NORDAM is a Tulsa-based aerospace company that employs 2,500 “stakeholders” worldwide. But, before there was a NORDAM, there was a sixteen-year-old boy who left Pennsylvania in 1911 because his parents could not afford to take care of him. Ray H. Siegfried was on his way to Texas by train but only got as far as Sapulpa, Oklahoma, because he was running out of money. He found work as an office boy for The Texas Company, which eventually became Texaco. After various exploits, his gregarious personality led him to the insurance business and he formed R.H. Siegfried & Co.
Ray married Ruth McBride and they had one child, Robert “Bobby,” before Ruth’s untimely death in 1936. Bobby Siegfried worked alongside his father for thirty-eight years at R.H. Siegfried & Co. Bobby married Betty Helfrich in 1938 and they began the third generation of Siegfrieds: Diane, Ray II, Robin, Celest, and Rick.
Over the years the family-owned insurance company would often take control of failing companies they had insured. Through this rehabilitation Ray Sr. would preserve the companies and the jobs it provided and in so doing they would meet their insurance obligation.
And just such a situation arose regarding a little company named NORDAM.
The grandson of that sixteen-year-old boy, Robin Siegfried, tells the story of the family and the company known as Northeastern Oklahoma Research and Development and Manufacturing: NORDAM.
Interview with Robin Siegfried
Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Date Created: September 10, 2015
Date Published: June 23, 2017
Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.
Tags: Texaco, Tom Braniff, American Airlines, Chuck Yeager, Nordam, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Texas A&M, Mayo Hotel, Notre Dame, ALS