Highland Park is a small neighborhood near the geographical center of Tulsa. The neighborhood features large, mature trees and a wide range of houses, both new and dating back to 1918. Access to both the Broken Arrow Expressway and Interstate 44 is quick and easy.
In 1887, when Clydie Landrum was born to Sam and Laura Landrum, Creek Indians, it was the policy of the United States Government to encourage Indians to take an allotment of land and live on it as individual families instead of in tribes. In 1903, at the young age of sixteen, Clydie was considered a freedman and was given by the United States Government 160 acres (which now is bounded by Yale Ave., 31st St., Hudson Ave., and 36th St.). There were many rules and restrictions that went with this allotment, for at least 25 years. Since she was a minor, her mother, Laura, was made her guardian. Laura in the meantime divorced Sam and remarried.
In 1903, the same year she received her allotment, she married Sylvester Howard. They had no children. Eight years later, Clydie died, leaving as possible heirs, her mother Laura, now married for her third time, Sam, her father (an illiterate unable to sign his name), and her husband, Sylvester Howard (apparently a white man since he is referred to as a foreigner and later is declared ineligibles her heir because of this). Clydie had no will, and there are no records of court action determining that she would heir the property.
Sam, the father, took it upon himself to sell all of the property without advising the other two.Sylvester, the husband, assuming he owned half of the property, sold it to another party, also without advising the other two. Laura, the mother and guardian of her child, Clydie, assuming she had total ownership, continued to live on the property.
In the meantime, the new owners and their heirs had borrowed money on it, granted oil and gas right leases, had it heavily mortgaged from nonpayment of debts, and had begun to harass Laura about ownership. She started a series of litigation that went on for years trying to straighten out the problems. The court eventually declared her sole heir to the 160 acres.
In 1922, Laura sold her 160 acres($150.00 per acre or $22,950.00 total), with a clear ownership title, but there had been so many mortgages on it that the new owners were forced to sell it in public auction to pay the creditors. The sale brought only $50.00 per acre or $8,000.00 (approximately the appraised value of the 160 acres in 1935).
After changing hands two more times, a widow,Evelyn M. English bought the 160acres for the purpose of breaking it up in lots for residences. With Bert McElroy as one of her attorneys, she had the records publicized, and through all court proceedings, as late as 1949,she had all titles declared free of all other claims. She presumably named the area Yorkshire Estates from a colleague, A.E.York. Her only two restrictions for the subdivision at the time were, no persons of African descent, and buildings must be of stone, brick, or stucco.
The land was broken up into lots, and grew into a small town that was incorporated as Highland Park, Oklahoma in 1946. A board of trustees was elected, and the following people served: D.M.Hawkins, President; Norman Jones, Vice President; Charles Ridley, R.G.Luttrell, F.P.Lewis, and Ramola Luttrell was Town Clerk.
In 1955, the residents petitioned to join the City of Tulsa, and after a very bitter battle, the mayor of Tulsa called a special election for the citizens to vote on it. The response was 24,000 for and 14,000 against.
Only having resided in Highland Park for 35 years, I'm presently waiting on some credible information, so that I can accurately present the history of the formation of our Homeowners Association. As soon as this information trickles in, it will be included in this section. If anyone has any information on this subject, please email it to the email link shown below.
Highland Park Homeowners Association is a voluntary organization formed to increase the level of communication among the residents and to strengthen the sense of neighborhood among them.
Association dues are 15.00 per year.
Currently, the Association hosts the following events. These events are typically announced with a flyer that is distributed to the block leaders, who in turn distribute to the individual homeowners.
1. The annual block party in the Fall. The Association provides a large tent, a charcoal cooker, hot dogs, buns, chips, condiments and drinks. Neighbors are encouraged to bring a covered dish and lawn chairs. Dues are collected.
2. Easter Egg Hunt in the Spring. Usually held the Saturday before Easter. The Association provides cookies and soft drinks for refreshment. Plastic eggs with candy are set out in the park in several different age groups. The Easter Bunny shows up for photo opportunities.
3. Garage Sale, usually in the spring. The Association organizes a neighborhood wide garage sale, provides signs and banners and purchases an ad in the local paper.
4. Clean up events. Usually in the Spring or Fall. The association coordinates the setting of one or two dumpsters for convenient disposal of household items. Other clean up events are listed in the flyer.
5. Christmas Parade. Ron Hanlon personally sponsors the Christmas Parade, usually two Saturday s before Christmas. The Association provides and distributes a flyer announcing the event.