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L. C. Heydrick Collection

Identifier: WHC-M-277

Scope and Contents


Oil prospector. Correspondence (1901, 1931-1939, 1944, 1953) relating to Jesse A. Heydrick's discovery of oil in Red Fork, Oklahoma; a manuscript (1931) of unpublished chapters of "J.W. Flenner's History of Early Oil Developments in Oklahoma"; legal papers (1901); newspaper clippings; and a bound report (1953) entitled "Red Fork Discovery, June 1901" by L.C. Heydrick. L.C. Heydrick Photograph Collection also in repository.


  • 1901-1953


Restrictions on Access

Available for public access.

Biographical / Historical

L.C. Heydrick's father, J.A. Heydrick, was very successful in the petroleum business in Pennsylvania. Along with his brother, he was able to make a profit from 55 of the 60 well sunk. Living in Butler, Pennsylvania, the brothers lived comfortably. John S. Wick, another oil man who in lived in Butler persuaded J.A. Heydrick to team up with him to do some oil speculation in the Indian Territory (in present-day Oklahoma). At the time, J.A. Heydrick was unaware of the trouble that he was getting himself into. After finding oil at Red Fork (near present-day Tulsa), Heydrick watched in amazement thousands of oil speculators swarm into Indian Territory with the hope of getting rich very quickly. Quite frankly, Heydrick was disappointed with the output of this misconceived well. He tried to sell the land but to no avail. The stockholders of his company would do no such thing when there was so much interest in the land surrounding the well. Besides the financial burden that J.A. Heydrick was faced with, he also had to contend with the Department of the Interior of the United States of America. The Secretary of the Interior, Allen Hitchcock, thought that Heydrick and Wick had no right trespassing on Indian lands. Moreover, after the initial discovery, Heydrick and Wick were put up against two doctors who claimed that they were responsible for the Red Fork discovery.


.33 ft. (.33 ft.)

Language of Materials


Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of L.C. Heycrick.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Papers: Source of acquisition--Heydrick, L.C. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1949.

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