The Oilman's Daughter by Jane Wilson SheppardThe Oilman's Daughter by Jane Wilson Sheppard

The Oilman's Daughter

byJane Wilson SheppardEditorSally J. Bright

Paperback | August 1, 2016

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Jane Wilson Sheppard, was three years old in 1917 when her family moved to Oklahoma. Around seventy years later, she began writing anecdotes from her life. As I read stories of her childhood, I realized how much history she included—history that should be shared and preserved. She wrote about early oil fields and county fairs; Tulsa’s landmarks, its race riot, and its riverside area; Oklahoma’s 101 Ranch and Pawnee Bill; and her life inside a convent school.

Most of her memories revolve around her Tulsa neighborhood near the Arkansas River and her “interesting” family, as one neighbor euphemistically described it. She and her two younger nephews Billy and Jack had adventures ranging from poignant to hilarious. They were tended by black servants almost as though the family lived in the Deep South.

Jane was born in the family’s Huntington mansion, Kenwood, which is still a showplace. Her father, John A. Sheppard, was a prominent attorney, landowner, and former state senator who came west with the early oil boom. He helped develop the Boynton Pool near Muskogee and by 1917 had settled his wife, Lydia; her mother; and Jane in Muskogee. Two older daughters, Edwina and Pauline, were married. The third, Wells, was in boarding school. By 1920, the family had moved to the fashionable new Buena Vista neighborhood in Tulsa near what Jane considered her forest along the Arkansas River.

As Jane’s three sisters moved into and out of her life, an undercurrent of dysfunction gradually swept her from the security of childhood in surprising directions.

I edited and rearranged her material more or less chronologically, and I changed two names, but the memories and the naïve child’s voice are hers. She begins with the train trip west—our first glimpse into a bygone era.

Sally J. Bright, Daughter and Editor

Title:The Oilman's DaughterFormat:PaperbackDimensions:124 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.29 inPublished:August 1, 2016Publisher:Yorkshire Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1942451415

ISBN - 13:9781942451419


Editorial Reviews

The Oilman's Daughter contains stories my mother wrote about her life from the early oil boom days to the Great Depression. She gives us a child's view of Wild West shows, luxurious train travel, life in a convent school, and the excitement surrounding oil discoveries. Her experiences at home reveal how early Tulsans used the Arkansas River banks for profit and pleasure. Along with the mischief she and two nephews enjoyed, her intensely personal memoirs expose complex race relations, disastrous family dysfunction, and secrets not only of her neighborhood but also of Communist meetings she attended as she searched for security.Sally J. BrightEditor of The Oilman's DaughterYou don't have to be from Tulsa to love this book, but if you are, it's a work that will enhance your appreciation for the city and its rich, peculiar history. The Oilman's Daughter tells the story not only of a town, but of an extended family whose love for one another, despite instances of heartbreak and betrayal, lives on through descendants who are still telling the story.Carol JohnsonAssociate Professor of EnglishTulsa Community CollegeIf you experienced history only by the agony of memorizing dates, this is the book for you. The Oilman's Daughter transports us to early-day Tulsa with accounts of its Race Riot, glamorous cars, new Spavinaw Lake, and surrounding oil fields-all through the eyes of a child. Here we have real pictures of polio outbreaks, hidden champagne, neighborhood bullies, 4th of July block parties, private schools where squirrels are not welcomed, and life in a privileged but complicated family. This is an adventurous story-much more than just names and dates.S. Michelle PlaceExecutive DirectorTulsa Historical Society and Museum