Welcome back Over the past three weeks I have been writing about local history for the enjoyment of not only you my loyal readers but also the new hires moving to town and the dozens of film crew employees who are here temporarily. These stories include Bill Hale who was otherwise known as the “king of the Osage Hills” back in the 1920s,and a profile of the Mullendore family, the ranching empire they built and the tragic murder which remained the most famous unsolved mystery in the southwest for over four decades.
This week I’m bringing you another story about a family which now has many members but back in 1887 there was only one in Pawhuska and his name was Fred Drummond. This Scottish born boy emigrated to America at the age of 16 after his father died. With three thousand dollars from his mother he first went to Texas where he purchased a herd of cattle but a drought wiped out most of his herd and his money. Seeking a new opportunity Fred moved to Pawhuska when Oklahoma was still known as Indian territory and got a job as a store clerk. Many of his customers were Osage Indians and Fred learned their language earning their trust and loyalty. After several years of long hours and hard work he was able to buy the store which was called the Osage Mercantile Company. A few years later he sold that store and bought out the Price Mercantile Company in Hominy, Oklahoma which was also very successful. Income from the store allowed him to invest in several banks and eventually Fred even became president of Farmers State Bank. When Hominy was incorporated in 1908 he became the town’s first mayor in recognition of his importance in the community.
While he was still working in Pawhuska Fred had met Adeline Gentner who was from Coffeyville, Kansas and on July 6, 1890 the two were married. Over time Fred and Adeline had six children and for twenty-three years all the research I have done indicates that Fred was a happy man, enjoying his family, expanding his business interests and developing a reputation as an extremely honorable man “ with absolute integrity.” The Osage tribe went so far as to give him an Osage name and he was equally trusted by the white settlers moving to the area.
Fred insisted that his children receive a college education and instilled them with his code of honor, setting them on a path to success in their own right. As they married and established families the Drummond name grew and then grew again with the following generations. The history of Oklahoma would not be complete without mention of their accomplishments.
Today the Drummonds are recognized by the Land Report which ranked them as 17th of the 100 largest land owners in the country with several branches of the family operating ranches in Oklahoma and Kansas.
On another note from Leonardo Di Caprio eating pizza at Ree Drummond’s place to Martin Scorcese’s wife shopping at Lorec Ranch for custom western furniture and décor, my sources tell me the movie people are here in full force and already filming scenes in several locations. It has been reported that the cost of the project could be over two hundred million dollars before it wraps up.
I’ll bring you more next week and until then I’ll see ya down the road…