Stanley C. Draper

Class of
Stanley C. Draper

Stanley C. Draper

“I want a check for $1,000. What do you mean, what’s it for? We’re building a city. Send the check.”
Stanley Draper


“Mr. Oklahoma City” Stanley Draper, born in North Carolina, was a school teacher before attending Shenandoah Collegiate Institute (now Shenandoah University) in Virginia and then Chicago University (1917). He served as a lieutenant in World War I and came to Oklahoma City in 1919, where he worked as membership secretary for the Chamber of Commerce and became managing director in 1930. He was named executive vice president of the organization in 1966 and retired in 1968. Among his most famous city projects were the creation of Tinker Air Force Base, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the FAA Center and development of Lake Hefner and Lake Stanley Draper.

Fun fact

A nine-foot tall bronze statue of Stanley Draper was sculpted by Leonard McMurry and unveiled in the downtown Civic Center Park in 1974. Draper said, “When I came into town, I didn’t realize that one day there would be a statue of me right where the railroad tracks were.”

Oklahoma connections

Draper came to work for the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce in 1916.


Oklahoma City


Civic Leader






Relevant Exhibits

Stanley Draper: The Civic Legend Behind The Scenes

Stanley Draper: The Civic Legend Behind The Scenes

This exhibit presents a timeline of Stanley Draper's civic projects and tells Oklahoma City's incredible story through the lens of a man who spent forty-nine years building it.