This April our great city will celebrate its 125th birthday and what a 125 years it has been. In honor of the Quasquicentennial (it is a real thing, Google it) we are going to occasionally look back on the people, places and things that have made Oklahoma City the place it is today.
Today’s history lesson is all about the Lee Huckins Hotel. The hotel was built in 1900 at the southeast corner of Main & Broadway. A lot of things make this hotel special in OKC history. The 13-floor hotel is said to have featured the city’s first electric elevator. More importantly it served (for a short time) as the capitol of Oklahoma City.
For newcomers to our state, Oklahoma City was not always the capitol of Oklahoma; nearby Guthrie takes that distinction. On June 11, 1910, voters decided to move the capitol from Guthrie to burgeoning Oklahoma City. There are all kinds of crazy folklore that says then-Governor Charles Haskell actually broke into the courthouse under the cover of night to steal the state seal and bring it to Oklahoma City.
We hate to ruin a great story but in all actuality, the Secretary of State brought the state seal by order of Gov. Haskell to the Huckins Hotel, making the Hotel the State Capitol of Oklahoma. Unfortunately, the hotel was demolished in 1971 but its colorful history lives on. You can read a full account of the state capitol move here.
[Photo from Oklahoma Historical Society]