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Overholser Mansion, Oklahoma City
(4.7/5 based on 85+ reviews on the web)
Henry Overholser was an 1889er who earned the title of "Father of Oklahoma City: as a man of modest wealth who was involved in almost every aspect of the city's growth from 1889-1903. The year the mansion was built he was listed in the city directory as "Overholser, H...Capitalist," and that does sum up his career, he was an entrepreneur who built "imposing structures" in the heart of the city; he persuaded the Frisco Railroad to build its line into Oklahoma City instead of Guthrie. In the area of political life, he served as County Commissioner, as County Finance Officer during the Panic of '97, and had been one of the "Committee of Seven" which settled land disputes during April-May, 1889. The State Fair of Oklahoma was another one of his favorite accomplishments. So respected was he that, on the afternoon of his funeral in August 1915, even the city and county offices--as well as the downtown businesses--closed.

In 1901, Mr. Overholser bought three city lots on Northwest 15th street, "out in the country" for about $2000 each at the time when the City limits of Oklahoma City ended at around NW 6th Street. The Queen Ann styled mansion is almost 11,000 square feet designed by Kansas City architect, W.S. Matthews, a graduate of Kensington Academy, London.

Many items are original to the earliest days of the mansions; several decorative objects were acquired by Mrs. Overholser between 1915 and 1940; some were added during the occupancy of the Perry's.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A beautiful mansion rich in Oklahoma territory history as well as Oklahoma City developmental history to statehood. Henry Overholser the builder / owner became known as the father of Oklahoma City. El...  more »
  • The docent/caretaker said very few people come which is a shame because they're really losing out. I have been to more than 40 houses built between the 1800's and 1940's. And it is the first time I ha...  more »
  • The first mansion built in Oklahoma City in 1903. Henry was known as the father of Oklahoma City as he build much in the town. Henry also had much to do in Wisconsin and other states. The interesting ...  more »
Google
  • My wife and I visited the Henry Overholser Mansion in May 2013. The exterior was under renovation/restoration but we bought the tour on LivingSocial and went through the interior. The tour guide is very knowledgeable on the house and shared her stories from firsthand accounts. The house is unique in that only four people have owned it, all in the Overholser family (Mr. and Mrs. Overholser, their daughter, and their son-in-law). The son-in-law sold the house and all of its furnishings still in it to the state of Oklahoma in the 1960's. Much of the house is as it was when it was built in 1903 with some updated furnishings added until the 1960's. The mansion is beautiful and offers a unique view of life in Oklahoma in the early days of statehood.