Morton R. Harrison

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Morton R. Harrison

Morton R. Harrison

“In our book, not one has exceeded the tremendous contributions in so many areas of Oklahoma life as Morton R. Harrison, the Oklahoma Cherokee of Claremore and Tulsa.”
Milt Phillips, 1969


Oklahoma native Morton R. Harrison moved with his family to Checotah, Oklahoma, in grade school and later graduated from Oktaha High School. He received a certificate in Electrical Engineering in 1916 and served in the Navy in 1917 to 1919. From 1924 to 1929, he owned and operated Morton’s Café in Claremore, Oklahoma, and was co-owner and manager of the Will Roger’s Hotel in Claremore in 1945. He persuaded the Cherokee Cultural Center to build Tahlequah’s TSA-LA-GI Amphitheatre for the successful “Trail of Tears” drama. He was head of the American Legion’s Rehabilitation Services for 21 years and chairman of the Planning and Resources Board, which established the statewide system of lodges on Oklahoma’s lakes.

Fun fact

Morton Harrison was chairman of the original Will Rogers Memorial Commission at its organization from 1935 to 1936. He convinced the Rogers family to bring Will’s body home from California when the memorial was completed in 1938.

Oklahoma connections

Harrison was born southeast of Muskogee in the Canadian District of the Cherokee Nation.




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