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Oklahoma Family Tree Stories

This beautiful sculpture of three redbud trees with gold and silver leaves by artist Robin Starke is located just outside the Eleanor & John Kirkpatrick Research Center in the Oklahoma History Center. Each leaf of the "Oklahoma Family Tree" memorializes an Oklahoma family with the family surname, first name(s), and the town or county where they lived. In addition, a short family history will be preserved in the digital family history book at the base of the tree. This is a great way for your family to make history and benefit future generations at the same time. To find out how to honor your own family with a leaf visit the Oklahoma Family Tree Project page.

Levy Family

Leon Levy was born in Hillsboro, Texas, and married Cora Harrison of Brenham, Texas. The couple opened a general store in Italy, Texas, before moving to Oklahoma City in 1905. Their four children included Thekla, Harrison, Mirium, and Leon, Jr.

After arriving in Oklahoma City, Leon entered the real estate business and served as chairman of the committee to raise funds to relocate the State Capitol from Guthrie to Oklahoma City. Several of his pens and correspondence from the historic event have been preserved.

In 1910 Leon built the five-story Mercantile Building, which was later enlarged to eight stories. The building served as the office for the Oklahoma State Legislature. A cornerstone and fan from the original building were rescued before it was demolished in 1973.

Leon enjoyed sharing his memories of early-day Oklahoma City. He recalled that retail development was along Broadway. Leon was convinced that shoppers would not want to walk uphill and that retailers would have to relocate to Main Street.

Leon was involved in the historic Edgemere residential addition, the first planned unit development in the Southwest.

Leon Levy died in Oklahoma City in 1957.

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