40th Mayor of Tulsa
Dewey F. Bartlett Jr.
39th Mayor of Tulsa, 2009-2016
Dewey F. Bartlett Jr. led an aggressive approach to lead the
City out of financial distress during a national economic
recession, reducing the size of government and conducting a
business study resulting in a long-term efficiency program.
Bartlett created the first-ever Public Safety Plan and led the
charge for putting water in the Arkansas River. Bartlett rejected
historical and geographic divides that held Tulsa back for decades
and developed strong bonds by attending 200 churches, insisting on
Unprecedented participation in citywide public meetings led to
the approval of $1.5 billion in street improvements and other
wide-ranging projects. Bartlett's workforce efforts resulted in a
high school Aerospace Academy and many new jobs for the city.
38th Mayor of Tulsa, 2006-2009
Kathy Taylor was elected Mayor on April 4, 2006. Combining a
business and legal background with her time as Oklahoma Secretary
of Commerce and Tourism, Mayor Taylor infused the city with a new
kind of energy. Mayor Taylor opened the BOK Center, brought the
Drillers downtown to ONEOK Field, and consolidated City Hall to the
One Technology Center. She helped launch the update of the city's
comprehensive land-use plan, and worked to engage citizens to
revitalize their neighborhoods. She created the Mayor's Mentoring
to the Max program, which connected mentors with more than 700
students at 18 area community schools. Mayor Taylor led the passage
of the largest investment in streets in Tulsa's history.
37th Mayor of Tulsa, 2002-2006
Bill LaFortune inherited a city in the midst of a severe
economic downturn. Eventually leading the city to a full economic
recovery, he also spearheaded the effort to successfully pass an
$885 million capital improvements package known as "Vision 2025."
Mayor LaFortune built a once-in-a-lifetime coalition, bringing
together all elected officials, local governments, business leaders
and neighborhood advocates to unanimously support the package.
Although numerous important educational, medical and recreational
facilities were built as a result, the flagship was the BOK Center,
an 18,000 seat multipurpose arena designed by world-renowned
architect, Cesar Pelli.
36th Mayor of Tulsa, 1992-2002
Susan Savage was Tulsa's first woman mayor. Chief of Staff under
Mayor Randle, she served two years of his unexpired term when he
left office. She won a special election to continue being Mayor of
Tulsa. Mayor Savage led Tulsa's efforts to protect the raw water
supply and worked with public-private partnerships to improve solid
waste services and air quality programs.
She helped put together a regional strategy for a multi-purpose
model for transportation planning. Mayor Savage worked on
environmental issues, implemented neighborhood programs and helped
create city design.
Rodger A. Randle
35th Mayor of Tulsa, 1988-1992
Rodger A. Randle led the effort in 1989 to change Tulsa's
charter to create a mayor-council form of government. There had
been several attempts over 35 years to change the commission
form of government which was established in 1908. Mayor Randle was
known as the International Mayor. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese
and frequently hosted ambassadors and international dignitaries. In
1992, he hosted the Sister Cities International Conference which
had 1,500 delegates from 40 countries.
Mayor Randle was re-elected in 1990 by the largest margin in
Tulsa's history. He started the Mayor's office for Neighborhoods
and pushed for economic development.
34th Mayor of Tulsa, 1986-1988
Dick Crawford's top priority was economic development. He
created a public-private economic development Commission as well as
the Business Action Center. Mayor Crawford started the "buck stays
here" campaign, one-stop permit processing office, and the Buy
Tulsa business hotline.
Mayor Crawford created the "HOT" program - High On Tulsa. This
initiative encouraged Tulsans to network and work together to find
solutions to make Tulsa better. He also helped establish the Tulsa
Hall of Fame. Paul Harvey, Patti Page, Will Rogers, Sam Walton and
Mickey Mantel were a few of the Oklahomans named into the Hall. He
was also instrumental in establishing the Sports Commission and the
33rd Mayor of Tulsa, 1984-1986
Terry Young created a recovery program following the 1984
Memorial Day Flood. Mayor Young allocated surplus funds for flood
control projects, acquiring 280-plus flood-prone homes, and
established the Stormwater Management Department. He personally
negotiated a land exchange with the Department of Housing and Urban
Development for the site of what is now OSU-Tulsa and funded the
first classroom buildings. He committed $10 million for the
expansion of Gilcrease Museum which allowed a majority of the
museum's collection to be put on display for the first time. He
created Tulsa's first neighborhood Code Enforcement Division. Tulsa
had its largest street resurfacing program during his term.
James M. Inhofe
32nd Mayor of Tulsa, 1978-1984
James M. Inhofe, through public and private initiatives
convinced Tulsans to approve a one-cent sales tax for a five-year
capital improvements program. He created a Sales Tax Overview
Committee and a sales tax rebate program. Tulsans approved a bond
issue that modernized the city's infrastructure. He led the
construction of the low water dams on the Arkansas River. Mayor
Inhofe led an effort to revamp the trash collection system. Tulsa's
911 emergency call system was created. He worked to established
Sister Cities, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and Kaohsiung, Taiwan. He
established the Greater Hispanic Affairs Commission and
re-activated the Indian Affairs Commission to address needs of
Tulsa's Native Americans.
Robert J. LaFortune
31st Mayor of Tulsa, 1970-1978
Robert J. LaFortune served seven elected terms, three as
Commissioner of Streets and Public Property (1964-70) and four as
Mayor (1970-78). As commissioner he worked for approval of the Port
of Catoosa funding and acquired the 2,300 acre port site. As mayor
he received approval of major bond funding for streets, traffic
control, parks, water and sewer projects and major expressway
construction. Mayor LaFortune helped initiate the start of INCOG,
Indian Nations Council of Governments. With the help of John
Williams, he gained approval of 50-50 private-public funding of the
new $18 million Performing Arts Center.
James M. Hewgley
30th Mayor of Tulsa, 1966-1970
James M. Hewgley established a Fair Housing Commission. The
Tulsa Housing Authority was established to bring public housing to
Tulsa. He reorganized the Budget Department for modern practices
and established an Information Systems Department. He undertook a
management study to better coordinate city functions with the
county. A one-cent sales tax was approved to enhance operating
revenue for the city. In 1968, Morton Health Center reopened
bringing health services to Tulsa's low-income citizens. Mayor
Hewgley established the office of Equal Economic Opportunity
assuring non-discrimination in employment practices and established
the Model Cities program bringing job development to our minority
James L. Maxwell
29th Mayor of Tulsa, 1958-1966
James L. Maxwell served as Tulsa's youngest mayor at the age of
31 and had a reputation for working 16-hour days. He created
Tulsa's first comprehensive update to the master plan. Mayor
Maxwell helped with the efforts to construct the Civic Center,
which was later renamed the James L. Maxwell Convention Center in
Mayor Maxwell also was instrumental in the formation of a
downtown civic government complex, the downtown central library,
and the Inner Dispersal Loop. He expanded the city park system and
oversaw the relocation of the Tulsa International Airport. Mayor
Maxwell helped acquire the Thomas Gilcrease Museum, pushed for
integration of Tulsa's public facilities and passed city ordinances
that outlawed race-based discrimination.
George E. Norvell
28th Mayor of Tulsa, 1956-1958
George E. Norvell was the first native-born Tulsan to be elected
mayor and served in World War II. Prior to being mayor of Tulsa, he
was the city attorney of Seminole and was Tulsa County's first
Juvenile Court judge.
In 1956, Tulsa voted for a $5 million bond for streets, storm
sewers, and traffic signals. In 1957, Tulsa voted a $3.1 million
bond for expressway rights-of-way and a $4.2 million bond in 1958
for a new terminal for the Tulsa Municipal Airport.
L. C. Clark
27th Mayor of Tulsa, 1954-1956
L. C. Clark was a long-time businessman and civic leader. Mayor
Clark understood downtown business and was a leader in the Chamber
of Commerce. He helped the installation of the city Civil Service
program and Personnel Department. He completed much-needed
improvements to Tulsa's water system and created a long range plan.
He established a city sewer tax, which brought much needed
During his administration, he purchased land for the Riverside
airport. He acquired Gilcrease Museum with city bonds and acquired
The Tulsa Garden Center.
Clancy M. Warren
26th Mayor of Tulsa, 1952-1954
Clancy M. Warren was a World War II veteran. He started off his
career as a lawyer and later served as a municipal judge in 1950.
Mayor Warren spent his two years as mayor trying to change the City
Charter to a city manager-commission type of city government. He
was unable to push through a charter change in Tulsa.
George H. Stoner
25th Mayor of Tulsa, 1950-1952
George H. Stoner was the commissioner of streets and public
property before he was the mayor of Tulsa. He accomplished two main
issues during his term in office. When he became mayor, one of his
first acts was doing away with rent control, which was imposed
during wartime. He also won the battle to put city employees and
elected officials under Social Security.
Roy B. Lundy
24th Mayor of Tulsa, 1948-1950
Roy B. Lundy's term in office included improvements to downtown
traffic control, consolidation of the City/County Health Department
and acquisition of veterans' housing units. He worked for reforms
in the municipal court procedures. One of Mayor Lundy's most
outstanding achievements was the 51st Street Bridge over
the Arkansas River, which was built under his administration. He
initiated the widening of the Sapulpa Road, the key to the
Tulsa/Sapulpa highway and the Turner Turnpike. The City of Tulsa
had more than $1 million surplus at the end of his term.
Lee Price Jr.
23rd Mayor of Tulsa, 1946-1948
Lee Price Jr. was a lifelong resident of Tulsa. His father was
one of the original men to help gain the right to incorporate
Tulsa. In 1944, before he became mayor of Tulsa, Price served as
Tulsa Police and Fire commissioner. Mayor Price made a proposal for
the construction of an early-day expressway, however it was
bitterly opposed by his Democratic rival, and the fallout cost him
Olney F. Flynn
22nd Mayor of Tulsa, 1944-1946
Olney F. Flynn was a wartime mayor. During his administration
the American Airlines maintenance base was located in Tulsa. Also,
the city added a new service, refuse pick-up for citizens. Mayor
Flynn had one former mayor and two future mayors in his
administration: former Mayor Dan Patton was city engineer, future
Mayor Lee Price was Police and Fire Commissioner, and future Mayor
George Stoner was Streets Commissioner. Mayor Flynn was known as
the "most non-partisan mayor." His administration retained all
employees regardless of politics.
Clarence H. Veale
21st Mayor of Tulsa, 1940-1944
Clarence H. Veale's core platform was to help industrialize the
City of Tulsa. Mayor Veale was a businessman and wasn't involved in
politics until he ran for mayor. He was considered for a job as
commissioner, but turned it down saying, "If I ever decided to go
into politics, I would prefer to be mayor." And that comment
eventually led to his candidacy. His main focus was to obtain
legislation enabling new industries to enter Oklahoma.
Dr. T. A. Penney
20th Mayor of Tulsa, 1934-1940
Dr. T. A. Penney held office for six years and was a great city
booster. He was always described as a friend to everyone. Mayor
Penney set up an advisory council of 12 business men and they met
with the commissioners every two weeks. He worked hard to update
and improve the city juvenile court system. More funds were
allocated for juvenile work and a board of seven members was
Mayor Penny was very active in the U.S. Conference of Mayors,
which was established in 1932. During his administration he
sponsored legislation for the right to collect a two-cent tax on
George L. Watkins
18th Mayor of Tulsa, 1930-1932
George L. Watkins served as a public servant for most of his
career. In addition to his tenure as mayor, he served as city water
commissioner, postmaster, and Tulsa County Excise Equalization
Board chairman. As water commissioner he made many expansions and
improvements to the water system.
Mayor Watkins worked diligently for public improvements. He
initiated the plan for a city Athletic Commission, which provided
benefits for the underprivileged children, veterans groups and
Dan W. Patton
17th Mayor of Tulsa, 1928-1930
Dan W. Patton and his brother Gus moved to Tulsa in 1901 when he
was 16 years old. He was one of the original citizens of Tulsa and
served as Tulsa County engineer from 1917 to 1926.
Mayor Patton and Gus Patton were Tulsa's first engineers and
were hired to lay out the original town site. This was when Tulsa's
first water system was built and the street-naming system for the
downtown area was established. Mayor Patton helped push through the
public works program and his administration had more public works
projects started and completed during that period of time.
Herman Frederick Newblock
16th Mayor of Tulsa, 1922-1928
19th Mayor of Tulsa, 1932-1934
Herman Frederick Newblock was one of only two mayors to hold
office for two separate terms. In 1907, he became Tulsa's first
chief of Police and in 1908 he was appointed to finish Lon Lewis's
term as Tulsa County Sheriff. He finished his term as sheriff in
1911 and then returned to serve as the city's chief of Police.
Mayor Newblock served as Tulsa's finance commissioner. The
Spavinaw water project was completed during his tenure and helped
bring "clear and cold, pure as gold" water to Tulsa from Spavinaw
Lake. He was affectionately known as "Uncle Herman" and Tulsa's
"Grand Old Man of Politics."
T. D. Evans
15th Mayor of Tulsa, 1920-1922
T. D. Evans served as mayor during one of the darkest days in
Tulsa history - the 1921 Race riot, which lasted 24 hours.
Thirty-five city blocks were destroyed by fire and untold numbers
of citizens were killed. This day in Tulsa's history will impact us
Mayor Evans administration completed the plans and started the
process of buying the land for Tulsa's water system at Spavinaw,
which was described as a daring, visionary gamble, breathtaking in
scope. The first water board was created and he secured General
George Goethals, the builder of the Panama Canal to advise the
authority on the construction of the project.
C. H. Hubbard
14th Mayor of Tulsa, 1918-1920
C. H. Hubbard governed the City of Tulsa during the 1918 flu
outbreak known as the "Spanish Influenza." It killed 7,359
Oklahomans and more than 600,000 in the United States. The first
case of the Spanish Influenza was reported at Camp Funston near
Fort Riley, Kansas. An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 cases were reported
in Tulsa before Mayor Hubbard called an emergency meeting with Red
Cross personnel, doctors, and city leaders and placed the city
under police rule. He immediately had to close down businesses and
schools to help stop the spread of the epidemic.
13th Mayor of Tulsa, 1916-1918
John Simmons was named one of Tulsa's finest civic builders and
served as mayor when the City Hall at Fourth and Cincinnati was
built. He was the chairman of the exemption board during World War
I. Mayor Simmons was a charter member of the Commercial Club,
currently known as the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce. He
spearheaded a civic project to build the Hotel Tulsa and personally
gave a donation of $2,500 for the project.
Frank M. Wooden
12th Mayor of Tulsa, 1912-1916
Frank M. Wooden held public offices most of his life. He started
off as city finance commissioner. He was mayor of Tulsa from
1912-1916 and in 1916 he was Tulsa's only mayor to be impeached. He
was found guilty and removed from the office of mayor by a grand
jury of Tulsa County for accepting bribes from gambling and liquor
He later became a County Commissioner, appraiser for the
Exchange Company and superintendent of grounds/concessions of the
Tulsa State Fair during the 1930s. He was the state school land
commission appraiser in 1944.
L. J. Martin
11th Mayor of Tulsa, 1910-1912
L. J. Martin, known as a "crusading mayor" helped clean up
gambling and bootleg operations in Tulsa by accompanying his police
officers on raids. Prior to serving as Tulsa mayor, he was the
Chamber of Commerce president in 1903 and helped put together a
performance of "Pinafore" to raise funds to build Tulsa's first
Opera House. He also served in the South Dakota state legislature
before moving to Tulsa.
Mayor Martin loved Tulsa for its rolling hills and trees and
encouraged the enrichment of Tulsa's landscape. Following his term
as mayor, he served as a judge in Tulsa from 1920 to 1923.
W. E. Rohde
9th Mayor of Tulsa, 1907-1909
W.E. Rohde was the mayor who brought us into statehood. He
helped the city of Tulsa's population grow from 7,398 in 1907 to
nearly double in size during his term in office. Tulsans always
said he was too honest to be successful at political games. He was
called one of Tulsa's wisest mayors. Mayor Rohde changed Tulsa's
streets from brick to asphalt and paved the business district in
asphalt. Tulsa built the water plant and distribution system under
his administration. He also was a member of the Colorado state
legislature before moving to Tulsa.
John O. Mitchell
8th Mayor of Tulsa, 1906-1907
10th Mayor of Tulsa, 1909-1910
John O. Mitchell was the first mayor to serve for two separate
terms. He was a substantial capitalist with West Tulsa as one of
his real estate interests. Mayor Mitchell helped West Tulsa,
originally known as Red Fork, become an industrial district. He
built the West End Hotel and had other real estate interests.
Tulsa's first paved road was laid in 1906 under Mayor Mitchell's
Dr. C. L. Reeder
7th Mayor of Tulsa, 1905-1906
Dr. C. L. Reeder came to Tulsa in 1890. He was one of Tulsa's
first physicians and was a practicing physician until his death.
Dr. C. L. Reeder, Dr. Fred Clinton, and Dr. C. Z. Wiley opened
Tulsa's first hospital in an unfinished 10 bedroom residence at 5th
and Lawton. He was a member of the commercial club and a great
Tulsa supporter. Mayor Reeder served as county physician,
superintendent, and secretary to the County Board of Health and was
a member of the county, state, and American medical societies.
Mayor Reeder built the Reeder Building at 2nd and Boston in
H. R. Cline
6th Mayor of Tulsa, 1904-1905
H. R. Cline began his career in Tulsa in real estate and later
worked for Vitrified Brick and Tile Company as secretary/treasurer.
He served as mayor for one term. The 11th Street Bridge was built
in 1904. The bond issue for the bridge failed to pass, but three
Tulsans privately funded it. When the bridge was completed, the
placards read, "You said we couldn't do it, but we did." Mayor
Cline was instrumental in helping the Tulsa Fire Department's
volunteer program change to a paid department. He was the city
clerk in 1908 and the city auditor in 1909.
George W. Mowbray
5th Mayor of Tulsa, 1903-1904
George Mowbray traveled to Tulsa in 1887. He served as an early
missionary to the Creek Nation and became an avid booster for the
city of Tulsa. He was the second pastor for Tulsa's Methodist
Episcopal Church and was active in civic aspects of early Tulsa. He
served as the director of the Methodist mission school for 11
Mayor Mowbray was the first president of the Tulsa Public School
Board. He was one of the founding members of the Commercial Club,
currently known as the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce. Mayor
Mowbray helped persuade the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway
to re-route through Tulsa.
4th Mayor of Tulsa, 1901-1903
George Blakey helped organize Tulsa's first volunteer fire
department after a major fire downtown damaged many buildings. R.C.
Elder, Tulsa's first fire chief and other civic leaders met in
Hall's general store and convinced Mayor Blakey that the bucket
brigade ought to be replaced by a volunteer fire department. The
city purchased a chemical fire wagon, 24 bright red fire helmets
and other equipment for $800. Mayor Blakey also worked with the
Patton brothers, Dan and Gus, to create the city street grid system
3rd Mayor of Tulsa, 1900-1901
Lewis Poe was one of Tulsa's finest lawyers. In 1898, Mayor Poe
and his law partner, Harry Campbell were two of the men who helped
write Tulsa's incorporation papers. Mayor Poe was a delegate for
the 1904 Democratic National Convention in St. Louis. He was
elected Tulsa County's first district judge at statehood in 1907
and also served as a state legislator. Harry Campbell wrote, "A
good man and fine citizen, a devoted husband and father, who proved
his faith by his works."
R. N. Bynum
2nd Mayor of Tulsa, 1899-1900
R. N. Bynum was one of the leaders that helped start the
development of Tulsa. Mayor Bynum worked with Indian Legislature to
grant permission to secure Tulsans' property titles. He helped
bring the Federal Court Commissioner to Tulsa, which formed the
Tulsa Federal Courthouse.
Mayor Bynum, Jay Forsythe, J.M. Hall, and Joe Price, out of
their own pockets, loaned the City of Tulsa $1,050 to purchase
property and establish the Tulsa Public School System. The City of
Tulsa repaid the loan when they collected property taxes.
Colonel Edward E. Calkins
1st Mayor of Tulsa, 1898-1899
Edward E. Calkins was Tulsa's first lawyer. On January 18, 1898
the right to incorporate the city of Tulsa had been granted by
United States Judge William R. Springer. The committee securing
this order consisted of: J.M. Hall, P.M. Price, W. Tate Brady, L.M.
Poe, G.W. Mowbray, Robert E. Lynch, Captain John Seaman, Dr. Sam G.
Kennedy, and Mayor Calkins. Under his administration the city
started collecting property taxes for the first time in Tulsa's
history. Mayor Calkins was an officer in the Seventh Indian
Calvary. He was a member of the Indiana Legislature from 1871-1872
and was the city of Tulsa's attorney from 1902-1903.