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Highley Park

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It would be hard to find someone who had a more interesting and varied career in public service than Mont Frederick Highley. Then again, when you live to be 97 you have a lot of time to try new things.

Mont Highley was a Major in the US Cavalry as a young man and was stationed in Oklahoma around 1901. He had two law degrees, so after leaving the Cavalry he moved to Oklahoma City and became the attorney for the city. Later he became the first Attorney General of the new state of Oklahoma in 1907. Filled with unceasing public energy, Highley was commander of the local National Guard unit; founder of the Knights of Columbus in Oklahoma City; served many decades as a regent for the University of Oklahoma and was president of the city park board for twenty years from 1920- 1940. He is credited with bringing the old Monkey Island to the Oklahoma City Zoo back when the Zoo was part of the city parks department.

Perhaps his most interesting and high-profile service was successfully arguing the famous “Altar Wine Case” before the Oklahoma Supreme Court. This decision granted an exemption to churches during Prohibition which allowed them to serve wine at communion. Highley was awarded the Bene Merenti medal from Pope Benedict XV for his service.

The city council named this park for Mont Frederick Highley in 1931.