Oilman and Philanthropist
Born in 1890, Thomas Gilcrease was the oldest of fourteen children and learned the value of hard work early in his youth. As a boy, he loved to read—a hobby that correlated with his inquisitive mind. His early education took place in a one-room schoolhouse in Indian Territory. Then, for a short time, he attended Bacone Indian University in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and later enrolled in a teachers college in Emporia, Kansas.
Thomas Gilcrease was of Creek heritage and in 1899 he was entered into the tribal rolls of the Creek Nation. When land allotments were dispersed by the federal government, Thomas received 160 acres. His portion of land was located south of Tulsa, and in 1905, oil was discovered in that region which became known as Glenpool. At age fifteen he began receiving royalties from oil sales which opened up a world of opportunity. He would soon take his first steps on a course that ultimately led him to found The Thomas Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The grandson of Thomas Gilcrease, Gene Gilcrease, along with his family, share their remembrances of a man they call granddad and great granddad.
“Every man must leave a track and it might as well be a good one.” –Thomas Gilcrease
Interview with Euguene “Gene” Folsom Gilcrease, Darlene Gilcrease, Thomas Gilcrease, and Steven Gilcrease
Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Date Created: July 11, 2017
Date Published: August 31, 2017
Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.
Tags: Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Charles Banks Wilson; Woody Crumbo; Willard Stone; Thomas Moran; Helmerich Center; Glen Pool (Glenpool); Gilcrease Museum; The University of Tulsa; Gilcrease Oil Company; Norma Smallwood; Miss America 1926; Rural Courtship; Fredrick Remington; San Antonio, Texas; art collector; Creek Indian