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Kirkpatrick Family Donates Yukon Farm to Ensure Protection

May 12, 2016

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. – One of the oldest pieces of continually owned family real estate in Oklahoma has been donated by members of the Kirkpatrick family to their Family Fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. This donation will ensure the protection of the property for public use and wildlife protection for generations to come.

The 33-acre Spencer Homestead was originally purchased in 1894 by Mollie Spencer, whose husband, L.M. Spencer, and brother-in-law, L.N. Spencer, founded the town of Yukon in 1891. Mollie Spencer was the grandmother of Oklahoma Philanthropist, John Kirkpatrick, and great-great grandmother to his grandson Christian Keesee, who has owned the farm for 40 years.

“My son, Blake Keesee, and I are pleased to be making this contribution to the Kirkpatrick Family Fund,” said Christian Keesee, President – Kirkpatrick Family Fund. “By doing so, the property will be maintained and preserved for, not only public enjoyment during festivals and community events, but also for all variety of animals that make their home on the property as well as migratory animals who stop in at all times of the year to refresh themselves on the property's lakes and unspoiled wooded areas.”

Enjoyed by thousands annually during festivals such as the Chisolm Trail Historical Preservation Society’s Easter on the Prairie and the Chisolm Trail & Crawfish Festival, the Kirkpatrick Family Farm has played host to annual events for the past several decades. Located on the original Chisolm Trail, the Farm serves to educate the community on prairie living during this post-Civil War cattle drive era. Families have enjoyed participating in activities of the period, farm animals, food, dance, music, and demonstrations of traditional cowboy culture, such as gunfight reenactments and blacksmithing. The annual Iron Thistle Scottish Festival at the Farm is a unique celebration of Celtic culture, complete with music, dance, food, heavy athletic competitions, and sheep herding demonstrations.

“The Kirkpatrick Family Fund is humbled to receive this significant gift from the Kirkpatrick family,” said Liz Eickman, Director – Kirkpatrick Family Fund. “We look forward to continuing the tradition of these annual festivals and the preservation of this historic land. Additionally, future programming and community partnerships will be determined over the next year to provide further educational and experiential opportunities for all to enjoy.”

The Kirkpatrick Family Farm is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that will be owned and operated by the Kirkpatrick Family Fund for the benefit of the Yukon and surrounding communities. Public access is only allowed during public events and scheduled activities. To request an application to host an event or to learn more about the Kirkpatrick Family Farm, please call (405) 767-3702 or visit us on Facebook.

The Kirkpatrick Family Fund was founded by John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick in 1989 and is the largest affiliated fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. The mission of the Fund is to invest in ideas and leadership that contribute to and advance the cultural, intellectual, and social interests of the communities it supports. The organization remains committed to adhering to the priorities and guiding principles of its founders through the leadership of Trustee and President, Christian K. Keesee, the grandson of John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick.

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