Frank Trosper was just 19 when he hitched Mollie, his mule, to a covered wagon and set out for free land in the Land Run of 1889. He built a small cabin along a creek on his homestead at the northeast corner of what is now SE 29 and Eastern. Soon Frank married Pearl McCracken and moved to the city where he became a banking executive. Despite living in the city, Trosper held on to his homestead and bought several other farms around the area when they became available.
In 1909, the city created the first park plan, which called for one large park in each quadrant of the city connected by Grand Boulevard. Frank Trosper offered to sell some of his land to the city for the southeast park at a reduced price on the condition that it be named Trosper Park. In those days the southeast part of the city was still mainly farms, so the park remained in a wild state and mainly used as a boy scout campground until a golf course was built in 1927.
But in 1928 oil was discovered near SE 59 and Bryant and soon drilling marched northward and into Trosper Park. The park was carpeted with derricks and housing for oil workers and their families. The drilling lasted throughout the 1930s, but gushers and wild wells damaged the natural state of the park and it took another decade to clean up the landscape. As you explore the park you will still see pumpjacks and tanks producing oil as a reminder of those early days of Oklahoma City oilfields.
By the 1950s the park was restored and the golf course rebuilt. Today Trosper Park has a diverse mix of outdoor sports activities like archery, horseback riding, and a BMX course in a beautiful wooded setting.