Overholser Home, OKC's First Mansion, Open for Tours

June 27, 2019

A glimpse into Oklahoma City’s rich history is on display to all who tour the Overholser Mansion, located at 405 NW 15th St., in Oklahoma City. After serving as the center of OKC’s social life for decades, this three-story, one-time home has been carefully preserved and retains its original furnishings and lavish fixtures. As a result, all who visit today have the opportunity to see how the Overholser family, their wealthy neighbors and those who served them lived and worked over a hundred years ago. Often referred to as the “Father of Oklahoma City,” Henry Overholser and his wife Anna built their family’s beautiful and impressive home in 1903. Considered OKC’s first mansion, the Overholser home was long acknowledged as the city’s showplace. Weddings, large dinners and literary events were often held there. Built in a Queen Anne and Chateauesque style at a time when Mission, Craftsman and Prairie architecture were popular, some initially considered the Overholser home out of style. However, its decorations and furnishings were such that, following an opening event, The Daily Oklahoman heralded it as “…an incomparable example of the possibilities of beautiful homebuilding.” Birthplace in 1905 of Henry Ione, the Overholsers’ only daughter, the mansion was still home to the Overholser family at the time of Overholser’s death in 1915. Anna, his widow, lived there until she died in 1940. At that time, the house was inherited by Henry Ione and her husband, David Jay Perry. Upon Henry Ione’s death in 1959, her husband was left the sole heir since he and Henry Ione had no children of their own. Recognizing the mansion’s historic value, Perry worked to see it preserved as a living tribute to the 89ers, those individuals who came to Oklahoma in the year following the Land Run. On June 22, 1970, the Overholser Mansion was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Two years later, in 1972, the Oklahoma Historical Society purchased the house and all of its furnishings. Interestingly, the Overholser Mansion is rumored to be haunted. Both visitors and docents have described themselves as feeling uneasy in several of its areas, including a second story bedroom, the nursery, a collections area and the north carriage stairway.  Some have also reported seeing a young woman in white near the music room on the first floor. Still owned by the Oklahoma Historical Society, the mansion is managed by Preservation Oklahoma Inc. It is open for tours Tuesday-Saturday, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mansion tours, which take from 35 to 45 minutes, are held every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tours begin at the Carriage House, just west of the mansion. Additional information is available by calling 405-525-5325 or visiting here.
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