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De Ford Building
of sign - Historical District Downtown Guthrie, Oklahoma
taken - July 2007
courtesy of Jimmy Wayne
Built in 1890 by Irwin S.
DeFord, self-described "money-lender" and capitalist. The
DeFord Building is perhaps the gem of Joseph
Foucart's architecture in
The sidewall, facing
"Government Acre" surrounding the Land Office, an area
more distinguished than its front, Featuring contrasting
-colored arched windows
with worked wooden fans above corbelled brick, with a small turret
marking the south end. Detailed
acanthus leaves decorate
capitals of defining pillars.
DeFord lived upstairs in
the building when completed, and the New York Clothiers (Cohen and
Strauss) were on the first floor. By
1892, however, the U. S.
Post Office temporarily replaced the clothing store. Offices for
lawyers were located on the 2nd floor.
The U. S. Courtroom was
located in the basement until the Federal Building (Post Office and
Courtroom) was completed in 1903.
Flora M. Wills purchased
the building in 1904. She and her first husband Joseph Wills,
operated their general store there. Later, the
store was used
exclusively for furniture, and they added the Willis Building
immediately south in 1914.
After Willis died, his
widow operated the store alone until she married B. W. Kightlinger
in 1923, and he joined her in the business.
She died in 1955 and Mr.
Kightliner continued operation of the store through 1981. Both the
Deford and the Willis Buildings have
maintained by the owners.
Mr. Kightlinger (whose
picture is shown) deeded the DeFord Building as a gift to the Logan
County Historical Society on
December 7, 1981.
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