John Elmer Mabee

Class of
John Elmer Mabee

John Elmer Mabee

“Work 18 hours a day and don’t forget that luck and pluck are partners.”
John Mabee


Born in Missouri, John Elmer Mabee finished his formal education in grade school. It was at that point that he began teaching himself, with remarkable success. In 1900, after working on farms and ranches in Idaho, he returned to Missouri where he married Lottie E. Boren, and worked on their rented farm for the next seven years. At that time, “The Big Pasture” in southwestern Oklahoma was opened to settlers and the Mabees homesteaded 160 acres in what is now Comanche County. Mabee was also highly proficient in finance, economics, and business, and could easily apply those strengths to his passion for oil drilling, lease trading, and ranching. In 1945, the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, Inc., was formed and to date millions of dollars have gone to schools, hospitals, churches, orphanages, and character-building organizations. This self-educated man proudly received an honorary doctorate from the University of Tulsa in 1949.

Fun fact

John Mabee was one of the founders of Randlett, Oklahoma, where he established a wagon yard.

Oklahoma connections

Mabee came to settle in Comanche County in 1907.









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