John T. Oxley (polo)

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John T. Oxley
Born(1909-07-26)July 26, 1909
DiedSeptember 19, 1996(1996-09-19) (aged 87)
Resting placeMemorial Park Cemetery
Tulsa, Oklahoma
OccupationOxley Resources, LLC, Royal Palm Polo Club, Greenhill Farm
Spouse(s)Mary Katheryn Yetter
ChildrenThomas Edward (1944-2009), John C., Mary Jane
Parent(s)Moses Edward Oxley
Sallie Eva Cochran (1880-1962)
HonorsUnited States Polo Hall of Fame
Tulsa Historical Society Hall of Fame (2003)

John Thurman Oxley (July 26, 1909 - September 19, 1996) was an American businessman and polo player.[1][2][3][4]


Early life[edit]

John Thurman Oxley was born on a cattle farm near Bromide, Oklahoma in 1909.[1] He moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma at the age of seventeen.[1]


In 1935, he started his career at Warren Petroleum, and by 1948 he was secretary to the corporation.[3] He started his own company, Texas Natural Gasoline Corporation and sold it in 1961 to start an exploration company, Oxley Petroleum, with his older son, John C. Oxley.[1] They specialized in natural gas.[3] He sold it to the Allied Corporation (itself later acquired by Honeywell).[3]


He took up polo at the age of 46.[3] He won two U.S. Open Polo Championships, the USPA Rolex Gold Cup and Silver Cup, the Monty Waterbury Cup, the Sunshine League many times, and twenty-seven medium-goal championships.[1][2] He won the International Gold Cup at 83, the oldest player to do so.[3]

He owned the Royal Palm Polo Club in Boca Raton, Florida.[2][3] He also owned Greenhill Farm, one of the largest commercial producers of polo ponies in the United States, near Owasso, Oklahoma.[1]


He is a 2003 honoree of the Hall of Fame of the Tulsa Historical Society.[1] He was inducted into the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame on March 17, 1994.[2] The Mary K. Oxley Nature Center, a wildlife preserve in Mohawk Park, Tulsa, is named for his late wife.[1]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to his wife, Mary, from 1935 until her death in 1987.[3] They went horseriding and played polo together.[3] They spent the winter season living in Delray Beach, Florida and the rest of the year their home in Tulsa.[3] One of their sons, Thomas, also played polo, and nearly died from a brain stem injury in 1968, when he lay unconscious for 31 days.[3] They had another son, John C. Oxley, also a polo player, and a daughter, Mary Jane Tritsch.[3]