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The person behind the name: Lake Overholser

Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 12:00:00 am

If you’re just relocating to Oklahoma City and heard about Lake Overholser for the first time, it might not even occur to you to ask for whom the lake was named  – or who is behind the names of any of the city’s other places.

But if you are wondering, or even if you’re not, we’ll tell you.

Edward “Ed” Overholser was elected Oklahoma City’s 16th mayor in 1915 and served until 1918. From 1922-1927, he also was president and general manager of the Chamber of Commerce, the organization that is now named Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and that sponsors The Better Life blog.

He initially moved to Oklahoma City in 1890 to manage the Overholser Opera House but ended up in a public service career.

Among Overholser’s accomplishments in various roles, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society’s digital archives:

  • He completed the city’s waterworks system.
  • He established town sites at Stroud, Wellston, Luther and Jones when the St. Louis and Oklahoma City Railroad was built between the city and Stroud.
  • He had a long-distance telephone line built from Oklahoma City to Stroud and Shawnee.
  • He and his father, Henry Overholser, built 23 business buildings, including restaurants and hotels, in Oklahoma City.
  • He enabled the purchase of a site for the State Fair and served as that association’s first secretary.

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