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Frank Broadwell. Associated with his brother, George B. in the handling of bonds and other high grade securities, with offices at 320 American National Bank Building, Oklahoma City, Mr. Broadwell is one of the leading representatives of this important line of financial enterprise in the Oklahoma metropolis and capital city, and is a citizen and business man of progressiveness and distinctive civic loyalty.
Mr. Broadwell was born in Logan County, Illinois, on the 15th of June, 1864, and was a boy at the time of the family removal to Kansas, the while he has the distinction of being a pioneer of the present State of Oklahoma, as he became associated with his father in the opening of a ranch in the section later known as the Cherokee Strip in Indian Territory, this action having been taken about a decade prior to the opening of that section to settlement and Mr. Broadwell having been a lad at the time when he gained his first experience in connection with ranching and cattle-growing in Oklahoma.
Mr. Broadwell is a son of William B. and Elsie (Jordan) Broadwell, and the other surviving children are George B., who is his coadjutor in business; Mrs. Mary E. Wilcox, who likewise resides in Oklahoma City; and Miss Jean B., who is a resident of Kansas City, Missouri. The widowed mother, now venerable in years, maintains her home in Oklahoma City, her parents having been pioneers of Illinois, where they settled in the year 1873, and her brother, Dr. Frank M. Jordan, having patented a homestead near the present site of Oklahoma City shortly after the opening of the Territory of Oklahoma to settlement, in 1889.
William B. Broadwell was born and reared in Illinois, where he continued to be identified with farming and stock-growing until his removal to Kansas, though he had the distinction of having been one of the gallant argonauts who made their way across the plains to California in 1849, at the time of the memorable excitement incidental to the discovery of gold in that commonwealth. he remained in California until 1852 and then returned to Illinois, where he became the patentee of the first double-shovel cultivator, this patent having been obtained from the State of Illinois in the early ’50s but the protection of the same having not been adequate to enable Mr. Broadwell to reap his due financial profit from the invention. In 1873 he removed with his family to Kansas and became one of the pioneer settlers in Reno County. Buffalo still roamed the Kansas prairies at the time and the Indians were a frequent menace to the settlers. The Broadwell ranch house became a rendezvous for neighbors, and also for immigrants passing through, at times when Indians manifested hostility. During one of these not infrequent “Indian scares” the women and children of the pioneer families in that section of Southern Kansas were sent to Hutchinson for safety, the men remaining to protect their property and repel possible attack by the Indians. The Broadwell ranch was likewise a favored stopping place for men who were engaged in collecting and hauling buffalo bones from the prairies, these bones, manufactured principally into fertilizers, being at that time sold at Hutchinson at the rate of $3.50 a ton. Mr. Broadwell was one of the first to plant cottonwood trees on the open prairies of Southern Kansas, and some of the trees which he thus planted in the pioneer days now have trunks that are fully three and one-half feet in diameter at the base. The pioneers depended upon the star-route service for their mail, which was delivered but once a week, the conditions that compassed the country at that time seeming almost impossible of conception on the part of the younger generation of the present day, when the same districts enjoy opulent prosperity and the best advantages. William B. Broadwell was about eighty years of age at the time of his death and his name merits place on the roll of the honored pioneers of the Sunflower State.
After receiving a limited preliminary training in the pioneer schools of Kansas Frank Broadwell eventually completed an effective course in a commercial college in the city of Hutchinson, that state. In the meanwhile he had assisted his father in the work and management of the homestead ranch, and after leaving the business college he continued to be identified with agricultural pursuits for several years. He then supplemented his education by attending school again at Hutchinson. In 1878, when he was about fourteen years old, he became associated with his father in establishing a ranch in the section later known as the Cherokee Strip of Oklahoma, and for twelve years, under the conditions obtaining at the time of the great open ranges, he served as a cowboy on the prairies of Kansas and Oklahoma. In 1891 he established his residence at Guthrie, capital of Oklahoma Territory, and there became a contractor in the supplying of wood for fuel used by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. For a period three years thereafter he was engaged in coal mining in Arkansas, and he then returned to Hutchinson, Kansas. In 1901 he removed to Lawton, the present county seat of Comanche County, Oklahoma, and there he was engaged in business until 1907, the year of the admission of the state to the Union, when he purchased a farm in what was known as the Big Pasture District of Comanche County. After remaining on the farm one year he removed to Oklahoma City, where he has since maintained Ids home and where he and his brother control a substantial business in the handling of municipal bonds and other approved securities of the higher grade. He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, is a citizen of marked loyalty and public spirit, and he has deep appreciation of the manifold advantages and attractions of the state of which he may consistently be termed a pioneer. Mr. Broadwell is a bachelor.