death.


  • 1909-1935


Restrictions on Access

Available for public access.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Francis Colcord, cowboy, sheriff, oil operator, businessman, banker, and city father of Oklahoma City, was born in Bourbon City, Kentucky, on August 18, 1859. His father was a large landowner in Kentucky before the Civil War, and later settled in the Southwest. In his youth, Colcord was a cowboy in Texas and Kansas. When he was thirty, Colcord made the Land Run of 1889 in central Oklahoma and settled in Oklahoma City. He became the first chief of police of Oklahoma City and the first sheriff of Oklahoma County. He participated in the opening of the Cherokee Strip in 1893 and claimed a homestead in Noble County, near Perry. Colcord served for four years as the Chief Deputy US Marshal of the Fourth Judicial District of the Territory. In 1903, Colcord drilled his first oil well and discovered the Glenn Pool which helped establish Oklahoma as one of the major oil-producing states. In 1910, he built the 12-story Colcord building in downtown Oklahoma City and founded the North American Oil and Refining Company in 1918. He was one of the principals in the construction of the Commerce Exchange Building and the Oklahoma Biltmore Hotel. In addition, he organized and was president of the Commercial National Bank of Oklahoma City, and was a lifetime member of the Oklahoma Historical Society. He was married to Harriet Scoresby Colcord and had six children. He died at his country home at Colcord, Oklahoma on December 10, 1934.


15.33 Cubic Feet (15.33 ft.)

Language of Materials


Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of the Colcord family.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Papers: Source of acquisition--Colcord family. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1950.

Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Western History Collections Repository

630 Parrington Oval
Room 300
Norman Oklahoma 73019 United States