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Stanley Draper earned the tag of “one of the greatest city builders this country has yet produced” by his amazing 48-year run in the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, 40 of it spent as the Chief Executive Officer. During his time in Chamber of Commerce the population of Oklahoma City quadrupled in size. In order to provide for all the fresh citizens, Draper was influential in the realization of what is now Tinker Air Force Base, the Federal Aeronautical Administration Center, and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. He moved the railroad tracks from downtown to accommodate for the building of the Civic Center, developed Lake Hefner and a pipeline from a reservoir in Atoka, Oklahoma to provide the city with water, which is now named Lake Stanley Draper in his honor.
Draper was born in 1889 in Lasker, North Carolina where he grew up on a farm with his Scotch-Irish parents and his eight siblings. At age 19 he gained a teacher’s certificate and taught school. With his salary from teaching and odd jobs he saved up enough to go to college in Virginia. He then attended school at the University of Chicago before being drafted into WWI. When discharged Draper came to Oklahoma City where he became membership secretary for the Chamber of Commerce, where he would work for the rest of his life. Stanley Draper died in Oklahoma City in 1976.
200 N Walker, Oklahoma City, OK, 73102
Medium type: Bronze
Date created: November 21, 1974