The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

16 February 2005

From the Department of Serendipity

A question I asked last fall about this corner of town:

[W]hat happened to the original settlers? A 1907 township map shows everything owned, if not necessarily platted, as far north as Wilshire Boulevard. (Townships were six miles square; the boundaries were Wilshire and Reno on the north and south, and May and Bryant on the west and east.) This quarter-section was owned, says the map, by one Halvor Steanson, for whom Steanson Drive (2800 block West, through this neighborhood only) is presumably named; in 1925, Steanson was still listed in the city directory as a farmer, located around NW 45th and May.

One of my resolutions for the new year, so to speak, was to answer that question. Fortunately for me, someone else spotted it first. A Steanson, yet.

Steanson B. Parks reports from Dallas:

Halvor Steanson was my great grandfather. He and his wife came with their family from Norway, entered the USA at Ellis Island, some stayed in Brooklyn, and their group came onto Kansas and ultimately on down to OKC in the late 1880's. They originally settled in a "mud hut one room home" up around the WKY radio/tv antennas (I believe above 63rd and May). However, they did not have any water there and had to fetch water via walking or horseback. I'm told by my grandmother (my father's mother) that they then traded their land for about 40 acres down around 48th and May (one block east of May) where the current Steanson street is located, and runs about four or five blocks. At the base of the street was a pond/creek and that is where they moved the prairie porch-style house that they had built to replace the original mud hut home up north. They lived a good life, and eventually built a new brick home (I think in about 1948 or so). My great aunts Julie and Kate lived for many years in that home. Their older sister Chris, lived to be 103 years of age. They were all three school teachers, and Chris, the oldest taught at Capitol [Hill] High, south of OKC, and the two younger sisters taught at Edgemere (spelling?) down around 15th Street as I recall. My grandmother, Jennie Harriet Steanson, married M.B. Parks, settled in Muskogee, Oklahoma and raised her family there. My father Elmer B. Parks was named after my grandmother's younger brother, Elmer Steanson, who lived/worked in OKC for many years and was with Southwestern Bell Telephone. The old original wooden, two story prairie porch style home was later on cut into pieces and moved over to the Lincoln Ext. area somewhere, where I understand a landman in the oil and gas business currently lives.

You gotta love this Internet stuff. And 1948, you'll remember, was right at the beginning of this neighborhood.

Thank you, SBP. We can always use a little more history.

Posted at 8:28 PM to City Scene , Surlywood