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Monday, December 23, 2013

New Wesley Ties to Anton Classen Unearthed

Anton H. Classen Jr.
This early business leader of Oklahoma City was also a Methodist and he supported several early Methodist colleges, churches, and outreaches. He donated land to Wesley Methodist Church  in the early days; an area now known as the "Triangle".  For many years it was thought this was merely another example of his long standing support of Methodism and Oklahoma City groups.

The Triangle at NW 25 and Classen Blvd and the later landscaping all were evidence of the same generous spirit that supported the early Epworth University effort.  To see an excellent historical overview of Classen Blvd., fronting Wesley on the east, see this page.

Now, through research of this blog, it has been discovered  that there was more than mere civic support behind his gifts.  While searching through early membership rolls it was found that the brother and a sister of Anton H. Classen were members of Wesley Methodist Church.  Photos were donated to the church archive by the family further illustrating the link. 

John Randolph Classen, his wife Nysa and daughter Ruth J., while living at 1512 W 30th Street, united with the church on June 8, 1919.  The pastor at that time was Dr. Dean C. Dutton.
Also, it has been discovered that other relatives were also members of Wesley.  Anton's father had been a member of the German Methodist Church of Oklahoma City. There was a daughter there as well named Anna Helena Sophia Classen Wahl.  The Wahls and several of their children's families were active members of Wesley (The McBride family and McAlister family). [See entries on the Wahl's elsewhere on this blog]
Anna Classen Wahl
In the dedication program of May 1928 it reads: "Between the church building and Classen Boulevard in the foreground to the east is a triangular plot of ground which was given to the church by Mrs. Anton Classen and her late husband.  Mrs. Classen has provided a plan prepared by Hare and Hare, landscape architects of Kansas City, Mo., and will park the triangle according to the plan, thus providing an ideal setting for this beautiful Temple of God."(pg.16)

1 comment:

  1. Anna Classen Wahl is my great-great Grandmother. Her middle daughter, Pauline Mary Wahl McBride (Mrs. Earl D. McBride) is my great Grandmother.

    Rob Sandlin
    Oklahoma City, OK


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