April 24, 2024

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Overholser Mansion

The Overholser Mansion in Oklahoma City, completed in 1903, was built for Henry Overholser, one of the pioneering figures in the history of the city.

Overholser arrived in Oklahoma City in 1889, and began a spree of developmental activities in the fast growing city. Overholser was responsible for the construction of more than 35 buildings that included the United States Courthouse, the State Fairgrounds and two opera houses. As the founding president of the Board of Trade which later became the Chamber of Commerce, Overholser was involved in the first water works project in the city and the first trolley car system. Overholser was also part of the County Commission. He died in 1915.

The Overholser Mansion offers a glimpse into the past, the “Spirit of the 1889’ers”. It offers an entry into the world of Henry Overholser, who in many ways was responsible for the bustling city that Oklahoma City now is. The mansion is a French Chateau-style three-storied house. The construction and furnishing of the mansion were supervised by London’s Kensington Academy-trained architect, W. S. Matthews.

The decorative arts at the mansion include Brussels lace curtains, English carpets, and French stained glass windows. The furniture represents the high style of the period as well. Following the opening of the Overholser Mansion with a grand reception in 1904, it has been frequented by key figures of the Oklahoma City society, including opera singers, Ernestine Schumann-Heink and Amelita Gala-Curci.

From 1956 to 1968 the mansion was the official residence of US Senator Mike Monroney. The Oklahoma Historical Society acquired the mansion in 1972. It’s currently operated by Preservation Oklahoma. Tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday from 10.00 AM till 3:00 PM if the mansion isn’t closed for repairs. Hotels in OKC offer shuttle services to important tourist destinations in Oklahoma City including the Overholser Mansion.