September 14, 2021
“Another Perry Entrepreneur: Marvin ‘Bud’ Jirous” Exhibit to Open at Cherokee Strip Museum in Perry
PERRY, Okla. — On Friday, September 17, the Cherokee Strip Museum and Rose Hill School in Perry will open a new exhibit titled “Another Perry Entrepreneur: Marvin ‘Bud’ Jirous.” The exhibit follows the life and career of one of Perry’s favorite sons.
Jirous was born in Noble County in 1935 and spent his formative years in Perry. His personable nature, integrity and hard work set Jirous on a path toward entrepreneurship. The exhibit studies the arc of his career, beginning with his high school employment with the M&W Grocery Store and carrying forward to when Jirous became the president of the Sonic Corporation.
In 1958 Jirous and his wife, Barbara, were franchisees of a Dairy Boy in Fairview. Soon after, he met Troy Smith who founded the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, which later became Sonic, America’s Drive-In. Smith’s business partner, Charlie Pappe, became a friend and mentor to the young entrepreneurs. Eventually, Marvin Jirous ventured into business with Pappe as a franchisee of the fledgling Sonic enterprise, known then for its new motto “Service with the Speed of Sound.” From 1962 to 1967, Marvin and Barbara invested in six Sonics scattered from Alva to Arkadelphia, Arkansas. In 1967 Marvin Jirous was recruited by Smith to head Sonic’s supply division. Jirous became president of the company in 1973 and guided Sonic through a period of explosive growth until 1980.
The Cherokee Strip Museum is located at 2617 W. Fir St. in Perry. Admission to the museum is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for students, and children five and under are free. For more information about activities and exhibits at the museum, please call 580-336-2405.
The Cherokee Strip Museum is an affiliate of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.