Home > PublicationsEncyclopedia >  Harn, William Fremont

HARN, WILLIAM FREMONT (1859–1944).

Oklahoma City businessman William Fremont Harn was born on June 1, 1859, in Wooster, Ohio. A graduate of the University of Wooster in 1880 with a bachelor of philosophy degree, he at first pursued the practice of law. He was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1881 after "reading law" in the firm of McClure and Smyser of Wooster. Instead of becoming a lawyer, however, he bought an interest in the Mansfield (Ohio) Daily and Weekly Herald, which he later referred to as "a Republican newspaper of influence." His career took a different turn in January 1891 when Secretary of the Interior John W. Noble appointed him special agent of the General Land Office and sent him to Oklahoma Territory to investigate and prosecute those who had filed land claims by committing perjury after the Land Run of 1889 (sooners). Harn's investigative work sent a number of sooners to prison. In 1893 the new Democratic administration of Pres. Grover Cleveland fired Harn, and he turned to practicing law in Oklahoma City. Harn attempted to enter government service again in 1897 when he applied, without success, for the position of U.S. marshal for Oklahoma Territory.

For the remainder of his life he practiced law and speculated in real estate. In 1897 he bought a 160-acre farm northeast of Oklahoma City for $450. When the state capital was moved to Oklahoma City in 1910, the northern part of the farm was selected as the site for the new capitol building. Harn and real estate partner J. J. Culbertson platted most of the remainder of the homestead into town lots to make way for the homes of many of Oklahoma's rich and politically powerful families. Harn died of heart disease in Oklahoma City on December 15, 1944. The Harn House, at 313 Northeast Sixteenth, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 (NR 73001566).

Don Green

See also: LAND RUN OF 1889, SETTLEMENT PATTERNS, UNASSIGNED LANDS

Bibliography

Bob L. Blackburn, Heart of the Promised Land, Oklahoma County: An Illustrated History (Woodland Hills, Calif.: Windsor Publications, 1982).

Don Green, "The Oklahoma Land Run of 1889: A Centennial Re-Interpretation," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 67 (Summer 1989).

William F. Harn Papers, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.

Stan Hoig, The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1984).

Copyright and Terms of Use

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society. This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia and part or in whole.

Photo credits: All photographs presented in the published and online versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture are the property of the Oklahoma Historical Society and are held in the agency's Research Division Photograph Archives (unless otherwise stated).


Citation

The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Don Green, "Harn, William Fremont," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org (accessed December 17, 2017).

Links of Interest


About the Encyclopedia | Terms of Use | Using the Encyclopedia