Mound Artwork at Agape Mission

The Agape Mission is a valuable community outreach center in Bartlesville that serves hot meals six days a week. It is part of the United Way and is located at 309 S. Bucy, a few blocks east of the Mound off of Frank Phillips Boulevard and Bucy. The executive director is Sherrie Smith. Monday through Saturday they serve a hot nutritious meal to those in need from 11:00 until 2:00.  My favorite is the Agape’s Food for Kids Program outreach. If you would like to volunteer , you can call 918-336-5410, or you can send a donation to P.O. Box 1085, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, 74005. Another way to help is if you would like to purchase items for the kids, here is a list of items they use weekly:

  • Cereal
  • Cereal Bars
  • Raisins
  • Cheese Crackers
  • Vanilla & Chocolate Pudding
  • Fruit Cups
  • Sunflower Seeds (shelled)
  • Fruit Snacks
  • 100% Fruit Juice (Individual)


Inside the dining room is a mural on one complete wall that was painted by Connie Standridge. She painted the mural 14 years ago, and it has only been taken down just recently. She will paint another mural so she can replace the Mound double water tanks with the single water tank that was added in 2010. She also painted the Price Tower, Phillips buildings, Professional Building, and church spire into the Bartlesville panorama.


Agape Outreach
Dining Room at Agape Outreach


The Sunset Country Club at The Mound


To the north, at the foot of the Mound, Bartian George Wilkie built a 3 hole golf course to practice on, eventually building more holes, and by 1947 he opened an 18 hole club named the Sunset Country Club. In November, 1948, ads inviting people to join the country club started popping up in the newspaper.

Sunset Country Club
Sunset Country Club

The Sunset Country Club enlarged their clubhouse, with new features including shower rooms for men and women, ladies powder room, men’s dressing room, and a game room on Friday, March 4, 1949.


For over 70 years the Sunset Country Club had been a fixture at the foot of the Mound until 2009, when it sadly went out of business. New chapters of history will tentatively be started on this property as an Industrial Park that will sit directly in the shadow of the Mound.


Businesess around the Mound

The Mound Drive-In Grocery store was advertised with their address ‘At the Foot of the Mound’, along with their phone number 1198-W, on November 27, 1947. It was a popular grocery store in the west side of town.

Mound Drive In Grocery
Mound Drive In Grocery

On March 3, 1950, The Mound Grocery lost part of the title ‘Drive-In Grocery’ to simply the ‘Mound Grocery’.

Mound Grocery
The Mound Grocery

The address was changed to West Second and Mound Road. They held an open house and remodeling sale with a big celebration.  One hundred valuable door prizes were given away, and there were free balloons for the kids. L.V. (Doc) Brown, representative for Tyler Refrigeration Co, installed the new and modern Tyler Vegetable and Dairy Box and Meat Counter.

Mound Grocery

Standing next to the refrigerated equipment is Ethel Casey and Virgie Burchett, owners of the Mound Grocery.

A few years later, the grocery store disappeared and in the same location the first coin meter automatic laundry had its grand open on July 22, 1957. The laundromat boasted 24 hour service and all washers were 15 cents per load. Their new phone number was 4289.

Aside from Murphy’s and LottaBurger, another long running businesses in the Mound area has been the Totem Pole Café located at 1744 West Frank Phillips. The grand open was February 4, 1962, with owners Florene Foley Smith and Clayton Foley. Their specialty was a Filet Mignon dinner for 1.50. I will never forget those filet mignon dinners, the steak melted in my mouth like butter. Our family looked forward to those steak dinners every weekend! A short 5 months later, Doris and George ‘Tater’ Jones took over. Then, January 17, 1963, Bert & Ruth Catlin took over, and they had it for several years. The name changed to Nanking’s in the 1970s, and today still remains in business 51 years later. The latest owners are from Viet Nam, and their hungry diners are part of a circle of loyal Bartians who have coffee, eat, and congregate in the dining room six days a week. I went for breakfast there last week, and not only enjoyed it, but I also had a great time talking to a lot of Bartlesville old timers. It is not only a good place to eat, but it is also a good place to obtain Bartlesville history!

Totem Pole
Totem Pole, 1968

A couple of pictures were published in the Examiner Enterprise on Tuesday, January 2, 1968, of the Totem Pole. What you can’t see in one of the pictures is the tank on top of the Mound (see the arrow). It shows the prominent Phillips 66 logo shield that was a ubiquitous part of Bartlesville life in the sixties, seen around town in various ways.

Totem Pole




But hands down, the most famous business in the shadow of the Mound has to be Murphy’s Steak House. I have taken many pictures of Murphy’s, and more often than not the Mound makes it into my pictures, as seen in this shot.

Murphy's Steak House
Murphy’s Steak House, Gravy Over All

The Mound witnessed the first day of Melvel’s (but everybody called him Murph) hamburger joint on Sunday, August 4, 1946, with the phone number 4789.

Murphy's Steak House

To this day, 67 years later, Murphy’s Steak House phone number is still 4789 (with the addition of the prefix 336). The home of the hot hamburger, gravy over all, is almost as permanent a fixture as the Mound, and has been established as one of the most beloved eating establishments in Bartlesville history.

Murphy’s, July 1951
Murphy's sign
Murphy’s sign