Sand Springs family donates original copy of 1913 legislation to fund state Capitol construction
OKLAHOMA CITY – Sand Springs resident John Patrick, along with his father, wife, four children, and sister, visited the state Capitol and Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) recently to donate a historic piece of legislation from 1913. The 110-year-old copy is of a bill to appropriate funds to begin construction on the state Capitol.
Patrick said he was going through boxes of documents in his garage when he spotted the bill.
“I was kind of shocked,” Patrick said. “At first, I didn’t know exactly what I was looking at until I saw State of Oklahoma, Department of State, and the state seal. My next thought was to immediately go to my dad and find out where this came from.”
His father, Bill Patrick, shared that the bill belonged to his grandfather, a postmaster and civil war veteran who was very committed to politics in the early days of the state.
“I collect historical items and to be honest, my first thought was to get a case for this and just hold on to it. But then I got to thinking more and more that it really needs to go back to the state of Oklahoma. Who knows how many other copies are out there or if there are any other copies archived. For it being 110 years old, even though it’s kind of fragile, it’s in remarkable condition,” Patrick said.
OHS Executive Director, Trait Thompson, shared the history of the bill and thanked the family for the donation to the state archives.
“The Oklahoma Historical Society is grateful to John Patrick for donating an original copy of House Bill 72 from the 1913 extraordinary session of the 4th Legislature. This document contains the signature of Oklahoma Secretary of State Benjamin Harrison dated May 28, 1913, declaring it to be a true copy of the bill. Following the November 5, 1912, election which cemented Oklahoma City’s hold on the capital city, this legislation cleared the way for the state to finally begin construction of its Capitol building. We are happy to be able to preserve this important piece of history in perpetuity in our archives,” Thompson said.
The family resides in Sen. Cody Rogers’ district, who also thanked them for their donation.
“It is incredibly important that we preserve our state history so future generations can learn from it,” Rogers, R-Tulsa, said. “I’d like to personally thank my constituents for donating this artifact to be enjoyed and studied by generations of Oklahomans to come.”
Oklahomans who have historical pieces they are interested in donating can contact OHS at 405-521-2491.