View Full Version : A Famiily's Legacy

Doug Loudenback
10-08-2007, 11:50 AM
I've posted a "preview" of an upcoming article ... see if you can figure out who the family is ... the preview article is at Doug Dawgz Blog: Preview ... (

Click a link for a larger image

The Legacy Of A Builder ... But Who?
Here's a clue ... this contractor also built the Commerce Exchange Building

Larger image:

The Legacy Of A Child ... But Who?
Here's a clue ... she was the 1st woman to receive an engineering degree at the University of Oklahoma

Larger image:

10-09-2007, 08:05 AM
No takers yet? Anyone have a guess?

10-09-2007, 09:37 AM
I was going to guess Perle Mesta but I don't think that's right.

10-09-2007, 09:50 AM
Well she got her fingers in all over the place and made an AWESOME mark for history!

Doug Loudenback
10-09-2007, 10:02 AM
The common thread is not Perle Mesta. She certainly did NOT get an engineering degree at OU! Try again! All images are derived from the same family ... a Catholic family, if that helps.

On edit, I'll add a little more ... the family (not sure how many or who the immigrants were in the family history ... the parents of the family that migrated to Oklahoma were born in 1860 & 1863) came to the USA from Alsace-Lorraine Germany because of persecution against Catholics and purchased a farm in Peoria IL where they manufactured bricks. The senior male who migrated to Okc inherited the farm and disovered coal. In 1880 he married and moved to Storm Lake IA. This man's son, Martin, was the 1st to come to Oklahoma, from Iowa (he taught engineering at Iowa State for 2 years before coming here), in 1908. His father, mother, and the other children moved here in 1910. The son, Martin, who moved here started and engineering & construction business. It was this son's sister, Theresa, who kept a small journal from which the 2nd collage in the original post derives ... you will see that she liked to attend movies and plays at the Overholser, Empress, and other locations.

Does that help much? :dizzy:

10-09-2007, 02:35 PM
I believe the house in the lower left hand corner was once owned by John Reinhart. Does that put me on the right track?

Doug Loudenback
10-09-2007, 11:40 PM
I believe the house in the lower left hand corner was once owned by John Reinhart. Does that put me on the right track?
Excellent! The prize is yours!

Actually, both houses were ... the one on the right was the 1st, the one on the left was the 2nd, both on NW 13th Street.

Other than the houses, the firm that constructed the buildings in the 1st collage (and several others) is Reinhart & Donovan, formed by John's son Martin who moved here 2 years before his dad did (Martin in 1908, his dad in 1910) ... but I understand that the firm was set up from John's money ... Donovan was a brother-in-law of Martin.

For your prize, you get this picture, invisible to all but you! :)

It's a not-often-seen pic the Auto Hotel which Reinhart & Donovan built next to the Medical Arts Building which Martin built as well (now 100 Park Avenue Building). The space is now occupied by part of the 1st National Center. I'll save the rest for the blog article. But, in the 1st collage, the Reinharts either lived in (the 2 houses) or totally or partially constructed the other buildings shown or additions to them. For example, Donovan & Company was the prime contractor for Little Flower Church which you may have recognized in the picture.

As for the 2nd collage, everything in it is taken from a journal she made during 1914-1916 by Theresa Reinhart, sister of Martin, while she lived with her parents. She kept "flyers" for many of the movies and plays she saw and the journal includes many of them. The journal is a treasure trove for those who might enjoy a look through the teen-age eyes of a young lady during this period ... the journal doesn't contain really personal information but documents what she did and some of the things that were in her mind to do.

Good job on the identication, so1rfan! Well done!

Doug Loudenback
10-10-2007, 09:44 AM
so1rfan, the "house" pics are reversed (left or right) in the collage and in the blog post ... so ... for clarity ... the 1st home was at 1100 NW 13th, left below, and the 2nd at 515 NW 13th, right below:
The 1st home no longer exists and is "bare" property ... the 2nd is now home of the Heritage Law Center owned by my classmate Elaine Schuster. I need to give her a call to get some inside pics!

Doug Loudenback
05-21-2008, 12:11 PM
At long last, I've finally gotten around to making the 1st "real" article in the Reinhart Family's Legacy to Oklahoma City. It is the "Introduction" article at this location: Doug Dawgz Blog: The Reinhart Legacy, Part 1 ( . It is part 1 of Parts 4 or 5 ... I've not gotten that far yet. Part 2 will focus on Martin Reinhart and the activities of Reinhart & Donovan who were contractors for many Oklahoma City buildings, many of which still exist today (e.g., 100 Park Avenue and Plaza Court). Part 3 will focus on his sister, Theresa, looking through her eyes -- she kept a marvelous journal while in high school during the 1910s. Part 4 will focus on Little Flower and Our Lady's Catholic churches, since Reinhart & Donovan were the contractors and builders of those facilities, and I'm as yet undecided about a possible 5th article. We'll see.


Doug Loudenback
05-28-2008, 08:43 AM
The Reinhart Family Legacy -- Part 2, covering Martin Reinhart and his contributions to Oklahoma City is substantially done: Doug Dawgz Blog: The Reinhart Legacy – Part 2 (

There, the history of Reinhart & Donovan is traced from its 1909 beginnings through its existence. Among the buildings chronologically described are (1) Religious -- Our Lady's Cathedral and Little Flower Church, (2) commercial -- Tradesmens National Bank (City Center today), Liberty Theater, Mideke Supply in Bricktown, Medical Arts (100 Park Avenue today), Plaza Court, Osler Building, Commerce Exchange Building, Midwest Building (former home of the Midwest Theater), and Biltmore Hotel. It's a bit wordy but old Oklahoman ads and articles are also present, along with a few pics.