Lulu M. Hefner

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Lulu M. Hefner

Lulu M. Hefner (or Heffner, b. August 9, 1874 and d. July 19, 1954) was a Cherokee businessperson from Nowata, Oklahoma. She is known as the first woman to drill a producing oil well on her own property, and the first female oil operator in Oklahoma.[1] As of 1821, Hefner had drilled 28 successful wells, managed a motion picture theater, and owned the largest garage in the state.[2] She was active in the civic and social affairs of the Nowata community. Her initial business in Nowata was the town's first millinery store.

Lula May, the daughter of James Marion and Annie Henrietta (Prather) Tittle, was born August 9, 1874, and educated at Vinita, Oklahoma and the Cherokee Female Seminary. She married John Emory Heffner at Lenapah, Oklahoma on December 29, 1892. They had four children: Roy Emory, born March 13, 1903, Edith Lena, born December 18, 1905; Helen K., born October 2, 1905 and Ruby L., born January 20, 1907.[1]


  1. ^ a b Starr, Emmett (1921). History of the Cherokee Indians and their legends and folk lore. Oklahoma City: The Warden Company. Retrieved 2014-09-02.
  2. ^ Independent Woman. National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs. 1921. p. 120.