The Kirkpatrick Family

Tracing its ancestry to America’s earliest history, the Kirkpatricks crossed an ocean from Europe and later migrated West towards the Oklahoma Territory. Exploration and entrepreneurship have continued with each new generation: Lewis M. Spencer and his brothers guiding the railroad north towards Yukon; Mollie Spencer’s only daughter Claudia marrying pioneer dentist Dr. E. E. Kirkpatrick; their sons joining the military just after World War I and serving throughout World War II; working as educators, business creators, and philanthropists from the postwar years to present day. Commitment, hard work, and community service over the years for Oklahomans and beyond.

Five Oklahomans making their way from Dallas to Alberta, from the Solomon Islands to the Panama Canal.

The Kirkpatrick family was filled with heroes: Spencer and Elmer were West Point graduates; John and Claude graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. Mary, their sister, married John Dean Moorman, a West Point graduate himself and Army Air Corps pilot. All family members would eventually serve both overseas and at home. J.D. Moorman and Spencer gave the ultimate sacrifice while the surviving brothers persevered from the laboratories of the Manhattan Project to the shores of Japan.

Inspired to give back, everyone in the family learned from an early age that responsibility is less of a burden and more of an opportunity.

After a long, tragic wartime, members of the Kirkpatrick family built businesses, supported and created philanthropic organizations, and, without fail, remembered their fellow veterans and the Armed Forces. The fruits of the hard work Elmer, Claude, John, and Mary reverberates today as we see their sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, and grandchildren build upon that foundation of serving their community.

Preserving a Legacy

The Kirkpatrick Family Archive represents two hundred years of impactful history. It was started when Christian Keesee in 2002, in collaboration with the Oklahoma Historical Society through the Kirkpatrick Family Fund, began working to make his family’s story part of Oklahoma’s historical narrative. Today contributors to telling this story include various professional and philanthropic organizations in addition to family members across the country and friends around the world.

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