Words of Wisdom from a Forgotten Figure in Oklahoma History

Be True to Yourself. Charles F. Colcord
There is only one way in the world to be successful in business, “Colcord said. “That route is to be true to the one person you can’t fool a bit; that person who knows all about you, knows all your weaknesses and strong points – the one who knows every little trick you try to play to beat the other fellow out of something, and who is going to reprimand you for every mistake you make…YOURSELF. You can go along for years, maybe, and make a big financial success at the expense of those with whom you’re dealing, but you’ll never be happy. Your own conscience will spoil the pleasure of eating the feast you have so carefully prepared.” Colcord continued, recalling something he heard on a Texas ranch as a boy and it lingered with him for more than half a century”” Be true to yourself….Get all the schooling you can even if you have to sacrifice to get it.  Education is something you can’t lose. It may get rusty on you, bt you can brighten it up. Then practice honesty in little things and satisfy yourself that everything you do is above reproach…do what you say you will do and you will learn that integrity is truly the basis of success.”-------  The Autobiography of Charles Francis Colcord, 1859-1934. Helmerich, 1970 (p233-234).

Colcord was born in Kentucky , lived in Louisiana as a boy and then transplanted to Texas where he learned and lived the life of the cowboy on the major cattle trails and ranches out of southern Texas. He made the 1889 run into Oklahoma, became the first law in Oklahoma City, began a deputy U.S. Marshal, made the Cherokee Strip run of 1893, lived in Perry and then returned to Oklahoma City where he launched into a busy life of business, real estate and community building. The Colcord Building in downtown Oklahoma City was one of his projects. 

In 1903 he built a magnificent home based on plans of his real life 'Old Kentucky Home' that would, if it still stood today, would be a draw for people worldwide.  The eleven bedroom home was three stories filled with imports from Italy, Frane, Belgium with marble fireplaces, a solarium, billiard room and ballroom.  Placed at a trolley stop it was a destination for site seers, artists who came to capture its lovely lines, and admire its architecture. The lovely house, still in good condition, was torn down in the early 1960's.

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