The Bartlesville Community Foundation’s 2018 inductees to the Legacy Hall of Fame have established deep roots in the community over several generations. Their service has made an impact on education, the arts, athletics, city government, commerce, and faith. On May 19th the Foundation is pleased to honor the Curd and Saddoris families for their contributions to Bartlesville.
The Curd family made their move to Bartlesville in 1974 but had been citizens of Oklahoma since the 1901. Oscar L. Curd of Marion County, Kansas and Mary Ester Crook of Hebron, Nebraska married in 1914 in Dallas, Oregon. In 1907 Mr. Curd went to work for Guthrie Lumber Company and by 1929, the partners of Commercial Lumber sold their stock to Curd and he became President of what then became Curd Lumber Company. Curd Lumber Company had 32 lumber yards throughout Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas that served the booming oil industry throughout the early 20th century. Oscar and Mary made Tulsa their home and built one of the first homes in Brookside on 26th and Peoria. Oscar also became a founding member of Southern Hills Country Club. The couple welcomed their son James Sterling Curd, Sr. on April 8, 1927.
In 1948 James Curd, Sr. married Donna Mae Young of Tulsa. Donna was the daughter of E. Leroy Young and Helen Mayginnis. Leroy served as Corporate Secretary for Carter/Humble Oil Company, which later became Standard Oil of New Jersey and eventually Exxon. While in Tulsa, Leroy acted as President of University of Tulsa Hurricane Club, Executive Board Member of the Tulsa Boy Scouts and Chairman of the Tulsa Community Chest (United Fund.)
Jim Sr. and Donna Mae began their life together after Jim returned home from service in the U.S. Coast Guard. Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved to Denver, CO as Jim pursued a degree at the University of Denver. Donna spent much of her time in Colorado working on political campaigns while Jim worked as an account advertising executive at the Rippy, Henderson, Bucknum and Co. In 1952 they welcomed the first of their two children Deborah Lynn “Dee Dee” and James Sterling Curd Jr. in 1954. Jim Sr. later established his own advertising firm; James S. Curd and Associates.
In 1974 at the urging of longtime resident Bill Creel, Jim Sr. and Donna moved back to Oklahoma from Denver, settling in Bartlesville. Jim Sr. established an office at the Price Tower and his firm oversaw the marketing and advertising for the H.C. Price Company until his retirement. Jim Sr. and Donna Curd later purchased a property in downtown Bartlesville to establish The Recognition Place. This engraving and advertising specialties store still serves the Bartlesville community today.
Jim Sr. worked on various community projects during his time in Bartlesville including the 1997 Bartlesville Centennial Celebration where he served as committee chair for the opening ceremonies. He was also chairman of The Birthday Week Celebration and was instrumental in the development of Bartlesville’s first Visitor and Information Center. Donna devoted her time and treasures to Family Crisis and Counseling (now Women and Children in Crisis) as board and committee chair. Together, Jim Sr. and Donna had two children, five grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren. Donna passed away on April 10, 2011 and Jim passed away on January 26, 2017.
James Sterling Curd Jr. was born on October 23, 1954 in Denver, Colorado. In 1967, the summer before 7th grade, Kacy Costello moved into Jim’s neighborhood from Baltimore, Maryland. The two became fast friends as they attended Junior High and Cherry Creek High School together. The pair began to date their senior year of high school. They graduated Cherry Creek High School in 1973 and attended Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.
In 1977 Jim worked for the Alaska Pipeline before marrying Kacy and moving to San Diego in 1978. While in California, Jim made his best effort to qualify for the PGA Tour. They moved to Bartlesville in 1980 where Jim Jr. joined his brother-in-law in the construction business. Jim worked in construction, outside sales for Overlees-Woods Lumber Co, and was self-employed in the construction field before purchasing Dink’s Pit Bar-B-Que from his brother-in-law in 1987. This step catapulted Jim Jr. and Kacy into the restaurant business and also helped them build lifelong relationships.
This year marks 31 years of owning Dink’s Pit Bar-B-Que and every one of those years has included many valuable relationships but most specifically with General Manager Jesse and his wife Norma Hernandez. In 1992 Jim partnered with Mark Spencer to open Sterling’s Grille, which is owned today by Jim and operated with long time staff members Becka and Phillip, Hays, Julie Fulton and Joe Purrington. In 2000 with partners Mark Spencer and Brenda Boden Swango, Jim opened River Grille in Bentonville, AR and today that restaurants success can be attributed to Brenda and her long term staff. In 2010, Jim partnered with his son Landon and they opened up Dink’s II in Bentonville, AR. Landon ran this location until his return to Bartlesville in 2016 to help own and operate Dink’s in Bartlesville.
Although the Curd family has certainly left a legacy in the local restaurant industry and as small business owners, it is just the beginning. Jim took pride in supporting and coaching Bartlesville youth and Injun baseball as well as volunteering his construction knowledge as a committee member during the Price Fields and Doenges Memorial Stadium renovations.
In 1992 Jim further expanded his community involvement when he sat on the City Council in Ward 3 and served as Vice-Mayor. While holding this position, Jim Curd Jr. played a key role with the Bartlesville Superfund site remediation and establishment of the Bartlesville Coalition. Today after winning a seat on the City Council in 2016, he serves on various boards and has contributed to finalizing a plan to complete the downtown landscaping and bring the maintenance under the City parks department. He is long-time supporter of downtown and parks and has worked to help restore funding for the public works and the parks department He most recently helped work for the successful outcome of the 2018 G.O. bond issue. This bond issue brings significant funding for parks maintenance and the creation of a green space with an entertainment venue connecting the iconic Price Tower and the Bartlesville Community Center. His restaurants continue to serve the Bartlesville High School athletics, the Jim Curd Sr. City Championship golf tournament and various sporting and community events.
The Curd family legacy is rich and continues to evolve as Jim Curd Jr. and Kacy’s children Austin and Landon and their families re-establish their Bartlesville roots. Austin and his wife Stephanie have two children, Tanner and Ava. Landon and his wife Kristin have one daughter, Kennedy.
Gerald Bertrum Saddoris married his high school sweetheart Lenna Ragan on August 30th, 1918. Gerald’s career as a salesman brought the couple to Oklahoma and eventually led them to Bartlesville. In 1936, they established a small laundry business known as “One Cent Cash and Carry”. In 1943 Gerald’s brother Arlon Frances Saddoris joined the business and together they built the largest laundry and dry cleaning company in Bartlesville.
Gerald was a very independent and proud person. As a Bartian, he was an active member of the Masonic Lodge No. 284, Order of the Eastern Star, and White Shrine where he served as Watchman of the Shepherds as well as a national officer. Gerald was also a member of Rotary International, the Elks, and the Methodist Church. Gerald and Lenna did not have children however, so with a brother for a business partner, after their death Arlon and his family carried on their legacy.
Arlon Frances Saddoris and Jessie Louise Sager married on July 31, 1930. Together they had three children; Arlon LeRoy, Mary Louise, and Ellen Anne all born in Texas. In 1943, Arlon left a position with Phillips Petroleum Company in Amarillo, TX to join his brother’s Laundry and Dry Cleaning business in Bartlesville. Arlon was a devoted family man taking great pride in his children and grandchildren (Joseph Lee, Mathis Arlon, Janet Louise, Alexia Anne, Dirk Richard Lee). Before his death in 1991 Arlon became a life member of the Masonic Lodge as well as an active member in the Exchange Club and the Methodist Church.
Since its inception in 1936 “One Cent Cash and Carry” held many names but today it is known as United Linen. United Linen has grown to hold more than 62,000 sq ft of operation and office space in Bartlesville with a presence spanning through Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri. After 82 years in operation, the Saddoris family has always been there to help it weather changes in the business.
In 1958, after serving in the U.S. Army, Arlon Leroy Saddoris (Leroy) joined his father in the family business. Leroy is the oldest of three children with two younger sisters, Mary Saddoris and Ellen Schmidt. He attended College High in Bartlesville where he played on both the baseball and basketball teams before graduating and marrying Barbara Jo Skinner Thaggard in 1955. Together Leroy and Barbara have three children, Joseph Lee, Mathis Arlon and Janet Louise all of Bartlesville.
Leroy led the company, then known as Saddoris Textile Maintenance Inc. as General Manager for 25 years. It was under Leroy’s leadership that the company purchased United Linen of Tulsa and began the transformation to what we see today. Both of Leroy’s son’s joined the family business, Joe in 1975 and Mat in 1981 and were able to advance the family’s vision together before Leroy and Barbara’s passing in 1983 during an airplane accident.
Joe stayed with United Linen from 1976-1997 while he pursued a Psychology degree from the University of Tulsa and a Masters of Social Work from Oklahoma University. Today, Joe works as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in a private practice. He and his wife Mary Eden Saddoris have three children (Chad, Leah, and Chris) and eight grandchildren (Abe, Betty, Jack, Caleb, Talen, Alicia, Logan and Leigan).
Today Mathis Arlon Saddoris, the grandson of Arlon Frances Saddoris, is the CEO of United Linen. Mat was born in Bartlesville in 1959 and attended Highland Park Elementary, Woodrow Wilson Elementary, Madison Jr. High and graduated from Sooner High School in 1977. He later attended Phillips University in Enid, OK where he played baseball and received a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Marketing. Mat joined United Linen in 1981 as a Route Driver and has worked his way up as a Salesman, Inventory Manager, Production Manager and General Manager before assuming the role of CEO.
In 1979 Mat married Linda Rechelle George also of Bartlesville and together they have three children, Colby Dane and his wife Tawny Naomi of Bartlesville, Ashley Lane Saddoris Kelly and her husband Jamie of Bartlesville, and Whitley Saddoris Griffiths and her husband Lucas of Kansas City. Colby is VP of Plant Operations, Tawny oversees Saddoris Specialties, Ashley and Whitley are part of the Marketing and Branding team. Today, they all work toward advancing the mission of United Linen and are fortunate to see annual growth which culminated in 2017 with the setting of record revenue. United’s service area now consists of NE Oklahoma, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, NW Arkansas, SE Kansas, Wichita KS, and Kansas City. In 2018 united will recycle over 16 million pounds of textiles. As the family’s business continues to grow so does their generosity to the community they call home. The Saddoris family has shown their support by being involved with American Legion Baseball since 1976, Bartlesville Civic Ballet since 1995, Mary Martha Outreach since its inception, Great American Basketball Tournament, Bruin and Dewey Sports, City Church, Richard Kane YMCA, the Price Tower and much more.
When Mat and Rechelle Saddoris aren’t working, traveling on a mission trip or at a sporting event, you’ll find them with their grandchildren Averley, Paycen, Camden, Mathis, and Nora.
The Bartlesville Community Foundation Legacy Hall of Fame Gala recognizes families that have made a lasting contribution to the Bartlesville community. The Foundation will induct the Curd and Saddoris families into the Legacy Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 19th at the Hilton Garden Inn. The evening includes dinner, video retrospectives of the families, and the award presentation. Sponsorship and ticket information is available from the Foundation at 918.337.2287.
The Bartlesville Community Foundation strengthens nonprofits through The Power of Together. The Foundation builds permanent endowments, manages grant and scholarship programs, supports new charitable endeavors, and offers educational opportunities to enhance nonprofits and to help donors achieve their philanthropic goals.