Krebs Heritage Museum
85 S. Main St.
P.O. Box 1519
Krebs OK lahoma 74554
918-426-0377 / 918-423-7191
Use the links below to navigate the site
Home Page link will take you
back to the beginning of the tour
History of the Museum
information on the founder and museum's beginning
Old Photos link will reveal
images of a younger Krebs at work and play
Krebs Historical Society
Krebs History link
tells a small portion of our rich history
HISTORY OF THE
Gene in the museum in 1999
EUGENE R. DEFRANGE designed and constructed the Krebs Heritage Museum
assembling and directing an ever-changing army of volunteers, and supervised
the mural paintings on the buildings and was the actual artist for several
of the scenes.
Gene was also instrumental in building the walking trail, walk bridges,
exercise stations, concessions stand and buildings at Krebs City Park.
He also built the replica of the two-decker bandstand located in Krebs
He located and restored local historical buildings, signs and architectural
details for preservation.
He designed and help construct the Pittsburg County War Memorial
located in Chadick Park in McAlester, as well as, the replica columns,
plaza and granite markers listing the service men who died in four wars.
Gene was a retired building contractor and a vocational instructor.
He was a charter member of the Board of the Krebs Housing Authority and
a charter Chairman and member of the Krebs Planning and Zoning Commission.
Gene was also a member of the Executive Council of the Oklahoma Board
of Inventors. He organized the McAlester Chapter of the Oklahoma Inventors
Congress and was the Chairman of the State Armory Board. He was also Chairman
of the Krebs Historical Society and a member of the St. Joseph’s Mount
Carmel Mens Association.
Gene served in the United States Army during the Korea Conflict.
He was awarded a Presidential Citation for meritorious service in combat
in Korea and was awarded the Bronze Star medal for meritorious service
in ground combat during World War II. He was retired as the Commanding
Officer of Company K of the National Guard in McAlester. Captain Gene DeFrange
was a soldier’s soldier.
Gene was instrumental in the restoration of the St. Joseph’s Catholic
Cemetery, which is one of Oklahoma’s oldest landmarks and sculpted the
statue of “The Risen Christ”, which presently stands at the outdoor altar.He
also designed and sculpted the statue of St. Paul standing outside St.
Paul’s Catholic Church in Eufaula, Oklahoma. Gene designed and built the
copyrighted Trinity Meditation Gardens at St. Joseph’s Church in Kerbs and
designed and assisted in the construction of the concrete pavilion at St.
Joseph’s Catholic Church.
An example of Gene’s determination that items of our heritage not
be lost forever to demolition is the columns from the old Krebs bank
building. When the building, on the Southwest corner in downtown Krebs’
main intersection, was being razed in the late 1990’s he just couldn’t
stand for all to be condemned to the landfill. Gene contacted the property
owners and was given the columns. He had them moved to the south end of
St. Joseph’s Catholic church property and, with volunteer help, re-erected
and restored them. Now the architectural icons that were present as hundreds
of thousands of Krebs residents embarked and disembarked the streetcar at
the stop in front of the bank are preserved for current and future generations.
Gene invented, patented and manufactured the Magna I Utility Tool.
Eugene R. DeFrange died July 9, 2001.
The Board of Trustees for the Krebs Heritage Museum is deeply saddened
by Gene’s death. It is our desire to keep Gene’s dreams alive. He had
many plans in the making for the City of Krebs.
We will never replace him but we hope to continue with his good
works. We have dedicated a section in the museum in honor of Gene.
The only safe depository of the ultimate
powers of society is in the people themselves. T. Jefferson