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McMechan Park

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“A quiet, dignified fellow is McMechan. He has never failed at any important endeavor, not even that of being a sooner.”

Thomas Fleming McMechan had only been out of law school for a week when he left his native Illinois for Wichita, Kansas to establish his law practice. This was in 1886 when the federal court there had jurisdiction over Indian Territory and within a few days a federal judge assigned the brand-new lawyer to defend members of the Seminole tribe in court. McMechan won the case and many others to follow and he earned the reputation of being a competent attorney defending the interests of Native Americans. McMechan made a claim in Kingfisher during the Land Run of 1889 but was soon appointed to the US Attorney’s office in Oklahoma City. Many years later, as a state senator McMechan successfully introduced the bill to move the state capitol to Oklahoma City.

The land for this park was donated by the State of Oklahoma for use as a park in 1931 and included land down to NE 13. A few years later the WPA expanded the park to include land on both sides of McMechan Parkway. It had a swimming pool, courts for net sports, and parks staff had special programs for patients at Children’s Hospital just across the street. In 1987 McMechan park took its present shape when the parkway was closed to traffic and most of the land used for expansion of medical facilities.