Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tulsa's Jim Hewgley Dead At 94

Jim Hewgley, former Tulsa mayor, oilman, and longtime Republican stalwart whose donations and connections helped fuel the GOP's rise in Oklahoma beginning 50 years ago, is dead at age 94.

The "Mayor," as he was known to his dying day, was a Tennessee native who came to Oklahoma in pursuit of oil with his family in the 1920s.

An Army veteran, University of Oklahoma graduate and Oklahoma Hall of Fame member, Hewgley was a major part of every important Republican advance in the state, being an early supporter of the late GOP leaders Henry Bellmon and Dewey Bartlett, first and second GOP governors.

From 1966 to 1970, Hewgley was instrumental in the development of a new City Hall and the Port of Catoosa. He was active, and a leader, in most community groups and served in several state posts.

In 1972, Hewgley ran for Congress and lost. It was, he once told an audience with a grin, the only mistake he'd ever made.

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