Photo courtesy of Justin Miers Photography

Photo courtesy of Justin Miers Photography

Captained by Trina Kopacka Home History Researched by Carol Haaksma and Written by David Knox

This house is a classic American Foursquare sometimes referred to as a Prairie Foursquare. This style of architecture, plain with handcrafted woodwork, was popular from the 1890’s until the late 1930’s - a reaction to the ornate and mass produced elements of the Victorian and Revival styles from the last half of the 19th century. The hallmarks of the Foursquare included a square, boxy design, two-and-a-half stories high with four large square rooms to each floor, a center dormer, and a large front porch with wide stairs. Other common features included a hipped roof, arched entries between rooms, built in style cabinetry, and Craftsman-style woodwork. Although the interior of this house has been altered, the exterior retains its original appearance; a classic example of the American Foursquare style.

The lot at 917 NW 19th St was part of a purchase in 1902 by the University Development Company formed by Anton Classen, Charles Colcord, J.B. Zeigler, Margaret McKinley, and John Shartel. In 1904 the lot along with adjoining lots were sold to real estate developers Niles and Alice Ohls for $350. In 1908, the lot and newly constructed house were purchased by Eunice Ross, a widow, for $5,000. Mrs. Ross lived on the property with her three children, Sadie, Charlie, and Edith. In 1912, her youngest, Edith, married Joseph Bartles a millionaire oilman and son of Jacob Bartles and Nannie M. Journeycake, early Oklahoma settlers and founders of Bartlesville and Dewey, OK.

In 1916, the house was sold to R.S. Chandler, a single woman. Her son Stephen Chandler lived there with his wife Evelyn Chandler. Their son Horace was a prominent real estate developer with the firm Nichols and Chandler, instrumental in the development of many Oklahoma City neighborhoods. In 1917 Nichols and Chandler bought undeveloped residential areas of Winans, Jefferson Park, Ross-Mann, Putnam Heights, and Harndale.

Sadly Horace would not live to see these neighborhoods fully developed. In 1918, the worldwide influenza epidemic reached Oklahoma City. Known then as the Spanish Flu, between October of 1918 and April of 1919, 7,350 people in the city would die of the deadly disease. Horace died of the flu on October 29th, 1918 at the age of 33 leaving behind his wife, 2 daughters, his father, 3 sisters and a brother. The house was sold in February of 1919 to Robert E. Dunham for $6,500.

The 1920 census listed Robert living in the house with his wife Floy and their 2 children. He was a manufacturer at a candy company. In late 1920 misfortune struck the Dunham family as Robert died. In 1921, the house was sold at auction and Edward Klein had the high bid of $5,334. Edward was an agent with Reliance Life Insurance Company. His daughter Twila was mentioned in The Oklahoman on November 21, 1921 for winning an essay contest in support of a $7,100,000 bond proposed for the improvement of schools. In 1925, Edward and his wife Gracie sold the home to Ward H. Fisher.

Ward and his wife Genevieve had one child Janet born when Mrs. Fisher was 39 - late in life in those days. Mr. Fisher had attended the University of Illinois in 1907 and was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Mrs. Fisher was an officer in the Oklahoma chapter of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Ward Fisher was a self-employed building contractor. In 1932, the house was foreclosed and put up for auction. The Fishers were the victims of the depression as were so many in Oklahoma. The Savings and Loan company owned the property and kept it as a rental property until 1938, when it was sold to Robert and Hazeline Reid, the sixth owners.

The 1940 census shows that Robert and Hazeline Reid lived in the house with their two children. Robert was a mathematics teacher at Classen High School for many years and pictures of him from the yearbook can be found on the Internet. The seventh owners of the house were Frank and Nannie Murdock who lived there from 1946 until 1959. Mr. Murdock was then owner of a used car business located at 912 N. Broadway on Automobile Alley. After 1959 the house at 917 NW 19th changed many hands before being purchased by Jonathan Fisher and Amy Cook Fisher in 2017.