The secret is out. Our big, little city is a hotbed for young entrepreneurs, creatives, and forward thinkers. Oklahoma City continues to be listed among the best cities in America when it comes to cultivating start-ups.
And while the rest of the country is just now starting to fall in love with OKC, our great grandfather saw the potential in this area long before it was ranked among the best regions in America in the New York Times and Forbes Magazine. In fact, it was our unborn state’s potential that convinced Benton Clyde (B.C.) Clark to board a train from Kosciusko, Mississippi and head north for Indian Territory.
On a stopover in Purcell, a series of events would leave B.C. stranded, penniless, and jobless, but mainly, determined.
As luck would have it, B.C. Clark ran into a family friend while wandering the streets of Purcell. He convinced the gentleman to let him set up his watch counter and a small display case in the corner of his “racket” store, and the rest is history.
His tiny little counter in the corner of the “five and dime” soon began to grow, and young B.C. Clark opened his first store in 1892, repairing and inspecting watches for the railway men of the Santa Fe railroad company. His expertise and attention to detail soon became renowned among the railroad workers.
In a short amount of time, he had made a name for himself in Purcell, Indian Territory, the self-proclaimed Heart of Oklahoma.
In 1929, building off the successes he had seen as Oklahoma came into its own following statehood, an experienced B.C. stepped out of Purcell and decided to take a chance in the big city. He opened his first BC Clark Jewelry store in Oklahoma City in the shadow of the Great Depression, but his eye for quality and his mind for business kept his store afloat.
A Proud Legacy Continues
Today, Benton Clyde Clark’s tiny watch counter has produced three thriving OKC Metro stores and a legacy that still lives on.
It is this amazing story that serves as the inspiration for our new campaign, From the Heart of Oklahoma.