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Charles Colcord: Guardian of Early Oklahoma - Podcast


Charles Colcord in later years
Charles Colcord in later years as one of Oklahoma’s preeminent civic and business leaders “Chuck Colcord, Scourge of the Cattle Rustlers,” the front cover title of an Old West magazine story chronicling the exploits of lawman Charles “Chuck” Colcord. The veracity of the particular exploits portrayed in the magazine is uncertain, but that of Colcord’s deeds inspiring them is not.
 

Old West lawman, pioneer, rider in three land runs, cattle baron, wildcatter, founding father of OKC, builder of skyscrapers (including the Colcord Building), and giant of early Oklahoma—with Chalres Colcord, for once, the legend really WAS fact.


Join John and KTOK/iHeartRadio star Gwin Faulconer-Lippert and meet the “Guardian of Early Oklahoma.” This is the 93rd episode of our original OKLAHOMA GOLD! radio program! Thank you Atwoods Stores for making it possible! Go HERE to listen to them all! Future episodes explore more great heroes, events, and movements of Oklahoma History.



Chuck Colcord, Scourge of the Cattle Rustlers
“Chuck Colcord, Scourge of the Cattle Rustlers,” the front cover title of an Old West magazine story chronicling the exploits of lawman Charles “Chuck” Colcord. The veracity of the particular exploits portrayed in the magazine is uncertain, but that of Colcord’s deeds inspiring them is not.
 
Charles Colcord was Oklahoma City’s first police chief
Charles Colcord was Oklahoma City’s first police chief, its first sheriff, and a deputy U. S. marshal in Oklahoma Territory. Here, in August 1890, he sits with the other officers of OKC’s first police department. Courtesy Edna M. Couch Collection, Oklahoma Historical Society.
 
Bill Tilghman and Charles Colcord
Bill Tilghman and Charles Colcord, two of the Old West’s most famous lawmen, served together as deputy marshals in the Cherokee Outlet during the gigantic 1893 Land Run. They also took on some of the most dangerous outlaws in American history.
 
Charles Colcord built his Heritage Hills mansion in 1903
Charles Colcord built his Heritage Hills mansion in 1903, four years before Oklahoma statehood. Standing at 421 N.W. 13th Street in Oklahoma City, it was a replica of his father’s antebellum plantation home in Kentucky and symbolized the accomplishments of a people who had raised up a booming American capital city from the barren prairie in just over a decade. The foolish 1960s demolition of the home in order to replace it with a commercial building helped trigger the great OKC preservation movement. Courtesy Oklahoma Historical Society.

 
When completed in 1910, the Colcord Building stood 12 stories tall
When completed in 1910, the Colcord Building stood 12 stories tall. It was Oklahoma City’s first skyscraper and the tallest building in the state. Ever the practical visionary, Colcord commissioned renowned architect William Wells to design the structure with reinforced concrete to avoid destruction like that wreaked by the recent San Francisco earthquake and fires. He also lavished the building with marble, nickel, and bronze. More than a century after its opening, the Colcord Building remains a vibrant hub of a resurgent downtown OKC.
 
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Many thanks to Atwoods Stores, a farm and ranch supply company based in Enid, Oklahoma, for their support of the Red River Institute of History and OKLAHOMA GOLD! Please support them as you are able! Wherever you are, you can order online from thousands of quality products on their terrific website HERE. Atwoods also has 66 stores in 5 states: Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. In addition to farm and ranch supplies, Atwoods stores sell clothing, lawn and garden items, tools, hardware, automotive supplies, sporting goods, pet supplies, firearms, and seasonal items.

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