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PAGE, CHARLES E(dward?) (1861-1926)

Oilman, industrial developer, philanthropist, and father of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, Charles Page was born near Stevens Point, Wisconsin, on June 2, 1861, to James William and Mary Gottrey Page. When Charles was eleven, his father died, leaving the boy to support his mother. After that, Page's education was interrupted by work. Before coming to Indian Territory, he had been a telegraph messenger, policeman, Pinkerton detective, logger, and miner. He came to the territory from Colorado, where he had been in oil and real estate.

In Oklahoma he drilled for oil in the Taneha, Red Fork, and Glenn Pool districts in 1902 1905, accumulating a fortune from oil properties in Tulsa, Creek, and Osage counties. In 1908 1909 he established the Sand Springs Orphan Children's Home and Widows' Colony, eventually supported by corporate income of the Sand Springs Home Interests. Acquiring land, in 1910 he surveyed the Sand Springs townsite, near Tulsa. Over the next sixteen years Page promoted the town, encouraged friends and family to build residential areas, and underwrote many retail businesses.

Knowing that small industry would make his city succeed, he created favorable conditions for development. He established Sand Springs Power, Water, and Light Company, which drew manufacturers, refineries, and dozens of small industries to set up plants. His Sand Springs Cotton Mill was said to be second largest west of the Mississippi River. His Sand Springs Railroad, an electric interurban, connected Tulsa with the new town and its large amusement park and lake, which he also funded. He created Sand Springs State Bank and a hospital. Touted by the 1920s as "the industrial center of Oklahoma," Sand Springs continued developing through the 1930s.

When Charles E. Page died on December 27, 1926, his wife, the former Lucille Rayburn, whom he had married in 1908, and a daughter, Mary, survived him. In 1928-29 Lucille Page built a memorial library and sculptural monument in his honor. Designed by Otis Floyd Johnson, of the Chicago studio of sculptor Lorado Taft, the library contained woodwork carved by noted Oklahoma folk artist Nathan Ed Galloway. The Page Memorial Library was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1999 (NR-99000352). Lorado Taft designed the Page Monument, across the street from the library in downtown Sand Springs. Page's estate endowed the widows' and children's home, which still operated at the beginning of the twenty-first century.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Opal B. Clark, A Fool's Enterprise: The Life of Charles Page (Sand Springs, Okla.: Dexter Publishing Co., 1988). "Charles Page," The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 28 (New York: James T. White & Co., 1940). "Charles Page" Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. "Charles Page," Vertical File, Tulsa City-County Library, Tulsa. Tulsa (Oklahoma) World, 28 December 1926.

Dianna Everett

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