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A Guide to The Sooner State 





Compiled by Workers of the Writers Program 

of the Work^ Projects Administration 

in the State of Oklahoma 


Sponsored by the University of Oklahoma 









Howard O. Hunter, Commissioner 

Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner 

Ron Stephens, State Administrator 




OKLAHOMA is a land of timbered mountains, treeless plains, 
] mesquite and sage brush, cypress and pine, massive build- 
ings and small homes, of pioneer newness and old tradition. 
Within its boundaries is found nearly everything that w^e think of 
as genuinely American. 

Here are clear fishing streams, beautiful lakes, and rugged 
mountain scenery. Level plains, where fields of grain bear witness 
to the rich soil ; remote ranch houses and great herds of cattle graz- 
ing on the prairies; oil-field derricks symbolizing the state's rich 
resources in petroleum; cities with skyscrapers, interesting towns 
— all these reveal the widespread enterprise, contentment, and hos- 
pitality of the men and women whose achievements constitute the 
substance of this Guide. 

There are people now living in Oklahoma whose memories 
encompass the whole history of the state. Some of the pioneers who 
drove the first stakes in the prairies to plat the sites of our cities, 
farms, and ranches have watched the remarkable progress of Okla- 
homa since they first arrived. Many men who sat in the constitu- 
tional convention and created the state's educational and welfare 
institutions are still living, as are members of the Five Civilized 
Tribes who helped to govern small Indian republics as distinct and 
individual as city states of ancient Greece. In many communities 
are children of prairie Indians who hunted the buffalo and moved 
their tepee villages across the plains. United States marshals, cow- 
boys, missionaries, and pioneer educators have been a part of Okla- 
homa life through the years. Fortunately, some of them survive to 


recount the story of territorial days as well as the moving events 
that have occurred since statehood. 

In one sense, Oklahoma is new, but in another real sense it is 
old. The first church was organized in 1830, the first public school 
law was enacted in 1832, the first printing press was set up in 
1835, and the first newspaper began publication in 1844. All these 
agencies of civilization and culture were established by and for 
the Indian population; and the state's present economic, social, 
political, and religious structures were based on these early foun- 

This volume is a serious attempt to present a rounded story of 
Oklahoma; in its pages both Oklahomans and visitors in the state 
will find much that is useful and interesting. 


May 15, 1941 

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WHILE WORKING OVER the material compiled and written by the Okla- 
homa Writers' Program for Oklahoma: A Guide to the Sooner 
State, the staff has at times suspected that it was putting together 
the most comprehensive history of Oklahoma thus far published. Even though 
the suspicion is probably not justified, it is hoped that the persevering reader 
will lay down the book convinced that he knows and understands the back- 
grounds of this interesting state and has at least a speaking acquaintance with 
its present. 

The obvious purpose of a state guide, of course, is to direct. The tours and 
the section on the principal cities, especially, try to tell accurately what every 
nook and corner of Oklahoma has of interest to its citizens and to visitors. 
From almost innumerable sources — books, newspaper files, and above all 
Oklahomans themselves — the Oklahoma Writers' Program has recorded the 
state's history, pictured its varied topogtaphy, summarized its natural re- 
sources and its cultural and industrial development. Beyond the search for 
facts, however, the staff has sought such material as would add color to Okla- 
homa's story. It has also kept in mind the need to make clear the complicated 
and significant story of the close human and political contacts between the 
Indians and the whites in the century and a quarter since the two races first 
met in Oklahoma. 

It is not possible to list by name the many organizations and persons who 
helped in the preparation of this book. To all of them we make grateful 

Angie Debo "j 

> Editors 
John M. Oskison J 

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FOREWORD, by W. B. Bizzell V 




PART I. The General Background 

The Spirit of Oklahoma, by Edward Everett Dale 3 

Natural Setting 7 

Early Oklahomans 14 

History 20 

Industry and Labor 37 

Transportation 50 

Agriculture 54 

Sports and Recreation 61 

Education 65 

Newspapers 74 

Literature, by Kenneth C. Kaufman 83 

Architecture and Art ' 94 

Music 104 

Folklore and Folkways 114 

PART II. Principal Cities 

Ardmore 125 

Bartlesville 131 

Enid 136 

Lawton 142 

Muskogee 148 

Norman 156 

x contents 

Oklahoma City 


PoNCA City 





PART III. Tours 

Tour 1 (Baxter Springs, Kans.) — Tulsa — Oklahoma City — 

El Reno — Clinton — Sayre — (Shamrock, Tex.) [US 66] 
Section a. Kansas Line to Tulsa 
Section b. Tulsa to Oklahoma City 
Section c. Oklahoma City to Texas Line 

Tour 2 (Fort Smith, Ark.) — Gore — Muskogee — Tulsa — Enid — 

Alva — Guymon — Kenton — (Raton, N. M.) [US 64] 
Section a. Arkansas Line to Tulsa 
Section b. Tulsa to Enid 
Section c. Enid to New Mexico Line 

Tour 2 A Keystone — Cushing — Langston — Guthrie [State S5] 

Tour 3 (Fayetteville, Ark.) — Muskogee — Oklahoma City — 

Chickasha — Anadarko — Hollis — (Childress, Tex.) [US 62] 
Section a. Arkansas Line to Oklahoma City 
Section b. Oklahoma City to Texas Line 

Tour 3 A Junction US 62 — Fort Sill — Junction US 62 
[Fort Sill Road] 

Tour 3 B junction US 62 — Medicine Park — Wichita Mountains 
Wildlife Refuge — Indiahoma [State 49, Meers Highway, 
Scenic Highway] 

Tour 4 (Seneca, Mo.) — Bardesville — Ponca City — . 

Enid— (Canadian, Tex.) [US 60] 

Section a. Missouri Line to Bartlesville 
Section b. Bartlesville to Enid 
Section c. Enid to Texas Line 

Tour 5 McAlester— Oklahoma City — Watonga — Seiling [US 270] 

Section a. Junction US 271 to McAlester 
Section b. McAlester to Harrah 
Section c. Harrah to Seiling 

Tour 6 (DcQucen, .Ark.) — Hugo — Durant — Ardmorc — 

(Burkburnttt, Tex.) [US 70] 











Tour 7 (Ft. Smith, Ark.) — Poteau — Talihina — Antlers— Hugo — 

(Paris, Tex.) [US 271] 323 

Tour 8 (Columbus, Kans.) — Vinita — Muskogee — McAlester — Atoka — 

Durant— (Denison, Tex.) [US 69] 330 

Section a. Kansas Line to Muskogee 330 

Section b. Muskogee to Texas Line 338 

Tour 9 (Independence, Kans.) — Bartlesville — Tulsa — Okmulgee — 

Calvin— Atoka [US 75] 344 

Tour 9 A (Cofifcyville, Kans.)— Collinsville— Tulsa [US 169] 350 

Tour 10 (Arkansas City, Kans.) — Ponca City — Oklahoma City — 

Ardmore— (Gainesville, Tex.) [US 77] 353 

Section a. Kansas Line to Oklahoma City 354 

Section b. Oklahoma City to Texas Line 361 

Tour 10 A Davis— Sulphur— Piatt National Park — Junction US 70 

[State 22, State 18, Perimeter Blvd.] 365 

Tour U (Caldwell, Kans.)— Enid— El Reno— Chickasha— 

(Ringgold, Tex.) [US 81] 368 

Tour 12 (Ashland, Kans.) — Woodward — Seiling — Frederick — 

(Vernon, Tex.) [US 183] lid 

Tour 13 (Englewood, Kans.) — Arnett — Sayre — Altus — 

(Vernon, Tex.) [US 283] 383 

Tour 14 (Sedan, Kans.) — Hominy — Drumright — Ada — 

Tishomingo — (Denison, Tex.) [State 99] 387 

Tour 15 Junction US 66-69 — Jay — Westville — Sallisaw — 

Heavener— (Mena, Ark.) [US 59] 397 

Tour 15 A junction US 59— Big Cedar— Bethel— Broken Bow- 
Junction US 70 [Unnumbered road, State 21] 404 

Tour 16 Lake Francis Dam (Watts) — Tahlequah — Cookson — 

Junction with US 64 [Illinois River] 407 

VAKT IV. Appendices 

Selected Reading List 


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THE SETTING between pages 36 and 37 

Eldon Valley, near Tahlequah 

Glass Mountain, near Fairview 

Quartz Mountain State Park, near Mangum 

Sand Dunes, near Waynoka 

Lake Buford, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge 

Natural Bridge at Cedar Canyon Park, near Freedom 

"He" Mountain, McCurtain County 

Lake Clayton, Pushmataha County 

Drive to Osage Hills State Park, near Pawhuska 

"Tombstone" Weathering of Tilted Rock Strata, Arbuckle Mountains 

Buffalo Herd in Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge 

Black Mesa Valley, near Kenton 

Arkansas River Valley, Muskogee County 

Wildcat Curve, North of Guthrie 

Kiamichi Mountains, Southeastern Oklahoma 

Turner Falls, Arbuckle Mountains 

LAND OF THE INDIANS between pages 82 and 83 

Choctaw Indian Ball Player : Cadin 

Choctaw Boys Playing Ball at Tuskahoma 

Ponca Indians (about 1900) 

Cheyenne Camp (about 1900) 

Geronimo, Apache Chief 

Sequoyah, Inventor of the Cherokee Syllabary 

Choctaw Indian Farm Woman 

An Indian Matron, Cheyenne-Arapaho Agency 

Fred Lookout, Chief of the Osage, with Wife and Grandchild 

Cheyenne-Arapaho School Children in Christmas Play 


Indian Dancers at Anadarko 

Indian Drummers 

Sequoyah Shrine, enclosing his old cabin, North of Sallisaw 

Log Water Pipe, laid by Indians more than a century ago 

Choctaw Ball Play Dance : Catlin 

Indian Artists of Today 

A Native Schoolboy grasps an opportunity to learn by doing 

EARLY SETTLEMENT between pages 128 and 129 

Pioneer Woman, by Bryant Ba\er: Ponca City 

Waiting for the Run, Cherokee Strip, 1893 

The Run, Cherokee Strip, 1893 

Guthrie, April 22, 1889 

Oklahoma City, April 24, 1889 

Sod House, Cherokee Strip 

Sam Houston Home, Wagoner County 

Spring House at Salina; oldest white settlement building still standing 

Old Millstones at Dwight Mission, near Sallisaw 

Seminole Council House, Wewoka, 1870 

Creek Capitol, Okmulgee, Today 

Chickasaw Capitol at Tishomingo 

Female Seminary for Cherokee Indians; now part of Northeastern State 

College, Tahlequah 
Old Corral, Fort Sill 
Old Cannon at Fort Gibson 
Fort Gibson, Restored 

IN THE CITIES between pages 174 and 175 

Entrance to State Capitol, Oklahoma City 
Oklahoma City Civic Center 
Downtown Oklahoma City 
Tulsa: The Skyline 

Boston Avenue Methodist Church 

Woodward Park 
Old Union Agency Building, Muskogee 
Senior High-Junior College, Bartlesville 
Guthrie; Architecture of 1889-90 
Ponca City Municipal Building 
Administration Building, University of Oklahoma, Norman 


"Old Central," Oklahoma A. & M. College, Stillwater 
Osage Tribal Museum, Pawhuska 
Carter Academy (Female Indian School) Ardmore 
Wheat Elevators and Flour Mill at Enid 

OIL between pages 236 and 237 

Oil Wells in front of State Capitol, Oklahoma City 

Papoose Oil Field, Showing Old Style Rigs, near Okemah 

Well Blowing In, Showing Modern Rotary Rig 

Old Style "Standard" Wooden Drilling Rig 

Old Style Pump Jack and Star Rig Drill for Shallow Wells 

A Roustabout, Bone and Blood and Sinew of the Oil Industry 

Painting the Derrick 

Oil Refinery Equipment 

Oil Industry Chemist 

Oil Refining Stills 

Tank for Natural Gasoline 

Oil Field Machinist 

Rock Bits for Rotary Drill, Before and After 

ALONG THE HIGHWAY between pages 282 and 283 

Monument to Gen. Stand Watie 

Highest Point in Oklahoma, 4,778 feet 

The Santa Fe Trail, as seen from U S Highway 64 

Beavers Bend State Park, near Broken Bow 

Buffalo in Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge 

On the Way to Beavers Bend State Park 

Scene on Mountain Fork 

Oil and Wheat, near Edmond 

State Fish Hatchery, near Durant 

Will Rogers Memorial, Claremore 

Custer's Battlefield, two miles west of Cheyenne 

Zinc Mine at Picher 

Gypsum Plant, near Southard 

Coal Mine at Henryetta 

Grand River Dam, looking north 

Tucker Tower, Lake Murray 

Quartz Mountain State Park, near Mangum 


AGRICULTURE between pages 328 and 329 

Oklahoma Farm Lands near Muskogee 

Wheat Farm near Hennessey 

Beef Cattle on the Range 

Cornfield, Oklahoma County 

Cotton Field, Hughes County 

Picking String Beans, Muskogee County 

Starting a Shelter Belt 

A Shelter Belt in Service 

Contour Furrowing for Pasture Land 

Contour Plowing 

Conservation Dam, near Kenton; at low water 

Broom Corn Harvest, Lindsay 

4-H Club Girl 

4-H Club Boys 

Farm Women Registering for Farmers' Week at Oklahoma A. & M. College 

Weighing and Loading 

SOME OKLAHOMANS between pages 374 and 375 

At Ease 

Oil Field Ditch Digger 

A Religious Rally 

An Oil Field Worker at Home 

Behind the Ebb of the Frontier 

Play After Work 

A Pie Supper; Cook and Guest 

Farm Boys at a Play Party 

Farm Families at a Community Gathering 

Indian Tribal Meeting 

Will Rogers and Wiley Post 

A Pioneer of "Terracing": }. J. Brown 

"A Woman's Place" 

"A Man's World" 










State Map 

Tour Key Map 

States Formed from the Louisiana 

Position of the Indian Territory 
Between 1830 and 1848 

Territory of the Southern Indians 
Before 1855 

The Indian Territory, 1855-1866 

The Indian Territory in 1889 

Map of Early Forts and Missions 

Oklahoma City 


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front end paper 

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General Information 

Railroads: The Rock Island System (Rock Island); St. Louis-San Francisco 
Ry. (Frisco); The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. (Santa Fe); Missouri- 
Kansas-Texas R.R. (Katy); Kansas, Oklahoma & Gulf Ry. (KO&G); Mid- 
land Valley R.R. (MV); Missouri Pacific R.R. (MP or MOP); The Kansas 
City Southern Ry. (KCS); Oklahoma City-Ada-Atoka Ry. (OCAA); Texas, 
Oklahoma & Eastern R.R. (TO&E); Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Ry. 
(GC&SF); Beaver, Meade & Englewood R.R. (BM&E); Panhandle & Santa 
Fe Ry. (PH&SF); Oklahoma & Rich Mountain R.R. (O&RM); Arkansas 
Western Ry. (KAW); Wichita Valley Ry. (WV); Wichita Falls & Southern 
Ry. (WF&S); Ft. Smith & Van Buren Ry. (FT.S&VB); Osage Ry. (OR); 
Okmulgee Northern Ry. (ON). Many of these lines were organized and con- 
structed under other names but are now (1941) operated under the names 
given above. 

Highways: 21 Federal highways, 9 of them transcontinental or with trans- 
continental connections. State covered by a network of state and county roads. 

Traffic Regulations (digest): Maximum speed determined by safety. Driver's 
license required after residence is established. Drivers from states that have no 
drivers' license law (Louisiana and North Dakota, 1941) must secure drivers' 
licenses in Oklahoma within 30 days. Each town and city has own trafiBc 
regulations. State has a uniformed highway patrol of 155 officers. Filling 
stations every few miles on state and Federal highways; gasoline tax (includ- 
ing Federal) 7 cents. No inspection of passenger cars. Prohibited: Operat- 
ing without headlights and taillights at night. Stopping any part of car on 
pavement. Using spotlight. Driving while under influence of liquor. Rules 
of the Road: Uniform with those of all other states. 

Air Lines: Branifl Airways (Chicago to Brownsville, Texas), stop at Ponca 
City and Oklahoma City; Mid-Continent Airlines (Minneapolis to Tulsa) has 



its southern terminus at Tulsa; American Airlines (Transcontinental) stops 
at Tulsa and Oklahoma City. State has 53 airports and landing fields. 

Climate and Travel Equipment: Temperature ranges from zero to 85° F., 
Sept. 15 to July 1. Heaviest annual rainfall (42 in.) in southeastern section. 
Changes occur suddenly; occasional dust storms in western half of state in 
spring and summer. Topcoats seldom necessary before October or after 
April 1. 

Prohibition: Illegal to sell or possess spirituous liquors, or to sell malt liquors 
containing more than 3.2 per cent alcohol. 

Poisonous Snakes and Plants: Ratdesnakes found in all sections of the state; 
cottonmouth moccasins along streams in swamp areas; copperheads in eastern 
part of state. Poison ivy common in all wooded areas; can be distinguished by 
its cluster of three leaves, all other ivy vines having five-leaf clusters. Poison ivy 
is not always a vine but may grow as a weed in meadows or among rocks. 

Recreational Areas: Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, 61,480 acres {see 
Tour 3A); Osage Hills State Park, 740 acres (see Tour 4) ; Roman Nose State 
Park, 520 acres (see Tour 5) ; Robbers Cave State Park, 8,400 acres (see Tour 
5); Boiling Springs State Park, 820 acres (see Tour 12); Ouachita Mountains 
(see Tours 7-15-15A); Grand River Dam, 54,000 acres (see Tour 1); Piatt 
National Park, 848 acres (see Tour 10 A); Turner Falls Park, 848 acres (see 
Tour 10); Lake Murray State Park, 18,350 acres (see Tour 10); Quartz 
Mountain State Park, 3,000 acres (see Tour 13); Spavinaw Hills Park, 1,600 
acres (see Tour 15); Beavers Bend State Park, 1,300 acres (see Tour 15A); 
Salt Plains, 20,480 acres (now a reservoir), made a Federal Wildlife Refuge 
in 1930 (see Tour 2); Cookson Hills Playground (soil conservation project); 
Greenleaf Lake, 950 acres, playground of 27,000 acres. 

Fish and Game Laws (digest): Licenses issued in drug and sporting goods 

stores, and by fish and game wardens. 

Fishing: All nonresidents over 16 years of age must have a license to fish in 

Oklahoma with any kind of bait; seasonal license, $5; a 10-day permit, $1.25. 

Resident fishing license, $1.25; 60 days residence necessary for resident license. 

Hunting: Season for migrating birds determined by Federal government and 

changed from year to year. Quail, Nov. 20-Jan. 2, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, 

and Saturdays. Squirrel, May 15 to Dec. 31. Other game animals may not be 

hunted except on specified dates. 

Limits: Ten bass or channel catfish, or 25 game fish of all kinds, in one day. 


Bass and channel cat must be 8 inches or longer, trout 7 inches, and crappie 5 
inches. Ten quail in one day, or 50 in one season; 10 squirrels in one day; 10 
wild ducks in one day, or 50 in one season; 4 wild geese in a day, or 12 in a 

Prohibited: To dynamite, poison, or capture fish in any manner except with 
baited hook or artificial lures, either on line and rod or trotline containing not 
more than 100 hooks. To sell plumes, skins, or feathers of wild birds enu- 
merated in the Oklahoma statutes. To hunt between a half -hour after sunset to 
a half-hour before sunrise. To use guns of larger bore than 10-gauge, To hunt, 
fish, or trap on land of another without consent of owner. To disturb meetings 
at churches or schoolhouses by shooting in the immediate vicinity. To shoot 
at animals or birds from, or across, a public highway. It is unlawful to sell or 
ofifer for sale any game animal, bird, or fish. Possession of any game animals, 
birds, or parts thereof, during closed season shall be evidence that they were 
taken or killed during such closed season. 









Calendar of Annual Events 


Third or fourth week at Oklahoma City State Bowling Tournament 

No fixed date at McAlester Calico Ball 


Second week 
No fixed date 

at Oklahoma City 

at Edmond, Central 
State College 

Third or fourth week Vicinity of Norman 

Fourth week 
No fixed date 
No fixed date 

Easter Morning 

Second week 
Third week 
Third week 

No fixed date 

at Oklahoma City 
at Enid 
at Tulsa 

Golden Gloves Boxing 

Invitation High School 

Basketball Tournament 

Cornbread Dance of the 
Big Jim Band of 
Absentee Shawnees 

Livestock (Fat Stock) Show 

Industrial Exposition 

Magic Empire 

Junior Livestock Show 

at Lawton Easter Pageant 


at Sulphur 
at Enid 
at Watonga 
at Guthrie 
at El Reno 

at Marshall 

Redbud Pilgrimage 
Tri-State Band Festival 
Rattlesnake Hunt 
Eighty-Niners' Celebration 
Chisholm Trail and Pioneer 

Day Celebration 
Little Town High School 

Band Festival 




First week 

Second week 
(even years only) 
Decoration Day 

No fixed date 

First week 

Second week 

Second week 
No fixed date 






Fourth week 

No fixed date 

No fixed date 

at Guymon Pioneer Day Celebration 

at Norman, University High School 

of Oklahoma Intcrscholastic Meet 

at Tulsa International Petroleum 

at Barber Cherokee Indian Decoration 

Day Ceremony 
at Chickasha Horse Show 


at Stilwell 

at Edmond, Central 

State College 
at Seminole 
at Broken Bow 

Green Corn Shoot of the 

Annual Folk Festival 

Tomato Festival 

Vicinity of Drumright "Busks" of the Creek Indians 


at Cache, 

Craterville Park 
at Drumright 
at Lake Holdenville 
at Anadarko 

at Sulphur, Piatt 
National Park 
Vicinity of Quapaw 
Vicinity of Kellyville 
Vicinity of Gore 

at Atoka 

Indian Fair and Rodeo 

American Legion Rodeo 
Free Buffalo Meat Barbecue 
Old Settlers' Reunion 

Boy Scout Jamboree; 

July Fourth Celebration 
Quapaw Indian Powwow 
Indian Stick Ball Game 

Sacred Fire Ceremony of the 
Kee-Too-Wah Society of the 
Cherokee Indians 


Vicinity of Holdenville Green Corn Feasts and Stomp 
Dances of the Creek Indians 

Vicinity of Kellyville Green Corn Dances of the 
Creeks and Euchees 

Vicinity of Hcnryetta Green Corn Dances of the 



First Thursday 


First week 
Second week 

at Blackburn 

at Lawton 
at Hinton 
at Quapaw 

Second week at Boley 

Twentieth (usually) Vicinity of Norman 

Third week at Seminole 

Third week at Anadarko 

Fifteenth-nineteenth at Ponca City 


Fourth week 
No fixed date 

No fixed date 

No fixed date 
No fixed date 

at Okmulgee 

at Covington 
Vicinity of Canton 

Vicinity of Shawnee 

at Sperry 

at Stillwater, 

Agricultural and 
Mechanical College 

Reunion of Drought Survivors 

of 1901 
Pioneer Day 
Kiwanis Rodeo 
Seneca-Cayuga Green Corn 

Feasts and Dances 
Negro Masonic Grand Lodge 

War Dance of the 

Big Jim Band of 

Absentee Shawnees 

All-Indian Fair and Exposition 
Annual Powwow of the 

Ponca Indians 
Pioneer Powwow and 

Indian Festival 
Knox-Mulhall Rodeo 
Dances of the 

Cheyennes and Arapahoes 
Grand Medicine Lodge Gath- 
ering and Dance of the Sac 

and Fox Indians 
War Dance of the 

Creeks and Euchees 
Farmers' Week and 

4-H Club Roundup 

First week 
Labor Day 

Second week 
Third week 
Fourth week 
Fourth week 
Fourth week 
Fourth week 


at Vinita 

at Guymon 

at Enid; Ponca City; 

at Ardmore 
at Perkins 

at Tulsa 
at Lamont 
at Pawhuska 
at Woodward 
at Oklahoma City 

Will Rogers Memorial Rodeo 
Old Setders' Reunion 
Cherokee Strip Opening 

Southern Oklahoma Free Fair 
Old Settlers' Celebration 

and Iowa Indian Dances 
Tulsa State Fair 
Watermelon Festival 
Osage Indian Removal Dances 
Oklahoma State Fair 


First week 
First week 

Second week 
No fixed date 


at Muskogee 

at Oklahoma City 

at Pawhuska 

at Tulsa 

at Wynona 

Oklahoma Free State Fair 
State-wide Flower Show 
Feast of Peace Dance of the 

Osage Indians 
American Indian Exposition 

Southwestern Fox and Wolf 
Hunters' Association 
Wolf Hunt 


Second week 

Second Saturday 
No fixed date 

No fixed date 
No fixed date 


at Pawhuska 

at Vinita 

at Tahlequah 

at Boley 

at Atoka; Antlers 

Vicinity of Barber 

at Oklahoma City 

Armistice Day Celebration 
of the Osage Indians 

Southwestern Field Trials 

Eastern Oklahoma 
Folk Festival 

Negro Fair and Barbecue 

Fox Hunts 

Quarterly Meeting of the 
Cherokee Indians 

All College Invitation 
Basketball Tournament 


The General Background 

»^()/?» £Si)/»2 ^ , sjO^i: . , ^^"ji .- ^^f^ . - ^^"Ji - - ^^"Ji . - ^^"J. 

The Spirit of Oklahoma 


THAT "the child is father to the man" is as true of a state or a nation 
as it is of an individual. Largely, we are what our past has made 
us. Behind ideas and ideals, no less than back of institutions social, 
economic, and political, always lie certain vital forces which have called 
them into life and which shape their progress. Such being the case, it is 
clear that any attempt to analyze or explain that intangible thing which we 
call the spirit of a state must be made in the light of its history. 

The most significant thing in the romantic and colorful history of Okla- 
homa is the former Indian occupation of this region. A century ago the 
pressure of land-hungry whites drove the Five Civilized Tribes westward 
to Oklahoma, and virtually all of the present state except the Panhandle 
was granted to them for "as long as grass grows and the waters run." It was 
as though a wall has been erected about Oklahoma by governmental decree. 
It was an intangible barrier, of course, and yet none the less real because 
of that. Denied entrance into this "Indian Territory," white settlers crept 
slowly westward occupying lands on either side of it; but the wall held firm. 

Because of this long Indian occupation, Oklahoma presented for gen- 
erations the picture of an area of arrested development. The last American 
frontier, it lies in point of time very near to pioneer society, but it has made 
greater material progress in a single generation than has any other area of 
comparable size in the United States. 

That this long Indian era has profoundly affected present-day Okla- 
homa is readily apparent. The Five Civilized Tribes in their old homes east 
of the Mississippi occupied what might be described as a "strategic region," 
between Spain in Florida, France in Louisiana, and England in the Caro- 
linas and Georgia. The Indians were quick to realize the advantages of their 
position and with rare ability began to play one nation off against the other. 


This long training, to which was added the experience of administering 
the affairs of their tribal governments after reaching Oklahoma, gave the 
Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes a knowledge of diplomacy and politics 
equal to that of any people in the world. Oklahoma's constitutional conven- 
tion was largely dominated by that group of Indian Territory statesmen 
trained in the hard school of tribal politics. Many of the outstanding political 
figures of the state have either had Indian blood or been intermarried citizens 
of one of the Five Civilized Tribes. Among these may be listed two governors, 
a United States senator, several members of the lower house of Congress, at 
least two speakers of the Oklahoma legislature, and many other prominent 
state oflficials. 

Indians have given Oklahoma not only able statesmen but soldiers, art- 
ists, literary men, and civic leaders as well, while the two men the state has 
honored with statues in the national Capitol, Sequoyah and Will Rogers, 
were both of Indian blood. Perhaps most important of all, the Indian race has 
given to Oklahoma many thousands of good citizens who in a more humble 
capacity have done much for the advancement of their own communities and 
of the state. 

Steadily there is being woven into the fabric of Oklahoma's citizenship 
this red thread of the Indian. Through intermarriage, Indian blood in Okla- 
homa is becoming more widely diffused. The time may come when an 
Indian recognizable as such will be hard to find within the state, but perhaps 
through wider dissemination the influences of Indian blood may be greater 
in the future than they have ever been in the past. 

Important as has been the influence of the Indian in the formation of 
the spirit of Oklahoma, that of the pioneer white settler was no less signifi- 
cant. Much of western Oklahoma was opened to settlement by the so-called 
"Runs." In these it was literally true that "the race was to the swift, the battle 
to the strong." The first of these, that of the "Unassigned Lands," was at 
high noon, April 22, 1889. When the President's proclamation, issued thirty 
days earlier, fixed the date of this opening, it also provided that anyone enter- 
ing upon these lands prior to that date should forfeit all claim to any part 
of them as a homestead. 

Before the day fixed for the opening many thousand eager young men 
had gathered along the border of this new Promised Land impatiently wait- 
ing for the hour when they would be free to cross the line and choose a claim. 
Some of these had for years been urging, or "booming," the opening of these 
lands to settlement and were, in consequence, known as "Boomers." 

It is not surprising that some of them should grow weary of waiting 
and under the cover of darkness cross into the forbidden area too soon. Here 


they chose choice tracts and either occupied them or lay in concealment 
near by ready to dash out and assert their claims when the hour of opening 
had come. 

These men, known as "Sooners" because they had entered the territory 
too soon, had not technically committed any crime for which they could be 
punished by law. Yet they could not legally secure any of these lands by 
homestead or acquire a right to any part of them. In the language of sport, 
they were merely put out of the game for a violation of the rules. 

For a long time the term "Sooner" was one of reproach, but with the 
passing of the years the word began to lose its original connotation. As its 
origin was gradually forgotten, it eventually came to mean merely one who 
is alert, ambitious, and enterprising, or one who gets up earlier than others, 
always takes the lead, and strives to triumph over obstacles. 

The first great Run was followed by others. Each of these brought to 
Oklahoma a fresh influx of aggressive, eager young people to choose lands, 
build homes, open up farms and establish towns and cities. Regions as large 
as one of the smaller states of the Union were settled within a single day and 
developed with amazing rapidity. Then, about the time that the free lands 
of western Oklahoma were all gone, came the beginning of the marvelous 
oil development of the eastern portion of the state. Here the opening of each 
new oil field brought a new "run" of youthful, adventurous people, not for 
homesteads but for leases, royalties, concessions, and business opportunities. 
In this fashion Oklahoma was peopled by a hardy, vigorous population strong 
in their youth and often counting material advancement as the true standard 
of success. 

In the lean years before the coming of oil the pioneer life of Oklahoma 
was hard, as many people yet living can abundantly testify. But in spite of 
hardships due to hot winds, crop failures, and lack of material comforts, the 
pioneer homesteader looked into the future and saw there wonderful things. 
Like Christian, he had caught a glimpse far off of a celestial city, and he 
worked early and late to make his dreams come true. 

If in his eager seeking after the things of the flesh he should neglect 
somewhat the things of the spirit, that too was inevitable. With his family 
housed in a dugout, sod house, or rude cabin, the pioneer would have been 
somewhat more, or less, than human to give too much attention to music, 
art, and literature before he had made better provisions for the physical 
welfare of his family. 

Yet even from the first there were always to be found certain elements 
who kept alive the spark of cultural and intellectual progress and who strove 
earnestly to fan it into flame. Foremost among these were the pioneer women 


who planted flowers, beautified the simple home, and urged that churches, 
schools, and Sunday Schools be established in order that the children might 
not grow up in want of the finer things of life. Added to their efforts were 
those of frontier bishops, the presidents and faculties of the struggling little 
colleges, and those who worked in a far more humble capacity, the rural 
teachers, circuit riders, and country pastors, to all of whom Oklahoma owes 
a deep debt of gratitude for their contribution to the spirit of the state. 

It was not long before the earnest efforts of these early pioneers began 
to bear fruit. The dugout or sod house gave place to an attractive farm home. 
The trail over which the covered wagons rolled west widened to a broad 
highway. The tiny villages grew to thriving towns. Churches, schools, and 
colleges multiplied and became comparable with those of older states. Okla- 
homa was rapidly coming of age. 

It is obvious that such a historical heritage should give to Oklahoma a 
remarkable and distinctive spirit. It is a spirit of youth, of optimism, and 
high faith in the future. It is a pioneering spirit, eagerly reaching out for 
things new in economic and social experimentation, or government. In the 
lean pioneer years, Oklahoma had to depend largely upon borrowed capital 
for its economic advancement and upon borrowed culture for its intellectual 
and educational progress. More recently it has developed not only locally 
produced capital but locally produced culture as well; strong financial figures 
as well as nationally known writers, artists, and musicians. 

In recent years Oklahoma, in common with other states, has felt keenly 
the pinch of economic depression. This has brought to a few people a feel- 
ing of pessimism and discouragement, but only to a few. The pioneer spirit, 
compounded of courage, optimism, and faith, is still strong among a people 
so close to the frontier of yesterday. 

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Natural Setting 

THE MAP of Oklahoma suggests in its outline a butcher's cleaver, the 
Panhandle of the west representing the handle, the north line its 
straight back edge, the east line its square-cut end, the Red River on 
the south its irregular cutting edge. Lying slightly south of the geographic 
center of the United States, it is a part of the Great Plains region, and its 
surface has a gradual upward slope toward the Rocky Mountains. The lowest 
point, 324 feet, is in the southeastern corner; the highest is in the Panhandle, 
4,978 feet. The average elevation is 1,300 feet. 

Oklahoma has an area of 70,057 square miles. It is bounded on the north 
by Kansas and Colorado; on the east by Missouri and Arkansas; on the south 
by Texas; and on the west by Texas and New Mexico. Its main rivers flow 
in a southeasterly direction, and the entire drainage is carried to the Missis- 
sippi by the Arkansas and Red rivers. The Arkansas enters the state from 
Kansas about the middle of the northern border. The Salt Fork (Neeca- 
tunga), Cimarron, Grand, Verdigris, and Canadian rivers all flow into the 
Arkansas within the borders of Oklahoma. The North Canadian flows 
nearly across the state before joining its companion stream, the Canadian. 
The Washita and a number of lesser streams in the southern part of the state 
feed Red River. 

In the northeast, the Ozark Plateau extends into Oklahoma. It is a 
region of moderate hills with deep, narrow valleys and numerous clear 
streams. The base of the plateau is a great limestone formation known as 
the Boone Chert; and steep, picturesque bluffs have been formed where the 
streams have cut it deeply. Timbered with oak, ash, hickory, elm, walnut, 
pecan, hard maple, and sycamore, this is a region of great beauty, especially 
in autumn, when the forests are clothed in rich and varied colors. 

South of the Ozark region, occupying most of the southeastern corner 
of the state, the Ouachita (Wah-she-tah) Mountain area, much of which is 
included in a national forest, consists of parallel ridges formed by the faulting 
of thick layers of sandstone. Many of the valleys are narrow, and each has its 


spring-fed stream. This area contains the pine forests of Oklahoma, as well 
as many hardwoods. 

In the south central part of the state are the Arbuckle Mountains, cover- 
ing an area of about sixty by twenty miles. These old mountains, worn down 
to a height of only seven hundred feet above the surrounding plains, present 
a remarkable variety of geological formations — limestone, sandstone, shale, 
and granite. The limestone is grass-covered, while most of the others are 
timbered. Many streams and attractive camping places make this one of the 
popular recreation areas of the state. 

South of the Arbuckles and Ouachitas to the Red River, is a strip of 
sandy plain cut by streams flowing to the river. This is classed as a part of the 
Gulf and Coastal Plains. 

Seventy miles northwest of the Arbuckles, the rough granite peaks of 
the Wichita Mountains (See Tour 3B), break abruptly from the surrounding 
plains and, with some outlying peaks, extend some sixty miles in a north- 
westerly direction. Like the Arbuckles, they are the tops of buried mountains, 
and part of a range of mountains known to geologists as the Amarillo Range. 
Erosion has left little except the bare granite outcroppings, and there are few 
trees. The scenery, however, is interesting, and the region worth visiting. 

Most of the eastern end of the state not included in the Ozark, Oua- 
chita, Arbuckle, and Red River areas is known to geologists as the sandstone 
hills region, the rocks being hard sandstones and limestones alternating with 
softer shales. The hills are low and flat, the fertile valleys wide, accounting 
for much of the state's best farm land. Native oak and hickory have nearly 
disappeared before the ax, and there remains little timber besides the nearly 
worthless blackjack oak on the sandy hills and slopes. In such places erosion 
has been severe. 

Interesting, and important in the history of Oklahoma, is a north- and 
south-trending strip of rough country known as the Cross Timbers, varying 
from five to thirty miles in width across the central part of the state. From 
Washington Irving's A Tour on the Prairies on through the accounts of 
such trail-makers as Randolph B. Marcy, escorting gold-seekers to California 
over the southern route in 1849, this belt of matted, tangled undergrowth, 
stiff-branched blackjacks, shinnery, briars, and scions of lire-killed larger 
trees made a deep and unfavorable impression. It was a region of tumbled 
rocks and thin soil, gashed by ravines, difficult to cross; and it marked 
roughly the dividing line between the bluestem prairies of the eastern half 
of the state and the bufTalo grass plains of the western section. On a govern- 
ment map of 1834, the Cross Timbers is designated as the "western boundary 
of habitable land." 


The sandstone hills region merges gradually on the west with the Per- 
mian region, one of the most extensive formations of its type known. The 
red beds extend from the Kansas border to Red River, from almost the center 
of the state to within forty miles of the west line. They are composed of 
shales and soft sandstones twelve hundred to sixteen hundred feet in thick- 
ness and get their color from ferric (iron) oxide. Some of the state's inost 
fertile farm land lies within this gently rolling region. 

The western part of the Red Beds contains several ledges of gypsum; 
and here, particularly along the Cimarron River, the red and white combi- 
nation makes striking scenery. The numerous gypsum strata differ in thick- 
ness and composition, some being nearly pure and hard, others softer and 
interbedded with shale. The hard layers topping the buttes of the Blaine 
Escarpment render these low mesas impressive, because of both their color 
and location upon otherwise flat plains. One form of gypsum, selenite, is 
crystalline and breaks into pieces resembling fragments of glass or mica. 
The Glass, or Gloss, Mountains {see Tour 4), an outlier of the Blaine Escarp- 
ment, are so called because their sides are littered with flakes of selenite which 
glisten in the sun. The gypsum area makes a rough triangle, its base a wide 
arc north of the Wichita Mountains and its apex at the Kansas border. Wheat, 
corn, sorghums, and livestock are the principal farming products of the "gyp 
hills" region. 

The Great Salt Plains near Cherokee (see Tour 2) and other salt plains 
in that region have been formed by springs of salt water that, saturated from 
a deep-lying stratum, seeps through the Red Beds and gypsum formations. 
Of little commercial importance, these salt deposits are striking in appearance. 
The northwestern counties and the Panhandle, included in the High 
Plains region, are level grassland, treeless except for elms, cottonwoods, and 
willows along the streams. They are thinly settled, and much of the land is 
still in native pasture grass. During the first World War, demand for wheat 
caused the development of great wheat farms in the Panhandle, and for 
several years Texas County was the banner wheat-producing county of the 
nation. Sorghums are also an important crop. Because of continued drought, 
this area became for a time part of the Dust Bowl. Some of it is now re- 
garded as submarginal and should be restored to grass, although frequent 
rains and a concerted effort to restore the balance of plant life have resulted 
in a remarkable improvement of the entire area. 


The Oklahoma region for ages has been in the process of constant geo- 
logical change. Seas have covered it and receded, leaving swamps, and in the 


swamps of the Pennsylvanian period, coal formations were laid down. Exten- 
sive upheavals, folding, and faulting at the close of this period formed the 
Arbuckle and Wichita Mountains. An idea of the time required in the geo- 
logic process may be gained from the fact that some of the formations laid 
down at that time are more than a mile thick. 

Sandstone and limestone formations that are exposed in the Arbuckle 
and sandstone hills are important oil-producing strata. From about the mid- 
dle of the state, northward from a point between Norman and Oklahoma 
City, and into Nemaha County, Kansas, a buried mountain range of granite, 
known as the Nemaha Mountains, can be traced in subsurface by means of 
wells drilled for oil and gas. Along this buried range are found some of the 
most productive oil pools in both states. 

In the Jurassic period this area was swampy, with many lakes and cut- 
off seas; and at that time dinosaurs from two to eighty feet in length were 
the characteristic animal life. Fossils of these creatures have been found in 
many places in the state. During the Lower Cretaceous period, after the time 
of the dinosaurs, the last submergence occurred. 

In the later Pleistocene period, as fossil remains show, the Oklahoma 
region was overrun by horses, some no larger than a fox; camels, large and 
small; rhinoceroses, mastodons, mammoths, musk oxen, saber-toothed tigers, 
and immense herds of elephants of several species. 


Oklahoma lies on the border of distinctive north-and-south and east-and- 
west climatic zones. Rainfall varies from an average of forty-two inches an- 
nually in the extreme southeast to fifteen inches in the western Panhandle; 
average for the state is between twenty-five and thirty inches. Killing frost 
comes from the last week in September in the north, to mid-November 
farther south. Winters are usually mild, with occasional cold waves in Janu- 
ary, February, and March. 

In the eastern half of the state light to moderate east-to-southeast winds 
prevail. In the western half, winds of higher velocity blow almost constantly 
from south or north; and a daytime temperature above 100° F. may be 
expected in July and August. Nights are usually cool. 


One hundred and thirty-three varieties of trees are native to Oklahoma. 
The southern, or longleaf, pine, various species of oak, elm, ash, hickory, 
pecan, walnut, cottonwood, willow, and some magnolia and cypress are 
characteristic. In the western part, among the canyons of the Red Beds and 


Gypsum Hills, red cedar, or juniper, is abundant. Sagebrush is found in the 
west, and mesquite in the southwest. 

The redbud (Judas tree) and dogwood, which bloom in the early spring,, 
show masses of bright pink and creamy white along the streams and hill- 
sides throughout the eastern, central, and most of the southern parts. Violets,, 
including the dogtooth variety, primrose, anemone, petunia, spiderwort,. 
verbena, gaillardia, phlox, the showy wild indigo in blue and cream varie- 
ties, poppy mallow, goldenrod, sunflower, and ageratum are commonly seen. 
The trumpet flower, though not native, grows well. Roses thrive, as do many 
other garden flowers. Cape jasmine does well in the southern counties, and 
crape myrtle is a favorite shrub in the north to middle part of the state. 

Wild grapes and many varieties of wild plums are found in nearly every 
part of the state. In the Wichita Mountains wild currants are common. 
Pecan, walnut, and some hickory nut trees grow in the east and south. 
Peaches, apples, cherries, and pears are produced in Oklahoma, though there 
are few commercial orchards. 

Coyotes, cottontails, jackrabbits, and prairie dogs are fairly common on 
the plains; mink, otter, opossum, gray and fox squirrels, and raccoons are 
found in the timbered sections. Black bears, numerous in early days, had 
almost disappeared by the time of settlement. There are deer, though not 
plentiful, and no buffaloes outside of zoos and game preserves. 

The chief species of birds are the mockingbird, meadow lark, swallow,, 
dove, woodpecker, robin, bluejay, and English sparrow. Crows are so numer- 
ous that crow-killing campaigns are carried on every winter. In the early 
fall, immense flocks of blackbirds (grackle) gather and are a striking sight 
when they settle in feedlots. Recently (1936-37) flights of English starlings 
have migrated into the state. Redbirds, bluejays, and bobwhites remain the 
year round. Prairie chickens are sometimes seen in the western counties and 
are strictly protected. Mallard, teal, and other varieties of duck, and wild 
geese, fly over in spring and fall. Wild turkeys, found in great abundance by 
the early hunters, became almost extinct, but they are being successfully re- 
stocked in forest regions. 

There are few poisonous snakes. The copperhead and cottonmouth, or 
water moccasin, are most common; rattlesnakes are becoming more and 
more scarce. Centipedes are found, as well as horned toads and other varieties 
of harmless lizards. 


By 1937, twelve permanent agencies were at work in Oklahoma for the 
conservation of natural resources and the preservation and propagation of 


wild life. Of this number, five were Federal; the others were controlled by 
the state. 

Oklahoma's Wildlife Council is a federation of all agencies, state or 
Otherwise, concerned with the preservation of wild life. Its program has been 
adopted by the American Wildlife Institute, which is striving to organize all 
states on the Oklahoma plan. 

Earliest efforts at conservation were hampered by lack of public interest 
and shortage of funds. The first game department, set up shortly after state- 
hood, consisted of a few men whose duties were mainly to fight the wide- 
spread practice of market hunting of deer, prairie chickens, turkeys, and 
quail. At that time professional hunters were numerous, and records reveal 
that enforcement oflficers sometimes captured entire trains of wild game 
billed to eastern markets. It was not until 1925 that the State Game and 
Fish Commission was created, and the work of replenishing the rapidly van- 
ishing stock of wild game began. This commission now maintains fish and 
bird hatcheries, regulates hunting and fishing, and to an extent controls 
predatory animals. 

At the end of the tribal period (1907), great forests of virgin pine still 
covered much of the Choctaw country; and the Secretary of the Interior 
worked out a plan for setting them aside as a forest reserve. The project, 
however, was never authorized by Congress, and the woodland was allotted 
along with the rest of the tribal lands to individual Indians, who sold the 
trees to lumbermen. As a result, nearly all of the marketable timber has been 
cleared from the Choctaw lands. 

Forest conservation efforts of the United States in Oklahoma are repre- 
sented by the control of 140,000 acres of timber in LeFlore County, known 
as the Ouachita National Forest; the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge; 
and the Shelterbelt Project, which is planting trees in the western counties 
in order to stop soil erosion. 

When the State Forestry Department was set up in 1925, Oklahoma's 
timber areas had been so badly slashed that 1,300,000 acres had to be put 
under fire protection, and 1,630,000 acres into a restocking area. This depart- 
ment, working with the United States Forest Service, established a nursery 
on the grounds of the Agricultural and Mechanical College at Stillwater for 
growing stock suitable for reforestation purposes and for woodlot and wind- 
break planting. More than 650,000 small trees grown here have been sold in 
one year for fall and spring planting on Oklahoma farms. 

Need for the selection of park sites in time for the state to use Civilian 
Conservation Corps workers brought the first legislative appropriation in 
1935 for a park commission. Prior to that date, all state-owned parks were 


administered by the State Game and Fish Commission. The State Park Com- 
mission operates under the Oklahoma Planning and Resources Board, in 
close liaison with the National Park Service. The Planning and Resources 
Board also directs the work of the former Conservation Commission and 
has charge of state forestry projects. 

The Conservation Commission and the State Planning Board were set 
up in 1935. The latter is interested in all forms of conservation, but has advis- 
ory powers only. The Conservation Commission, which has functioned under 
other names or departments since 1907, is concerned chiefly with water proj- 
ects — dams, lakes, irrigation, and flood control. The State Corporation Com- 
mission, though not primarily a conservation body, acts for the oil and gas 
industry in this capacity. It regulates the drilling of wells and oil production 
and works to prevent land spoilage and stream pollution. 

Federal conservation agencies in Oklahoma are the National Park Serv- 
ice, National Forest Service, Soil Conservation Service, and the Fish and 
Wildlife Service. The National Forest Service administers the Kiamichi 
Division of the Ouachita National Forest, co-operates with the state in main- 
taining fire protection and in distributing planting stock, and supervises the 
forest activities of the CCC. The National Park Service supervises Piatt Na- 
tional Park, protecting the wild game and preserving plant life from insects, 
disease, and fire. The Fish and Wildlife Service engages in research related 
to birds and wild animals. Its activities are confined mainly to the Wichita 
Mountains Wildlife Refuge and Game Preserve and the Great Salt Plains 
Wild Fowl Refuge. In co-operation with owners, the Soil Conservation Serv- 
ice supervises actual soil conservation work on the land. 

Tree planting in the Oklahoma sector of the Shelter Belt (a "temporary" 
Federal project) began in 1935 in Woodward County and extended through 
sixteen counties from the northern line to Tillman County. There are com- 
pleted sections north of Buffalo, twenty strips near Erick in Beckham County, 
several strips north of Reydon, in Roger Mills County, eighteen near Willow, 
more than forty near Mangum, thirty-four sections near Cordell, and twelve 
strips near Moore. The project, although still in its infancy, has measurably 
decreased erosion losses, and its program has provided work for drought- 
stricken farmers of the area. 

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Early Oklahomans 

Although it will never be fully known what strange races of men built 
/j\ their long-dead hearth fires in the sheltered eastern woods and along 
JL jL the shallow streams of western Oklahoma, there is evidence of six 
main prehistoric cultures. 

The Folsom Culture. Archeologists generally recognize the "Folsom 
Man" as the earliest known inhabitant of America, but even the approximate 
age of this culture has not yet been determined. Traces, however, in the form 
of the distinctive Folsom and Yuma projectile points, have been found in the 
Oklahoma Panhandle. 

The Basinet Maimers' Culture. Remains of the Basket Makers have also 
been uncovered in small rock caves in the extreme northwestern part of the 
Panhandle, apparently an eastern extension of their main settlements in New 
Mexico and Arizona. They were a primitive people, unfamiliar with the bow 
and arrow or the making of pottery, but the baskets, mats, and cradles they 
fashioned were elaborate; and their small fields were planted in corn, beans, 
squashes, and pumpkins. Their occupancy probably dates back from fifteen 
hundred to two thousand years. 

The OzarI{ Bluff Dwellers Culture. At about the same time, the Ozark 
Bluff Dwellers occupied the limestone caves along the streams of the north- 
eastern part of the state. Like the Basket Makers, they had not discovered 
the bow and arrow and made no pottery, but they were skilled in basketry, 
practiced a rude agriculture, and used the dart and throw stick as weapons. 

The Ozarf(^ Top-Layer Culture. Overlying the Blufl Dwellers sites are 
remains of what is generally known as the Ozark Top-Layer Culture. This 
culture, though still crude, represents an advance over that of the true Bluff 
Dwellers; for these people possessed the bow and arrow, made a greater 
variety of bone and stone implements, and fashioned crude pottery. Their 
date has not yet been determined. 

The Slab-House Culture. Evidences of this culture, dating from 1000 
to 1400 A.D., have also been discovered in the Panhandle. The slab-house 



people lived in pit dwellings, lined with flat stones set on edge, roofed with 
rafters supported by central posts, and thatched with reeds, which were cov- 
ered with earth. They practiced a rude agriculture; made pottery; used the 
lance, the bow and arrow; and shaped a variety of stone implements. 

The Lower Mound Builder Culture. Remains of this culture may also 
be seen in eastern Oklahoma. It is distinguished by earthen mounds, shaped 
like cones or flat-topped pyramids, constructed along the banks of the streams. 
In these mounds is found evidence of a high development of the ceramic art; 
etchings and carvings on stone, bone, and shell serve further to identify them. 
These people lived, it is believed, from 500 to 1500 a.d. and were part of a 
general cultural group that occupied most of the present southern states. 

Archeological study in Oklahoma has barely begun; hence the relation 
between the different prehistoric races and their connection with the Indian 
tribes living in Oklahoma at the coming of the white man has not yet been 
determined. Among the most important sites are the mounds east of Wag- 
oner (see Tour 8), the mounds northeast of Spiro (see Tour 7), and the caves 
southeast of Kenton (see Tour 2). The Spiro Mound has been carefully exca- 
vated as a WPA project under the supervision of Dr. Forrest E. Clements, 
of the University of Oklahoma. A great number of artifacts have been taken 
from the mound and placed on exhibition at the University; it is hoped that 
they will materially assist in reconstructing the life of the state's prehistoric 
peoples, and in placing them in their true cultures. 

Among the aboriginal tribes, and those that came into the Oklahoma 
area in early historic times, six linguistic divisions occurred: the Caddoan, 
Siouan, Athapascan, Shoshonean, Tanoan, and (a rather late arrival, 1868) 
the Algonquian. The Athapascan peoples were the Apaches and Kiowa- 
Apaches; the Siouan stock is represented by the Osages; the Shoshonean by 
the Comanches; the Tanoan by the Kiowas; and the Algonquian by the 
Cheyennes and Araphaoes, so closely related that they are usually spoken of 

Indians of the Caddoan linguistic stock seem to have been most widely 
distributed in Oklahoma when the region was first visited by white men. 
The Caddoes proper were settled mainly on the lower Red River in Louisi- 
ana, but remains of their culture are numerous in eastern Oklahoma. They 
made a distinctive and beautiful pottery, used copper in their arts and crafts, 
and practiced agriculture. The Wichitas, also a Caddoan people, at one time 
occupied an extensive area between the Arkansas River in Kansas and the 
Brazos in Texas, but they settled eventually in southwestern Oklahoma. They 
built a peculiar dome-shaped house over a framework of cedar poles lashed 
together at the top and covered with shingle-like layers of matted grass. 


Sedentary, industrious, and peaceable, they grew corn not only for their own 
use but for trade with their neighbors. The hardy, far-ranging Pawnees, 
another Caddoan tribe, were at home in Nebraska, but they hunted buffalo 
on the plains of western Oklahoma and became adept at stealing horses from 
Spanish owners in New Mexico. Their houses were substantially constructed 
of sod over a circular framework of poles. They developed a mythology 
remarkably rich in symbolism and poetic fancy, and elaborate religious cere- 
monials connected with the worship of cosmic forces and the heavenly bodies. 

In northeastern Oklahoma, the Osages built their tepee villages, rode 
out to hunt the buflfalo and fight with Pawnees on the western plains. They 
were a southern branch of the great Siouan linguistic stock, and during his- 
toric times they occupied a large area in Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. 
Their mythology and ceremonial observances show that the one factor over- 
shadowing all others in its influence on their lives was the buffalo. Their 
songs celebrated its habits and characteristics and glorified the prowess of the 
hunter. Their legends tell how great massed herds came up every year from 
the distant caves of the Sunset Lands. Their mythological enemies were 
wicked beings who held the buffalo captive, and their legendary heroes were 
demigods who dared all magic spells and cunning to bring them back to the 
hungry people. Next to the buffalo, the sun dominated their imagination, 
and each morning they poured out their song to the sunrise. The Osages were 
divided into two groups — the Peace People and the War People — and the 
two had distinctive functions in the ceremonial observances of the tribe. 

More restless and fierce even than the Osages were the Comanches, who 
set up their tepees along the streams of western Oklahoma, and from these 
bases set out on raiding and horse-stealing expeditions against the Texas 
frontier and the distant settlements of Old Mexico. Members of the Sho- 
shonean linguistic stock, they were a recent ofifshoot of the Shoshones, Utes, 
and Bannocks of Wyoming, coming to the southwestern plains region at the 
beginning of the nineteenth century. Breeding horses, first obtained from 
the Spaniards, and stealing from the Mexicans, they became the most skilled, 
fearless riders of the plains. The Comanche brave's importance in camp and 
council was measured largely by the number of his ponies; horse racing was 
a passion, and betting an exciting tonic. Early explorers marveled at the skill 
with which the yelling, shield-protected Comanche warrior clung to the side 
of his mount in battle. Hated and feared by the Texas frontiersmen for the 
stealth and swiftness of their raids, they were a kindly and hospitable people 
in the happy, turbulent life of their camps. Their speech became the lingua 
franca of the southwestern Indians, and they were the most proficient of all 
the tribes in the use of the sign language of the plains. They practiced no 


agriculture and depended upon the buffalo herds for food, clothing, and 

Closely allied with the Comanches were the Kiowas, a distinct linguistic 
stock, who came to the Southwest during the first half of the nineteenth cen- 
tury. With them came a small band of Apaches, an Athapascan people that 
had become separated from their kinsmen in the North and formed an inte- 
gral part of the Kiowas' tribal organization. Like the Comanches, the Kiowas 
set their life to the rhythm of the chase. As soon as the grass on the prairie 
was green enough to fatten their ponies, they formed small hunting parties 
and organized raiding expeditions that extended sometimes as far as Du- 
rango, in Mexico. In the fall the whole tribe engaged in a great buffalo hunt, 
the men killing and the women drying the meat and packing it in skin 
containers, and stretching the green hides to dry. At the end of this busy 
season they established winter camps in sheltered places on the upper tribu- 
taries of the Red River. Here the men chipped out f^int weapons, made 
buffalo-hide shields, repaired saddles, and perfected their marksmanship, 
while their ponies cropped dried grass or nibbled cottonwood twigs. The 
women's winter work was to dress skins and make clothing and tepee cov- 
erings. The Kiowas, more than any other hunting tribe, had a sense of his- 
toric sequence. They kept a calendar on which they recorded, by a crude 
system of pictographs, the most impressive of each year's events. 

In northwestern Oklahoma, western Kansas, and eastern Colorado, 
ranged the Cheyennes and Arapahoes. These two closely related tribes belong 
to the great Algonquian stock, which at one time comprised most of the 
Indians in the northeastern part of the United States. The Oklahoma bands 
were an agricultural people who came from the northern plains as a conse- 
quence of intertribal warfare. About 1840, they made peace with the Kiowas 
and Comanches, joining in their raids and observing an amicable division of 
the buffalo range. They became a purely hunting tribe, living in skin tepees, 
using horses, and following the buffalo herds. The Sun Dance, in which they 
practiced an elaborate ritual of self-torture, was their great tribal ceremony. 

Although the Plains Indians differed widely in language, ceremonials, 
and traditions, they employed the same economic techniques. Their food was 
almost exclusively meat, but they learned to prepare it in ways to protect them 
from nutritional diseases. Their skin tepees could be dismantled, packed on 
travois poles, and moved to new locations with surprising rapidity. Their 
women wore beautifully dressed and elaborately decorated skins; and the 
details of their costumes were so distinctive that even today their civilized 
descendants adhere rigidly to them. All their activities depended on the horse. 
Except for this fact, their living techniques were similar to those of other 


tribes that had preceded them on the plains. In speaking of these earlier 
people in 1541, Coronado described their characteristics and their depend- 
ence upon the buffalo ("cows") in terms that apply equally well to the 
later Plains tribes: 

"And after seventeen days' march I came across a settlement of Indians 
who travel around with these cows, . . , who do not plant, and who eat the 
raw flesh and drink the blood of the cows they kill, and they tan the skins 
of the cows, with which all the people of this country dress themselves here. 
They have little field tents made of the hides of the cows, tanned and greased, 
very well made, in which they live as they travel around near the cows, chang- 
ing with these. They have dogs which they load, which carry their tents and 
poles and small things. These are the best formed people that I have seen in 
the Indies." 

Certain other generalizations may, with some hesitancy, be advanced 
concerning the aboriginal and adopted tribes and their historic cultures. The 
predominant political organization was the village, or band; the civil chief 
was supreme in authority, except when he was supplanted by the war chief 
for the duration of raids or expeditions against enemies. Most southern Plains 
Indians traced descent through the male line; parents controlled marriages; 
polygamy was permitted when the man could afford to keep more than one 
wife; and marriages between men and women of different but related tribes 
was encouraged in order to strengthen informal but real alliances among 

Such were the aboriginal inhabitants of Oklahoma. But the phase of 
Indian history that gives the present state its unique character resulted from 
the plan of the Federal government to set it aside as the permanent home 
of the Indian race. In furtherance of this project, tribes from the southeastern 
states were removed from the path of advancing white settlements and sent 
west with the more-or-less clearly defined purpose of creating an Indian 
commonwealth (see History). 

Five advanced agricultural groups from the region between Tennessee 
and the Gulf and from the Carolinas to the Mississippi became the first 
modern Indian occupants of Oklahoma; the Cherokees, a populous tribe 
separated at an early time from the Iroquoian group of western New York; 
and the Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks, and Seminoles — all members of the 
Muskhogean stock of the Southeast. All brought with them the institutions 
and customs of civilization; and their development and achievements form 
an integral part of the history of the state. Later, other tribes and fragments 
of tribes were brought from the East and North as the white frontier con- 
tinued to advance upon their homes. Among these were the Delawares, 


Shawnees, Sacs and Foxes, the Quapaws — a Siouan tribe of peaceable habits, 
crowded out of their homes in Arkansas — and the Kaws, another fragment 
of a Siouan tribe from Kansas. 

Members of these tribes now constitute a considerable portion of the citi- 
zenship of Oklahoma and have intermarried with the whites until they are 
no longer appreciably Indian — though they cherish the tradition of their 
Indian ancestry. In the state are about ninety-two thousand representatives 
of more than thirty tribes who show pronounced Indian characteristics. They 
have the same privileges as other citizens of the state, except that some of 
those with the highest quantum of Indian blood — varying in amount from 
tribe to tribe — still (1941) hold their individual allotments of land under 
title which prevents them from selling. These restricted Indians are under 
the guardianship of seven Federal agencies, which exercise a certain super- 
vision over their land and assist them in acquiring the white man's economic 
techniques. Most of the children attend the public schools, but twelve board- 
ing schools are also maintained by the United States government for special 
vocational training. Many young Indians are enrolled in Oklahoma colleges. 

A few conservative fullblood settlements exist in remote communities, 
though most of the Indians are distributed through the general farming 
population or are engaged in ordinary occupations in the towns and cities. 

In fullblood communities the Indians still retain their own social life 
with tribal dances and ceremonies, but little remains of their native mode of 
living. The picturesque native of feathers, paint, blanket, and breechcloth 
is never seen, except at Indian fairs and exhibitions, which are held in many 
places throughout the state. 

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THE CHRONICLE of Oklahoma is as old as the expedition of Coronado, 
pushing east in search of gold from Tiguez, New Mexico, in 1541, 
and as new as the completion of the mile-long Grand River Dam, the 
greatest multiple-arch dam in the world, in the fall of 1940. If it seems over- 
weighted by happenings before there was a state of Oklahoma, it must be 
remembered that statehood came as late as 1907 — in the youth of men and 
women now (1941) hardly past their middle age. 

A succession of Spanish adventurers were the first recorded explorers 
of the territory that became Oklahoma. Coming from the east in the winter 
of 1540-41, Hernando de Soto is supposed to have missed meeting Coronado 
within Oklahoma's border by not so many leagues. Then, fifty years later, 
Captain Francisco Leiva Bonilla's expedition probably crossed the Panhandle, 
to be followed in 1601 by that of Governor Juan de Onate, from Santa Fe, 
and that of Diego de Castillo, searching for gold and silver, in 1650. 

Beyond some traces of prospecting for gold in the Wichita Mountains, 
the Spaniards left no impression on the region; they carried back the report 
that it was peopled only by a few bands of poor Indians, and that its prairies 
furnished grazing for myriads of strange "crooked-back cows" — buffaloes. 

Next to enter the territory out of which Oklahoma was carved was Rene 
Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, who came down the Mississippi and thence 
west in 1682 and claimed for the French all the lands drained by the great 
river; some of his followers came up the Red River and pushed north across 
the eastern quarter of the present state, leaving evidence of their passing in 
the names of such rivers as the Poteau and the Verdigris. 

At long intervals before the purchase of Louisiana Territory by the 
United States in 1803, traces of French contacts in the Oklahoma area are 
found: traders out of the post established in 1715 by Juchereau de St. Denis 
at Natchitoches, on the Red River; Bernard de la Harpe's expedition from 
Red River to the present town of Haskell (see Tour 2); Charles Claude de 
Tisnc's visit in 1719 to the Pawnees in the vicinity of the present town of 



Chelsea (see Tour 1); the traders Pierre and Paul Mallet's descent of the 
Arkansas River in canoes in 1740; and the 1741 winter camp of Fabre de la 
Bruyere on the Canadian at the mouth of Little River. 

Then, in 1762, that part of Louisiana Province which contained present 
Oklahoma was given back to Spain; and some thirty years later, with the 
canceling of permits to French traders in the Osage and Missouri River 
regions, the Spanish attempted to exploit the area. In 1800, however, Louisi- 
ana Province was regained by France, and in 1803 it was purchased by the 
United States. The next year the District of Louisiana was divided, the Okla- 
homa region becoming part of the Territory of Indiana, and receiving its first 
code of laws from Vincennes. The arrival from St. Louis in 1822 of Auguste 
Pierre Chouteau, who established at Grand Saline (Salina; see Tour 8) the 
first permanent white settlement in Oklahoma, marked the beginning of 
white infiltration through the influence of this great French trading family 
of Missouri. 

Two other early dates are significant, the inclusion of the Oklahoma 
region in the Territory of Missouri in 1812, and its transfer to the Territory 
of Arkansas in 1819, when the United States offered a home west of the 
Mississippi for all Cherokees who would consent to emigrate from Georgia 
and Tennessee. Incidentally, this arrangement, as the Osages claimed, arbi- 
trarily took land from them and gave it to the Cherokees without their sanc- 
tion, and led to extended warfare between the tribes after the coming of the 

In 1819, by the treaty with Spain which named the Red River as far west 
as the one-hundredth meridian as the boundary between Arkansas Territory 
and the Spanish Southwest, the southern and western limits of Oklahoma 
were fixed. In this same year, 1819, the English naturalist Thomas Nuttall 
made his trip up the Arkansas through the Cherokee lands, and the Reverend 
Epaphras Chapman came to open Union Mission on Grand River to the 
Osages. In 1822, Cephas Washburn, another devoted friend of the Indians, 
followed the Cherokees who had voluntarily removed to the Arkansas Terri- 
tory and founded D wight Mission for their comfort and education. In 1824, 
in anticipation of the coming of the Five Civilized Tribes, Fort Gibson and 
Fort Towson were laid out. 

Except for a few Osages east of Grand River, small bands of Indians 
of Caddoan stock, such as the Wichitas and some nomadic Comanches and 
Kiowas in the west — probably the bands seen by Coronado, Bonilla, and 
de Onate — the Indian Territory which was to become Oklahoma was a 
vacant land when President Jackson began applying so much pressure on the 
Five Civilized Tribes that they could no longer resist. From 1828 to 1846 


the long and doleful procession of exiled Cherokees, Creeks, Chickasaws, 
Choctaws, and Seminoles ended among the timbered hills and on the litde 
open prairies of the eastern end of the present state. 

These Indians, distinguished by the title of "The Five Civilized Tribes," 
had lived in close contact with the whites for more than a century; had 
adopted many of the white man's habits and customs; were farmers, stock- 
men, millwrights; had schools and mission churches; and were slaveholders. 
Some had become wealthy from plantations of the old southern type, though, 
of course, most lived in simple cabins. All had been at peace with the whites 
since 1812. 

After conflicting boundary claims had been adjusted, the immigrant In- 
dians held title to all of the present state of Oklahoma except the Panhandle; 
and though their setdements were confined to the eastern half, they made 
periodic buffalo-hunting expeditions to the western limits of their holdings. 
Each of the Five Civilized Tribes was organized into a "nation," which 
maintained a separate existence as a protectorate of the United States under 
treaties which guaranteed that its tenure should be perpetual, "as long as 
grass shall grow and waters run." Each nation had its own laws, tried of- 
fenders, decided civil suits and probate matters in its own courts; and built 
Capitols in the wilderness, where Indian legislators conducted smoothly- 
running parliamentary assemblies, and able chiefs prepared state papers and 
dealt with intricate problems of administration. 

Survivors of the forced Removal, after the hard years of pioneering, 
began to prosper. They cleared land, laid out farms, accumulated livestock, 
built schoolhouses and churches, and entered into friendly diplomatic rela- 
tions with each other and with the "wild" nomadic tribes at, and beyond, 
the western border of Indian Territory. Protected from intrusion by treaties 
and the Indian Intercourse Acts, for a time they lived apart from the whites. 

But the Civil War interrupted their material progress and destroyed 
their isolation. Naturally, the slaveholding Five Civilized Tribes, coming as 
they had from the Gulf states, Tennessee, and North Carolina, were in sym- 
pathy with the Confederates. Almost to a man the United States agents to 
the various tribes were Southern sympathizers also; and they, together with 
delegations from Arkansas and Texas that alternately urged and threatened, 
persuaded the Indians to joi the South. During 1861 all of the Five Civilized 
Tribes accordingly made alliances with the Confederacy, and many of the 
Plains Indians followed their example. But in spite of this official action, 
there was a strong Union element among the Cherokees, Creeks, and Semi- 
noles; and these tribes were torn by miniature civil wars of their own, the 
more deadly and devastating because of the close ties binding their citizens. 


In the case of the Cherokees, the struggle was so violent that Chief John 
Ross, who attempted to maintain neutraUty for the tribe, was compelled to 
leave the nation and Stand Watie, made a brigadier general by the Con- 
federacy, claimed the office. 

No important battle was fought in the Indian Territory, but guerrilla 
bands ravaged the country, and Union and Confederate partisans killed each 
other on sight; refugees left their homes and fled. Union sympathizers to 
Kansas, and adherents of the Confederacy to the Red River region. While 
they endured exile, illness, and starvation, thieves looted and burned their 
abandoned homes and barns and sold their stock to army contractors. 

After the war the Federal government contended that the Five Civilized 
Tribes, by their "rebellion," had forfeited all their lands and treaty guaran- 
tees, and it was proposed to open their country to white settlement. Yielding 
in part to the Indians' strong protests, the United States took only a part 
of their western lands as a home for other Indian tribes, allowing them to 
retain the eastern portion under previous treaty status. All were required to 
liberate their former slaves; and some tribes were induced to adopt their 
freedmen as citizens with full property rights. Provision was also made for 
a united territorial government, which it was hoped would in time absorb 
the separate Indian nationalities and lead to the establishment of a state. At 
the suggestion of Allen Wright, a Choctaw delegate who once served as 
principal chief of his tribe, one of the treaties referred to this hoped-for 
commonwealth as Oklahoma, the Choctaw word for "red people." 

Indians living in Kansas and other states were removed to the Indian 
Territory and settled on the ceded land. The "wild" Plains tribes also went 
through the form of accepting reservations there, though they continued to 
hunt in Kansas, Texas, and Colorado until the buffalo herds, which they 
regarded as their special property, were gone; they then began raiding white 
settlements. To protect the whites, forts were established at strategic points 
on the frontier. In the present state of Oklahoma were Fort Supply (1868) 
on the North Canadian, near the western boundary; Fort Sill (1869), at the 
eastern edge of the Wichita Mountains; and Fort Reno (1874), also on the 
North Canadian, in the heart of the ceded territory. By 1875, the "hostiles" 
were reduced to the status of reservation Indians. 

Meanwhile, leaders among the Five Civilized Tribes met at the Creek 
capital, Okmulgee, in 1871, with the purpose of forming a confederated 
Indian Territory, to be administered by Indians. They urged it, along with 
better education and farming practices, as a measure vital to their survival. 
Other meetings were held in the following four years, at all of which repre- 
sentatives of the hostile Plains tribes listened attentively to talks about the 


necessity for adopting the white man's civilization; but before their principal 
aim could be accomplished the Federal government acted to prevent it, and 
no more meetings could be held. 

As though conditioned by adversity, the Indians of the Five Civilized 
Tribes made a quick recovery from the desolation caused by the Civil War. 
Farms and plantations once more came under cultivation, and the rich ranges 
supported herds of Indian-owned cattle. Schoolhouses were rebuilt; the tribes 
financed the expansion of both neighborhood elementary schools, with edu- 
cated Indian teachers in charge, and higher grade boarding schools, mainly 
staffed by white college graduates. 

The Indians' problem — how to keep the Territory for their exclusive use 
and occupation — was complicated by the rapid growth of white population 
on its northern, eastern, and southern borders; and when the first railroad 
crossed it (1870-72), any effort to find an answer became hopeless. As other 
railroads built into, and across, the Territory, white men came in to lay out 
towns and open farms, some as employees or tenants of the Indians, others as 
plain intruders, defiant alike of the tribal governments and the Federal Inter- 
course Acts. In 1890, when the first Federal census was made of the Five 
Civilized Tribes, there was a population of 109,393 whites and 18,636 
Negroes, as compared with a total of 50,055 Indians. 

These noncitizens, outside the authority of the Indian governments, were 
without civil law, and in criminal matters they were under the long-distance 
jurisdiction of the Federal court at Fort Smith, Arkansas. Their towns were 
built upon lands to which they could obtain no title, and their children 
were denied access to tribal schools; naturally, therefore, they were eager for 
the extinguishment of the Indian land tenure and the creation of a govern- 
ment in which they could participate. 

White cattlemen, too, coveted the lush ranges of the Indians. At first, the 
Indians' grass only helped to fatten the big moving herds which began to cross 
the Territory from Texas to Kansas railheads soon after the Civil War, and 
trample deep and wide such trails as the Western, the Chisholm, the East 
Shawnee, and the West Shawnee. Between five and six million longhorns 
used these trails. Then Texas cattle-owners thought to secure grazing rights, 
either leasing great areas from tribal authorities or arranging sham "sales" to 
citizens of the Territory, then hiring themselves and their cowboys to the 
Indian "owners" to care for and market the cattle. 

Most extensive and richest of the Indians' ranges was the Cherokee 
"Outlet," or "Strip," some six and one-half million acres of grassland south of 
the southern border of Kansas, and west of the tribal lands granted by the 
Cherokees to the Osages. Here for a time the Cherokee national government 


collected grazing fees from individual cattlemen, then leased the whole area 
to the Cherokee Strip Livestock Association. 

Looking over the border at this cattleman's "fair and happy land," white 
farmers of Kansas, Missouri, and sections even more remote began the long- 
continued agitation for throwing open for settlement the fertile acres which 
were not used and occupied by their Indian owners. Bills were repeatedly 
introduced in Congress for the liquidation of tribal governments, allotment 
of reservation land held in common, and making the surplus land available 
for homesteading. 

Beginning about 1879, extensive publicity was given to the fact that no 
Indian tribes had ever been settled on a tract in the heart of the Indian Terri- 
tory ceded by the Creeks and Seminoles at the close of the Civil War; and 
newspapers throughout the West contended that these "Unassigned Lands" 
— soon to be popularly designated as "Oklahoma Lands" — were subject to 
homestead entry. 

Homeseekers known as "Boomers" gathered at the Kansas border and 
made repeated and systematic attempts to colonize this tract, but the Federal 
government, holding that the land had been ceded only for Indian occupation, 
removed the invaders. They returned in increasing numbers; cattlemen came 
in without legal sanction, divided the range, built fences and corrals, and 
grazed their cattle over its rich prairies; and in 1886-87, the Atchison, Topeka 
and Santa Fe Railroad was built across the region, and stations were estab- 
lished along its right of way. 

Finally the United States purchased title to the land from the Creeks and 
Seminoles; the tract was laid out in 160-acre homesteads; and on April 22, 
1889, it was opened to white setdement in the "Run" for farms and town lots 
which has become one of the most dramatized episodes in western history. 

As the hour for the opening approached, great crowds waited on the 
border, while mounted soldiers stood on guard to turn back intruders. At 
noon bugles sounded, then guns were fired as a signal that the land was open. 
Men raced in on horseback, on foot, in covered wagons, hanging to every 
available hold on the slowly moving trains, all trying to outstrip their fellows 
in the scramble for "claims." When a homeseeker found a tract of land to his 
liking, he drove a stake as evidence of possession and held it as best he could 
against other claimants. On the same day lots were staked in the townsites, 
and men engaged in feverish promotion. 

The weeks following that first Run of homesteaders were busy ones on 
this newest of American frontiers. In the towns, stores were opened, banks 
and newspapers were established, doctors and lawyers set up offices. Some of 
the most substantial business firms in Oklahoma point to this time as the date 


of their founding; and many elderly couples are now living on well-improved 
farms which they staked on that historic day. 

For thirteen months, the settlers were without any organized govern- 
ment, yet good order prevailed. Frontier living conditions were too rigorous, 
and money was too scarce, to attract outlaws. In May, 1890, Congress passed 
the Organic Act, providing for a territorial government, with executive and 
judicial officers appointed by the President, and a legislature to be elected by 
the people. The active new town of Guthrie (see Tour 10) was designated as 
the capital, and in spite of the bitter rivalry of its ambitious neighbor, Okla- 
homa City, it remained the seat of government throughout the territorial 

The new Territory of Oklahoma increased rapidly in area as well as in 
population. The Organic Act provided that the Panhandle (see Tour 2) 
should be included within its jurisdiction. This narrow strip of land had had 
a curious history. Included in the Spanish domain by the treaty of 1819, it 
had passed by successive revolutions into the possession first of Mexico, and 
then of Texas. Separated from Texas by the Compromise of 1850 because it 
lay north of the slavery line, and lying south of the Kansas-Colorado bound- 
ary, it had become appropriately known as "No Man's Land." After the sub- 
jugation of the Plains Indians and the extinction of the buffalo, homesteaders 
and ranchers had filtered in and had been completely ignored by the Federal 
government. In 1887, they met at Beaver City and attempted to create a 
government for the "Territory of Cimarron," but their action never received 
official recognition. Now this strip of forgotten frontier was added to Okla- 

As different Indian tribes accepted allotment of reservations, their 
surplus lands were opened to settlement and joined to Oklahoma. The wild 
scenes of the first Run were re-enacted, and the same building activity fol- 
lowed. The Sac and Fox, Iowa, and Shawnee-Potawatomi reservations to 
the east of "Old Oklahoma" were opened in 1891, and the Cheyenne-Arapaho 
lands to the west in 1892. The greatest Run of all occurred when the United 
States purchased the Cherokee Oudet and opened it, with the Tonkawa and 
Pawnee reservations, in the fall of 1893. This was followed by the opening of 
the small Kickapoo Reservation in 1895. Greer County, an area between the 
north and south forks of the Red River, which later became Jackson, Harmon, 
Greer, and (in part) Beckham counties, had long been claimed by Texas and 
settled largely by Texans, many of them cattlemen. In 1896, it was awarded 
to Oklahoma by the United States Supreme Court; each resident was allowed 
to retain 160 acres and to purchase an additional 160 acres at $1.25 an acre. 

The surplus land of the Kiowas and Comanches and the Wichitas and 


Artiliated Tribes was opened for settlement August 6, 1901, this time by 
lottery instead of a run. 

About 1904, four small tribes — Poncas, Otoes, Missouris, and Kaws — 
divided all their land among their members, except small tracts which they 
retained for tribal purposes; and the Osages' land also was divided among the 
citizens without leaving a surplus for white homesteaders. Each Osage re- 
ceived 659.52 acres, but the mineral rights were retained under communal 
tenure, a fact that was to have great significance to the tribe when the reser- 
vation became one of the great producing oil fields of the world. Their allot- 
ments were finally completed about 1908, and the land was attached to the 
Territory of Oklahoma for governmental purposes. 

After 1890, the map showed "Twin Territories," the Indian Territory 
with a population of 178,084, comprising the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, 
Creek, and Seminole nations, and a small corner in the northeast settled by 
fragments of other tribes; and Oklahoma, with its population of 61,834 white 
pioneers and allotted Indians, organized under a territorial government with 
its capital at Guthrie. 

The creation of Oklahoma Territory on their border foretold the end of 
the Five Civilized Tribes as independent nations. David A. Harvey, the 
Territory's delegate in Congress, joined representatives of surrounding states 
in demanding the extinction of the Indian governments and abolition of tribal 
land tenure. Homeseekers who failed to secure land in the runs and lotteries 
moved over into the Indian Territory, laid out farms, speculated in town lots, 
and formed ambitious plans for the development of its mineral rights, all 
looking to a future dominated by the white man's enterprise. In response to 
this growing demand. Congress in 1893 created the Dawes Commission and 
authorized it to negotiate with the Five Civilized Tribes for termination of 
their existence as nations. The Indians steadfastly refused to treat, yet Con- 
gress had their land surveyed and rolls made of their citizens as a preparation 
for allotment. Under such coercion they were finally induced to negotiate; 
and partly by voluntary surrender and partly through Congressional mandate 
their governments were liquidated and their estates divided among the 

First, the townsites were segregated and platted; town governments were 
organized, bonds voted, school systems created, and waterworks and electric 
light plants established. The Dawes Commission then divided the remainder 
of the land equally among the tribal citizens. Each allotee received his share 
under a restricted tenure; his land was inalienable and tax exempt for a term 
of years, during which he was supposed to gain experience in individual 


By 1906 the work undertaken by the Dawes Commission was approach- 
ing completion. Federal officials believed that the Indian Territory was ready 
for statehood. Leaders of the Five Civilized Tribes, meanwhile, had taken the 
initiative by meeting, with a few white sympathizers, at Muskogee, in the 
Creek Nation in 1905, to draw up a constitution to govern all the inhabitants 
of the Indian Territory. The new state was to be named Sequoyah (see Litera- 
ture) in honor of the revered Cherokee who had taught his people to read and 
write their language. Constitution and name were submitted to the people, 
both white and Indian, and overwhelmingly adopted; but they were never 
accepted by Congress. 

The people of Oklahoma had been clamoring for statehood since the first 
stakes were driven into its prairies, and it seemed desirable to the lawmakers 
at Washington to unite the Twin Territories as one state. Under the Enabling 
Act, passed by Congress in 1906, delegates from both sections met at Guthrie 
to write the constitution. 

The voluminous charter framed for the new state showed the influence 
of Bryan Democracy. The initiative, referendum, and recall weapons were 
placed in the hands of the people, while the fear that a strong executive might 
prove too powerful explained the proviso that no governor can succeed him- 
self. Many state offices were made elective. A corporation commission — a 
new idea — was created to regulate public service corporations operating 
within the state; passenger fares were expressly limited to two cents per mile; 
a moderate homestead tax exemption was assured; child labor was restricted; 
the contracting of convict labor was prohibited; and an eight-hour working 
day was decreed for mine and governmental employees. 

Various groups had brought pressure to bear upon the constitution- 
makers — the Farmer's Union through William H. Murray, and the mine 
workers through Peter Hanraty, president and vice-president respectively of 
the convention. The liquor interests were extremely active. Oklahoma Terri- 
tory had saloons, but the Enabling Act required prohibition of intoxicants 
in the Indian country for twenty-one years after statehood. Women lobbyists 
flocked to the convention to meet defeat in the fight for woman suffrage and 
for the eligibility of women for the office of governor. They succeeded, how- 
ever, in securing limitations on the employment of women and children in 
work injurious to health or morals, and the establishment of a Department 
of Charities and Corrections for the protection of orphans and inmates of all 
charitable and penal institutions. One concession won by the women at the 
time was a provision that the Commissioner of Charities and Corrections 
"may be of either sex." Kate Barnard, a militant social worker, was elected 
to that position in 1907, and re-elected in 1910. Except for two terms (1914- 


22), the office has been held by two women, Miss Barnard, and Mabel Bas- 
sett (1923-41). 

State-wide prohibition was adopted at the election which ratified the 

Born at the crisis of the 1907 "money panic," the state was (to quote from 
the Organization and Administration of Ol{lahoma, a Brookings Institution 
report made in 1935) "the kind of community that, a hundred years ago, was 
placing its stamp on our political institutions and governmental practices. 
Such a community, vigorous, individualistic, and self-confident, was typical 
of the Jacksonian era, characterized by intense partisanship; loyalty to per- 
sonalities; localism; territorial decentralization in administration; attachment 
to local self-government; checks and balances; legislative control of adminis- 
tration; distrust of the executive; numerous elective offices; rotation in office; 
the spoils system." 

State officers were installed on November 16, 1907, including the first 
governor, Charles N. Haskell. As United States senators Oklahoma's legis- 
lature sent to Washington a blind white man, Thomas P. Gore, and a Chero- 
kee citizen, Robert L. Owen. To the House of Representatives were elected 
Bird S. McGuire, former Territorial Delegate; Elmer L. Fulton; James S. 
Davenport; Charles D. Carter, of both Cherokee and Choctaw blood; and 
Scott Ferris. 

At statehood, Oklahoma had a population of 1,414,177, of which only 
5.3 per cent were Indians. Restless, and critical of the established order, dubbed 
radicals by outsiders, they had proposed to create a commonwealth for the 
poor man. Ironically, the first great surge of oil development in Oklahoma 
occurred just before statehood and called for the investment of enormous 
amounts of capital in leases, drilling, storage, gathering lines, shipping facili- 
ties, and refining. Taxes paid by oil saved the state from bankruptcy in the 
period when no real estate taxes could be collected from the restricted lands 
in the Indian half of Oklahoma. Other mineral resources, in the development 
of which capital was required, also became more and more important: coal, 
mined as early as 1872 in the McAlester region; lead and zinc, in the north- 
eastern corner; gypsum in the west, and asphalt in the southern part of the 

What seemed to be happening beneath the surface of the disturbed waters 
of radical political and economic agitations was the rapid transformation of 
a Bryanesque commonwealth, controlled by farmers and small business men, 
to a modern industrial state, dominated by the "big money" which the pio- 
neers had so greatly feared. 

At Haskell's inauguration, the state had seen five thousand oil wells 


drilled, the price of crude had dropped to twenty-five cents per barrel, and 
the powerful Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association had been formed. 
"Standard Oil" was a political battle cry, and the Socialist Party was gather- 
ing strength. 

The race question was raised by Democrats from the beginning of state- 
hood, and Oklahoma's Jim Crow Law was one of the first adopted. The 
Grandfather Clause, which would have deprived the Negroes of suffrage, 
was adopted in 1910. It was declared unconstitutional by the Federal District 
Court, and the decision was sustained by the United States Supreme Court 
in 1915. An attempt to initiate a literacy test as a substitute was defeated by 
popular vote in 1916. 

The location of the capital at Oklahoma City in 1910 followed attempts 
to establish a new city in the geographic center of the state — the "New 
Jerusalem" plan — which failed, as did Guthrie's attempt to retain the capital 
after the election in which Oklahoma City was chosen. 

Haskell and his successor as governor, Lee Cruce, both faced bitter polit- 
ical opposition. Cruce was embroiled in controversy that brought a threat of 
impeachment which never materialized. Legislative scandals and the growth 
of the Socialist Party held down the 1912 Oklahoma vote for Woodrow Wil- 
son to 119,000. 

The 1914 Democratic primary was spiced by the vigorous candidacy of 
Al Jennings, former train-robber, for governor. He received 21,732 votes and' 
ran third. Robert L. Williams was nominated with 33,605 votes. Socialists 
joined Republicans in an attack on Governor Williams, charging that his 
election was stolen. At the election, Williams won, polling 100,597 votes to 
95,904 by his Republican opponent, who was hampered because the Progres- 
sives put a candidate into the field who polled 4,189 votes. The Socialists, who 
had polled 9,740 votes at statehood, cast 52,703 votes for their gubernatorial 
candidate; five Socialist members were elected to the state House of Repre- 
sentatives and one to the state Senate. National economic stress contributed 
to the growth of Socialism; the lack of a cotton market, the decreasing value 
of all farm products, and the rapid growth of farm tenancy throughout the 
state aggravated social unrest that was stilled only by the entrance of the 
United States into the World War. 

The First Regiment of Oklahoma's National Guard, which had seen 
service in Mexico in the short campaign against Pancho Villa, merged with a 
Texas regiment to form the One Hundred and Forty-second Regiment. This 
was incorporated in the Thirty-sixth Division and sent overseas. Among the 
90,378 Oklahomans who went into the service were more than five thousand 
Negroes; and Company E of the One Hundred and Forty-second Infantry 

32 OKLAHOMA: the general background 

was made up almost entirely of Indians. A brigade of Oklahoma troops saw 
action at St. Mihiel and in the final ofiFensive of the Meuse-Argonne. Casual- 
ties were 1,046 killed in battle, 502 missing, 710 dead of disease, and 4,154 

Even before the first World War, Oklahoma's war record was as varied 
as the character of its people. In the Civil War, there had been Indian regi- 
ments on both sides, and in the Spanish-American War, Theodore Roose- 
velt's regiment of "Rough Riders" had been largely recruited from the Twin 

The Socialist party steadily declined in the state during the war years 
and fell into disrepute because of opposition expressed by a minority of its 
members to participation in the war. By 1922, the party was able to muster 
only 3,941 votes, and in 1924, it was denied a place on the state ballot. 

The campaign of 1920 brought the first Republican victory to Oklahoma. 
That party's representative, J. W. Harreld, was elected to the United States 
Senate, and five of the state's eight members of the national House of Repre- 
sentatives were Republicans. The majority of the state House of Representa- 
tives were also of that party. Governor J. B. A. Robertson, a holdover from 
the election of 1918, was a Democrat and found himself unable to push legis- 
lation through the lower house, which showed its political hostility by voting 
impeachment charges against Lieutenant Governor M. E. Trapp and failed 
by only one vote to prefer similar charges against Robertson. 

The Red Scare that swept the country after the war stirred into action 
such secret organizations as the Ku Klux Klan, which gained numerous mem- 
bers in all sections of the state. It elected or controlled many municipal and 
county officials. During the last two years of Robertson's administration the 
Klan became such an issue that he forbade officers of the National Guard 
to join. 

Unrest caused by the Klan, growing dissatisfaction among farmers and 
workmen with post-war depression conditions, and the Socialist remnants 
in the state — all threatened the dominance of the Democratic party in the 
election of 1922. In September, 1921, a large convention had been held of 
delegates from the State Federation of Labor, the railroad Brotherhoods, and 
the Farmer's Union. These groups formed the Farmer-Labor Reconstruction 
League, advocating state operation of a number of industries with the elimina- 
tion of private profits, aid to home building and labor, and free school text- 
books. In the followingFebruary a more comprehensive platform was adopted 
and candidates were nominated for state offices; J. C. Walton, mayor of 
Oklahoma City, was the nominee for governor. 

In the primary, R. H. Wilson, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and 


Thomas H. Owen, Justice of the Supreme Court, opposed Walton. The 
Klan endorsed Wilson; this turned the support of Catholics, Jews, Negroes, 
and citizens of foreign lineage, who had suffered from the persecution of the 
Klan, to the support of Walton. Governor Robertson used administrative 
pressure against the Klan, and Patrick S. Nagle, head of the old Socialist 
party, led most of its adherents into the Walton camp. Walton was nominated 
and elected despite the bolt of a group of Democrats to the support of the 
Republican nominee. 

Walton began his administration by inviting all his constituents to attend 
an inaugural barbecue. Thousands gathered in Oklahoma City and many 
remained as office seekers; the Governor felt obligated to award his friends 
by overstaffing offices and creating new positions. He encountered opposition 
from more conservative members of the Democratic party and at the same 
time lost the confidence of leaders of the Reconstruction League. The Ku 
Klux Klan remained in opposition. After eleven months of strife, the legis- 
lature impeached and removed Walton and M. E. Trapp, lieutenant governor, 
succeeded him. 

In the Trapp administration the State Game and Fish Department was 
organized, the first legislation was passed for the conservation of natural 
resources, and the State Highway Department speeded the construction of 
all-weather roads. 

Henry S. Johnston was elected governor in 1926 for the next four-year 
term, but he immediately broke with some of his closest advisers. The legis- 
lature, after one abortive attempt, impeached him on ten charges, the tenth 
being general incompetency. Acquitted on the other nine charges, he was con- 
victed on the tenth. In March, 1929, William J. Holloway, lieutenant gover- 
nor, became the eighth governor of Oklahoma. 

In 1930, William H. Murray, returned from a five-year colonizing ven- 
ture in Bolivia, entered, with eight others, the primary contest for governor. 
He conducted a spectacular campaign by being driven from place to place in 
an ancient "model-T," and dining publicly, between speeches, on cheese and 
crackers. Dressed like the popular conception of a sharecropper, he promised 
relief to the unemployed and the debt-ridden farmers. A prolonged drouth 
a few weeks before the primary election, causing millions of dollars of dam- 
age to the farmers and stock men of the state, reacted favorably to the Murray 
candidacy. In the regular primary, he lacked fewer than five thousand votes 
of doubling the vote given his nearest opponent. 

Murray soon attracted nationwide attention by his insistence upon the 
sovereignty of the state; by his use of the National Guard as police; by his 
verbal blasts at Federal District Courts which he called inferior; by his abol- 


ishment of toll bridges, including those spanning Red River, and by his cam- 
paign for the presidential nomination. However, a great advance in state 
administration was made by the creation of the Oklahoma Tax Commission, 
a body which has varied in membership and personnel but nevertheless has 
become a powerful adjunct to efficient government. Murray also helped to 
stabilize the oil industry when he ordered the shutdown of 3,108 flowing 
wells for three months after crude oil had fallen in price below twenty cents 
a barrel. Through the temporary shutdown of oil wells and the proration of 
the greater producing areas the price of oil was forced upward to nearly one 
dollar a barrel. From these early steps toward proration succeeding adminis- 
trations formed oil control compacts with all other states of the mid-continent 
area. Murray, likewise, tried to help the farmers of Oklahoma, and both the 
thirteenth and fourteenth legislatures provided free seed for applicants and 
relief to the needy. However, fearing Federal encroachment of power and 
the entrenchment of bureaucratic control over social and economic problems, 
he failed to co-operate with the national administration in all its recovery 
and relief programs. 

His successor, Ernest W. Marland, who had built and lost a great fortune 
in the oil industry, was elected in 1934. Though comparatively new to poli- 
tics, he had served the previous two years in Congress as a supporter of admin- 
istration measures and took his election as a mandate for the fullest possible 
co-operation with the national administration. 

Despite his lack of dominant executive leadership, Marland persuaded 
the legislature to adopt many of the proposals suggested by organized citizen 
committees who had made studies of the problems and functions of adminis- 
tration. Planning, flood control, employment, housing, public welfare, new 
industries, and conservation boards were created; an initiative measure pro- 
viding for homestead tax exemption and another that provided for assistance 
to the needy, aged, and dependent were passed. Much work was done in soil 
conservation and flood control by the construction of farm ponds. Work on 
the $22,500,000 Grand River Dam was begun in February, 1938. Through 
Federal-state co-operation, state parks were developed by the CCC, more 
National Guard armories were constructed in Oklahoma than in the rest of 
the United States by WPA assistance, and PWA and WPA combined in the 
construction of new courthouses, schoolhouses, swimming pools, stadiums, 
and recreation centers throughout the state. Highway improvement contin- 
ued at a rapid rate. Out of earnings from oil wells drilled on the state capitol 
grounds, the state's modern million-dollar office building was erected; and 
Marland provided from his own Ponca City home much of the shrubbery 
that was used to beautify the rather arid landscape about the capitol. 


In the primary election of 1938, Leon C. Phillips, a former speaker of the 
Oklahoma House of Representatives, William S. Key, wealthy oil man and 
former state administrator of WPA, and William H. Murray, former gover- 
nor, were the leading Democratic candidates. Indications pointed to a Murray 
victory, but Phillips polled 179,139 votes to Key's 176,034, and Murray's 

In line with a recently established tradition that elections ought to be 
fun, the usual number of "name" candidates was offered for lesser offices: 
Joe E. Brown placed third in the primary contest for Secretary of State; 
Oliver Cromwell did nearly as well as candidate for Commissioner of Insur- 
ance; Mae West, an Oklahoma City switchboard operator, polled 67,607 votes 
in the race for Commissioner of Charities and Corrections; Sam Houston III 
placed fifth among nine candidates for president of the State Board of Agri- 
culture. Second in this race was a farmer. Josh Lee, who capitalized on the 
name of Oklahoma's popular junior senator and polled 127,940 votes to the 
successful incumbent's 129,580. Huey Long placed second, and Daniel Boone 
third for Clerk of Supreme Court to the incumbent Andy Payne, whose polit- 
ical ads in 1934 informed prospective voters that he was the winner of a 
California to New York footrace, C. C. Pyle's Bunion Derby! These hope- 
fuls had been encouraged by the success of an unknown schoolteacher in 
capitalizing on the name Will Rogers in winning an election for Congress- 
man-at-large in 1932 in a race against twenty-four other candidates. In the 
primary of 1938, the political Will Rogers had to face opposition from an- 
other William Rogers, as well as from Brigham Young. Others among his 
opponents have been Robert E.Lee (1934) and William CuUen Bryant (1936). 

Inaugurated in January, 1939, Governor Phillips urged a drastic reduc- 
tion in state expenditure and abandoned many of the experiments in govern- 
ment begun under his predecessor. The sixteenth legislature had appropriated 
an all-time high of $61,484,154.12 for the biennium 1937-39. This was re- 
duced by the seventeenth legislature for the period 1938-39 to $47,657,465. 
Phillips has been the first governor of the state to dominate the legislature 
through both its regular sessions. The eighteenth legislature (1941) continued 
his retrenchment program, and the voters who have since statehood seen 
more than two hundred initiative measures proposed and almost one hundred 
measures referred acted favorably on his proposals for a budget balancing 
amendment to the constitution, the establishment of a co-ordinating board 
for higher education, and an amendment pledging state co-operation with 
the Federal government in its social security program. The Governor, how- 
ever, resisted the Federal Red River Denison Dam project and resented the 
influence exercised by Federal agencies within the state. 


Generally, the state's unemployment problem has paralleled the national 
crisis. According to an estimate by the Bureau of Business Research of the 
University of Oklahoma, there was an increase from under fourteen thou- 
sand unemployed in the autumn of 1930 to more than 310,000 during 1932 
and the first five months of 1933. With the inauguration of various New 
Deal measures, the figure dropped sharply to 177,000 in 1935. In 1939, 
108,000 heads of families were registered for relief employment, with only 
a little more than one-half that number receiving it. 

The Panhandle, northwestern, and southeastern sections of the state 
have received the highest per capita relief expenditures. The first two named 
sections have shown improvement in agricultural and employment condi- 
tions, but the problem in the southeastern area has become increasingly severe. 
A tenant-landlord commission was established during the administration of 
Governor E. W. Marland, to deal with the crisis in the cotton-growing sec- 
tions; but its powers were so limited that results were negligible, and it was 
abolished early in 1939. 

Oklahoma's industry has not been materially accelerated by the National 
Defense Program, but the selection of Tulsa and Oklahoma City as sites for 
defense factories and airports, the establishment of schools of aeronautics at 
several points, and the increased activity at Fort Sill have contributed some- 
what to the betterment of business conditions. 

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Industry and Labor 

LLAHOMA is not a one-industry state, but the business of oil produc- 
tion, handling, and refining overshadows all other industries. Only 
the output of the state's 179,687 farms — crops, livestock, and live- 
stock products — comes measurably near to approaching oil in value; and 
where the farmers' income is some $160,000,000 a year, the normal yearly 
value of crude oil is about $180,000,000 — and twice that amount when turned 
into gasoline and other salable by-products. 

Potentially, however, the state is far from being dependent on oil for its 
reputation as a treasure house of natural resources. Statements which seem to 
be extravagant concerning its little-exploited minerals are nevertheless justi- 
fied by reconnaissance. Within its borders are, literally, mountains of building 
stone — granite, marble, limestone, sandstone; enormous deposits of brick 
clay, asphalt, glass sand, tripoli, volcanic ash, gravel; and, to quote an Okla- 
homa Geological Survey pamphlet, "enough limestone and clay ... to make 
Portland cement to supply the United States for ten thousand years." 

In manufacturing, only a start has been made, but it is expected that 
when — probably in 1941 — the Grand River lake is filled and ready to pro- 
duce its rated two hundred million kilowatt hours of cheap electric energy 
annually, new industries will be attracted to the region; and as other planned 
flood control and power projects are completed on the Red River and else- 
where additional impetus will be given to factory expansion. 

Already, important glass-making plants are operating at Okmulgee, 
Henryetta, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Black well, and Poteau; a subsidiary of one 
of the big nationally known steel companies and a cotton mill are at Sand 
Springs; and in the Tulsa area are a number of plants making oil-field equip- 
ment. Such regional industries as grain elevators, flour mills, alfalfa mills, 
creameries, cotton ginning and compress plants, cottonseed mills, brick and 
tile, lime and rock-wool plants, stockyards and meat packing plants are located 
at strategic points. 

Historically, industry had its birth in the Oklahoma area when the Chou- 



teaus began making salt at their trading post at Salina (see Tour 8) about 
1819. In a small way, too, lumbering had its beginning in the period during 
which the Five Civilized Tribes settled in Indian Territory, roughly from 
1829 to 1840, and building materials were required; and some coal had been 
stripped (mined after the removal of the rock overburden) from surface out- 
croppings. But, in effect, the natural resources of Oklahoma, including lumber- 
ing and mining, had hardly been touched as late as the end of the Civil War. 

Mining in Oklahoma was not commercially important until after the 
railroads came in 1872, when J. J. McAlester, founder of the city which bears 
his name, began to develop a four-foot vein of coal in the Choctaw Nation. 
In the same year, in the forests of the Ouachitas, an old millman put up a 
sawmill and produced rough "boxing-boards." The market for this lumber, 
which he called "boxum," was good, and others began to operate in the same 
field with small "groundhog" mills that could easily be moved from place to 
place. Lead and zinc mining, which had to wait for both fuel and transporta- 
tion, started in Ottawa County in 1890. With the establishment of towns there 
developed a need for cement and building stone, and the trades associated 
with these products began to develop. 

Long before the first white oil man appeared, Indians in the Kansas- 
Oklahoma area had discovered seepage oil. Drilling began in Kansas in 1881, 
and the first practical discovery was made there a year later. In 1884, prospec- 
tors extended their "wildcatting" — that is, drilling in unproved territory — 
into the region that is now Oklahoma. An oil lease was made by the Cherokee 
Nation to Edward Byrd in 1886; and three years later the first shallow well — 
thirty-six feet deep — was completed near Chelsea (see Tour 1). In 1891, 
eleven wells in this region produced thirty barrels of crude for market. 

In 1897, the Cudahy Oil Company, founded by Eugene Cudahy, of Kan- 
sas City, completed a well in what is today the city park of Bartlesville which 
is still producing. 

The Curtis Act of June 28, 1898, providing for individual instead of 
collective ownership of Indian lands, made it impossible to obtain leases until 
the membership roll of the Indian nations could be completed and the land 
allotted. Thus, although the Red Fork-Tulsa field was opened in 1901, fur- 
nishing the first important commercial production of oil in Oklahoma, there 
was no major activity until 1904, after the tribal lands had been divided. In 
that year, more than one hundred wells were drilled in the Bartlesville, AUu- 
we, Coody's Bluff, and Cleveland fields. Nearly every year since has seen the 
opening of new fields or new pools. 

In the Glenn Pool, twelve miles south of Tulsa, opened in 1905, the third 
well drilled had a daily production of two thousand barrels and attracted 


national attention to the oil resources of Oklahoma. By June, 1907, this field 
had reached a peak of 117,000 barrels a day. In 1906-10 new fields were 
opened in Okmulgee and Osage counties; and in 1912 the Gushing field was 
brought in, attaining a gross production in 1915 of 305,000 barrels a day. 
Several smaller pools were also proved during this period. 

Ruthless exploitation, unavoidable in the development of a natural re- 
source of such proportions, marked the beginnings of the oil industry in 
Oklahoma, as an early court decision suggests: 

. . . every landowner or his lessee may locate his wells wherever he pleases, regardless 
of the interest of others. He may distribute them over the whole farm, or locate them 
only on one part of it. He may crowd the adjoining farms so as to enable him to draw 
the oil and gas from them. What then can the neighbor do? ... Nothing; only go 
and do likewise. 

This was common law, for at that time no specific oil legislation had 
been enacted. No attempt was made at conservation; billions of cubic feet of 
natural gas and millions of barrels of oil were wasted, and the life of every 
important field appreciably shortened by this profligacy. 

Much waste was due to inadequate pipe-line facilities; and though trans- 
portation of oil is still a problem whenever a new and large field is opened, the 
continuous building of trunk pipe lines has largely resolved the difficulty 
(see Transportation). 

During the first eighteen years of the oil industry in Oklahoma, little use 
was made of scientific methods in prospecting. Discovery followed discovery, 
despite the crude methods of the day. No co-ordination of activities of differ- 
ent producers existed, and the advancement of the industry depended more 
upon luck and persistence than planned activity. Superstition and ignorance 
played a considerable part in the exploration for oil, and there are still old- 
timers who ridicule modern scientific methods. "Doodlebugs" — sometimes 
the tools of confidence men, but more often the brain children of well-mean- 
ing cranks — appeared in every field. 

In territory where no wells have been drilled, and in certain producing 
fields, it is still true that "the only way to find oil is to drill for it." Modern 
geological methods have, however, greatly reduced the expense of opening 
new fields. This is clearly indicated by the fact that, as early as 1926, of thirty- 
one new fields opened during the year, twenty-one, or nearly 68 per cent, were 
so located. Fear of an oil famine during and immediately after the World 
War brought in the scientific era in the oil industry. Aided by oil companies, 
the schools of Geology and Petroleum Engineering of the University of Okla- 
homa have assumed leadership in the fields of petroleum geology and engi- 


neering. The College of Petroleum Engineering of the University of Tulsa, 
likewise, attracts students from all over the nation. 

Tools first used were merely elaborations of the spring-pole machinery 
employed in drilling water wells. Underreamers, which permit the casing to 
follow the drill bit down the well, thus preventing cave-ins, were unknown; 
as were "fishing tools" for retrieving drill bits lost in the well. To a degree, it 
was up to the driller to create the tools he needed as an emergency arose; and 
drilling was a long and arduous process. 

Two types of drilling machines are used — cable tools and rotary rigs. 
Cable tools were used in drilling the first wells in Oklahoma and were so 
much more common than rotaries, for a long time, that they were called 
"standard." In cable-tool drilling, the bit is lifted and dropped, literally 
pounding a hole through the soil and rock. Cable tools are not now used to 
any great extent, though they are still preferred where there is a scarcity of 
water and where — when the depth of a producing sand or lime is unknown 
— there is danger of drilling through oil pools and into salt water. 

Most drilling is done by the rotary method. A cutting tool is attached to 
a length of pipe, and power to rotate the pipe is applied at the surface. New 
lengths of pipe are added as the well deepens. When it is necessary to change 
the cutting tool, the "string" of pipe is drawn out of the well, dismantled joint 
by joint as it is brought up, and then reassembled as it is replaced in the hole. 

Both the rotary and the cable-tool methods of drilling have their distinct 
advantages and disadvantages. With the former, the weight on the bit becomes 
greater as the hole deepens and thus drilling proceeds more rapidly as the 
work progresses. In cable-tool drilling there is no weight on the tools; the cable 
by which they are raised and dropped becomes less manageable as the hole 
deepens, and at a depth below four thousand feet it is an expert driller, indeed, 
who can give the bit the necessary motion to "make hole." There is still an- 
other side to the story, however. Since rotary rigs depend on weight for drill- 
ing efficiency, they can make little progress where extremely hard formations 
are encountered close to the surface of the earth. Generally, a small cable-tool 
machine called a "spudder" is used to start the hole for a rotary so that drilling 
can begin with several joints of pipe. In fields where formations change fre- 
quently from soft to hard, combination rotary-cable-tool drilling machines 
are used. 

Many erroneous ideas about the location of the earth's petroleum stores 
have been prevalent. Prospectuses of certain oil companies have referred to 
"lakes and rivers of oil," which have no existence outside the writer's imagina- 
tion. Oil is contained in tiny openings between grains of sand, in the pores 
and crevices of a crystalline limestone, or, as in the largest wells, in the com- 


paratively small openings of a very porous rock. It is generally agreed that 
oil has migrated to the places where it is now found. Lighter than the water 
with which the rock formations are saturated, oil and gas have a tendency 
to rise until stopped by a rock. An oil pool, then, lies under a convex stratum 
of impermeable rock known as an anticline and has the shape of an inverted 
saucer. Natural gas is always present with petroleum, separated or in solu- 
tion. The normal pattern of an oil pool is gas just below the cap rock, then 
oil, then water. 

Oklahoma's prominence in the oil industry has been due to the discovery 
of a succession of huge pools as the result of persistent "wildcatting." These 
pools were generally opened by individuals; the large corporations have 
bought in later. This is in contrast to California usage, where initial develop- 
ment has been a big-company activity. 

While the belief that a major part of Oklahoma's population has been 
made wealthy by oil has no foundation, the Indians and farmers of certain 
localities have become enriched by the discovery of petroleum on their lands. 
The Osage Indians, the richest race of people per capita in the world, have re- 
ceived as high as $1,600,000 for a single lease. In June, 1921, fourteen Osage 
leases brought $3,256,000, while at the December sale in the same year a 
group of eighteen leases sold for $6,258,000. In addition to the immense 
prices paid as bonuses for the right to drill, the Osages receive a royalty of 
one-sixth of the oil on leases producing less than one hundred barrels a day, 
and one-fifth on wells yielding more than one hundred barrels a day. The 
usual royalty payment is one-eighth of production. 

Gushers in the Seminole field broke the market for crude oil in 1927; 
and the first efforts at production control in Oklahoma were made when the 
oil operators signed voluntary agreements to limit production. The agree- 
ments were reasonably effective until 1931. In that year, however, the opening 
of the East Texas oil fields in the midst of the general financial depression 
drove the price of Oklahoma crude down from $1.57 a barrel to as low as 
ten cents, and the state, with its gross-production tax alarmingly reduced by 
the drop, assumed control. On August 5, 1931, Governor William H. Murray 
ordered 3,106 wells in twenty-seven Oklahoma fields shut down. An oil um- 
pire was appointed, and proration was enforced by the National Guard. 
Within two months, offers from the major refiners had gone as high as seventy 
cents a barrel, and on October 3 the wells were allowed to run part of their oil. 

With sharp limitations on production, there developed a widespread 
traffic in "hot oil," or oil produced in excess of a well's quota and smuggled 
to market without paying the state tax. For a time, this traffic was as difficult 
to eradicate as the bootlegging of alcoholic liquor. 

42 OKLAHOMA: the general background 

Since the drilling of the Chelsea well, more than one hundred thousand 
producing oil wells have been sunk in Oklahoma. Total production has been 
approximately three billion barrels, valued at more than four billion dollars. 
Allowable production under proration now averages about four hundred 
thousand barrels daily. In many years Oklahoma has headed the list of oil 
producing states, and in still more years — because of the high quality of the 
oil — the sum paid for Oklahoma crude has been greater than the oil revenue 
of any other state. Proration has reasonably stabilized the price, and the tre- 
mendous waste of past years has been greatly reduced; and through improved 
drilling methods and equipment, fire hazards have been cut to a minimum. 

No one can do more than estimate the extent of Oklahoma's unexplored 
oil resources. At various times it has been said that they would be exhausted 
in a few years, and under the old methods of production these estimates might 
have proved correct. However, with increasing attention to the conservation 
of this natural resource and with newly developed methods of reclaiming oil 
from old fields, the industry will continue to be a major factor in the economic 
life of Oklahoma for decades to come. 

When J. J. McAlester began mining coal in the Choctaw Nation in 1872, 
the railroads were burning wood and he had little diflficulty in selling his coal. 
Demand exceeded supply; and in 1875 the Osage Coal and Mining Company 
began large-scale developments from deeper veins, paying a small royalty to 
the national agent of the Choctaws. Individual Indian citizens protested this 
payment and won their case in the courts. A compromise resulted and royal- 
ties were thereafter divided between the tribal treasury and individual citizens. 

In 1899, when the Dawes Commission made the Choctaw-Chickasaw 
allotments, approximately five hundred thousand acres of coal land were set 
apart as communal tribal property. The area was offered for sale in 1906, but 
all bids were rejected; then the land was leased to mine operators who paid 
the Indians a royalty of eight cents per ton. 

Annual coal output increased steadily from 1880 until 1903, then slumped 
until 1910, when more than 2,500,000 tons were mined. From 1910 to 1920 
production again took an upward trend, attaining a figure of 4,848,288 tons 
in 1920, the peak year of the industry, and employing some 8,500 workers. 

Because of the thinness of the veins and the sharp tilting of the coal beds, 
the cost of mining coal in Oklahoma has always been relatively high. Follow- 
ing the serious strikes of 1910 and 1919, many mines closed and others were 
abandoned; and neighboring coal-producing states, with fewer labor disputes 
and easier mining, made serious inroads on the Oklahoma market. The World 
War boomed almost every industry, and the unhealthy condition of coal 
mining was not apparent until after 1920. Then, through the rapid develop- 


ment of the enormous oil and gas resources of the state, which provided fuel 
at only a fraction of the cost of coal, coal mining started on a decline from 
which it has only slightly recovered. The smokeless fuel ordinance of St. 
Louis, Missouri, however, and the favorable freight rates that were obtained 
for shipping eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas low volatile coal has 
stimulated production in LeFlore County. 

From the peak, coal production declined steadily to a low of 986,904 tons 
in 1933. Since then, however, output has increased, and amounted to 1,352,495 
tons in 1938. Broken Arrow (see Tour 6) and Catoosa (see Tour 1), where 
strip mining is practiced, are now (1941) the largest producers. In 1933, 
Oklahoma miners worked only 93 days; in 1939, 120 days. The working day 
was shortened from eight to seven hours in 1934. Wages rose from the low 
of $2.50 a day in 1932-33 to $4.35 a day in 1939. 

Coal reserves in Oklahoma have been estimated by the United States 
Geological Survey at nearly fifty-five billion tons, and the workable coal area 
covers approximately ten thousand square miles. The state's tremendous store 
of coal will probably be seriously depleted only when the supply of cheaper 
gas and oil products is exhausted. 

Zinc and lead mining began in Ottawa County in 1890, but Oklahoma 
lagged behind other states producing these minerals for almost twenty-five 
years. Production began to climb in 1907 with the opening of the Miami 
mines; yet in 1914, at the outbreak of the first World War, Missouri was still 
producing 90 per cent of the zinc of the Tri-State Mining District, embracing 
adjacent areas in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri, which yields more than 
half of the zinc mined in the United States. 

The tremendous rise in zinc prices occasioned by the war led to an in- 
crease in prospecting, and new deposits were uncovered in Oklahoma. The 
period which followed was like the boom era in a newly discovered oil field. 
The older and less profitable mines in Missouri were abandoned for these 
richer and more easily mined deposits. Miners swarmed into the state. By 
1920, there were hundreds of mines and mills, and a number of new towns, 
where before there had been nothing but open prairies. 

Lead is produced as a secondary product of the zinc industry. It is found 
in small pockets, as a rule, although rich pockets of the ore are occasionally 
encountered. Lead production rises and falls with zinc production, as does 
its price. 

Oklahoma's asphalt reserves, concentrated in the southern portion of the 
state, are greater than those of any other state in the Union. Asphalt has been 
mined since 1903, but the industry has attained no great importance since 


petroleum asphalt is much cheaper than the natural product and comprises 
more than 90 per cent of the output used in the state. 

Oklahoma's extensive gypsum and clay deposits have been exploited 
hardly at all. Limestone, granite, and other building stones are found in large 
quantities in central, southern, and western Oklahoma, and production has 
increased steadily under the impetus of government building projects. Today 
the state ranks eighteenth in cut-stone production. Two big plants in Okla- 
homa manufacture Portland cement; the larger with a daily capacity of six 
thousand barrels, is at Ada; the other is at Dewey. In many towns there are 
small plants for making cement products for sale locally. There also are a few 
factories for making cement pipe; the larger plants of this type are at Okla- 
homa City and Tulsa. 

Salt is no longer mined in Oklahoma, and the small amount produced 
is recovered through a process of evaporation from salt springs or salt-water 

Oklahoma produces about one-third of the total natural gasoline output 
of the United States. This industry had its beginning in 1911 and reached its 
peak year in 1928, with the production of approximately 620 million gallons 
valued at more than forty-three million dollars. Since 1936 the annual pro- 
duction has been approximately 419 million gallons, but owing to low prices 
the yearly cash return has been only about one-third of the 1928 figure. Some 
two hundred natural gasoline plants are in operation throughout the oil and 
gas fields of the state. Natural gasoline is obtained from the gas accompany- 
ing the flow of crude oil from the wells, and is separated from the gas but 
not refined. It is blended with most motor fuels and because of its lightness 
and high volatility is especially adapted to aviation needs. A by-product of 
natural gasoline plants is "liquid gas" — gas compressed in cylinders in liquid 
form; when released the liquid vaporizes, furnishing a fuel similar to natural 

The manufacture of carbon black is one of the state's newer industries, 
and there are three plants for making this product in Oklahoma. Derived 
from natural gas, carbon black is used in manufacturing rubber and as a 
pigment in making inks and paints. 

Petroleum refining is the principal manufacturing industry in Okla- 
homa, both in the number of wage earners and in the value of the finished 
products. Although there were small "skimming plants" before that time, 
the first complete refinery was built about 1907 in West Tulsa. By 1917, so 
rapidly had the industry grown, there were sixty-six refineries in the state 
with an annual output worth approximately 150 million dollars. Since 1919 
the trend has been toward fewer but larger and more complete plants; and 


today, the bulk of the state's crude oil is handled by forty refineries in ten 
cities. Some of these plants distill gasoline, kerosene, and fuel oils; some turn 
out lubricating oils; and a few manufacture a complete line of oil products — 
motor fuels and lubricating oils, paraffin wax, petroleum, coke, asphalt, 
naphtha, and others. The largest refineries in the state are at Tulsa and Ponca 
City; one plant, at Ponca City, is capable of handling more than fifty thousand 
barrels of crude daily and is said to be the largest refinery in the world. Okla- 
homa's position in the refining industry is indicated by the fact that more 
than three-fourths of the gasoline produced in the state is exported. 

Large-scale lumber production began about 1910; and ruthless exploita- 
tion of the timber belt followed. Sawmills were small at first, but by 1924, 
output of the five largest was ninety million board feet per year; and one 
hundred small mills sawed eighty million board feet. In 1925, the State For- 
estry Department was set up and with the Federal government began forest 
conservation work. Since then, more than 1,300,000 acres have been placed 
under fire protection, and 1,630,000 acres in a restocking area. Also, the 
Federal government has established the Washita National Forest of 140,000 
acres in the southeastern part of the state, and the Wichita Wildlife Refuge 
in the southwestern part. 

At peak production, about 1928, there were seventy-five sawmills operat- 
ing in the state, turning out lumber (mostly yellow pine) at the rate of 157 
million board feet a year. Narrow-gauge railroads carried the timber to the 
large stationary mills, while small, portable mills followed the loggers. A 
considerable number of "free lance" forest workers were engaged in cutting 
railway ties and fence posts. On a much reduced scale, the picture is the 
same today (1941). 

Only factories required for the preparation of raw materials for shipment, 
such as meat packing and cotton processing plants, and oil refining obtained 
an early foothold in Oklahoma; and the practice of exporting raw commodi- 
ties and importing finished products has prevailed. 

Saturation of the oil and agricultural markets gave some impetus to 
general manufacturing, as did the supply of cheap labor which was made 
available by the depression; but, generally, the manufacturing structure of 
the state today differs only in size from that of the 1920's. 


Labor organization began in 1882, when two coal miners from Illinois — 
Dill Carroll and Frank Murphy — established in the McAlester area the first 
union in Indian Territory, a local assembly of the Knights of Labor. Unioni- 
zation was slow and difficult, owing mainly to distrust by mine owners, but 


by 1894 there were four local assemblies of the Knights of Labor, with an 
aggregate membership of about fifteen hundred. Three of the locals were 
mixed assemblies, while the fourth was made up exclusively of miners. 

As a rule wages in the Oklahoma coal mines were higher than in the 
East, and employment was stable, but the advantage of regular work was 
olTset by the hazards under which the labor was performed, and the imposi- 
tions of the company-town system. Indian Territory mines were rated the 
most dangerous in the world — fatal explosions were frequent occurrences; 
often the miners worked in water up to their knees; almost all the mines 
were badly ventilated. 

Soon after union organization started, the Knights of Labor demanded 
and received a reduction in working hours and an increase in wages. But the 
real test of unionism came in 1894, when the first major strike was called. 
Early in March the mine owners, claiming they had lost some of their mar- 
kets, announced a 25 per cent wage reduction, to a scale of something less than 
two dollars a day. The miners refused to accept the cut, and one by one various 
mines were struck. 

Almost immediately the tribal government of the Choctaw Nation, 
where practically all the mines were located, entered the struggle. With the 
mines closed, the nation was losing its revenues from royalties and from the 
fees of one dollar a month (which the operators had been paying) required 
of miners for working in the Indian Territory. At the instance of Wilson N. 
Jones, principal chief of the Choctaws, D. M. Wisdom, United States Indian 
Agent for the territory, requested and received aid from Federal troops to 
deport striking miners. 

Accompanied by Indian police to point out the strikers ("intruders"), 
whose permits to remain in the nation no longer were being paid, the soldiers 
rounded up several hundred strikers and their families, loaded them into 
boxcars, and deported them to Arkansas. 

Many of the miners caught the first train back to Indian Territory; 
others (foreigners) lodged protests with the consuls of the various nations of 
which they were citizens. Within a few months practically all were back in 
the territory, and no further effort was made to deport them. On July 31, a 
settlement between the miners and the operators was reached, providing for 
a 20 per cent reduction in wages, or only 5 per cent less than the proposed 
reduction which had led to the strike, but giving the miners concessions in 
the matters of house rent, shooting powder, and fuel. 

By 1898, the Knights of Labor organization was practically nonexistent 
in Oklahoma, and a new union, the United Mine Workers of America, domi- 
nated the coal fields. Late in the winter of 1898 the UMWA began calling 


Strikes in various mine localities for better working conditions and wages, 
and within a year virtually every mine was closed or operating on a curtailed 
schedule. The strike dragged on for four years, until August 1, 1903, when 
the operators capitulated. Among other things, the miners were granted rec- 
ognition of the union, an eight-hour day, payment of wages twice a month, 
and most important of all, perhaps, to the union the checkoff (deduction of 
union dues from the miners' wages by employers). 

Carpenters, painters, plasterers, and hod carriers began active organiza- 
tion during the late 1890's, as did the typographical workers and the building 
trades workers. By 1903 almost every trade carried on in Oklahoma was rep- 
resented by a union. Among the largest of these were the Railroad Brother- 

The first successful attempt to unite all labor unions in the two territories 
into a coherent working body came in 1903, when J. Harvey Lynch, a plas- 
terer from Lawton, issued a call for a convention which resulted in the for- 
mation of the Twin-Territorial Federation of Labor. Known as the Oklahoma 
State Federation of Labor since 1906, it was organized — largely by the coal 
miners — at Lawton on March 28, 1903, and received its charter from the 
American Federation of Labor on February 15, 1904. It claimed to represent 
approximately twelve thousand organized workers in the two territories. 

In 1906, with statehood imminent, there was need for concerted action 
on the part of labor, and a convention of the Twin-Territorial Federation 
opened at Shawnee on August 20. At the same time the federation was in 
session, two other organizations — the State Farmers Union (see Agricul- 
ture) and the Railroad Brotherhoods — were holding their conventions in the 
city. Representatives from each convention were selected to form a joint board 
of ten members which met at Shawnee on September 10 and prepared for 
submission to the constitutional convention a comprehensive list of twenty- 
four labor measures which were placed before every candidate for delegate 
to the convention. So vigorously did labor press its proposals that 75 per cent 
of the elected delegates approved the program in its entirety, while an addi- 
tional 15 per cent approved a portion of it. 

In 1907 the State Federation established a legislative committee which 
was credited with securing the creation of the Department of Charities and 
Corrections; the establishment of eight hours as a maximum working day 
on public works; the child labor law, prohibiting the employment of children 
under sixteen in any occupation injurious to health or morals, or especially 
hazardous to life or limb; factory and boiler inspection laws; laws prohibiting 
employers from bringing strikebreakers into the state by using false state- 
ments as to conditions of employment, and requirement of employers to state 

48 OKLAHOMA: the general background 

in advertisements where there is a strike in progress; prohibition of black- 
listing of employees; and the Workmen's Compensation Law. An outstand- 
ing achievement is the so-called Labor's Bill of Rights, forestalling any attempt 
to declare a union illegal. 

The Federation's legislative committee also fought the passage of acts 
such as the Industrial Court Bill, the Conspiracy Bill, the Anti-picketing Bill 
and the proposal to extend the working day on public works. 

From 1907 to 1911, inclusive, the number of unions in the state increased 
from 303 to 415, with a total membership of twenty-five thousand. But the 
same period saw the decline of the once powerful Farmers' Union — largely 
because of a court ruling which admitted outsiders to the farmer co-opera- 
tives — and increasing unrest in the agrarian population. 

In the latter part of 1914 a militant secret organization known as the 
Working Class Union sprang up in Arkansas and spread into Oklahoma. It 
advocated principally the abolition of rent, interest, and profit-taking; and 
government ownership of public utilities — and proposed revolution as the 
means to the end. In the spring of 1917 the union had about thirty-four 
thousand members, most of them in eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas; and 
with the coming of the Draft Act, the violence which the organization had 
so often preached was put into practice. Telephone wires were cut, pipe lines 
destroyed, water mains and sewers dynamited. Several "armies" were organ- 
ized and sent into the field, subsisting on barbecued beeves and wagonloads 
of roasting ears. This "Green Corn Rebellion," staged by some two thousand 
farmers, including Negroes and Seminole Indians, collapsed early in August, 
when 450 "rebels" were arrested by citizen-police. Strikes were outlawed 
either by agreement or statute during the first World W^ar, but in the years 
immediately following, they broke out in almost every industry and were, 
almost without exception, lost by the strikers. Controversies in which the 
largest number of workers were involved were the packing-house strike at 
Oklahoma City, which lasted from December, 1921, to February, 1922; and 
the Railway Shopmen's strike, from July, 1922, to June, 1923. 

In the early post-war years, the Farmer Labor Reconstruction League 
attained its greatest influence, drawing its membership from the Farmers' 
Union — which had been revived by a law favorable to farm co-operatives in 
1917 — the Railroad Brotherhoods, and the State Federation of Labor. Union 
of the farmers and industrial workers in political action was its purpose; and 
the League named candidates for entry into the 1922 Democratic primary 
and began a vigorous campaign for their election. Buttressed by a $3.50 mem- 
bership fee from an estimated forty thousand members and with a sizable 
contribution from the Railroad Brotherhoods, the organization sent out 


speakers and distributed literature. As a result, its candidate for governor, 
Jack Walton (see History), received a plurality of approximately thirty-five 
thousand votes over his nearest opponent. Walton went into office on a land- 
slide, and other League-endorsed candidates also were victorious. Walton's 
impeachment and removal from office meant the downfall of the Farmer 
Labor Reconstruction League. 

The program of labor organization in Oklahoma during the next decade 
approximated the national curve, losing ground during the middle and late 
twenties and picking up sharply after 1930. The most important mass move- 
ment during the depression years was the Unemployed (Unemployment) 
Councils, which attained a membership in the state of approximately thirty 
thousand. After the arrest of their leaders in 1934, the Councils largely dis- 
integrated, and most of their membership was taken over by the Workers 
Alliance and the Veterans of Industry of America, which had much the 
same aims but exercised better control over their adherents. 

The CIO appeared in Oklahoma in 1937, when on June 1 of that year 
a charter was given to the Oklahoma-Arkansas Industrial Council. David 
Fowler became president of the Council, then composed of 7,500 coal miners, 
8,000 oil field and refinery workers, 2,000 glass workers, 3,000 metal miners 
and smelter workers, and 200 journeyman tailors. For a time several thousand 
members of the Oklahoma branch of the Southern Tenant Farmer's Union 
were included in the CIO organization as an affiliate of the United Cannery, 
Agricultural Packing, and Allied Workers. In March, 1939, they were sus- 
pended in a controversy involving distribution of dues payments, and in April 
they returned to the fold as a semiautonomous body. Backed by the CIO, a 
strike in the big Tulsa refinery of the Mid-Continent Oil Company was 
called late in 1938 by the Oil Workers' International Union and came to an 
indecisive end more than a year later. The issue was, nominally, hours and 
pay and seniority, but in reality it was a test of strength in the oil industry 
by the CIO. 

As to the actual relative strength of the A. F. of L. and CIO locals within 
the state, no estimate can be made. Two of the largest CIO bodies — the can- 
nery workers and the oil-field workers — have a highly transient membership, 
subject to severe fluctuations. Many of the A. F. of L. locals are affiliated 
directly with their nationals, and not with the Oklahoma federation. 

Union organization has progressed rapidly in Oklahoma, but has to 
reckon with the essentially individualistic psychology of a state that is close 
in time to its pioneer period. 

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FROM travois to airplane, the story of transportation in Oklahoma follows 
the pattern worked out by experience for the settlement of the plains 
region. In its earliest stages, transport was of necessity adapted to pass- 
age over broken, hilly stretches; through difficult, desolate areas like the 
Cross Timbers; and across prairie flats that became almost bottomless bogs 
in the rainy seasons of spring and late fall. 

Burden-bearing dogs, used by the Indians before the Spaniards brought 
horses into their country, were succeeded by pack horses. Then some experi- 
mental tribesmen thought to increase the horse's capacity beyond what it was 
able to carry on its back by attaching two poles to the packsaddle, allowing 
the butt-ends to drag along the ground. Between the poles, a carrier — usually 
a crude, strong basket — was fixed, in which could be placed anything from 
a supply of corn to a tired child or a grandmother too feeble to ride on the 
horse's back. French explorers saw the device and dubbed it a travois. 

The earliest trappers and traders among the Osages and more western 
tribes used saddle and pack horses as well. The first trail breakers across 
Oklahoma moving westward from the neighborhood of Fort Smith, Arkan- 
sas, found that wagons drawn by oxen and small-hoofed mules were less 
satisfactory than pack trains. 

Pioneers of Oklahoma, the Indians for whom the region was set aside 
— the Five Civilized Tribes removed from the North Carolina, Tennessee, 
Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi lands, beginning about 1832 — first came 
into their new homes by Arkansas River steamboats; and many of these 
shallow-draft vessels (which, legend says, could navigate a western stream 
after a heavy dew!) steamed as far as Fort Gibson, on the Grand River, and 
as far as the original western Creek Agency on the Verdigris. Later, the same 
type of paddlewheel boat plied the Red River. 

River transportation however, proved to be impracticable because of 
frequent stages of low water; moreover, it was inadequate to handle the 
thousands of exiled Indians who, with many of their belongings, were being 



driven to the Indian Territory. Wagon trains took their place, each capable 
of supplying the needs of a thousand or more emigrants; and they broke 
new roads into Oklahoma. During the next seventy-five years, the area 
that was finally incorporated into the state was criss-crossed and rutted by 
high-wheeled wagons that changed in character from the ponderous prairie 
schooner to a much lighter type of farm and general utility wagon. 

In the course of the Civil War, the Indian nations that lived in the 
eastern third of Oklahoma were overrun at different times by Union, then 
by Confederate, forces. The difficulties met in transporting soldiers and 
necessary supplies brought forcibly to the attention of the Federal govern- 
ment the need for railroads. After the war, Congress undertook to stimulate 
the building of railroads across the Indian Territory by authorizing land 
grants — which were later invalidated — along the right of way, to the first 
north-south, and the first east-west, road to reach the border. The winner 
from the north was the Missouri, Kansas and Texas line (the Katy). Its 
tracks touched Indian Territory soil at the Kansas line on June 6, 1870, and 
its first southbound passenger train crossed the bridge over Red River into 
Texas on Christmas Day, 1872. 

In the summer of 1871, the Atlantic and Pacific, which became the 
St. Louis and San Francisco (Frisco), built to Vinita (see Tour 1), a station 
on the Katy, thus winning the east-west franchise. By the summer of 1882 
it was in operation to Tulsa; and by 1886 it had bridged the Arkansas River 
and established its western terminal at Sapulpa (see Tour 1). 

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe began grading its Ime south from 
Wichita, Kansas, in 1886, the ultimate destination being Galveston, Texas. 
Trains were running across what became Oklahoma Territory two years 
before the first opening to white settlement — that of unassigned Indian lands 
in April, 1889. 

The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific built down from Kansas to the 
border of the Chickasaw Nation in 1890, and in the same year the Choctaw 
Coal and Railway Company completed a line to link the Rock Island with 
the Santa Fe at the newly established settlement of Oklahoma City. 

Later railroad development consisted largely of local projects — spurs 
and connecting lines — meant to serve definite industrial needs; and when 
these proved their economic worth they were taken over by the main-line 
systems — the Frisco, Katy, Santa Fe, and Rock Island. 

The opening to the whites of the Indians' unoccupied western holdings, 
and the influx of homesteaders to vacant land overnight, necessitated much 
rapid railroad construction. In 1907, at the beginning of statehood, Oklahoma 


contained a third of all the railroad mileage built in the United States since 
the turn of the century. 

Meanwhile, in the Indian Territory portion of Oklahoma, the exploita- 
tion of coal resources centering at McAlcster, the enormous expansion of oil 
production, and the multiplication of lumber mills brought much new busi- 
ness (see Industry and Labor) and stimulated the laying of branch railway 

Oil transportation could be handled by railway tank cars while pro- 
duction was limited to wells in the shallow fields making only a few barrels a 
day each, but when the gusher fields — Glenn Pool (end of 1905) and Gush- 
ing (end of 1912) — came in, pipe lines to connect the wells with refineries 
(some as far away as the Atlantic seaboard, and others at Gulf of Mexico 
ports) became an urgent need. Until they were sufficiendy extended to 
handle the load, enormous stores of crude oil were kept in great, round, 
mushroom-like tanks, each holding fifty thousand or more barrels, grouped 
— sometimes fifty and more together — on vast "tank farms." 

The first local pipe lines, from wells to storage, were laid down in 1905, 
the year the Glenn Pool gusher field was opened; but the one available line 
reached only the limited storage and refinery facilities at Bartlesville, some 
seventy miles away. In the following year, however, there was pipe-line 
transportation from Kansas to the Gulf of Mexico. By 1909, construction 
had so extended that facilities equaled demand. With the opening of the 
Gushing and Healdton pools, around 1912, however, pipe lines and railroads 
were both swamped. Since then, more than twenty-five thousand miles of 
trunk and branch lines have grid-patterned the state. A much later extension 
has been the pipe lines for conducting Oklahoma natural gas from the wells 
to markets as far away as Chicago. The state's pipe-line investment was $400,- 
000,000 in 1940. 

As general carriers, of course, the railroads with nineteen steam, and 
six electric, lines in operation (1941) are most important. Trucks and busses, 
however, have claimed more and more of both short-haul and long-haul traf- 
fic as the main highways were hard surfaced and gasoline motors became 
more powerful and dependable. Operating out of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, 
two motor truck express fleets, first put into service to speed up newspaper 
delivery, undertook to cover the small towns and extensive country areas 
surrounding these cities as quickly and completely as the United States mail. 
Fifty-seven passenger and express bus lines operate on Oklahoma highways 
and more than sixty thousand trucks are in use. 

Oklahoma is perhaps as air minded as any state in the Union. Develop- 
ment of airplanes and the state's great oil fields were contemporaneous, and 


some of the first practicable planes were flown by oil company executives. 
The number of private planes has increased with the lowering of their cost, 
and the increase of airf>orts and landing fields, which now (1941) number 
fifty-three. An Oklahoma City-owned line, organized in 1928, maintains 
service between Chicago and Brownsville, Texas, with stops at Oklahoma 
City and Ponca City. One transcontinental line stops at Tulsa and Oklahoma 
City, and a Minneapolis-to-Tulsa line has its southern terminus at Tulsa. 
Increased activity in this field is resulting from the greatly enlarged govern- 
ment pilot training program in the state. 

Transportation in Oklahoma is regulated by the Corporation Commis- 
sion, which issues licenses to carriers, controls operation, and regulates fares 
and charges on intrastate business. 

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PKHDOMiNANTLY agricultural, with nearly thirty-five million acres of its 
total area of some forty-four million acres in farms, Oklahoma pro- 
duces almost every crop grown in the United States. Its various soils 
— alluvial, sandy loam, black waxy, granitic, prairie limestone, clay hardpan 
— are adapted generally to such staples as cotton, wheat, corn, oats, and hay; 
and in selected regions valuable crops of potatoes, alfalfa, sorghum, cane, 
broomcorn, peanuts, and pecans help to swell the annual value of farm crops 
and livestock to approximately $160,000,000. 

Wheat has replaced cotton as Oklahoma's principal crop, having risen 
from a 1930 production of some 51,000,000 bushels to more than 58,000,000 
in 1940. In the same period, the acreage in cotton was reduced two-thirds, 
and the output fell from 1,130,415 to 520,591 bales, though the yield per acre 
went up slightly. Diversified farming, by contrast, has shown a large and 
steady increase. Evidence of this is the mounting value of such items as forage 
crops, dairy products, and alfalfa seed. The state ranks first (1941) in pro- 
duction of alfalfa seed. 

Oklahoma has suffered, along with most of the farming areas of the 
Middle West, from abnormally low prices for its products, while the value 
of farm land has correspondingly declined. From an average valuation, as 
census figures showed, of $11.33 an acre in 1890, Oklahoma farm land rose 
to $51.97 in 1920, declining again to a 1940 value of $23.88. In the decade 
1930-40, the total value of the state's farms decreased almost a third, while 
the number of farms shrank 11.9 per cent from 203,866 to 179,687; average 
acreage per farm, however, rose 14.5 per cent from 165 to 193 acres. 

In this period of readjustment, the long-time trend toward increase of 
farm tenancy in Oklahoma was reversed. The 1940 census showed 81,866 
farms operated by owners, part owners, and managers against 78,537 in 
1930, an increase of slightly over 4 per cent; the decrease in nonowner opera- 
tors in the 1930-40 decade was nearly 30 per cent, the total number of tenants 
falling off from 125,329 to 97,821, and of croppers from 21,055 to 4,954. 



Stabilization of farm crop values; the work of county agents; and govern- 
mental assistance, national and state, in various types of farm, pasture, water, 
and woods conservation — all are combining to lighten the picture. Such 
widespread efforts toward improvement as are made by the Future Farmers 
of America and the 4-H clubs are especially effective. 

Like nearly everything else in Oklahoma, agriculture's beginning traces 
back to the Indians. The first scratching of its soil is credited to those semi- 
nomadic aboriginal tribes who grew limited supplies of corn, beans, melons, 
and tobacco. 

With the arrival of the Five Civilized Tribes from the region between 
the Cumberland and the Gulf and North Carolina and the Mississippi River, 
in the period 1829^0, agriculture really began. These Indians brought with 
them a thorough knowledge of farming and some farming tools, and of 
necessity undertook with vigor to subdue the new land to the plow and the 

They settled at first in the forested, spring-fed highlands of the eastern 
section, where fish and game were to be had, gradually moving farther west 
to wide belts of prairie between the streams. On their selected farms they 
prospered; certain of the mixed bloods who had brought their slaves estab- 
lished plantations and ranches in the valleys of the Arkansas, Canadian, and 
Red rivers, where they built sturdy homes with spreading verandas and lived 
in patriarchal plenty. Such plantations produced the food and clothing needed 
for its dependents; and surpluses of corn, cotton, and cattle were shipped 
down the Arkansas and Red rivers to distant markets. FuUblood Indians 
built their cabins along the streams; planted fruit trees, gardens, and small 
patches of corn; raised a little cotton, from which the women made their 
clothing; and let their hogs, cattle, and ponies run on the open range. For a 
time, the Creeks, more conservative than their neighbors, used the town 
system of agriculture they had practiced in Alabama, all the men of a settle- 
ment working together to till a communal farm. Eventually they, too, 
adopted individual farming methods, and each family established its cabin 
in the midst of its own fields. 

Driven from their farms during the Civil War, with the return of peace 
the Indians replanted their orchards, reclaimed their weed-grown fields, and 
accumulated new herds of catde. Freed slaves setded in the neighborhood 
of the old plantations and farmed in a careless fashion; and former plantation 
owners carried on by leasing their land to white men who by this time were 
drifting into the country. Most of the full bloods remained in the eastern hills, 
but the Creeks and Seminoles moved westward to the rough, blackjack- 
covered sandstone hills. When other Indians were given reservations west 


of the Five Civilized Tribes, some of them also settled in this region, but most 
went to the prairies in the western half of the Territory, to become stock- 
raisers rather than farmers. 

In this period the Indian Territory, with or without the consent of its 
owners, became a cattle country. Even in the Five Civilized Tribes area the 
Indian population's agricultural needs were so limited that only a small part 
of the arable land was cultivated. Good grass covered the timbered hills; in 
the valleys rank bluestem grew as high as the head of a man on horseback; 
and the Indians fenced their little fields against ranging herds. 

West of the Five Civilized Tribes region, the prairies remained un- 
broken by the plow. At their eastern margin grew the rank bluestem, while 
their rising levels to the west were covered with the short, dense buffalo 
grass. Great herds of longhorns were brought in each spring from Texas, 
fattened on the range during the summer, and in the fall driven for ship- 
ment to the railheads of Kansas. 

The range catde industry began to decline in the late eighties, when the 
surplus lands of the western tribes were opened to white settlement. In the 
course of these dramatic openings (see History), each homesteader took 160 
acres, on a creek if possible, where wood and water could be obtained, and 
where the most productive "bottom land" lay. His second choice was a level 
prairie tract, easy to cultivate. Many quarter sections of rugged land, entirely 
unsuited to agriculture, were taken by less fortunate homesteaders; and in 
the struggle to make a living from such quarter sections, soil that should 
have remained in grass was soon worn out. 

Usually, the new farmer's first job was to plow a number of furrows 
around his quarter section as protection against destructive prairie fires. 
Often this fireguard was planted to peach trees or, if peach seeds were lack- 
ing, to watermelons. The next task was breaking the prairie and planting 
such crops as he had grown before coming to this new country. 

Meanwhile the Five Civilized Tribes area was coming predominantly 
under the white man's plow. In the Indian region, white farmers, either in- 
truders or lessees, came in increasing numbers to settle on tribal land. When 
the Dawes Commission allotted it, each Indian received from forty to 320 
acres of average land. In most cases, the combined holdings of his family 
formed a larger agricultural unit than he, with his simple farming methods, 
could cultivate; and while allotments were protected for a varying number 
of years against alienation, leasing to white farmers was permitted. 

At statehood, virtually all of Oklahoma's arable land was under cultiva- 
tion — the western half, still in 160-acre tracts, was held by the original home- 


steaders or their successors, except for the small amount comprised in Indian 
allotments; the eastern half was owned by Indian allotees. 

Since that time tenant farming increased steadily, until the last few 
years, though it was not by any means uniform throughout the state. It has 
ranged in percentage from 35.1 per cent in the Panhandle county of Beaver, 
a grain and livestock region, to 78.3 per cent in Mcintosh County, where 
staple crops are corn, potatoes, peanuts, and cotton. Taking the state as a 
whole, the percentage of tenant farmers increased in the ten years from 1925 
to 1935 from 58.6 to 61.2, and the number of tenants from 125,329 to 130,661. 
In the five years from 1935 to 1940 the reduction in farm tenancy has been 
over 25 per cent. 

Farm tenancy in the western part of the state is explained largely by the 
failure of homesteaders to survive hard years with only 160 acres as a grain- 
growing unit. In the eastern half of Oklahoma, most of the allotted land 
passed out of the hands of Indian owners as soon as it ceased to be restricted. 
Bought by land speculators, it was rented to white farmers who seldom be- 
came owners. 

Roughly, the period of land cultivation in Oklahoma dates from 1890. 
In the brief time since, in the western part of the state particularly, there have 
been serious losses from soil erosion. Climate, the thin, light character of the 
soil, the topography of the region, and the exigencies of "quarter section" 
farming have all combined to hasten the destructive process. 

A problem since early territorial days, erosion has been studied inten- 
sively at Oklahoma's Agricultural and Mechanical College, and at other 
farm schools. Paul B. Sears (see Literature), while a teacher at the University 
of Oklahoma, brought it into national prominence with his book. Deserts on 
the March (1935). At first, efforts by public agencies to check erosion were 
almost wholly educational, all the practical work being undertaken by the 
farmers at their own expense. But in 1933 the Federal government began 
demonstrating methods of erosion control, co-operating with the farmers in 
supervising actual work on the land. Almost one-half of the land area of the 
state is now (1941) organized into fifty-six soil conservancy districts. 

Varied soil, contrasting topography, and the difference in average annual 
rainfall — twenty inches in the northwest to more than forty in the south- 
east — have made possible great diversity in agricultural methods and prod- 
ucts. On the level prairies of the northwest central portion, wheat does well 
and is grown usually in big, tractor-farmed holdings. Farther west and north- 
west, including the more arid Panhandle area, broomcorn and sorghum crops 
are surer; the southwestern prairies are planted to cotton, with sorghum 
providing an alternative crop in the drier sections. A broad belt stretching 


north and south across the central portion of the state, a region of more 
abundant rainfall, is occupied with diversified farming, producing a good 
yield of almost every product grown in other sections. The arable land of the 
east is planted largely to corn and oats, with an increasing acreage of potatoes 
and garden products for canning; fruit and pecan orchards flourish in the 
rich valleys. 

The tendency to develop special regional crops in especially suitable soil 
is illustrated by the growing of potatoes in the Muskogee region, peanuts 
near Bristow and Okmulgee, and alfalfa in the Washita River valley, center- 
ing at Pauls Valley. 

The size of Oklahoma's farms is gradually changing from the uniform- 
ity of an Indian allotment or a homesteader's quarter section. With increasing 
use of expensive power machinery — tractors and combines — in the wheat- 
growing sections, and the restricted production per acre of the semiarid re- 
gion, farms have grown larger in the western part of the state, while the east- 
ern farm, with more intensive cultivation, has decreased in size. The appear- 
ance of farm buildings differs widely in different sections — there is the little 
mountain cabin surrounded by its Indian peach, and other fruit trees; the 
prosperous farmstead in the central region with big barns and silos; the clean, 
bare aloofness of the wheat-farmer's dwelling; and the unpainted shack stand- 
ing alone with its windmill on the arid plains. But to visitors, especially from 
the north, Oklahoma farms regardless of location seem poor in buildings. 
This is due mainly to a climate so mild that shelter for livestock is not re- 

Though cotton production has declined to second place in importance, 
the average annual value of the crop in Oklahoma over the last fifteen years 
has been in excess of $70,000,000. Corn follows cotton in importance, with a 
1940 crop of more than twenty-five million bushels and an average annual 
production of some forty million bushels over a ten-year span. The state 
ranked first in broomcorn from 1930 to 1940, except in 1936, supplying 
approximately half of the national total; it is second in yield of pecan nuts 
(1940); it is third (1940) in acreage and harvest of sorghum crops; and in 
dairy products Oklahoma stands twelfth in 1941. 

As to livestock, 1940 statistics show an increase over 1930 of nearly 25 
per cent in cattle, nearly 15 per cent in swine, and almost 250 per cent in 
sheep and lambs. With bigger farm units and greater use of tractors, the 
count of horses and mules fell from 811,669 in 1930 to 491,669 in 1940. The 
state's chicken census went down from 11,470,000 in 1930 to 9,047.000 in 

While the big-ranch cattle business has almost ceased to exist in Okla- 


homa, improved strains of livestock on the farms, and livestock products, the 
development of which is stressed in the training of Future Farmers and 4-H 
Club youth, account for more than 48 per cent of the income received directly 
from the state's 179,687 farms. 

Farming in Oklahoma is becoming increasingly scientific; leadership in 
this movement is held by the state Agricultural and Mechanical College and 
the Agricultural Experiment Station at Stillwater; this work is supported 
jointly by state and Federal appropriations. Here young men are trained in 
agricultural methods, and young women in homemaking. They graduate 
into farm homes, vocational teaching, or the extension service of the college, 
work which was inaugurated in 1904 and has continued to grow in extent 
and importance. County farm agents and home demonstration agents directed 
by this branch of the college reach the agricultural population of all sections. 

The Colored Agricultural and Normal University at Langston (see Tour 
2A) trains young Negroes in scientific farming and homemaking, and a num- 
ber of its graduates are working as field agents among their people, under 
the supervision of the Extension Service at Stillwater. These agents, both col- 
ored and white, give individual assistance to farmers and their families, but 
most of their work is carried on through voluntary local associations of farm 

The most effective Oklahoma farm-aid groups are: the Master Farmers 
of America and Home Demonstration Clubs, for adults; the Future Farm- 
ers of America, for boys studying vocational agriculture in high school; and 
the 4-H Clubs, for boys and girls participating in agricultural and homemak- 
ing activities. Oklahoma Future Farmers and 4-H Clubs for boys and girls 
have won recognition in national, even in international, competitions. The 
state produced its first 4-H Club world champion in 1924, the boy of most 
outstanding achievements; repeated in 1925 with a girls' world champion; 
and has continued to win more national and international honors than any 
other five states combined. Some 275,000 farm boys and girls have received 
training through this organization. Incidentally, the winner of the first world 
championship and the next year's winner married and established a home at 
Stillwater. Oklahoma's Future Farmers of America have also won high hon- 
ors in national contests. In 1926, at the first national meeting of the students 
of vocational agriculture, Oklahoma boys took first place in stock judging 
over competing teams from twenty-two states; they repeated this victory the 
next year over a still larger number of contestants; and since that time they 
have won nearly a dozen major national titles in this field. 

Fred Groff, whose farm is near Guthrie, deserves the title of Oklahoma 
Burbank for his work in plant breeding. According to the American Society 


for the Advancement of Agriculture, eleven of the one hundred important 
recent developments in horticulture have been credited to him. Among his 
achievements are a freeze-proof lemon tree, giant cucumbers and peas, and 
an evergreen pea. 

Besides the farm clubs sponsored by the extension department of the 
State Agricultural and Mechanical College, Oklahoma farmers have devel- 
oped, on their own initiative, a number of co-operative marketing associa- 
tions. The first were formed by white farmers in the Indian Territory as a 
part of a widespread agrarian movement that was sweeping the agricultural 
states in the eighties; farmers' alliances and agricultural wheels were formed 
in many communities; one newspaper, the Alliance Courier, was founded 
at Ardmore in the Chickasaw Nation, in 1888; and a number of coopera- 
tive stores, cotton gins, and gristmills were established in railroad towns. 
When Oklahoma was thrown open to white settlement, similar organiza- 
tions sprang up there. The Farmers' Union was established in Oklahoma 
Territory shortly before 1900 and began to operate stores, gins, grain eleva- 
tors, and warehouses. The first year after statehood this society had a mem- 
bership of 8,120, which had increased to 20,703 by 1939. At the present time 
the Oklahoma Grain Growers Association, the Oklahoma Cotton Growers 
Association, and the Farmers' Co-operative Grain Dealers Association are 
active and have important marketing achievements to their credit. The Cot- 
ton Growers Association has handled as much as 30 per cent of the state's 
production, and the importance of co-operative marketing in the wheat sec- 
tions is dramatically shown by the many farmer-owned grain elevators that 
tower above the little towns in the northwest. Another society, known as the 
Oklahoma Crop Improvement Association, attempts through close co-opera- 
tion with the state Agricultural and Mechanical College to produce and certify 
superior seed and sell it at an attractively low price. 

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Sports and Recreation 

IN THE HUNDREDS o£ pubUc and private recreational parks and playgrounds, 
along the stocked streams, and in the woods-and-pasture areas of Okla- 
homa, all outdoor enthusiasts — sports lovers, vacationists, bird hunters, 
fishermen. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Camp Fire Girls — will find a wide 
choice of activities. 

Game and fish are most plentiful in the eastern section, although quail 
are found nearly everywhere. Almost every town has its swimming pool, 
natural or artificial, its municipal or private-club tennis courts and golf 
course; bicycles can be rented; and bowling alleys are numerous. High class 
hotels generally provide golf facilities for their guests. Football and basket- 
ball are popular in the schools — high schools, junior colleges, and universi- 
ties; baseball, however, has almost ceased to be a school sport and is largely 
confined to the town sandlotters. Oklahoma City and Tulsa are on wresding 
wheels and boxing circuits, and Tulsa has an ice hockey league team which 
plays in the beautiful, modern Coliseum. Over the waters of Grand Lake, 
Lake Murray, Spavinaw, Tulsa's Mohawk Lake and Oklahoma City's Lake 
Overholser, motor boat racers bounce and sail boats spread their wings. 

Recreational facilities for Negroes are provided by the state, the counties, 
towns, school authorities, and semipublic and private agencies in the regions 
where the Negro population is greatest. A 1940 survey of thirty-three counties 
showed ninety-six such areas for their exclusive use. 

More than a century ago, Washington Irving described that portion of 
present Oklahoma covered in his Tour on the Frames (roughly, a great oval, 
the ends at Fort Gibson and Norman) as "hill and dale, brush and brake, 
tangled thicket and open prairie." Litde remains in that primitive state, but 
twelve million acres are still well forested, and four mountainous areas in 
the east and south have been opened to the motorist by the building of ade- 
quate roads. Despite the fact that the pioneers and the Indians used dynamite, 
poisonous herbs, seines, and spears for taking fish, the streams and lakes are 
well stocked, and there is no closed season for fishermen. The mountain 



Streams supply sport for the fly caster, and such rivers as the Grand, Kiamichi, 
Black Fork, Potcau, and Litde give up catfish weighing as much as fifty 
pounds to the bamboo pole angler. All fishing waters are being continuously 
restocked from state and Federal hatcheries. 

In 1935, the last open season on deer, between two and three thousand 
were reported. Short open seasons are fixed by state regulations. In all 
forested areas, and along the wooded streams of the state, squirrels are plenti- 
ful. The best quail shooting is in the northeast corner of the state, and in the 
Panhandle (see Tour 2), where blue (or Mexican) quail and prairie chicken 
— especially in Ellis County — are fairly plentiful. In other prairie sections 
wild chickens have all but disappeared — killed out by market hunters and 
farmers — but they have been strictly protected in late years, and it is hoped 
that they will again become a common state game bird. 

Duck hunting is good along Red River and fair on the many lakes and 
ponds throughout the state. One may not kill a fox in Oklahoma, but it is 
permissible to organize hunts; the chase is popular in Atoka County and in 
the Kiamichi valley. 

As a wildlife conservation project, the Oklahoma Game and Fish Com- 
mission in 1938 began quail restocking and has established 199 refuges, total- 
ing 99,118 acres, on which some seven thousand quail from the state farm at 
El Reno (see Tour 1) were liberated by 1940. Three hundred more of these 
refuges, of about one section (640 acres) each, will be checkerboarded over 
all suitable areas of the state, and twenty thousand more birds placed thereon 
to breed and spread to surrounding farms and pastures. 

Roughly, four scenic regions attract the sportsman and vacationist — 
the Ozark slope in the northeastern part of the state; the Ouachita National 
Forest, embracing most of the mountainous Kiamichi country in the south- 
east; the Arbuckle mountains in the south central region; and the Wichita 
Mountains Wildlife Refuge in the southwest. 

Within Oklahoma's borders, 25,724 acres of recreational parks have been 
developed; and in addition, there are about five thousand acres of state- 
controlled and municipal lakes. By far the largest body of water open to 
public use and enjoyment is Grand Lake, a $22,750,000 Federal flood control 
and power project on Grand River seventeen miles southeast of Vinita (see 
Tour 1), which covers an area of fifty-four thousand acres, and has a shore 
line of thirteen hundred miles. The dam was finished in the summer of 1940, 
and by the end of 1941 the lake was full. Though its development as a recrea- 
tion center has only begun, the possibilities are almost unlimited for yachting, 
motor boating, aquaplaning, bathing, fishing, and camping. 

Other large completed Federal lake projects are on the Salt Fork, in 


Alfalfa County, east of Cherokee (see Tour 2), and northwest of Woodward 
on Wolf Creek (see Tour 5). 

Construction of the dam to impound the Red River flood control and 
power reservoir, about twelve miles southwest of Durant (see Tour 6), is 
under way; and when this Federal job is completed an interstate body of 
water several times larger than Grand Lake will be available to the water- 
sports lovers of Oklahoma and Texas. 

Lake Murray State Park, almost touching the city of Ardmore (see Tour 
10) on the southeast, is designed to be the most complete recreational plant 
in Oklahoma when its seventeen thousand acres are developed and the lake, 
which will cover 6,100 acres, is filled. At the end of 1940, the dam had been 
finished, and more than 2,500 acres covered with water. 

Boiling Springs State Park, six miles east of Woodward (see Tour 5), is 
notable as the only native tree growth within 120 miles. In this semiarid tract 
of nine hundred acres, a number of large springs supply a four-acre swim- 
ming pool. It has a bathhouse with modern facilities for three hundred 
bathers. Beavers Bend State Park, in McCurtain County nine miles north of 
Broken Bow (see Tour 15 A), is in a very rough and picturesque setting; and 
through its sixteen hundred acres runs Mountain Fork River, offering some 
of the best fishing in the state. 

Lake Altus, at Lugert (see Tour 13), has twelve miles of shore line, and 
lakes at Okmulgee (see Tour 3) and McAlester (see Tour 5) each have 
twenty-four miles; Lake Lawtonka (see Tour 3B) covers 1,408 acres; Spavi- 
naw Lake (see Tour 15), the source of Tulsa's water supply, is seven miles 
long and at places two miles wide. Lake Carl Blackwell, west of Stillwater, is 
one of the latest (1941) recreation spots to be developed. Recreational facilities 
and tourist accommodations are available at all these lakes. 

Trails for hiking have been built in some of the state parks. Especially 
good are those in Piatt National Park (see Tour 10 A), the Wichita Mountains 
Wildlife Refuge (see Tour 3B), and in the Arbuckle Mountains near Turner 
Falls (see Tour 10). 

Oklahoma's parks and lakes, generally, are at their best during the spring, 
summer, and early fall months; but because of its abundant mineral springs 
Piatt National Park, near the town suggestively named Sulphur, is a popular 
all-season resort. 

The cosmopolitan character of Oklahoma is indicated by its sports — the 
former Terrapin Derby, for example. It originated in 1928 at the 101 Ranch 
(see Tour 10) as a community joke and proved popular; by 1935 there were 
7,100 entries and $3,000 went to the owner of the winning terrapin. Rodeos, 
usually held in the fall, draw visitors to a number of towns where the cattle 


business either still flourishes, under fence, or is a fairly recent memory. Some 
important rodeos are staged at Ada, Dewey, Woodward (see Tour 5), Cov- 
ington (see Tour 2), Craterville Park (see Tour 3), Gene Autry (formerly 
Berwyn), and Vinita (see Tour 1 ). This last is one of the several memorials 
to the memory of Oklahoma's beloved humorist Will Rogers. Unique is the 
experiment of holding a rodeo within the grounds of the state penitentiary 
at McAlester to bolster the morale of the inmates. 

The state is noted for its high school and college football teams. The 
University of Oklahoma's 1938 team, a member of the "Big Six" conference 
— Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State — 
played Tennessee at the Miami Orange Bowl in an intersectional after-season 
game. A. and M. at Stillwater has been a member of the Missouri Valley 
conference since 1924 and is the strongest state rival of the University in 
athletics. The former's wresding teams have been among the best in the 
United States in recent years. Professional football clubs have recruited a 
number of Oklahoma college graduate football players. 

The national amateur tennis champion of 1940, Don McNeill, is a prod- 
uct of Oklahoma City's courts. In golf, the low handicap players of the state 
rank with the best. 

Polo is not a popular sport, though there are twelve teams in Oklahoma, 
of which five are at Fort Sill. The University of Oklahoma polo team stands 
high among the college teams. Basketball, everywhere a popular fall and 
winter sport among the schools, colleges, and Y's, has taken such firm hold 
on the people at El Reno — adults and youth alike — that the city is known as 
the basketball capital of the state. Tulsa's ice hockey team, called the Ice 
Oilers, is a member of the American Hockey Association. 

A surprising development in sport in a state so near in time to the rugged 
pioneer era is softball. Not only in the cities, where teams are maintained that 
rate high nationally, but in practically every small town and consolidated 
country school there are at least two teams of boys, young men, and girls; and 
formal and informal intersectional league contests draw summer crowds to 
parks that can be lighted for night games. Softball has all but superseded 
baseball, though such colleges as the University of Oklahoma and A. and M. 
develop teams from which professional baseball clubs frequently draw re- 
cruits. At Oklahoma City and Tulsa, baseball teams of the Texas League play 
a regular summer schedule of 154 games. 

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LIKE OTHER PHASES of Oklahoma's story, that of education reaches much 
farther back than statehood or even the coming of the white pioneer. 
d It originated with the Five CiviHzed Tribes in their homes east of the 
Mississippi. The impact of white civilization, pressure from Washington for 
repeated cessions of tribal lands for homesteaders, the hard necessity of deal- 
ing with those who were crowding them into narrower and narrower limits 
— all these experiences convinced the tribal leaders that only by acquiring the 
white man's education could they cope with him in the struggle for survival. 

The Cherokees took the lead in 1800 when they invited Moravian mis- 
sionaries to their country. In 1817 the American Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions founded a school near Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the 
great Samuel Austin Worcester entered upon a work that was to engage the 
efforts of this remarkable family for three generations. 

But the greatest incentive to Cherokee education came from the inven- 
tion of the Cherokee syllabary (see Literature) by the half-blood Sequoyah, 
who had gone to the West with an advance Removal contingent in 1818. In 
1821 he returned to the East and submitted his alphabet to the chiefs and 
headmen of his tribe, and the next year he carried a written message from 
their kinsmen to the Cherokees on the western frontier. From that time until 
the removal of the eastern Cherokees in 1838-39 the two sections of the severed 
nation were able to carry on a written correspondence. In 1832 the western 
Cherokees passed the first school law enacted in the present state of Okla- 
homa; they provided for the opening of five schools and employed Sequoyah 
to supervise the teaching of his syllabary to the whole colony. The formal 
schools established by the missionaries, and later by the Cherokee Nation, car- 
ried on their instruction in English, but as long as the Cherokees maintained 
their tribal existence it was common for parents to teach their children to 
read and write the native characters before undertaking their regular edu- 

Soon after the missionaries of the American Board began to work among 



the Cherokccs, the Choctaws invited them to their country; Cyrus Kingsbury 
was accordingly sent from the Cherokee Mission and estabhshed a school 
among the Choctaws in Mississippi in 1818. Even at this early period the 
Choctaws contributed to the support of their schools by donations of cattle 
and money, and a general council of the nation appropriated lor education 
the annuities which they received from the United States for land cessions. 
By 1830 — the year the main body of Choctaws consented to leave their native 
forests and remove to the present state of Oklahoma — they had eleven schools 
with an attendance of 260 children who were learning English; 250 adults 
had been taught to read the native language; and eighty-nine boys, who were 
to become the future leaders of the tribe, were enrolled in a boarding school 
established by Richard Mentor Johnson in Kentucky. 

The Creeks had more strongly marked native traits than the Choctaws 
and Cherokees; hence they were more reluctant to admit their need for educa- 
tion. But with the continued pressure of the frontier upon their homes and 
the increasing demands for land cessions, they learned to depend upon Chero- 
kees to defend them from the white man's tricks of literacy; and they began 
to feel the need of mastering his useful arts. In 1822 they reluctantly consented 
to the establishment of two schools in their country, by Methodist and Baptist 
missionaries. By this time they subscribed in theory to the Cherokee-Choctaw 
principle that only through education could they hope for the survival of 
their race. Even so, they were more advanced than the Seminoles and the 
Chickasaws, who did not yet feel the need of the white man's skills. 

The Indians' educational progress was interrupted by the sufferings of 
Removal and the hardships of pioneering in the West, but some of their de- 
voted missionaries shared their exile and opened schools in the new land. The 
American Board had established Union Mission, west of the Grand River in 
northeast Oklahoma, for the Osages in 1821; and when the Creeks and 
Cherokees began to arrive in that vicinity a number of their more promising 
young people were enrolled there. Missionaries working in the Creek country 
reduced the native language to writing, and an illustrated child's primer was 
printed at Union in 1835 — a date significant to present-day Oklahomans, 
who honored it in a state-wide centennial celebration. The Creeks, however, 
were so resentful at their expulsion from their homes that the next year they 
closed their borders against missionaries and all educational efforts. Mean- 
while several schools were opened among the Cherokees and Choctaws, two 
of which — Dwight, in the Cherokee hills, and Whcelock, near Red River — 
are still (1941) in existence. 

After the Removal, the tribes began to develop comprehensive school 
systems. In 1841, the Cherokees adopted a plan of general education under 


the supervision of a tribal superintendent, and nine years later established 
two seminaries — one for young men and one for young women — which 
were the first public, nonsectarian schools for higher education in the West. 
The Choctaws' tribal legislature, in 1842, authorized general education under 
a system of native language schools for adults; neighborhood, or day schools; 
boarding schools for more advanced instruction conducted by missionaries 
but supported by the tribe; and college training for selected young men and 
women who were sent to eastern states. 

The Creeks soon lifted their ban on missionary effort and entered into 
contracts with the Presbyterian and Methodist churches for the establishment 
of boarding schools, under an arrangement similar to that of the Choctaws. 
The greatest of these schools was TuUahassee, on the Arkansas, a few miles 
northwest of present Muskogee. Robert M. Loughridge, a young Princeton 
graduate from Alabama, and W. S. Robertson, who married a daughter of 
Worcester, gave devoted service to this school; Loughridge and Mrs. Robert- 
son published readers, tracts, and portions of the Bible in the native language 
for the use of their Creek-speaking converts. In 1856 the tribal legislature 
passed a comprehensive school law. A superintendent was appointed for each 
of the two districts comprising the Creek Nation, and rural schools — in many 
cases taught by TuUahassee graduates — were opened in the different neigh- 

The Chickasaws, although an able people, were slower to respond to 
educational influences, probably because in their eastern home they had not 
been so seriously crowded by whites. But in 1848 they decided upon the estab- 
lishment of two boarding schools. The Chickasaw Academy, for boys, was 
accordingly constructed with tribal funds and operated by the Methodists; 
and Wapanucka Institute, for girls, was built by the tribe and conducted by 
the Presbyterians. The Chickasaws also established six neighborhood schools, 
most of which were taught by educated Indians. The unfortunate Seminoles 
were so distracted by war and the sufferings of their forced removal that for 
several years they were indifferent to education. A few schools were opened 
in their country by missionaries after 1849. 

Every school in the Indian country was shut down at the outbreak of the 
Civil War. The Cherokees made some attempt to provide educational train- 
ing for their children in the refugee camps on the Red River, but this seems 
to have been the sole educational effort during the whole period of the war. 
As soon as the Indians returned to their devastated country and began to 
rebuild their ruined homes, each tribe took active steps to place its schools on 
a permanent basis. The Chickasaws and Seminoles, who had previously 
lagged behind the other tribes, now established complete school systems. Some 


of the tribes had compulsory attendance laws. The Chickasaws even compen- 
sated the parents under a law passed in 1876, providing an allowance of eight 
dollars a month for the board of every child attending the neighborhood 
schools, and fifteen dollars a month to defray the expenses of those parents 
who preferred to send their children to school in the surrounding states. The 
tribes that adopted their freedmen also established separate neighborhood 
and boarding schools for Negro children. 

By the end of the century, the Cherokees, Choctaws, and Chickasaws 
had a higher proportion of educated people than had the neighboring states. 
Probably half of the Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes were able to speak 
and read English, and literacy in the native languages was general. All the 
tribes regarded their schools as their highest creative achievement and freely 
appropriated money for their support. In the course of their forced land ces- 
sions, each tribe had accumulated a considerable capital investment for which 
it received interest. This income was supplemented by taxes on goods intro- 
duced by white traders, permit fees paid for the employment of noncitizen 
laborers, grazing taxes paid by cattlemen, and royalties paid for the use of 
coal, timber, and other natural resources. 

When the Plains Indians accepted reservations in what is now western 
Oklahoma, the government established agencies among them and attempted 
to conduct schools; and courageous missionaries, mainly Quakers and Men- 
nonites, tried to induce the untamed savages to engage in manual labor and 
submit to the discipline of the three R's. But the proud owners of the prairies 
were contemptuous alike of the white man's painfully acquired learning and 
his grubbmg economic techniques. It was only when their spirit was broken 
by military defeats and the loss of the buffalo herds that they turned in des- 
peration to this untried way of life. Even then they would not listen to the 
white man, but over and over in intertribal councils they appealed to the 
civilized Indians for help and guidance, and from them they accepted the 
oft-reiterated advice to till the soil and educate their children. Gradually their 
schools filled up. They even consented to send a few of their young people to 
the nonreservation boarding schools maintained by the government at Car- 
lisle, in Pennsylvania; Haskell at Lawrence, Kansas; and Chilocco, in north- 
ern Indian Territory. 

At the same time, schools were being established for the Indians removed 
from other states to the land ceded by the Five Civilized Tribes at the close of 
the Civil War. Some of these immigrants already had imposing educational 
achievements, and they went bravely to work amid the hardships of pioneer- 
ing to establish schools in their new homes. Others, broken and beaten by the 
aggressions that had driven them into exile, were too impoverished to take 


the initiative, but they responded to the efforts of the government and the 
missionaries. Some, like the Osages, were indifferent; and some, especially 
the Kickapoos, were so resentful over their forced removal that they rejected 
all overtures from the race that had exploited them. But these immigrants 
also came under the influence of the Five Civilized Tribes and began con- 
scientiously to follow their example. Thus, through a combination of tribal 
initiative, government paternalism, and missionary devotion, schools were 
eventually established on all these reservations, and children from these tribes 
also began to accept training at Carlisle, Haskell, and Chilocco. The most 
successful missionary effort was carried on by the Quakers among the Shaw- 
nees, and the Roman Catholics among the Potawatomis and Osages. 

When these tribes began to accept allotments under the Dawes Act, and 
their surplus land was thrown open to the white man (see History), a few 
of their children began to attend the public schools established in the area 
formerly constituting their reservations. Some of the government and mis- 
sionary schools continued to function, but the general education of the Indians 
came under the supervision of the Territory of Oklahoma. 

The white settlers in the new Territory of Oklahoma had a serious edu- 
cational problem of their own, but they undertook it with characteristic energy 
and determination. The homeseekers who arrived on that first day in April, 
1889, were too busy breaking prairie, building towns, and providing shelter 
for their families to think immediately of education; but the following fall, 
although they were entirely without organized government or public funds, 
they opened a few schools by private subscription. Their boys and girls, accus- 
tomed to living in dugouts, thought nothing of riding their ponies many miles 
over the prairie to a sod schoolhouse where they sat on boxes or homemade 
benches and studied from assorted textbooks brought from distant states. 

The next spring the Organic Act was passed. The first territorial legis- 
lature, which met under its provisions the following fall, made courageous 
provision for education. The country was divided into districts, embracing 
four square miles (sixteen homesteads), for the organization of rural schools, 
and an elective superintendent in each county was entrusted with the duty of 
supervision; towns of more than 2,500 population were authorized to organize 
as independent districts; and three territorial colleges were established. Provi- 
sion was also made for uniform textbooks and the training and certification 
of teachers; and the office of territorial superintendent of public instruction 
was created. 

The pioneers encountered almost insuperable difficulties in maintaining 
the public schools established under this act. By the provisions of the Home- 
stead Law, each settler was allowed five years to live on his "claim" before 


"proving up" and receiving a deed. This meant that very little of the land was 
on the tax rolls, and so great was the poverty of the pioneers that the amount 
of personal property subject to taxation was almost negligible. School terms 
lasted three months or less, the buildings were roughly constructed shacks, 
and most of the teachers had only grade school education. Ihe purchase of 
textbooks called for real sacrifice on the part of the parents; a school reader or 
a slate and pencil was an acceptable Christmas present for a child. But the 
settlers valued their meager educational opportunities; present-day Oklaho- 
mans who spent their formative years under these hard conditions are seldom 
well educated, but very few are entirely illiterate. 

The colleges authorized by the first legislature were established after 
much trading of votes between the ambitious little towns that had sprung up 
so recently. A territorial university was located at Norman on the wind-swept 
prairie bordering the South Canadian; an Agricultural and Mechanical Col- 
lege was situated at Stillwater on the hillside overlooking Stillwater Creek; 
and a Normal school for the training of teachers was built in the tangle of 
blackjacks and sand that surrounded the town of Edmond (sec Tour 1). 
The last two schools opened their sessions in churches in the fall of 1891 
with enrollments of forty-five and twenty-three respectively. The university 
opened a year later, and the first building was ready for occupancy in Sep- 
tember, 1893. Most of the instruction at these struggling litde colleges was of 
high-school rank, but their faculties felt a deep sense of responsibility for the 
future and they labored to create a literate leadership for the new Territory. 

The legislature had provided that the voters of each county should decide 
about the establishment of separate schools for Negro children. Some irregu- 
lar provision was made for them, but their educational opportunities were 
even more meager than those of the whites. The first institution for the higher 
training of Negroes was the Colored Agricultural and Normal University, 
created by an act of the territorial legislature in 1897. It was located at Langs- 
ton (see Tour 2/1), an all-Negro town that had been laid out on a tract of 
high rolling prairie east of Guthrie the year after the Run. 

As the area of Oklahoma was increased by subsequent openings, the 
new settlements were placed under the same school law and school adminis- 
tration. In each was the same difficult beginning, with nontaxable land, pov- 
erty, and inadequate instruction; hence for a few years these sections lagged 
behind "Old Oklahoma" in educational development. In an attempt to 
equalize this disadvantage, the territorial legislature established several col- 
leges in the newer areas — a normal school at Alva, in the Cherokee Strip; 
and another at Weatherford, in the Cheyenne and Arapaho country. 

While this provision was being made for the children of Oklahoma, 


thousands of white people who were living as legal residents or intruders 
in the Five Civilized Tribes area were entirely without educational privi- 
leges. The Federal government therefore undertook to create a uniform 
school system for the Indian Territory. Under a law passed by Congress in 
1898, the Secretary of the Interior assumed the management of the tribal 
finances and took over the administration of the Indians' schools. The board- 
ing schools, now under the control of Federal officials, were still maintained 
for Indian children; but the rural schools were opened to white children 
upon the payment of tuition, first by their parents, and later by a Congres- 
sional appropriation. During the same period, as the townsites were platted 
and sold, the newly organized municipal governments began to establish city 
school systems supported by a local property tax. 

When the "Twin Territories" were united to form the state of Okla- 
homa in 1907, the rural schools of the Five Civilized Tribes became a part 
of the state school system; and in order to compensate the state for the non- 
taxable Indian land, the Federal government paid tuition to these public 
schools for the attendance of Indian children. The state endeavored to equal- 
ize the opportunities for higher education throughout its extended juris- 
diction by establishing a number of colleges on the "East Side"; the most 
important of these were the normal schools at Tahlequah (see Tour 3), Ada 
(see Tour 14), and Durant (see Tour 6), and the Oklahoma College for 
Women at Chickasha (see Tour 3). 

Most of the great historic schools established by the Five Civilized Tribes 
eventually passed out of existence. In most cases the land was sold, and the 
buildings were torn down. The commodious Female Seminary building 
erected at Tahlequah by the Cherokees was purchased by the state of Okla- 
homa for the normal school established there; it still dominates the campus 
of the Northeastern State College, an object of peculiar interest to visitors 
and of pride to the Cherokees. 

Six of the schools formerly conducted by the Five Civilized Tribes are 
still in operation as Indian boarding schools, but the United States now bears 
the cost of maintenance. Six other boarding schools are maintained by the 
government for Oklahoma Indians, and others are conducted by religious 
organizations. Most of these were established for the western tribes, and they 
have been helpful in assisting the Plains Indians to learn the hard lessons of 
civilization. The graduates of these schools sometimes return to the Indian 
neighborhoods, but more often they are merged in the general citizenship 
of the state. Most Oklahoma Indian children, like their white playmates, 
attend the regular schools in their communities; in 1940 out of a total of 
19,971 young people from six to eighteen years old of one-fourth or more 


Indian blood, 15,028 were enrolled in the public schools. The Federal gov- 
ernment pays the local district a small tuition fee for the attendance of each 

Except for Indian education, the school system of Oklahoma resembles 
that of other states. Consolidation of districts and transportation of children 
by bus is becoming more and more common, and high-school courses are 
generally available throughout the state. The most important development, 
after 1925, was the creation of junior colleges in a number of towns and 
cities as a part of the public school system; enrollment in these in the school 
year 1939-40 was 1,772. 

Total enrollment in Oklahoma public schools, kindergarten to twelfth 
grade inclusive, was (1939-40) 611,818, a decrease of 17,210 from the pre- 
vious year due to the declining birth rate and emigration from the more 
arid sections. 

The University of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Agricultural and Me- 
chanical College, both of which offer courses extending through the doc- 
torate, are at the top of the educational system. There are, in addition, 
eighteen state colleges, of which six give normal training; and twenty-eight 
municipal junior colleges. 

An amendment to the constitution was adopted in 1941 providing for 
a board to co-ordinate the work of all state-supported colleges. It is expected 
that it will eliminate much duplication and further reduce the dispropor- 
tionate emphasis on normal instruction which was pointed out in the 1935 
Brookings Institution's survey of education in Oklahoma. 

The Colored Agricultural and Normal University, at Langston, con- 
tinues its leadership in the higher education and training of Negroes. Sepa- 
rate schools have been compulsory since statehood; enrollment in 501 Negro 
schools in the year 1939-40 was 47,579, 

WPA contributions to education in Oklahoma have included adult train- 
ing; correspondence study; projects for instruction in music, museum service, 
recreation, library service, and art; and the provision of school lunches. 
These have been made available to both whites and Negroes. From 1935 
to the middle of 1940, the WPA has provided 598 new school buildings for 
whites and twenty-three for Negroes, and has added to, or renovated, 1,925 
buildings for whites and eighty-two for Negroes. 

As yet (1941), school libraries in Oklahoma are in the formative stage. 
The minimum requirements for a small high school, for example, are an 
approved encyclopedia, a dictionary, thirty books for each English course, 
ten for each history course, and ten each for courses in science, industrial 
arts, home economics, languages, agriculture, and problems in American 


democracy. For elementary grade schools the requirement is merely "suit- 
able reference books, supplementary readers, and children's books." 

Oklahoma's public schools are supported by taxation, except for a con- 
siderable endowment furnished by the Federal government: When the 
western half of the state was opened for settlement, certain sections in each 
township were exempt from homestead entry and set aside for the support 
of education, and when the Indian Territory was joined with Oklahoma, 
the United States made a cash grant of $5,000,000 in lieu of such school 
lands in that part of the state. 

Because of the initiative taken by the state in creating public institutions 
of higher education, denominational and privately supported colleges have 
never been as important in Oklahoma as in other states. Such colleges do 
exist, however, the most important ones being the University of Tulsa, estab- 
lished by the Presbyterians, but now supported by endowment; Oklahoma 
City University, controlled by the Methodist Church; Phillips University, 
maintained by the Disciples of Christ at Enid; Oklahoma Baptist University 
and St. Gregory's Catholic (junior) College, both at Shawnee; the Catholic 
College of Oklahoma, for women, at Guthrie {see Tour 10); and Bethany 
Peniel College, maintained by the Nazarene Church at Bethany (see Tour 
1). Bacone College, near Muskogee (see Tour 8), is maintained by the Bap- 
tist Church for the education of Indian youths, the only institution of its 
kind in the United States. 

_«j.() j< ■ ^% - ^ ^ j? - ^ fl y - *» (!»; ^ ^ ()»; ^ ,^ jjl)/»2 ^ jjl)^ 


NEWSPAPER PUBLICATION in Oklahoma stemmed from a tribal enter- 
prise of the Cherokee Nation, before the removal from Georgia 
and Tennessee, when the Cherohjse Phoenix was founded (1828) to 
stimulate opposition to encroachments of whites on Indian lands. 

This first paper was made possible by the invention by Sequoyah of 
the Cherokee syllabary and the help of the devoted missionary, Samuel Aus- 
tin Worcester. In 1827 the tribal council made an appropriation for the estab- 
lishment of a printing press; and Elias Boudinot, a young Cherokee educated 
at the Moravian mission in the Cherokee country and the Foreign Mission 
School at Cornwall, Connecticut, was placed in charge of the printing office 
which was set up in a log building at New Echota, Georgia, the Cherokee 
capital, and appointed editor of the tribal newspaper. 

This official publication, called Tsa-la-ge Tsi-le-hi-sa-ni-hi, or the Chero- 
kee Phoenix, first appeared on February 21, 1828. It was a weekly, containing 
columns in both English and Cherokee, and attracted international attention. 
Incomplete files are preserved in the British Museum, the Library of Con- 
gress, and the Oklahoma State Historical Society. After about six years, the 
printing plant was seized by the authorities of Georgia in the campaign to 
force the Indians out of the state. The Cherokees were driven to the West 
in 1838-39, and almost as soon as they had established themselves in their 
new home they revived their tribal newspaper. 

Their new periodical, the bilingual Chero\ee Advocate, was established 
under tribal law, enacted October 25, 1843, to disseminate useful knowledge 
among the Cherokee people, and "send abroad correct information of their 
condition, and of passing events generally among the different Indian tribes." 
An editor, elected for a four-year term by the National Council, was directed 
to "support and defend the National Rights of the Cherokees, and those 
recognized in all acknowledged treaties with the United States, and such 
measures as will in his opinion conduce to their best interests, in a moral 
and civil point of view." 



William P. Ross, an able mixed-blood Cherokee and a graduate of 
Princeton, was the first editor. A translator from English into Cherokee 
and two printers were also employed. 

The first issue appeared on September 26, 1844, at Tahlequah (see Tour 
3). Except for gaps due to the Civil War, a disastrous fire that destroyed 
the plant, and the exigencies of tribal finances, publication was continuous 
until the dissolution of the Cherokee government in 1906. When the Chero- 
kees surrendered their tribal autonomy, their printing establishment was 
sold. Some of the Cherokee type was deposited with the Smithsonian Insti- 
tution; the rest passed into private hands and has been lost. 

The influence of the Cherokee Advocate extended to educated Indians 
throughout the Territory and it was probably this influence that convinced 
the Creek leaders of the need for an intertribal newspaper to defend the 
cause of all Indians against hostile propaganda. 

In 1875 the Creek delegates presented this plan at the last meeting of 
the Intertribal Council at Okmulgee and argued earnestly for its adoption. 
When the other delegates failed to approve, the Creeks then undertook to 
carry it on as a tribal project. A franchise was issued to a corporation, the 
International Printing Company, composed of the chiefs of the Five Tribes. 
William P. Ross was employed as editor, and Dr. Myron P. Roberts, a white 
man from the north, was in charge of publication. 

The first number of the paper, the Indian Journal, appeared at Musko- 
gee in May, 1876. Columns in both English and Creek were printed for a 
time, but the latter section eventually lapsed through lack of popular demand. 
Under Ross's direction, the paper undertook the active defense of all Indians 
in the United States and exposed the personal and interested motives of their 
opponents; but it never exerted a strong influence upon the conservative 
elements of the Creek population. It was subsidized for a time by the tribal 
government; then it passed into private hands and gradually lost its Indian 
character. It is now published at Eufaula and is the oldest surviving news- 
paper in Oklahoma. 

In 1883, the Choctaw Council made an appropriation for a tribal news- 
paper, the Indian Champion, and employed Roberts' two sons, who had 
become the proprietors of the Indian Journal, as editor and publisher. Allen 
Wright, a brilliant and educated Choctaw who had served as chief, was 
placed in charge of the native language section. The publication began at 
Atoka in February, 1884, and continued for a little more than a year. 

The denominational press reinforced the efforts of Indian leaders to 
create an informed public opinion. After Worcester helped to launch the 
Chero\ee Advocate, missionaries ceased to have any connection with the 


tribal newspaper and confined their efforts to religious periodicals. Though 
most of them were short-lived, they made a vital contribution to Indian 
Territory journalism. 

The first issue of the Cherol^cc Messenger, published at the Baptist Mis- 
sion, appeared in August, 1844, antedating the Cherokee Advocate about 
a month; hence it holds the distinction of being the first periodical published 
in the present state. The Indian Missionary, a monthly also published by the 
Baptists, was one of the most important of its successors. Similar in char- 
acter, Our Brother in Red, a Methodist publication with Cherokee and 
Creek sections, began publication at Muskogee in 1882 as a monthly journal 
and changed to a weekly in 1887. At one time it reported a circulation of 

Other periodicals were issued from time to time by the faculties and 
students of the boarding schools, most of which were under missionary aus- 
pices. Our Monthly, published at TuUahassee from 1873 to about 1876 by 
the Robertson family and their Creek assistants and supported by the Creek 
Council, was distributed free. In one sense, therefore, it was a tribal news 
bulletin and a forerunner of the Indian Journal. 

The publications of the Cherokee seminaries show a student participa- 
tion as lively as that of any modern college periodical. At Park Hill, cul- 
tural center of the Cherokees, students of the Female Seminary began in 
1854 to publish a magazine known as Chero\ee Rose Buds. Here, in the 
sentimental language affected by "females" in that far-off time, one may 
catch glimpses of genuine girlish idealism, innocent gaiety, and a devoted 
patriotism. These lines are characteristic: 

Like roses bright we hope to grow, 
And o'er our home such beauty throw 
In future years — that all may sec 
Loveliest of lands, — the Cherokee. 

Another young writer, under the caption, "View from our Seminary," 
describes Park Hill as "peeping from among the trees. . . . Instead of the 
rudely constructed wigwams of our forefathers . . . elegant white dwelhngs 
are seen. Everything around denotes taste, refinement, and progress of civi- 
lization among our people." At the Male Seminary was issued a small weekly 
newspaper, the Sequoyah Memorial. Its motto was "Truth, Justice, Freedom 
of Speech and Cherokee Improvement," and it printed both seminary and 
outside news. One of the editors was Joel B. Mayes, who afterwards served 
the nation as principal chief. 

The development of the religious and public press was paralleled by 
private newspaper enterprise. At least four such papers appeared before the 


Civil War — the Choctaw Telegraph, founded in 1848 at Doaksville; the 
Choctaw Intelligencer, started in 1850 by a white man and a native preacher; 
the Chickasaw Intelligencer, issued in the Chickasaw Nation; and the Chick- 
asaw and Choctaw Herald, published during 1858 and 1859 at Tishomingo, 
the Chickasaw capital. 

All were short-lived. The few extant copies present an interesting pic- 
ture of everyday happenings among the whites and mixed bloods of that 
period. Their advertisements show the business that was carried on in the 
vicinity of the trading posts; one merchant, for example, was willing to sell 
for "CASH, Hides, Pecans, Corn, Dressed Skins or Buffalo Robes," and 
several offered "Choctaw and Chickasaw Stripes" among their important 
dry goods items. 

The Civil War halted newspaper development, but in the period follow- 
ing new impetus was given to publication by increasing white immigration. 
Most of the papers were "Booster Sheets," hostile to the Indian regime and 
clamoring for the opening of the country to white settlement; it is certain 
that at least one of them was operated by a man in the pay of the railroads. 
These foreign publications usually deemed it expedient to carry articles in 
the local Indian language. 

After 1880, newspapers multiplied rapidly as the country filled with 
white settlers. During the late eighties and early nineties several periodicals 
were established upon a stable and permanent basis. The Musl^ogee Phoenix, 
founded in 1888 by Dr. Leo E. Bennett, an able young white man who had 
married a Creek citizen, became a semi weekly in 1895, and a daily in 1901. 
While friendly to the Indians and their institutions, it recorded news events 
from the white man's point of view. From the first it set a high editorial 
standard, and it is still (1941) one of the influential newspapers of the state. 
The Indian Citizen, successor to the Atol^a Independent, was established in 
1889. Owned and edited by James S. Standley, an able mixed-blood Choc- 
taw, his daughter. Norma, and his white son-in-law, Butler S. Smiser, it was 
the most completely Indian in its news content and editorial policy of any 
paper ever published in the Indian Territory. 

Two similar newspapers were published in the Cherokee Nation. The 
Indian Chieftain, started at Vinita in 1882, was edited at different times by 
the Cherokees Robert L. Owen — one of the first United States senators from 
Oklahoma — William P. Ross and John L. Adair. Devoted at first to Chero- 
kee news and political issues, it passed into the control of white men in 1891 
and became an exponent of the white man's point of view. The Indian 
Arrow was founded at Fort Gibson in 1888 by a Cherokee stock company, 
with William P. Ross as editor; in 1894 it was consolidated with the Tahle- 


qitah Telephone, a paper launched in 1887 and published irregularly by a 
succession of white and Cherokee editors. 

The Tahlequah Telephone attempted a daily in 1889, but the first real 
daily in the Territory, the Daily C hie j tain, was launched at Ardmore in 1892, 
and the Ardmoreite was started the next year. Both these papers recorded 
the growth of the Chickasaw country as a rapidly developing white frontier. 
The Ardmoreite, owned and managed by Sidney Suggs, soon became one 
of the leading newspapers of the Indian Territory and is still (1941) one of 
the state's influential journals. The first daily paper in Muskogee, published 
in 1896, was the Morning Times. It also was a white man's newspaper, 
but it was edited for a time by the gifted mixed-blood Creek writer, Alex 
Posey. It was merged with another periodical, the Mus\ogee Democrat, and 
under the name Times-Democrat it continues — as a contemporary of the 
Muskpgee Phoenix — to serve the readers of a large section of Oklahoma. 

Against this background of newspaper activity, the Indian Territory 
Press Association came into being at Muskogee, March 19, 1888, and in the 
early 1900's it became merged with a similar society representing the news- 
papers of Oklahoma Territory. 

Three periodicals were launched in the Indian reservations that com- 
prised Oklahoma Territory before the coming of the white man. The first 
was probably the Indian Herald, published during 1875-78 at Pawhuska, 
the seat of the Osage Agency. Edited by William McKay Dugan, the Agency 
physician, it reflected the Quaker influence that at that time dominated the 
administration of Indian affairs. It gave a sympathetic account of daily hap- 
penings among the Osages, their painful agricultural progress, their last 
buffalo hunting expedition to the West, the development of mission and 
agency schools in their country, and the doings of their chiefs and leaders. 

At Darlington, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, the Cheyenne 
Transporter first appeared on December 5, 1879, and was continued until 
1886. Started as the voice of missionary enterprise to inform eastern philan- 
thropists of the progress made in civilizing the Plains tribes, it soon passed 
into private hands, but it continued to support the educational work carried 
on by the government and the religious societies. Supporting the Indians and 
the cattlemen in opposing the opening of the country to white settlement, it 
printed caustic articles about the Boomers. 

The Boomers had a newspaper of their own, the Of(lahoma War Chief 
or the 0/{lahoma Chief, official organ of David L. Payne, Boomer leader, 
and it was published precariously from 1883 to 1886 at various places along 
the Kansas border. For a short time in 1884 — June 14 to August 7 — it was 
printed on the forbidden land within the present limits of Oklahoma, on 


the Chikaskia River twenty-five miles northwest of Ponca City. Here several 
hundred Boomers had established a settlement of tents and rough plank 
houses, which they named Rock Falls. On the door of the shack used as the 
printing office was defiantly tacked a government warning that any person 
attempting to publish a newspaper in the "Cherokee Strip" would be guilty 
of trespass and subject to fine and imprisonment. 

Payne managed to secure printers willing to take the risk, and the 
papers sold as fast as printed at ten cents a copy, until soldiers arrested Payne 
and the other leaders, set fire to the printing office, and escorted the Boomers 
to the Kansas line. 

An entirely different type of publication was developing at the same 
time among the settlers in the far western section known as "No Man's 
Land." The first paper in this region, the Beaver City Pioneer, began its brief 
career June 19, 1886, with the slogan, "Westward the Star of Empire Takes 
its Way." The next year a second publication, the Territorial Advocate, was 
started at Beaver City, and a third, the Benton County Banner, was launched 
at Benton in 1888. The fourth paper, the Hardesty Times — soon changed 
to the Hardesty Herald — began publication in October, 1890, in a sod house 
that served as the combination home and office of the editor. 

After "No Man's Land" was joined to the Territory of Oklahoma in 
1890 as Beaver County, newspapers multiplied. Among the able editors of 
these papers were Richard Briggs (Dick) Quinn and Maude O. Thomas. 
Quinn, the editor of the Hardesty Herald, nursed the ambitious little settle- 
ment of Hardesty from its beginning as a station on a cattle trail, through 
railroad booms and townsite exploitation, and saw it become a ghost town. 
Quinn then assisted in organizing the company which established the town- 
site of Guymon at a switch on the railroad nineteen miles to the northwest, 
and the Hardesty Herald became the Guymon Herald. Maude Thomas came 
to "No Man's Land" in early childhood, grew up at Beaver City, and became 
the editor and publisher of the Beaver Herald in 1902. When the Beaver 
County Editorial Association was organized at Guymon in 1905, Quinn was 
elected president, and Miss Thomas secretary and treasurer. H. H. Hubbart 
took over the paper in 1928, at which time it became the Herald Democrat. 

The Guthrie Getup was probably the pioneer newspaper actually pub- 
lished in the new Oklahoma Territory. Its first number appeared a week 
after the Run of April 22, 1889. Its salutatory, typical of pioneer Oklahoma, 
began, "The Guthrie Getup prances into the promised land at the head of 
the procession. . . . Praise God all ye good people, and let these prairies 
resound to the measured strokes of our job press. Ah, there is the rub, if you 
do not give us job work we will have to go back to our wife's folks. This 


would place US in a h of a fix, as vvc arc not married. Our last statement 

is especially directed to single ladies who hold corner lots. . . ." 

This paper ran only a few weeks until it was absorbed by a competitor. 
The same fate overtook several other newspapers started in Guthrie that 
first year. But three dailies survived from these ambitious ventures, and all 
three were influential in shaping and recording the development of the 

The State Capital, established by Frank Hilton Greer, was first printed 
at Winfield, Kansas, three weeks before the Opening. It was soon moved to 
Guthrie, where at first, like many another ambitious business enterprise, it was 
established in a tent. It ran both a daily and a weekly edition, and its influence 
extended with the years throughout the increasing area of the Territory. 

The Daily News also began publication within a few weeks of the Run. 
It purchased a number of the ephemeral publications that sprang up at that 
time and entered upon a stable career of daily and weekly service. The Daily 
Leader was the successor of one of the short-lived newspapers of the Terri- 
ritory, and it still serves a large area in central Oklahoma. 

The number of society and other special publications established at 
Guthrie during its first ten years illustrates the vigor of early Oklahoma 
Territory life. The list includes three religious periodicals, two farm papers, 
three lodge organs, one medical journal, an official teachers' journal, one 
foreign language publication, one Negro newspaper, and four populist pub- 

Newspaper enterprise in Guthrie was closely paralleled by the develop- 
ment in the enterprising rival settlement of Oklahoma City. Four dailies 
were launched there the first year. The 0\lahoma City Times was started 
even before the Run, when "Oklahoma City" was only a railroad siding. 
Written on the spot, the copy was sent to Wichita, Kansas, for printing. The 
first issue appeared December 29, 1888. The novelty of a newspaper bearing 
an "Oklahoma City" date line appealed to eastern readers and subscriptions 
came from all parts of the United States and even from foreign countries. 
But its editor was ejected by soldiers from Fort Reno. Publication was con- 
tinued irregularly at Wichita, or at Purcell, a border town in the Chickasaw 
Nation just across the South Canadian River from the "Oklahoma Lands." 
It became a daily on lune 30, 1889. 

The first paper actually printed in Oklahoma City, beginning on May 9, 
1889, was the Oklahoma Times, published bv Winfield W. and Ansielo C. 
Scott. Housed in a tent and a partially constructed building, the printing was 
done to the sound of hammers that marked the growth of the rapidly rising 
town. Because of the confusion of names with the Oklahoma City Times, 


the second issue bore the title Ohjahoma Journal. The daily edition started 
on June 3. Before the end of the year it bought out its rival, and became the 
0}{lahoma City Times-journal. Through various changes of ownership and 
management it has continued to the present day and appears as the Ol{la- 
homa City Times, Oklahoma City's evening newspaper. 

The Daily 01{lahoman and the Evening Gazette were also established 
in 1889. The 0\lahoman eventually absorbed its competitor and increased 
in influence and circulation until it became one of the most prominent news- 
papers of the Territory. Since statehood, it has continued, as Oklahoma City's 
morning paper, to grow in prestige and importance. 

As Oklahoma Territory was enlarged by successive openings, news- 
papers appeared in each new area. Some, like the Enid Eagle established by 
Omer K. Benedict and Charles E. Hunter five days after the opening of the 
Cherokee Outlet, have survived as important dailies. Of the country news- 
papers, the Watonga Republican, owned and edited by Thompson D. Fergu- 
son and his wife, has achieved prominence. Mrs. Ferguson in They Carried 
the Torch (1937), has written an unforgettable description of the journey 
from Sedan, Kansas, with the press and type packed in one covered wagon 
and the editor's wife, with a baby on her lap and a small boy by her side, 
driving another that contained the camp equipment. They arrived at the 
little new town of Watonga in the fall of 1892, about six months after the 
opening of the Cheyenne and Arapaho country, and set up a combination 
printing office and home in an unpainted wooden building. Their news- 
paper soon became a power in Republican politics and a stabilizing influence 
on that raw frontier. In 1901, Ferguson was appointed by President Roose- 
velt as governor of Oklahoma Territory. Mrs. Ferguson's career — pictured 
in a different and imaginary setting — was used by Edna Ferber in her 
novel, Cimarron. 

The Oklahoma Territory Press Association was formed soon after the 
first opening. In turn, it founded the Oklahoma Historical Society in 1893 
at Kingfisher and began a systematic preservation of newspapers and other 
documents recording the development of the territories. Out of this far- 
sighted action has grown the extensive collection of newspaper files now 
preserved in the Historical Society building in Oklahoma City. 

Newspapers multiplied rapidly in the Twin Territories between 1900 
and the advent of statehood. The discovery of oil brought a new and dramatic 
feature into Indian Territory iournalism at this period. In 1902, as Bartlesville 
began its growth from a typical Cherokee trading post to an oil center, the 
Bartlesville Magnet advertised itself as "The Only Newspaper Published in 
the Natural Gas and Petroleum Region of the Indian Territory." In the same 


year the boom lovvn of Red Fork launched two newspapers, the Derrick and 
the Illuminator. Tulsa, which had been developing gradually from a cow 
town on the Frisco to a community trading center, was headlined as the oil 
capital of the region, and eventually as the "Oil Capital of the World"; and 
its struggling weekly newspapers blossomed into metropolitan dailies. The 
most notable of these were the Tulsa World, which is now one of Oklahoma's 
leading papers, and the Tulsa Democrat, predecessor to the present Tulsa 
Tribune. The importance of oil development was indicated by the growth of 
the Oil and Gas Journal, founded by the Petroleum Publishing Company in 
1902; this publication has increased in importance and is read by oil men 
throughout the world. The interest in approaching statehood was reflected 
in Tulsa by the launching of such publications as the Of(lahoma Constitution, 
founded as a weekly m 1904 and changed to a daily in 1906; the Netf State 
Farm and Home, started about 1905; and Sturm's Statehood Magazine, estab- 
lished in 1905. The Oklahoma News, Oklahoma City, was established about 
this time and operated as a Scripps-Howard paper until its demise in 1939. 

During the session of 1905-06 it became certain that Congress would 
authorize the Twin Territories to enter the Union as one state. On May 18, a 
month before the Enabling Act was actually passed, newspaper men of the 
two territories met at Shawnee, Oklahoma Territory, and arranged for cover- 
ing the news of the proposed constitutional convention and the future state 
legislature. Although a certain division of "East Side" and "West Side" inter- 
ests persisted for a few years after statehood, journalism in the new state 
developed harmoniously. 

At present (1941) there are in Oklahoma sixty dailies and 230 weekly or 
semiweekly newspapers. Circulation ranges from the 101,154 subscribers of 
the Oklahoman to the small list of the struggling country weekly. Besides the 
regular newspapers there are a number of special news journals. The Ameri- 
can Guardian, a Socialist weekly of Oklahoma City edited by Oscar Amering- 
er, has an international circulation. The Blac\ Dispatch, the most widely 
circulated of a long succession of Negro publications, presents local and gen- 
eral news from an alert and intelligent racial point of view. 

All these publications are received regularly by the State Historical Soci- 
ety, which has 18,134 bound volumes in its newspaper stacks. These record a 
period of change from an unsettled region to the complex social and industrial 
institutions of modern American life. A fitting recognition of this achieve- 
ment took place in 1935, when the University of Oklahoma Press sponsored 
a state-wide celebration of the Centennial of Printing and published early in 
1936 Carolyn Thomas Foreman's Oklahoma Imprints, a comprehensive his- 
tory of newspaper development in the two territories that formed the state. 

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LITERATURE in Oklahoma is as new as a baby's first tooth, and yet it ante- 
dates the landing of the Pilgrims by almost a century. For there were 
j white men in Oklahoma long before Plymouth Rock served as the 
world's most famous stepping stone; and one of them was writing a book. 
His name was Castaiiada and he was the historian of the famous expedition 
of Coronado, who passed through a part of what is now Oklahoma in search 
of the Seven Cities of Cibola. To be sure the line of succession was sadly inter- 
rupted, as it has been several times since, and it was a long time after this first 
writing before literature began in earnest. But whether the reason is to be 
found in the air or the soil or the sweep of the landscape, something there is 
in Oklahoma which impels the sojourner of a few days as well as the long- 
time resident to express himself on paper. Washington Irving, who was, 
admittedly, a connoisseur of places to write about, had been in Oklahoma 
only a few weeks when he began his Tour on the Prairies. That was a hun- 
dred years ago. A dozen years before, the naturalist Nuttall was writing a 
book on Oklahoma wild life which is today a highly prized collector's item. 

Irving had scarcely left the prairies before the Indians themselves were 
not only doing considerable writing but publishing books. Before they were 
driven out of their ancient homes in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Caro- 
lina, Tennessee, and Mississippi by Andrew Jackson, backed by the United 
States Army, they were actually on a cultural level superior to that of the 
whites who dispossessed them. 

The amazing intellectual advance of the Cherokees was due in large 
measure to the invention of a Cherokee syllabary by Sequoyah (George Gist), 
who, although his father was supposed to have been a white man, was un- 
acquainted with English, and totally illiterate. He was, however, an artist (a 
silversmith by trade) and a thinker. Intrigued by the white man's "talking 



leaves," he began to study the possihiHty of an Indian alphabet. A process of 
trial and error showed him that there are eighty-five possible syllables in the 
Cherokee language; he invented symbols for those sounds. (Some of them 
he copied from an English newspaper; however, he could not understand 
them and merely borrowed them for convenience.) His system was so logical 
and so simple that any intelligent Cherokee could master the syllabary in 
three days and so begin immediately to read. Thus the whole nation became 
literate almost overnight. The achievement of Sequoyah was one of the great- 
est triumphs of the human intellect in any age among any people. 

In 1835, Samuel Austin Worcester, a missionary who came with the 
Cherokees from their old home, set up at Union Mission (see Tour 8), in 
northeastern Oklahoma, a printing press and almost at once proceeded to 
publish a book, a sort of primer — not in Cherokee, however, but in the 
Creek language. Only two or three copies are known to exist. Book publica- 
tion in Oklahoma, therefore, is seventy-two years older than the state. This 
press, soon removed to Park Hill (see Tour 3), began publication of an Alma- 
nac; it poured out books, pamphlets, and tracts by the millions of impressions, 
even a number of pieces of fictional writing by native authors, some of whom 
had been well educated in the North. These were, ordinarily, stories designed 
to teach the Christian way of life, either by setting forth the triumph of the 
faithful or the horrible fate of sinners. Today they are rare and eagerly sought 

Indeed, most of the writings done by the Indians of the Five Civilized 
Tribes and their missionaries and other white friends concerned religion or 
tribal politics and so have no place in an account of literature as such. Shortly 
before the Civil War, however, a young Cherokee named John Rollin Ridge 
was writing poetry. His poems are conventional and in their melancholy and 
tenderness reflect the prevailing taste of their day. But they compare favorably 
with the work of white poets of the period. 

The Civil War disrupted the peaceful progress of the Cherokees as well 
as of the other Civilized Tribes and put a stop to what might have become a 
truly indigenous literature, so that the writings of Oklahomans of Indian 
blood are no longer in general distinguishable from those of the Anglo- 

It must not be supposed that there was no writing worthy of mention 
from the Civil War to the era of statehood; army officers and missionaries, 
cattlemen and Indian agents often believed their experiences worth putting 
into print, and such volumes as Thomas C. Battcy's A Quaker Among the 
Indians (1875) and Mrs. Byer's Fort Reno (1896) arc today valuable as his- 
torical records, if not as literature. Then, when the Unassigned Lands were 


opened to settlement in the first Run, 1889, this newly-settled country, known 
today as Old Oklahoma, fairly blossomed into print; there were newspapers 
in every county seat, and in many other towns. Their columns were flooded 
with verse; apparently there was something about being in at the beginning 
of a tremendous undertaking that called forth rhyme irresistibly. Most of 
this verse seems pretty awful — until it is compared with the newspaper verse 
of the day in older states. Of it all only the poems of Alex Posey, a Creek 
Indian, are remembered both for their intrinsic worth and for the light they 
shed on Indian psychology and ways of life. Posey was also a satirist, aiming 
his darts in the "Fixico Papers" chiefly at white politicians. There was even a 
novel in those days; Thompson B. Ferguson, a pioneer newspaper man of 
Wa tonga (see Tour 5), afterward appointed territorial governor by Presi- 
dent Theodore Roosevelt, wrote a story called The ]ayhaw}{ers; A Tale of 
the Border War {imi). 

But the real flowering of literature in the new state began shortly after 
the first World War. A group of young poets, most of them connected with 
the University of Oklahoma, began to place work in such national magazines 
as Smart Set, Century, American Mercury, Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 
The Bookman, and so on. Among these were John McClure, Muna Lee, Lynn 
Riggs, and Stanley Vestal. Their work appealed to Mr. Henry Louis Men- 
cken, who is not unduly given to enthusiasms, so much that he devoted a 
sizable section of one issue of the American Mercury to them, and in his com- 
ment used the phrase, "The Oklahoma manner in Poetry." 

In the late 1920's, writing in Oklahoma underwent something of a boom. 
The University of Oklahoma Press, under the direction of Joseph A. Brandt, 
recently head of Princeton University Press, and more recently (1940) elected 
president of the University of Oklahoma, was favorably disposed toward 
regional productions and offered an outlet for a considerable amount of work. 
B. A. Botkin, a young University English instructor, began publication in 
1928 of a regional annual called Fol\-Say, which instantly earned favorable 
comment from critics. Many writers, among them Paul Horgan, Mari Sandoz, 
and N. L. Davis, from outside the state, as well as a number of Oklahomans, 
notably George Milburn, first attracted attention through their work in Fol\- 
Say. Four volumes of the annual were brought out. 

In 1927 the University Press began publication of a quarterly magazine 
called Boo^s Abroad, edited by Roy Temple House and devoted to reviews 
of books in languages other than English. It appears to be the only publication 
of its kind anywhere in the world, and its fourteen published volumes, total- 
ing some seven thousand pages, constitute the largest single body of informa- 
tion on current foreign literatures to be found anywhere. 


At about the same time, Oklahoma's two most distinguished biographers, 
Marquis James and Stanley Vestal (W. S. Campbell), began the researches 
for their best works. Marquis James while a boy in Oklahoma knew and ad- 
mired Temple Houston, son of the Liberator of Texas; and this interest led 
him, in 1926, to undertake a life of Sam Houston. He expected to finish it in 
six months; it took him four years. But when it finally appeared it won the 
Pulitzer Prize for biography. His work on Houston naturally led him on to 
Jackson, and his two-volume life of Old Hickory, the first in 1934, the second 
in 1938, again brought him the Pulitzer award. James is also the author of a 
collection of short stories based on dramatic episodes from American history, 
They Had Their Hour, and, in collaboration with his wife, of juvenile lives 
of Houston and Jackson. 

Stanley Vestal, whose father had been a field worker for H. H. Bancroft, 
had been interested all his life in Kit Carson and, naturally, also in Indians. 
When he approached the writing of biography, he went, like a sensible man, 
to the only living eye-witnesses of many of the events he wished to describe — 
older members of the Plains Indian tribes. The result is that his works on 
western history have a unique viewpoint as well as a unique flavor. In 1928 
his Kit Carson: The Happy Warrior of the Old West appeared, no doubt the 
definitive life of the old scout. In close succession followed two more biogra- 
phies, Sitting Bull: Champion of the Sioux, and Warpath, a life of Sitting 
Bull's nephew. White Bull. 

It is somewhat difficult to define an "Oklahoma Writer." The state is 
so young that it is hard to find a native of middle age — excepting, of course, 
the Indians. Then, too, Oklahomans are a restless breed; the lure of green 
pastures brought them to the state, and many have moved on. In general, an 
Oklahoma writer is one who was born in the state, or who has lived in the 
state long enough to have become identified with it. Thus Marquis James, 
born in Missouri and now (1941) residing in New York, spent the formative 
years of his life in the Cherokee Strip. Paul B. Sears, native of Ohio, lived in 
Oklahoma during the years which saw his greatest development and activity 
as a writer; and he wrote his best-known book. Deserts on the March, in 
Oklahoma and on a subject for which the state offered the most satisfactory 

As might be expected, in view of the dramatic and romantic history of 
the state, a great deal of the published work of Oklahomans has consisted 
of history and biography. Oklahomans have been, almost from the beginnings 
of white settlement, keenly alive to the value of their history as such, and also 
as the raw materials of pure literature. In 1890, one year after the Opening, 
the first attempt at a comprehensive history, The Illustrated History of 0\la- 


homa, by Marion Tuttle Rook, was published; and histories of the state, large 
and small, of every degree of excellence, have been issued ever since. 

The Oklahoma Historical Society was founded by the Oklahoma Press 
Association in 1893, and from that date has taken the lead in collection and 
preservation of historical material. Its library contains some ten thousand vol- 
umes; and since 1921 it has published The Chronicles of Of^lahoma, a quar- 
terly whose files are a repository of priceless information. In 1927 Mr. Frank 
Phillips of Bartlesville made a gift of $10,000 (since doubled) to the Univer- 
sity of Oklahoma; this sum, under the supervision of Dr. E. E. Dale, has been 
used in the acquisition of some four thousand volumes of historical material, 
three thousand photographs, two thousand pamphlets, three thousand photo- 
stats, and at least fifty thousand documents. Within the last few years the 
historical consciousness has developed to such an extent that civic and other 
organizations in various localities have been publishing (usually on a sub- 
scription basis) collections of the memoirs of old settlers. This history at the 
grass roots is frequently sadly lacking in literary quality, but it is of unique 
value as the basic material of which both history and literature are made; and 
the movement comes in time, for most of it will have passed away within a 

Probably the dean of historians in Oklahoma was J. B. Thoburn, author 
of a comprehensive history of the state, which has appeared in two editions, 
the second prepared in collaboration with Miss Muriel Wright, granddaugh- 
ter of a principal chief of the Choctaw Nation. Mr. Thoburn served for many 
years on the governing board of the Historical Society; both Mr. Thoburn 
and Miss Wright have contributed extensively to magazines and newspapers 
and have prepared textbooks dealing with Oklahoma and Indian history. 

A notable contributor to the history of the Cherokees was Emmett Starr, 
a member of the Cherokee tribe, whose genealogical histories are invaluable 
in any study of the nation. Important books on various phases of Oklahoma 
history are those of W, B. Morrison, who specializes in early forts and mili- 
tary posts; of Roy Gittinger, who has written on the constitutional history 
and the formation of the state government; of George Rainey, who has stud- 
ied the Cherokee Strip and No Man's Land; of Morris L. Wardell, whose 
Political History of the Cherokee Nation records one of the world's most 
astonishing experiments in democracy; of A. B. Thomas and Lillian Estelle 
Fisher, who have delved extensively into the history of Spain in southwestern 

Angle Debo produced in 1934 The Rise and Fall of the Choctatv Repub- 
lic, which won for her the John H. Dunning prize for the most notable con- 
tribution to American history at the 1935 meeting of the American Historical 


Society. Her And Still the Waters Run (1940) is an authoritative, unsparing 
indictment of the processes by which the Indians of Oklahoma have been 
defrauded. Her The Road to Disappearance, a history of the Creek Nation, 
was published in 1941. 

Anna Lewis, in her study of early explorations in the Indian country. 
Along the Arl{ansas, has made a valuable addition to the history of Oklahoma. 

Edward Everett Dale, of the University of Oklahoma, is editor, poet, 
and fiction writer as well as historian. Probably his best-known work is the 
history of The Range Cattle Industry. His other works include the Lafa- 
yette Letters and Tales of the Teepee, as well as textbooks. He has also edited 
The Journal of James Ail{en, Jr., Evan G. Barnard's Rider of the Cherokee 
Strip, and Frank M. Canton's Frontier Trails. He is joint-editor, with Gaston 
Litton, of Cherokee Cavaliers. 

Paul I. Wellman, native Oklahoman, has written two historical books 
on the western Indians, Death on the Prairie and Death in the Desert. Carl 
Coke Rister, in addition to The Southtvestern Frontier and The Greater 
Southwest (with R. N. Richardson), has won favorable comment with his 
social history of the southwest plains, Southern Plainsmen. Carbine and 
Lance, by Captain W. S. Nye, is the vivid and authentic story of old Fort 
Sill (see Tour 3 A). 

The most productive of all Oklahoma historians is Grant Foreman, for- 
mer employee of the Dawes Commission, and retired lawyer, whose books on 
the history of the Five Civilized Tribes will be indispensable sources for the 
study not only of Oklahoma but of the whole of the South so far as Indian 
affairs are concerned. Most of his work is based on unpublished material, for 
which he has ransacked the libraries of Europe and America. His Indians 
and Pioneers, Indian Removal, Advancing the Frontier, The Five Civilized 
Tribes, among others, are models of scholarly precision and patient search for 
truth in history. 

In general nonfiction writing a number of Oklahomans have been out- 
standing. The works of A. B. Adams (Trend of Business, Our Economic 
Revolution, and National Economic Security) and of Elgin Groseclose (Mon- 
ey: The Human Conflict) have attracted nationwide attention. Groseclose is 
a former editor of Fortune Magazine. Jerome Dowd is a prolific writer on 
sociological questions, and his books on the Negro in America have made 
him one of the foremost authorities. W. B. Bizzell has written a number of 
valuable books on the philosophy of education, on social philosophy and eco- 
nomics. In this connection should also be mentioned Royden J. Dangerfield, 
Cortez A. M. Ewing, and Frederick Lynne Ryan. Gustav Mueller has a dozen 
or more books on philosophical subjects to his credit. Howard O. Eaton and 


Charles M. Perry have also made important contributions to philosophical 
literature. Paul B. Sears, author of Deserts on the March, pioneer of a con- 
siderable list of books on soil erosion and the waste of natural resources, and 
This Is Our World, is a scientist who writes more charmingly than most 

Will Rogers was most famous as a humorist and, in his own words "am- 
bassador of good will" to all the world. Yet he was the author of seven books 
of homely philosophy and sound common sense, which have a style and an 
appeal all their own. Since his death have appeared David N. Milsten's Cher- 
okee Kid, Spi M. Trent's My Cousin Will Rogers, Harold Keith's A Boy's 
Life of Will Rogers, and the authentic biography by his widow, Betty Blake 

Two of the nation's outstanding women newspaper columnists are Okla- 
homans, Edith Johnson and Mrs. Walter Ferguson. And an Oklahoman, 
George B. (Deak) Parker won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 
1936. Vernon M. Parrington's Main Currents in American Thought is a 
classic in the field of literary criticism. Incidentally, book reviews by Okla- 
homans appear regularly in such publications as the Netv Yor\ Herald Trib- 
une, New Yor\ Times, Saturday Review of Literature, the Christian Science 
Monitor, New Masses, and The Nation. The most spectacular of all Oklahoma 
critics, and discoverer of new writers, is without doubt the cyclonic Burton 
Rascoe. Starting out as literary critic of the Chicago Tribune, he went on to 
New York, to McCall's Magazine, then successively to the New York Trib- 
une, Arts and Decorations, The Bookman, and Plain Tal\. He has been on 
the board of the Literary Guild for years, has been until recently general 
editorial advisor to Doubleday Doran, served as literary critic of Esquire, 
1933-38, and has written a weekly book review for News Wee\ since 1938. 
His published books include Titans of Literature, Prometheans, and a book 
of memoirs, Before I Forget. Another autobiography of merit, which ap- 
peared in 1940, was Oscar Ameringer's // You Don't Weaken, the story of 
a radical Oklahoma editor. 

After the biographical works of Marquis James and Stanley Vestal should 
be placed the remarkable Wah'Kon-Tah by John Joseph Mathews, a member 
of the Osage Indian tribe; after them, because it is difficult to classify. Osten- 
sibly, it is the life of Major Laban J. Miles, agent to the Osages; in reality it 
is a long prose poem in praise of the noblest qualities of two picturesque 
breeds — the American pioneer and the American Indian. It was a Book-of- 
the-Month Club selection in 1932, the only book from this part of the South- 
west ever to receive such distinction, and the only book thus far (1941) pub- 
lished by a university press anywhere in the United States chosen by a major 


book club. Mathews is also the author of a poignant novel of Indian life, 
Sundown, and is (1941) working (on a Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship) 
on a study of the contrasting life outlook of the Anglo- American and the 
Indian. Another important biography is Althea Bass's Cherokee Messenger, 
a scholarly and readable study of Samuel Austin Worcester. Richmond 
Croom Beatty, native Oklahoman, is the author of two biographies of im- 
portance, Bayard Taylor: Laureate of the Gilded Age, and Macaulay: Vic- 
torian Liberal. 

Two Oklahoma dramatists have reached Broadway — Lynn Riggs and 
Mary McDougal Axelson. Riggs has written a dozen or so plays, all of high 
literary quality and some successful as stage presentations, notable among 
them Knives from Syria, A Lantern to See By, Borned in Texas, and Green 
Grow the Lilacs. These plays deal with a remembered frontier environment, 
superficially raw and barren; actually informed with a tender love and fresh- 
ness, with an undercurrent of romantic tragedy, and silvered over with the 
magic of nostalgia. His Chero\ee Night treats the tragedy of the dispossessed 
Indian; Russet Mantle, prominently mentioned for the Pulitzer Prize in 1936, 
is Riggs' only play on a contemporary subject. His plays as well as his poems 
(collected in The Iron Dish) show a fairylike quality and a kind of Chopin- 
esque transparency. Mrs. Axelson's play, Life Begins, had a New York pres- 
entation in 1932, and has since been shown as a film in nearly every country 
on the globe — the last two to permit its exhibition being Siam and Great 

Fiction in Oklahoma has been sporadic and of very uneven quality, al- 
though respectable in both quantity and quality. Every genre is represented, 
from the wild western and the detective story to the novel of domestic bliss 
and of hard-boiled realism in the lives of tenant farmers. Oklahoma, having 
been first an Indian, afterwards a cattle, country, offers an especial stimulus 
to the writer of adventure fiction; so that the magazine stories of Foster 
Harris and Jesse E. Grinstead, running, literally, into the hundreds, and the 
published books of Vingie E. Roe (a score or more, in addition to magazine 
publications), are not surprising. It does seem a bit out of the ordinary for 
■ Oklahomans to excel in the detective novel, the most artificial and highly 
developed, technically, of all forms of writing. Yet Todd Downing, a Choc- 
taw Indian, is the author of eight such novels; Dorothy Cameron Disney, of 
two books of detective fiction plus a great deal more in the magazines. New- 
ton Gayle (the nom de plume of a well-known Oklahoma poet) has written 
five, and Stanley Vestal one. All of these have had their day with the thrill 
hunters, and their popular following appears to be growing. A number of 
younger writers contribute constantly to popular detective story magazines. 


The novel proper is represented by the stories of Dora Aydelotte, who 
specializes in the problems of farm women, her story of the Cherokee Strip, 
Trumpets Calling, having been a best seller; of Nola Henderson, This Much 
Is Mine, the story of an Oklahoma farm girl; of Isabel Campbell, who spe- 
cializes in middle-class family life. William Cunningham has written two 
realistic novels, each with an Oklahoma setting. Green Corn Rebellion and 
Pretty Boy, the latter an overly sympathetic fictional account of the outlaw 
"Pretty Boy" Floyd. Edward Donahoe's Madness in the Heart is a dramatic 
re-creation of the life of a boom oil town, and its social and financial leeches. 
Since 1939, Alice Lent Covert has been writing realistic and honest Oklahoma 
fiction with a sympathetic treatment. Many of her short stories have appeared 
in the magazines, and her two novels. Return to Dust and The Months of 
Rain, are vivid and powerful fictional accounts of rural conditions in the 
Southwest and the Middle West. 

John Milton Oskison, Cherokee Indian, has contributed to many maga- 
zines and is the author of several novels of the old Indian Territory, the latest. 
Brothers Three, having been a best seller for many weeks. He has written, 
also, two biographies, one (fictionized) of Sam Houston, A Texas Titan, the 
other Tecumseh and His Times. Stanley Vestal is the author of two novels of 
the Old West, 'Dobe Walls and Revolt on the Border. In this field of fiction 
are also the novels of the historian of the Indians, Paul I. Wellman, Broncho 
Apache and the best selling ]ubal Troop, and Ross Taylor's Brazos. 

All of these novelists also write short stories, but Demma Ray Oldham, 
Jennie Harris Oliver, Fleta Campbell Springer, and George Milburn may be 
said to specialize in short stories. Mrs. Oldham's stories of Ozark mountain 
people have been starred in the O'Brien and O. Henry Memorial anthologies. 
Mrs. Oliver has contributed a great many short stories to the magazines and 
has two published books of short stories. Fleta Campbell Springer is the author 
of a life of Mary Baker Eddy, According to the Flesh, several novels, and a 
play, but she is best known for her more than two hundred short stories. These 
have appeared in leading magazines and in O'Brien's collections of "the 
year's best short stories." George Milburn, adherent to the hard-boiled school 
of realism, who first attracted attention through his work in Fol^-Say, has 
published stories of small-town life in Oklahoma in such magazines as Es- 
quire, Collier's, American Mercury, and others. His two volumes of short 
stories, Oklahoma Town and No More Trumpets, and his novel, Catalogue, 
give him a secure place among the fiction writers of his day. Allen McGinnis 
and Robert Whitehand are two young writers whose short stories have at- 
tracted considerable attention. Edward O'Brien dedicated one of his recent 
collections to Robert Whitehand. 


Poetry seems to be the preferred mode of expression for Oklahomans. 
From Indian times on, verse from Oklahoma poets has seeped or swirled into 
print. Vanity publishing has been, and is, rampant. Yet the work of Okla- 
homa poets appears also in every standard publication and in the better an- 
thologies, while books of poems published on a legitimate royalty basis are 
frequent. In 1918, fifty years after the Poems of John Rollin Ridge, came the 
Villon-like Airs and Ballads of John McClure. Other poets whose work has 
appeared between boards are Stanley Vestal, with Fandango, a book of bal- 
lads based on the adventures of trappers, scouts, and Indian warriors, Muna 
Lee, Lena Whittaker Blakeney, Althea Bass, Katherine Shepard Hayden, 
Violet McDougal and Mary McDougal Axelson, Lexie Dean Robertson, Zoe 
A. Tilghman, Mark Turbyfill, Jennie Harris Oliver, and Kenneth Kaufman. 
Others whose poems have seen the light in magazines are B. A. Botkin, Rob- 
ert Brittain, Isabel Campbell, Henry T. Chambers, May Frank Rhodes, Mau- 
rine Halliburton, Welborn Hope, Anne Dinsmore McClure, Paul Thompson, 
and Leo C. Turner. 

The most spectacularly successful of all Oklahoma poets is no doubt 
Don Blanding. His books, among them Paradise Loot, Leaves from a Grass 
House, Memory Room, The Rest of the Road, and Vagabond's House, all 
illustrated with exotic line drawings by the author, go through edition after 
edition. Vagabond's House being now (1941) beyond its twenty-fifth. Bland- 
ing is, as the tides of his books indicate, an incurable wanderer, but of late 
his verse has been turning more and more frequently to themes taken from 
his native prairies and the desert country of the Southwest. 

But while poetry in Oklahoma has been prolific, and while individual 
poets and poems have attracted rather extravagant praise from readers and 
critics (John Cooper Powys once said Jennie Harris Oliver's "Noon Trail" 
was the finest poem that ever came out of America), the situation is a bit 
disappointing. Oklahoma has not produced a single first-line poet; poets who 
have started out with every evidence of developing into greatness have stopped 
writing all too soon, either because of a change in philosophical viewpoint or 
in taste, or for economic reasons; and poetry in Oklahoma has never crystal- 
lized into a movement. This may be due to the fact that Oklahoma poets are 
a cosmopolitan breed, as likely to write on a theme native to New England 
or Old England or Alaska as to the short-grass country. But the vitality is 
there, and the native themes cry for an indigenous poetry. 

The literary picture as a whole is encouraging. Every year more young 
people turn to writing as a profession. Recently the state's largest school, the 
University of Oklahoma, has been offering courses in professional writing. 

No state has a richer historical, social, and ethnological background. 


While America as a whole has foreshortened the ages of man's progress into 
a century and a half, Oklahoma has telescoped that century and a half into 
fifty years. The state was born in drama, and the clash of Anglo-American 
against Indian, or Yankee against Southerner, or the product of great univer- 
sities against the rankest of the illiterate, produces strain and tension in real 
life, which, translated into words, must mean drama, conflict, color. 

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Architecture and Art 

IN Oklahoma, architecture has achieved interesting and often distinctive 
qualities through the adaptation of borrowed designs to local conditions. 
The first log houses of the Indians, pioneers, and traders in what is now 
eastern Oklahoma were patterned rather closely after the same types of build- 
ing in other regions. Because of different climatic conditions and structural 
materials, however, changes in the construction of these types were soon 
made. Thus small, clay fireplaces superseded the former huge, stone affairs, 
and builders used split, rather than whole, logs. 

As the buildings were erected hastily, the timber was seldom seasoned; 
when it shrank the crevices were chinked with clay and in the course of time 
the structure appeared to be half log and half clay. Generally, the timbers 
were nailed together, rather than notched. Heavy rains made substantial roofs 
necessary, and care was taken in the cutting and fitting of "shakes" (home- 
made shingles) for this purpose. Window shutters, made of split sticks nailed 
to cross pieces and sometimes faced with cloth or skins, were propped open in 
warm weather and kept closed during the winter months. For door, a sheet, 
blanket, or hide might suffice; or an actual door might be brought in by wagon 
from Texas or Arkansas. Additions were made by cutting a doorway in one 
end of the cabin and continuing the plan in an elongated pattern. More popu- 
lar, however, was the lean-to, formed by extending a section of the roof down- 
ward and walling up the open sides. 

After the first small "groundhog" sawmills were set up, boxing-board 
shacks became common, but they did not entirely replace log buildings. Plank 
additions, frequently built on to the cabins, formed a hybrid type still found 
in the eastern part of the state. Most of the frame houses through this section 
were of the "shotgun" type — one room divided by a partition; porchless, 
paintless, and shake-roofed. In appearance and comfort they were hardly an 
improvement upon the log cabin. Cold in winter, hot in summer, their one 
advantage was cheapness of construction. 

In the western part of the state, where timber was scarce, the dugout was 



the most common habitation among the first settlers. Since the land was gen- 
erally level, the dugout could not be built into a hillside as in other regions. 
Usually it consisted of low sod walls enclosing a cellar, with the above-ground 
structure varying in height according to the depth of the excavation. To enter 
the house it was necessary to stoop under a low doorway and descend several 
steps. In some instances, the dugout had a shingle roof; more frequently, it 
was thatched over with branches covered with sod. As the region became more 
thickly setded, box houses began to dot the prairie. These were just what the 
name implied, square or rectangular box-like structures, often with single 
slope roofs, and the inside papered with newspapers; the wide cracks that 
developed as the boards shrank were pasted over with strips of old cloth. 
Intended as makeshifts, a few of these box houses are still in use today (1941). 

Houses in the south and southwest were perhaps better in construction 
and design than those of other sections. Sturdily built homes were erected by 
prosperous Indian leaders among the Choctaws and other tribes, and later 
by white cattlemen with an eye to permanence and comfort rather than econ- 
omy. These residences combined the best features of the ranch and plantation 
types farther south. To obtain the maximum exposure, the house was fre- 
quently planned in the form of a "T." High ceilings were characteristic, as 
were wide windows and broad-roofed porches. These dwellings varied in 
size from eight to fifteen rooms. 

Kansans and lowans who staked out the excellent farms in north central 
Oklahoma lived in shanties during the early years, but as prosperity came 
they first built big barns and then big houses. The farmer was judged by the 
size of his barn, and his wife by the size of her house. Except for an occasional 
"curlicue" and the almost universal fancy lightning rod, there were few 
attempts at embellishment; and when agriculture slumped in the 1920's there 
was litde money for repairs or painting. Thus today there are in this section 
many huge, prematurely aged but still stern-appearing houses remaining to 
tell the story of pioneer success and pride. 

As far as the builders' skill and the materials at hand would permit, the 
first houses in the cities followed contemporary architectural types in other 
states. No attempt was made at conformity, and a dozen different kinds of 
houses might be found in a single block. Later, as the business districts spread 
out, these houses were either torn down or included in the slums and Negro 

As he prospered, the Oklahoman was quick to adopt foreign types of 
architecture and mix one with another. Imitations of Spanish villas, French 
chateaux, and English cottages were built side by side. The eclectic period 
reached its height during the first World War, when the shortage of other 


building materials made the use of stucco patriotic, even necessary. Plaster, 
which could be tinted any color the owner desired, was sprayed over a net- 
work of chicken wire. Fortunately, from an aesthetic standpoint, stucco and 
wire parted company after a few years, and the houses had to be torn down 
or remodeled. 

Generally, good architecture and construction were more common in the 
smaller towns than in the cities. The townsman usually planned the type of 
house he wanted while he was saving the money to build it, and he was also 
on hand to supervise the building. Aware that the residence would have to 
serve as an indication of his good sense and importance for years, he was not 
easily influenced by architectural fads. The city-dweller, on the other hand, 
usually acquired a home as a speculation, because it was the "right thing" to 
be a home-owner, or because he had heard that it was cheaper than paying 
rent. He was often obliged to accept what the realtor or building contractor 
had to offer, and trusted to luck to receive value. In many cases, the only 
permanent thing about these city houses was the mortgage. 

Fortunately, development of the oil industry, and the consequent crea- 
tion of many newly rich families, did not result in a plague of architectural 
monstrosities. Oil men generally hired the best architects available and saw 
to it that when the pinch of adversity came (oil is uncertain) they had some- 
thing that would bear up under a heavy loan. Considerable oil money was 
spent on apartment houses, and these, too, were usually built with an eye to 
negotiability. Typically of brick construction, not more than four stories high, 
they are often divided into "efficiency" apartments, many consisting of one 
room, bath, and kitchenette. Simply designed, and entirely without decora- 
tion, they are built primarily as investments. 

The most common modern types of dwellings in both cities and towns 
are the Oklahoma bungalow, a four- to six-room, hip-roofed, box-like struc- 
ture with a small porch in front; the California bungalow, differing from the 
Oklahoma bungalow by having a broad, low roof; the airplane bungalow, 
with a one- or two-room upper story mostly of windows, an adaptation of the 
upstairs sleeping porch to the one-story house; the English-type home, a' 
roomy, two-story dwelling of frame or brick, often built lengthwise on a lot; 
and the Colonial-type house, a severe two-story structure, with shuttered 
windows and without a porch. Especially Oklahoman are the increasingly 
popular double purpose brick, stone, and frame apartments built for rental 
over garages at the back of spacious residence lots. 

The most forthright departure from conventional design in private house 
building in Oklahoma, and one of the best examples of modern residential 
architecture in America, is "Westhope," Tulsa home of Richard Lloyd Jones, 


designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, his cousin. Comments of passers-by, at- 
tracted by the thousand after the house was finished, varied from "What's it 
supposed to be?" to the more or less contemptuous, "A pickle factory!" With 
the growth of its surrounding planting (a part of the design), however, its 
great beauty and livability are apparent. 

The first nonresidential buildings in the state, as might be expected, were 
of little or no architectural interest and often structurally unsound. The first 
state architect with enough training to inspire confidence in his architectural 
knowledge was J. A. Foquart, a Frenchman. His design followed the Norman 
French, or chateau Gothic style, with circular bays, round turrets, curved 
windows, bastions, and embattled towers. The Old Central Building and the 
Biology Building on the campus of the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechani- 
cal College (see Stillwater) and the City Hall at Guthrie (see Tour 10) are 
typical examples of Foquart's work. 

Fireproof construction was not used for public and commercial build- 
ings in Oklahoma until 1905, and fire caused many losses. The W. J. Pettee 
Hardware Building, erected about 1906, was one of the first reinforced con- 
crete structures in Oklahoma City. Other good examples of the city's early 
fireproof buildings are the Western Newspaper Union Building and the 
Pioneer Telephone Building. 

Oklahoma has kept pace with modern developments in the use of archi- 
tectural concrete, and with that material has obtained buildings excellent in 
design and permanent in construction. Among the most notable of these is 
the high school at Bartlesville, designed by John Duncan Forsythe, and the 
city hall at Chickasha, by Paul Harris. An unusual and practical application 
of this method of construction may be found in a barn at the Cameron Agri- 
cultural College at Lawton, also by Harris. Other commendable reinforced 
concrete structures are the Fairview City Hall, by John C. Hope; the Buffalo 
School, by Parr; Stillwater City Hall, by Sorey, Hill, and Sorey; and Altus 
City Hall, by Moore and Hudgins. These structures are all modern in manner 
and make use of modern material to good effect. 

With the development of oil, local headquarters for the big companies 
became necessary, and impressive new office buildings were erected. These 
were not only improvements on existing buildings in Oklahoma at that time, 
but were often more modern than contemporary structures in other states. 
The Colcord Building, Oklahoma City, was designed by Carl Wells in the 
tradition of Louis Sullivan, "father of American architecture." Erected in 
1910, it is still one of the best arranged and equipped office buildings in the 
state. Later, the two tallest buildings of Oklahoma City — the First National 
Building and the Ramsey Tower — raised their roofs to the sky. The Phil- 


tower, and National Bank of Tulsa Building in Tulsa, are examples of the 
new and striking business structures in the "Oil Capital" of Oklahoma. 

Many school buildings, churches, and civic structures did not fare so 
well as business buildings. Too often they were barnlike, of poor design. 
The old county courthouse at Oklahoma City, for example, was out of date 
architecturally ten years after it was erected, and it was by no means an iso- 
lated example. 

There were exceptions, of course. The Administration Building of the 
University of Oklahoma, at Norman, designed by Shepley, Rutan, and Cool- 
idge, is noteworthy for its chaste decoration and well-studied proportions in 
a pure collegiate Gothic style. Built in the same manner, the Library Building 
is considered one of the most successful designs in the state; its main reading 
room is spacious and well lighted. Other buildings of interest architecturally 
on the University of Oklahoma campus are the Business Administration and 
the Biological Sciences buildings, designed by the director of the university's 
School of Architecture, Joe Smay. They are examples of the application of 
collegiate Gothic to modern building, made to harmonize with other struc- 
tures on the campus. The designer has succeeded in securing exceptionally 
well-lighted rooms. Interesting also is the use of symbolism in the carved orna- 
ment, depicting business on one building and the evolution of life over the 
portals of the other. 

Notable examples of perpendicular Gothic ecclesiastical architecture are 
the Trinity Episcopal Church in Tulsa, George Winkler, architect; the Wes- 
ley Methodist in Oklahoma City, and the Post Chapel at Fort Sill, designed 
by Leonard Bailey. The Boston Avenue Methodist Church in Tulsa was one 
of the first so-called "modernistic" churches. Especially meritorious are the 
main portals, where careful design forms a focal point leading to the interior. 
Supplanting the usual pinnacle and turreted tower, terminal motifs resemble 
darts that have been dropped from on high. Its architects were Adah Robin- 
son and Bruce GofT. Capitol Hill High School, Oklahoma City, a three-story 
brick structure of collegiate Gothic style designed by Layton, Hicks, and 
Forsyth, was when built the best-equipped school building in the state. 

The largest and most expensive building in Oklahoma (1941), the First 
National Building in Oklahoma City, designed by Weary and Alford, is a 
striking example of restrained modern American skyscraper architecture. At 
the time of its erection, in 1931, it was said that more aluminum was used in 
this building — above the main entrance, in spandrels, and in its flood-lighted 
roof — than in any other in the world. Its Bedford limestone veneer, how- 
ever, seems somewhat insecure, as bits have dropped off from time to time. 
Another outstanding building of the skyscraper type is Oklahoma City's 


33-Story Ramsey Tower, designed by Walter Ahlschlager, of Chicago, and 
erected in 1931. 

Public buildings, constructed with the aid of Federal funds, have been 
a leaven to architecture throughout the state. Typical of the structures of this 
kind is the neoclassic group of the Civic Center, Oklahoma City, which in- 
cludes a county courthouse, a municipal building, auditorium, and jail. The 
auditorium, designed by Joseph Overton Parr, was selected as one of Ameri- 
ca's outstanding architectural masterpieces by a committee of the American 
Institute of Architects. The well-planned city hall, designed by the Allied 
Architects of Oklahoma City, is characterized by rich aluminum grills that 
adorn the principal windows. 

Scattered over the state are many WPA-built National Guard armories, 
usually constructed of local stone; they are uniformly of sound design and 
workmanship and have afforded excellent opportunities for apprentice stone- 
masons to learn their craft. Bryan Nolen was the architect of most of them. 

Outstanding architecturally are the air-conditioned tourist courts m 
Norman designed by architect W. C. Lightfoot. Not only do they form a 
pleasingly white housing group, but they pioneer in the extensive use of 
impervious bituminous binding of earthern materials that keep the interiors 
surprisingly cool. Such material lends itself to long, low masses and may set 
a precedent for extensive use of "Oklahoma Adobe." 


In purpose, the first painter to work in Oklahoma and the state's latest 
developed Indian artist are brothers. George Catlin, who came to the Wichita 
Mountains region in 1834 with the Leavenworth-Dodge expedition, under- 
took to record the types and customs of a people who, he thought, were dying 
out. In 1941, Stephen Mopope, university-trained Kiowa Indian artist, was 
painting murals for the walls of the Interior Department in Washington 
which he designed for the same purpose. Catlin, remembering the tales told 
in his home by explorers and hunters when he was a boy, abandoned the law 
for art, showed his numerous paintings in the East and in Europe in 1840 
(they are now in the National Museum in Washington), and in 1841 pub- 
lished his best-known book. Manners, Customs, and Conditions of the North 
American Indians, with three hundred engravings. Nearly one hundred years 
later, Acee Blue Eagle, a young Ponca-Creek Indian, was invited to show his 
vivid water colors (and his skill as a symbolic dancer) at Oxford University 
in England. 

Next in the succession to Catlin as a recorder of the early Oklahoma 
scene was John Mix Stanley (1814-72), a much-traveled artist educated in 


Italy. In 1843 he attended an intertribal council at Tahlequah as the guest of 
Chief John Ross of the Chcrokecs and remained for a year to paint portraits 
and make daguerreotypes of the Indians at Tahlequah and Webbers Falls, 
and of army officers at Fort Gibson (see Tours 2 and 3). Most of this work 
was destroyed when the Smithsonian Institution at Washington was burned 
in 1865, but a number of portraits, including one of Will Rogers' mother at 
the age of eight, are in Oklahoma. 

Frederic Remington (1861-1918) was an illustrator, painter, and sculp- 
tor, as well as a writer. He came down the Chisholm Trail in 1882, stayed at 
Fort Reno and the Darlington Indian Agency to paint Indians and army men, 
gather material for Crooked Trails, and jot down his low opinion of the 
politician type of Indian Agent. His interpretations of frontier life with clean, 
sharp lines caught the spirit of blanket Indians, blue<lad soldiers, bow-necked 
bronchos, long-legged and long-horned steers; and his statuettes are vigorous 
and full of character. Like Catlin, Remington was not a iirst-rate artist, but 
his illustrations were excellent; and as authentic records of an all but van- 
ished West his work is in demand by collectors and museums. 

Elbridge Ayer Burbank, born in 1858 and trained at the Chicago Acad- 
emy of Design and in Munich, worked at and near Fort Sill in Oklahoma 
Territory in 1896-97. He painted some 125 notable portraits of Kiowa and 
Comanche Indians, and three of the famous Apache captive, Geronimo. Many 
of these hang in the Field Museum and Newberry Library, Chicago, and in 
the Smithsonian Institution; only a few are in Oklahoma. A portfolio of re- 
productions in color of his Indian portraits was published in Chicago in 1899. 

John Noble (1874-1934) son of a Wichita, Kansas, catdeman and a cow- 
boy in his early years, made the Run into the Cherokee Oudet in 1893, and 
secured a claim which he could not hold on account of his youth. Later he 
went abroad to study art at Julian's in Paris, in Brussels, and London, and 
remained in France for twenty-one years. His picture, The Run, painted from 
memory, though not one of his best was acquired for its historical value by 
Frank Phillips for his Woolaroc Museum (see Tour 4), then given by him to 
the state. It hangs in the Blue Room of the capitol at Oklahoma City. One 
of Noble's portraits, executed for the state capitol collection, is of Thompson 
B. Ferguson, sixth territorial governor. 

Howell Lewis, an army man, some of whose pictures hang in the capi- 
tol, and Nellie Shepherd, who died in 1920, painted Oklahoma scenes, the 
first notable for the size of his canvases and the second for the warm, impres- 
sionistic style learned in France and used to depict the hills and prairies of 
the state. 

After the subsidence of interest in the pioneer phase by visitmg artists, 


native Oklahoma art was mainly an activity of more or less amateur practi- 
tioners among the house painters, "cafe muralists," and small-town art teach- 
ers with more enterprise than talent. 

In the surge of development of the state's resources before the first World 
War, the artist group in Oklahoma became larger and its interests broader. 
Men made wealthy by oil, ranching, and other industries encouraged art by 
buying the work of painters developed in the state. In 1916, the Association 
of Oklahoma Artists was formed and instituted an annual exhibit at the Okla- 
homa Historical Society Museum; they also exhibited at stores and residences 
in Oklahoma City. 

The influence of the Art School of the University of Oklahoma, headed 
by Oscar B. Jacobson, an artist of high rank and an enthusiastic teacher, be- 
came predominant in this period; and a number of painters and sculptors 
who emerged into public notice were among his faculty and students — Edith 
Mahier, Joseph Taylor, Dorothy Kirk, Doel Reed, Leonard Good, Olinka 
Hrdy, Harold Smith, and others. Nan Sheets, of Oklahoma City, produced 
paintings of merit and became a leader among the serious workers; her home 
was loaned for exhibitions not only by Oklahoma Artists but also by those 
more widely known. May Todd Aaron, Glenn and Treva Wheete, Olive 
Nuhfer, John O'Neill, Dorothea Stevenson, M. McFarland, and Eugene 
Kingman, now (1941) director of the Philbrook Museum at Tulsa, are among 
the contemporary Oklahoma artists developed in this period. 

Most notable, interesting, and significant of the University Art School's 
achievements has been the development of Indian painting in Oklahoma. 
The encouragement and guidance given here — particularly by Jacobson, 
who from the first insisted that these Indian students should use Indian themes 
and a style based on the Indians' historical pictorial art adapted to modern 
materials — have produced more than thirty worth-while artists of ten dif- 
ferent tribes. 

Pioneers among the talented tribesmen who have come under Jacobson's 
teaching and inspiration since 1928 were five Kiowas — Stephen Mopope, 
Monroe Tsatoke, James Auchiah, Jack Hokeah, and Spencer Asah. Except 
for Tsatoke, who died of tuberculosis in 1937, these artists have contmued to 
lead in spreading an ever deeper appreciation of Indian art by their work as 
painters and muraUsts. Close behind, if not abreast of them, are Blue 
Eagle, Woodrow Crumbo, a Potawatomi who is (1941) head of the art de- 
partment of Bacone Indian College (see Tour 8); Allan Houser, Oklahoma 
Apache and grandson of Geronimo; Cecil Dick and Franklin Gritts, Chero- 
kees; Walker Boone, Oneida; Solomon McCombs, Creek; Cecil Murdock, 
Kickapoo; Paul Goodbear, Richard West, and Archie Blackowl, Cheyennes; 


Frank Overton Colbert, Choctaw; and the Cherokee sculptor, Joseph Se- 
quiche Morris. 

A portfolio of exquisitely colored reproductions of the work of the five 
Kiowa painters, edited by Jacobson and printed in France in 1930, attracted 
much favorable notice both in the United States and abroad. Exhibitions 
abroad of the Indians' original work were held in a number of countries 
before the second World War. 

Two Indian women, Lois Smokey, a Kiowa, and Marian Terasaz, a 
Comanche, have shown more than average talent in painting. The first is 
now (1941) married and no longer paints, but the second has gone on, at 
Bacone, to portray the traditional life of the women and children of her tribe. 

Oklahoma's Indian artists have, almost exclusively, gone to the past tribal 
culture for their subjects: legends, dances, games, medicine men rites, hunts, 
and other characteristic phases of the old life. Their visual memory is remark- 
ably detailed and accurate. 

Most important of the murals done by them in public buildings are at 
Tahlequah (Northeastern State College), Muskogee, Edmond (Central State 
College), Oklahoma City (Historical Society), Anadarko (Agency and 
School), Lawton (Government Indian School), and the Department of the 
Interior, Washington. Blue Eagle's work is on the walls of the officers' mess 
room of the battleship Oklahoma. 

Predecessors of these modern Indian artists, whose work hardly went 
beyond the experimental stage, were Carl Sweezy, Arapaho; Spybuck, Shaw- 
nee; and Silver Horn. 

Aside from its Art School, with ten teachers and an enrollment (1941) of 
three hundred students, the University of Oklahoma has the most important 
art collection in the state. The museum contains numerous pieces of oriental 
art — paintings, bronzes, statuary, pottery, and other objects from China, 
Nepal, and India. It has a small collection of European masters, and many 
American Indian paintings, fine baskets, and examples of other tribal crafts. 
Because of lack of exhibition space, the greater part of its treasures is not on 
public view. The museum sponsors exhibitions of paintings from other states; 
from sixteen to eighteen are held each year in the limited space available. 

The museum assembled by Father Gerrer at St. Gregory's College at 
Shawnee (see Tour 5) includes some good Italian primitives. At Kaw City 
(see Tour 10), the Laura A. Clubb Art Collection, exhibited in the public 
rooms of the Clubb Hotel, contains canvases, laces, and rare books. 

Except for notices in newspapers, little has been published about Okla- 
homa art; nothing of its history. In 1928 the Sooner Magazine at the Univer- 
sity of Oklahoma published a scries of critical biographies of painters con- 


nected with the school; and in 1930 the University of Oklahoma Press issued 
a memorial booklet on the work of Laurence Williams, associate professor of 
art. In 1930, Ethel Gray, at Chickasha, began to issue a monthly called Inter- 
state Art News, dealing with painting and minor arts in the Southwest, but 
it was soon abandoned for lack of support. There is also, in the University 
Library, a volume of Masters' theses written by students in the School of Art 
that contains much material about the state's artists and their work. Nan 
Sheets and Maurice A De Vinna, Jr. have for some years written weekly 
newspaper departments concerning the state's art activities for the Sunday 
Okjahoman of Oklahoma City, and the Tulsa Sunday World, respectively. 

Philbrook Art Museum in Tulsa, opened in October, 1939, in the spacious 
private residence given to the Southwestern Art Association of Tulsa by 
Waite Phillips, stages traveling exhibits, one-man shows, regional exhibitions,^ 
and architectural displays which tell the story of American building. A special 
efifort is being made to fill the Indian rooms with material illustrating the 
history, and the comparative importance, of native arts and crafts. A full pro- 
gram of shows, classes, lectures, and concerts is promoted at the Museum. 

Set up in 1936, and sponsored by the University of Oklahoma and the 
Oklahoma Council of Art, the Oklahoma Art Project of the Work Projects 
Administration has done much to stimulate general interest in art, as well as 
to provide work for needy artists. Galleries, free art classes, and lecture 
courses, first established in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Claremore, have been 
extended to Shawnee, Okmulgee, Stillwater, Edmond, Sapulpa, Bristow, 
Skiatook, Clinton, and Marlow. As of 1941, the project occupies five galleries 
on the fifth floor of the Oklahoma City Municipal Auditorium. 

Constructive work has been undertaken with the grade and high schools 
of the state; and the galleries furnish exhibit pieces, which are changed from 
time to time, for study. 

Another state-wide WPA project, sponsored by the U.S. Indian Service, 
began in February, 1939, to co-ordinate the arts and crafts work done by 
Oklahoma Indians and find markets for their products. The supervisor, Mrs. 
Eula A. Looney, a member of the Chickasaw tribe, in co-operation with some 
350 other persons of Indian blood representing twenty-three tribes throughout 
the state, has encouraged Indian artists and craftsmen through exhibitions 
and displays of their work, education, the provision of working quarters, and 
research. Indian arts and crafts, displayed at many places in Oklahoma, have 
been in such media as tempera painting, sculpture, wood carving, basketry, 
weaving, jewelry and metal work, costuming, ribbon and feather work. 

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As IN EVERY OTHER PHASE — industrial, educational, cultural — Oklahoma's 
/j\ development in the field of music is still in its youth. But it has a rich 
JL Jx background of folk music upon which to create an indigenous motif. 
The purposeful native Indian chant and rhythm; the tunes of the Five Civ- 
ilized Tribes and the staid hymns of the early-day missionaries fused together 
by propinquity; the plaintive, yet indefinably joyous, spirituals of the trans- 
planted Negro; the boasting, gay, courageous ballads of the cowboy, who 
sang to ward away his loneliness; and the rollicking, un-pretty songs of the 
pioneer homemaker, who worked prodigiously in the daytime and forgot, at 
night, his calloused hands and rude clothes while he raised his voice in a 
spontaneous outpouring — all may eventually be welded together into a 
characteristic Oklahoma theme. Thus Oklahoma folk music cannot properly 
be called native, for each successive immigrant to the state brought the dust 
of another locale on his feet and the lilt of another people's song on his lips. 

The music of the Indian tribes who ranged this region before their more 
civilized brothers came was not just an adjunct to their daily life, but a vital 
part of it; nearly every physical act and mental emotion was accompanied by 
a song, and the most common means of communication with the Great Spirit 
was through melody. Although each individual Indian exercised his creative 
instinct at will, the majority of the chants were those which had stood the test 
of time to become traditionally appropriate as a fitting accompaniment for 
the act at hand. The ceremonial and historical songs in particular were pa- 
tiently transmitted as a sacred duty to each new generation. Since these simple 
people recorded melodies only in their minds, much of their music is lost to 
the world forever; and the disintegration of their pure race has introduced 
blood strains foreign to their peculiar, melodic spontaneity. No diatonic scale 
can catch or interpret the fullness or the beauty of the themes, and proper 
rendition of Indian music requires congeniality of mind and a mystical union 
with nature. 


MUSIC 105 

The pronounced thinness (to the white ear) of Indian music is due mostly 
to the scarcity of instruments — they used only the drum for rhythm, a flute- 
like reed for obbligato, and a ratding gourd for an occasional interpolation, to 
accompany the vocal melody. Any attempt at harmonization of Indian music 
loses the true quality and charm, for the melody and rhythm are often at 
complete variance. Recording of Indian music is the only real means of pre- 
serving it, and even that lacks the fullness which would be immediately 
apparent if one could see the supple body movements attending it. 

The Oklahoma Music Program is one of the few in the nation to conduct 
research on folk music; in the course of this work, recordings were made of 
Cheyenne, Kiowa, Sac and Fox, Apache, Pawnee, Ottawa, and Osage music. 
A special portable recording unit was made so that the work might be done 
on reservations and in the remote homes of full bloods. The records, which 
include some two hundred songs of war, ceremonials, medicine, animals, love, 
lullabies, dances, and games, will be preserved in the Library of Congress in 
Washington, D.C., at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, and at the 
central office of the Oklahoma Music Program when final transcriptions are 

One of the recordings is a perfect example of a composite musical entity. 
It is sung by John Loco, or Thinc-ah-e-sitten, an Apache, who when a boy 
was taken prisoner by Geronimo (see Tour 3 A) and was subsequently im- 
prisoned in Florida by the United States when that warrior and his band 
were captured. Probably during this period of confinement, John was in- 
fluenced by missionaries of the Dutch Reformed Church, and now he sings 
in his native language a song which he created as a result of these several con- 
tacts: "I was lost, but Jesus found out and gave me way. I came back. Now I 
am happy in Jesus." This illustration is also typical of the Five Civilized 
Tribes music, which was, by the time they emigrated to their new home in 
Oklahoma, already deeply influenced by the hymns of the various white de- 
nominations whose missionaries had worked among them. 

With this earliest Oklahoma music must be included the contribution of 
the Negroes, who were brought along as slaves by the emigratmg Indians. 
The childlike faith and the intense religious fervor of their spirituals was 
expressed by the rhythmical syncopation common to the bulk of Negroes and 
by the plaintive quality resulting from the frequent use of the five-tone scale. 
Three Negro spirituals, well known and loved today, are said to have been 
composed in the 1840's by "Uncle" Wallace Willis, a slave on a large planta- 
tion near Doaksville in the Choctaw Nation. The actual authorship and origin 
of spirituals can seldom actually be credited to individuals, but it is a matter 
of record that "Uncle" Willis sang "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Steal 


Away to Jesus, " and "I'm A Rollin' " as he worked in the cotton fields of 
Reverend Alexander Reid, superintendent of a Choctaw boarding school. The 
story is that Reid wrote down the words and music and sent the transcriptions 
to the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University. The group sang the numbers on a 
tour of the United States and Europe; one, "Steal Away to Jesus," is said to 
have particularly pleased Queen Victoria. 

As the plantations declined after the Civil War and many more white 
people drifted into Indian Territory and No Man's Land, another kind of 
folk music began to be heard — the nasal, lonely ballads of the cowboy and 
the fiddlin' rhythms of the pioneer farmer. The mushroom settlements and 
towns fostered two types of music — inside the homes and churches, voices 
were raised with fervor in hymnal praise of God, while from the brighdy- 
lighted saloons and dance halls came the rousing tunes of early-day swing 
music. Percussion instruments were almost unheard of, but the fiddler could 
be counted upon at almost any time. 

The peculiar technique of the fiddler is foreign to the schooled violinist, 
for many of the effects are produced by tricks not included in the formal 
study of the violin. One trick, frequently employed to produce a distinctive 
twangy vibration, is to tune the G string a whole tone higher and then use 
only the other three; others are the accenting of the last of tied notes, and 
the playing of a double note on the same pitch. Such idioms are impossible 
to reproduce on any other than stringed instruments and, as the fiddler 
maintains, almost impossible for the conventionally-trained violinist to play 
effectively. Deviations from the violinist's technique include supporting the 
weight of the instrument in the left hand rather than with the chin; playing 
entirely in the first position, usually holding the bow nearer the middle than 
the end; and bowing in quick, sawing motions. These methods of playing 
allow conveniences the trained violinist is denied — the fiddler's head is left 
free for nodding and emphasizing the music, and for smoking, chewing, 
and expectoration. It is said that the fiddler needs only his battered instru- 
ment, a chunk of rosin, a chair with a rawhide seat, and a dash of Old Nick 
to produce a concert. 

Texans, who settled in Greer County, brought a tune which has been 
traced to Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana, where it was known as "Old Lady 
Tucker," but the Greer County settlers called it "Love Somebody" and set 
their own words to its melody. Colorado miners came to the new land and 
brought the nostalgic "Cripple Creek"; "Little Dutch Girl" came by way 
of Missouri; and "Liza Jane," "Number Nine," "Bonaparte's Retreat, "Lost 
Indian," "Sweet Child," "Cotton-Eyed Joe," "Grandma Blair," "Five Miles 
From Town," "Tom and Jerrv," "Idy Red," "Cluckin' Hen," "Custer's 

MUSIC 107 

Last Charge," and the favorite love plaint, "Little Girl with Her Hair All 
down Behind," entered Oklahoma by devious ways and from many locales. 
The stanzas of many of the early ballads and songs were not merely 
doggerel — as they may sound today — but correctly interpreted some phase 
of life to their singer or originator. Cowboys quieted herds of wild and 
uneasy longhorns with "Old Paint," "The Stampede," "Beans for Break- 
fast," "Ropin'," "Brandin'," "Old Chisholm Trail," and at the same time 
consoled themselves with the anticipatory "Little Home to Go to." Missouri 
immigrants are said to have introduced the fearful 

Oh good Indian, don't kill me, 
For I've a wife and family. 

Nearly everyone sang the popular 

Had a piece of pie, had a piece of puddin', 
Gave it all away to see Sally Gooden. 

In addition to the research and recording of authentic Indian melodies, 
the folk music division of the Oklahoma Music Program has transcribed and 
classified some four hundred of these popular folk songs of early Oklahoma, 
including 125 fiddle tunes; plans are being made for their publication. 
Among those which have been fairly generally established as originating in 
Oklahoma are "Verdigris Bottom," a dance tune; "Oklahoma Run," (also 
known as "Old Purcell"); "Red Bird"; the "Oklahoma Waltz"; and the 
"Tulsey Waltz," the last two drippingly sentimental. Two popular tunes 
originated with their performers at Indian Territory dances — one, "Uncle 
Paul," was composed on the spot by Paul Toupin, a favorite territorial fid- 
dler; and the other, "Slaton's Waltz," was the brain child of Tom Slaton, 
playing for a dance near Mangum. 

The play-party, the square dance (see Folklore and Folkways), and the 
singing school furnished other means of musical life to the pioneer. At 
the "sings" he could rock the rafters with the familiar songs and feel no 
embarrassment, since everyone joined in lustily. Religious songs, the old 
faithfuls such as "Darling Nellie Gray," "Tumble-down Log Shanty on the 
Claim," and "Red Wing," and running of the scales filled the evening till 
the time came to join in on "Oh the Singin' Schule" for the finale. 

Within the last few years, the singing society has again become popular 
in Oklahoma, and organizations have been formed in many towns and 
communities; all-day "sings" are frequently held. 

After statehood, the erection of gilt-decorated opera houses in the fast- 
growing towns began to bring classical music — usually executed with a 


piano and violin, dignified by the term orchestra — to Oklahomans. Lyceum 
and chautauqua courses introduced soloists with extensive repertoires; bands 
were formed in towns of any size, and the Sunday afternoon concert in the 
public square became an established custom. With the coming of statehood 
and the drafting of the school curriculum, the teaching of music was autho- 
rized by law. In some instances, local school boards made provision for the 
office of a music teacher or supervisor. 

Most Oklahoma primary schools introduce some music in the day's 
activities, more often by phonograph in the field of music appreciation; all 
accredited junior and senior high schools require music teachers to hold 
special certificates in addition to their general teaching qualifications; and 
in the secondary bracket, too, curricular music is stressed as much as extra- 
curricular activity in the subject. Music appreciation and history are taught 
in addition to the more technical studies of theory, and instrumental and 
vocal training. Various musical organizations of the Oklahoma public 
schools have won many honors in national and regional competition, par- 
ticularly in the band section — for most schools in the state support their 
brilliantly costumed marching groups as enthusiastically as their football 

Excellent music departments have been established in the state univer- 
sities and colleges, where instruction is offered in all instruments and voice, 
and in the more technical fields of theory and composition. The department 
of music at the University of Oklahoma, at the Oklahoma Agricultural and 
Mechanical College, at the University of Tulsa, and at Phillips University 
all support full-size symphony orchestras. Most of the smaller institutions 
have symphonic or chamber music groups. Bacone Indian College (see Tour 
8) has an outstanding choral organization which makes extensive tours 
annually; the school's music department is striving to keep native Indian 
music from extinction. The a cappella choir of Northwestern State College 
(see Tour 2) is a vested group of fifty voices which has become well known 
in the Southwest, since it makes annual concert tours through several states. 
The choir, organized in 1928, has a repertoire which includes chorales, 
masses, madrigals, liturgical music, spirituals, and sacred and secular songs. 
The two most discerning national music sororities are represented in Okla- 
homa: Mu Phi Epsilon with an active chapter at the University of Oklahoma 
and several alumnae groups; and Sigma Alpha Iota with units at the uni- 
versities in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Shawnee, and Norman. 

Outside the schools, though always working indirectly with them and 
sometimes in actual collaboration, are various musical organizations through- 
out the state. The Oklahoma Federation of Music Clubs is the most far- 

MUSIC 109 

reaching and prominent; there are 212 senior, student, and junior affiliated 
clubs with a total membership of 4,737 in the state's nine districts. The fed- 
eration sponsors the state's part in the National Federation's competition for 
solo and group work and composition, and has also organized an all-state 
chorus and orchestra which meets to rehearse and perform at the annual 

Enid is noted as a particularly music-minded city, for the schools, civic 
groups, and Phillips University join in sponsoring the annual Tri-State Band 
Festival and the Cimarron Opera Company. Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas 
send bands to the festival, held during the second week in April, where they 
are judged by nationally prominent band conductors and join, as the finale 
of the event, for a massed band concert and parade. The meet is open to 
all bands and is not primarily competitive; it is rather designed for the pur- 
pose of inculcating musical standards. The opera company is a civic organi- 
zation which presents each June in the Glenwood Amphitheater four operas, 
for which well-known singers are often imported to sing the lead roles; a 
symphony made up of citizen musicians and university players interprets 
the score. Tulsa, for a time, supported a symphony, and is the home of two 
outstanding musical organizations — the Tulsans, one of the state's first male 
choral groups, and the Hyechka Club, first organized in 1904 and still active 
with a membership of three hundred. The name is said to mean "music" in 
the Creek language. The State Organists' Guild is represented by chapters 
in Tulsa and in Oklahoma City. 

Oklahoma City boasts a number of prominent and active musical organi- 
zations in which are included the famous Kiltie band, an unusual marching 
society that has represented the city throughout the state and in most of the 
important metropolises of the country during the last fifteen years. There is 
a constant waiting list for the perpetual membership of fifty girls, some 750 
girls having worn the bright plaid kilts, the highlander cap, and the fur purse 
since the start of the band. The minimum age for entrance is sixteen years; 
rigid moral standards are required; membership pays nothing except trip 
expenses; and the only musical knowledge necessary is the ability to read 
music, for instruction in the playing of the bagpipe and the drums is given 
by the conductor of the band. 

The Oklahoma Symphonic Choir, sponsored by the First Christian 
Church of Oklahoma City, has made enviable progress since it was founded 
in 1937. It has no denominational restrictions, only a high vocal standard 
and a limited membership. Mastery of a large repertoire of unusual choral 
music was responsible for the group's being invited to sing at the New York 
World's Fair in 1939 and with the famous Westminster Choir at the West- 


minster College of Music at Princeton, New Jersey, in the same year. An- 
other Oklahoma City music group is the twenty-year-old chapter of the 
MacDowell Club, represented elsewhere in Oklahoma at only two other 
cities, Ada and Anadarko. The Oklahoma City group has a constant mem- 
bership of approximately five hundred and has undertaken the responsi- 
bility of sending Oklahoma artists to the MacDowell summer colony at 
Peterboro, New Hampshire. Musicians who have been given the privilege 
are Spencer Norton, Lemuel Childers, and Charles B. Macklm. The Ladies' 
Music Club, established at the turn of the century and listing a membership 
of five hundred, presents three artist concerts each year, open to members 
and guests. The Apollo Club is an old and active men's choral group. 

The Oklahoma Music Teachers' Association, affiliated with the national 
organization, has headquarters in Oklahoma City. The state's one hundred 
members must be accredited by examination before the State Board of 
Education and possess the necessary college degrees. The association's pur- 
pose is primarily to give recognition to the private music teacher by licensing, 
thus allowing him to give instruction which will accord public school credit 
to the pupil. 

The Flatfoot Four, composed of Oklahoma City policemen, has proved 
itself a championship quartet in "barbershop" vocalizing, for it was declared 
winner in the nationwide contest conducted at the New York World's Fair 
in 1940. A quartet from Bartlesville won second place in the same competi- 

The most important state musical movement in recent years is that 
created by the Oklahoma Music Program, a unit of the Work Projects Admin- 
istration, with headquarters in the Municipal Auditorium in Oklahoma 
City. The 75-piece Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra made its debut in Janu- 
ary, 1938, with pianist Guy Maier as soloist. Each winter a tour is made — by 
the end of 1940 seventeen state cities had heard the symphony in thirty-three 
school concerts, attended by 35,368 children, and in twenty-four public per- 
formances, attended by 15,695. School busses travel as far as seventy-five 
miles to bring children from the rural districts to the place of concert for 
the afternoon performance, always primarily a music appreciation program 
preceded by school study on the concert numbers. Oklahoma City school 
students hear the group regularly. The orchestra presents a series of formal 
concerts at Oklahoma City in the winter and lighter symphonic revues in the 
city's Taft Stadium in the summer; artists of national caliber who have 
appeared with the group are Harold Bauer, Alec Templeton, Albert Spald- 
ing, Donald Dickson, Charles Wakefield Cadman, Dalies Frantz, the San 
Francisco Opera Ballet, and the Littlefield Ballet. Works of thirteen state 

MUSIC 111 

composers have been presented, and a junior symphony of sixty-five students 
is sponsored. 

The young conductor, Victor Alessandro, is a graduate of the Eastman 
School of Music at Rochester, New York, the American winner of the Salz- 
burg and Prix de Rome fellowship in 1937, and has appeared as guest con- 
ductor of the New York Civic Symphony, the Rochester Civic and Phil- 
harmonic Symphonies, and the Eastman Symphony. 

The future of the orchestra is being assured through the organization 
of the Oklahoma State Symphony Society, a nonprofit organization which 
sponsors the concerts and assures the necessary backing; by the official spon- 
sorship of the University of Oklahoma; and by the Oklahoma City Chamber 
of Commerce, which for two successive years (1939-40) chose the orchestra 
as one of its thirteen major activities. The Oklahoma Music Program also has 
a widespread Music Education unit employing seventy-seven teachers. 

Native Oklahomans who have become well known in the concert and 
operatic field are Giuseppe Bentonelli (Joseph Benton), who was born in 
Kansas City, Missouri, but was brought to Sayre as an infant, and who is 
(1941) a leading tenor with the Metropolitan Opera Company; Lushanya 
(Tessie Mobley), born near Ardmore of Chickasaw parentage, a mezzo- 
soprano engaged with the Chicago Civic Opera and a concert artist of fame 
both here and abroad, where she sang before England's King George and 
Queen Mary and Italy's Premier Mussolini; Princess Pakanli (Mrs. Edwin 
Underwood), born also in Ardmore of mixed Indian blood, a soloist with 
the Chicago Civic Opera Company in 1935, and later on the concert stage; 
Kathleen Kersting, born near Enid, who sang for two seasons with the 
Chicago Civic Opera, at Bayreuth in the Wagnerian Festival in 1931, with 
the Berlin Opera Company, and with various other organizations abroad; 
Ruth Alexander Young, another native of Ardmore, who appeared with the 
Denver Opera Company and the Denver Symphony Orchestra in 1936-37 
and taught earlier at the Conservatory of Music at Manila, Philippine 
Islands; and Annette Burford, of Oklahoma City, who was the 1940 winner 
of the Chicago Civic Opera auditions and who is appearing regularly in 
their productions. Mack Harreld, 1939 baritone winner of the Metropolitan 
Opera Company auditions, is a native Texan who lived in Oklahoma City 
for several years. 

Dr. Melvin G. Riggs, professor of psychology at the Oklahoma Agri- 
cultural and Mechanical College, is making a contribution in the field of 
music as associate editor of the Journal of Musicology, a music research 
magazine published at Greenfield, Ohio. A number of his articles on experi- 
mental psychology in relation to music have appeared in various publications; 


one formed the basis for a chapter in Deems Taylor's The Well-Tempered 

Oklahoma lays claim to a number of recognized composers, some native 
to the state and others transplanted citizens. Roy Harris, prominent musician 
and well-known composer, was born near Chandler (see Tour 1). His honors 
include a Guggenheim fellowship and appointments to head the composition 
department of the Westminster Choir of Princeton, New Jersey, and the 
Princeton Festival of American Music. His music, including the First, Sec- 
ond, and Third Symphonies; the Time Suite, commissioned by the Colum- 
bia Broadcasting System; "Johnny Comes Marching Home," commissioned 
by Victor Records; and a number of other works, has been played widely by 
such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, the Boston, Washington, 
D.C., and Seattle symphonies, and by groups in Mexico and Italy. Other 
native Oklahomans who have achieved a measure of fame are Spencer Nor- 
ton, University of Oklahoma professor, who wrote Aeschylus for orchestra 
while at the MacDoweli summer camp, and who has had several piano 
compositions published; Wynn York, whose "Silhouettes" has been played 
by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and Albert Kirkpatrick, composer 
of a number of published concert songs, using the lyrics of the English poet, 
A. E. Housman. 

Native Indian themes have been incorporated in the music written by 
Lemuel Childers, an Osage born in Pawhuska, and the composer of "Hia- 
watha," "Peace Pipe," "Warriors," "Laughing Water," and "Sand Dance," 
all for symphony orchestra; Fred Cardin, born on the Quapaw Reservation 
(see Tour 1), whose "Cree War Dance" for violin and piano has been pub- 
lished; Ingram Cleveland, born in the Cherokee Hills of Cherokee Indian 
parentage and composer of "Spavinaw Moonlight" for violin, which has 
been performed in Chicago and has also been orchestrated and performed 
by the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra; and Jack Kilpatrick, Cherokee In- 
dian born near Stilwell and a graduate of Bacone College, who has written 
"Saturday Night on Echota Hill," "Wovoka," and "Cherokee Suite" for 
orchestra in addition to vocal and instrumental works. 

Adopted Oklahomans who are well known for accomplishments in the 
music world include Claude Lapham, of Oklahoma City, who has received 
acclaim for his oriental music, including the Japanese opera, Sof{ura, per- 
formed in Tokyo and at the Hollywood Bowl in 1933; Edwin Vaile Mc- 
Intyre (died 1934), of Oklahoma City, a prolific and well-known composer 
of teaching pieces for piano, many of which are published; Paul Thomas 
(died 1940), of Oklahoma City, composer of the orchestra number based 
on Edwin Markham's famous poem, "Man With The Hoe"; Samuel A. 

MUSIC 113 

McReynolds, of Oklahoma City, whose Southwest was performed by the 
New York Symphony in 1937, and whose more recent work, Grand River 
Suite, for string orchestra, descriptive of the eastern Oklahoma river, was 
presented in 1939 by the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra; Charles B. Mack- 
lin, of Seminole, who has five published books of teaching pieces for piano, 
violin, and voice; Bohumil Makovsky, head of the music department at the 
Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, the composer of the 180th 
Infantry March; Paolo Conte, dean of music at Oklahoma Baptist University, 
composer of more than two hundred works including the well-known The 
Old Love Story and Canzone Triste, written for piano but later orchestrated; 
Father Ignatius GroU, former instructor of music at St. Gregory's College, 
noted for the prelude, Snow Angel; Oscar J. Lehrer, of the University of 
Oklahoma faculty, writer of sixty published anthems and the noted cantata, 
King of Alcohol; Galen Holcomb, of Oklahoma City, whose native African 
dance, Poro, has been performed by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the 
Chicago Women's Symphony, and the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, and 
whose Capriccio for Tympani and Orchestra, performed by the Illinois and 
Oklahoma Symphonies, has received notice for its unusual choice of solo 
instrument; Marie M. Hine, of Tulsa, who is the composer of two hundred 
published anthems and six cantatas, among them The Redemption; and 
Mayme Rabinovitz-Travis, of Tulsa, who has written many compositions for 
voice and violin, including the well-known "Indian Dance" and "O Wonder- 
ful Mother of Mine." 

In the field of poular music, Oklahoma is represented by Truman 
(Pinky) Tomlin, of Durant, composer of "Object of My Affections"; Phil 
Grogan, of Oklahoma City, composer of "Especially for You"; and Helen 
Myers, of Oklahoma City, a mezzo-soprano well known as a night club 
singer and a recording artist. 

j^O/?* ^ , :xf\i^^ ^ j^O/'i ^ , i^O'i: ^, ^I'^i ^ , i^^lZ . - t^^ll ^ - ^''il 

Folklore and Folkways 

A ccoRDiNG to an imaginative early historian, a pioneer settler in Okla- 
/j\ homa ran amuck on a visit to town and, in the course of a few 
jL jI. minutes, killed a representative of each of five races. The historian 
adds that it was possible because they were found within the space of a city 
block. Considering the diversity of sources from which the state's population 
was drawn, the story is not so farfetched as it might sound. It would be more 
illuminating, however, if the victims had been identified specifically as an 
Iowa farmer, a Texas ranchman, a Missouri lead miner, a Pennsylvania oil- 
man, and an Arkansas fruit grower. 

Although guns play no part in present-day Oklahoma life, they hold 
an important place in its folklore. This is particularly true in the western 
part of the state, where almost any stripling can spin a yarn that, for shoot- 
ing exploits, would shame Annie Oakley. The narrator may start off with 
the solemn assertion that he and a rival decided to test their skill by shooting 
the barbs from a wire fence over a mile stretch. As each was equally success- 
ful in the contest, a further test was necessary. So, loading their guns with 
charges of glue, barbs, and powder, they galloped back over their course, 
shooting the barbs back on the fence. 

"An' if you don't believe that," the tale-teller says, "I'll take you out an' 
show you the fence where it happened!" 

The tall tale is usually not merely a highly improbable piece of fiction, 
but a method of "codding" a naive youngster or newcomer. The story starts 
innocently enough, and if the victim remains credulous it explodes into utter 

The cyclone is a common subject for such stories. The "codder" begins 
with a series of events, credible enough, which he claims to have witnessed: 
his house was blown away, but the cookstove was left undisturbed with fire 
going and the teakettle steaming. All of his listeners who are aware of what 
is going on pretend to be not at all interested. The conclusion of the story may 
be that a sack of meal had been hanging on a neighbor's porch and the wind 
blew the sack away, leaving the meal hanging there! 



The story of Paul Bunyan's great gray wolf — a blood cousin of the 
blue ox — is an oil-field classic. The wolf, "derrick-high and slushpit wide," 
became associated with Paul on one of his transadantic swims. Bunyan met 
the animal in mid-ocean, swimming for shore with a whale in his Jaws. They 
"spelled" each other with the burden and became fast friends. 

Bunyan hitched the wolf to a buckboard and established the first mail 
line into Oklahoma, making daily trips between this state and Pennsylvania. 
He finally gave up the mail line to take the agency for a remarkable salve. 
Paul commonly began its demonstration by cutting off an arm or leg and 
sticking it back again. Paul and the wolf became rich; but the railroads had 
always been jealous of the pair. The wolf, who was a guileless animal, accepted 
a challenge from the Santa Fe to race from Oklahoma City to Ardmore and 
was just about to win when the engineer threw a crowbar out of the window, 
slicing the beast in two from nose to tail. Paul rushed to the scene with a 
satchel full of salve and stuck the wolf together again, but in his haste the two 
halves were not properly arranged. Two legs were on the ground, the other 
two pointed to the sky. This proved to be an advantage, however, for, when 
the wolf grew tired of running on one side, Paul would turn him over and let 
him run on the other. The wolf finally died of iron poisoning after eating 182 
miles of Santa Fe track. 

Tall-tale telling is essentially a country diversion, although in the towns 
and cities of Oklahoma the Negroes are fond of the Paul Bunyan, or John 
Henry, variety. One of these tells how old John Henry drifted into Oklahoma 
without either cottonseed or planting tools and found that none of the Indians 
would sell him any land. But he wasn't discouraged; he just up and drank all 
the water out of the Canadian River, then took and put his two hands together 
and drug 'em along the sandy bed of the river, plowing it up with his fingers. 
Then he reached into the sky to get him cotton plants from the big patches 
up there that some folks call clouds . . . Was this John Henry a big man? 
Well, I never seen him till he was four hundred and sixty years old, and by 
then he was kind of shriveled, not more than seventeen hoe-handles between 
his eyes. 

On the farms, where there is leisure for "codding," almost every dwelling 
will have some opening that can be pointed out as a "crowbar hole." The town 
innocent, inquiring into the purpose of the opening, will learn that it is to 
test the wind velocity. If the crowbar merely bends when thrust through the 
hole, it is safe to go out. However, if the bar is broken off, it is better to stay 
in the house. 

There is a very real basis for the stories of Oklahoma outlaws, or the 
outlaws who occasionally made Oklahoma their stamping ground. No one 


will deny that the Daitons and DooHns were all handy with rifle or six- 
shooter, or that Belle Starr was able to tell the butt of a gun from the barrel. 
But the story of the outlaw who lined his family up against a barn door and 
traced their silhouettes with six-guns can be characterized only as a tall-tale. 

A number of stories of bad men have defied exaggeration from the time 
they were first told. This is the case with the tale of a Panhandle cowboy who 
was captured by outlaws about 1870. The hard-hearted villains cooped the 
cowboy up in a barrel and rolled him out on the prairie to die of thirst and 
starvation. Several hours later a herd of buffaloes passed that way and one 
came close to sniff curiously at the barrel. As it turned away, its tail slipped 
through the bunghole and the cowboy seized it. The frightened animal began 
to run and, the cowboy guiding him by instinct, they reached a town where 
the barrel was opened and the man released. 

There were notable gun-shots in early Oklahoma, of course, and the 
time probably bred more fearless and daring men than any other period. Life 
was indeed real and earnest, and the one safe place for a dreamer was his bed. 
Some of the officers vi^ere reformed outlaws, and some of the outlaws had been 
officers; there was understanding between the two classes even though there 
was no compromise. There was romance in outlawry, and a broad streak of 
humor which not even lynching or legal execution could completely extin- 
guish. This light-hearted disregard of life and death is evident in the follow- 
ing song: 

A friend of mine once stole a horse, 

'T was in a place out West. 
The horse just left his owner 

Cause he liked my friend the best. 
My friend had lots of trouble 

When the owner came on deck, 
When he found the horse had had 

A string around his neck. 

Chorus: A little piece of string, it seems a tiny thing. 

But strong enough to keep the horse in check. 
When my friend I last did see, he was hanging from a tree 
With a little piece of string around his neck. 

On the great cattle ranches that spread across western Oklahoma after 
the Civil War, folk songs were almost inevitably popular. During the long, 
idle winters, a battered accordion or banjo was a god-send in more than one 
lonely bunkhouse. The balladry of this period is illustrated in these lines: 

"Come alive you fellers," hear the foreman shout. 

"Drop your books and banjos, fetch your saddles out . . . 
"Shake that squeaky fiddle, Red, go and get your boss, 

"Dutch, ain't you got duties, as the chuck-wagon boss? 


"Range is gettin' grassy, winter draws its claws, 

"Calves are fat an' sassy, teasin' of their maws, 
"Loafin' days are over, dreamin' time is gone, 

"No more life in clover, fer the round-up's on." 

In rural sections, the square dance is still popular. Except during the 
busy summer season, every community has its weekly "shindig" in some 
farm home. Only in those districts where big barns are common are these 
affairs "barn dances." In most cases barns are too small and rickety, or hay- 
mows are too full to be used for such purposes. As a rule, the square dance is 
a social affair, but occasionally one is held to raise money for some charitable 

The square dance fiddler's first concern is to carry a tune, but he must 
carry it loud enough to be heard over the noise of stamping feet, the cries of 
the "caller," and the shouts of the dancers. When he fiddles, he "fiddles all 
over"; feet, hands, knees, head, and eyes are all busy. He is usually supported 
by a "second," whose performance on the piano, guitar, banjo, organ, or 
another fiddle, gives the music additional resonance and depth. 

The "caller" at the square dance is as important as the fiddler or his 
second. He tells the dancers what to do, but his directions are so enhanced 
by his poetical fervor, his humor, and his vocalizing that a visitor, unfamiliar 
with square-dance calls, can hardly understand the words, let alone translate 
them into commands. The caller is necessarily well acquainted with his audi- 
ence and is apt to incorporate in his chants well-known bits of family history. 
He may also make observations upon love-smitten couples, the perils of store 
teeth at taffy puUings, or hint gently that his own art is a thirsty business. 

Dance calls are fairly uniform throughout the state, but each caller puts 
his own stamp upon them. The result is a rich body of rustic rhymes. 

The following verses are typical: 

Break trail home 

In Indian style; 
Swing the gal behind you 

Once in a while 
Now grab your partner 

And go hog-wild! 

Two little sisters 

Form a ring. 
Now you're born 

Now you swing! 
(A play on the expression "born to be hung.") 

Panthers scream 

Bobcats squall 
House cat jumps 

Through a hole in the wall. 


Eat ice cream, 

Drink soda water; 
Some old man 

Gonna lose his daughter. 

Ladies lead off 

In the cowboy style; 
Stop and rope one 

Every little while. 

Same ol' boys 

An' the same ol' trail; 
An' watch the same ol' 'possum 

Walk the same ol' rail. 

Walk the Huckleberry shuffle 

And Chinese cling; 
Elbow twist and 

The grapevine swing! 

Swing your partners one and all, 
Swing that lady in the checkered shawl. 
Gents, hands in your pockets, back to the wall, 
Take a chaw of terbacker and balance all. 
Quit that hugging, ain't you a-shamed, 
Promenade, Oh Promenade! 

In communities where dancing is frowned upon the play-party is popu- 
lar. It resembles the dance in figures and tunes, but substitutes vocal for instru- 
mental accompaniment. A favorite old play-party song is this: 

Rise you up my dearest dear 

And present to me your hand, 

And we'll go in pursuit 

Of some far and better land 

Where the hawk '11 chase the buzzard, 

And the buzzard '11 chase the crow. 

And we'll rally 'round the cane brake 

And chase the buffalo. 

"Skip To My Lou," another popular play-party song, contains more than 
a hundred verses. The following is typical: 

Red birds singin', two by two. 
Red birds singin', two by two. 
Red birds singin', two by two, 
Skip to m' Lou, my darlin'. 

The first line of another verse pictures 

Rats in the buttermilk, two by two. 

Another early-day expression of social life was the "singin' school." The 
singing teacher, whose status in the community might range from that of a 


member of the church choir to an itinerant whisky tenor, was usually paid 
a dollar for each man; women and children were admitted free, and whole 
families attended. 

Songs shook the one-room schoolhouse rafters on the sharp winter nights 
when the singin' school "took up," blending with the roaring of red-bellied 
heating stove and the sad, distant tinkle of harness. Many of the tunes were 
nameless and of unknown origin, such as this: 

I married me a wife in the month of June — 

Nickle te, nackle te, now, now, now, 

I took her home by the light of the moon, 

With a wree-wrah-wraddle, 

And a Jack straw straddle 

And a little brown bridle come under the broom. 

Scales were sung, and some attempt was made to group the diflferent 
voices, but the people were too intent on fun to submit to any great amount 
of discipline. 

'Coon and 'possum hunts, held in the fall and winter, are the most com- 
mon outdoor recreations in the hills and wooded sections. The essentials, 
other than a party of men or boys, are hound dogs and a supply of corn liquor. 
The dogs "tree" the quarry and stand guard until the hunters arrive. The 
whisky helps to kill the poison in the night air. 

It is in the hills of eastern Oklahoma that the beliefs and customs of an- 
other century are best preserved; but in every section of the state there are 
cures that no doctor would recommend, methods of planting that the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture would not encourage, and modes of speech that gram- 
marians would frown upon. Some of the most interesting superstitions are: 

To cure a snake bite, kill the snake, cut it open, and apply the warm 
flesh to the wound. 

To cure the sting of a bee, chew up three kinds of leaves and grass and 
apply to the wound. 

Don't marry in a dotted dress. If you do, you will have as many children 
as there are dots. 

Don't sweep under a sick person's bed lest he die. 

A child suffering from "fits" can be cured by putting its feet into the 
open body of a freshly killed chicken. 

Boils can be prevented from recurring by swallowing shot, one shot for 
each boil the patient may have had. 

To remove a wart, loop a thread around it, then remove the thread and 
throw it away in the woods. When it decays, the wart will have vanished. 
Another method is to put a kernel of corn on a wart, then feed the corn to a 

120 OKLAHOMA: Tin-: general background 

rooster; or the wart may be removed by touching it lightly with a drop of 

blood from the armpit of an enemy. 

Never let a woman be the first to enter your home on Monday morning; 
let it be a man, even if you must invite him in. 

If a cock crows three times at your door, on the porch, or on the back 
doorstep, a stranger will arrive at your home soon. 

If you plan to move to a new house, burn five tallow candles in the new 
residence in the shape of a cross for good luck; one at each end of the house, 
one at each side, and one in the center. Let them burn until consumed. 

Negroes say that if a man tries to steal your girl or wife, you should first 
warn him. Then if he fails to take heed, place a miniature coffin, with a 
drawing of a skeleton therein, under his doorstep. The curse can be removed 
by having a voodoo doctor burn the coffin. If a person for whom it was not 
intended steps over it, he must wash his hands in "pine" whisky and either 
destroy the casket or let the voodoo doctor destroy it. 

The following beliefs are typical of the lore of the Five Civilized Tribes, 
which reflects their long association with whites and Negroes: 

Earache should be treated with fire coals. The sizzling coal is momen- 
tarily dipped into water, wrapped in a woolen cloth, and applied to the ear. 

To cure a headache, the medicine man takes a mouthful of water from a 
mountain spring and sprays it upon the head of the sufferer. 

Medicine kept in a house where death has occurred loses its potency. 

Trash should not be swept out of doors on Sunday mornings, or bad luck 
will follow. 

Ashes should be removed from a stove only in the morning. If they are 
taken out in the afternoon, some member of the family will become ill. 

Storms can be avoided by sticking an axe handle in the ground, burning 
a pinch of tobacco in the fireplace, burning the shell of a turtle or terrapin, 
or placing a flatiron on top of a griddle in the exact center of the room. 

A mourner must not enter a garden, or the plants will wither and die. 

Babies must not have their hair cut until after they are a year old, or they 
will never walk. 

If a child is left alone in a room, a Bible or a pair of scissors is placed 
near it to frighten away witches. 

The mother of a baby should scratch the bare hips of her young one with 
the feet of a live chicken to ensure that her influence over the baby will con- 
tinue during its life. 

The average Oklahoman, of course, is far more literate than he is pic- 
tured by some western-story writers. Men do not habitually call one another 


"pardner," and few children address their mothers as "mammy." However, 
there are interesting peculiarities of speech in certain sections. 

Hill folk are apt to say "et" for "ate" and follow the cockney English 
custom of dropping or adding the aspirate "h." "You'ns," "they'uns," and 
"nary'uns" are in general use, as are "I taken," and "I done." The Elizabethan 
"quote" is often a substitute for "echo"; "sorry" means inferior; and "eve- 
nin' " is any time between noon and dusk. In the Arbuckle mountains, the 
Spanish influence is evident in the use of such words as loco, hombre, and 
"savvy." The southwestern Indians picked up the expression no sabe from 
the Spaniards, pronouncing it "no savvy." The term came to mean, among 
both whites and Indians, "I do not know." Along the Red River, the slurred 
"r" is more the rule than the exception, and "h" is carelessly handled. Former 
Texans also say "putt" for "put," "awn" for "on," and "hone" for "horn." 
"Gallery" is a synonym for "porch," and a small body of water is a "tank." A 
common practice is to pronounce "e" like "i," turning the word "men," for 
example, into "min." In the western part of the state there is a tendency to- 
ward Zane Grey vocabularies, which may or may not have a connection with 
the popularity of his books in that region. Such westernisms are most pro- 
nounced in the very young or very simple and either, in moments of excite- 
ment, is likely to forget his cowboy-story lingo. 

Oil-field workers use strange hybrid words and phrases, some technically 
sound, some acutely suggestive, some that come from the hobo and criminal 
lingoes. In general use in the oil-field world are the following expressions: 

Bindle — (Bundle) Usually containing cooking utensils as well as clothing. 

Bindlestiff — A migratory worker who carries a bindle. 

Bronze John — The sun. 

Boweevil — (Boll Weevil) A worthless fellow, or a novice at oil-field work. 

Button — To end. "We put the button on the job." 

Cake — Bread. 

Christmas Tree — The collection of valves and fittings at the top of a well 

controlling oil and gas flow. 
Cherries — Beans. 
Crumb — Infringing upon the work or rights of others. "Stop crumbing on 

me." Also an animal parasite. 
Crumb Boss — A man who has charge of tents or bunkhouses. Derived from 

the humorous supposition that he is able to command the crumbs which 

(may) infest the beds. 
Doodlebug — An unscientific device used in attempts to locate oil and other 



Dope — Creosote; used to coat pipe. 

Drag-up — To draw one's pay and quit. 

Fire, or fire in the hole — "Get out of the way! Explosion due!" 

Four-foot gas — Wood cut in four-foot lengths. 

Mr. Gluckenheimer — A "wise guy." 

High-pressure — The boss. Adjective — "The high-pressure tent." 

Hold — To possess money. "What are you holding.''" 

Jamoke — Coffee. A merging of Java and mocha. 

Knowledge bench — A three-tiered stool belonging to the driller. 

Lazy board — A board above the derrick floor, from which pipe is stabbed 

into the well. The stabber works spasmodically, hence the name. 
Mormon board — A broad board with two handles, used for filling in a ditch. 
Mud hog — A rotary driller. Also, a pump. 
Rope-choker — A cable-tool driller. 
Snake — A West Virginian. This is probably derived from the "treachery" 

of the West Virginians in siding with the North during the Civil War. 
Slush-pit — A hole approximately fifty by one hundred feet, and four feet in 

depth, where thin mud that circulates about the drill-stem and flushes 

out the cuttings is stored. 
Stroke — A minor foreman. "He is (or has) the stroke on the dope gang." 
Swamper — A truck driver's helper. 

Tool pusher — The supervisor in direct charge of several drilling wells. 
Tower — (for "Tour"), the daily stint of a driller. 
Wildcat — A well in unproved territory. 
Wildcatter — One who drills in unproved territory. 

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Principal Cities 

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Railroad Stations: 217 E. Main St. for Santa Fe; Broadway and A St. for Frisco. 

Bus Stations: 300 W. Main St. for Oklahoma Transportation Co.; 10 E. Main St. for Jordan 

Bus Line. 

Airport: Ardmore Field, 9.6 m. N. on US 77. 

City Busses: Terminal, 201 S. Washington St., fare 5c. 

Taxis: fare 15c, 

Accommodations: 5 hotels; rooming houses; tourists camps. 

Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, 100 W. Main St. 

Radio Station : K VSO ( 1 2 40 kc. ) . 

Motion Picture Theaters: 6; 1 for Negroes. 

Athletics: Walker Stadium, S St. and McLish Ave., S.W. 

Golf: Dornick Hills, 2 m. N. on US 77, greens fee $1; Municipal Golf Club, 2.5 m. N. on 

US 77, greens fee, 25c weekdays, 35c Sundays and holidays. 

Swimming and Wading Pools: for children, Whittington City Park, 800 4th Ave., S.E., free; 

Lake Murray State Park, 3.9 m. S. on Washington St. 

Boating: Lake Murray. 

Tennis: City courts, B and 9th Sts., N.W. F St. and 3d Ave., N.E., free. 

Annual Event: Southern Oklahoma Free Fair and Exposition, Whittington City Park, 2d 
week in Sept. 

ARDMORE (896 alt., 16,886 pop.), seat of Carter County, is the largest city 
between Oklahoma City, 104 miles north, and Fort Worth, Texas, 107 miles 
south. It came into being on the RofT Brothers' "700 Ranch" in the Indian Ter- 
ritory when, in 1887, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad was built 
through the site. 

The growth of this self-styled "capital of south central Oklahoma" from 
a catde-loading point in the middle of a big ranch to the wide-spreading 
metropolis of an area rich in farming land, pastures, oil, asphaltum, and rec- 
reational resources, has been steady but unspectacular. 

In general, the city has a spaced, comfortable appearance that suggests 
the predominant southern population. The broad, tree-shaded streets of the 
section first laid out by Ardmore's pioneers were not made truly north and 
south and east and west, but were oriented to the Santa Fe railway tracks. 
Later additions, therefore, laid out by compass, do not jibe with them. Notice- 
able are the number of fine old native hackberry trees that arch over the side- 



Ardmore's Negroes, who make up approximately 13 per cent of the popu- 
lation, live east of the Santa Fe tracks, north and south of East Main street. 
They are mainly from the Negro families that were drawn to the cotton fields 
of the region after it became possible for non-Indians to obtain leases and 
develop the good cotton-growing farms of the surrounding region. 

When Ardmore was founded it was named by an official of the railroad 
in honor of the Philadelphia suburb he had known, though the young settle- 
ment had little of the beauty of its namesake. Two years after it had become 
a station on the Santa Fe, a pioneer setder from Texas pictured it in these 

"Father met us at the depot, and on the way to our new home we saw the 
public well and watering trough in the middle of Main Street. ... I remember 
how my sister and I gazed at the cowboys standing at the well with their ten- 
gallon white hats, black-and-white checked shirts, and slant-heeled boots. The 
spot seemed to be attractive to the town's hogs, also, as they had made a wal- 
lowing ground around the trough. Before reaching home we saw our first 
rattlesnake and prairie chickens. 

"The first winter we were visited by a fierce, mangy herd of wild horses 
that stayed near our house for quite a while, snorting and pitching and mak- 
ing it unsafe for us children to venture outside." 

There is also the tale of the retired town marshal, drafted to help capture 
a mountain man charged with attempted homicide, who went alone and un- 
armed to take him, stayed to dinner, and drove back to the courthouse on the 
friendliest possible terms with him. Such stories as these are told by Ardmore- 
ites who can say, "I was there and saw it." 

In its early days, Ardmore was a trading point for farmers and ranchmen 
of the Chickasaw Nation and an important primary market for cotton. Five 
years after the coming of the railroad, it was claimed that more than fifty 
thousand bales were sold on its streets by growers in the season. 

The even progress of the city's growth was stimulated by the discovery 
of oil near by in 1913; it is perhaps this factor which has determined its 
regional prominence. In contrast to the history of most Oklahoma oil-boom 
towns, the subsidence of the gusher phase of the Healdton and other fields 
in the region did not mean partial paralysis of Ardmore. Under the rule of 
limited output imposed by proration, the thousands of wells settled into pro- 
duction which as yet shows few signs of exhaustion in the Healdton, Ringling, 
Wirt, Fox, Hewitt, and other, lesser, fields of the same general area. 

As early as 1901, when the first oil developments in Oklahoma were excit- 
ing the farmers and ranchers of the Tulsa-Red Fork region, a group of Ard- 
more citizens, together with investors from Missouri and South Dakota, 


formed a company to explore the Red Beds for oil. They had seen crude oil 
on the surface of water flowing from springs, and despite the expert judg- 
ment of such men as John D. Archbold, of the Standard Oil Company, who 
declared he would drink all the oil found in the Red Beds, they persisted in 
their explorations and found oil at four hundred feet. 

But it was not until after Roy Johnson came to start a newspaper at 
Ardmore in 1907 that a persistent effort to develop the field was made. John- 
son was obsessed by the conviction that there must be oil near the extensive 
beds of asphaltum which had been mapped near Ardmore. The city's streets 
were being paved with rock asphalt at the time; and Johnson, after examining 
it, believed that this material had once been saturated with oil, that the light 
oil had drained away, and that asphaltum had been formed from the residue. 
He took on as a partner in the venture a young man who could give all his 
time to securing leases, while he himself undertook to finance the enterprise. 
When their funds ran out, Johnson negotiated a loan of $2,000, paying a com- 
mission of 2 per cent, promising to pay interest at the rate of 10 per cent a 
year, and giving as security his newspaper publishing plant. When the money 
was spent, he borrowed more from the young schoolma'am, Odessa Otey, 
with whom he was keeping company and whom he later married. 

Ten years after he and his group had brought in the first well in 1913, 
Johnson recalled the story of oil in the Ardmore region and suggested that 
Archbold would have drunk a big mouthful of oil had he made good on his 
promise — up to that time the Red Beds had yielded some 167,000,000 barrels! 

More striking, though perhaps no more important to the oil history of 
Ardmore than Roy Johnson, were John Ringling, circus man, and Jake 
Hamon, Republican politician. It was Ringling, who, annoyed by the poor 
roads between his wells and Ardmore, built twenty miles of railway to a point 
named Ringling, with a six-mile branch to Healdton, which was later ex- 
tended. Hamon was so prominent in the campaign which resulted in the 
election of Harding as President that before his untimely death he was said 
to be slated for a cabinet post. John W. Harreld, an Ardmoreite living in Okla- 
homa City, was elected to the United States Senate in the Harding landslide 
of 1920. He and W. B. Pine (see Okmulgee), who defeated Jack Walton in 
1924 (see History), are the only Republicans (up to 1941) ever elected from 
Oklahoma to a term in the United States Senate. Lee Cruce, of Ardmore, an 
intermarried member of the Chickasaw tribe, was the second governor of 
Oklahoma (1913-17). 

Ardmore's first newspaper, the Alliance Courier, a weekly, was started 
in 1888, when there was no municipal government, when the city's fire de- 
partment was a volunteer bucket brigade and its water supply came from 


cisterns dug beside their stores by the merchants of Main Street, and the only 
poHce force was a deputy marshal from the Federal court. Under Jules Soule, 
this paper served as mouthpiece for the Farmers' Alliance, a radical agrarian 
movement that was widespread in Kansas and other drought-aflected areas, 
and was brought into Indian Territory by leasers and tenant farmers. Soule 
acquired the Ardmore Chronicle in 1890 and also printed the Wind Bag. 

Two Negro newspapers, the Ardmore Sun (1901) and the Baptist Rival 
(1902), were the next of a number of weekly journals to be born and have a 
life in the town. The Chickasaw Chieftain, which Rezin McAdam established 
in 1890 to campaign for the breaking up of tribal governments, allotment of 
Indian lands, and their opening to white settlement, became an evening daily 
in 1892. In the following year, Sidney Suggs, a picturesque figure who made 
himself a leader in Oklahoma journalism, bought for $600 the new and strug- 
gling Daily Ardmoreite. It is the only survivor (1941) of the half-dozen 
dailies that have tried their wings in the city — Roy Johnson's Statesman, 
the Daily Citizen, the Chronicle, the Ardmore Appeal, the Bulletin, and the 
Morning Democrat. The Ardmoreite management also prints the Democrat, 
a weekly. 

A dramatic highlight in Ardmore's history was the explosion, on Sep- 
tember 27, 1915, of a tank car containing highly volatile casing-head gasoline. 
So terrific was the concussion that the Santa Fe station, most of the business 
houses, and many residences were wrecked; and some fifty persons lost their 
lives. It was said that horses eight miles away were knocked to their knees. 

From the first traditional one-room schoolhouse, Ardmore's educational 
plant has multiplied to a modern accredited high school, a junior high school, 
and four elementary schools which enroll more than 4,400 students. A high 
school and an elementary school, with twenty teachers, take care of some six 
hundred Negro students. Twenty-seven churches are supported by the white 
people of the city, while the Negroes have twelve churches. 

As Ardmore grew, park spaces were generously provided. Today (1941) 
there are ten municipal parks, one of which is in the Negro district. Within 
an hour's driving distance lie twelve lakes and other attractive recreational 
features which draw tourists and vacationists to the clear, fish-stocked streams 
and lakes of the Arbuckle Mountains region. 

Among the seventy-three industrial enterprises that have plants in the 
city are an automobile tire manufacturing plant, oil refineries, cotton oil and 
flour mills, cotton gins and compresses, manufacturers of guns, cigars, stoves, 
and pecan-cracking machinery. In all, says Ardmore's Chamber of Com- 
merce, the city's industries have (1941) an annual pay roll of $685,000, and 
their sales amount to $6,000,000. 

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Early Settlement 

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Ardmore operates under a city manager. Incorporated as a municipality 
of the first class in 1899, with a mayor and aldermen, it changed to the com- 
mission form of government in 1909. It was the second city in Oklahoma to 
make this change, Tulsa being the first. 


The CARNEGIE LIBRARY, 502 Stanley Ave., a two-story gray stone 
building, is the successor to a reading room for young men provided in 1895 
out of funds collected by a committee of citizens. It has now (1941) more 
than 26,000 books in its stacks. 

In 1904, Mrs. Hosea Townsend started the movement for a library and 
wrote to Andrew Carnegie stating Ardmore's need. He gave $15,000, and 
work on the present library was started. The building was opened in 1906, 
its first accessions being 350 books begged and bought by the women of the 
Orio Club. Not until 1919 did the city appropriate sufficient funds to increase 
materially the collection by purchase, but within two years thereafter there 
were 12,500 books on the shelves. Funds for additional improvements to the 
library were provided in 1941. A Museum (free), on the first floor of the 
library, has on display a small collection of documents and relics of historic 
interest relating to southern Oklahoma history, and also geological and bio- 
logical specimens. 

ST. PHILLIPS CHURCH (open to visitors), E St. and McLish Ave., 
built in 1927, is an interesting adaptation of the Gothic design of Merton 
College, Oxford University, England. Built of Missouri limestone, it is a 
small church seating only 250 worshipers. The stained glass windows — over 
the altar, in the west end wall, and in the side walls — tell the story of the 
ascension of Christ: Christ as the Good Shepherd, Saint Paul before Agrippa, 
and the Angel with the Faithful Women before Christ's empty tomb. 

In the belfry of the Gothic type FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 
C St. and Broadway, is a chime of 11 bells, said to be the first to be installed 
in Oklahoma. The largest of the bells, weighin;; 2,500 pounds, can be rung 

The YMCA BUILDING, A St. and Broadway, dedicated in 1938, is a 
small structure of cream brick, beautifully proportioned, modernistic in de- 
sign and decoration. There are no rooms for rent, and no classes are conducted 
in the building; the interior — drawing room, two small parlors, banquet 
room-auditorium in the basement, and kitchenette — is finished and fur- 
nished like a club. The building was made possible by a generous contribu- 
tion by Mrs. Edward T, Noble, supplemented by those of other citizens of 


The CARTER COUNTY COURTHOUSE, 1st Ave. between A and 
B Sts., S.W., is a solid, square building of gray limestone, adorned with tall, 
massive pillars in front, topped by a dome which is one of the first objects to 
attract the eye as one approaches Ardmore. 

The CITY HALL, South Washington St. at 1st Ave., S.W., is a buff 
brick structure of modern design. 

The FEDERAL BUILDING, 100 N. Washington St., typical of the 
strictly utilitarian structures built in the 1920's, is of plain brown brick with 
white trim. It houses the Federal District Court and the post office. 

The AMERICAN LEGION HUT, 3d Ave. and Washington St., is 
the former station of the Ardmore-Ringling railroad, which was taken over 
by the Santa Fe. Abandoned by the railroad, the property reverted to the city 
and was turned over to the George R. Anderson post of the Legion on a long- 
term, dollar-a-year lease in 1940. The renovated building is used as a club- 
house by the war veterans, and also provides quarters for the county draft 
board and the Red Cross. 

The DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL (for Negroes), at the eastern edge 
of the city, a brown brick structure with white trim built in 1917, occupies 
a site that overlooks the city. Native oak trees, trimmed to fit into the land- 
scaping, give dignity to the school grounds. 

The OLD 700 RANCH HOUSE, G St. and 2d Ave., S.E., the first 
building on the site of Ardmore and the first in the county, has been so altered 
through the years that only a small part of it remains in its original state. As 
built, it was a double log house, with a breezeway between the two sections. 
Old-time Ardmoreites remember when it was headquarters of the ranch on 
which the city was built, with corrals and outbuildings back of it on the 
small creek to the south, and with bluestem grass growing near by "as high 
as a man on horseback." The house, now in the Negro section, is occupied by 
a Negro family. 


Oak Hill Farm, 9.6 m.; Oil Springs, 25 m. (see Tour 6); Lake Murray State Park, 
3.9 m.; Turner Falls Park, 14.1 m.; Price's Falls, 22.2 m. {see Tour 10). 

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Railroad Station: Union Depot, 200 W. 2d St., for Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. and 

Missouri-Kansas-Texas R.R. 

Bus Station: Union Terminal, 406 Dewey St. 

Airport: Commercial, 3.5 m. E. on Tuxedo Rd. (county highway); Phillips Petroleum Field, 

1.2 m. W. on US 60. 

City Bus Lines: Fare 10c, two for 15c. 

Taxis: Fare 15c. 

Accommodations: 4 hotels; rooming houses; tourist camps. 

Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, 121 W. 3d St. 

Neu/spapers: Morning Examiner and Bartlesville Enterprise, evening. 

Motion Picture Houses: 3. 

Athletics: Baseball, softball, football at Municipal Stadium, 1st St. and Dewey Ave.; seating 

capacity 3,000. 

Wrestling: "The Bowl," 305 Short St., Friday evenings in winter. 

Swimming: Sanipool, 120 N. Seneca St., fee 15c for children, 25c for adults. 

Golf: Osage Hills, 2 m. W., greens fee 50c; Sunset Course, 3 m. N.W., greens fee 50c. 

Tennis: Municipal courts, 1st St. at Osage Ave.; S. edge of city; free. 

BARTLESVILLE (694 alt., 16,267 pop.), seat of Washington County, is 
the center of a productive agricultural region and headquarters for important 
oil interests. The city claims a greater percentage of college graduates among 
its inhabitants than any other city in Oklahoma. Though this is not suscep- 
tible of proof from available statistics, it is true that university men have been 
drawn to Bardesville in large numbers by the U.S. Bureau of Mines experi- 
mental station and laboratory, with sixty workers; the Phillips Petroleum 
Company's research laboratories, employing 190 persons; the head offices of 
four important major oil companies; and the office and factory of a company 
that supplies unique oil well equipment. 

One other distinction claimed by Bartlesville is that it leads the state in 
percentage of income tax payers, having one taxable income for every fifteen 
inhabitants. The explanation is that a large number of its people are execu- 
tives of companies that produce more than 10 per cent of all the oil brought 
to the surface in the United States; and much wealth has been drawn into 
the city by the six thousand wells of the shallow field early developed in 
Washington County. 

Bardesville is a spreading, tree-shaded city of wide streets, with an air 
of newness and prosperity. Its eastern end occupies a loop of the Caney River, 



a section that is sometimes flooded, but the main part of the city lies on high 
ground to the west. Its skyline is broken by three business buildings that 
rise well above the half-dozen blocks of stores and offices at the center. Be- 
yond, westward, industrial plants and workmen's homes have reached out 
to the edge of the blackjack hills of the Osage country. At the city's southern 
edge is a river shelf on which have been built many fine homes, and a high 
school plant that is (1941) the finest and most modern in the state. Below 
this bench are the Caney River bottoms, where in the fall pecans from native 
trees drop in the backyards. 

Founder, and for a considerable time chief owner, a trader named Jake 
Bardes was the third white man to move into Coo-wee-scoo-wee District of 
the old Cherokee Nation. The town, named for him, had its birth in 1877 
when Bartles quit his original store location at Silver Lake, six miles to the 
southeast, at that time the site of the Osage Indian Agency, and built the 
first flour mill in Indian Territory on the bank of the Caney River in what 
is now the northeastern quarter of the city. 

An enterprising pioneer, Bartles had married the daughter of Charles 
Journeycake, a consecrated native preacher and chief of one remnant of the 
Delaware tribe of Indians that had been granted equal rights in the Cherokee 
Nation. This had given him, as an "adopted" citizen, the right to live and 
trade among the Cherokees. Then, in order to catch the trade of the Osage 
Indians, to whom a reservation (carved out of Cherokee lands) had been 
given five years before, he removed to what he thought was the edge of that 
reservation. It turned out, later, that the border was several miles to the west, 
but Bartles stuck to his mill and store on the Caney, and within a year he 
had hauled in a dynamo and was producing the first electric light to glow 
in Oklahoma. 

Bartles prospered. When, in 1880, Jim French and his tw'O stepsons 
drove down from Kansas with wagons and four-mule teams to establish the 
first freight line in that section of Indian Territory, the store and camp had 
become a town. 

Another pioneer. Nelson Carr, a white man from Kansas who married 
into the Cherokee tribe, had preceded Bartles on the Caney and had con- 
structed a small gristmill for grinding corn in 1868. But he sold out to Bartles 
and disappeared from local history. 

Two other early comers are given almost equal credit with Bardes for 
fanning the town's life spark into a steady blaze; William Johnstone and 
George B. Keeler, partners, opened a store across the river from Bartles in 
1884 and became vigorous rivals of the founder for the Indian trade. Keeler, 
though a young man, had had experience with the old Chouteau trading 


dynasty, was an expert in the sign language, and spoke Osage fluendy; and 
for a time he had served as clerk in Bartles' store. Keeler's partner, John- 
stone, had also married into the Journeycake family and had also clerked in 
Bartles' store. Before the coming of oil, the partners were occupied with 
storekeeping, cattie, and sawmills; walnut lumber from the Caney and Verdi- 
gris river bottoms was turned out by the mills and had a good market. After 
the town began to grow they erected buildings for rental. The first telephone 
line, linking the two stores with Caney, Kansas, was built in 1897. 

After it became possible, in 1898, for townsites to be platted and lots 
sold, legally, these pioneers reincorporated the settlement, which they had 
previously organized under Arkansas law. It was not until 1898 that a rail- 
road (the Santa Fe) came; it built in on the grade surveyed and leveled from 
Caney, Kansas, twenty miles to the north, by Bartles' men. When the tracks 
went down, the inveterate town-building Bartles moved north four miles to 
establish the town of Dewey (see Tour 9) in honor of the hero of Manila 
Bay. To that site he hauled his original store and residence at Silver Lake, 
and also the newer two-story residence he had built near his mill on the Caney. 

A second railroad, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas, came to Bartlesville in 
1903. By this time the extensive shallow oil field had become important from 
the eastern Osage border to, and beyond, the Verdigris River. Then the first 
deep oil-bearing stratum in the Mid-Continent field was discovered and called 
the Bartlesville sand. In 1901, H. V. Foster established the Indian Territory 
Illuminating Oil Company, which, under the more familiar title ITIO, twenty- 
seven years later brought in the discovery well at Oklahoma City and developed 
into one of the major companies maintaining its chief offices at Bartlesville. 

Natural gas, incident to the production of oil, became available and its 
cheapness as fuel was the deciding factor in bringing a zinc smelter to the 
southwestern edge of town in 1906. Two more smelters were built, and then 
a pottery for making the retorts used in the zinc smelting process. Uncertainty 
in the market for zinc, however, has caused many partial or complete shut- 
downs of these smelters, and they have seldom run to capacity. 

Bartlesville has twelve modern schools with a total enrollment of more 
than four thousand, a church membership of 7,500, and a large Sunday 
School enrollment. There is a Town Hall discussion club with a membership 
of three hundred, a Little Theater Guild, and a Co-operative Concert Asso- 
ciation, which brings three outstanding musical attractions to the city each 


The CIVIC CENTER, Johnstone Ave. between 6th and 7th Sts., was 
built in 1922 as a memorial to the Bartlesville men who lost their lives in the 


first World War. Under its spacious roof are quarters for city officials, the 
American Legion (James H. Teel Post No. 105), the Red Cross, an audi- 
torium with seats for 2,000 persons, and the Public Library. This library is 
one of the oldest in the state, having been established in 1913. More than 60 
per cent of the city's population are borrowers from its stock of 25,000 books; 
and more than 50 per cent of the readers choose nonfiction. 

TORY (no visitors), Jennings Ave. at 6th St., is a windowless glass-brick 
structure, where the 190 employees are engaged in the study of hydrocarbons 
in petroleum, and in the working out of problems which arise in connection 
with such varied oil production as that from the old "stripper" fields adjacent 
to Bardesville (where a water repressuring method to stimulate oil flow when 
natural gas pressure no longer exists has been found feasible) and the deep 
wells of the Oklahoma City and south Texas fields. In some aspects, its work 
is similar to that of the Bureau of Mines state laboratory, and in others it is 

ern end of 3d St., was erected in 1921 at a cost of $225,000. It is thoroughly 
modern in equipment and personnel. 

SENIOR HIGH-JUNIOR COLLEGE, 18th St. on Hillcrest Drive, with 
a 1940 enrollment of 492 in Senior High and 104 in Junior College, is one of 
the newest and most modern and complete small-city school plants in the 
country. The two buildings are strikingly modern in plan and fenestration. 
The white facade, curved in design, with low windows and rounded corners, 
is ornamented only by the name of the school prominendy carved across the 
front. Here can be seen in operation in classroom and shops the "6-4-4" city 
plan of education. That is, six years in the elementary school, four years in 
junior high (7th to 10th grades inclusive), and four years in senior high and 
junior college (grades 11 to 14 inclusive). 

The school was erected at a cost of $500,000, the Federal government 
contributing $225,000, the city an equal amount, and the other $50,000 being 
given by Frank Phillips, head of the Phillips Petroleum Company. With the 
opening of this school in 1940, the older Bartlesville Central High School, at 
9th St. and Cherokee Ave., became the junior high school, with an attendance 
of 1,270. 

The MUNICIPAL STADIUM, Dewey Ave. and 1st St., is a complete 
athletic plant with baseball and softball diamonds, cinder track and field 
equipment, and a football gridiron, where high school football games are 
played. Constructed in 1930 at a cost of $40,000, its concrete stands have a 
seating capacity of 3,000. 


JOHNSTONE PARK, through which the Caney River makes an al- 
most perfect horseshoe loop, is Bartlesville's largest and most accessible picnic 
area and playground, its 80 acres lying at the northern edge of the city. In 
the development of the park, the fine old native trees were made the main 
feature, and further planting was designed to retain the appearance of a nat- 
ural forest. A shelter house, surrounded by a landscaped and flower-planted 
area, is near the largest of the picnic spaces. Discovery Well, in the park, 
was drilled as the result of talk of oil that had persisted in the neighborhood 
since George Keeler found a seepage in 1875. The drill rig was hauled from 
an abandoned location between Red Fork and Tulsa. It took two weeks to 
get it over the 70 miles of muddy winter roads — "fourteen days with four- 
teen teams," as oil historians have put it. Drilling began late in January, 1897; 
gas was found at 1,252-1,275 feet, and the Bartlesville oil sand was first 
tapped at 1,303 feet. At 1,320 feet, on April 15, the well was shot with nitro- 
glycerin and came in with an initial flow of more than 30 barrels a day. 
Because of lack of transportation facilities, it was shut in for a time. 

Later the well was deepened to 1,345 feet, shot again, and began produc- 
ing at the rate of 30 barrels a day. In 1932, it was found that the original pipe 
had corroded and was letting so much water into the well that it was flooded 
out. With new pipe, it again became a producer. Now (1941), more than 
four decades after it was drilled, its yield is somewhat less than a barrel a day. 

tors), Virginia and Cudahy Aves., was opened in 1918 as a joint undertaking 
of the U.S. Bureau of Mines and the state of Oklahoma. Its purpose is to 
secure increased efficiency and safety "in the production, refining, and han- 
dling of petroleum, natural gas and their products," and to conserve such 
natural resources "by developing and promoting methods for eliminating 
unnecessary waste in the petroleum industry." With its 60 experts and ad- 
ministrative personnel, it is the largest of six similar stations in the United 
States. Its technical library contains more than 4,600 volumes. 


Round Mountain, 1.8 m.; Osage Hills State Park, 11.4 m.; Frank Phillips Ranch, 12 m. 
{see Tour 4); Bar Dew Lake, 5 m.; Silver Lake Agency, 5.1 m. {see Tour 9). 

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Railroad Stations: 728 N. Independence Ave. for St. Louis-San Francisco RY.; 722 N. Inde- 
pendence Ave. for Atchison, Topcka & Santa Fe Ry.; 115 E. Market Ave. for Chicago, Rock 
Island & Pacific Ry. 

Bus Stations: 119 W. Maple Ave. for Kansas & Oklahoma Trail ways and Panhandle Stages; 
124 E. Maple Ave. for Red Ball Bus Lines. 

Airport: Woodring Airport, 3 m. E. on US 64; no scheduled service. 
City Busses: Junction for all routes at Public Square, fare 5c. 

Traffic Regulations: TrafSc lights in business section, see signs for turns permitted and park- 
ing limits. 

Accommodations: 6 hotels; tourist camps on every highway. 

Information Service: Hotel Youngblood, N.W. Independence Ave. and Maple Ave. 

Radio Station: KCRC (1390 kc). 

Motion Picture Houses: 5. 

Baseball: Semiprofessional, Champlin Stadium, 1 m. W. of city; Softball, baseball, night 

games, at Phillips University Fields E. edge of city on US 64. 

Swimming: Government Park, 501 E. Oklahoma Ave., fee 25c; Lake Heliums, 6 m. N.W. 

on US 81, fee 15c. 

Golf: University Lake Golf Course, 400 S. 22d St., 9 holes, greens fee 25c; Countrj- Club, 2 

m. S. of City on US 81, 9 holes, greens fee 25c. 

Tennis: Free courts at all city parks. 

Annual Events: County Fair, fall; Industrial Fair, spring; Tri-Statc Band Tournament, 
spring; Celebration of Opening of Cherokee Suip, Sept. 16 and week following. 

ENID (1,246 alt., 28,081 pop.), the largest city of north central Oklahoma, 
ranking fourth in size in the state and third in industry, is in the old Chero- 
kee Oudet. It is the center of the state's wheat growing, processing, and 
marketing industry; the seat of Phillips University and the Southwestern 
Bible College. Serving three minor oil fields, it is also the home of refineries 
with a capacity of more than twenty-one thousand barrels of crude oil daily, 
and of oil-well supply and equipment companies. An Army Air Corps basic 
flying school was completed at Enid at the end of 1941 as a unit in the national 
defense program. Built at a cost of $2,870,000, it provides for a personnel of 

Enid has grown from the tent city which sprang out of the prairie dust 
on the day of the Strip opening, September 16, 1893, to a typically prosperous, 
self-contained municipality. Its business section lies on a gendy shelving hill, 
from which the clean and spacious residential streets stretch out. A fourteen- 


ENID 137 

Story hotel and two office buildings, eleven and fifteen stories high, modern 
and utilitarian in design, give the business section a big-city appearance. 
Fronting the public square are the older business structures, while the newer 
buildings are spread around in every direction. Fifty-four church organiza- 
tions occupy forty-one buildings, of which six are for Negro worshipers; and 
the city's schools have an enrollment of nearly six thousand students. 

This "Queen City of the Cherokee Strip" and seat of Garfield County's 
government began life some time before the historic day of the opening as 
a watering place for nomadic Indians and stagecoach teams. It successfully 
avoided having the name Skeleton thrust upon it (from its proximity to the 
head of Skeleton Creek) and acquired its real name from an official of the 
Rock Island Railroad who was fond of Tennyson's "Idylls of the King" and 
felt that Geraint's wife ought to be honored by having a city named for her. 

Enid had been chosen as the site of a government land office in the Chero- 
kee Strip in advance of the opening, and government surveyors and troops 
moved in approximately a year before in order to run section lines and plat 

On that opening day in 1893, it was discovered that certain enterprising 
Cherokee Indians, with profit in mind, had chosen allotments within the 
area planned for the town. Discovery of the scheme caused Secretary of 
the Interior Hoke Smith to order the townsite located three miles south of 
the original setdement around the railroad station. Consequently, with the 
government land office, the county courthouse, and the post office separated 
from the depot, rivalry between the north and south sections developed into 
a feud. Each claimed the name of Enid, and the other (depending upon 
which faction one belonged to) was tagged a suburb. North or South Enid. 
The Rock Island had refused to recognize the government's ruling, continu- 
ing to run its trains through South Enid without stopping, when on July 13, 
1894, a freight train went off the tracks into a ditch near South Enid. Investi- 
gation brought about the discovery that the bridge supports had been weak- 
ened by sawing. Rock Island officials announced that while the company 
would respect any law the government might enact, it would not surrender 
to mob action. Secretary Smith's decision was upheld, however, by a presi- 
dential proclamation, and on September 16, 1894, a freight and ticket office 
was established in South Enid, which became the present city. A six-foot 
hatchet, symbol of strife, was later buried with due and proper ceremony by 
members of both factions. 

One of the many escapades told of the rivalry between the towns con- 
cerned a massive, three-hundred-pound bell which citizens of South Enid 
bought and installed to warn the bucket brigade of fires endangering the 


town's wooden buildings. The arrival one afternoon of a finely-dressed livery- 
man who extolled the virtues of North Enid caused a loud clanging of the 
bell. This time the men who responded were also secretly organized into an 
"egg committee," supplied with ample overripe ammunition, and the North 
Enidian was turned back by a well-aimed barrage. 

Enid's first celebration of the founding of the town and the opening of 
the Cherokee Strip was staged just one year after the actual event. Fifteen 
thousand were there to watch an authentic re-enactment of the race, and 150 
Cheyenne Indians entertained with tribal dances and ceremonies. This same 
year proved unfortunate for crops, little grain being raised because of drought. 
Free seed wheat was supplied by the Rock Island in 1894, but this crop was 
a failure, as were those of 1895 and 1896, and many of the settlers moved 
away. In 1897, however, rains were plentiful, the harvest was good, and wheat 
prices shot up to $1 a bushel. To furnish entertainment for a general celebra- 
tion of this turn in the community's fortunes, the Ringling Brothers' circus 
came to town on September 25. On that occasion, the largest crowd ever to 
be assembled under the Ringling "big tent," up to that time, overflowed its 
twenty thousand capacity to a record of thirty thousand paid admissions. 

Another incident of Enid's early history which is told with gusto by its 
pioneers occurred in 1899 when a cakewalk contest was staged between the 
Negro citizens of Kingfisher and those of Enid. Bad feeling, spawned by 
high betting and previous athletic rivalry, broke into the open when King- 
fisher was awarded the prize. Gunfire and general confusion followed, many 
leaping from the second-story windows of the feed store, where the event was 
being held. Derogatory criticism of this and other typically "Wild West" 
incidents brought about a determined campaign against lawlessness which 
shordy made a quiet, model town of Enid. 

Between 1897 and 1903, two railroads, the Santa Fe and Frisco, in addi- 
tion to the already existing Rock Island, were connected with Enid, laying the 
foundation for what it later became — the wheat and milling center for north- 
western Oklahoma. The town's population rose from 3,444 in 1900 to 13,799 
in 1910, a tremendous gain for this sparsely settled section. 

Until the 1920's, Enid depended commercially on agriculture, trade, and 
shipping; then, with the discovery of the famous Tonkawa district in 1921 
and the Crescent pool in 1926, both underlying the previously exploited shal- 
low Garber pool, oil began to play an important part in the industrial life of 
the city. Two refineries were erected, along with the usual influx of oil supply 
houses, foundries, and machine shops. Flour mills and elevators in 1928 had 
storage facilities for fifteen million bushels of wheat. The Pillsbury Mill, 
largest in Oklahoma, was erected in that year. 

ENID 139 

Five days after the opening of the Cherokee Outlet to settlement, Omer 
K. Benedict and Charles E. Hunter, pioneer newspaper men, established 
Enid's first weekly, the Eagle. Changed to a daily, it continues as the city's 
evening paper. Also published in Enid are the Morning News, and two 
weeklies, Enid Events and Garfield County News. 

In addition to grain and oil, poultry feed and eggs are important to Enid, 
representing an annual turnover of more than $8,000,000. Three packing 
plants in the industrial section turn out such varied products as meat, butter, 
canned eggs, dried buttermilk, and cheese. The stockyards do an annual busi- 
ness of $1,000,000; and here is one of the state's best markets for horses and 
mules. As a division point, the Frisco Railroad maintains at Enid large 
machine and car repair shops. 


The new GARFIELD COUNTY COURTHOUSE, dominating the 
public square, is a three-story white Texas sandstone building with an addi- 
tional story in the central section. Modern and functional in design, its utter 
simplicity makes it one of the most notable architectural achievements in the 

A half-million dollar FEDERAL BUILDING and POST OFFICE of 
white marble, south of the county courthouse in the public square, was dedi- 
cated in 1941. 

105 54 Independence Ave., South, shows and sells the work of its members, 
including architects, photographers, cartoonists, and window decorators; it 
also brings exhibits of worth-while art from out of town. The three regular 
exhibits during the year are opened by talks on art. 

The CARNEGIE LIBRARY, with more than 30,000 volumes, is the 
only city-county library in the state. It has outgrown the building erected with 
a gift of $25,000 from Andrew Carnegie and dedicated in 1910; plans for a 
new one are now (1941) being considered. The library had its origin in the 
Enid Study Club, organized in 1899 to establish a reading room. Its first 
quarters were in a room over a drugstore, where, with money raised from a 
"book social," a collection of 150 books was made available for readers. Five 
years later, the founders' offer to turn this nucleus of a library over to the 
municipality was rejected because, in the opinion of the city fathers, the Study 
Club was a "silk stockinged" group. However, it was taken over in 1905 and 
efforts to obtain a grant from Carnegie were begun. Mr. Carnegie's first offer 
of $10,000 was rejected as too small, but when he raised it to $25,000 the 
present site was purchased. 


Among the library's special collections are the Southard shelves of rare 
books, a D.A.R. historical and genealogical niche, and a large amount of 
Oklahoma material, including more than 700 volumes by the state's authors 
and thousands of clippings from newspapers and other sources. There is a 
branch library in the Booker T. Washington School for Negroes. 

PILLSBURY FLOUR MILL (open 10-11:30 daily; guides). 515 E. 
Spruce St., has a capacity of 4,000 barrels of flour per day. Built in 1928, it has 
operated almost continuously since that date on a 24-hour schedule. Visitors 
are taken to the top by elevator, then they walk back through the various 
departments and levels to the ground floor. 

GOVERNMENT SPRINGS PARK, Broadway and Market Sts., was 
perhaps the most noted stopping place on the Chisholm Trail. The springs did 
not furnish enough water for stock but there was usually an ample supply in 
Skeleton Creek, two miles east, and the trail drivers grazed the cattle to the 
creek while they themselves rested at the springs. The park received its name 
when government surveyors camped there while surveying the townsite and 
section lines. 

The old drinking hole has been cleaned out and walled in, and today 
the springs supply a small lake with water. North of the lake are picnic 
grounds with all accommodations, and across the street from the lake are the 
Sunken Gardens, planted with all varieties of native flowers. The park con- 
tains a munipical swimming pool and bathhouse. 

PHILLIPS UNIVERSITY, coeducational, east of Government Springs 
Park at the eastern edge of the city, was chartered October 11, 1906, as Okla- 
homa Christian University. Seven years later, after the death of T. W. 
Phillips, of Buder, Pennsylvania, whose generosity made possible the found- 
ing of the school, its name was changed to honor him. It is controlled by the 
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and dedicated to Christian education, 
but proclaims itself nonsectarian. Of its more than 700 students some 300 are 
enrolled in the Bible School; the faculty numbers 44. 

The campus embraces 36 landscaped acres planted with growing trees 
and shrubbery. There are seven college buildings, including a recently erected 
women's dormitory, and a stadium seating 2,000. 

Within the university, and planned to promote educational activities 
beyond the regular day schedule. New College offers evening classes and short 
courses and provides for "interest groups" and conferences. New College 
courses and conferences are designed for high school graduates unable to 
attend day classes at the university, adults who wish to continue their educa- 
tion, groups of young people seeking trade and professional training, and 

ENID 141 

persons interested in practical arts and crafts and in mechanical and manual 

Music is emphasized at the university, where musical organizations 
include the band (see Music), the String Ensemble, Women's Trio, Men's 
Quartet, Glee Club, Woodwind Quintet, Brass Quartet, Saxophone Sextet, 
and Convocation Choir. In the Main Building, third floor, is an extensive 
Indian Collection, a zoological collection of insects, snakes, mounted birds, 
and shells; cases here are filled with botanical specimens from Oklahoma, 
New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and California. 

LAKE VIEW ASSEMBLY GROUNDS (picnic\ing. bathing, fishing, 
golf), lying just south of the Phillips University Stadium, is a tract of 77 acres 
containing a spring-fed lake encircled by a golf course. Enid's annual Easter 
morning service is held here. To the south lies the 160-acre farm given to the 
university in 1919 by Harry H. Rogers. 

NORTHERN OKLAHOMA HOSPITAL (open 1-4 weekdays), N.E. 
edge of the city on 26th St., founded in 1910, is the state's only institution for 
the care of feeble-minded children. The thousand and more patients are 
housed in 21 buildings on a 687-acre tract. Regular school instruction and 
training in the crafts are given by the hospital's staff of 98. The large dairy 
herd is under the management of a graduate of the Oklahoma Agricultural 
and Mechanical College. 


Wild Fowl Hunting Grounds, S.l m.; Meno, largest Mennonite community in Okla- 
homa, 18.2 m. {see Tour 4). 

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Railroad Stations: Railroad and C Ave. for Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Ry.; 4th St. and 

F Ave. for St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. 

Bus Stations: Oklahoma Transportation Co., 428 C Ave.; Santa Fe Trailways, 421 C Ave.; 

Lawton-Fort Sill Bus Co., 202 C Ave. 

Airport: 2100 S. 6th St. 

Taxis: lOc first 10 blocks; 5c each 10 blocks thereafter. 

Traffic Regulations: Parking meters in downtown section. 

Accommodations: 6 hotels; rooming houses; tourist camps. 

Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, Warren Hotel, 302 C Ave. 

Radio Station: KSWO (1150 kc). 

Newspapers: Lawton Constitution, daily, evening; Press, daily, morning; News Review, 


Motion Picture Houses: 5. 

Athletics: High School (Roosevelt) Stadium, Bell Ave. and 14th St., for football. 

Swimming: Stephens Pool, 804 S. 2d St.; Meadows Pool, 2 Lee Blvd.; Lost Bridge Pool, 2 

m. S. of city. Fees at all: adults 25c, children 10c. 

Golf: Lawton Golf and Country Club, 2 m. N. on Ft. Sill Blvd., greens fee 35c. 

Tennis: Lincoln and Union Parks, 5th to 8th Sts. at I Ave.; Mattie Beal Park, between 9th 

and 11th Sts. and I and Park Ave.; Harmon Park h>etween 13th and 14th Sts. and Lake and 

Bell, all free. 

Annual Events: Pioneer Day, Aug. 6; Easter morning sunrise services, Wichita Mountain 
Wildlife Refuge 17.4 m. N.W. (see Tour 3B). 

LAWTON (1,116 alt., 18,055 pop.), seat of Comanche County, known as 
the "Post City" from its nearness to Fort Sill (see Tour 3A), was named in 
honor of Major General Henry W. Lawton, who was killed in the Philippines 
in 1900. It came into being on August 6, 1901, six days after the opening 
by lottery of the three-million-acre Kiowa-Comanche Indian reservation to 
white setders. The site had been designated by the United States Land Office 
as one of the three county seats to be established; Hobart (see Tour 12) in 
Kiowa County and Anadarko (see Tour 3) in Caddo County were the others. 
Lawton drew an overnight population of ten thousand. Mostly it was made up 
of men, with their families, who had failed to secure 160-acre homesteads in 
the lottery of August 1 and came to the townsite in the hope of bidding suc- 
cessfully at the sale of lots. 



By August 3, in anticipation of the sale, four hundred temporary business 
structures, nearly all tents, had been raised; a newspaper, The Lawton State 
Democrat, was being printed; and three streets had been laid out. 

The sale of the lots platted on the 320-acre townsite realized $414,845, 
of which some $125,000 was turned over by the government to meet the 
expenses of the new town. By the first of March, 1902, five banks were in 
operation, with deposits of $635,000; a railroad was building in from the 
north; and although some of the 1,119 inhabitants were still sleeping out of 
doors, in general the town was adequately "housed, fed and watered." 

In brief, Lawton telescoped into a period of months the pioneer phase of 
a western town which usually extended over years. Until 1930 its progress 
was steady but not spectacular. Then, largely owing to the expansion of Fort 
Sill as the principal Artillery School of Fire for the army, a rapid growth 
began. Between 1930 and 1940 the percentage of population increase — 49 
per cent — was greater than that of any other Oklahoma city, and its numerical 
increase — 5,934 — was exceeded only by Oklahoma City's 19,128. With some 
8,300 permanendy located active and service troops at Fort Sill and additional 
consignments sent there for training under the new defense program, there 
has been an increasingly heavy demand for houses and the incidentals of 
living from officer-instructors and noncommissioned officers who choose to 
live in Lawton. 

The older part of Lawton is on the second bench of land that rises from 
the western bank of Cache Creek. In its growth, the city has pushed higher 
up the slope, toward the north and northwest. Its business section consists of 
blocks of low brick buildings, and the people seen on its downtown streets 
represent a true cross section of Oklahoma — white farmers, Indians (some 
women wearing shawls), Negroes, clerks, professional men. The one different 
note are the soldiers, on leave from near-by Fort Sill. In the variety of resi- 
dences, ranging from the shacks of Negroes (who make up approximately 
10 per cent of the population) in the south end to expensive homes along 
Fort Sill Boulevard, the city is typical of Oklahoma, too. Lawton has the arid, 
clean-swept look of western municipalities, though trees are plentiful in some 
of the older sections. 

The city's initial and permanent growth was helped by the fact that it 
lay under the shadow of Fort Sill and became a sort of civic center for that 
important army post. It is also the metropolis of an extensive farming area 
(there are 2,826 farms in Comanche County), with cotton the principal crop. 
Among its fifteen industrial plants is one of the big cottonseed-oil mills of 
the state. To serve the region, the city has forty-five wholesale and 326 retail 
businesses; at its western edge is Cameron State Agricultural College, the 


largest junior college in Oklahoma, and within an hour's drive lie many of 
the finest scenic spots in the state. 

Also contributing to Lawton's growth has been the development of 
near-by profitable deposits of asphalt, and mountains of granite and other 
building stone. It is said that out of the Lavvton neighborhood could be taken 
enough road building material to pave every road in the state — with a lot 
left over. 

The senior high school is undertaking an interesting experiment in 
co-operation with Lawton business men; industrial apprentice training is 
given to a selected group of students who attend classes in the morning and 
vi'ork at jobs which pay $2.00 and $3.00 a week in the afternoons. Each is 
assigned to a "trainer," who directs his education. 

Last of Oklahoma cities to be born, overnight, out of the dust and clamor 
of an Indian reservation opening, Lawton had among its first settlers many 
who were aware of the color and drama of its birth and first days. Don 
Blanding, a poet of recognized talent, wrote in "Prairie Days": 

Lawton, the new town, sprang from the prairie land, 

Grew as a mushroom grows . . . 

All night long the hammers sounded . . . 

Houses grew in the flare of kerosene torches. 

As the men streamed in looking for shade, with rolls of currency to pay 
for town lots in sweat-drenched pants pockets, they saw the lone oak tree on 
the site; they saw F. M. English's bank — a one-room frame shack — poised 
on rollers, ready to be wheeled to the lot he meant to buy at the sale; they saw 
an enterprising citizen take in $500 in dimes for registering intended bidders 
for lots at ten cents apiece; they heard over and over the cry of "stop thief!" 
from men and women whose purses were snatched, and the more ominous 
mutterings of men whose teams were stolen; and they were half choked in the 
dust raised by water haulers who brought clear, tepid water from Cache 
Creek and retailed it at five cents a cup until competition forced the price 
down to fifty cents, then twenty-five cents a barrel. 

In the volume called Neath August Sun, initiated and assembled by 
Lawton's business and professional women (not dated), is the picture of that 
August 6 lot sale in the words of scores of persons who were there. The gov- 
ernment auctioneer stood on a dry-goods box beside a big tent and hour after 
hour and day after day cried the lots beginning at the northern limits of the 
platted townsite. When he shouted "Sold!" a soldier escorted the successful 
bidder between lines of other soldiers and into the tent. There, he was given 
tide to his lot if he paid down the amount of its purchase price in cash. In 


case he did not have the whole amount with him, he could pay $25 to hold 
the property for thirty minutes. 

That provision was to allow him time to reach one of the two banks 
— Mr. English's and another — which had undertaken to receive and safe- 
guard money, but it sometimes happened that thirty minutes was not time 
enough for a lot-buyer to work his way down the line of men waiting to 
withdraw deposits. In that case, the $25 was forfeited to the government, and 
the lot was resold. In the collection of stories is one of a man who bought a 
lot for $850, paid his $25, then ran to the bank for the rest. Luckily, after 
seeing it was hopeless to wait in line, he spotted a good friend inside the 
chicken-wire cage where four men were working to record withdrawals and 
hand out currency. To him he appealed, and presendy $1,000 in bills was 
made into a package and tossed over the fence. The first lot sold brought $420, 
and the top price was $4,555, for the lot opposite the land office. 

It is told, too, how a man named Woods, number one in the reservation 
land lottery, selected a homestead in a strip a mile long and a quarter of a mile 
wide alongside the Lawton townsite, instead of taking the usual half-mile 
square. Thus he shut off from the townsite frontage Mattie Beal, the young 
lady who had drawn number two, and was promptly nicknamed "Hog" 
Woods. In spite of this deprivation due to Woods' lack of gallantry, Miss Beal 
received in a space of weeks five hundred proposals of marriage from all parts 
of the United States, so widely had the news of her second most valuable 
homestead drawing been published. She finally chose as her husband Charles 
Payne, a young businessman who had openly professed to having no interest 
whatever either in Miss Beal or her 160 acres. 

There was a "ragtown" Lawton with a "ragtown" restaurant named the 
Goo-Goo (later Smith's Dining Room), after the avenue of the same name. 
That was the summer when young men learned from a woman singer with 
a wagon show the words of "When you make dem goo-goo eyes at me!" And 
at the Goo-Goo restaurant, if a client dared to order a moderate priced steak, 
the waiter called back to the kitchen, "One for the dog!" Another sign, put 
up in a saloon, served to recall the famous crusader of the day, "All nations 
welcome here except CARRIE." 

Described as a "rollicking, hilarious tent and shack city," Lawton had 
eighty-six saloons — one for every one hundred inhabitants — in November, 
1901. Gambling joints grew so numerous that a volunteer committee of 
citizens swept them out. The first serious fire, threatening to destroy the 
town, was held in check by hundreds of men and women with wetted quilts 
and blankets, backed by a bucket brigade supplied by frantically galloping 
water haulers; and the first big town celebration — a slightly delayed first 


birthday fete — was a bull fight, with authentic Spanish toreador costumes, 
plus an Apache Indian dance, in costume too, staged by the distinguished 
prisoner at Fort Sill, old Geronimo. 

For a time the nearest railroad station was Marlow, on the Rock Island; 
and initiated travelers to Lawton used to leave the cars by the windows in 
order to rush out and engage a wagon and team to haul their goods and 
themselves across the prairie to the new town. Many ambitious businessmen 
from the East, compelled to camp out overnight, trembled at the coyotes' 
crazy combination of howling and barking. 

Among the town's first settlers were two men who became United 
States senators, Thomas P. Gore and Elmer Thomas; Scott Ferris, who served 
in the United States House of Representatives; and Jake L. Hamon, the city's 
first attorney, who wrote his name large in the story of oil development in 
southern Oklahoma, and was for a time Oklahoma Republican National 
Committeeman. It has also been recorded that Heck Thomas, the first town 
peace officer and a well-known outlaw-catcher, once chased Lon Chaney 
(then a Lawton photographer) for speeding — on horseback! 


The CARNEGIE LIBRARY, 5th St. and C. Ave., is a small, neat build- 
ing of buff brick erected in 1921 with $30,000 from the Carnegie fund for 
library construction. 

In 1903, the second year of the town's existence, a library committee of 
the City Federation of Women's Clubs was appointed and a fund started for 
the purchase of books. The merchants of Lawton offered 178 books as a prize 
to the organization having the greatest number of votes — one vote being 
allowed for each ten-cent purchase; then another group raised the award to 
372 books given under the same condition. With these as a nucleus and an 
additional sixty-five volumes secured at a book reception by the women, the 
library came into being and was given to Lawton on condition that if the 
town failed to maintain it the books would revert to the City Federation. 
Two rooms on the second floor of the city hall were set aside for the library. 
When it was removed to its present building in 1922 it had four thousand 
volumes; the collection has grown (1941) to fifteen thousand. 

strikingly modern building erected with the help of WPA, was dedicated in 
1939. It is a chaste, solid, three-story structure of buff sandstone, trimmed with 
chromium steel. 

LAWTON HIGH SCHOOL BUILDING, 8th St. and E Ave., housing 
the senior and junior high schools, is an immense red-brick building, with 


white Ionic columns and a dome that attracts the eye from afar ofJ. Archi- 
tecturally, it dominates the city. A large, buff-brick annex, with additional 
classrooms, a gymnasium, and the school's offices, was completed in 1940. 

edge of the city, with an enrollment of more than 700 boys and girls and an 
annual budget of nearly $80,000, is Oklahoma's largest junior college. Set in 
the midst of 350 acres of fenced and terraced farm land are three classroom 
and laboratory buildings; an auditorium with seats for 1,200; a gymnasium; 
three dormitories for boys, two for girls, and one for married students. A 
modern poultry plant and a horse and dairy barn are also on the campus. 
The college farm supports a herd of 20 registered Holstein and Jersey cows, 
a drove of registered hogs, and a flock of chickens representing all the well- 
known breeds. 

The college, named in honor of the first State Superintendent of Schools, 
was founded in 1909 as one of six district agricultural high schools offering 
work beginning with the seventh grade and extending through the twelfth. 
For the first two years, regular high school subjects were taught, followed by 
work in agriculture and home economics. The institution was raised to junior 
college rank in 1927. 

Boxing is a favorite sport among the boys; the Cameron Aggie teams 
have been outstandingly successful in the State Golden Gloves boxing tourna- 


Fort Sill Indian School, 0.3 m.; Craterville Park, 19.6 m.; Home of Quanah Parker, 
20.6 m. i^see Tour 3); Fort Sill Military Reservation, 6.5 m. {see Tour 3 A); Medicine Park, 
12.1 m.; Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, 17.4 m. (see Tour 3B). 

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Railroad Stations: Intersection of Broadway and tracks for Missouri-Kansas-Texas R.R.; 2d 

and Elgin Sts. for St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. and Midland Valley R.R. 

Bus Station: 201 S. 5th St. for Santa Fe Trail System and Southern Kansas Stage Lines. 

Airport: Hatbox Field, 40th St. and Arline Rd.; private and chartered planes only. 

City Bus Service: Fare 5c. 

Taxis: 10c and upward, according to distance and number of passengers. 

Traffic Regulations: Standard traffic signals in business section; parking limits and turns 

permitted designated by signs. 

Information Service: Hotel Severs, 215 State St. 

Accommodations: 9 hotels, 2 for Negroes; rooming houses and tourist cottages. 

Radio Station: KBIX (1490 kc). 

Motion Picture Houses: 5, 1 for Negroes. 

Baseball: Athletic Park, Boston Ave. and 5th St. 

Swimming: Municipal Swimming Pool, Honor Heights Park, 40th St. and Park Blvd.; 

Spaulding Park, E. Okmulgee Ave. and E. Side Blvd., fees lOc. 

Golf: Muskogee Town and Country Club, Club Blvd. 2.5 m. N.E. on US 62, 18 holes, 

greens fee $1.12; Meadowbrook Golf Club, 1.5 m. S.W. on US 64-62, 18 holes, greens fee 

50c Mon.-Fri., 75c Sat. and Sun.; Grandview, 2 m. E. on Callahan Ave., 9 holes, greens fee 

25c Mon.-Fri., 50c Sat. and Sun. 

Tennis: Free municipal courts Spaulding Park. 

Annual Events: Muskogee Free Fair, first week in Oct.; Flower Show, spring and fall. 

MUSKOGEE (617 alt., 32,332 pop.), third largest city of Oklahoma, was 
named for the Muskogee (Creek) Indians and lies just south of the confluence 
of the Verdigris, Grand, and Arkansas rivers. It is surrounded by low, gently 
sloping hills, blending into a rich, flat-to-rolling farming section. The tracks 
of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad pass squarely through the town from 
north to south, dividing it into almost equal parts. Streets are wide and bor- 
dered by trees, and old fashioned two- and three-story houses are set far back 
in well-kept lawns. Many small parcels of land, such as are ordinarily eyesores 
in most cities, are here developed into flower gardens and parks. 

Thomas Nuttall, widely traveled English naturalist and later curator 
of the botanical gardens of Harvard University, on a journey up the Arkansas 
in 1819, predicted that "if the confluence of the Verdigris, Arkansas, and 
Neosho [Grand] rivers shall ever become of importance as a setdement — 
which the great and irresistible tide of western emigration promises — a town 



will probably be founded here at the junction of these streams." Earlier 
(1805), Meriwether Lewis had recommended to President Jefferson this site 
for a trading point; and in 1806 James B. Wilkinson advised the government 
to establish a factory there, and also "a garrison of troops." 

It was natural for Nuttall and others to assume that river traffic would 
determine the location of the town. But the importance of river transportation 
and river trading posts hardly increased after Nuttall's visit and became 
negligible as soon as railroads were built into the territory. 

Before Nuttall wrote about the region, the "Three Forks" had become 
a center of trade and a rallying point for buyers and sellers of furs. There the 
traders Hugh Glenn, Nathaniel Pryor, French and Rutherford, Thompson 
and Drennan; Jesse B. Turley, the Creek Benjamin Hawkins, and — best 
known of all — Auguste P. Chouteau trafficked with the Osages who came 
down the Grand River from the North and the nomadic tribes that brought 
their peltries down the Salt Fork, the Deep Fork, and the Arkansas rivers and 
across the comparatively short stretch of country between "Three Forks" and 
the Canadian. 

By 1829, emigration of Creeks from Alabama in response to United 
States government pressure was well under way, and some twelve hundred 
were located near the mouth of the Verdigris on land which turned out to 
be part of the Cherokee Nation. The Creeks were then moved south of the 
Arkansas, and their agency was established in the vicinity of Fern Mountain, 
some three miles northwest of Muskogee. 

It was at this agency that the first settiement in the Muskogee region 
started. Not until 1872, when the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad crossed the 
Arkansas, and their agency was established in the vicinity of Fern Mountain, 
did the town itself come into being. Its first white inhabitants were those 
hopeful and adventurous fortune seekers who had waited in camp on the 
north bank of the river for the completion of the bridge; they rode the first 
train over, got off at the station, and began to build stores and residences on 
both sides of the track. 

Across the site of the new town ran the old Texas Road, over which 
thousands of setders had traveled southward by wagon and over which many 
herds of Texas cattle had been driven northward. In the neighborhood lived 
a few Creek Indians, but the population was predominantly Negro — Creek 
freedmen who had chosen the neighborhood as especially suited to their 
agricultural needs and knowledge. 

For a considerable time after the town was established, the Creeks, 
oflBcially, refused to consider it as an Indian settlement. Appealed to for 
protection against certain swaggering outlaw Cherokee half bloods and bad 


men from Texas intent on putting the Negroes "in their place," the Creek 
chief once instructed the head of the nation's lighthorse (police) force to 
assist in maintaining order in Muskogee. That officer answered that since it 
was a purely Negro town he could not appropriately assign any of his men 
to the task. 

Old-timers in Muskogee are apt to point with pride to the city's steady 
and vigorous growth, its solid and law-abiding people, then cast back in 
memory to the early days, when hogs rooted and wallowed in the streets and 
Bradley Collins, bootlegger and bad man, amused himself by shooting them. 
They will tell of the time one of Bradley's shots winged a United States 
marshal, and how he was acquitted of blame because "it was a private 
quarrel and both men had sworn to shoot on sight." 

Another memory of Muskogee's early days centers on the old Federal 
jail, the first to be erected in the Indian Territory, It stood at what is now the 
corner of Dennison and Third Streets and consisted of a number of wooden 
buildings surrounded by a twelve-foot stockade. For walls, the jail had two 
by six inch boards covered with sheet iron. Sometimes, before a Federal court 
was established at Muskogee in 1889, as many as 350 prisoners were held 
there at one time; and it is recorded that a number of women remained 
behind the board walls for two years before being removed for trial by the 
nearest Federal court, at Fort Smith, Arkansas. 

When Muskogee was made a railroad division point the town's perma- 
nence was assured, and its importance as a business center was further 
enhanced by the establishment in 1874 of the Union Agency for the Five 
Civilized Tribes. Eufaula (see Tour 8) had also made a bid for the agency, 
and an inspector was sent from Washington to determine which of the two 
towns was better fitted to care for employees. On the night before his arrival, 
it is said that a resident of Muskogee emptied a barrel of salt into the town 
well at Eufaula; the inspector, after one taste of the water, decided that 
Muskogee should be the administrative headquarters of Indian Territory. 

In contrast to this phase of Muskogee's history was the organization in 
1877, when the town was still hardly more than a huddle of shacks and tents, 
of the International Indian Fair for the encouragement of farming and stock- 
growing especially among the more backward Indians of the Five Tribes and 
of the western Plains tribes. In a call to the people to come to the eleventh 
fair, F. B. Severs, a Muskogee pioneer, as president, and Joshua Ross, a 
Cherokee and one of the first settlers, as secretary, said those who came 
"must bring corn, wheat, cotton, potatoes, fruits and flowers, livestock, and 
works of art. In all the departments there will be lively contests for prizes, 
and especially in the musical department." 


This annual gathering of Indians, intent on maintaining their Indian 
character, reached its peak of importance in the fall of 1879 when the threat 
of "Boomer" invasion of their unoccupied western lands had become serious. 
A visitor to the Fair, Secretary of the Interior Carl Schurz, inspected the 
exhibits, saw sales at good prices of baskets and beadwork wrought by the 
Plains Indians to members of the Five Civilized Tribes, and sat with them 
in councils in the big barn-like pavilion in which their products were shown. 
The Osages came to ask for the same self-governing status as the Five Civi- 
lized Tribes enjoyed; and from the far-off Chippewas came messages of 

With the amalgamation of Oklahoma's Indian and white populations, 
and the Indians' complete adoption of white methods, the need for such a 
fair passed, and it was dropped. The idea was adopted by the United States 
Indian Bureau for the more backward tribes living on reservations in other 
western states. 

Climatic conditions in the Muskogee area are favorable to diversified 
agriculture, and many farmers drifted into the neighborhood, but tribal 
ownership of the land retarded development. Then, in 1894, the Dawes 
Commission, formed the year before to allot land to individual Indians, 
established headquarters in Muskogee, and the town grew rapidly. It was 
incorporated under the Arkansas statutes in 1898, and its first public school 
was attended by 235 pupils. Impetus to expansion was added by the opening 
of oil and gas fields in 1904. Traces of oil had been found and wells drilled 
within the town's limits, as far back as 1894, but until the Dawes Commission 
completed its work it was impossible for the white promoters to obtain valid 
titles to land, so development was halted. 

As soon as it became possible to secure titles to land in the Indian Terri- 
tory, so many white men flocked in that the supremacy of the Indians was 
seriously threatened. There then began a belated attempt to form the territory 
into an Indian state. A convention of the chiefs of the various tribes was called 
to meet at Muskogee in 1905, form a constitution, and complete plans for a 
new state which was to be called Sequoyah after the inventor of the Cherokee 
alphabet. However, the vision of an Indian state vanished when the Enabling 
Act was passed in 1906, joining Indian Territory with Oklahoma Territory 
to form one state (see History). 

In the eleven years, 1889-1900, the population of Muskogee increased 
from 2,500 to 4,254. Between 1900 and 1907, because of oil development, the 
number of inhabitants more than tripled, and by 1910, when the city charter 
was granted, it stood at 25,278. In that year Muskogee was larger than Tulsa 
by some six thousand persons, and the second city in the state in size. In the 


next twenty years, census figures rose only to 32,025, because of the shifting 
of oil interests from Muskogee westward to Tulsa; and in the decade 1930-40 
there was a population gain of only 306. 

Throughout Muskogee's history the Negro population has been large; 
at present (1941) it amounts to almost 24 per cent of the total. On South 
Second Street, the center of the Negro business district, are the plants of 
three Negro newspapers — the Muskpgee Lantern, the Mus/{ogee Parrot, and 
the Oklahoma Independent — and the main office of the state's largest Negro 
insurance company. Negroes are largely employed in domestic service, as 
workers in near-by cotton fields, and in certain minor industries. They have 
provided for themselves schools, churches, amusement places, apartment 
houses, and clubs. 

During the 1900's, three important oil fields were opened in the Mus- 
kogee area; the town gained three new railroads — the Frisco, the Midland 
Valley, and the Kansas, Oklahoma & Gulf — and farming gready expanded 
in the surrounding territory. On the Arkansas River bottom lands truck 
gardening has increasingly flourished, and canning is an important industry. 
This area is also noted for potato growing (see Agriculture). 

In 1917 a small iron works with only a few employees was established. 
The plant expanded rapidly and now manufactures derricks, transmission 
towers, transformer racks, road-building equipment, and steel framework. 
In addition to the one opened in 1917, another turns out winches, hoists, and 
various kinds of machinery and equipment. There are two oil refineries with 
a total capacity of six thousand barrels a day. Other manufacturing plants 
include a brick factory, a truck-body works, and railroad shops. There are a 
dozen wholesale supply houses. Excellent low-cost fuel, and good transporta- 
tion facilities, including nine rail outlets, have given Muskogee an advan- 
tageous position for manufacturing. 

As an agricultural trading center the city serves all the Arkansas River 
valley except those areas past midway points toward Tulsa and Fort Smith. 
The city ranks among the three leading cotton centers of the state, with a 
cottonseed-oil mill, gins, and a compress. There are also two flour mills, six 
produce houses, and a meat packing plant. 

At the foot of Agency Hill, west of the city, is the airport, where the 
commercial shops and private ships are being supplemented by the United 
States Army's expanding program of pilot training. 

Under a city manager form of government since 1920, Muskogee owns 
its water supply system; and the city's light and power comes from a modern 
plant on the Arkansas River. 

Two ably edited daily newspapers, the Phoenix and the Times-Democrat, 


are the successors of an interesting line that runs back to 1876, when the 
Indian Journal was proposed as an instrument of the Intertribal Council. 
When that proposal was vetoed, the paper was started as a private enterprise 
under the editorship of William P. Ross, a Princeton-educated Cherokee. Its 
purpose was to champion the cause of all Indians and to expose the designs 
and personal and interested motives of those who sought to secure their land. 
The paper was later moved to Eufaula. 

In 1882, Our Brother in Red, a Methodist missionary monthly, was 
started at Muskogee, and in 1887 it became a weekly. Like the Indian Journal, 
it had at first both English and Creek language sections; and at one time it 
reported a circulation of 1,820. It too regarded itself as an instrument of 
justice for the Indians. 

The Phoenix was founded in 1888 by Leo E. Bennett, a young white 
man who had married a Creek citizen. Always friendly to the Indians, it 
changed from a weekly to semiweekly in 1895, and to a daily in 1901. The 
first daily, however, was the Morning Times, started in 1896, and edited for 
a time by a talented mixed-blood Creek poet and essayist in the vernacular^ 
Alex Posey. Merged with an evening rival, it became the Times-Democrat. 
The next development was the consolidation under the ownership of Tams 
Bixby of the two surviving dailies (see Newspapers). 


MUSKOGEE PUBLIC LIBRARY (open 9-9 weekdays), D St. and 
E. Broadway, is a two-story-and-basement structure, modified Georgian in 
design, of red tapestry brick and white stone trim. Erected in 1909 with the 
gift of $60,000 from Andrew Carnegie, the library was designed by Henry 
D. Whitefield, Mr. Carnegie's son-in-law. Besides its 56,000 and more books, 
it houses a Museum of Indian Relics on the second floor; exhibits include a 
rare double-weave Cherokee basket, medicine man ratdes, moccasins, drums, 
clubs, knives, arrowheads, primitive chairs, and other curios. On the same 
floor is an art collection; and on the library walls hang paintings, including 
French War by J. Baker, Grand Canyon by M. Dupree, and Ajter the Rain 
by George F. Shultz. 

The MUNICIPAL BUILDING, 3d St. and Okmulgee Ave., a three- 
story red-brick structure, its facade broken by five tall columns, covers a 
block near the business center. Besides housing the city offices, it provides a 
convention hall with a seating capacity of 3,500; here, in the winter season, 
weekly wrestling meets are held. On the first floor is a small Museum of his- 
torical relics, photographs, and documents. 

The million-dollar FEDERAL BUILDING, 5th St. and Broadway, is 


a many-vvindowcd, four-story building of limestone that fills the block 
frontage on 5th St. It contains the post office, courtroom, and offices of the 
United States Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. It also houses the 
offices of the United States Union Agency for the Five Civilized Tribes. 

Modern, with simple lines, is the COUNTY COURTHOUSE, 216 
State St., a three-story, block-like structure of granite and limestone. 

established in 1921, was the first institution of its kind in the state. It shares 
quarters with the old Central High School. 

Callahan Ave., is one of the most spacious and modern secondary schools in 
the state. Named for a member of a famous missionary family and the only 
woman who has represented Oklahoma in Congress, it was opened for use 
in 1940. It is a wide -spreading white building of two stories, square-cut in 
design, with its rows of wide windows broken by flat engaged columns. With 
its football stadium, east of the building, seating 6,500 spectators, the school 
occupies almost four blocks. Its erection, at a cost of $368,000, relieved the 
increasing pressure for space on the Central High School plant. 

HONOR HEIGHTS PARK (old Agency Hill Park), 40th St. and 
Park Blvd., has been developed as a memorial to veterans of the first World 
War. Covering 20 acres of the 50 which constitute the grounds known as 
Agency Hill, this beautiful landscaped and watered park tumbles down the 
hillside in terraces, cascades, pools, flowered borders, and grassy plots to the 
large lake and public swimming pool at the foot of the hill. Somewhere in its 
colorful area, nearly every flower and shrub native to Oklahoma is planted 
and flourishing; and besides evergreens in profusion there are oak trees, 
maples, redbud, dogwood, hackberry, native and Chinese elms, plum and 
peach and cherry trees, which succeed the redbud and dogwood as splashes 
of bloom in the spring. In 1935 this park was awarded a prize of $1,000 for 
the most beautiful rock garden in a contest sponsored by Belter Homes and 
Gardens. Union Agency Building, in the park, is a dignified and beautiful 
stone structure that was used for a time as headquarters for the government's 
business with the Five Tribes, and then for a school for freedmen by the 
Creeks. It is vacant now (1941). Near by is the site of the Alice Robertson 
home, "Sawokla." 

UNITED STATES VETERANS' FACILITY (open 2-4 daily), estab- 
lished as a veterans' hospital in 1923 and as a combined facility of the United 
States Veterans' administration in 1938, lies just south of Honor Heights 
Park. Its 17 buildings are set in an attractively landscaped area of 16 acres that 
overlook the city and the hills that rise toward the western edge of the 


Ozarks. The main building, U-shaped in plan and classical in design, rises 
four stories above a basement; like the other principal structures, it is built 
of brick, terra cotta, and artificial stone. 


Japanese Garden, 5.2 m (see Tour 2); site of old Steamboat Landing, 9.4 m.; Fort 
Gibson National Cemetery, 13.1 m. (see Tour 3); Bacone Indian College, 2.3 m.; Three 
Forks Monument, 7.2 m. (see Tour 8); New Army Air Field, 5.5 m. 

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Railroad Stations: Intersection of Comanche St. and Oklahoma Ave. for Atchison, Topeka 

& Santa Fe Ry.; 105 W. Main St. for Oklahoma Ry. (Interurban). 

Bus Station: Main St. and Santa Fc for Oklahoma Transportation Co., Santa Fe Trailways, 

and Greyhound. 

Taxis: 1 5c upward, depending on distance traveled and number of passengers. 

Accommodations: 2 hotels; tourist camps on highway. 

Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, 132/2 E. Main St. 

Radio Station: WNAD (640 kc). 

Motion Picture Houses: 5. 

Airport: Max Wcstheimer Flying Field (owned by the University of Oklahoma) 1.5 m. 

N.W. on State 74. 

Golf: University Golf Course, E. of University, grass greens, .50c; Cedar Crest Golf Course, 

2 m. S. of south city limits and 1 m. E. of US 77, sand greens, 25c; Norman Countr)' Club. 

1.5 m. E. of the city limit, sand greens, 50c. 

Stvimming: Crystal Lake, 1 m. N. on US 77, fees 20c for adults, 15c for children. 

Annual Events: High School Field Meet, April or May. Homecoming Week, usually begins 

Nov. 14. 

NORMAN (1,160 alt., 11,429 pop.) occupies a plateau overlooking the valley 
of the South Canadian River, the bed of which is about four miles southwest 
of the town. The surrounding land is gendy rolling, most of it cultivated, 
with some in pasture, and there are a few trees. The city is divided in a 
northwest-southeast direction by the Santa Fe Railway, and this orientation 
has been turned to advantage. The streets of the central part of the town 
run northwest-southeast and southwest-northeast, and form an approximate 
square. Outlying streets were laid out straight with the compass. This varies 
the customary pattern of smaller cities, somewhat mitigates the assault of 
winter winds, and, to a degree, lessens the fire hazard. Fortunately there 
has been litde effort to put as much of the town as possible upon the main 
highway, US 77. 

Except for those that serve the population, there are practically no 
industries in Norman. The business life of the town is dependent upon the 
university and the surrounding country-trade area. The greater part of the 
business district, along Main Street, consists largely of establishments that 
cater to farmers. It differs little from the main street of any small municipality 



in an agricultural community; students doing their after-class shopping leave 
the rural pattern unaltered. 

Near the university, however, a different atmosphere prevails. Here, the 
restaurants and other business houses subsist almost entirely on the patronage 
of the faculty and students. 

Although the townsite originally had almost no trees, its streets today 
are shaded by many varieties — elm, maple, oak, locust, ash, sycamore, walnut, 
pecan, and other trees indigenous to Oklahoma. This is largely due to David 
Ross Boyd, first president of the university, a tree enthusiast, who planted 
thousands of saplings in spite of the popular belief that trees would not grow 
there, and established a nursery of his own on the campus. From this begin- 
ning the city of Norman and the grounds of the university have become 
notable for their shaded streets and parked spaces. 

"It is not claimed for this city," said the Norman Transcript in 1893, 
"that she will ever be a great metropolis, but it is a city of homes, and one 
of the most desirable places of residence of which the mind can conceive." 
Lacking industries, the town has attracted residents through civic improve- 
ments and cultural advantages. Schools are excellent, and churches numerous. 

The city owns its own water plant and has an abundant supply of 
deep-well water 99.6 per cent pure. In 1919 the commission form of govern- 
ment was adopted, and a city manager chosen. The five city commissioners 
serve without pay. In the years 1928-34 there was no tax levy for general 
government expenses as the city used revenue from its water plant, fines, 
licenses, and other sources; there has been no deficit in operating funds, and 
since 1934 the tax rate has not been above 1.25 mills. 

Norman was named for a government engineer who pitched camp about 
eighteen miles south of the present site of Oklahoma City in 1872. Little is 
known of him beyond the fact that when the Atchison, Topeka and Santa 
Fe Railroad built through the Territory several years later, a boxcar was set 
out near the spot where he had camped and designated "Norman Switch." 
It was all that there was on the site of the present city when the Territory 
was opened for setdement on April 22, 1889. 

The population of Norman Switch, or of Norman as it came to be called, 
jumped from zero on the dawn of opening day to five hundred at nightfall. 
On January 25, 1890, the Norman Transcript boasted that the community 
already had "two newspapers, four churches, and twenty-nine business 
houses of importance." 

The Indian Mission Annual Conference of the Southern Methodist 
Church, in April, 1890, ordained that a college be established within the 
bounds of the newly created Oklahoma Territory; and the board of trustees 


was instructed to negotiate with towns interested in such a school and "to 
accept the bid that seemed the most advantageous." 

Norman was selected, and on September 18, 1890, High Gate Female 
College opened its doors with an enrollment of 130. Stringent rules were 
laid down for the students. They were not allowed to attend places of amuse- 
ment, and all correspondence with persons outside the school was subject to 
examination. Even a code governing the conduct of faculty members was 
promulgated, one rule requiring that male members, when appearing on the 
streets, should wear a silk tie and a Prince Albert coat. In 1892, with the 
opening of the university, the enrollment at High Gate decreased rapidly, 
and in the following year its buildings were sold to the Oklahoma Sanitarium 
Company. This company, which had secured a contract from Oklahoma 
Territory for the care of insane persons, in turn sold its property to the state 
in 1915. The institution, renamed the Central State Hospital, provides Nor- 
man with its second largest pay roll. 


THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA, between Lindsay and Boyd 
streets, and Elm and Jenkins Avenues, occupies a grassy, tree-grown campus 
of 217 acres. The School of Medicine, University Hospital, and Crippled 
Children's Hospital are in Oklahoma City (see 0\lahoma City); on the 
Norman campus there are forty-one buildings, seventeen of which are used 
for class work. Collegiate Gothic architecture predominates and the plant is 
one of the show spots of the state. Enrollment for 1940-41 in the regular 
sessions was 7,054; in the summer sessions, 2,497; and in the correspondence 
courses and service classes, 2,059. In the academic year 1939-40 a total of 
12,690 persons registered for forty-four institutes and short courses of a few 
days. The attendance at fifty-one institutes and short courses in 1940-41 was 
approximately 19,500. 

The university is a part of the educational system of the state (see Educa- 
tion) and is supported by legislative appropriations made biennially. It is a 
constituent member of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, 
supervised by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, an ap- 
pointive board of nine members. Immediate supervision of the university is 
in charge of the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, consisting of 
seven members appointed by the governor, who is also an ex officio member 
of the board. Sound scholarship, good citizenship, and the duties of the 
individual to the community and the state — briefly, these are the points 
emphasized in the university's teaching. Currendy, its annual budget totals 
some $1,555,000, more than $1,250,000 of which is spent in salaries for the 


faculty of 301 and others employed to maintain the plant. Part of the univer- 
sity's annual income — an average of |80,000 — is received from land endow- 
ment and the sale of school land. 

In September, 1892, the university opened in a rented store building in 
Norman, with David Ross Boyd as its first president; the faculty consisted 
of four teachers; the curriculum provided for preparatory courses and two 
years of college work. Since there were no high schools in the Territory, it 
was necessary to maintain the preparatory department for fifteen years, until 
adequate local school systems had been built up. The first group of students 
numbered fifty-seven, all in the preparatory school. In 1893 a three-story-and- 
basement brick structure with a small tower was completed, looming starkly 
out of an expanse of level prairie that was still scored by the paths of game 
and cattle. Until destroyed by fire in 1903, this building housed the university. 

Living expenses at the school were low, but not many students had the 
small amount of money needed. President Boyd encouraged ambitious young 
men and women to come anyway, and to work their way through at such 
jobs as were available. Few business houses in Norman could give employ- 
ment, and part-time work in early years generally consisted of chores for men 
and housework for girls. With the growth of the city and the school, more 
jobs for students became available, and today about one-third of the student 
body is self-supporting. 

The university's School of Geology, established in 1900, has graduated 
a number of well-known geologists. Many have played important parts in the 
oil industry in Oklahoma and other oil-producing states. The organizer of 
the school, Dr. Charles N. Gould, was for some years also head of the State 
Geological Survey, which operates under the Board of Regents and the presi- 
dent of the university. The School of Government, with a faculty of ten 
(1941), trains an ever-increasing number of men who take an active part in 
government. The first degrees from the School of Law were given in 1912 
and today (1941) about half of the members of the state bar are university 
alumni. The School of Petroleum Engineering attracts students from all parts 
of the world. 

The name "Sooners," applied to Oklahomans generally, is given to the 
athletic teams of the university, and to its publications. 

As a land-grant college, the university maintains a military unit of the 
Reserve Ofl&cers Training Corps. The first two years of training are required; 
the last two, or advanced course, are elective. Between the junior and senior 
years, advanced students are given a six-weeks course in active service, usually 
at Fort Sill. In the fall of 1940, a unit of the Naval Reserve Officers' Training 
Corps was installed at the university. 


One of the most colorful events of the year is the annual High School 
Field Meet, in April or May, a series of athletic, musical, and curricular 
contests. This event draws an attendance of thousands of high school students, 
who in this way become acquainted with the university. 


The buildings are listed in order of their location from the main entrance, University 
Blvd. and Boyd St. Unless otherwise stated, the buildings are open during school hours. 

The PRESIDENT'S HOME is a two-story frame house of classic 
revival design. 

HOLMBERG HALL (the Fine Arts Building), a three-story structure 
of concrete, brick, and stone, completed in 1918, was named for Frederik 
Holmberg, professor of music and dean of the College of Fine Arts. 

ADMINISTRATION HALL, a collegiate Gothic, three-story structure 
at the head of the North Oval, is notable for its chaste decoration and fine 
proportions. The building contains the general administrative offices of the 
university, the Graduate School, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the 
offices, classrooms, and laboratories of the department of mathematics, philos- 
ophy, physics, and psychology. 

The four-story EDUCATION BUILDING was erected in 1904 as the 
Carnegie Library; in 1920 it was remodeled for the College of Education and 
now contains the offices and classrooms of that college and the university dem- 
onstration schools. 

MONNET HALL, known as the "Law Barn," is a three-story structure 
of white Bedford stone. It contains the offices, lecture rooms, courtroom, and 
library of the School of Law, the offices and library of the department of gov- 
ernment, and the offices and museum of the department of anthropology. In the 
basement (open 9-4, Mon.-Fri.) a great many objects of archeological interest, 
taken from the Indian mounds near Spiro (see Tour 7), are on display. 

The ART BUILDING, a concrete, brick, and Algonite stone structure, 
was erected in 1920 as the Library Building; in 1930 it was remodeled and now 
houses the offices, studios, classrooms, and exhibition rooms of the School of 
Art. Paintings, etchings, sculpture, and items of industrial arts are on display; 
the exhibits are loans, for the most part, and are changed every two weeks. In 
this building is the Matzene Collection of Oriental Art (open 12-5, Mon., 
Wed., Fri.), valued at more than $100,000 and including Chinese, Manchurian, 
Japanese, East Indian, and Persian objects of art. Indian graduates of the 
School of Art have attracted national attention with their authentic paintings 
of Indian life. 

In addition to the space occupied by the department of geology, the 


GEOLOGY BUILDING contains the offices, laboratories, and publication 
rooms of the Oklahoma Geological Survey, and the Museum of Paleontology 
(open 9-5, Mon.-Fri.). On display are scale models of plant and animal life of 
the Devonian and Jurassic periods, prepared as WPA projects by university 
students; archeological remains excavated from all sections of Oklahoma; and 
minerals and rocks from many other states. 

in 1928 and a tower was added in 1936. Donations from students, alumni, 
faculty, and friends of the university paid for the building and its furnishings; 
and fees paid by the students at the time of their registration support it. It 
contains the quarters of the University of Oklahoma Association, the Men's 
Council, the Independent Men's Association, the University Christian Associa- 
tions, the student centers of several religious groups, the offices and studio of 
the department of speech, the Book Exchange, a recreation hall, a cafeteria, 
dining rooms, a lounge, a ballroom, meeting rooms, and living apartments 
for several members of the faculty. In the tower are the offices, studios, and 
rehearsal rooms of WNAD, "The Voice of Soonerland," the university broad- 
casting station. 

atories and research rooms of the School of Petroleum Engineering. Immedi- 
ately north of the building is an oil refinery, consisting of a 96-tube bubble 
tower and a tube still with a capacity of 250 barrels of crude oil a day. A brick 
building near by, completed in 1936, houses an experimental lubricating-oil 

The School of Journalism is in the UNIVERSITY PRESS BUILDING. 
Here is published The Oklahoma Daily, student newspaper; and here also is 
the University Press, publishing division of the university, organized in 1929. 
Besides departmental bulletins, the Press prints Boo}{s Abroad, a quarterly 
which has earned an international reputation for scholarly criticism, and has 
published a widely varied list of books. Among these are Wah'Kon-Tah, a 
Book-of-the-Month Club selection; four volumes of Fol\-Say: a Regional 
Miscellany; 22 volumes of a series called "Civilization of the American 
Indian"; and seven volumes in a new "American Exploration and Travel" 

BUCHANAN HALL (formerly known as the Liberal Arts Building) 
is occupied by the English, history, and classical and modern languages and 
literatures departments. Walls in the classrooms of the Latin and Greek 
departments are lined with bas-relief — casts of the Elgin marbles. Other 
classroom walls in the building are covered with symbolic murals, the work 
of former art students in the University. The building was named in honor 


of James Shannon Buchanan, a former professor of history, acting president 
and president of the university. 

The PHYSICAL EDUCATION BUILDING (locally called the Field 
House), a three-story structure, contains a large gymnasium, with balconies 
seating 3,500 and main-floor seats for 2,000, the quarters of the department of 
physical education, and the offices of the Intercollegiate Athletic Council. A 
frame structure adjacent to the building houses the men's swimming pool. 
The spring graduation exercises are held in the gymnasium. 

MEMORIAL STADIUM, consisting of two wings each 400 feet long 
and 57 feet high, with 62 rows of seats affording a total seating capacity of 
32,000 persons, was erected as a World War memorial. Intercollegiate football 
games are played here, and track meets are held on its quarter-mile cinder 
oval and 220-yard straightaway. In the space beneath the seats are classrooms, 
facilities for the student athletes, and the living quarters of members of the 
student co-operative dormitory. Here, too, student assistants and graduate 
workers, employed by NYA and WPA, clean and mount animal skeletons 
for paleontological exhibits. Thousands of fossil bones are stored here, but 
they must remain in packing cases until funds are appropriated for an 
exhibit building. 

collegiate Gothic style, in harmony with most of the other buildings on the 
campus. Topping the pylons at each side of the main entrance are statues 
representing Industry and Commerce, and surmounting the octagonal bay is 
a horizontal frieze of the famous coins of history. The stone gable is orna- 
mented with conventionalized carvings of Oklahoma agricultural products 
— cotton, corn, and kaffir. Panels on the first floor represent Oklahoma's four 
major sources of income — oil, mining, agriculture, and commerce; and in 
recessed niches are other murals that depict all phases of state industries. 
Grotesque corbel-heads, symbolic of the inhabitants of the Oklahoma plains 
and their relation to history, adorn the auditorium on the second floor in a 
vertical design. Libraries, classrooms, and laboratories provide adequate 
facilities for students in the School of Business Administration. 

The BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES BUILDING is decorated with a series 
of conventionalized carvings of animal types, executed in stone by Joseph 
R. Taylor, of the art faculty. In the building are laboratories, classrooms, 
libraries, a herbarium of Oklahoma plants, and a large and interesting 
Zoology Museum, which contains specimens from many parts of the United 
States. The Amphibian Collection (permit from the zoology department), 
in the basement, contains thousands of specimens of amphibia common to 
Oklahoma waters. 


The LIBRARY is perhaps the most impressive building on the Uni- 
versity of Oklahoma campus. Its collegiate Gothic architecture is similar to 
that of Administration Hall, with which it will ultimately be joined. The 
reading room (second floor) extends east and west across the entire length 
of the building. The Phillips Collection of Southwestern Literary 
Material (open by permit from History Department) is on the first floor. 
The Treasure Room (permit from Librarian), on the same floor, contains 
many rare books and valuable manuscripts. In the basement are seminar and 
research rooms. 

Additional buildings on the campus are the Faculty Club, Debarr Hall 
(Chemistry Building), Science Hall, Engineering Building, Engineering 
Laboratory, the Armory, the Women's Building, Pharmacy Building, Physics 
Laboratories, the Infirmary, and the Military Science Buildings. 


McFARLIN memorial church (Methodist), University Blvd. 
and Apache St., was built by Robert M. McFarlin as a memorial to his son, 
at a cost of more than $1,000,000. The church, rising above the surrounding 
tree-shaded residences, seems impressive in its plain white stone simplicity. 
It is neo-Gothic in design; the interior is richly ornamented, with hand-carved 
walnut woodwork and other decorative features. 

During the 1930's the 16 acre CITY PARK was made into a notable 
recreation center, as a WPA project, with an ampitheatre that seats 2,200, 
more than 600 trees and thousands of shrubs, athletic grounds, and game 
equipment. In 1940, attendance at the park exceeded 198,000. A handicraft 
and recreational program, also sponsored by the WPA, is carried on there 
throughout the year. It had an average daily attendance of 40 boys and girls 
in 1940. 

CENTRAL STATE HOSPITAL (visitors by appointment), 6 blocks 
E. of junction of US 77 and Main St., is the state's largest institution for the 
treatment of mental disorders. Representing an investment of more than 
$4,000,000, it has 820 acres of land and 111 buildings, mosdy plain two-and- 
three-story structures of red brick. There are approximately 300 employees 
and 2,500 patients. The institution operates its own farm, dairy, canning 
plants, laundry, and mattress and furniture factories. Recreational facilities 
consist of moving pictures, ball games, square dances, and indoor games such 
as bridge, checkers, and dominoes. 


Washington Irving Marker, Moore, 9.2 m I see Tour 10). 

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Oklahoma City 

Railroad Stations: Union Station, 300 W. Choctaw St. for St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. 

(Frisco), and Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Ry. (Rock Island); Santa Fe Station, Santa Fe 

Ave. and California St., for Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fc Ry. (Santa Fe); Katy Station, 200 

E. Reno St., for Missouri-Kansas-Texas R.R. (Katy) and Oklahoma City Ada-Atoka Ry. 

Bus Stations: Union Bus Station, Grand Ave. and Walker St., for Oklahoma Transportation 

Co., Greyhound Lines, Santa Fe Trailways, Southwestern Trailways, Panhandle Trailways, 

Missouri-Kansas-Oklahoma Coach Lines, Red Ball Bus Line; 15 W. Grand Ave., for All- 

American Bus Line. 

Airports: Municipal Airport (N.W edge of Bethany), 6.9 m. W. on US 66, for Braniff 

Airways, Mid-Continent Airlines, and American Airlines; Wiley Post Field, N. May Ave., 

4 m. N. on US 66 (no scheduled service). 

Taxis: 15c and upwards according to distance and number of passengers. 

Streetcars and City Busses: Intracity rate 10c or two for 15c; interurban electric lines to 

Norman, El Reno, Guthrie, and intermediate points, terminal Grand Ave. between Hudson 

and Harvey Sts. 

Traffic Regulations: Parking limit varies with street. Parking meters, which originated in 

Oklahoma City, on most downtown streets; 5c dropped in slot allows motorist to park for 

time shown on meter. No charge between 6 p.m. and 7a.m. No all-night parking. 

Accommodations: 19 hotels, 2 for Negroes; 2 tourist hotels; residential hotels; rooming 
houses; many tourist camps; no seasonal rate. 

Information Service: Oklahoma Auto Club, Biltmore Hotel, Grand Ave. and Harvey St. 

Radio Stations: KOCY (1,340 kc), KOMA (1,520 kc), WKY (930 kc), KTOK (1,400 

Theaters and Motion Picture Houses: Municipal Auditorium, Walker Ave. between 1st and 
2d Sts.; and Shrine Auditorium, 6th St. and Robinson Ave., for local and touring stage pro- 
ductions; 18 motion picture houses, several with stage shows, 2 for Negroes. 
Stvimming: Lincoln Park Pool, Grand Blvd. and N. Eastern Ave., free, accessories for rent; 
Rotary Park Pool, Westwood Blvd. and S.W. 15th St., free. 

Golf: Two municipal courses, Lincoln Park, Grand Blvd. and N. Eastern Ave., and S. W. 
29th St. and May Ave., greens fee 25c, Sat. and Sun. 40c. Other courses: Woodlawn, 3401 
Lincoln, 18 holes, greens fee 50c; Capitol Hill, 501 S.W. 44th St., 9 holes, greens fee 
30c; Fairview, 2602 N. Eastern, 18 holes, greens fee 30c; Shepherd, N.W. 23rd and Grand 
Blvd., 9 holes, greens fee 30c; Rowlett, 3000 S.W. 29th St., 9 holes, greens fee, weekdays 
25c, Sat., Sun., & holidays 40c. 

Tennis: Municipal courts at N.W. 25th St. and Robinson Ave., N.W. 35th St. and Western 
Ave., N.W. 20th and Broadway Sts., 23d and Glen Ellyn Sts., N.W. 4th St. and Pennsyl- 
vania Ave., 12th St. and May Ave., S.W. 29th and Broadway Sts., S.W. 15th and Black- 
welder Sts., S.W. 10th and Shartel Sts., 18th and Miramer Sts., 6th St. and Eastern Ave., and 
12th and McKinley Sts.: free during dav, 40c an hour at night. 
Baseball: Texas League Park, 1837 N.W. 4th St., Texas League (Class A). 
Wrestling: Each Wednesday night (winter) at the Municipal Auditorium, Civic Center. 
Boating and Fishing: Lake Overholser, W. from city on 39th St. 

Annual Events: State Fair, Fair Grounds, Eastern Ave. and 7th St., last week in Sept.; Flower 
Show (state-wide), Municipal Auditorium, 1st and Dewey Sts., first week in Oct.; Golden 
Gloves amateur boxing tournament, Municipal auditorium, in Feb.; Livestock Show, Stock- 
yards Coliseum, last week in March. 



OKLAHOMA CITY (1,194 alt., 204,424 pop.) is not only the largest munici- 
pality in the state, and the capital, but is also the most representative of all 
phases of Oklahoma life — with one important exception — it has no trace of 
the Indian character which still gives color to the major part of the state. It 
has no Indian history, for it began as a pioneer town. Here, on the undulant 
acres north and south of the sandy, nearly always dry, bed of the North 
Canadian River, the city takes in skyscrapers, two of the nation's finest 
hotels, a fabulously rich oil field with drill-rigs reaching up out of the back 
yards of many fine homes, scores of parks and parkways, an excellent medical 
school, a sectarian university, a splendid new Civic Center, packing, manu- 
facturing, and wholesale districts, and wide areas of homes that, whatever 
their cost and pretentiousness, are as Oklahoman as the rows of native elms 
which shade the streets. Characteristically, too, the city's slum section is a 
"Stringtown" of picturesque, makeshift shacks along the river bank occupied 
not only by victims of poverty but also by nomads who know quite well how 
to contrive for themselves. 

Downtown, on the streets, in the stores, and in lodging places that range 
from twenty-five cents a night to the luxury of fine hotel suites, fur coats 
and overalls, oil-field workers and clerks, farmers and their families and 
sophisticates who know Europe and South America as well as they know 
the playgrounds of the United States — all these mingle and make Oklahoma 
City a true American metropolis. 

At the edge of the high plains country that rises gradually to the Rockies, 
the city gives an impression of altitude not justified by the figures. Viewed 
from a distance, it strengthens that impression by a skyline broken by tall 
buildings. In climate and clarity of air, too, Oklahoma City suggests a 
mountain-slope city rather than one in the Mississippi Valley. 

Roughly, the city falls into four fairly equal sections, bisected from east 
to west by Grand Avenue and from north to south by Broadway. Mounting 
to the observation tower on top of the thirty-two-story First National Build- 
ing in the heart of the business district, you may look north to the domeless 
capitol and the governor's official home, on 23d Street, overtopped by the 
clean-cut, spidery steel towers of oil wells that go down six thousand feet and 
more to tap four richly yielding oil-bearing strata. As your eyes swing east- 
ward they pass over a section of ten blocks of new and beautiful homes, 
where, as in other newly developed sections, there are no sidewalks — a car 
in every family (almost literally true), and no one thinks of walking! Then, 
below 13th Street, you see older homes, of the architectural styles of the 
1890's and 1900's, bowered in trees, with sidewalks in front. 

Next, extending south to California Street, beyond the wide webbing 


of railroad tracks almost directly cast of you, the largest Negro section, 
housing most of the city's twenty thousand Negroes, unrolls across a low 
ridge, once covered by blackjack oaks, from the Santa Fe tracks eastward to, 
and beyond, the State Fair Grounds. 

Shifting your eyes to the southeastern quarter of the city, south of the 
river, you realize what is meant by the familiar oil-field description, a "forest 
of derricks." Literally, they crowd, row on close-set row, a whole quarter of 
the city until the few residences left in that oil-soaked area are all but 
invisible. Nine hundred and more of them, they lead the eye southward to 
the city limits six miles away where the discovery well was brought in on 
December 4, 1928. 

Now you're facing south, looking along the line of the Santa Fe, and that 
of the interurban line which will carry you in forty minutes to the uni- 
versity city of Norman. Under your eyes as they swing a bit westward is Capi- 
tol Hill, a section of modest homes set close together facing wide streets, domi- 
nated by one of the largest and best high schools in the state. Beyond lie pro- 
ductive farms, on which suburban developments are impinging; and still 
farther on is the distant line of timber that marks the South Canadian (five 
times as wide, and as sandy and waterless as Oklahoma City's North Cana- 
dian). In that quarter, too, is the Army's busy Will Rogers flying field. 

Look west, and beyond the business district lies Packingtown, the stock- 
yards, and meat processing plants, which make this the principal livestock 
market in the state. In that area, too, are most of the 266 manufacturing 
establishments, large and small, which employ nearly five thousand workers, 
pay out more than $5,000,000 annually in wages, and produce goods worth 

Last, the northwestern quarter of the city spreads fanwise, street after 
street, mile after mile of residences, occasional apartment houses, schools, 
Oklahoma City University, hospitals, local business centers, oudying movie 
houses, and an impressive high school stadium. It is in this sector that you 
will find at their best homekeeping Oklahomans, from the clerk paying 
installments on a low-priced car and a five-room bungalow to the oil-enriched 
millionaire with his elaborate mansion in the Nichols Hills district just beyond 
the city limits. 

Progressively, as your eyes lift from the older residence streets of this 
quarter to the latest developments five miles away, the shade trees that line 
the sidewalks of nearer streets, then dot the farther lawns in blocks devoid 
of walks, are younger and smaller. The lawns, too, are newer and less lush, 
the ever-present shrubs and flower beds scantier. Everywhere, except in that 
segment where oil development has marred the yards and streets of the big 


pie-shaped area which is Oklahoma City, there is breathing green of grass, 
shrubs, flowers, and trees. The city grew up amid the stiff-limbed blackjack 
oaks, some of which still survive, and loves shade. 

A common description of western towns is that they "sprang up over- 
night." In the case of Oklahoma City, the literal truth is that it came into 
being between noon and sunset of April 22, 1889; and certain cynical his- 
torians insist that a considerable population had appeared on the site fifteen 
minutes after the noon signal for the "run" had been given to those lined up 
more than thirty miles away. Three years later, Richard Harding Davis (in 
his West From a Car Window) said that "men of the Seminole Land and 
Town Company were dragging steel chains up the street on a run" at 12:15 
P.M. that day. In any case, ten thousand setders had camped by nightfall over 
the wide expanse east and west of the Santa Fe's single-track boxcar station, 
where land had been set aside for a townsite. 

For thirteen months the community had no legal municipal existence; 
only with the setting up of Oklahoma Territory on May 2, 1890, came author- 
ity to organize one. However, the settlers formed a provisional city govern- 
ment on May 23, 1889, a month after the Run, choosing first a committee of 
fourteen, then a mayor and council. 

The first provisional mayor was William L. Couch, who had succeeded 
David L. Payne as leader of the "Boomers" {see History). He and the make- 
shift council were chosen at a mass meeting "on their looks," for when a man 
was named for a place he stood up on a dry-goods box to be appraised by the 
crowd. One candidate who failed of election because he did not please the 
people was James B. Weaver, once a candidate for President of the United 
States on the Populist ticket; and Mayor Couch held office only briefly before 
he died in an "argument" over title to land which is now the center of the city. 

Another "argument," which fortunately did not reach the gun-arbitra- 
tion stage, arose between two townsite companies. One, working north of 
Grand Avenue, made its survey west from the Santa Fe track, while the one 
platting south of Grand Avenue took as its eastern base a true north and 
south line; and when the surveys met there the streets failed to jibe. Neither 
company would yield to the other, hence the apparendy inexplicable jog at 
Grand Avenue of the streets that run north and south. 

At times during the months of provisional city government. United 
States deputy marshals were called in to enforce Federal law, and on one 
occasion at least — when an enterprising citizen took possession of the only 
pump in town and began selling water — troops were required to prevent 
bloodshed. On the whole, however, Oklahoma City's first settlers succeeded 
in governing themselves admirably. 


The second phase of the city's history, from its formal organization as a 
municipality on May 23, 1890, to 1910, when the capital was voted away from 
Guthrie and removed to Oklahoma City, was that of vigorous growth as the 
trade center of an expanding new territory. In those twenty years, the popula- 
tion grew from 10,037 to 66,408; and it had become by far the largest city in 
the state. Four other railroads had reached in to help the wholesale merchants 
extend their trade areas; to serve the farmers, flour mills and cottonseed-oil 
mills grew in size and numbers; and in 1910-11 two meat-packing plants 
were established. When the capital was moved from Guthrie, many state 
employees came to Oklahoma City and remained after their political employ- 
ment ceased. With the development of the state's natural resources of oil, 
coal, and metals the city became a financial and manufacturing center. Popula- 
tion growth was again gready stimulated by the high wages of the World 
War period. In 1920 the population of Oklahoma City was 98,317, increasing 
almost without interruption from that time to the 1940 figure of 204,424. 

After the first World War, wholesalers intensified their activities; manu- 
facturing became less bound up with agriculture and expanded into new 
fields; and then a gusher oil field was found to lie within the city's limits. 
As it grew industrially, Oklahoma City added iron and steel plants, potteries, 
factories for making furniture, clothing, and electrical equipment. Various 
large utility companies and brokerage and commission concerns established 
their headquarters downtown. 

Of the approximately sixty thousand workers in Oklahoma City, about 
sixteen thousand are organized. The Oil Workers' Union, with a member- 
ship in the state of eight thousand, has many members in the city. The 
building trades, too, are largely organized. The Amalgamated Meat Cutters, 
once a strong union, has, however, almost completely disintegrated. The 
Oklahoma City Central Trades and Labor Council is one of the most pro- 
gressive labor bodies in the state. 

Though, as has been said, the principal Negro district lies east of the 
city's main business section, there are two other growing centers, the so-called 
western block west of Shartel Avenue, and the Walnut Grove Community in 
the Southeastern quarter between Stiles and Eastern Avenues. Except for a 
poor district bordering the river, the Negro quarters compare favorably with 
the average residential and suburban business districts occupied by the 
whites; and there are a few homes costing from $20,000 to $30,000 each. 
One Negro, W. J. Edwards, has amassed a fortune as a wholesale junk 
dealer, and there is a gradual seepage of Negroes into other than the usual 
service industries. 

On the cultural side, Oklahoma City Negroes have provided themselves 


two movie houses, churches, lodge and dance halls; Tolan Park, on the west 
side, is for their enjoyment; they maintain a little theater, opened in 1935, 
and some of its productions have been attended by more than a thousand; 
their own weekly newspaper, the Blacky Dispatch, established in 1916, has 
not only a state-wide circulation but many subscribers in other states. Well 
made up and printed, it carries local and world news, book and motion picture 
reviews, and a department of news and comment on Negro music and 
musicians. It is claimed that their high school has the only Negro girls' drum 
and bugle corps in the United States. 

The educational picture for present-day Oklahoma City shows sixty-five 
public schools, including five senior and eight junior high schools; Oklahoma 
City University, the University of Oklahoma Medical School, and the Car- 
negie Library, with its eleven branches and 116,000 volumes. The schools 
enroll some forty-six thousand students and employ twelve hundred teachers. 

The city's growing interest in the arts is expressed through its musical 
organizations, which offer their own programs and instruction to members 
and make possible the appearance of nationally known artists; by the increas- 
ingly competent Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra of the WPA Music Program; 
by the fine arts department of Oklahoma City University, and the type of 
musical instruction given in the schools; and by the Art League and the 
vigorous activities of the WPA Art Center at the Municipal Auditorium. 

The city is headquarters for the Oklahoma State Writers' Club, with a 
membership of about three hundred; a considerable number of these fulfill 
the requirement for active membership, selling something at least once a year. 
The writers have no fixed meeting place, but they get together once a month. 
The Club's quarterly contests stir Oklahoma poets, playwrights, essayists, and 
short story writers to action. A half dozen of the city's writers have books to 
their credit. Nine retail and secondhand bookshops serve the city's readers. 

Four daily newspapers were started in the first year of Oklahoma City's 
existence — one of them, in fact, the 0\lahoma City Times, before the open- 
ing of the land to settlement. Prior to his ejection as a trespasser, its editor 
wrote the copy on the site of the future capital and sent it to Wichita, Kansas, 
where the paper was printed. The first newspaper printed in Oklahoma City, 
issued from a tent, was called the Oklahoma Times; its name was changed 
to the Oklahoma Journal; then it was combined with its rival as the Oklahoma 
City Times-Journal. After dropping the Journal out of its title, it has con- 
tinued as the city's principal, and now (1941), only evening paper. The 
Daily Okjahoman and the Evening Gazette were also established in 1889. 
The Ot{lahoman absorbed the Gazette and became the only morning paper. 
Both daily newspapers are (1941) under the same management. 


As part ot the national dclcnsc program, the War Department, in Sep- 
tember, 1940, designated the Oklahoma City municipal air terminal as the 
Thirty-seventh Army Air Corps base, and also the base of the new forty- 
eighth light bombardment group. The expansion will mean the detail of 
some 350 officers, and 4,200 enlisted men. It will also involve a $1,400,000 
building program to provide barracks, mess halls, stores, administration build- 
ings, and shop. Also, at the southeastern edge of the city, is the War Depart- 
ment's Mid-West Air Depot, a fifteen-million-dollar plant for conditioning 
and repairing bomber planes. 

The development of the Oklahoma City oil field, beginning in 1928, is 
one of the highlights in the dramatic story of the oil industry in the Middle 
West. It attracted national attention because of the amazing potential pro- 
duction of its wells — at times exceeding sixty thousand barrels a day from a 
single well; the enormous rock pressure, and gas flows, resulting in such 
spectacular fires in the midst of the city's residences as the industry had 
never before known; and the then unprecedented depth (from four thousand 
to seven thousand feet) to which the drill bits were sent. Small in area as it 
is, this pool is one of the richest ever developed. 

For several years before the discovery well came in on December 4, 1928, 
geologists had believed that oil might be found under this area, but probably 
only at such depths as to make exploration impracticable; its exploitation had 
to wait until drilling equipment was developed to a point that would make 
such deep wells profitable. 

After drilling started, it was learned that the main part of the pool lay 
under the southeastern sector of the city, and a legion of derricks came 
advancing toward the city limits. Then in March, 1930, the Mary Sudik, 
blowing in, got out of control. For eleven days it ran wild, spouting nearly 
thirty-five thousand barrels a day in a roaring brown-black geyser that sent 
spray as far as the town of Norman, fifteen miles to the south. The fire 
hazard was so great that the other wells were closed down and the area was 
put under police control. 

As drilling operations pushed on toward the north and west, there arose 
a controversy over drilling within the city limits. One faction argued that the 
wells outside were drawing oil from under the city and demanded the right 
to share in the profits by sinking wells, if necessary, in their hack yards. 
Another, remembering the danger of a disastrous conflagration during the 
wild run of the Mary Sudik, demanded that the derricks stay out of town. 

In July, 1930, the city council, in an effort to please both sides, enacted 
two ordinances, one to establish safety regulations, and the other allowing 
drilling in the southeast corner of town. Shortly the derricks were towering 


above the homes in that residential district. Additional ordinances setting 
more strict rules for safety and providing a system of permits and rigid 
inspection were enacted. 

Demands for extending the drilling zone forced the city council to call 
a special election in the spring of 1935, with the result that the derricks moved 
north along the east side of town. Then in the spring of 1936 another election 
was held and the drilling zone was further enlarged to the vicinity of the 
state capitol. Governor E. W. Marland demanded that production be allowed 
on state-owned land around the capitol so that the state would receive a 
share of the revenue; and when the city council refused to include it in the 
area voted upon, he put the lands under martial law and issued drilling 
permits in defiance of the city government. Twenty-four wells went down im- 
mediately, some within a few yards of the capitol and of the governor's man- 

The full extent of the field has not been determined. It is believed that 
the area of four hundred acres directly beneath the business section of down- 
town Oklahoma City would yield as richly as any part of the pool thus far 
developed. Production has been from four different horizons, one at a 
depth of more than seven thousand feet. Up to January 1, 1938, there were 
thirteen hundred wells in the field, only nineteen of which had come in as 
"dry holes." Nine hundred and forty-nine of the wells are still producing 

Oklahoma City is out-of-doors and sports-minded. Among its seventy- 
one parks are four of considerable size situated at the four "corners of the 
city" and connected by an outer drive called Grand Boulevard. The city con- 
tributed the 1940 amateur tennis champion of the United States (see Sports 
and Reaeation) and has sent many fine golfers to national tournaments. At 
640-acre Lincoln Park is a zoo containing 350 animals, birds, and reptiles, and 
a lake which is a resort for wild fowl. There is a smaller zoo at Wiley Post 
Park. Everywhere in the parks, small or large, picnic grounds are provided; 
and on summer evenings literally thousands of the city's families take advan- 
tage of these facilities. 

Oklahoma City has a city manager and city council form of government. 


1. The STATE CAPITOL, Lincoln Blvd., between 21st and 23d Sts., an 
example of neoclassic architecture, was designed by S. A. Layton, of Okla- 
homa City. Erection of the building was begun in 1914 and finished in 1917. 
The original design called for a dome on the central tower, but it was not 
built for reasons of economy. The matter was at one time a political issue. 


The massive five-story edifice is in the form of a cross with projecting 
central pedimented pavilions at the front and rear. A low central tower, over 
the crossing, is the base of the proposed dome. The east and west section is 
434 feet in length and 136 feet in width; the north and south division 304 feet 
long, and 88 feet wide. The exterior of the building is of granite to the second- 
floor level, and the superstructure is of Indiana limestone. Entrances are pro- 
vided on all four sides of the building, with the main entrance on the south. 
Because of crowded conditions, the west entrance has been closed to permit 
the use of the west corridor for offices. Before the south entrance stands a 
Statue of a Cowboy on a wild pony, executed by Constance Whitney 
Warren. The statue has been much criticized by old-timers, who insist that 
"it don't look much like the real thing." There are replicas in Texas and 
Colorado. The north and south facades have Corinthian porticoes, and the 
east and west have Corinthian pilasters. 

The interior is decorated with classic features in harmony with the 
exterior — lobby floors, stairs, and balustrades are of light-colored marble; 
columns, pilasters, painted beams, lunettes, and Italian elliptical vaulted 
ceilings adorn the various offices. The second and the fourth floors are the 
most elaborate in the building. 

The governor's office and reception room are on the second floor, as are 
the courtrooms and offices of the two appellate courts, the state supreme 
court, and the criminal court of appeals. On the fourth floor are the two 
chambers of the state legislature. Over the grand stairway, on the south wall 
of the corridor of the fourth floor, are three World War memorial murals, 
painted by Gilbert White and presented to the state by Frank Phillips, wealthy 
oil man. The artist, a painter in the conservative French tradition, combined 
classic allegory with realistic portraiture to memorialize Oklahoma's part in 
the World War. 

2. The CAPITOL OFFICE BUILDING (ANNEX) (open during oifice 
hours), Lincoln Blvd., S. and W. of the capitol, a severely plain neoclassic 
six-story white limestone structure, was built to relieve congestion in the 
capitol. Chromium steel is used for the light standards at the north and east 
entrances and for the decorations under the wide windows between the first 
and fourth floors; there are low-relief sculptures over the east entrance and 
on the walls of the first-floor lobby. The architect was }. Duncan Forsythe, 

Mon.-Fri., 8-12 Sat.), Lincoln Blvd., S. and E. of the capitol, is a three-story 
neoclassic structure, with massive facade pillars, designed by Layton, Hicks, 
and Forsyth, of Oklahoma City. Completed in 1930 at a cost of $500,000, it 


has a Georgia granite base and Indiana limestone superstructure. The build- 
ing houses the society's museum and library, and quarters of veterans' organi- 
zations. The interior arrangement is simple, affording appropriate background 
for many exhibits. The corridor walls are decorated with life-size figure paint- 
ings of Indian dances by Steve Mopope and Monroe Tsa-to-ke, Kiowa Indian 

The Oklahoma Historical Society was organized at Kingfisher, in 1893, 
and was housed in a tiny room of the courthouse. Later it was moved to the 
state university at Norman, and then to the basement of the Capitol Building, 
where it remained until 1930. Membership in the society is open to anyone 
upon the payment of one dollar a year. Money for the salaries of employees 
and the upkeep of the building and museum is appropriated by the legisla- 
ture; there are no endowments. 

The museum has many valuable and interesting relics not only of Okla- 
homa and the Southwest, but of Indians elsewhere — for example, the pipe 
used by the Delawares when they made their treaty with William Penn in 
1683. There are also many large pictures of famous Indian leaders, including 
all modern chiefs of the Choctaw Nation, Pleasant Porter of the Creeks, 
Bacon Rind of the Osages, and John Ross of the Cherokees, Greenwood 
LeFlore, Quanah Parker, Pawhuska, and Mrs. Alice Davis, who served as 
chief of the Seminoles. 

In the museum's cases are objects illustrating life among the Indians 
who were removed from various sections of the United States to the territory 
that became Oklahoma: Chief Joseph's war bonnet, worn when that great 
Nez Perce leader was forced to leave his Oregon home and remain for a 
time as prisoner in Oklahoma; highly decorative headdresses of Cheyennes, 
Kiowas, lowas, Osages, Delawares, and others; a collection of ceremonial and 
everyday fans made from the feathers of the eagle, hawk, magpie, turkey, 
and (rarest) the scissorbill bird used in the peyote ceremony; a Choctaw 
version of the Lord's Prayer worked in needlepoint; an Apache pictograph 
representing the Devil's Dance; a Cheyenne ceremonial shirt decorated with 
long wisps of hair from enemy scalps; a Kiowa child's chest; Kickapoo and 
Potawatomi rugs made of dyed reeds and cattails; the land grant to the 
Choctaws and Chickasaws in 1842 signed by President Tyler. 

There are mortars and pestles used in crushing corn; and two millstones, 
given to the Choctaws by Andrew Jackson before the removal of the tribe to 
Indian Territory; a stagecoach used in Oklahoma in the early days; a covered 
wagon, minus the wagon sheet, used in the Run of 1889 and the Cherokee 
Strip Opening of 1893; and a one-cylinder Cadillac of the vintage of 1900, one 
of the first cars in Oklahoma. 


In the museum are also several Lincoln mementos; a desk used in his 
Illinois law oHicc, a bedspread that he used as a shawl on a trip from Spring- 
field to Decatur, Illinois, and a number of letters in his handwriting. 

The Laura A. Clubb Fan Collection of 86 fans includes one of hand- 
made lace and mother-of-pearl, inlaid with gold, once owned by Sarah 
Bernhardt; another presented by Queen Victoria to Jenny Lind; a seven- 
teenth century carved opera glass fan; and a "kingfisher" fan used by an 
emperor of Japan. 

The Newspaper Files in the basement contain nearly 20,000 bound 
volumes of newspapers, some more than 100 years old, and many dating 
from, and carrying accounts of, the first attempts to open Oklahoma Territory 
to settlement. Bound volumes of every newspaper in the state published in a 
town of 1,500 or more are in this room. 

4. The GOVERNOR'S MANSION, 700 E. 23d St., a 19-room, three-story 
building of concrete faced with Bedford limestone, was designed in the 
Dutch Colonial manner by Layton, Hicks, and Forsyth, and built in 1928. 
The oil well east of the mansion is "whipstocked," that is, drilled at a slant 
so that it will take oil from direcdy beneath the building. 

13th St., a five-story buff brick building, is used exclusively for classrooms, 
while most of the clinical laboratories are in the University Hospital on the 
opposite side of 13th St. The legislative act creating the Medical School made 
the Hospital and the Crippled Children's Hospital, to the east, both state 
institutions, a part of the school. 

6. The FIRST NATIONAL BUILDING, 120 N. Robinson St., 32 stories 
(447 feet) high, is the largest bank-office structure in the state. It occupies an 
area of 140 by 200 feet for the first 13 stories, then rises 19 additional stories 
as an approximately square tower. Of functional modern design, its exterior 
facing is polished black granite to the second-floor windows, and Bedford 
limestone above. The trim is made up of aluminum cast panels, grilles and 
ornaments, aluminum sand-blasted spandrels, and polished extruded alum- 
inum window jambs. More aluminum was used in the building than in any 
other in the United States up to the time it was erected. 

The 32d story is an enclosed observation platform, from which rises an 
aluminum-sheathed airplane beacon tower in which a light of two million 
candle power can be seen by flyers from a distance of 75 miles. On occasions, 
the exterior of the main tower building is illuminated at night by floodlights. 

The main banking room of the First National Bank, on the second 
floor, is elaborately designed, with a pavement of Italian marble. On the walls 
are enlarged reproductions of ancient coins, among them a silver coin minted 

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at Antioch between 83 and 69 b.c, a Byzantine coin minted at Constantinople 
between 857 and 867 a.d., and a coin of Macedonia minted, probably, about 
150 B.C. This room also has four large murals by Edgar Spier Cameron, of 
Chicago, two of which depict the Run of 1889, another the Louisiana Pur- 
chase, and the fourth the Cherokee tribe coming to Oklahoma. The last 
named was first entitled The Trail of Sorrow, but when someone noticed 
that it was over the door of the loan department of the bank the title was 
changed to Sunset Trail. The murals are painstakingly executed, and figures 
hardly visible from the floor are said to be draped in the authentic costumes 
of the period — except that the Cherokee Indians are represented as wearing 
war bonnets of the Plains tribes. 

7. The CIVIC CENTER occupies the old right of way of the Frisco and 
Rock Island railways through the center of the city. The group of city and 
county buildings is between Harvey Ave. and Shartel Ave. on the east and 
west, and between 1st and 2d Sts. on the north and south. 

The old city hall at Broadway and Grand Ave., and the old courthouse 
at Main St. and Dewey Ave. had become inadequate for housing these offices. 
Taking advantage of the ofTer of a WPA grant, the taxpayers of the county 
and city voted a bond issue for the construction of the new buildings in 1935; 
and they were completed, at a cost of more than $10,000,000, in 1936-37. 

The County Building, between Harvey and Hudson Aves., is the chief 
structure of this group. Designed by S. A. Layton and George Forsyth, it is 
a successful adaptation in Bedford limestone of the classic style. Over the 
broad main entrance on 1st St. is a sculptured group in deep bas-relief repre- 
senting Indians, cowboys, early settlers and, at either extremity, Lincoln and 

In the lobby, with its terrazzo floor and walls of rose-colored marble 
broken by flat fluted columns of black marble, is a frieze of separate squares 
depicting such appropriate symbols as the lamp of truth, the scales of justice, 
the book of knowledge, and the Roman fasces. Doors, window frames, and 
ornaments are of aluminum. 

The first six floors provide for five district courtrooms, two common 
pleas courts, and the county court, as well as the necessary jury rooms and 
other offices. On the seventh and eighth floors is a modern jail. 

The Municipal Building, between Walker and Hudson Aves., was 
designed by the Allied Architects of Oklahoma City in harmony with the 
courthouse and the auditorium both in the use of Bedford limestone for 
exterior facing and in its modified Romanesque architectural motif. Set, 
like the other buildings of the group, in the center of a smoothly landscaped 
square, this three-story-and-basement structure consists of a main section, with 




six flat fluted columns that rise from the broad steps leading to the first- 
floor lobby to the capitals under the roof, and two perfectly plain attached 
office sections. In front of the eastward-facing main entrance on Hudson Ave. 
is a fountain dedicated to the 89'ers, the city's first settlers. 

The Municipal Auditorium, between Lee and Dewey Aves., is an 
all-purpose community meeting house that fills almost the entire block. Its 
main hall has seats for 6,000, a convention hall seats 900, and a small theater 
can take care of an audience of 400. There are five galleries for art exhibits, 
22 committee rooms, and an exhibition hall with 38,000 square feet of floor 
space. Within the auditorium are staged such varied diversions as the annual 
Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament, the programs of noted musicians, 
the concerts of the city's own symphony orchestra, wresding bouts, basketball 
and ice hockey games, indoor tennis and track events, little theater produc- 
tions, religious revivals, and automobile shows. Among the activities carried 
on here is the work of the Oklahoma WPA Art Center and the WPA Music 

Designed by J. O. Parr, of Parr, Frye and Aderhold, of Oklahoma City, 
the building is described as modern classic, with the accent on the practical. 
The exterior is faced with Bedford limestone. The main entrance, to the east, 
has five wide doorways at the top of a broad, shallow flight of steps; above 
the doorways five great windows dominate the facade. 

The power plant for the Civic Center group is in the next block west 
from the auditorium, between Lee and Shartel Aves. The same building 
also contains the city jail. 

8. The FEDERAL BUILDING, 3d St. between Robinson and Harvey 
Aves., a modified classic structure of limestone, provides space for the 
postoffice, the United States District Court, the Circuit Court of Appeals, 
the United States Veterans' Bureau, and other Federal agencies. The three- 
story east section was erected in 1912, and in 1934 a nine-story central section 
and a west wing of three stories were added to meet the imperative demands 
of a city that had grown from some 80,000 population to 200,000 in the inter- 
vening 22 years. 

M. F. Foster, architect for the United States Treasury Department, 
designed the 1934 edition and succeeded in fitting it to the original structure 
to make an impressive and harmonious effect. 

9. The SHRINE TEMPLE (private), 6th St. and Robinson Ave., formerly 
headquarters of Oklahoma City Masonic bodies, was built in 1922. It is a 
four-story structure of marble, brick, granite, and concrete, designed by 
Layton, Hicks, and Forsyth. The interior is decorated with the classic orders 
of Greece and Rome. The hall of the Eastern Star, and Amaranth, while the 


simplest of all the rooms, is thought by many to be the most beautiful. It is 
modeled after one of the early Christian churches; the massive low arches, 
heavy columns, simple decoration, and chaste ceiling supported by great 
crude beams are in keeping with early Romanesque traditions. The com- 
mandery room is decorated in the manner of the Inner Temple of London. 
To the left of the vestibule, with its Doric marble columns, is a small audi- 
torium that seats 750 persons. The murals in the main auditorium were 
painted by G. A. Fush and tell, in part, the story of Freemasonry. The main 
auditorium, used as a theater and convention hall, has a seating capacity of 

10. OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITY, N. Blackwelder Ave. and 24th 
St., a nonsectarian school under the jurisdiction of the Methodist Church, 
includes a College of Liberal Arts and a College of Fine Arts. In 1940 it had a 
student enrollment of 1,500 and a faculty of 65. 

The school was founded in 1904 at Oklahoma City as Epworth Univer- 
sity. In 1911, it was removed to Guthrie, where it was known as the Methodist 
University of Oklahoma; in 1919 it was established at its present site under 
the name of Oklahoma City University. 

Administration Hall, planned to dominate a quadrangular group of 
buildings, is a large brick and stone structure of collegiate Gothic design. On 
the top floor is the University Library (open 8-9 weekdays, 8-12 Sat.). The 
Fine Arts Building, erected in 1928 direcdy north of Administration Hall, 
contains 18 classrooms for painting and sculpture, commercial design, and 
crafts; studios, quarters for dramatic art work, and an auditorium. The 
Journalism Building, University Press Building, Hinderlin Training School, 
and cafeteria are east of the campus entrance. Adjoining the Gymnasium are 
the football and other outdoor fields. 

11. The PUBLIC MARKET, 1201 Exchange Ave., built in 1928, comprises 
a main building, occupying the center of a block, and sheds. The two-story 
main building, finished in three-tone buff stucco with terra-cotta colored 
trim, was designed by Gaylord B. Noftager in the modified Spanish style. 
It has an auditorium on the second floor, used for athletic events, and shops 
on the ground floor. Surrounding the block on three sides are steel and con- 
crete sheds, where Oklahoma County truck gardeners have their market 
stalls and dealers handle vegetables shipped in from the Rio Grande Valley. 

12. WILL ROGERS COURTS (visitors invited), 1620 Heyman St., an 
extensive housing project for low-income tenants covering 37 acres in the 
southwestern section of the city near "Packingtown," is under the direction of 
the U.S. Housing Authority. Here, in an attractively landscaped area, units 
are provided for 354 families with maximum incomes of $25 a week and 


(with some exceptions) minimum incomes of $9.00 a week. Rent for the 
twc^to-five-room modern apartments ranges from $13.25 to $17.50 per month. 
The 85 oblong red-brick buildings with flat roofs are nearly all one story in 
height; a few are two stories high. 

Begun early in 1936 and completed in 1937 as a WPA project with an 
appropriation of $2,000,000, the Will Rogers Courts were taken over in 1939 
by the Housing Authority. Apartments are supplied with gas ranges, refrig- 
erators, and shades; and the management maintains for the tenants a library, 
a kindergarten, "Toy-land," and other play facilities for children. There is an 
active women's club. Donald Gordon was the architect, and the landscaping 
was done under the supervision of the city's park department. 
13. STOCKYARDS AND PACKING PLANTS (conducted tours 10:30- 
1:30 daily except Sat. and Mon.), Exchange and Agnew Aves., is one of the 
largest livestock centers in the Southwest. Armour and Company and Wilson 
and Company have plants here. 

The morning is generally the best time to visit the plants as most of the 
butchering is done at this time. Visitors are permitted to see every phase of 
the packing industry, from sheep being led to the killing pens by a goat, with 
no other duties than to encourage them to follow his nonchalant lead, to the 
canning of eggs in five-gallon lots for the baking trade. 

The two packing plants were located at Oklahoma City in 1910 on 
payment of bonuses by businessmen; the stockyards came as a natural adjunct 
to these plants. Prior to the development of the city's oil fields, the packing 
industry was the city's largest employer of labor. Approximately 1,000,000 
head of livestock, aside from horses and mules, pass through the stockyards 
each year. 


Bethany Peniel College, 6.9 m.; Lake Ovcrholser, 9.1 m. (see Tour 1); Lincoln Park, 
4.5 m.; Home of the Poor Prophet, 4.6 m.; Municipal Airport, 7 m.; Bombardment Train- 
ing School and Base, 8.4 tn.; Horseshoe Lake, 21.1 m. (see Tour 3); Memorial Park, 
10.1 m. (see Tour 10). 

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Railroad Stations: E. 5th St. and tracks, for St. Louis-San Francisco Ry.; 723 W. 6th St. 

for Okmulgee Northern Ry. (no passenger service).) 

Bus Stations: 1 12 E. 7th St., for Southwest Greyhound Lines; 220 W. 7th, for Santa Fe Trail 


Airport: Municipal Airport, 3 m. E. on US 62. 

City Transportation: Busses, fare 5c; taxis, fare 15c. 

Traffic Regulations: 25 m. city speed limit; 2-hour parking. 

Accommodations: 6 hotels, 1 for Negroes; rooming houses, 2 for Negroes; tourist camps. 

Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, 5th St. and Grand Ave. (McCulloch Bldg.). 

Radio Station: KHBG (1240 kc). 

Motion Picture Hottses: 4; balcony in I for Negroes. 

Athletics: Harmon Stadium, 12th St. and Creek Ave.; Hospital Park, N. Okmulgee Ave., 

Melrose to Belmont Aves., for baseball, Softball. 

Wrestling: Armory, 2d St. and Alabama Ave. 

Boating: Lake Okmulgee {see Tour 3), 1 m. W. on State 27; Douglas Park, 400 E. 8th St. 

Swimming: Douglas Park; Greenwood Lake, adjoining city on S.E. 

Golf: Country Club, on Mission Rd., adjoining city on S.E. Greens fee, 35c weekdays; 

50c Sundays and holidays. 

Tennis: Hospital Park (6 city-owned courts). 

Annual Events: Regional Tennis Carnival, June; Creek Indian Stomp Dance, mid-July, at 
nearby Henryetta {see Tour 3); Pioneer Powwow and Indian Festival, Aug. 24-26. 

OKMULGEE (670 alt., 16,051 pop.), seat of Okmulgee County, and capital 
of the Creek Nation from 1868 until the tribal government was extinguished 
by the coming of statehood in 1907, emphasizes both its Indian past and its 
industrial present. It retains its annual Indian powwow and also uses as its 
slogan, "Where oil flows, gas blows, and glass glows," to point its varied 
modern qualities. 

The city is set in a wide valley between low, timber-covered hills. Its 
spruce business section has spread over the lowland; its residences, parks, 
and playgrounds are spotted on the view-giving slopes on the northwest, 
west, and south. To the north and east, the city fades into fertile, level farms. 

It is said that in choosing Okmulgee as the site of their capital the Creek 
Indians assured themselves immunity from cyclones. In justification of their 
choice, the people who live in the two or three square miles of comfortable 
homes with porches and shade trees have never yet (1941) been visited by a 
cyclone, though "twisters" have skirted the region. 



Oil was discovered within a half mile of the old Creek Council House, 
in 1904, and three years later had become a leading factor in the town's 
growth. Five giassmaking plants have been built during Okmulgee's history, 
though giassmaking has turned out to be an uncertain business. More stable 
are its packing plants, cotton processing industries, oil refining business, and 
market for peanuts and pecans. Nuts from the world's largest native pecan 
orchard, twenty-five miles west on the Deep Fork of the Canadian River, are 
marketed in Okmulgee. 

The city's period of swiftest growth was what it calls its "golden decade," 
1907 to 1918, when oil development reached its peak. By 1930 the population 
had reached 17,097; the decrease of 6.1 per cent between that date and 1940 
may perhaps be accounted for by the waning importance of oil and allied 
industries, and the shutting down of glass plants which have had troubled 
industrial careers. 

Since 1912, when a new charter was adopted, Okmulgee has had a com- 
mission form of government. Its water supply is municipally owned. In the 
county are ample supplies of fuel oil, natural gas, and coal. 

The story of Okmulgee goes far back in the history of the Creek Indians 
and begins long before their removal to what is now Oklahoma. According 
to tribal tradition, these Indians originated somewhere in the western part 
of America, and in the course of time migrated to the Alabama-Georgia 
region, where the white men first found them. Arriving there, the Indians 
sought as a site for their principal (capital) town a never-failing spring; and 
having found it they called it Okmulgee, which means "bubbling water." 
It was there, they say, that the powerful confederation of the tribes of Mus- 
khogean stock was formed to resist the encroachment of whites on Indian 
lands. In course of time, the white name for one of the tribes — the Creeks 
— became fixed upon it, although it is still sometimes called Muskogee. 

From the time of their enforced exile from the east, 1829-36, when 
twenty thousand were settled in the new Indian Territory, to the building of 
their Council House at Okmulgee in 1868, the tribal meeting place was at 
High Springs, near Council Hill, some twenty miles southeast. Factional 
strife and the almost complete destruction of property in the Civil War led 
to the selection of the new site, and the name which was sacred to all. 

Their first capitol was a two-story log structure, with a roofed-over 
breezeway separating the meeting places of the two branches of the Council, 
the House of Kings, anciently concerned with civil administration, and the 
House of Warriors. There, encouraged at first by the United States govern- 
ment, met not only the Creek lawmakers but also the important Intertribal 
Council composed of the head men of the Five Tribes and, in the later years, 


delegates from the so-called wild western tribes, Comanches, Kiowas, Cad- 
does, Cheyennes, and Arapahoes. Others that came in the years from 1870 
to 1875 included the Sacs and Foxes, Osages, Shawnees, Ottawas, Wyan- 
dottes, Quapaws, and Peorias — mainly remnants of once powerful tribes 
east of the Mississippi and north of the Ohio River. At the last meeting, 
twenty-nine tribes were represented. 

This council was discontinued when the United States government 
refused to finance it further because the delegates had reached the point of 
proposing to form an Indian Territory according to their own conception and 
writing out a constitution for its government. When it became certain that 
Washington would insist upon retaining the veto power on any legislation 
enacted by this Territory's legislature, there no longer existed a reason for the 
Council, and the 1875 meeting was the last. 

Silas Smith, a blacksmith, was the first white resident of Okmulgee. He 
was sent there by the Federal government to help the Creeks secure and keep 
in order the tools necessary for their farming operations. 

By 1878, Okmulgee had become an active Indian trade center; the Creeks 
had recovered from the ravages of war; the people of the farms and ranches 
were prosperous; the tribal schools were flourishing; and it was decided that 
the old log Council House must go. It was torn down, and on the site a 
square two-story-and-cupola stone structure was erected. The new capitol, 
set in the town square and dominating the fringe of stores around it, served 
also as a community meeting place and schoolhouse. 

In 1894, when the question of alloting Creek lands and coming under 
a territorial government which would soon be dominated by the whites had 
been hotly debated in the grounds of the Council House between Indian 
leaders and representatives of the Federal government, Chief Legus C. Perry- 
man called for a vote. He asked all who opposed allotment to move to the 
west side of the grounds, and those who favored it to the east. All save one 
moved west; Moty Tiger alone stepped east and turned to face the three 
thousand who opposed allotment. When called upon to explain his stand, he 
said that whatever the Indians did the whites would overwhelm them, and 
that it would be best to accede to the Federal government's desires and obtain 
whatever favors they could from the white man's government. Five years 
later, allotment was accepted and Moty Tiger's stand vindicated. 

As a modern city, Okmulgee's history began after the Creek tribal lands, 
in 1899, ceased to be held in communal ownership and were allotted to 
individuals. That change meant the coming of whites and a great stimulus 
of trade and commerce. The first bank was opened in 1900, and in the same 
year train service was begun. 


Okmulgee's growth from a trading point with a population of some two 
hundred to an incorporated municipality, with a mayor and four aldermen, 
with telephone service to Muskogee, and a determination to dominate the 
region, was swift after allotment. By the end of 1905, thanks to oil discoveries 
near by, the city's population had risen to four thousand. 

Okmulgee citizens call 1907 their year of years. It brought statehood and 
the first of the gusher oil fields to be opened in its territory. In April a well 
was brought in that produced five hundred barrels a day; in June a thousand- 
barrel well blew in; and the rush of drillers, lease hounds, speculators, and 
the platoons of men and women who always follow the developers of an oil 
field soon boosted the population to six thousand. 

By 1910 the surrounding oil region was so well established that a 
refinery was built; and it is still (1941) the largest employer of labor in 
Okmulgee, with 325 workers on its pay roll. 

Until 1916, the old Creek Council House served more or less adequately 
as the Okmulgee County Courthouse. Then the need for more space became 
pressing, and a $125,000 bond issue was voted for the construction of a new 
one. When these bonds were offered for sale, the white guardian of an 
illiterate Creek woman, Katie Fixico, who had been adjudged by the County 
Court an incompetent, used $133,379 of her money to buy them. Her wealth 
had, of course, come out of oil wells drilled on her allotment. 

The city's roll of honor is truly varied: General Hugh Johnson; Katie 
Fixico; W. B. Pine, a wealthy oilman, hog rancher (with three droves of 
purebred Hampshires totaling eight thousand), and Republican U.S. Senator 
(1924-30); Dr. L. S. Skelton, who established the first glass manufacturing 
plant at Okmulgee and contributed to many other enterprises; Captain 
F. B. Severs, an early-day trader and the city's first dealer in nuts from 
Okmulgee County's 125,000 pecan trees; Enos Wilson, said to be the richest 
Indian since the death of Jackson Barnett; E. H. Moore, who could not quit 
the oil business after making as much of a fortune as he wanted, but after 
selling out went into it again and added to his wealth; and Dr. R. M. Isham, 
an oil chemist and researcher of national reputation. 

Negroes, who make up approximately 12 per cent of the city's popula- 
tion, live in a district by themselves, provide their own amusements, have 
fourteen churches for the use of their worshipers, a hospital (city owned), 
and a branch of the Okmulgee Public Library. 

The city shares with Muskogee, to the northeast, and McAlester, to the 
southeast (see Tour 5), the trade of the eastern section of the state. It is also 
the trade center of the county, in which lie more than 3,500 farms, with some 
160,000 acres of land in cultivation. Cotton is a million-dollar-a-year crop; 


nearly five million pounds of pecans are harvested from Okmulgee County's 
groves — mostly of wild trees, but some in which the big papershell species 
have been grafted on native trees. Truck farming, poultry breeding, and 
dairying also contribute largely to its business. 

Newspaper history in Okmulgee began when E. P. Gupton started the 
Record, printed at Muskogee, on April 3, 1900. It lasted only a few weeks. 
Then Valdo Smith, on August 23, 1900, established the weekly Democrat, 
which after various changes of ownership has continued. On September 3, 
1901, George Wood put out the first issue of his Creel{ Chieftain, which 
became the Times in 1918 and began publication as a daily. Since 1925, both 
the Times and the Democrat have been issued by the same management; and 
the Democrat has changed from an afternoon daily to a weekly. 


9^:30), 6th and Morton Sts., at the center of the city, is set in a square shaded 
by enormous maple trees. It is a source of pride to the city, though at one time 
the mayor made every effort to have it removed as an old and ugly blot on 
the fair face of Okmulgee. He wished to have a new and expensive Federal 
Building on this central site. 

The council house is a plain four-square, two-story structure of brown 
stone, with a cupola rising from the center, suggesting in its simplicity and 
excellent proportions the best of New England Colonial architecture. On the 
first floor, its four spacious rooms house a growing Museum of Creek 
History. Upstairs, where the House of Kings and the House of Warriors 
used to meet in two rooms when Council was in session, a WPA art project 
and a kitchen and dining room for the YWCA are (1941) carrying on the 
tradition of service to a community. The building, acquired by Okmulgee 
from the Creeks when the tribal government went out of existence, is in the 
care of the Creek Indian Memorial Association, whose purpose is to gather for 
exhibition "all data relating to the history, traditions, folklore, relics, handi- 
craft, art, music, and all that is finest and best in the life of the Creek tribe of 
Indians, and the preservation of the... Council House." What has already been 
collected constitutes one of the most interesting tribal exhibits in the state. 

The OKMULGEE PUBLIC LIBRARY, 218 Okmulgee Ave., is a 
commodious one-story brick building trimmed with white stone. The library 
developed from a tiny club reading room equipped with a secondhand Bible 
and 80 other books contributed at a "pink tea and book shower" given by the 
Civic Club in May, 1907. First quartered in a business building, the library 
moved to two rooms in the old Creek Council House in 1910. 


When the Council House rooms became overcrowded, the city asked 
the Carnegie Corporation for funds with which to build a library. The offer 
of $15,000 was deemed inadequate, so the municipality voted $75,000 in 
bonds and later added $25,000 for furniture and equipment. Today (1941) 
the Okmulgee library has more than 38,000 volumes and ranks as one of the 
best in the state. In certain ways, it also serves as a community center, for 
here the Okmulgee Law School, university extension classes, and the Okmul- 
gee Litde Theater hold their meetings. Its Dunbar Branch, for Negroes, has 
more than 5,000 books. In 1923 the library acquired a considerable collection 
of books belonging to William H. ("Alfalfa Bill") Murray, who later became 
governor (see History). 

The FEDERAL BUILDING, at 4th St. and Grand Ave., a modern 
three-story, block-like structure of granite and limestone, might well be the 
answer to the prayer of the mayor who wanted to banish the old Council 
House to a farm site. Its cost, $350,000, suggests its size but not the effective- 
ness of its tall, square-pillared facade or the beauty of the interior where the 
Federal District Court meets and the city post office is housed. 

Of a different type of architecture — red brick with interesting white 
limestone trimming— the HIGH SCHOOL BUILDING, Okmulgee Ave. 
and 2d St., and the near-by OKMULGEE JUNIOR COLLEGE, the second 
largest municipal college in the state, top an educational system that com- 
prises also ten elementary schools for white students and three for Negroes, 
a Negro high school, and two parochial schools. 

HARMON STADIUM, 600 E. 12th St., is a modern concrete amphi- 
theater, enclosing a softball field, capable of seating 5,000 spectators; it is also 
used for track meets. 

HOSPITAL PARK, Okmulgee Ave. and Belmont St., a landscaped area 
six blocks in extent, is the principal recreation ground within the city. In this 
spot is also an NYA training school. Among the facilities are picnic grounds, 
baseball and softball diamonds, wading pools, and six concrete-surface tennis 
courts, city owned, where the annual district summer tennis carnival is held. 
Four smaller parks are included in Okmulgee's park system. 

BALL BROTHERS GLASS PLANT on S. Madison St., and the 
open to visitors in worJ{ing hours), on the outskirts of the city, illustrate one 
important phase of the city's industrial activity. 


Lake Okmulgee, 7 m.; Rifle Range, 7 m.: Nuyaka, 76 m.: I see Tour 3): Fidelity 
Laboratories, 4.1 m. (see Tour 9). 

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Ponca City 

Railroad Stations: 1st St. and W. Oklahoma Ave. for Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry.; 700 

S. 3d St. for Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Ry. 

Bus Stations: 114 N. 4th St. for Missouri-Kansas-Oklahoma; 201 N. 2d St. for Santa Fe Trail 

Transportation Co.; and 1st St. and Grand Ave. for Turner Transportadon Co. 

Airport: Municipal Airport, 1.5 m. N.W. 

City Transportation: Busses, fare 5c; taxis, fare, 10c first 15 blocks; 5c each additional 5 


Traffic Regulations: 20 m.p.h. in business district, 30 m.p.h. elsewhere. 

Accommodations: 6 hotels; rooming houses; 3 tourist camps. 

Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, Community Bldg. N. 3d St. 

Radio Station: WBBZ (1230 kc). 

Newspaper: Ponca City News, daily. 

Theaters: 4 motion picture houses, Municipal Auditorium. 

Athletics: Blaine Park Stadium, Brookfield Ave. and 6th St.; Conoco Ball Park, S.W. edge 

of city (9 blocks W. on South Ave. from 5th St.), reached by US 60. 

Golf: Marland Course, 9 holes, between E. Grand and Highland Aves. at N. 10th St. 

Swimming: Wentz Pool, 5.5 m. N.E. (children 15c, others 25c); municipal pools (free), 

Ponca Ave. and S. 6th St. and W. Chestnut and Palm Sts. 

Boating: Lake Ponca, 4 m. N.E. of city, via Cann Blvd. 

Tennis: Municipal free courts, N. 7th St. between Highland and Overbrook Aves.; N. 7th 

St. between Grand and Cleveland Aves.; W. Otoe Ave. and S. Oak St. 

Annual Events: Ponca Indian Powwow, 3d week in Aug.; Wentz Bathing Beauty Revue 
(for girls under 5; also those under 12 years of age), Sunday before Labor Day; Cherokee 
Strip Opening celebration, Sept. 16. 

PONCA CITY (1,003 alt., 16,794 pop.), "built on oil, soil and toil," as its 
people say, lies nearly in the center of a triangle at the points of which, 
roughly one hundred miles away, are the cities of Wichita, Kansas, Tulsa, 
and Oklahoma City. It is the chief city in Kay County, which borders on 
Kansas. There are no city taxes, since the municipality, under the city man- 
ager form of government, is supported from the earnings of its municipal 
light plant and waterworks. 

Ponca City impresses one as a clean, somewhat bare, city set in a prairie 
landscape. It is built on a tableland, rolling slighdy toward the east where its 
outskirts approach a belt of scrub oak. Here the streets of widely spaced 
homes suggest comfort and well-being, rarely luxury or ostentation. Most of 
the city's growth was in the two and one-half decades from 1915 to 1940, 



an era of prosperity largely due to oil, when buildings, paving, parks, and 
other public conveniences were planned and executed in a generous mood. 
In that era, too, came the inspiration to depart from the usual semidassic 
Greek type of public buildings in favor of warmer Spanish models. 

Oil was responsible for Ponca City's 129 per cent increase in population 
from 1920 to 1930, as compared with a growth of only 4 per cent in the fol- 
lowing decade, when oil production in the region had become stabilized. 
While oil more than doubled the population, the city is also the trading 
center of a good farming and stock-raising area; and abundant supply of 
natural gas for fuel has attracted twenty-four manufacturing establishments 
(not including oil refineries and allied works) employing 2,400 workers, 
with an annual pay roll of more than $4,000,000; there are now (1941) some 
320 wholesale, retail, and service organizations, with nine hundred employees 
who draw around $786,000 annually as wages and salaries. 

Like Enid, another northern Oklahoma metropolis, Ponca City came 
into existence in an afternoon, and for the same reason. At noon of September 
16, 1893, its site was raw prairie, a part of the six million and more acres 
of the Cherokee Oudet, which the United States opened to white settlement 
that day. By nightfall, thousands of homeseekers had covered the twenty 
miles from the Kansas border by wagon and buggy, on horseback, and by 
train — some of the overflow clinging to the steps or riding the Santa Fe 
engine cowcatcher — and three thousand were camped on the spot where, 
according to the government's map, a town named Cross was to be laid out 
three miles north of the present Ponca City. But a group of men headed by 
B. S. Barnes decided that a more logical location would be near the border of 
the Ponca Indian reservation. Inside the reservation was a Santa Fe station 
called White Eagle by the government, and Ponca by the railroad, so Barnes 
and his associates dubbed their location New Ponca, and in the spirit of 
pioneer town-builders undertook to "wipe Cross off the map." 

One handicap in their fight was that the railroad did not recognize 
New Ponca and would not stop the trains there, maintaining speed between 
Cross, two miles to the north, and White Eagle, seven miles to the south. 
However, the town's hopeful citizens finally secured a railroad station and 
the order to halt trains there. Old-timers tell how a crowd of elated citizens 
rode down from Cross on the first train to stop at New Ponca, distributing 
cigars to men passengers, flowers to the women, and to all a card reading, 
"The train stops at New Ponca the same as Chicago." In time, Ponca City 
grew far enough north to absorb Cross. 

A pioneer woman of Ponca City has recalled that sixty days after the 
opening of the Oudet the first one-room school building, erected by public 


subscription, was completed. To celebrate, excursion trains came from Guth- 
rie, Perry, Orlando, and Arkansas City, Kansas. In all, thousands made of 
the occasion a holiday; to feed them, beeves were slaughtered and barbecued 
over huge firepits by Ponca Indians from the reservation a few miles south. 
Since that time nearly $2,000,000 has been spent for plants to provide public 

Oil production, in fields developed in the Ponca Indian reservation 
south of the city, and in the Osage holdings to the east, began before 1909, 
when wildcatting brought showings on the big Miller 101 Ranch (see Tour 
10), leased from the Ponca Indians. But until E. W. Marland, an operator 
from Pennsylvania, with a "nose for oil and the luck of the devil," plus 
solid financial backing in New York, got under way the field was small. 
Then the picture changed. It was said that in the choice of locations to drill 
Marland couldn't go wrong. Year after year, under his leadership, the Ponca 
Pool was extended; and presently wildcatters found that the trend was east- 
ward into the Osage country. Upon the opening of the Burbank and Shidler 
fields, the story developed into a saga which drew national attention. 

With an apparently limitless supply of crude oil available, and his luck 
in bringing in new rich well holdings, Marland began building what is known 
as an integrated company, that is, one which handles the oil all the way from 
the well to its delivery as gasoline to the motorist. Ponca City became the 
site of the largest refinery in the Mid- West field; the name Marland went up 
on filling stations over an ever-expanding area; and Marland's pipe lines 
reached out into widening fields to gather the crude from the Marland 
Company wells. 

Wealthy, generous, and with a genuine liking for his fellow men, Mar- 
land undertook to make this prairie town, his adopted home, a model; and 
to make of his own organization a sort of country club. But oil is slippery, 
and a man's luck in the oil business seldom lasts beyond a brief decade. 
When Marland's ran out, and his extravagant organization could no longer 
support itself, eastern financial support was withdrawn. "Wall Street" took 
over; the Marland Company polo team was disbanded; Marland retired from 
his baronial mansion on the outskirts of Ponca City to live in the gate lodge 
of the estate; and apparently finis was written to another epic of oil entitled 
"From riches to rags." 

But after a period of eclipse he entered the oil business again in a small 
way, then became interested in politics, and was elected to Congress. One 
term in the House of Representatives and he came back as a strong exponent 
of President Roosevelt's New Deal policies to capture the Democratic primary 
in the race for governor; he v/as elected in 1934 (see History). 


In a sense, Marland's successor as the dominant figure in the oil business 
of the Ponca area, and as the generous, public-spirited first citizen of the 
growing city, is Lew (Lewis Haines) Wentz, another Pennsylvania trained 
oilman. The best evidence of his interest in the people is the big Wentz 
Educational Camp (see Tour 10), near by. No one has ever said anything 
about the "Wentz luck," but it seems to be the sort that, though unspectacular, 
holds. Wentz's selection, in 1940, as Oklahoma member of the Republican 
National Committee would indicate that he is also following the Marland 
transition from oil to politics. 

Three elevators, capable of handling 540,000 bushels of grain; a packing 
plant; and a creamery producing all kinds of dairy products provide service 
for the surrounding farming and stock-raising activities. 

Ponca City's recreational facilities include thirteen parks comprismg 
1,335 acres, fishing and boating on an eight-hundred-acre suburban lake, 
three supervised playgrounds, ten gymnasiums, and ten auditoriums. 


PONCA CITY LIBRARY, Grand Ave. at 5th St., is a one-story white 
stucco building of modified Spanish design, erected in 1936. Above the 
three-arch entrance, the central section rises an additional story to a sloping 
tiled roof. In its stackrooms, which hold more than 18,000 volumes, is a 
section devoted to the works of Oklahoma writers, practically every book 
having been autographed by its author. There is also a small but growing 
exhibit of Indian relics, an auditorium, kitchen, and other facilities for the 
entertainment of small groups. 

The MUNICIPAL BUILDING, Grand Ave. opposite the library, an 
example of Spanish-Moorish architecture, is said to be one of the most beau- 
tiful buildings in the state. Set in well-landscaped grounds, its southwestern 
mission type to.wer stands out as a distinctive feature. 

In BLAINE PARK, a 10-acre playground between 5th and 7th Sts. on 
Brookfield Ave., is the flood-lighted Ponca City Stadium, built of native 
stone, with an enclosed press and broadcasting room at the top of the stand. 
It has a well-sodded and drained football field, a quarter-mile cinder track 
around the field, and baseball and Softball diamonds; the stadium proper 
seats 3,000. 

The city's SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, 7th St. and Overbrook Ave., 
built in 1926, has a feature unique among Oklahoma schools, its radio instruc- 
tion. One program is broadcast, over facilities provided by Station WBBZ 
and the city Chamber of Commerce, every morning by the Future Farmers 
of America; all assembly and special programs are also broadcast; and at 


intervals broadcasts are sent from every classroom in the three-story building. 
During the school year every student who cares to take part in these radio 
demonstrations has the opportunity. The building, Spanish type in design, 
has a red-tiled roof and truncated towers. 

CONOCO REFINERY and CLUB (club and cafeteria open to public), 
at the southwestern corner of Ponca City, together with the extensive Tank 
Farm where 10,000,000 barrels of crude oil can be stored, symbolize the oil 
business of Oklahoma, the state's most important industry. This refinery, 
capable of converting 50,000 barrels of crude oil daily into gasoline and other 
marketable products, is the largest in the state and one of the most modern 
in the world. Taken over, with all its other properties, from the Marland 
Refining Company by the Continental Oil Company in 1929, it has been 
constantly enlarged and improved. It employs (1941) some 2,500 workers, 
the majority of whom own their homes. 

Shared by the people of the city are the facilities of the 18-hole golf 
course laid out by the company, the baseball grounds, swimming pool, the 
tennis courts; and the big Recreation Building erected by the Continental 
Associates for social, educational, and athletic purposes. This building de- 
veloped out of the need for more oflSce room and the company's wish to 
provide play space and equipment for its workers, their families, and friends. 
It is 240 by 165 feet in area, one of its two big wings being devoted to oflfices, 
and the other to a gymnasium, cafeteria, and game rooms; amusement facili- 
ties are also provided in the connecting wings. Between the main wings, an 
out-of-doors swimming pool 80 by 38 feet in area is turned over to the 
children of the city on Saturday mornings in the summer. 


Pioneer Woman Statue, 1.5 m.; Ponca Indian Reservation, 5 m.; 101 Ranch, 10.2 m.; 
White Eagle Monument, 72.2 m.; Laura A. Clubb Art Collection, 15.8 m. {see Tour 10); 
R.A.F. Flying School, 4 m. 

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Railroad Stations: Main St. and Minnesota Ave. for Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry; 225 S. 

Broadway for Oklahoma City-Ada-Atoka Ry. 

Bus Station: Union Station, 123 N. Union Ave., for Oklahoma Transportation Co. and 

Turner Transportation Co. 

Airport: 1 m. W. of city limit on US 270. 

City Transportation: Busses, fare 10c; taxis, fare 20c. 

Accommodations: 5 hotels; rooming houses; 5 tourist camps. 

Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, Aldridge Hotel, 9th St. and Bell Ave. 

Radio Station: KGFF (1450 kc). 

Motion Picture Houses: 5. 

Athletics: Athletic Park, Burns and Pottenger Aves., for baseball, track, and football. 
Basl{etball and Wrestling: City Auditorium, 400 N. Bell Ave., weekly in winter. 
Swimming: Municipal pool, Woodland Park, 401 N. Broadway, fee 45c. 
Tennis: 12 free municipal courts, at Woodland Park; Farrell Park, 301 W. Hayes St.; Jef- 
ferson School, 800 N. Louisa St. 

Boating: Shawnee Lake, 8 m. W., via W. Highland Ave., and unnumbered graveled high- 

Golf: Shawnee Country Club, 2 m. E. on US 270, greens fee $1; Elks Country Club, 5 m. 
N.W., greens fee $1; Meadow Lark course, 5 m. W. on US 270, greens fee 35c. 

SHAWNEE (1,008 alt., 22,053 pop.), seat of Pottawatomie County, at the 
edge of its own small oil field and near the rich developments of the big 
Seminole and Earlsboro areas, is built on land that has been claimed at 
different times by Spain, France, England, the Creek and Seminole Indian 
nations, and the Sac and Fox tribe. The first settlement was called Shawnee 
Town, because it was a trading place for the Shawnee Indians, whose reserva- 
tion lay near by. In 1895, according to a special count, the town had only 
three hundred inhabitants; the 1940 census showed it to be the fifth city in 
size in Oklahoma. 

Shawnee is still an Indian trading post, as well as the center of perhaps 
the richest agricultural section of the state. Today, however, in the reassuring 
words of a Chamber of Commerce writer, "the Sac and Fox, Shawnee, 
Potawatomi, and Kickapoo tribes live peacefully in and around Shawnee 
under the protection of the United States Indian Agency, with headquarters 
at Shawnee." 

Set on a broad bench in a jagged horseshoe loop of the North Canadian 



River, the city rises toward rolling prairie ridges to the east and north. Its 
southern edge drops abruptly to a wide basin of farm land that is sometimes 
inundated by the uncertain river. To the west, its suburbs slope easily outward. 
Carved out of a thick forest of ash, Cottonwood, hickory, and elm, Shawnee 
has kept many of the fine native trees. They tower above close-clipped lawns 
and dominate litde Woodland Park, the heart of Shawnee. Downtown, the 
streets are broad, clean, and bordered by two- and three-story buildings, old 
and new. One hotel, built in oil-boom times, rises well above the low sky line, 
the only suggestion of skyscraper opulence. 

Shawnee's history has been highlighted by a strenuous county seat fight; 
a flood disaster that cost approximately $1,000,000; a tornado which swept 
twenty-eight city blocks; a smallpox epidemic; two bank failures; and a 
serious railroad shopmen's strike. But, paradoxically, during its most troubled 
days there were fewer business failures in Shawnee than in any other Okla- 
homa city of its approximate size. 

In the late twenties, Shawnee was the principal city in the largest closely 
grouped area of highly productive oil fields in the world and for five years 
grew prodigiously, once claiming a population of almost thirty-five thousand. 
By 1930, however, the census takers found only 23,283; and this number 
was reduced by 1,244 in the next ten years, owing largely to the decreasing 
activity of near-by oil fields. 

A more reliable, steadier prop for the city's prosperity are the products 
of Pottawatomie County's 4,400 farms, comprising more than five hundred 
thousand acres. From these acres are taken the state's best cotton crops and 
valuable crops of grain sorghums, alfalfa and other types of hay, and pecans, 
mainly from wild groves. Dairying is important, also; and two nationally 
known firms maintain cheese factories at Shawnee. The Pottawatomie County 
Wednesday Community sale, held at the northern edge of the city, attracts 
thousands of farmers from a wide area. 

Shawnee's pioneer memories go back to the opening to white settlement, 
on September 22, 1891, of the reservations of the Sac and Fox, Iowa, and 
Shawnee-Potawatomi Indians. It is told that Etta Ray and her sister, young 
women from Oklahoma City, stood on Kickapoo Indian land with their toes 
touching the western border of the territory to be opened, and when the 
opening gun was fired they stepped across and drove their stakes. On the 160- 
acre claim obtained by Etta the new town began to grow; later, after she mar- 
ried Henry G. Beard and the first railroad sought a right of way eastward from 
Oklahoma City, one-half of the farm was given on condition that the station 
should be built there. Today (1941), close by the fine new Municipal Audi- 
torium, the original Beard log cabin still stands. 

194 OKLAHOMA: principal cities 

A sidelight on the manners and morals of the homeseekers who made 
the Run lor land is that the claims of both Etta Ray and her sister were con- 
tested — by men. After a long period of litigation, Etta bought off the 
contestant to her claim for $65, but her sister had to give up half of her land 
to stop the fight for the whole 160 acres. 

In the spring of 1892 a town-building company was formed, trees were 
cut to open a street, and a sawmill was brought in to save the long and 
difficult hauling of lumber by ox team from Oklahoma City, forty-five miles 
away. Another ambitious group attempted to create a town to be called 
Brockway, but had no luck. When the Beards and their associates had built 
a store and set up a blacksmith shop, they applied for a post office. To make it 
simpler, they asked that it be named Shawnee. It was, and Mrs. Beard 
became the first postmistress. Mail came from the town of Tecumseh, five 
miles across the river to the south, and the carrier, who supplied his own 
transportation, was paid $10 a month. 

Out of the pioneer past, too, comes the story of the bitter fight between 
Tecumseh and Shawnee for the county seat of Pottawatomie County, one of 
the two new counties carved out of the opened reservations. To call attention 
to its already established importance, Tecumseh's citizens organized an old- 
time "anvil shoot," and Charlie Miller wrote a parody of "Sweet Marie," 
which jeered. 

Come to me, poor Shawnee, 
Poor Shawnee, come to me. 
Just because we will not move, 
Love, to thee. 

When you hear the whistle plain, 
And you see the Frisco train, 
You will surely lose your brain, 
Poor Shawnee! 

Because of the nationwide financial depression of 1893, the coming of 
the first railroad was delayed until the summer of 1895; the arrival at Shawnee 
of a train of the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf (later absorbed by the Rock 
Island) was the outstanding feature of that year's Fourth of July celebration. 
In March, 1902, the Santa Fe railroad reached Shawnee, and two years later 
the Oklahoma City-Ada-Atoka built in. No doubt to the disappointment of 
Charlie Miller, the Frisco did not come either to Tecumseh or Shawnee. 

About 1910, when it became evident that the state capital was to be 
removed from Guthrie {see Tour 10), the citizens of Shawnee made an 
attempt to secure it but could not offer sufficient ground space within the 
city to make a serious fight against much larger Oklahoma City. 

The location at Shawnee of the big Rock Island shops and the shops of 


the Santa Fe, together employing some nine hundred workers, made the city 
acutely conscious of the countrywide strike of railroad shopmen against a cut 
in wages that began July 1, 1922, and continued to October 1. The railroads' 
property was under heavy guard and on the morning of August 18 a scattering 
volley of thirty shots was fired into the Rock Island's yards. Over the protest 
of the city's peace officers, the report went out that conditions at Shawnee 
were the worst in the United States, and that radical agitators were in control. 
However, it was said in Shawnee that during the period of the strike mail 
trains were never delayed and regular service was litde affected. 

On March 28, 1924, a cyclone swooped upon the northwestern residential 
section of the city, killed eight persons, and caused damage to property 
exceeding one-half million dollars. Following tradition, this "twister" leveled 
buildings, uprooted trees, and "left no living thing in its immediate path." 

Shawnee's trial by flood came on April 4, 1928, when a torrential seven- 
inch rainfall sent the North Canadian River out of its banks and choked the 
deep and narrow channel of Shawnee Creek, which ran through a populous 
section of the city. Hundreds of houses were swept from foundations and 
wrecked by the flood, and the roofs of other hundreds were so seriously 
damaged by the battering of the terrific hailstorm preceding the deluge that 
their interiors were ruined. Six persons, unable to move out of the way of 
the rushing water, were drowned. 

A map issued by Shawnee businessmen at the crest of the oil boom in 
the 1920's listed six richly productive fields within the city's trade area, the 
most distant only one and one-half hours away by automobile. The thousands 
of workers, most of them highly paid, and the wealth brought to the men 
who drilled the ten thousand and more wells gravitated largely to Shawnee; 
and the city was hard pressed to take care of the newcomers. There were 
days when the hungry visitor paid a dollar for a sandwich and was lucky 
to get one. There were nights when this same visitor paid five dollars for a 
cot in a room with three other sleepers. So rapid was the development in 
such fields as Earlsboro, Seminole, and Cromwell that for a time it was 
impossible to supply accommodations for all who rushed in to exploit them. 
It was during this period that Shawnee was believed to have a population of 
nearly thirty-five thousand. 

The oil rush ended, Shawnee tackled the job which has faced various 
other Oklahoma cities, that of adjusting itself to the normal growth of an 
inland city after the subsidence of an oil boom. 

Shawnee's first newspaper, named by Editor Phelps the Shawnee Chief, 
appeared for a few weeks in 1892 and was then removed to Tecumseh. Next 
came the weekly Shawnee Quill, in time to record the fire that all but wiped 

196 OKLAHOMA: principal cities 

out the business district on December 13, 1895. The OtuU's estimate of the 
loss of fifteen buildings and a wagon yard was $26,700. Since then, through 
various changes, dailies have been established; the morning News and the 
evening Star, now ( 1941 ) under the same ownership, claim a large circulation 
throughout a wide territory. There are three weeklies, distributed free in 
Shawnee — the County Democrat, the Herald, and the American. 

A city manager, working with a mayor and council, carries on the 
business of the municipality; the real estate tax rate (1941) was 33.18 mills 
on an 80 per cent valuation. Industries have been attracted by low-cost natural 
gas — ten cents per thousand cubic feet — and by plentiful and cheap fuel oil 
and coal. The biggest industry, a milling company, has a pay roll of more 
than $1,000 each working day; and a cotton oil mill which turns out cotton- 
seed meal and cake for catde feed describes itself as "the connecting link 
between cotton and livestock." 


The iMUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM, 400 N. Bell Avenue., in the center 
of downtown Shawnee, is a modern red-brick structure with a seating capacity 
of 3,000. Built with a WPA grant of $61,363 and the proceeds of a $75,000 
municipal bond issue, it has been a popular meeting place for conventions, 
because of its size and convenience. The building has complete gymnasium, 
basketball, indoor tennis, and stage facilities, including projection booths and 
sound equipment for movie showings. Two low, flat-roofed wings flank the 
southern entrance. 

WOODLAND PARK, four blocks in area, is direcdy north of the 
auditorium and is dominated by a big swimming pool, with ample dressing 
rooms. Concrete tennis courts and picnic facilities under the tall native ash 
and elm trees add to the park's attractiveness. At its center is the Beard Log 
Cabin (private), the first residence in Shawnee. 

block on N. Broadway, built in 1934, is a three-story -and-basement building 
fronting on Broadway, with Woodland Park at its back. Simple and modern 
in design, it has a base of black Missouri limestone which supports walls of 
Indiana limestone, trimmed at the corners in terra cotta. Its facade is orna- 
mented with spandrels of aluminum; and above the granite front steps are 
plaques that picture the Indian, the Pioneer, and Justice. Inside, a wide, 
two-way branching stairway of warm-tinted marble leads to an elaborate 
mezzanine; from it opens the high-ceilinged modernistic courtroom with 
wainscoting of oriental walnut. The architect was A. C. Davis. 

The CARNEGIE LIBRARY, just north of the courthouse on N. Broad- 


way, was opened in 1905; later it was seriously damaged by fire and rebuilt. 
Its book stacks contain (1941) more than 25,000 volumes, and its book circula- 
tion exceeds 250,000 a year. The library's facilities are available to the faculty 
and students of Oklahoma Baptist University as well as the people of 

OKLAHOMA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY, coeducational, lying pardy 
within the city at its northwestern corner, had a 1941 enrollment of more 
than 750 students, and a faculty of 32. Plans for its founding were made in 
1906, and its pioneer classes met in September, 1911, in the basement of the 
First Baptist Church of Shawnee and in Convention Hall. 

By 1915, the first building (Shawnee Hall) on the present campus of 
60 acres, donated by the city, was ready to receive students; since that time 
the university plant has expanded to include another classroom building 
(Montgomery Hall), a publications building, a well-equipped, small observa- 
tory, a gymnasium for men, a men's dormitory, a dormitory for women, and 
other residence facilities for students and faculty. A new dormitory for men 
is now (1941) under construction. 

West of the landscaped quadrangle are the football field, a nine-hole 
golf course, and the flying field where the O.B.U. School of Aviation trains 
student flyers. 

The university library, housed in Shawnee Hall, contains 15,000 volumes, 
including the Gillon collection of religious books and denominational records. 
Its reading room seats 115 and has a "browsing nook" with an open-shelf 
collection of books for cultural and recreational reading. 

ATHLETIC PARK, at the western edge of the city, contains two fields, 
one for baseball and one for football. The baseball plant, lighted for night 
games, has seats for 3,000, and the stadium at the football field, with seating 
capacity of 4,500, is encircled by a cinder track. There is a stone clubhouse 
with dressing rooms for players. 


Shawnee Quaker Mission and Shawnee Indian Sanitorium, 2.5 m.; St. Gregory's Col- 
lege, 3.3 m. (see Tow 5). 

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Railroad Station: Intersection of tracks and E. 9th St. for Atchison, Topcka & Santa Fc Ry. 
Btis Statiotis: 1 1 1 W. 7th St. for Turner Transportation Co.; Grand Hotel for Missouri- 
Kansas-Oklahoma Trailways. 

Airport: Searcy Field, 2 m. N. on State 40 and 0.5 m. W.; no scheduled service. 
Taxis: 10c upward, according to distance and number of passengers. 

Accoinmodatiotis: 4 hotels; tourist camps. 

Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, Municipal Bldg., 8th and Lewis Sts. 

Golf: Hillcrcst, 1.5 m. N. on State 40, and 0.5 m. W., greens fee 25c; Yost Lake Course, 4 

m. N. and 3 m. E. on State 40. 

Tennis: Free courts at High School, Duncan St. and 11th Ave. 

Swimming and Boating: Yost Lake, 4 m. N. and 3 m. E. on State 40; Stillwater Lake, 1.5 

m. N. and 0.5 m. W. on State 40; Lake Carl Blackwell, 7 m. W. on State 51. 

Annual Events: Junior Livestock Show, March; Flower and Vegetable Show, late June; 
Farmer's Week, and 4-H Club Roundup (sponsored by Oklahoma Agricultural and Me- 
chanical College), Aug.; Payne County Fair, 2d week in Sept.; Homecoming Celebration, 
early Nov. 

STILLWATER (886 alt., 10,097 pop.), seat of Payne County and site of 
Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, was laid out, legally, imme- 
diately after the opening of the original Oklahoma Territory in 1889. Pre- 
viously, however, the site was known to the "Boomers," those men who con- 
tended that this occupied Indian land could be homesteaded, and in January, 
1885, a force of six hundred United States troops was sent to oust a setde- 
ment of five hundred that had been living in dugouts in "Prairie Dog Town," 
on the present-day Fair Grounds. Their leader, William L. Couch, defied the 
soldiers, who instead of firing on the entrenched intruders cut their lines of 
supply and starved them out. 

The present city was located on Stillwater Creek by a group who made 
the Run together; the majority of them were from Cowley County, Kansas. 
A 240-acre tract was assembled from their 160-acre claims by five men in 
honor of whom Lewis, Duck, Husband, Lowry, and Duncan streets were 
named. The land thus donated, plus eighty acres which it was discovered 
had not been staked in the Run, was to constitute the townsite, but the man 
who was chosen to file on the unclaimed eighty and then turn it over to the 



town's promoters refused to give it up until the matter was settled at a hearing 
by land-office officials. In the beginning, $6.25 would pay for one business 
and two residential lots; and until after the passage of the Organic Act of 
1890 government of the town was wholly voluntary, without formal authority. 
Money from the sale of lots went into the town's treasury and was spent for 
bridges, a well, and street improvements. 

The main streets of most Oklahoma towns and cities are laid out east 
and west, but that of Stillwater runs north and south; and the explanation 
is an interesting illustration of the practical working of the pioneers' sense 
of fairness. When it was found that an east-west layout would unduly 
enhance the value of one man's holdings, its direction was changed. 

Eighteen months after Stillwater was laid out the first legislature 
awarded to it the new college of agriculture; and since then Stillwater's story 
and that of the college have developed together. 

On a slight slope north of Stillwater Creek, bowered in trees, the city 
spreads up to, and beyond, the campus of Oklahoma Agricultural and 
Mechanical College, familiarly known throughout the state as A. and M. A big 
small town in appearance, its business buildings are low, trim, and solid; 
its residences, set in big yards, large and comfortable. 

The town's first boost came when it was designated as a registration 
point for the opening of the Cherokee Outlet in 1893; and the next big help 
was the coming of the railroad in 1899. Before that year, the outside world 
was reached by hack to Wharton (now Perry), twenty-five miles away. 

Stillwater describes itself as a business and educational center, measuring 
up to the dreams of its founders in enterprise, culture, and hospitality. Its 
population is the familiar Oklahoma college-town mixture of retired farmers; 
those who serve the surrounding farm region by operating creameries, 
hatcheries, grain elevators, flour mills, and cotton gins; retail merchants who 
cater to the student body of A. and M.; the faculty and regular students; and 
the increasing number who come for short courses and summer sessions. 

Under a commission form of government, Stillwater has levied no 
municipal taxes since 1931; the government is supported by revenues from 
its utilities. A roomy, modern municipal hospital, a municipal library, and a 
beautiful municipal building of modern design serve the city. 


A. and M. occupies a 120-acre campus at the northwestern border of 
Stillwater. An outlying farm of twelve hundred acres, west of the city, is 
used as an experiment station, and the college owns 880 acres of farm land 
elsewhere. The fifty-five buildings on the campus include thirty used for 


instruction and administration; nineteen barns and other agricultural struc- 
tures; and seven residence halls capable of housing 950 women students and 
825 men. 

One of the two most important institutions of higher education in the 
state, A. and M. enrolled 6,483 students in its regular courses in 1940-41; in 
summer sessions, 2,557; and 1,151 in correspondence and extension courses. 
Attendance at short courses (from four days to two weeks) totaled 7,193. 

The teaching staf? numbers 306; there are some four hundred additional 
employees at Stillwater, and 280 workers in the Extension Division distributed 
over the seventy-seven counties. At the 1940 spring commencement, 749 
bachelors' degrees were conferred in all departments. Masters' degrees were 
also awarded to 219 students. 

On Christmas Day, 1890, the act of the territorial legislature establishing 
the college became effective. The law "required that the county of Payne, or 
the municipality in or near which the institution might be located, should 
issue its bonds in the sum of $10,000 . . ." These were to be sold by the 
territory's secretary "at not less than their par value." 

Payne County defeated the bond issue, but the residents of Stillwater, 
at a municipal election in April, 1891, plumped for the bonds, by 132 votes 
out of 136. The bonds brought only $8,600; the $1,400 required to bring 
them up to par was raised by selling city warrants and by a note for $352 
made by members of the city council. 

By July of that year two hundred acres of prairie land adjoining the 
town on the northwest had also been donated as a site. It was, said an early 
catalogue, "untouched by plow or other implements, with the exception of 
about 16 acres. The work of fencing this land and reducing it to cultivation 
was at once begun, the first furrow . . . being turned on the 2d day of Decem- 
ber, 1891." As a land-grant college, Stillwater was entitled to Federal aid; 
in its first year, however, this amounted to only $3,000; and in the following 
year to $750. 

Out of these very limited resources, a small laboratory for the chemistry 
department, a barn, residences for the school head and farm manager were 
built in 1892, and next year engine and seed houses — small frame structures 
— -were added. Meanwhile, classes were held in the Congregational Church. 
In June of 1894, Assembly Hall — known now as "Old Central" — was ready 
for classwork. 

Commencement exercises were held at the end of each college year, but 
it was not until 1896 that there were any graduates to receive degrees. Then 
six young men qualified. Of the June, 1893, commencement, a Stillwater 
paper said that the college had "over 150 students under the care of an able 


and energetic board of regents and faculty. This was a commencement 
without a graduate, although the sweet girls were there just the same." All 
graduates up to 1915 had to return for additional work in order to have 
their degrees recognized. 

An integral part of the college, the Agricultural Experiment Station is 
maintained by funds provided by Congress under successive acts, and its 
work was started at the same time, in December, 1891, when "most of the 
good people of Stillwater" turned out to help the first director burn off the 
tall grass that hid the corner markers of the property; and again when the 
first furrows were turned. "A pair of mules," once wrote the station's head, 
"was probably the first property acquired. . . . Tradition has it that one evening 
Professor Magruder, overseer of the farm, caught a pair of runaway mules 
and held them until the owner came up in a furious mood and offered to sell 
them to any man who would offer a price. Magruder got the mules." And, 
presumably, tamed their wild spirits by hitching them to a sod plow. 

On the college's twelve-hundred-acre farm adjoining the campus have 
been tried varied experiments like the sowing of wheat on the same plot 
every year since 1892; determination of the minimum vitamin A require- 
ments for dairy catde; the improvement of hogs through inbreeding; determi- 
nation of the effect of environmental factors on the composition of vege- 
tables; the effects of different forms of waste from oil wells; insect control; 
meat laboratory work; and research on diseases of cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, 
and chickens. The station also carries on, through county agents and home 
demonstration women aides, a state-wide program of extension work. 

Short courses of a week or less bring adults to the college for instruction 
in many subjects ranging from firemanship to school custodianship, cafeteria, 
and waterworks management. Special meetings of one or two days deal with 
stock feeding, agronomy, vocational guidance, "band clinics," choral festivals, 
editing, and many other topics. 

Student activities include the publication of the O'Collegian, a campus 
daily (twice weekly during the summer session), the Reds\in, the college 
annual, various departmental periodicals; and seven musical organizations. 
Because the college is far from any city of considerable size, the student body 
and faculty rely to an unusual extent upon themselves for extra-curricular 

Loosely grouped on land that was level prairie, with litde attempt at 
landscaping and with few trees as yet to add shade and variety to the campus 
scene, the college's buildings are primarily utilitarian in design. The whole 
effect is one of bareness, neatness, and the utmost economy in the use of 
building funds. 



The buildings are listed in order of location from the corner of Knoblocli and Col- 
lege Sts., the most convenient starting point. Ordinarily they are open during school hours. 

FIREMANSHIP TRAINING BUILDING is a two-story brick fire- 
house, with regular fire-fighting equipment below and quarters for students 
above. The tall octagonal tower at the north end of the building is somewhat 
suggestive of a New England meeting house. Here is the equivalent of a 
three-company fire brigade, with classrooms and laboratories. It is the only 
school department of the kind in the country. 

WILLIAMS HALL, in which is housed The Prairie Playhouse, is a 
reconditioned old building where the work of the speech and English depart- 
ments is carried on. The equipment includes an auditorium, stage, dressing 
rooms, and drama workrooms. 

"OLD CENTRAL," set back from Knoblock St. (L), was the first 
building erected on the campus for classroom use. A quaint, square, squat, 
pink-brick litde survival, it was described at its dedication in 1894 as "a hand- 
some structure ... 67 by 67 feet in size, consisting of two stories, and contains 
16 rooms." In the minds of loyal students and alumni, "Old Central" has 
retained at least a sentimental beauty. It is still (1941) commodious enough 
(a third story has been added) to house the Graduate School, the Depart- 
ment of Agricultural Education, the Geology Department, the Former Stu- 
dents Association and Placement Bureau, a museum, and an auditorium. 

The AUDITORIUM, corner of Knoblock and Morrill Sts., is a brick 
and reinforced concrete structure, equipped with a large stage, dressing rooms, 
and drama workrooms. 

GARDNER HALL, opposite the auditorium on Morrill St., a plain but 
well-designed four-story red-brick structure with dormer windows, houses 
the activities of the Extension Division, the women's section of the Depart- 
ment of Health and Physical Education, and a part of the staff of the School 
of Commerce. 

MORRILL HALL, Morrill St., facing toward "Old Central," is a four- 
story, wide-spreading structure of the older period, built of brick and stone. 
Here are the departments of commerce, education, foreign languages, and 
art. The hall was named for United States Senator Justin S. Morrill, who 
wrote the Federal act establishing land-grant colleges. 

Farther along on Knoblock Street, Athletic Avenue (L) marks the 
southern boundary of an area devoted to sports. Here, flanked by concrete- 
surfaced tennis courts are the GYMNASIUM 167 by 107 feet; the football 
STADIUM, with seats for 30,000 spectators; and GALAGHER HALL, the 


college Field House named for the long-time coach of A. and M.'s wrestling 
teams. The Field House, a great modernistic block-shaped hall, is used for 
such indoor sports as wrestling and basketball; and when the school's basket- 
ball team plays that of the University of Oklahoma — A. and M.'s traditional 
rival — all its 7,000 seats are filled. 

West of the Stadium is CORDELL HALL, an enormous wide-H- 
shaped residence hall of red brick trimmed with white stone, with quarters 
for 525 men students. First used in the school year 1939-40, this "dorm" is 
one of the largest in the Southwest. 

The agriculture school's utilities are west of the athletic area and Cordell 
Hall. The impressive Animal Husbandry Building is a steel, concrete and 
brick structure, with rounded roof and tall Ionic columns supporting a lofty 
porch. Within is an arena 59 by 180 feet, with seats for 2,000. 

Farther west on the 1,200-acre experimental farm is the huge BEEF 
CATTLE BARN, with four commodious wings, flanked at its four corners 
by enormous brick silos. Other structures in this area are the DAIRY 

The section of the campus on Washington Street, to the west, is given 
over to women's residence halls. Here, in order from north to south, are 
FRANCES E. WILLARD HALL (L), a modern four-story red-brick home 
for 410 students; NORTH HALL (R), with accommodations for 150 wom- 
en. A covered arcade leads from North Hall to the big MURRAY HALL, 
housing 410 students, where there is a joint dining room for North and 
Murray halls. 

North of Frances Willard Hall is WHITEHURST HALL, the Agri- 
cultural and Administration building. Constructed of brick, stone, and con- 
crete, four stories high, it is typical of A. and M.'s simple, practical architec- 
tural style. Similar in design is the LIFE SCIENCES BUILDING, which 
houses the departments of zoology, bacteriology, physiology, botany, and 
veterinary science, and the ENGINEERING BUILDING used by the 
Mechanical Engineering Department. 


Boomer Lake, 1.9 m.: Stillwater Lake, 3.4 m.; Lake Carl Blackwell, 13 m.; Midget 
Cattle Farm, 14.2 m. (see Totir 2). 

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Railroad Stations: Union Depot, 3 S. Boston Ave. for Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry., St. 

Louis-San Francisco Ry., and Missouri-Kansas-Texas R.R.; Frankford Ave. and 6th St. for 

Midland Valley Ry. 

hiterurban: Waiting Room, 27 E. Archer St. for service between Tulsa and Sand Springs. 

Bus Stations: Union Bus Station, 319 S. Cincinnati Ave., for Missouri, Kansas & Oklahoma 

Trailways, Southwestern Greyhound Lines, Southern Kansas Greyhound Lines, Union 

Transportation Co., Santa Fe Trailways; All-American Bus Station, 215 S. Boulder Ave., 

for All-American Bus Lines. 

Airport: Municipal Airport, E. Apache Ave. and Sheridan Rd. for American Air Lines and 

Mid-Continent Lines; 30-min. cab service (fare 50c) from Hotel Mayo, Cheyenne Ave. 

and 5th St. 

City Bus Lines: Fare 5c, universal transfers. 

Taxis: 15c to 50c, according to number of passengers and distance. 

Traffic Regtdations: No left turn on or into Main Street between 2d and 5th Sts. inclusive. 

Parking only at designated places. Obey School Zone signs. 

Accommodations: 22 hotels, 8 for Negroes; rooming houses, tourist camps and trailer parks 
on every highway. Capacity rates during International Petroleum Exposition, 2 weeks in 
May, even years. 

Information Serf ice: Chamber of Commerce, Tulsa Bldg., 3d St. and Cincinnati Ave.; Auto 
Club of Oklahoma (for members), Adams Hotel, 4th St. and Cheyenne Ave. 

Radio Stations: KTUL (1430 kc); KVOO (1170 kc); KOME (1340 kc). 

Theaters and Motion Picture Houses: Tulsa Little Theater,1511 S. Delaware Ave., local 

productions during fall and winter; Convention Hall, 101 W. Brady St.; and Akdar Theater, 

4th St. and Denver Ave., local productions, occasional road shows, and concerts; 20 motion 

picture houses, 2 for Negroes. 

Athletics: Texas League Baseball Park (night) 4300 E. 15th St.; Skelly Field (Public High 

School and University of Tulsa Stadium), 2900 E. 11th St. 

Hocliey, Wrestling, and Ice Sl{ating (winter and spring): The Coliseum, 501 S. Elgin Ave. 

Boating: Mohawk Park Lagoons and Mohawk Lakes (see Tour 9A). 

Swimming: Ncwblock Pool (municipal), 20 blocks \V. of Main St. on US 64, 15c and 25c; 

YMCA, 4th St. and Cincinnati Ave., 25c; Crystal City Park, S. of cit\' on US 66, 25c. 

Golf: Mohawk Municipal Course, Mohawk Park, 5 m. N., reached by Peoria, Lewis, and 

Howard Aves., 18 holes; Northridge, N. of city near Mohawk Park; McFarland, Memorial 

Drive and East Federal, E. of city; Kennedy (sand greens) N.W. of city; Wil-Croft (sand 

greens) 21st St. and Harvard Ave., greens fees at all 75c. 

Tennis: Free municipal courts at 6th St. and Peoria Ave., 1 1th St. and Peoria Ave., 13th St. 

and Cincinnati Ave., N. Boston Ave. between Queen and Tecumseh Sts., Edison St. and 

Quannah Ave., Ncwblock Park, 2500 S. Quannah Ave., 21st St. and Olympia .\ve., 42d 

St. and Yukon Ave, and Admiral Blvd. and Utica St. 

Annual Events: Magic Empire Junior Livestock Show, March: Oil Capital Horse Show, Fair 
Grounds Pavilion, May; Tulsa State Fair, Fair Grounds, 6 blocks E. of 15th St. and Harvard 
Ave., Sept.; Mid-Continent Kennel Club Show, Fair Ground-;, Poultry Bldg., Nov. 


TULSA 205 

International Petroleum Exposition: Biennial event, in May of even years. Exposition 
Grounds (adjoining Fair Grounds). 

For further information regarding this city see TULSA, A Guide to the Oil 
Capital, American Guide Series, published May, 1938, by the Mid-West 
Printing Company, Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

TULSA (750 alt., 142,157 pop.) is built chiefly on low, rolling hills and 
on the flat between the hills and the east bank of the Arkansas River. The city 
has reached out across the river, however, and includes West Tulsa, now 
(1941) an integral part of it. Stretching away to the south is one of Okla- 
homa's most fertile farming and fruit-growing sections; toward the north and 
east the land is broken and better adapted to grazing; and on the northwest 
are the lower ranges of the Osage Hills, a part of the Osage Indian oil lands. 

Tulsa, the second largest city in Oklahoma, is the oil center of the great 
Mid-Continent area and the state's largest oil refining center, yet it is neither 
typically Oklahoman nor a typical oil-boom town. It is a city of contrasts, 
resulting from the transplanting of a metropolitan population to a small set- 
tlement of Indians and white pioneers. In certain sections, as north of 3d 
Street, old Tulsa still exists (1941) with the squat one- and two-story frame, 
stone, and brick buildings of its earlier days. Generally, however, the city is 
eastern in the character of its people, in its office buildings on Boston Avenue 
between 3d and 6th Streets, and in its southern section, where elaborate homes 
suggest New York or Philadelphia suburbs rather than Oklahoma. 

The sections flanking the railroad tracks between 1st Street and Archer 
Avenue and West Tulsa, across the river, are industrial in character; and 
beyond Archer to the northeast lies the extensive Negro district. 

A dramatic view of Tulsa from the southwest, across the vast refinery 
plant dominating West Tulsa and the wide sand-carpeted bed of the river, 
shows tall, smoke-stained stacks giving way, on the skyline, to the taller 
modern-city group of skyscrapers that serve the office and hotel needs of its 
hundreds of oil companies. It is a visual summary of the city's description 
of itself as the oil capital of the world. 

More than 98 per cent of Tulsa's population is American born, but it is 
composed of many elements. The first organized settlement was made by 
civilized Indians, and the first whites were a mixture of workmen, small- 
scale merchants, missionaries, and adventurers. After statehood brought the 
right to buy land, many farmers and ranchmen came from the South and 
West to settle in the vicinity, and their children built homes in the city. To 


this already conglomerate citizenry the oil industry added thousands of ad- 
ministrative, technical, and clerical workers from the North and East. 

Tulsa has wealthy citizens whose fortunes are generations old and others 
whose wealth is new. Many of the poor became rich and many of the rich 
lost their money as the status of oil in the Mid-Continent region fluctuated. 
Indians and whites intermarried extensively; factory workers drifted in; leis- 
ure classes developed; businessmen retired and took up the hobbies of leisure. 
The city's great middle class, composed of minor oil executives, tradesmen 
and clerks, mechanics and oil office workers, increased. 

There are citizens of all degrees of Indian mixture, but even those of less 
than one-eighth proudly call themselves Indians. They boast, as did the late 
Will Rogers, who was a Cherokee member of Tulsa's Akdar Shrine, that 
their ancestors were not Mayflower passengers, but were on the "reception 
committee." Tulsa's Indians are not easily identified unless they are of more 
than one-quarter blood. Their dress, pursuits, and attainments are exactly 
the same as those of the white population. 

About 12 per cent of Tulsa's population is Negroes, who live in a segre- 
gated district of which Greenwood Avenue is the principal business street. 
This district lies to the northeast of the Union Depot, running in a fan shape 
from a line almost due north to a line approximately northeast, and extending 
indefinitely to the city's edge. Housing facilities here are generally poor, re- 
flecting the income of a people largely dependent upon work as servants or 
casual laborers. There are, however, a few fine residences, the homes of suc- 
cessful business and professional men. Within the Greenwood district are the 
"separate" schools, Negro hotels, a park, places of business and amusement, 
a municipal hospital, and churches. 

Tulsa existed as early as 1879 as a postoffice on the pony mail route 
through Indian Territory. The office was in the home of a Creek rancher, 
George Ferryman, near what is now 41st Street; the rancher's brother was 
the first postmaster. Into this primitive section, unknown to any whites except 
a few cattlemen and those who had married into the tribe, the old Adantic 
& Pacific Railroad built in 1882. Originally the builders planned to stop in the 
Cherokee Nation, about a mile from the river bank, but since the Cherokee 
laws prohibited commercial transactions by native, intermarried, or adopted 
Cherokee citizens, the rails were extended into the Creek Nation where whites 
were permitted to trade by posting a bond. There, on the site of the present 
Tulsa business section, the railroad established a terminal with a roundhouse 
and a large loading pen. The vast herds of cattle from the Southwest, for- 
merly driven overland to Vinita (see Tour 1), were now loaded in Tulsa for 
shipment to the stockyards of St. Louis and Chicago. Trains began making 

TULSA 207 

daily trips between the terminus and Vinita, stopping at intervals to let 
passengers shoot prairie chickens along the way. Traders and an occasional 
professional man drifted in. The Creek rancher moved his postoffice to the 

The town was first called Tulsey Town, for the Creek Indians who be- 
longed to the Tallassee or Tulsey community. The present Tallassee, Alabama, 
was the former home of this group before the Indians were removed to Okla- 

Isparhecher ('Spa-hich'-se), an insurgent Creek leader, had organized 
a small army of full bloods and harassed those Creeks loyal to Chief Checotah. 
Guerilla warfare was rampant throughout the nation in 1882, and the litde 
stores of Tulsa, unable to replenish their stocks for fear of looting, did prac- 
tically no business all fall and winter. By August, 1883, however, the Creek 
trouble was settled and the town began to breathe normally. Floored tents 
were replaced by wooden shacks, and plank-built stores were provided with 
covered porches. With the coming of summer, 1883, Tulsa had all the ear- 
marks of a "fair little city," as its inhabitants called it, even to a community 
water well and a Negro barber. 

The early setders of the town felt that one hundred feet was "too far to 
wade the mud," and main street was made only eighty feet wide. The street 
was surveyed by a railroad engineer who ran his line at right angles to the 
railroad, thus causing the downtown district to be built "cattywampus," as 
the old-timers express it, while the rest of the city is straight with the com- 
pass. In writing of this Main Street a pioneer recalls that "whether it was 
dusty or muddy depended upon the weather. We had to dodge roaming hogs, 
goats, and cows when crossing, and sometimes wild animals would venture 
into the middle of town." 

Alcoholic liquor was prohibited under Indian Territory law, but thous- 
ands of gallons poured into the town. There were no important trading points 
within a radius of sixty miles, and Tulsa's isolation made it a resort for 
gamblers and bad men. The only law was that enforced by the Creek Light- 
horsemen and the U.S. deputy marshals who paid brief and rare visits; or 
the "two volumes of common law" that every man carried strapped to his 
thighs. In spite of this wild-west atmosphere, however, the first organization 
of any kind was a union Sunday School, formed in 1883 in the tent of a rail- 
road carpenter. 

In 1884 the Presbyterian Home Mission Board of New York City erected 
a small mission school on the summit of a wooded hill at what is now the 
southeast corner of Fourth Street and Boston Avenue. Here Tulsa's first con- 
gregation was organized, one that included many Indians and an elder who 


used the Cherokee language when called upon to pray. It was near the old 
catde trail, and herds ot cattle were driven past it almost every day until 
about 1888. Its site is now (1941) occupied by the Cosden Building, 

There were many things to retard the development ,o£ Tulsa. First, a 
long fight with railroad officials who claimed a right of way three hundred 
feet wide south of the tracks that would have included some of the town's 
buildings. Then certain of the Indians eyed the site of the little settlement 
greedily, claiming most of it as their personal allotments after the nation's 
land, once held in common, had been divided among individual Creek citi- 
zens. As a result of these land disputes, residences and business houses were 
built on the first white cemetery and the Creek burial grounds on the heights 
overlooking the river. One of the most serious difficulties was the lack of an 
adequate water supply, which caused the railroad to shift its terminal to 
Sapulpa. In 1900, at the time of the first government townsite survey, Tulsa, 
with a population of 1,390 — including whites, Negroes and Indians^ — was 
merely an unimportant town in Indian Territory. 

Then, on June 25, 1901, Tulsa rocketed into national attention. Across 
the river at Red Fork (now within the city limits) the state's first commer- 
ically important oil well was brought in. During the next two years Red 
Fork and Tulsa both grew rapidly; but since Tulsa was cut off from oil 
development by the Arkansas River, there was a possibility that she might 
become a suburb of the other town. A bond issue to build a wagon bridge 
failed, but three citizens built a toll bridge with their own capital and Tulsa 
invited the ever-increasing horde of oil men to "come and make your homes 
in a beautiful litde city that is high and dry, peaceful and orderly. Where 
there are good churches, stores, schools, and banks, and where our ordinances 
prevent the desolation of our homes and property by oil wells." 

The oilmen took Tulsa at its word. By 1910 a building boom was in 
full swing and brick plants were working at capacity. Pipe lines were opened 
to the Gulf of Mexico and oil prices were climbing. Hotel and office buildings 
were erected. Streets were paved. Banks were established. The total value 
of buildings under construction reached $1,365,000 by late August. Down 
through the Creek country and up through the lands of the Osages into Kan- 
sas went the drillers; but in Tulsa lived the bosses, and here the operating 
money was banked. The population leaped from 19,500 in 1910 to 76,966 in 
1920, and to 141,258 in 1930. 

Immediately following the World War, there was increasing racial bitter- 
ness due to the influx of both white and Negro laborers seeking employment 
in the oil fields. After months of unrest and threats of vigilante activity, a 
minor incident on June 1, 1921, developed into a serious race riot. Armed 

TULSA 209 

conflict between whites and Negroes spread to several sections of the city. 
Vigilantes invaded the Greenwood (Negro) district and laid it waste by fire. 
It was estimated that more than thirty-six persons were killed in the various 
clashes. After a night of terror and two days of martial law the whites organ- 
ized a systematic rehabilitation program for the devastated Negro section 
and gave generous aid to the Negroes left homeless by the fire. Nationwide 
publicity of the most lurid sort naturally followed the tragedy, and Tulsa's 
whites and Negroes joined in an effort to live down the incident by working 
for a better mutual understanding. 

Many of the early settlers were cultured people, and the city's many-sided 
interest in music has developed from their activities (see Music). One of the 
first ensembles of one hundred pianos heard in the United States played in 
Tulsa in 1934 and was broadcast over a portion of the Columbia Broadcast- 
ing System's network. 

The business life of the town is dominated by oil and the industries allied 
with oil. Of the latter there are machine shops, tank companies, rig and der- 
rick manufacturers, and a score of the nation's best -known makers of other 
oil-field tools and equipment. It is estimated that 540 oil companies with 
headquarters in Tulsa purchase supplies and equipment with a value of ap- 
proximately $400,000,000. Much of the financing is made possible by the 
city's banks, which specialize in oil-field enterprises and handle successfully 
oil promotions that other banks would not consider. As a center for financing 
such operations, the city is second only to New York. 

Petroleum refining is by far the most important industry in Tulsa. One 
of the largest refineries in the state, with a daily capacity of forty thousand 
barrels of crude oil, is across the Arkansas River from the business district. 
Here are also two other refineries with capacities of eleven thousand and six 
thousand barrels a day; and in the suburb of Sand Springs, seven miles west, 
there is a fourth refinery that handles eight thousand barrels of crude oil daily. 

Cheap fuel and an abundant supply of raw materials account for the 
city's industrial importance in fields other than those associated with oil. In 
the Sand Springs district are several glass plants, one of the largest cotton mills 
west of the Mississippi, chemical works, a furniture factory, steel works, gar- 
ment and tent factories, automobile body works, brick and tile plants and 
oxygen making and distributing centers. An aircraft company, with which is 
connected a school of aeronautics, represents a considerable investment, and 
its expanding activities are closely tied in with the national air defense 

With the coming of oil, Tulsa's two struggling weekly newspapers, the 
Democrat and the World, blossomed into dailies. In 1920, the Democrat, an 


evening paper, came under new management and the name was changed to 
the Tribune. The World became a morning daily and for a short time put 
out an evening edition also. Published weekly at Tulsa is the Oil and Gas 
Journal, the most important, authoritative oil publication in the country, and 
one that is read by oilmen all over the world. 

The Oklahoma Constitution, the New State Farm and Home, and 
Sturm's Statehood Magazine, now only memories, were started in the period 
1904-06 to further the movement for statehood. 


1. UNION DEPOT, 3 S. Boston Ave., on a site 125 by 155 feet in extent, 
is at the heart of old Tulsa. The exterior walls of this modern building are 
formed of alternate blocks of white and very pale gray Bedford limestone, 
with litde decoration except above the windows and along a coping which 
takes the place of a cornice. The cornice efifect is achieved by a carved Greek 
key motif, broken by conventional shield designs bearing figures of eagles 
and winged wheels in bas-relief. In the interior, the upper walls are plastered 
in imitation of travertine marble while the two-tone marble of the wainscoting 
is laid in a panel design. This, the first Union Depot in Oklahoma, was de- 
signed by R. C. Stephens, Frisco Railway architect, and completed in 1931. 
Because the railway tracks were on a level with the diked banks of the Arkan- 
sas River and could not be lowered, the streets in the neighborhood were 
raised to cross over them. Thus, while the main entrances and waiting room 
of the depot are at street level, they are 30 feet above the tracks. The outstand- 
ing feature of the building is the foyer extending from Cincinnati to Boston 

2. The SEAMAN OFFICE BUILDING, 14-16 3d St., formerly contained 
the Elks' clubrooms, in which, in November, 1906, the last passionate protest 
against white occupancy of the Creek Nation was made by Chitto Harjo, 
later leader of the Crazy Snake Rebellion. Harjo, speaking before a congres- 
sional committee and the chiefs of the Creeks and Cherokees, reminded the 
government of its treaties and begged that all its promises be kept. 

3. The FEDERAL BUILDING, Boulder Ave. between 2d and 3d Sts., is 
a three-story limestone structure of neoclassic design with a Corinthian colon- 
nade across the front. The southern third of the building was erected under 
the supervision of James A. Wetmore, acting supervising architect of the 
Treasury Department, in 1915. Using the same design and structural ma- 
terials, the building was enlarged to its present size in 1932. 

4. The COUNTY COURTHOUSE, N.E. corner 6th St. and Boulder 
Ave., a four-story limestone structure of modified Greek design, was erected 

TULSA 211 

in 1910-11. On this site in 1886, George Ferryman, brother of Legus Perry- 
man, who was a principal chief of the Creek Nation, built a sizable residence, 
which at that time was considered "way out in the country." 

5. CENTRAL SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, between Cincinnati and De- 
troit Aves., extending from 6th to 7th Sts., is a red-brick structure trimmed 
with white stone. The entrances are flanked by towers, Tudor Gothic in feel- 
ing. The school was built in two sections — one in 1916, the other in 1921 — at 
a cost of approximately $2,000,000. The south auditorium (open during school 
hours) is equipped with the first pipe organ placed in a public high school 
in the United States, a gift of the graduating classes from 1925 to 1935 in- 

tween 13th St. and 13th Place, is a notable example of modern ecclesiastical 
architecture. The unusual design was conceived by Miss Adah Robinson, 
Tulsa artist, and executed by Rush, Endicott, and Goflf, Tulsa architects. 
Construction was completed in 1929. 

The massive limestone walls of the main building, four stories high, termi- 
nate in cubistic images of praying hands. The same symbolic imagery, in less 
detail, is carried out in the illuminated tower that rises 290 feet above the 
doorways with their pointed arches and terra-cotta and bas-relief figures of 
pioneer characters. The lower floors are occupied by a community hall, gym- 
nasium, kitchen, auditorium, chapel, and educational rooms. Other offices, 
classrooms, and studios are in the tower. The building of the church attracted 
international attention, and newspapers and magazines in many parts of the 
world printed photographs and descriptions of it. 

7. The OLD COUNCIL TREE, on the lawn of a private residence at 1730 
S. Cheyenne Ave., is marked by a bronze tablet nailed to the trunk. The 
ground around the tree was the traditional meeting place for the heads of 
the Creek families composing the Tallassee Lochapokas (town) for their 
councils or busks. It is supposed to have been used as early as 1836, until 
the Spanish-American War. The busk was the official town meeting, but 
included purification and recreation rites as well as business. Several days 
before the appointed time, a messenger from the town chief would deliver 
to each family a bundle of sticks. One stick was withdrawn and broken each 
day until one remained. This last stick was presented at the roll call on the 
following day. The men purified themselves by drinking an emetic of willow 
root. Recreation took the form of feasting, dancing, and Indian ball. This 
game was so important to the Creeks that their general council passed 
stringent rules governing it. 

8. BOULDER PARK, Boulder Ave and 18th St., was a favorite camping 


p <l> 









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place for the Indians, and the scene of several feuds between the Creeks who 
were divided in loyalty by the Civil War. Among the park's attractions are 
a formal flower garden, a softball diamond, and an archery range. 

9. INDIAN BOUNDARY SITE, intersection of Frisco and Elwood Aves. 
and Edison St., is marked by a bronze plate set in the center of the Edison 
Street paving at the exact corner where the Osage, Cherokee, and Creek 
nations met before the Cherokee and Creek boundaries were obliterated by 
statehood. (The Osage Nation, now Osage County, still retains it boundary.) 

10. The PHILBROOK ART MUSEUM, (open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except 
Sun. and Tues., 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mon. Admission free Sun. and Thurs., 
other days 25c), 1111 S. Rockford Ave., was formerly an elaborate and beau- 
tiful private residence. It was given to the city by Mr. and Mrs. Waite Phillips, 
who also gave the necessary funds to convert it into a home of regional art. 
The museum opened in October, 1939. Under the direction of the South- 
western Art Association, it houses changing exhibitions of paintings, sculf)- 
ture, tapestries, and other art forms; and offers lectures and classes in painting, 
drawing, sculpture, and modeling for children. One of its principal purposes 
is to emphasize Indian art. On the first Thursday of each month, there are 
special showings for Negroes, with Negro docents in attendance. 

11. Many of the buildings and the grounds of the UNIVERSITY OF 
TULSA, between 5th and 7th Sts., and Delaware Ave. and Gary Place, are 
gifts of Tulsa philanthropists. Some of its $1,252,000 endowment, however, 
came from public subscriptions. The school was moved to Tulsa in 1907 from 
Muskogee, where it was founded in 1894 as Henry Kendall College. Origi- 
nally controlled by the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions, it became a 
nonsectarian school in 1928. The university has an enrollment (1940) of 1,836 
students and a faculty of 125. 

The principal group of seven buildings is in the center of the campus, 
the front, or west, half of which is marked by a horseshoe drive. This half 
of the campus was given to the school in 1929, and College Avenue was closed 
where it passed through the grounds. The university oval was then laid out, 
and the Library, Fine Arts, and Petroleum Engineering buildings were erected 
there. These buildings, of modified Gothic design, are of native limestone, 
while Kendall Hall and Robertson Hall are of red brick, and the Union build- 
ing is of stone. Together with the grey-brick Harwell Gymnasium they 
occupy a thick grove of oaks and elms, planted 30 years ago. Seen from the 
west, the green of the grove, splotched with the red of the older buildings, 
Kendall and Robertson Halls, makes a pleasant background for the new 
stone structures bordering the horseshoe; the shrubs and flower beds, young 
trees and velvet expanse of the front campus, give delightful depth to the view. 

TULSA 215 

Kendall Hall, the original brick building from which the university 
grew, contains the historic bell that rang out the news of statehood to Tulsa 
citizens in 1907. Other and newer buildings on the 50-acre campus are Rob- 
ertson Hall, Kemp Lodge, and Tyrell Hall, occupied by the College of Fine 
Arts and certain administrative offices. McFarlin Library (open 8-10 week- 
days; closed Sat. p.m. and during Aug.) contains more than 55,000 bound 
volumes. It also houses the Alice M. Robertson Collection of old trinkets and 
manuscripts of early mission days. The Phillips Engineering Building, 
seat of the College of Petroleum Engineering, has the largest oil well-sample 
library in the Mid-Continent oil fields. 

12. The PUBLIC SCHOOLS (SKELLY) STADIUM, E. 11th St. and S. 
Florence Ave., is a steel and concrete structure, with seating capacity of more 
than 15,000. It is completely equipped with electric scoreboard, public address 
system, and floodlights for night games. Both the University of Tulsa and 
the city high schools use the stadium. 

13. In OWEN PARK, N.E. corner of W. Edison St. and Quanah Ave., is a 
limestone Monument on which a bronze plate, upheld by bronze stalks of 
Indian corn, commemorates the signing of the treaties by which the Cherokee, 
Creek, and Osage tribes were assigned to their national lands in the Indian 
Territory. The park is a well-landscaped area, with flower beds, tennis courts, 
a lake and rustic bridge, a wading pool, and a rest house. 

(open 9-3 daily; guides), 17th St. and Union Ave., W. Tulsa, is the largest 
refinery in the world operating exclusively on high gravity, 100 per cent paraf- 
fin-base crude oils, and is Tulsa's largest industrial plant. Within the ordered 
chaos of its equipment, covering 800 acres, are massive "crackers" that attain 
a heat of 1,000 degrees F. and a pressure of 1,000 pounds to the square inch. 
"Fractionating towers" rise 120 feet above the heating units; 16 stillblocks, 
one with 100 stills in a row, sprawl across the landscape. The plant has a 
capacity of 1,680,000 gallons of crude oil daily, operates on a 24-hour schedule, 
and employs 1,000 workers. Oil comes from the company's own wells in the 
Mid-Continent field, through the company's 1,400-mile pipe-line system. The 
refinery opened in October, 1913, with only one battery of stills and a few 
tanks. Now its storage tanks hold more than 4,000,000 barrels, and the refinery 
circulates more than 30,000,000 gallons of water per day in making steam. 


Red Fork, 6.9 m. (see Tour 1); Tulsa's First Post Office, 5. 4 m.; Sand Springs, 8.2 m.; 
Sand Springs Home Interests, 10.3 m. (see Tour 2); Mashed O Ranch, 7.7 m.; Mohawk 
Park, 9.9 m. (see Tour 9A). 

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Tour 1 

(Baxter Springs, Kans.) — Tulsa — Oklahoma City — El Reno — Clinton — 
Sayre — (Shamrock, Tex.); US 66. 
Kansas Line to Texas Line, 386 m. 

Frisco Ry. parallels route between the Kansas Line and Oklahoma City; Rock Island Ry. 
between Oklahoma City and the Texas Line. 
Roadbed concrete-paved throughout. 
Good accommodations at short intervals. 

Known for many things, Grapes of Wrath families, "Cash and Carry" 
Pyle's Bunion Derby, its popular local titles, "Main Street of America" and 
the "Will Rogers Highway of America," US dd runs the gamut of hot and 
cold, mountains and prairies, beauty and sordid ugliness. 

Its path through Oklahoma has evolved from trails and footpaths worn 
deep in virgin prairies and blazed through blackjack tangles. Jealousy and 
rivalry played their part in its growth, for the brash new towns of the young 
state all wanted to be on the highway which connected the east with the 
rapidly growing center, Amarillo, Texas, to the west. In 1916, the part of US 
66 linking Oklahoma City with Amarillo was improved as a postal highway. 

US 66 runs southwestward to the center of the state through mining 
districts and oil and gas fields, thence westward to the Texas Line through 
farming and stock country. Part of the route traverses the area visited by 
Washington Irving in 1832, when the land was a virgin wilderness. He 
related his adventures in A Tour on the Frames, published in 1835. 

Toward the western end, as the highway rises gradually to higher eleva- 
tions, the air seems to become clearer, towns are visible at great distances, and 
tall office buildings loom mirage -like above the level land. The region is 
apdy called the country of short grass and high plains. 

Section a. KANSAS LINE to TULSA, 1093 m. US 66 

Crossing the KANSAS LINE, tn., four miles south of Baxter Springs, 
Kansas (see Kansas Guide), US 66 passes through a district in which are the 
greatest lead and zinc mines in the world, a section known to Oklahoma, 
Kansas, and Missouri as the Big Business Corner. For about fourteen miles 
huge man-made mountains of chat (waste rock) border the highway. The 
lead and zinc deposits were discovered shordy after the Civil War by adven- 
turers searching for gold. 



At 0.8 m., under the highway, is part of an abandoned lead mine which 
yielded $10,000,000 worth of ore to its first owners. When they ceased opera- 
tions, they stripped out most of the roof supports and leased the mine site. A 
slide, caused by the unstable retimbering done by the new owners filled the 
main shaft with rocks and earth, and the ruined mine was abandoned. 

QUAPAW, 4.5 m. (840 alt., 1,054 pop.), was built on land once owned 
by the Quapaw Indians. The tall prairie grass, abundant in the surrounding 
country, made the town a logical center for hay-shipping at the turn of the 
century. Cattle-grazing later became important. 

Zinc mining, however, which makes this section a hub of industry today 
(1941), is at present the commercial mainstay of the town. Mining began in 
this region as early as 1897. By 1907, ores from the Dark Horse Mine, opened 
in 1904, were being taken out in paying quantities. After the first World War, 
when the demand for the two metals had lessened, the fast growth of Qua- 
paw was arrested. However, the modern tree-shaded residential section indi- 
cates the prosperity which mining leases have brought to the citizens. A 
large number of Quapaw Indians live in the town; many of them received 
immense royalties from their allotments during the boom years of 1917-18. 

Near Quapaw an Indian Powwow is held annually on July 4, and, during 
the second week of August, the Seneca-Cayuga Green Corn Feast and Dances 
are observed. Visitors are welcome to both. 

COMMERCE, 10.8 m. (805 alt., 2,422 pop.), is a mining town sur- 
rounded by large piles of slag and chat that mark the mining leases on all 
sides. Five types of crystal formation and many kinds of ore specimens are 
displayed for sale on the main street corners. In the town is the abandoned 
Turkey Fat Mine (R), the first in the area. 

Commerce is at the junction with US 69, which unites southward with 
US 66 for thirty-nine miles (see Tour 8). 

At 13.7 m. is a flying school for the training of R.A.F. pilots. 

MIAMI, 14.7 m. (800 alt., 8,345 pop.), now a financial center of the 
important Tri-State mining area, was originally a trading post called Jim- 
town in the sparsely setded region set aside for a number of small Indian 
tribes. This post, in the vicinity of the present North Miami, was the home 
of four farmers named Jim; hence the early name. In 1890, mail for the 
near-by Quapaw Agency had to be brought from Baxter Springs, Kansas. 
To facilitate delivery of the agency mail, arrangements were made with Jim 
Palmer (one of the four Jims) to establish a post office. The name chosen for 
the new office was Miami, in honor of Palmer's wife, who was of Miami 
Indian blood. A year later the townsite was platted and the first lots sold. 

Miami might have followed the usual development from a trading post 
in Indian Territory to a small town in a farming community had it not been 
for the discovery of lead and zinc in 1905. Boom excitement caused the pop- 
ulation to increase 141 per cent in a brief period. 

The principal industry in the surrounding territory, in addition to min- 
ing, is cattle-raising and dairy production; purebred cattle have replaced to 
a large extent the longhorns which formerly grazed over the reservation. 

TOUR 1 22! 

At the eastern edge of the city, on a forty-acre campus, is the Northeast- 
ern Oklahoma Junior College, estabHshed in 1919 by the state legislature 
as the Miami School of Mines. Naturally, considering its location in a region 
of high production of lead and zinc, the school at first emphasized scientific 
mining instruction. Then, as Miami lost importance as a mining center, it 
became a junior college, and the name was changed. Regular students number 
from 250 to 300, with another 200 taking special courses, and there are 
( 1941) fourteen teachers. The school plant includes a large modern Adminis- 
tration Building, a combined Gymnasium and Auditorium, a shop build- 
ing, and two dormitories, one each for men and women students. 

At 24.9 m. is the junction with US 60 (see Tour 4), which unites with 
US 66-69 for 25.1 miles. 

At 28.7 m. is the junction with US 59 (see Tour 15). 

AFTON, 29.7 m. (290 alt., 1,261 pop.), a thriving farm center, lies in a 
level area of rich, black soil near Horse Creek. It is said that it was named for 
the river Afton made famous by Robert Burns' poem. 

At 41.5 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road to the GRAND RIVER DAM, 15.5 m., a recently completed (1941), 
tremendous power project belonging to the people of Oklahoma. The idea of harnessing the 
waters of the Grand River, which is fed by Kansas streams and also by Ozark Mountain 
springs, was first thought of in 1891. Successive private efforts failed, then the state legisla- 
ture created the Grand River Dam Authority in 1935. Through a Public Works Administra- 
tion loan and grant, $22,750,000 was made available for the project; the debt is to be retired 
by the sale of hydroelectric power. 

In August, 1938, construction was started on the 6,565-foot — the longest multiple 
arch dam in the world (1941) — creating a vast inland sea covering fifty-four thousand acres. 
It is estimated that the project will develop two hundred million kilowatts of power annually 
to be distributed through private utilities. 

Public grounds bordering the thousantl-mile shore line are rapidly being developed for 
recreational purposes, and the lake is being stocked with fish by the State Game and Fish 

VINITA, 45 m. (702 alt., 5,685 pop.), was named by Colonel Elias C. 
Boudinot, a Cherokee Indian and one of the promoters of the townsite, in 
honor of \'innie Ream (1850-1914). Miss Ream, a sculptor, received a Con- 
gressional commission to model the life-size statue of Abraham Lincoln which 
stands in the capitol at Washington, D.C. 

Although there was a small settlement, known as Downingville, here 
in 1870, Vinita was not founded until 1871 when two railroads were extended 
to this section. Vinita's early history, like that of many frontier villages, was 
linked with railroad controversies. The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad had 
planned to make a junction with the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad (now the 
Frisco) at a point north of Big Cabin (see Tour 8) and refused to stop its 
trains at Vinita. The Atlantic & Pacific, however, stopped at a crossing near 
Vinita whenever a train from the other road was due to pass by. Eventually, 
the Missouri-Kansas-Texas capitulated and a station was built at Vinita. 

The annual Will Rogers Memorial Rodeo is held here in the first week 
in September. Rogers had planned to be present at the first event in 1935, 
but was killed on August 15 of that year. He attended a secondary school here, 
but in his writing facetiously referred to \'^inita as his "college town." 


The Eastern Oklahoma Hospital (visits by appointment) is a state 
institution for treatment of mental diseases. It was here that a patient, under 
the pseudonym, "Inmate Ward 8," wrote the book, Behind the Door of 
Delusion (1932). 

At 49 w. is the southern junction with US 69 (see Tour 8). 

At 50 m. is the southern junction with US 60 (see Tour 4). 

CHELSEA, 63.3 m. (723 alt., 1,642 pop.), is well known as a town which 
was frequented by Will Rogers in his boyhood. Mrs. Sallie McSpadden, his 
sister, lives here (1941) in a home known as Maplewood. A Boy Scout cabin, 
for which Rogers contributed the money, is located in a near-by park. 

The first oil in Indian Territory was discovered west of Chelsea about 
1889 by Edward Byrd, who had secured a lease from the Cherokee Nation. 
The first shallow well was drilled to a depth of thirty-six feet. Prior to the 
passing of legislation regarding the leasing of Indian land for drilling, de- 
velopment of the known fields was difficult. But after paying quantities of 
oil were found in the Tulsa and Red Fork districts in 1901, the United States 
government started the legislative machinery which led, in 1902, to the com- 
plete control of the mineral leasing of Indian-owned land by the Department 
of the Interior. A shallow field including Chelsea, AUuwe, and Coody's Bluff 
(to the north) was part of the large area quickly developed. 

Since discovery of that first well, oil, as a major industry, has been 
mostly responsible for the town's growth; formerly cattle-raising and prairie- 
hay shipping were of prime importance. 

BUSHYHEAD, 69.7 m. (700 alt., 50 pop.), is a small farming com- 
munity named for Dennis W. Bushyhead, at one time (1879-87) chief of the 
Cherokee Nation. 

At 71 m., the highway passes between waste piles from strip coal mines. 

CLAREMORE, 82.3 m. (602 alt., 4,134 pop.), is the seat of Rogers 
County, named in honor of Clem Rogers, father of Will Rogers. 

Claremore had its beginning as an Osage Indian town in the early nine- 
teenth century. The name is that of the Osage chief who established the town; 
it is a variation of the French spelling, Clermont or Clermos. A famous battle 
between this settlement of Osages and a party of Cherokees took place in 
1817 on Claremore Mound, northwest of the city. 

The water at Claremore which attracts people seeking its healing power 
was discovered in 1903 when a test oil well was drilled; instead of oil, the drill 
struck a large flow of artesian mineral water at a depth of eleven hundred 
feet. The United States Indian Hospital, erected in 1928, is supervised by 
the Department of the Interior. 

Claremore has established a Bureau of Information for tourists at the 
junction of US 66 and State 20. What is said to be the largest individual 
Collection of Guns in the United States, owned by J. M. Davis, is in the 
Mason Hotel near by. 

Extensive publicity has been given to Claremore by many who errone- 
ously believe it to be the birthplace of Will Rogers. Rogers himself was mainly 
responsible for the error, since, in his own words, he was born "half-way 
between Claremore and Oologah (see Tour 9 A) before there was a town at 

TOUR 1 223 

either place." He referred more to Claremore than Oologah because, he said, 
"nobody but an Indian could pronounce Oologah." 

Oklahoma honored its famous citizen by the erection of the Will 
Rogers Memorial (open 9-5), approximately ten blocks west (R) of US 66. 
Rogers had owned the original twenty-acre site on the side of the hill for 
more than twenty-five years, and after his death it was given to the state by 
his widow. In 1937, the Oklahoma legislature appropriated $200,000 to con- 
struct the memorial. The building resembles a low, rambling ranch house of 
brown stone. The exterior is finished with stone quarried at Catoosa, the 
interior with silverdale limestone from Kansas, and the floor of the foyer is 
of split rock from Maine. The Memorial houses four principal galleries — 
Indian, Pioneer, Historical, and Educational — with a fifth gallery reserved 
exclusively for the display of keepsakes and mementos of the famous humor- 
ist. The statue of Rogers, in the main entrance, is a duplicate of the one by 
Jo Davidson, well-known sculptor, which stands in the national capitol. The 
memorial building was dedicated on November 4, 1938, the fifty-ninth birth 
anniversary of the beloved Will. A crypt on the grounds will be the final 
resting place for the body, which is now (1941) in California. 

Adjoining the memorial grounds on the south is the Oklahoma 
Military Academy, established in 1920 by the state. Its graduates are ad- 
mitted, on appointment, to West Point and Annapolis academies without the 
usual entrance examinations. 

A farmhouse, 93.4 m., on Spunky Creek (L), is on the Site of Fort 
Spunky, a station on the Star Mail Route through this vicinity before the 
coming of the railroad. It is said that a part of the framework and the stone 
chimney of the farmhouse are remnants of the original building. 

CATOOSA, 94.3 m. (618 alt., 405 pop.), was named for "Old Catoos," 
the rounded hill just west of the town. The name is said to be a derivation of 
the Cherokee expression, "Gi-tu-zi," meaning "Here live the People of the 
Light." The story is that the "People of the Light" clan formerly met on the 
summit of the hill. 

As a result of treaties made with the Indians after the close of the Civil 
War, the railroads made slow but inevitable advances west through Indian 
Territor)', each step tapping a new reservoir of wealth in cattle. For a short 
time in 1882, Catoosa was the terminus of the St. Louis- San Francisco Rail- 
way before that line was extended to Tulsa. During this period, the town was 
typically frontier — the Saturday-night gathering place of roistering cowboys 
who had driven cattle here to the stockyards. 

On the summit (R) of LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN (914 alt.), 95.5 tn., 
the Indians built a cairn, presumably as a trail-marker. 

At 96.5 m. is the junction with paved State 33. 

Right on State 33 to the junction with Sheridan Road, 8 ni.; R. here to Tulsa 
Municipal Airport (open to visitors). Spartan Air School and Factory (not open), 
and U.S. Bombing Plane Assembly Plant (not open) , 10 m. 

This is one of the two important aviation groups in the state. The airport, stretching 
north and east of the modernistic Administration Building and the hangars for more than 
one hundred planes, was at one time (1930) the world's busiest airport, outranking in vol- 


ume of traffic Lc Bourget (Paris), Tcmpclhof (Berlin), and Croydon (London) fields. It is 
still (1941) an important station for transcontinental and local planes. 

The Spartan Air School and Factory have been much expanded as a result of the in- 
creased demands of the national defense j)rogram. The new Bombing Plane Assembly Plant 
is laid out on a thousand-acre tract adjoining the airport on the east. There, 515,000,000 is 
being spent (1941) to provide facilities for turning out and testing fifty giant four-motored 
bombers per month; the parts are to be fabricated elsewhere. Though provided by the gov- 
ernment, the plant is to be operated by one of the large airplane manufacturing companies. 

In TULSA, 109.3 m. (700 alt., 142,157 pop.) (see Tulsa), are junctions, 
with US 64 (see Tour 2), US 169 (see Tour 9A), State 33 (see Tour 2A), and 
US 75 (see Tour 9), which unites southward with US 66 for fifteen miles. 

Section b. TULSA to OKLAHOMA CITY, 120.8 m. US 66 

The country southwest of TULSA, m., is mosdy rolling prairie, dotted 
with clumps of scrubby post oak and blackjack trees. Misdetoe, the official 
state flower, cHngs abundantly to the trees in winter. In spring, the creek banks 
and small ravines are crimson with redbud blooms. 

RED FORK, 6.9 m., is an industrial suburb of Tulsa; many of the city's 
manufacturing plants are located here. 

The Fraxkhoma Pottery Plant (visitors welcome; open wor\ days, 
8-4), 12.7 m., manufactures a native clay ware named in honor of its creator, 
John N. Frank, a former member of the faculty of the University of Oklahoma 
(see Norman). 

SAPULPA, 15.2 m. (712 alt., 12,249 pop.), a catde-shipping, cotton- 
marketing, and manufacturing city, is also in the center of oil and gas fields. 
Sapulpa's largest field was a part of the rich Glenn Pool (L), which extended 
to within four miles of the town. 

About 1850, Jim Sapulpa, a Creek Indian, came to this point from Ala- 
bama and commenced farming on Rock Creek, about a mile southeast of the 
present site of Sapulpa. Later he started a store in his home, hauling his goods 
by team and pack horses from Fort Smith. 

In 1886 the Frisco Railway built to this point, and for a few years Sapulpa 
was the rail terminus; this laid the foundation upon which the city later 
became an important cattle-shipping center. 

One of the boarding schools maintained by the Creek Indians as a part 
of their well-knit educational system was established here in October, 1893. 
The institution was founded for the Euchees, an alien people who had united 
with the Creeks in their former eastern home and had consequently been 
moved here with them. The language of the Euchees was so foreign and 
unintelligible (even to the Creeks) that all communication between the tribes 
had to be carried on through interpreters. Cut off as they were from their 
neighbors by this linguistic wall, the Euchees were particularly observant of 
customs and traditions. With the passage of the Curtis Act by Congress in 
1898, the Creeks lost control of their schools to the Department of the Interior, 
and in 1928 the maintenance was also taken over by the Federal government. 
Since then, this institution, renamed the Eichee Indlw Boarding School, 
has ofTered instruction in the first four grades to Indian boys of all tribes. For 
higher grades, the boys attended Sapulpa's public schools. 

TOUR 1 225 

The diversified industries of Sapulpa include a milk-bottle factory, a glass 
plant which manufactures tableware, a brick and tile plant, and a meat- 
packing company; all are served by an electric railway connecting with the 
freight terminals of Tulsa. 

PRETTY WATER LAKE (cabins, swimming, fishing) north of Sapul- 
pa, is an attractive vacation resort. 

At Sapulpa is the southwest junction with US 75 (see Tour 9). 

KELLY VILLE, 24.1 m. (764 alt., 647 pop.), is an agricultural com- 
munity; there are shallow oil wells in the surrounding district. 

Just west of Kellyville are the Dance Grounds of the Creek and Euchee 
Indians. Celebrations known as "busks" are usually held here in June and 
July and last four days — the number "4" being sacred to the Creeks (adm. 
25c a person; cameras by permission). On the eve of the first day the celebrants 
purify their bodies with Micco Anija (King of Purgers), the root of the red 
willow, which produces vomiting. The next day is devoted to Indian ball. 
An ox or deer skull is nailed to a tall post, a ball of hide is thrown into the air 
and the players catch it in the cup-shaped ends of their two-foot-long ball- 
sticks, then fling it at the skull. The women frequendy play against the men; 
they are permitted to throw the ball with their hands while the men must 
use the sticks. The Hajo-Banga (Crazy Dance) climaxes the busk; the dancers 
literally "go crazy," no restrictions being placed on their enthusiasm. 

BRISTOW, 39.3 m. (818 alt., 6,050 pop.), followed the pattern of a 
number of towns in eastern Oklahoma in that it began (1897) as a trading 
post on Creek land in the Indian Territory. 

After Oklahoma Territory was opened, the railroads advanced from the 
east, building across Indian Territory to reach the new white domain. Sched- 
uled stops for the trains soon grew to settlements and were platted and 
founded as towns. White civilizations encroached from all sides and each 
white settlement gave it another firm foothold. The Frisco Railway, with its 
terminus at Sapulpa for a few years, extended its route, and Bristow, on the 
line of march, accordingly developed. The town was founded December 23, 
1901, and named for J. L. Bristow, then fourth Assistant Postmaster General. 

Oil and gas in the area around Bristow dominate its business life, and 
many large oil companies have plants or offices in or near the city. 

STROUD, 56.8 m. (905 alt., 1,917 pop.), was founded in 1896, a few 
years after this part of Oklahoma Territory was opened to white homesteaders. 
Since it was only two miles from the Indian Territory and was a large shipping 
point for cattle from the near-by Creek land, it attracted much illicit liquor 
trade. Whisky, denied to the Indian by the government, was often hidden in 
supply wagons of groceries and commodities headed for the Territory; and 
the consumption of liquor by celebrating cowhands who had driven cattle to 
the loading pens was no small part of the town's business. With the advent of 
statehood, however, Stroud's nine flourishing saloons were closed, and the 
place began to develop as a trading center for an agricultural community. Oil 
is an additional industry. 

Stroud is at the junction with State 99 (see Tour 14). 


DAVENPORT, 64.3 m. (840 alt., 975 pop.), was founded in 1903, when 
a group of Southern Methodists, wishing to estabHsh a community, purchased 
a farm and laid out a townsite. In 1924, oil was discovered near by, creating 
the boom sale of eighty additional acres which were platted as town lots. 
Shortly after this hasty expansion, the big Seminole field (see Tour 5) about 
thirty-seven miles due south was opened; and several thousand of the new- 
comers in the area, attracted by greater riches, migrated to Seminole. 

Oil activity is still important, however, with two large gasoline plants 
operating and with the opening of new fields in adjacent areas. 

CHANDLER, 71.2 m. (865 alt., 2,738 pop.), seat of Lincoln County, 
was founded in September, 1891. The town was platted on a series of low 
hills and named for George Chandler, of Kansas, Assistant Secretary of the 
Interior under President Harrison (1889-93). 

Every building in Chandler (with the exception of the Presbyterian 
Church) was razed and fourteen persons were killed in the terrible cyclone 
of 1897. When the small group of citizens who had taken shelter in the 
church emerged, they found that tall trees had been hurled through the air, 
and houses, barns, and animals had been blown across the town. 

Today, Chandler is known as one of the largest pecan-shipping points in 
the nation. A new pecan-shelling plant, to take care of the fast-growing 
industry, is being erected (1941). Among the town's other industries is a 
honey-packing plant. 

A moving picture history of the town was begun in 1904 by Bennie 
Kent, now a veteran newsreel cameraman; the picture is brought up to date 
each year. 

At 104.1 m. is the junction with US 77 (see Tour 10), which unites south- 
ward with US 66 for 21.6 miles. 

A large Roadside Park (picnic facilities), 107.7 m., nestles (L) in an 
unspoiled setting of low, rough hills and sharp ravines shaded by blackjack 
oak trees. 

EDMOND, 107.5 m. (1,200 alt., 4,002 pop.), was first established as a 
watering and coaling station when the Santa Fe Railway was extended into 
the Territory in 1887, and was named for one of the railway officials. It served 
as a shipping point for cattle and as a concentration point for supplies bound 
for trading posts on the Kickapoo and Iowa reservations. In the Run of April 
22, 1889, the townsite was homesteaded. 

Pioneer foresight is apparent in the beauty of the landscaping and natural 
setting of the town; houses are set on deep lawns where there are tall trees 
and many flowers. Edmond is a trading center for the surrounding farms, 
has several small factories, and a towering grain elevator, and is rapidly 
developing a near-by oil field. 

On the east side of town stands Central State College, a coeducational 
school with an enrollment (1941) of 858 students. It was established here as 
the Territorial Normal School in October, 1891. North Tower, the oldest of 
the nine buildings on the campus, was originally built of brick made near the 
college, but when the structure was enlarged it was covered with native red 
sandstone. The Library contains approximately thirty thousand volumes. In 

TOUR 1 227 

the rear of the buildings are tennis courts and a stadium. Stately old elms and 
some twenty other kinds of trees cover the landscaped campus. 

At 111 m. is Memorial Park (L) {see Tour 10). 

OKLAHOMA CITY, 120.8 m. (1,194 alt., 204,424 pop.) (see Oklahoma 
City), is at the southern junction with US 77 (see Tow 10); US 62 (see Tour 
3) and the eastern junction with US 270 (see Tour 5). 

Section c. OKLAHOMA CITY to TEXAS LINE, 155.9 m. US 66 

From Oklahoma City to the Texas Line US 66 passes through a farming 
region, and though some of it lies within the much publicized "dust bowl," 
it is in general reasonably productive. With the planting of trees (which has 
been greatly stimulated by experiences in the shelter-belt zones) and better 
farm practices, wind erosion and sun-scorching of crops will be greatly 

West of OKLAHOMA CITY, tn., US 66 and US 270 (see Tour 5) 
are united for 33.3 miles. 

At the western edge of Oklahoma City is the junction with May Avenue, 
a paved street. 

Right on May Avenue to Wiley Post Airport, 3 m., named for the noted flier who 
was killed in the crash in Alaska in which Will Rogers died. Here, in 1941, was being car- 
ried out a program of pilot training under contract with the Civil Aeronautics Authority. 
Some three hundred students were being trained by sixteen instructors. No passenger service 
is offered at this airport. 

At 4.6 tn. is a large, gray brick building (R), which until recently was 
known as the Home of the Poor Prophet. It was built in 1910 by a real estate 
company which offered it to the state for use as a capitol before the present 
building was constructed. The offer was rejected, and a private school leased it. 
In 1913, Eugene Arnett, an insurance broker, bought the property and named 
it the Home of the Poor Prophet, placing the cement letters of the tide on the 
front lawn. Arnett lived here and attempted to carry out sociological experi- 
ments and reforms; he was considered eccentric and many tales grew up about 
his queer doings. The building is now (1941) dilapidated and abandoned. 

BETHANY, 6.9 m. (1,212 alt., 2,590 pop.), is primarily the home of 
members of the Nazarene religious sect. Under the terms of the town's char- 
ter there are no theaters, billiard halls, or beauty parlors; and the sale of 
tobacco and intoxicants is forbidden. Even billboards advertising these articles 
are banned. 

The Bethany-Peniel College, with an average enrollment of four 
hundred and a faculty of nineteen, was founded in Oklahoma City in 1906 
and moved to its ten-acre campus at Bethany in 1909. It was given its present 
name in 1920 when the Peniel College of Peniel, Texas, was incorporated 
with the original institution. The school specializes in training for the Naza- 
rene ministry; it is, however, nonsectarian and has high school, junior college, 
and college courses. 

Adjoining Bethany on the northwest is the new (1941) Oklahoma City 


Municipal Airport. When the army took over the former Oklahoma City 
field to enlarge it for a bombardment training school and air base {see Tour 
3), this site was acquired and developed into one of the most modern airports 
in the Middle West. It is used by the Oklahoma-owned FkanilT Airways, 
Mid-Continent Airlines, and the coast to coast American Airlines. The new 
Airport represents an expenditure of approximately $1,500,000, of which the 
Federal government contributed some 75 per cent. 

At 9.1 m., a steel bridge spans the northern end of LAKE OVER- 
HOLSER (fishing, boating, picnicl^ing). This seventeen-hundred-acre lake 
with a ten-mile shoreline was created by the damming of the North Canadian 
River in 1916 to furnish a water supply for Oklahoma City, and named for 
Ed Overholser, mayor of the city (1915-18). 

For about six jniles along the east side of the present lake and the 
Canadian River is the Site of Camp Alice, established in 1883 by David 
L. Payne, a Civil War veteran and former member of the Kansas legislature. 
Twice Payne and his land-hungry band of Boomers had attempted to setde 
in the territory that is now the state of Oklahoma. United States troops had 
halted the former invasions, but in April, 1883, Payne, with a caravan of 117 
wagons and 516 men and women reached this spot, setting up Camp Alice, 
also known as Payne's Trading Post. Here the group surveyed and platted a 
townsite and also laid out the site of a capitol for the proposed state which 
they were advocating and attempting to create. The colonists staked out farms 
and began plowing in order to put in crops. In the following month, however, 
a company of United States infantry destroyed the camp and forced the 
colonists to return to Kansas. In 1884, Payne led another group to a site near 
where Blackwell now stands, but again the colonists were removed. Payne 
died in Wellington, Kansas, November 28, 1884. 

Lake Overholser has been approved (1941) as a seaplane base. A float, 
shelter house, and necessary markers have been provided, and the lake became 
the first officially designated seaplane base in Oklahoma. 

YUKON, 13.9 m. (1,298 alt., 1,660 pop.), an agricultural and milling 
center, was laid out in 1891 by the Spencer brothers, who owned the 160-acre 
site. Frisco, a small town of one thousand population, had been established 
near by; but when a railroad was built through Yukon, most of Frisco's people 
moved there. The large flour mills on the eastern edge of Yukon dominate the 
town's commercial life as well as its buildings. 

At 14.7 m. is a junction with a graded dirt road. 

Left on this road, 1 m., to a Spring, once a favorite stopping place for travelers follow- 
ing the old Chisholm Trail {sec Tour 11). 

At 16.9 m. is the junction with a paved road. 

Left on this road to the new (1941) privately operated Air Training School, 1 m., 
where, under a contract with the United States government, men are given primary instruc- 
tion in flying. 

EL RENO, 26.9 m. (1,363 alt., 10,078 pop.), the seat of Canadian 
County, situated not far from the south bank of the North Canadian River, 

TOUR 1 229 

was founded when the Rock Island railroad was routed to the site two months 
after the Run of April 22, 1889. The town derives its name from Fort Reno 
near by (see below). 

Reno City, with a population of fifteen hundred, was located on the 
north bank of the North Canadian immediately after the Run and, conse- 
quendy, expected to have the railway connection. The Rock Island, however, 
changed its plans when the Reno Cityans refused to pay the high bonus asked 
for the line. As a result, the residents decided to move to the new town, loading 
their household goods — even their buildings — on wagons and crude rollers, 
and crossing the shallow, unbridged river. A three-story hotel building, meet- 
ing difficulties, was stranded on the river bed but was operated continuously 
until its removal to more stable ground. 

In July, 1901, El Reno's population increased to approximately 145,000 
— literally within a day — when the Kiowa- Apache-Comanche reservation 
was opened by lottery to white settlers, affording the last opportunity to obtain 
free land in the Territory. Living accommodations were completely inade- 
quate for this sudden influx, but, fortunately, most of those seeking home- 
steads left as soon as the drawing was completed. 

Pioneer Day, celebrated on April 22, is an annual holiday in El Reno. 
Residents dress in 89'er costumes, place historic relics on display, and hold a 
parade and rodeo. 

Marketing, flour milling, shipping, and transportation are the chief 
industries. The main lines of the Rock Island Railway meet here, where the 
railroad maintains district offices and division shops. On the division office 
grounds stands a geological oddity, a petrified tree stump eight feet high, 
which grew in a swamp some millions of years ago. It was discovered in 
1914 by a Rock Island coal-mining crew while sinking a shaft at Alderson, 

El Reno is at the junction with US 81 (see Tour 11). 

At 28.8 m. is the United States Southwestern? Reformatory (visitors 
not admitted). This institution (L), built at a cost exceeding $1,000,000 in 
1934, houses first offenders against Federal law, short-term prisoners, and 
convicts under thirty-five years of age. The buildings are erected around a 
rectangular court in the western section of a thousand-acre tract formerly a 
part of the Fort Reno Military Reservation. 

At 29.1 m. is a junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road, 1.8 m., to Fort Reno, the United States Army's largest remount 
station. The post was originally established to protect the old Darlington Indian Agency on 
the opposite bank of the North Canadian (see Tour 11) from Cheyenne Indian forays. 
During a Cheyenne uprising in 1874, the Darlington agent sent for help to the Fort Sill 
Military Reservation (see Tour 3 A) and to the fort at Leavenworth, Kansas. The Fort Sill 
troops met hostile Indians near the Wichita Agency at Anadarko and could not reach the 
agency, but the soldiers from Leavenworth arrived. Fort Reno was established by these 
troops in July of the same year and named for Union General Jesse L. Reno, who had been 
killed at the Batde of .\ntietam in the Civil War. The Indian insurrectionists were finally 
subdued in March, 1875. Permanent fort buildings were then erected and by 1880 there 
were three hundred cavalrymen stationed at the garrison to oversee the fifteen hundred 
Indians camped near by. For the next five years, the troops were kept busy expelling 


Boomers from the surrounding region; and, in 1889, they guarded the boundary of the 
new land to be opened to settlement. Military supervision was necessary in order to keep 
the Sooncrs from jumping the line ahead of the starting gun. With the coming of the white 
settlers and the allotment of Indian lands, need for troops at this point decreased and the 
fort was abandoned in February, 1908; but, in April of the same year, it was re-established 
as a remount station, where horses are broken and trained for other military camps. 

At 36.5 m. on the main route is the western junction with US 270 (see 
Tour 5). 

At 52.3 m. is a junction with paved US 281- State 8. 

Left here is HINTON, 8 w. (1,650 alt., 842 pop.), where in the first week in August 
a colorful rodeo is held at Kiwanis Park (free swimming and fishing), 8.4 m. This park 
is reached by a road blasted out of steep sandstone walls which sometimes rise as high as 
one hundred feet. A dam forms a lake eight feet deep. Overlooking one bank is a massive 
rock towering 125 feet above the water. Large springs gush from crevices in the rocks, and 
trees stud the canyon slopes. 

Access to KICKAPOO CANYON (S.E. of the park.) and WATER CANYON CN.E. 
of the park) is difficult, except in a few places, because of the steep walls. Near the divide 
between these two canyons, small creeks have cut valleys fifty to one hundred feet wide 
and several miles long, with level floors about two hundred feet wide. Growing here are 
more than twenty varieties of trees and many shrubs, herbs, ferns, mosses, lichens, and fungi. 

WEATHERFORD, 71.5 m. (1,644 alt., 2,504 pop.), is a well-ordered 
trade center for the surrounding agricultural population. It was founded in 
1893 and named for William J. Weatherford, a United States marshal who 
was stationed here during Territorial days. 

In the city is the Southwestern State College of Diversified Occupa- 
tions, founded in 1901 and known until 1939 as Southwestern State Teachers' 
College. Situated on the brow of a hill (R), it has ten buildings and a large 
ampitheater on a sixty-five-acre campus. The change of name was brought 
about by a change in the educational policy of the institution. While the train- 
ing of teachers is still important, emphasis is placed on the study of trades 
ranging from mechanics to beauty culture. 

Indian powwows are frequendy held near Weatherford; a few miles 
south of town is a "stomp ground" where Indians gather in tribal costume 
to stage ceremonial dances. Annually, in September, the dancers perform at 
an Indian fair in the town. 

At 85.7 m. is the Clinton Indian Hospital (R), an institution opened 
by the Federal government in 1933 to care for the sick among the Indian 
population. Most of the thirty beds are occupied by tuberculous patients. The 
three one-story red-brick buildings stand on an eight-acre tract. The Indians 
were at first hesitant to accept the benefits of medical care, but now generally 
welcome the aid offered here. 

CLINTON, 86.6 m. (1,564 alt., 6,736 pop.), is built on a level plain 
within a bend of the Washita River. Upon the opening of the Cheyenne- 
Arapaho Reservation in 1892, the land where Clinton now stands was passed 
up by many who considered it not worth staking out. The town was founded 
in 1903, when the Frisco Railway built to the site and named for Federal 
Judge Clinton F. Irwin. 

Clinton has grown to be an important shipping center for the surround- 

TOUR 1 231 

ing cattle lands and wheat fields. One of the nine camps established by the 
Soil Conservation Service of the Department of Agriculture in an effort to 
check erosion is located here. Because of its high elevation and the dryness 
of the atmosphere, Clinton has two large private hospitals, caring mosdy for 
tuberculous patients; the Western Oklahoma Charity Hospital, at the 
southern city limits, is maintained by the state. 

Clinton is at the junction with US 183 (see Tour 12). 

The State Tuberculosis Sanitorium (visitors by appointment) 87.1 
m., also state-owned and controlled, was first established at Supply in 1917 
but was moved to Clinton in 1919. The large hospital (L) consists of fifty- 
three buildings on an 810-acre tract of ground. Those who are able to do so 
pay for their care. Negroes are admitted to the wards, since there is no segra- 
gated Negro unit. 

At 96.8 m. is a junction with a graded dirt road. 

Right on this road, 0.5 m., is the Clinton Dam and Waterworks, which forms a 
seven-hundred-acre clear-water lake. Around the lake Clinton maintains a landscaped 
public park (picnicking and fishing: free). 

Westward, the route crosses over tree-bordered creeks into a section 
where barren red hills rise suddenly above almost level prairies. 

On the eastern edge of CANUTE, 108.1 m. (1,910 alt., 374 pop.), is 
the Roman Catholic Cemetery (R), in which is a replica of the Crucifixion 
Scene. Surmounting a low hill is a bronze figure of Christ on the cross, with 
the two Marys kneeling below. In the side of the hill, a glass-enclosed 
sepulcher holds the waxen image of Christ. The scene was planned by Father 
Peter Paul Schaeffer, of the Holy Parish; the sanctuary will be the final resting 
place of Father Schaeffer and Frank Flies, whose financial aid made its 
erection possible. 

Canute has only a small residential and business section, but sheet-metal 
cotton sheds and gin houses, spread out on both sides of the highway, indicate 
the town's main industry, cotton ginning. The town was founded in 1902 by 
an independent townsite company. 

West of Canute, the land is rolling and hilly, the soil deep red, and the 
farms have a prosperous appearance. 

At 115.3 m. is a Y-junction with State 34, a graveled road. In the center 
of the plot bounded by the Y is a granite marker, designating 34 as the 
Chisholm Trail (see Tour 11). Actually, however. State 34 marks the old 
Western or Texas Cattle Trail, a later route. 

Right on State 34 is HAMMON, 14.6 m. (1,736 alt., 705 pop.), a farming setdement. 
Right from Hammon on a dirt road to a CHEYENNE INDIAN SETTLEMENT, 16.2 m. 
For a small sum, the Indians will sometimes put on their tribal dress and pose for pictures. 
The group of boarded-up tents and shacks, clustered under the trees, is the old camp of 
Whiteshield, former chief of the Southern Cheyennes. In 1871, Whiteshield went to Wash- 
ington, D.C., as a member of the delegation representing the Cheyenne and Arapaho 
Indians. There, from President Grant, he received a treaty medal, symbolizing peace, agri- 
culture, education, and Christianity. Upon his return, Whiteshield began to live in accor- 
dance with the treaty symbols and became an earnest advocate of civilization, schools, and 


missions. A white and blue cottage, bordered by a picket fence, northeast of the Cheyenne 
settlement, was Whitcshield's home in later life and is now occupied by his relatives. 

ELK CITY, 116 m. (1,926 alt., 5,021 pop.), was originally named 
Busch, in honor of Adolphus Busch, of St. Louis. Because of the similarity of 
the name to that of another post office, it was renamed Elk. City; Elk Creek 
skirts the town limits. 

One of Oklahoma's first co-operative medical ventures is the Commun- 
ity Hospital, located at Elk City, sponsored by the Farmers' Co-operative 
Hospital Association. Doctor M. Shadid, a Syrian-born physician, was instru- 
mental in establishing the institution in which each stockholder — for $25 a 
year — receives all necessary medical treatment for himself and his immediate 

SAYRE, 132.3 m. (1,810 alt., 3,037 pop.), seat of Beckham County, was 
named for Robert H. Sayre, a stockholder in the railroad extended to the city 
at its founding, September 14, 1901. The North Fork of the Red River flows 
along the southern outskirts of the town, its sandy banks affording a natural 
beach for swimming. The area has been developed into a public park. 

Sayre is chiefly dependent on the surrounding rich gas fields and serves 
as a market for broomcorn. It has an oil refinery and a large plant in which 
420,000 burners convert natural gas into carbon black. A weekly community 
sale of livestock and farm utilities is held here. 

Jess Willard, former world's champion prize fighter, once ran a rooming 
house in Sayre. Another famous son, Cjiuseppi Bentonelli (Joseph Benton), 
Metropolitan Opera tenor, was brought there as an infant in 1900. 

Sayre is at the junction with US 283 (see Tour 13). 

Westward for a few miles, there are weed-covered sand dunes and patches 
of gnarled dwarf trees; then the highway descends into a valley where there 
is more vegetation, although most of the land is uncultivated. 

Prior to 1896, Texas claimed the land south of the North Fork of the 
Red River, crossed at 133.8 m.; in that year the United States Supreme Court 
ruled that the southern fork of the Red River was the northern boundary line 
of Texas, and the area between the forks was added to Oklahoma Territory. 

ERICK, 148.2 m. (2,080 alt., 1,591 pop.), was incorporated in 1902 and 
named for Beech Erick, a member of the townsite company. US 66 passes 
between two long rows of widely spaced houses and bisects the eight-block 
business section. The town is surrounded by rich farming lands, catde ranches, 
and a natural-gas field. 

Southwest of Erick is an old Salt Springs, natures gift to early-day 
catdemen. As the beeves were driven north from the Texas ranches each 
spring, many herders made this a stopping-place so that the catde might lick 
the salt. The fresh-water springs which flow through Cox's Cave near by 
made the spot an ideal camping place in that early period. 

Between Erick and the Texas Line, the prairie stretches in shelving levels 
to the west. Most of the land is under cultivation. The wind-mill-like devices 
on the roofs of many of the houses are wind generators, a popular means of 
rural electrification. 

TOUR 1 233 

TEXOLA, 155.3 m. (2,150 alt., 337 pop.), on the Texas-Oklahoma 
border, combines syllables from the two state names to form its own. The 
business section still retains the wooden sidewalk awnings — supported at the 
curb by iron or cement posts — that were in general use during pioneer days. 

At 155.9 m. US 66 crosses the Texas Line, fourteen miles east of Sham- 
rock, Texas (see Texas Guide). 

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Tour 2 

(Fort Smith, Ark.) — Gore — Muskogee— Tulsa — Enid — Alva — Guymon 
—Kenton— (Raton, N.M.); US 64. 
Arkansas Line to New Mexico Line, 603.9 m. 

Roadbed intermittendy paved with concrete and asphalt; also graveled. 

The Missouri Pacific R.R. roughly parallels route between the Arkansas Line and Muskogee; 
the Katy, between Muskogee and Cleveland; the Frisco, between Pawnee and Alva; the 
Santa Fe between Alva and Buffalo; the Katy between Gate and Boise City; and the Santa 
Fe to the New Mexico Line. 
Good accommodations available at short intervals, except west of Cherokee. 

Marked by great variety of landscape, climate, and population, US 64 
crosses Oklahoma from east to west, the longest highway in the state. Near 
the Arkansas border it is shadowed by the verdant Cookson Hills; then by 
the timber along the beautiful Illinois River; then it crosses the Arkansas and 
Cimarron, rivers that are occasionally turbid floods but more often litde more 
than wide ribbons of blowing sand. 

As it continues westward, the route climbs slowly and steadily to higher, 
more arid country, where trees are scarce and burning summer winds threaten 
the crops. It edges the Great Salt Plains, now a wildfowl refuge, runs the 
length of the Panhandle, impressive in its barrenness, and finally passes the 
high, dry Black Mesa in the extreme west. 

Varied, too, are the personalities and appearance of the towns through 
which the route passes, from the earliest Indian settlements to those that were 
mushroom camps within the memory of men who are (1941) scarcely past 
middle age. 

For forty miles, roughly from the Arkansas Line to Gore, US 64 follows 
the Cherokee "Trail of Tears," broken by the exiles from Georgia and Ten- 
nessee during the two decades from 1819 to 1839. 

Among those who have given character to the region through which the 
route passes are such diverse figures of history as Washington Irving, the 


efifete traveler who found that he could also rough it; Loughridge, hardy 
missionary to the Creeks; Sam Houston, pausing for three years between his 
Tennessee and Texas careers; Kit Carson, who by mistake established a 
frontier fort within the boundaries of Oklahoma; Dull Knife, the Cheyenne, 
and Bacon Rind, the Osage, figures out of an almost legendary Indian past; 
and the Dallon Hoys, brothers who made oudawry a life work and train- and 
bank-robbing a trade. 

Section a. ARKANSAS LINE to TULSA, 135.6 m. US 64 

Crossing the ARKANSAS LINE, m., at the Arkansas River immedi- 
ately west of Fort Smith, Arkansas (see ArJ{ansas Guide), US 64 approaches 
the rough Cookson Hills of the Ozark region. There are camp sites along the 
highway or near small clear streams, and in spring and summer the hills are 
covered with flowers; the pines furnish greenery throughout the year. 

MULDROW, 9.8 m. (478 alt., 638 pop.), is a rural community and 
market center. 

At 15.8 m. is a junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road to the Home of Sequoyah, 7.5 m., standing on an elevation a few 
hundred feet from Skin Bayou Creek. A large two-story stone building, constructed as a 
WPA project, completely encloses the small log cabin built by Sequoyah himself about 1830 
and contains rooms and alcoves in which are exhibited relics and documents related to Se- 
quoyah's life and to the Cherokee Nation. The surrounding ten acres were deeded to the 
Oklahoma Historical Society, which sponsored the work of preserving the site. 

Sequoyah, whose English name was George Gist, was a half-blood Cherokee. A 
silversmith, soldier, and manufacturer of salt at various times during his life, he is better 
known throughout America as an influential tribal statesman and an educator who be- 
stowed upon the Cherokees the greatest addition ever made to the culture of a primitive 
people. When Sequoyah first conceived the idea of his syllabary he was thought to be pos- 
sessed of evil spirits, and his fellow tribesmen picked a group of warriors to try him. After 
a week of trial, all of the jury had learned to read and write by Sequoyah's system, and he 
was vindicated. 

As a leading man of the "Old Settler" Cherokees who migrated west before the 
forced removal, Sequoyah signed the Act of Union with the "Newcomers" on July 12, 1839. 
He was voted a literary pension by the Cherokee Nation for his invaluable work, but died 
before he received the first payment. The Cherokee Nation also presented him with a medal, 
which he wore on a chain around his neck for the rest of his life; it appears in the portrait 
of him by the artist, Charles Bird King, now in the Smithsonian Institution at Washington. 
D.C. The giant Sequoia trees of California were also named for him, and his statue, by 
George Julian Zolnay, stands in Statuary Hall in the national capitol at Washington, D.C. 
Fittingly, Sequoyah was chosen as one of the world's twelve alphabet inventors to be repro- 
duced in bronze on the great doors of the Library of Congress Annex designed by Lee 
Lawrie, of New York. It is interesting to note that ten of the other characters chosen arc 
mythological: T'sang Chieh, Nabu, Brahma, Cadmus, Tahmurath, Hermes, Odin, Ogma. 
Itzamna, and Quetzalcoad. 

SALLISAW, 22.6 m. (531 alt., 2,140 pop.), once a trading post and a 
camping site, is now the center of a rich farming district. French trappers 
named the place Salaison, meaning salt provision or salt meat, because of the 
large deposits of salt near by. 

Near Sallisaw in the Cherokee-Cookson Hills, the many spring-fed 

TOUR 2 235 

streams afford excellent fishing. Sallisaw, Little Sallisaw, Big Skin Bayou, 
Greasy, and Vian creeks are all easily accessible and contain many kinds of 
fish, including the Kentucky or spotted bass, a bronze and gray fighter. The 
State Game and Fish Commission has built a number of low-water dams 
in this district. 

In Sallisaw is the junction with US 59 (see Tour 15). 

VIAN, 33.8 m. (545 alt., 941 pop.), is an agricultural community nesded 
in the foothills of the Cookson Hills area. 

At 34.9 m. on US 64 is a junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road, up a steep slope, is an old Salt Spring, 3.2 m., once the source of 
supply for a large salt factory near by. In the vicinity of this spring is a ridge road that over- 
looks the Illinois River (see Tour 16) to the west. 

At BOX, 8.2 m., a very small settlement, is a junction with a winding country road. 
Right on this road to the summit of BLACK GUM MOUNTAIN, 10.5 m., where the Kee- 
Too-Wah Society of the Cherokee Indians holds its annual Sacred Fire Ceremony on July 19 
(visitors welcome). The ceremony expresses what is generally accepted as the original 
Cherokee myth. The Great Spirit gave the sacred fire to the Cherokees, who were to keep it 
perpetually burning. The priests or kji-ta-ni were to tend the flames, but designing ones 
among them stole it. For this crime, all priests were executed; thus all primal religious prac- 
tices were closed to the Cherokees since the tenets had been kept alive only verbally as 
priest succeeded priest. Some authorities hold the derivation of the name Cherokee is 
a-che-la (fire) and ah-gi (he takes). 

The Kee-too-Wahs, whose organization is both ancient and secret, brought the sacred 
fire from Georgia, according to members of their fullblood clan, and have kept it burning 
in the hills ever since. Their aim is to perpetuate tribal tradition and history. The member- 
ship is said to be six thousand. 

Scene of the ritual is a broad, two-acre clearing centered by a great pile of ashes, the 
accumulation of years of ceremonial fires. Seven brush arbors surrounding the ash mound 
represent the seven original clans of the Cherokees, consolidated after their removal to 
Indian Territory. Building of the fire, smoking of the peace pipe, and feasting fill the day 
from dawn to dusk, when all circle the fire in a lively dance. 

Just east of the bridge, over the Illinois River, 40 m., stands the Fish 
Camp (L), which is flashed on the screen in the movie version of Grapes of 
Wrath, shordy after the Joads started their long trek to California. Tourists 
will be surprised at the realization that they have just passed through the area 
named as the locale of the beginning of the Grapes of Wrath tale. For there, 
instead of dust storms and tenant farming, one finds well-wooded hills, an 
abundance of water, and not much farming. 

Near the east bank is the site of the Cherokee town, TAHLONTEES- 
KEE (R), which served as a meeting place for national councils and law- 
making bodies from 1828 to 1838. This was an "Old Setder" council ground, 
named for a former chief. 

At 42 m. is the junction with State 10, an improved dirt road. 

Right on State 10 through a section dotted with the cabins of an isolated group of 
Indians. The majority of these people are fullblood Creeks who became members of the 
Cherokee tribe. While yet in their eastern homes, they opposed removal to the new Indian 
Territory and fled to the Cherokee Nation. Later, when the Cherokees were also forced to 
move, these adopted sons and daughters continued to live with them. Scattered among them 
are a few Natchez, members of a tribe which is usually regarded by ethnologists as extinct. 


The Natchez were almost exterminated by the French in Louisiana, but some escaped, 
found refuge with the eastern Creeks, and were eventually moved to Oklahoma. 

At BRAGGS, 13 m. (520 alt., 392 pop.), is a junction with the improved earth road; 
(R) here to the Cookson Hills Playgrounds (lodge, cabins, hat lung, boating), 16 m., a 
thirty-two-thousand-acre recreation area, owned by the Federal government and supervised 
by the Soil Conservation Service of the Department of Agriculture. The cabins and other 
buildings are of native stone and comfortably modern; the project was completed late in 

The surrounding wooded hills arc an ideal setting for the ninc-hundrcd-acre GREEN- 
LEAF LAKE, which is the focal point of the playground. It abounds in fish, since the 
several mile-long fingers jutting out from the main body of water to curl around the bases 
of the hills furnish ideal spawning grounds. Near-by GREENLEAF MOUNTAIN has been 
a favorite ball field for the Cherokees and Creeks for more than a century. The Indian game 
— which combines features of baseball, basketball, and football — is played with two sticks, 
with oval netting at one end. The player must catch the ball in the net and pitch it to hit 
the goal at the top of a forty-foot pole. Among the hundreds of Indian paintings by George 
Cadin, nineteenth-century artist, there are several of this strenuous game. 

GORE, 42.9 m. (480 alt., 334 pop.), on the east bank of the Arkansas 
River, appeared on a map by GuilHaume de Lille, a French explorer, as 
Mentos or Les Mentous in 1718. A succession of name changes followed 
when settlement of this district took place. The town was called Campbell 
when it was a stop on the stage line between Fort Smith and Fort Gibson. 
When the railroad came through in 1888, the name was changed to Illinois. 
After statehood, it was called Gore, in honor of one of the United States 
Senators from Oklahoma. 

It was to this Cherokee settlement that Sam Houston came in 1829, after 
his resignation as governor of Tennessee. By a special act of the Cherokee 
Council in 1829 at Tahlonteeskee, Houston was formally adopted by the tribe. 
Houston took an Indian wife and remained in the vicinity several years (see 
Tour 8). 

Right from Gore on a dirt road, to the Site of a Salt Works, 7 m., on Saline Creek. 
Bean and Sanders, partners in the business, operated the works here in 1820. From the 
one hundred huge kettles of salt water kept boiling most of the time, the refined salt was 
taken to a warehouse just above the falls, where it was stored until keel boats carried it 
down the river to Arkansas and Louisiana. A few years later, after the Cherokee removal 
to this part of Indian Territory, Walter Webber, a wealthy mixed-blood Cherokee, acquired 
this land by evicting the former owners and took over the salt works. A friend of Sam 
Houston and of the missionaries, he gave land and money to help in the re-establishment of 
D wight Mission (see Tour 15). 

WEBBERS FALLS, 44.7 m. (479 alt., 486 pop.), was named for Webber 
and for the falls in the Arkansas River which are now hardly more than a 
riffle across the channel, though they were once several feet high at a normal 
stage of the river. 

In WARNER, 55.9 m. (570 alt., 391 pop.), a farming community, is 
the Connors State Agricultural College, which was established in 1908 
as a preparatory school. In 1927, the curriculum was extended to include 
junior college courses. The school has a well-equipped 225-acre experimental 

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TOUR 2 237 

Left from Warner on the graveled State 2 is PORUM, 11 m. (583 alt., 502 pop.), 
once the home of Tom Starr, ardent supporter of the treaty faction during the turbulent 
days of the establishment of the Cherokee Nation. He was a half-blood, Irish and Cherokee, 
and had five sons, one of whom became the husband of Belle Starr. Dissension between the 
"Old Settlers" and "Newcomer" Cherokees, arising from the fact that one party had signed 
the Removal Treaty with the United States, broke into open warfare with a series of brutal 
assassinations. Among those of the treaty party who were killed was Tom's father, James 
Starr. Tom set himself the task of killing as many of the antitreaty faction as possible. The 
war became so intense that the Cherokee government, not able to capture or kill Tom, made 
a treaty with him. Provisions of the act gave $100,000 and complete amnesty to Tom to end 
his bloody activities. This is said to be the only treaty with an individual in the history of 
the Cherokee Nation. To avoid further trouble, Starr moved to the Canadian River near 
Briartown, fulfilled his part of the agreement, and became a leader in the community. 

Right from Porum on a dirt road to a junction with a second dirt road, 4.5 m.; left 
here to a junction with a third road 8.7 m.; right here to Belle St.\rr's Grave, 9.7 m. The 
crypt is a small stone mausoleum on the north bank of the broad Canadian River. Though 
her Missouri parents were respectable and wealthy. Belle became a notorious woman outlaw. 
In the Civil War she became a Confederate spy, during which time she made the acquain- 
tance of the James and Younger boys. Her first marriage was to Jim Reed, one of Quan- 
trill's men, and after he was killed by officers of the law she married Sam Starr, son of Tom 
Starr, and setded on a farm on the Canadian River near Eufaula and not far from her future 
final resting place. Their home became a rendezvous for outlaw friends, and both met 
violent deaths. 

At Warner, US 64 turns sharply north (R). 

In MUSKOGEE (Mus-ko'-gee), 77.1 m. (617 alt., 32,332 pop.) (see 
Muskogee), are junctions with US 69 (see Tour 8) and US 62 (see Tour 3), 
which unites westward with US 64 for 15.4 miles. 

Right on a graveled road from the junction of 40th Street and the Kansas- 
Oklahoma-Gulf tracks, to a V junction with two improved roads, 2 m. 

Left to the Japanese Garden (priuate: apply lo caretaker), 1.2 m., where Japanese 
plants and flowers are supplemented by native Oklahoma plants. Gateway, wells, lanterns 
of stone and wood, temple bells, and bridges combine to create a picturesque reproduction 
of the Far East. 

Right from the V junction to the Site of the Tullahassee School, 6 m. This, the 
largest of the three Creek Nation mission schools, was established in 1850 by Rev. R. M. 
Loughridge, a Presbyterian minister who was under a contract with the tribal government; 
the other missions were at Bixby and Coweta. The list of graduates from the school in its 
prinie reads like a roll call of the future Creek tribal leaders. The school was damaged 
during the Civil War when much of the surrounding country was laid waste; but the 
Creeks repaired the plant and operated it until it was destroyed by fire in 1880. It was 
then rebuilt and used by the Creeks through die rest of the tribal period for the education 
of their Negro freedmen. 

TAFT, 86.9 m. (605 alt., 772 pop.), is an all-Negro community which 
grew up because of the large number of Negro freedmen who setded near the 
confluence of the Arkansas and Verdigris rivers shordy after the Civil War. 
The United States required the Creeks to adopt their former slaves as citizens, 
and many allotments in this district were given to Negroes, who were thus 
listed on the rolls of the Creek Nation. The original townsite was platted on 
sixteen acres, purchased from a freedman, and named in honor of a prominent 
Negro, W. H. Twine. Later the town was renamed for President William 
Howard Taft. 


At 87.3 m. are (R) the State Deaf, Blind and Orphans' Home for 
Negro Children, founded in 1909; and the State Training School for 
Negro Girls. At 87.7 m. is the State Hospital for the Insane (L.), 
opened in 1933. All three organizations were consolidated under one adminis- 
tration in 1935. The $500,000 hospital building has twelve wards accommo- 
dating fifty inmates each. The four hundred acres of land belonging to the 
institution produce a large part of the food supply and provide pasturage for 
the institution's dairy cattle. Peanut butter, broom, and canning factories are 
operated on the grounds, adding greatly to the revenue. 

At 92.6 m., is the western junction with US 62; US 64 turns northwest. 

HASKELL, 97.6 m. (620 alt., 1,572 pop.), is an agricultural trade center, 
named in honor of the first governor of Oklahoma, Charles N. Haskell 

Southeast of Haskell is the site of the old Blue Creek Mission of the 
pre-Civil War days. Chief Pleasant Porter, elected head of the Creeks in 1899, 
was born in this vicinity. President McKinley once called Porter the greatest 
living Indian of his time. His beneficent work among his people continued 
until his death in 1907. 

Right from Haskell on graveled State 72 through a historic region of the former Creek 
Indian Nation. The highway crosses the ARKANSAS RIVER, 8 m., and then follows the 
course of Coweta Creek, on whose banks the Coweta division of the tribe settled, to Coweta 
Mission Site (R). Here the Reverend Robert M. Loughridge established the first of three 
missions in 1843; he preached and his wife conducted a boarding school for the children 
of the near-by Creek families. The mission grew in size and holdings, but its buildings were 
burned during the Civil War and never replaced. Northeast of the site of the church, 
Loughridge, his young wife, and their baby, Olivia, are buried in an abandoned hillside 
cemetery, the headstones long since fallen and covered with debris. 

The Coweta Ceremonial Grounds (L) was the scene of many solemn councils in the 
nineteenth century. Four brush arbors for the accommodation of spectators and participants 
surrounded a square where the ceremonial fire was kindled. Near by was a ball ground 
where men and women played the Indian ball game for recreation, and also (R) the ball- 
ground reserved for formal, and always strenuous, games between towns. 

COWETA, 10.2 m. (625 alt., 1,455 pop.), is on the site of the early setdement named 
by the Creeks for their famous town in Georgia before the removal to Indian Territory. 
At that time, the Creek Nation was a confederacy formed by the union of semiautonomous 
towns. Governmental functions were divided into "peace" and "war" activities, with the 
towns classified as "white" or "red" according to the function. Coweta was the leading 
"red," or "war," town and the scene of many important treaty councils. When the tribe 
migrated to the West, members of Coweta Town settled here in the valley of the Arkansas; 
and the white setdement which gradually supplanted it has perpetuated the ancient name. 

The tradition of the towns has never passed from the memory of the Creeks. When 
they adopted the white man's system of agriculture, they gradually moved out from these 
compact settlements to individual farms, but they continued to recognize the town organiza- 
tion as a social, ceremonial, and governmental unit. Even though they are scattered through- 
out Oklahoma at the present time, all Creeks remember their town affiliation. 

These tribal traditions and institutions were almost completely wiped out by the domi- 
nation of the white man and the adoption of the Indians into American citizenry. However, 
the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act, passed by Congress in 1936, authorizing groups of 
Indians to incorporate for the purpose of acquiring land and carrying on collective activides, 
is sympathetic toward the traditional forms. The ancient Creek town organization formed 
the basis for the newly created chartered associations. 

Near Coweta (L) is the Site of the Coweta District Court, where the Creeks 
dispensed justice, sentencing and punishing almost simultaneously. Whipping was the most 
common punishment for all offenses. 

TOUR 2 239 

At 113.9 m. is the junction with an improved county road. 

Right to the Site of Wealaka Mission, 5 in., on the south bank of the Arkansas 
River. Founded by the Creeks in 1881 with Rev. R. M. Loughridge as superintendent, the 
mission w^as built on land once belonging to Chief Pleasant Porter. The chief is buried not 
far from the site. The mission served as a Creek tribal school during and after Territorial days. 

BIXBY, 114.9 m. (649 alt., 1,291 pop.), established in 1893, quieted down 
after an early history of oudawry to become a prosperous agricultural center. 
It was named for Tarns Bixby, chairman of the Dawes Commission, created 
by Congress in 1893 to close out the affairs of the Five Civilized Tribes. 

At 131.3 m. is the junction with 41st Street on the southern edge of Tulsa. 

Left on 41st Street to Tulsa's First Post Office, 1.1 m., marked by a red granite 
stone bearing an inscription and the date of establishment, March 25, 1879. The building 
(private) originally was the home of George Perryman and was the headquarters of the 
Figure-4 Ranch. Lumber and material for its construction were hauled in wagons from 
CofJeyville, Kansas. Though some changes have been made and some materials replaced, 
the moss-covered foundation blocks, the brick flues, sills, wainscoting, molding, and six- 
inch flooring still remain. The sills were hewn by hand, then mortised; the walls covered 
with canvas, then papered, when the building was first erected. 

It was in the spring of 1 878 that the Post Office Department decided to extend service 
from Fort Smith westward to the Sac and Fox Agency. A post road was routed and a post 
rider delivered mail once a week to the Perryman house. Josiah C. Perryman, a brother of 
George and one of the most respected citizens of the Creek Nation, was appointed post- 
master. When the Frisco Railway came to Tulsa in 1882, the post office was moved from 
the Perryman home to a store near the tracks. 

TULSA, 135.6 m. (700 alt., 142,157 pop.) (see Tulsa), is at the junction 
with US 66 (see Tour 1), US 75 (see Tour 9), and US 169 (see Tour 9A). 

Section b. TULSA to ENID, 1263 m. US 64 

West of TULSA, m., are many towns which grew from early Indian 
settlements. The highway follows the Arkansas River for about twenty miles, 
skirts the southern edge of the Osage reservation, and crosses the Pawnee 
reservation and the Cherokee Outlet. 

SAND SPRINGS, 7.6 m. (700 alt., 6,137 pop.), is an industrial city (R) 
that began as an unusual philanthropic venture. 

The business section of Sand Springs, where a Creek settlement was 
located in 1833 and named Adams Springs, in honor of a prominent Creek 
family, is six-tenths of a mile (R) from the main highway. The sandy springs 
in the near-by Osage Hills gave the city its present name. 

Washington Irving, in his Tour on the Prairies, relates that he first saw 
the Cimarron River (or, the "Red Fork of the Arkansas River," as he termed 
it) from a hill called Beattie's Knob, north of present Sand Springs. 

In 1907, Charles Page, oil millionaire, bought a 160-acre tract of land, on 
which he built a home for widows and orphans, and connected it with Tulsa 
by an electric railway. Industrial interests began locating here and, in 1911, the 
city of Sand Springs was platted. Today (1941), approximately eighty-five 
industries operate in the Sand Springs area, making it an important suburb 
of Tulsa. 


Pace Memorial Library (open weel{days: 1-9 p.m.J, 3d and Main 
Streets, was built by Mrs. Page as a memorial to her husband, who died in 
1926. The $100,000 structure, buff stucco with bronze trim, is modern in 
design and houses ten thousand volumes. Across the street from the library 
is Trlxngle Park, a small plot of ground in which stands a life-size bronze 
statue of Page, with smaller figures of orphans looking up to him. The group 
is the work of Lorado Taft. 

Right from Sand Springs on 1st Street to Sand Springs Home Interests, 2.1 m., 
founded by Page to provide for orphans and needy widows with children. The property 
now includes sixteen thousand acres of farm land and a four-story modern building, afford- 
ing accommodations for one hundred orphans and fifty widows. Many of the city's industries 
are owned by the Home Interests, income derived from them going toward the support of 
the institution. The farms supply much of the home's foodstuff. 

Right, from the western boundary of the Home Interests, on an oiled asphalt road 
through a gateway, 0.9 m.; left to SHELL CREEK, 3.3 m. In the four D.\lton Caves, 
which line the creek, the Dalton gang is supposed to have hidden after their spectacular 
bank and train robberies. It is said that they buried some of their loot in or near the caves, 
but treasure hunters have never found it. 

At Sand Springs, US 64 turns left at right angles and crosses the Arkansas 
River bridge, 8.2 m. 

At the turn a Creek Burl\l Ground (L), more than one hundred years 
old, has been enclosed by an iron fence and preserved through the philan- 
thropy of Charles Page. 

KEYSTONE, 19.6 m. (684 alt., 406 pop.), is now a quiet farm com- 
munity with the usual stores, churches, and schools, showing no traces of its 
saloon-infested frontier past. 

Keystone was first settled on the south bank of the Cimarron River at 
its confluence with the Arkansas. The Osage reservation was to the north, bor- 
dered by the Arkansas, and the Creek reservation lay just to the south. The 
white man's "firewater," abundant in Keystone, attracted cowboys, farmers, 
and outlaws, as well as the prohibited Indians. 

About 1903, real estate promoters bought two cornfields on the north 
bank of the Cimarron, just across from Keystone. In typical boom fashion, 
they laid out the townsite of Appalachia, pictured in alluring colored maps 
as a busy river port reached by steamboat. The fact that the Cimarron rarely 
has much water except after heavy rains was apparently ignored, for the 
new town began to spring up with saloons in abundance. The enterprising 
promoters and saloon-keepers built a rickety swinging footbridge across the 
river, and hundreds of vehicles and saddle horses waited on the Keystone side 
while their owners spent hours in the new town's more attractive saloons. 
Often, on the return trip, the revelers fell into the chilly waters and many 
sobered up sufficiendy to take the pledge. Appropriately, the footbridge was 
named for Carry Nation, whose temperance campaign was in full swing in 
Kansas at the time. 

A U.S. marshal arrived to keep order at the height of Appalachia's pros- 
perity; instead, he opened a saloon on the Keystone side. Others followed his 
example, and .\ppalachia was soon abandoned. 

Keystone is at the junction with State 33 (see Tour 2.4). 

TOUR 2 241 

At 23.4 m., US 64 turns left, closely paralleling the Arkansas River, which 
here is a wide, sandy stream, bordered by a fringe of timber and low, rugged 

On November 19, 1861, Opothle Yahola, leading a band of approxi- 
mately five thousand Creeks loyal to the Union government, camped at 
ROUND MOUNTAIN (R). Here Confederate troops caught up with them 
and attacked, but Opothle Yahola led his band away under cover of darkness. 
Attempting to reach Kansas and refuge, many died of starvation and disease 
and, as winter closed in, others froze to death. The survivors reached southern 
Kansas about the middle of January, 1862, destitute and with greatly depleted 

CLEVELAND, 3,6.9 m. (740 alt., 2,510 pop.), named for President 
Cleveland, was established by a townsite company shordy after the opening 
of the Cherokee Strip in 1893. The Osage reservation was near by, and 
"going to town" for thousands of Osages meant going to Cleveland; the 
muddy streets were usually lined with their ponies. For some time the bridge 
across the Arkansas River at Cleveland was the only crossing between the one 
at Tulsa to the east and the Kansas Line to the northwest, where the river 
passes out of the state. Cleveland gained the title "Gate City," during this 

Oil fields in the vicinity have produced great quantities of crude oil for 
many years and several gasoline companies are in operation here, but Cleve- 
land has never had the boom town appearance. 

In Cleveland is the junction with State 99 (see Tour 14), which unites 
westward with US 64 for six miles. 

At 48.9 w. is a junction with an improved dirt road. 

Right on this road is BLACKBURN, 6.1 m. (798 alt., 198 pop.), where the annual 
reunion of the Drouth Survivors of 1901 is held on the first Thursday in August. In that 
year, hundreds of people abandoned their farms and homesteads here. Those who stayed 
banded together into an association, and the group — about two hundred — still meets for 
a reminiscent get-together. 

Left from Blackburn, 5 m., on a dirt road, is SKEDEE (833 alt., 235 pop.), named 
for the Skidi division of the Pawnee tribe, and once known as the Crystal Creek Camp- 
grounds. An interesting Collection of Indian Curios (open weelydays: 9-4) is owned 
by Colonel E. Waters; he was an auctioneer during the period of the million-dollar oil 
lease sales in Osage County (see Tour 4) and participated in many of the fabulous deals. A 
concrete statue, showing Bacon Rind, an Osage leader, and Colonel Waters shaking hands 
in a "bond of friendship," stands on the Waters grounds. The sculpture bears little resem- 
blance to Bacon Rind, who was perhaps the most photographed of all American Indians. 

PAWNEE, 57.9 m. (822 alt., 2,742 pop.), originally a trading post, was 
made the site of the Pawnee Agency in 1876 when that tribe was removed 
from their home in Nebraska to new lands in Oklahoma. In 1893, when the 
Pawnees accepted allotments, the residue of their land was opened for settle- 
ment, and the present-day town began to develop. 

Pawnee still retains the flavor of its early days, and blanketed Indians 
are a common sight. On a broad limestone panel above the main entrance of 
the Pawnee County Courthouse, erected in 1933, are carvings depicting 
scenes of pioneer and Indian life. The courthouse square is the center of 
activity on Saturdays and on court days in the spring and fall. 


Tourisis wishing to see "real" Indians are rarely disappointed when 
visiting the Pawnee Agency on the eastern edge of town. It was from this 
center that (General George A. Custer recruited Indian scouts to aid him in 
his campaign against the wild Plains tribes (see Tour 3A). On June 10, 1876, 
Captain Luther North sent a group of scouts from this point to Wyoming to 
serve under Custer. Some (who had been absent at a hunting party at the 
time) set out later; within a few days, they returned to the agency, reporting 
that smoke signals had told them that Custer was dead. Ten days later the 
Pawnee agent received official word of Custer's death. 

Right from Pawnee on asjihalt-pavcd State 18 to LAKE PAWNEE (swimming, 
recreational facilities), 1 m., which covers 305 acres. Five hundred acres around the lake 
have been developed by the town into a park and recreation center, with a large, native 
stone club-house and a fish hatchery. 

On BLUE HAWK PEAK, 59.7 m., stands the rambling brick home of 
Major Gordon W. Little — known as Pawnee Bill — Indian interpreter, fron- 
tiersman, scout, and originator of Pawnee Bill's Wild West Circus with which 
he toured widely for a number of years. Born in Illinois in 1860, Lillie came 
to Indian Territory in 1882 and joined a catde outfit in the Cherokee Strip. 
Shortly after, he became an instructor in the government school at the Pawnee 
Agency; he was a leader among the Boomers, the group of whites who at- 
tempted to settle in Indian Territory before official action by Congress allowed 
them to do so legally. Pawnee Bill's circus ventures took him abroad to the 
World's Fair at Antwerp, Belgium, in 1894; on a successful tour of America; 
and once joined him in partnership with BufTalo Bill ( W. F. Cody) in a show 
called "The Two Bills." 

Old Town, 61.4 m. (no admission), is a group of dilapidated buildings 
representing a typical frontier settlement, erected by Lillie as a commercial 
enterprise. It includes a central trading post. Pawnee council house, log 
cabins, and a Hopi Indian pueblo, which was used as a filling station. In the 
trading post is the old Stag back-bar of solid mahogany, twenty feet long and 
eleven feet high, used in the Two Johns saloon in Oklahoma City. The 
council house is a circular, sod-brick structure with a tapered roof. The herd 
of bufTalo that once was quartered here is gone. The depression wrote finis to 
this venture. 

At 73.6 m. is the junction with State 40, a paved highway. 

Left on State 40 to STILLW.\TER LAKE, 8.6 w. (dancing and picnicking facilities; 
boating, 50c a day; fishing, 25c; hunting, 50c) , which covers twenty -one acres. 

HOOMER L.'VKE, 10.1 m. (boating and fishing, 50c) , is the municipal water supply 
for Stillwater. 

STILLWATER, 12 m. (886 alt., 10,097 pop.) (see Stillwater), is at the junction with 
State 51, an improved dirt road. 

Right on Stiite 51 to a junction, 9.9 ni.. with a graveled road; (R) on this road to 
LAKE CARL BLACKWELL, 13 m. (swimming, picnicking, boating, hunting). 

State 40 continues to the Midget Cattle Farm (visitors welcome), 14.2 m. (R), 
where Otto Gray has developed a small herd of midget milch cows. He started (1931) with 
a freak Angus cow, the four calves from which (sired by ordinary Hereford and Jersey 
bulls) were all midgets. The herd in 1941 consisted of nineteen midget cows and the 
breed has held true for four generations. One of them holds the record of having produced 

TOUR 2 243 

her own weight in milk in eleven days. Others in the herd gave as much as five gallons 
of milk daily; and the milk tests high in butter fat. 

At 21.2 tn. is the junction with State 33 (see Tour 2A). 

PERRY, 85.7 m. (1,005 alt., 5,045 pop.), is a center for the surrounding 
agricultural area and seat of Noble County. On the morning of September 
16, 1893, the first of the Santa Fe special trains entered the Cherokee Strip, 
loaded with eager, shouting land-seekers. The first stop was at a station 
named Wharton, one mile south of the present Perry station. Clambering 
off, the passengers rushed into the already platted townsite, which had been 
designed as a land-office town by the Department of Interior and named for 
a member of the Federal Townsite Commission. They drove their stakes 
into the ground, and the mushroom town of tents and clapboards was born. 

Sooner Land (1929), by George Washington Ogden, a native of Kansas, 
gives a colorful description of the early days of Perry. It tells of the large 
number of Sooners, the fourteen saloons, the many gamblers, and their 
hangers-on which caused the Federal government to send three marshals here 
until a city government could be organized. The wooden buildings of the old 
land office still stand in Government Square Park, but a modern court- 
house, a Carnegie Library, and the rows of parked automobiles now border- 
ing the square eclipse them — the rip-roaring early days are forgotten. 

Perry is at the junction with US 77 (see Tour 10), which unites westward 
with US 64 for 5.6 miles. 

COVINGTON, 103.9 m. (1,141 alt., 780 pop.), was named for John 
Covington, an early settler. When the Arkansas Valley & Western Railroad 
built a station here, Covington asked the railroad officials to grant him this 
honor because, having no sons, he wished to perpetuate his name. 

The Knox-Mulhall Rodeo is held each fall, usually in September, at the 
Knox Ranch, 104 w. 

West of Covington, wheat fields line the highway and the towers of the 
grain elevators in and around Enid are visible. This section is the most pro- 
ductive wheat-raising region in the state. An oil field, extending from Coving- 
ton to Garber (see Industry), was discovered with the drilling of the Hoy 
Well in 1916. 

At 110.9 m. is the junction with paved State 15. 

Straight ahead (north) on State 15 is GARBER, 3 m. (1,148 alt., 1,086 pop.), where 
an annual celebration is held on September 16, commemorating the opening of the Cherokee 
Strip on that day in 1893. Whiskers are coaxed to grow long in the early-day fashion, and 
pioneer clothes make their appearance as the whole town "dresses up" for the occasion. 

ENID, 126.3 m. (1,246 alt., 28,081 pop.), (see Enid), is at the southern 
junction with US 60 (see Tour 4) and US 81 (see Tour 11). 

Section c. ENID to NEW MEXICO LINE, 342 tn.US64 

Between Enid and the New Mexico Line, US 64 passes through an agri- 
cultural section in which the leading crops are wheat and forage; the land, 
especially in the far western Panhandle section, is high and arid. Towns are 
far apart and comparatively small. 


North of ENID, m., US 60 and US 81 unite with US 64 to 19 m., 
where the route turns sharply west. 

At 33.7 m. is the junction with an improved dirt road. 

Right at this point on a scries of dirt roads; (R) at 1 m.; (h) at 2 m.; and (L) again 
at 6 m. to the GREAT SALT PLAINS DAM, 6.5 m.. a $2,000,000 structure started in 1938 
and scheduled for completion in 1941. The reservoir, created by the dam for flood control 
and conservation, has a storage capacity of 317,000 acre-feet of water. When completely 
filled, the lake will extend ten miles up the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River with a maxi- 
mum width of twelve miles, covering all of the area lying within the Great Salt Plains. 
Approximately 19,400 acres — 69 per cent of the total reservoir bottom — is government 
owned and has been reserved as a wild-fowl refuge under the jurisdiction of the Depart- 
ment of the Interior. The remaining ground covered has little agricultural value. Construc- 
tion of the dam reduces the hazard of flood damage in the Salt Fork valley to the south 
and east as well as in the valley of the Arkansas River. Recreational facilities for north- 
western Oklahoma are provided by the project, which will also prove a refuge for migratory 
birds and other wild life. 

Geologists hold conflicting theories as to the formation of the Great Salt Plains. The 
most commonly accepted explanation is that the area was once covered by a great prehis- 
toric sea which has evaporated, leaving the salt bed. Another, advanced by a University of 
Oklahoma geologist, is that the Plains were the result of consistent weathering of a soil that 
does not support enough vegetation to prevent erosion. The soluble salt, laid down in 
geologic formation fifty million years ago, "sweated up" out of the ground or crystallized 
about salt springs fed by water that flowed through salt beds not far from the surface. The 
salt formed a thin, wafer-like crust on the flat surface covering approximately sixty square 
miles, lower in elevation than the surrounding country. The glistening white crust appeared 
to migratory fowl as a vast and welcome expanse of water. When it rained, the salt crust 
dissolved, making it appear an ordinary section of ground; this transformation was dan- 
gerous, however, for the clay and sand beneath the surface became quick. Although com- 
pletely barren, the plains supported four forms of life — two birds, the lestern and the snowy 
plover, and two insects, the tiger beetle and a sea blite. Climatic conditions in the region are 
the most extreme outside a desert; ample spring rains are followed by a long and severe 
drouth when 114° F. is not uncommon. Winter often brings blizzards that force the tem- 
perature to 14° below zero. Salt Springs, feeding the Salt Fork (which winds along the 
north and east edges of the Salt Plains area), flow thousands of gallons of brine daily. 

According to available records, the first white men to see the Plains were those in the 
party of Major George C. Sibley, Indian agent from Fort Osage, Missouri. In 1811, Sans 
Oreille, an Osage Indian, with others of his tribe, guided them to the spot, which Sibley 
called the Grand Saline. The Salt Fork of the Arkansas River, flowing around the plain, 
was known to the Osages as Nescattinga (big salt water). Another early explorer to see the 
Great Salt Plains was Captain Nathan Boone, son of Daniel Boone, who headed a govern- 
ment expedition from Fort Gibson into what is now central Kansas in 1843. Boone described 
the phenomenon as a "lake of white water." 

In drafting the treaty which defined the territory to become the soolled permanent 
home of the Cherokees in 1828, the United States government withheld the Salt Plains 
area with the provision that, "The right is reserved to the United States to allow other tribes 
of red men to get salt on the Great Salt Plains in common with the Cherokee Tribe." 
Possession of the Plains had probably been the cause of many Indian batdes, since its value 
lay not in its salt alone but in the rich hunting afforded by the animals migrating here for 
the salt supply. The Great Salt Plains have thus been the scene of many Indian councils 
both of war and peace. A war council of Plains Indians was called to meet here in 1845 to 
plan concerted opposition to immigrant Creek Indians, whose reservation lay farther to the 
cast. Creek diplomacy and emotional appeal resulted in peace and, thereafter, the councils 
held on this spot were usually of a peaceful nature. 

The commercial value of the salt was highest during the earliest days of the setdemcnt 
of the Indian Territory, when transportation to this wild country was difficult; western 
Kansas and Texas cattlemen sent wagons here to haul away great loads. Near-by farmers 
used the salt for livestock. 

TOUR 2 245 

CHEROKEE, 51.8 m. ( 1,181 alt., 2,553 pop.), the seat of Alfalfa County, 
is a thriving agricultural outlet for the surrounding fertile farm country. 
Wheat, alfalfa, corn, and sorghum are profitable crops for the area, and mill- 
ing is an important Cherokee industry. 

Mrs. Walter (Lucia Loomis) Ferguson, whose daily syndicated column, 
A Woman's Viewpoint, appears in many newspapers, formerly lived here. 
With her husband, Walter Ferguson (d. 1937), former state legislator and 
son of the sixth territorial governor, Thompson B. Ferguson, she published 
the Chero\ee Republican. 

At 54.9 m. is the junction with State 58, a graveled road. 

Straight ahead on State 58 to a junction with graded County Highway 15, 4.5 m.: 
(R) here to the Drumm Monument, 7.7 m., marking the site of the old 150,000-acre U 
Ranch, which Major Andrew Drumm (1828-1919) established in 1874 after moving here 
from southern Kansas. The ranch lay at the confluence of the Medicine River and the Salt 
Fork. Drumm was one of the first catdemen to turn his herds to graze on the plains of the 
Cherokee Outlet, dependent entirely on the grass. When the Cherokee Strip Livestock Asso- 
ciation (see History) was formed, he became the first president. In 1893, the U Ranch, as 
well as other Cherokee Outlet acres, was opened to settlement. A part of Alfalfa County now 
covers this once large domain. 

State Fish Hatchery No. 5, 12.2 ni., was established in 1929 on an eighty-acre 
tract (L). Eleven artesian wells provide water for the twenty -live culture ponds at an 
average temperature of 60° F.; trout are being propagated successfully here. 

At 70.9 m. is the junction with asphalt-paved US 281. 

Right at this point to the junction with a dirt road, 9.3 m.; (R) on this road to Elm 
Springs, 14.7 m. (boating, 25c; swimming, 50c; and fishing 25c). Springs bubble from 
both sides of a small canyon, and the stream thus formed has been damned to make a small 
lake. Early setders and explorers found Indians camping on this spot; councils of war were 
held there and, sometimes, the weird and hideous scalp dance. 

In 1879, Sdth and Walkins, ranchers, established a cow camp at the springs and 
maintained it for several years. The trail, over which supplies for the army were transported 
to Fort Supply (see Tour 12) from the nearest railroad point (Kiowa, Kansas), passed 
through Elm Springs. Thus the springs became a favored camping place. Following the 
Run of 1893, the site of Elm Springs was included in a homestead allotment and has 
changed ownership several times since then. 

At 71.8 m. is Northwestern State College (L), founded in 1897, the 
second oldest normal school in the state. The first building, constructed at a 
cost of $110,000 in 1898, was underwritten by the citizens of near-by Alva, 
then a town only a few years old. This building, called "The Casde on the 
Hill," was destroyed by fire in 1935 and sixty thousand volumes, housed 
there, were also lost. Two buildings, Jesse Dunn Hall and a training school, 
have since been built. General Hugh S. Johnson, NRA Administrator (1933- 
34) and well-known columnist, was graduated here in 1901. His father was 
formerly the Alva postmaster. 

In the college Library is a small brown leather book of forty pages, con- 
taining signs and symbols indicating cattle identification brands registered 
with the Cherokee Strip Livestock Association for the roundup of 1886. The 
book shows approximately six hundred listings for three hundred ranches. 
Two methods of branding were used; one, a running brand of letters, figures, 


or symbols applied with a red-hot poker-like iron, and the other with an iron 
shaped with the trade mark of the rancher. Among the well-known brands 
were: Bar-M, Lazy B, 101, Bar-Turkey-Track, and Mule-Shoe. 

Right from Northwestern State College, on College Avenue, is the business district 
of ALVA, 0.5 m. (1,351 alt., 5,055 pop.), the seat of Woods County. Alva was designated 
as one of the four land-office towns at the time of the opening of the Cherokee Strip (1893). 
Originally a Santa Fe Railway stop, it was named for Alva Adams, attorney for the railroad 
and later governor of Colorado. The town, built around the courthouse square, serves a 
large area as a business and community center. 

Left from the college on US 281 to WAYNOKA, 25.8 m. (1,475 alt., 1,584 pop.), 
an important division point and the second largest railroad yard in the state, with car and 
engine repair shop. As many as four hundred refrigerator cars are serviced here daily during 
the summer months. Waynoka operates its own municipal light and water plants. A park, 
covering approximately twenty-seven acres, with swimming pool, playground, and picnic 
grounds, has recently been completed. 

Waynoka has grown from a railroad siding, known as Keystone, which was established 
here in 1886. The present town, platted in 1893, was named Waynoka by a subchief of the 
Cheycnnes, Man-On-Cloud. 

South and west of Waynoka erosion has taken its toll; sand dunes, evidence of cen- 
turies of shifting of the course of the Cimarron River, extend to the river bed, some six 
miles south of Waynoka. Some of the dunes arc more than one hundred yards wide, with 
steep slopes of from twenty to fifty feet. In its slow movement, the sand covers all vegeta- 
tion, even large trees. Near the river, where the sediment has been washed or blown away, 
roots of trees that sprouted from trunks while they were imbedded in sand are often seen 
a yard or more above ground. The tops of telephone poles, showing from two to fifteen feet 
above the dunes, indicate an old line built along a road running here before the present 
US 281 was surveyed. 

Dull Knife. Northern Cheyenne chieftain, camped south of the Cimarron River in 
1878 with a small band of followers in flight from Oklahoma to their former home on the 
northern plains. After the Custer massacre (see Tour 13) , when the resistance of the north- 
ern Indians had been broken, Dull Knife and his band were brought to the Cheyenne res- 
ervation near El Reno, where they were promised subsistence. Later, suffering from home- 
sickness and illness, the group pleaded to be allowed to return to Dakota. When their 
request was denied, the band of eighty-nine warriors and 246 women and children, led 
by Dull Knife, set out in flight for the north. A skirmish with Federal troops sixty miles 
from the reservation resulted in the death of three soldiers, .\long the way, several setders 
and cowboys were killed, houses were burned, and supplies were confiscated by the des- 
perate Indians. News of the march spread to military outposts and, at one time, some 
twenty-four companies of cavalry and infantry were pursuing the fleeing Indians. Another 
engagement with troops near Fort Dodge, Kansas, turned into a rout for the soldiers. 
Finally, near Fort Robinson, Nebraska, Dull Knife and his group were captured and held 
during the winter. They broke away again and started northward, with the military in 
pursuit. Dull Knife's march has been described as a masterly feat of military strategy, 
although he met defeat finally in Dakota when, surrounded in a snowbound canyon, he 
and his remaining followers were forced to surrender. 

At 97.5 m. on the main route is a junction with State 50. an improved 
dirt road. 

Left on State 50 to FREEDOM, 3.1 m. (1,521 alt., 364 pop.), a farming 

Right from Freedom on a dirt road, 2.4 m.. to the Little S.\LT PL.MN, also called 
the Edith Salt Plain, after the settlement a few miles northwest on the Cimarron River. 
This Plain, three miles wide and extending for twelve miles along the river, is smaller than 
the saline deposit at Cherokee, but still more barren. Except near its edges, no life whatever 

TOUR 2 247 

exists. From a distance, the Plain looks like a roaring rush of water in time of flood. Gypsum- 
capped bluffs to the south combine with the Plain to create a huge mine of exposed mineral. 
Undoubtedly the salt has some commercial value but, to date, ventures to capitalize on it 
have met with failure. In a faintly salty tributary to the east, two microscopic forms of ocean 
life have been discovered, supporting the theory that this spot and the Plains at Cherokee 
once formed the bed of a prehistoric sea. 

State 50 crosses the Cimarron River to a junction with a dirt road, 5.2 m.; L. here to 
the main entrance of rugged CEDAR CANYON PARK. The approach is through prairie 
country, but the park lies in a deep valley between the rough, red-clay walls of a canyon. 
A spring-fed stream tumbles through the wooded gorge. Knives, arrowheads, and primi- 
tive tools of volcanic rock have been found in the region, indicating that it was one of the 
early-day camping grounds of the Indians. 

Just inside the entrance to the park stands a Clubhouse (meals or kitchen and dining- 
room facilities, 50c). Near by is the (so-called) Extinct Geyser Field, where great holes, 
mistakenly thought to be former geyser domes, dot the hillside. The holes, lined with solid 
rock, are pitted with pockets probably formed by water percolating to, and dissolving, the 
gypsum. Geologists believe, however, that these were formed by movement of the deposits 
of salt and gypsum in the underlying beds. Across a small canyon is a Natural Bridge, 
perched at an elevation of nearly nineteen hundred feet above sea level and 150 feet above 
the canyon floor. The perfect arch, forty feet wide and thirty feet high, carved by ancient 
rushing waters through a barrier of solid gypsum, gives a splendid view of Cedar Canyon's 

About 250 yards northeast of the clubhouse is the entrance to the Alabaster Caverns 
(adm. 75c) , also known locally as the Bat Caves. Inside the entrance, a vestibule, lined with 
great slabs and masses of stone blasted from the ceiling, is the start of the one and one-half 
hour trip through the caverns, every foot of which opens upon new scenes of grandeur. 
During portions of the trip the roar of subterranean waters is heard. The visitor ascends 
gradually to the upper reaches and emerges at last on a plateau, where there is a panoramic 
view of the park and the Cimarron River country. 

Millions of bats live in the caves, and between sunset and dusk in summer they pour 
out in a great funnel-shaped black cloud. From the first frost, usually in October, until the 
warm days of March the bats remain hanging to the walls of the caverns without suste- 
nance, waking to squeek in protest only if plucked from their perch. The brown-coated, 
flat-headed mammal is of the Tadaria vtdgaris or common Guano variet)'. 

Large translucent crystals sparkle from the roof of the Milling Chamber, their beauty 
enhanced by colored electric lights. A corridor (R) leads to the crystal -decked Aladdin 
Chamber, in which is a tiny lake of clear spring water. In the Encampment Room, once 
used by the Indians as a meeting place, have been found many arrowheads, lance points, 
ornaments, and pieces of pottery. 

Other features of the caverns are Gun Barrel Tunnel, a round passageway hollowed 
out by a stream of water through the rock; Pulpit Hall, a room decorated with tiny stalac- 
tites; the Bathtub, a concavity in a ledge of solid granite into which a thin stream of water 
falls from a hole in the ceiling; and the White Way, a section of the passage lined with 
fantastic formadons of alabaster, carved by water acuon. Cavities resembling geyser vents 
are lighted by electricity, bringing out the delicate tracings and scroll work. 

Blind Fish Cavern is so called because crayfish, washed into the water through the 
vents and fissures above, become transparent after a short time and many have a growth 
of skin covering their eye sockets. 

The CIMARRON RIVER, crossed at 110.4 m., is almost a mile wide in 
places and is bordered by extensive sand dunes. The high, dry winds of this 
section carry the sand out of the river bed and pile it into white mounds on 
the rolling red prairie. 

At 127.1 m. is a junction with US 183 (see Tour 12), which unites south- 
ward briefly with US 64. 

West of BUFFALO, 128.5 m. (1,791 alt., 1,209 pop.) (see Tour 12), the 
rolling plains are dotted with clumps of sagebrush and cactus; small gullies 


and ravines break the smooth fields, exposing the red clay, which contrasts 
sharply with the green and gray of the grass. 

At 133.6 m. is a junction with an improved dirt road. 

Right on this road is DOBY SPRINGS, 0.3 m., named for an early setdcr, Chris Dobie, 
who staked his claim on the site during the run for the Cherokee Strip lands. Dobie estab- 
lished a ranch there, and his house, built near the artesian springs and still standing, was one 
of the first in this part of Oklahoma; dugouts were the most common abode since lumber 
was difficult to transport. The town of Buffalo acquired the site several years ago, naming it 
Doby Springs Park. The springs have been dammed to create a small lake which furnishes 
the town's water supply and is stocked with game fish (25c fishing fee). Prior to 1874, 
when buffaloes were common, this was a favorite watering place for many herds. 

At 144 m. is the junction with US 283 (see Tour 13), which is united 
westward with US 64 for 4.5 miles. 

GATE, 153.7 m. (2,230 alt., 243 pop.), lies on the western slope of a 
basin, which perhaps held an ancient lake. Northeast of Gate, extensive de- 
posits of silica (volcanic dust), nine feet deep in places, support the theory that 
a volcano was once active in this area (probably in the Mt. Capulin region in 
New Mexico). Approximately one hundred carloads of the mineral are shipped 

North of Gate is Horse Creek, where what is said to be an ancient irriga- 
tion canal, about twenty-five feet wide and five feet deep, runs parallel with 
the stream. In several places all traces have been obliterated by the shifting 
creek channel. The ditch ends abruptly without an outlet, the method of 
irrigation evidently having been to allow it to fill and overflow the adjacent 
cultivated fields. Some authorities believe that the canal was constructed by 
prehistoric peoples. 

US 64 traverses the Panhandle strip where the land is fertile, but crops 
are at the mercy of the elements. Wheat, broomcorn, and forage yields are 
large when drouth and winds temper their fury. Many of the acres, particu- 
larly the broad plateaus with their terraced canyons, are used as grazing land 
for cattle. The familiar "short grass" carpets the level tablelands. Between 
Guymon and the western border, the flat, even terrain creates mirages on a 
wavering horizon. Inhabitants tell of standing in the open and being able to 
see towns many miles away. The Spanish explorer, Coronado, who traveled 
through this section in 1541, spoke with amazement in his report of the 
"level, smooth country," saying that "one can see the sky between the legs of 
the buffalo, and if a man lay down on his back, he lost sight of the ground." 

Tumbleweeds, which grow profusely here, are blown about by the wind 
and pile against houses and outbuildings. On especially windy days, sand 
swirls over the fields, burying seeds and young plants deeply, and justifying 
the term "dust bowl," with which the Panhandle has been tagged. Tumble- 
weeds (1923), a historical novel by Hal G. Evarts, describes the Cherokee 
Strip and the Panhandle. 

This narrow strip of land was possessed successively by various govern- 
ments, for awhile ignored and called No Man's Land, and finally added to 
Oklahoma. Maps of the state which, for economy's sake, show the Panhandle 
as a separate section tacked on in waste space to the side or bottom are unpopu- 

TOUR 2 249 

lar with the residents; and many of the schools in the section refuse to use 
them. The people who pioneered in the Panhandle probably suffered and 
"sweated" more than those who broke the virgin sod in other parts of Okla- 
homa, for theirs was a constant fight against the elements. The progress of 
the whole section was measured by inches of advance as each man toiled to 
make a home. A plaintive verse sung by these pioneers shows both their 
struggle and the spirit in which they met it: 

Pickin' up bones to keep from starving, 
Pickin' up chips to keep from freezing, 
Pickin' up courage to keep from leaving. 
Way out West in No Man's Land. 

In this jingle, "bones" and "chips" are relics of the buffalo. 

At 180.6 m. is the junction with US 270, a graveled highway. A Monu- 
ment TO CoRONADo (L), a three-ton granite boulder, has been erected here by 
the Colonial Dames of America. 

Left on US 270 to BEAVER, 6.6 m. (2,493 alt., 1,166 pop.), the seat of Beaver County 
and onetime capital of the "Territory of Cimarron." A sod building, erected here in 1879, 
served as a store for cattlemen driving their herds across Beaver Creek on the way to the 
markets of Dodge City, Kansas. 

The peculiar conditions which left the Panhandle without legal government brought 
about the formation of the "Territory of Cimarron" in 1887 — an earnest effort by the 
people who had setded there to bring a semblance of law and order to No Man's Land. 
The convention for its formation was held at Beaver, and this town was named its capital. 
The Federal government never recognized the territorial organization; the Organic -Act 
of 1890 automatically dissolved it and added the entire section to Oklahoma Territory as 
Beaver County. When Oklahoma became a state, the Panhandle was divided into three 
counties, with the eastern one retaining the name of Beaver and Beaver as its county seat. 
One of the earliest white man's newspapers published in Oklahoma and the first in this 
section of the state was issued in this town in 1886 as the Beaver City Pioneer (see News- 

In 1910, the Wichita Falls & Northwestern Railroad bought options on land six miles 
north of Beaver with the intention of extending their line to that point and of founding a 
town at the terminus. This the company did, creating the present town of Forgan; but 
Beaver citizens, in the meantime, had obtained articles of incorporation to build a rail- 
road to forestall the devastating effect which the prospective town would exert on their 
business. The proposed road was eventually to connect with Meade and Englewood in 
Kansas; but its slow construction, carried on with small contributions of both money and 
labor from practically every Beaver citizen, took many months to cover the six miles to 
Forgan. During this period the road was offered as a gift several times to the Katy corpora- 
tion, which had taken over the Wichita Falls & Northwestern, but the offer was refused. 
Profitable wheat trade during the first World War brought prosperity to the struggling 
litde line, however, and it was extended into Texas and Cimarron counties. The Missouri- 
Kansas-Texas Railroad shordy afterwards paid more than $2,000,000 for the Beaver, Meade, 
& Englewood Railroad, a line which had been offered as a gift some fifteen years before. 

Beaver is now an important shipping center for the widespread wheat farms to the 

FORGAN, 181.9 m. (2,565 alt., 428 pop.), which looms up on the clear, 
unbroken prairie from miles away, is a center for the farming section lying 
between the Cimarron and the North Canadian rivers. Most of the surround- 
ing acres are planted with wheat. 

The town was named for James B. Forgan, a Chicago banker who helped 


finance the Wichita Falls & Northwestern Railway (now operated by the 
Missouri-Kansas-Texas), the first railroad to enter Beaver County. The town- 
site was laid out and its sale promoted by the railway company. 

TURPIN, 203.9 m.. BAKERSBURG, 212.9 m., and HOOKER, 222.9 
m. (2,984 alt., 1,140 pop.), are farm communities surrounded by miles of 
level wheat fields and isolated houses. 

OPTIMA, 233.9 m. (3,090 alt., 69 pop.), is on the site of a prehistoric 
village representing an ancient culture about which little is known. Within 
the vicinity are the privately owned ruins of at least six slab-lined pit houses. 
Considerable study has been given to the largest of these by the department 
of anthopology of the University of Oklahoma, and a large collection of fossil 
bones is in the university's Museum of Paleontology. 

Texas County's largest individual industry is the General Atlas Carbon 
Company Plant, 240.1 m., located on the Rock Island Railway, which paral- 
lels the highway here. The plant normally produces a carload a day of carbon 
black, used in the manufacture of rubber and as a pigment in ink and paint. 

GUYMON, 242.1 m. (3,125 alt., 2,290 pop.), on a flat plain in the ap- 
proximate center of the Panhandle, serves the surrounding farm country as a 
trading center. It is the seat of Texas County. 

One of the largest and most colorful annual events of this section is the 
Pioneer Day Celebration held here on May 2, the anniversary of the passage 
of the Organic Act of 1890, which made the Panhandle a part of the Terri- 
tory of Oklahoma. Pioneers from the entire region, and many from Kansas 
and Texas, gather to parade, participate in the rodeo, and eat the barbecued 
buffalo meat that is served free to all comers. 

An erosion control project here under the supervision of the U.S. Soil 
Conservation Service demonstrates proper methods of soil treatment in the 

Left from Guymon on paved US 54 is GOODWELL, 11 m. (3,218 alt., 360 pop.), 
home of the Panhandle Agricultural and Mechanical College, established as an agri- 
cultural school in 1909. The course of study was later extended to include the regular college 
schedule. The school owns and maintains 720 acres of land which it uses as an agricultural 
experiment station. Four main buildings and three dormitories (two more are now under 
construction) comprise the college plant; 640 additional acres are maintained as a livestock 
farm, with modern dairy equipment. 

In the Museum, in Hughes-Strong Hall, data and collections relating to the history of 
the Panhandle are displayed. The museum, sponsored by the No Man's Land Historical 
Society, which took it over in 1934, is operated on a co-operative loan basis; individuals 
lend and borrow material at will. 

At TEXHOMA, 22 m. (3,486 alt., 577 pop.), just north of the Texas-Oklahoma Line, 
a thousand or more of the town's residents and neighboring farmers gather for an annual 
Rabbit Drive in the third or fourth week of October. Forming a twenty-mile circle, they 
close in at a set time, corral many rabbits, and shoot a number of wolves and coyotes. A 
rodeo, barbecue, and a wild-cow milking contest usually close the day's events. 

Two prominent structures stand out on the plains as one approaches 
BOISE CITY, 303.4 m. (4,164 alt., 1,144 pop.)— the two-story, red-brick 
Cimarron County Courthouse in the center of the town square, and a tall, 
black water tank flanking the residential section. 

TOUR 2 251 

Westward the level Panhandle land gives way to a rugged terrain, char- 
acteristic of New Mexico. 

At 304.3 m. is the junction with State 3, a graveled road. 

Right on State 3 to the intersection with the old SANTA FE TRAIL, 8.7 m. Hardy 
early-day pioneers broke the trail to connect Santa Fe, New Mexico, with Independence, 
Missouri, the starting point for overland travel to the West. 

Impatient at its length. Captain William Becknell set out in 1822 to find a short cut, 
accompanied by thirty men and a caravan of mules, horses, and "prairie schooners" loaded 
with merchandise. He was warned of the danger of the Cimarron desert — the stretch 
between the Arkansas River in southwestern Kansas and the Cimarron River in Oklahoma 
— which was waterless except in the rainy season, when the shallow creek beds carried their 
temporary burden to one of the two wide, sandy channels. The party's water supply soon 
became exhausted after leaving the Arkansas and pointing toward Santa Fe. The men and 
animals were slowly dying of thirst when Becknell shot a buffalo and on cutting into its 
stomach found about three gallons of fresh water, indication that the animal had drunk 
recently. After an hour's ride, the caravan reached the Cimarron, filled their water kegs, 
and returned to the Arkansas River and the regular route. However, other travelers and 
wagon trains soon began using the short cut. 

The government surveyed the Santa Fe Trail and found that by 1860, the peak year 
of traffic over it. three thousand wagons, seven thousand men, and sixty thousand mules 
were using the route annually. Heavy traffic continued until after the Civil War. 

Ruts made by wagons, driven three abreast as a defense against possible surprise attack 
by Indians, are still visible along portions of the old Trail. Near Fort Nichols, three paths 
— ten feet in depth and twenty feet wide — run side by side, cut by the passage of thousands 
of heavily laden wagons. In 1875, upon completion of the Santa Fe Railway line through 
Kansas and Colorado, partially paralleling the trail, use of the route was discontinued. The 
old Trail is described in Commerce of the Prairies (1844), by Josiah Gregg. 

At 318.5 m. on US 64 is a junction with a graded section line road. 

Left on this road to a junction with a second graded road, 1 m.; R. here through 
WHEELESS POST OFFICE, 6 m., an isolated postal station serving the few residents of 
the surrounding area, to a junction with an unimproved dirt road, 8 m.: R. here to the 
Site of Fort Nichols, 10.2 m., established by Kit Carson in 1865, by orders of the War 
Department. Carson was directed to locate the fort in New Mexico near the 1 03d meridian 
as a protection for the users of the Santa Fe Trail, but he selected a site (L) on a high 
knoll, on the banks of Carrizzo Creek, about four miles east of the present Oklahoma-New 
Mexico boundary. Rocks for the walls and barracks were brought from the creek bed; the 
stone floor of the barracks building and of the headquarters building are still visible. The 
rampart wall is also still standing, though it is now (1941) only six feet in height at the 
highest point, for near-by farmers have carried away many of the smoothed stones for 
their own use. A pile of rocks outside the eastern wall identifies the sentry tower which 
commanded a wide sweep of the plains and of the Santa Fe Trail. 

At 329.8 tn. on the main route is a junction with an improved dirt road. 

Right on this road (following signs) to HALLOCK PARK, (cabins, dancing, picnick- 
ing) 8.1 m., consisting of ten thousand acres of canyons and mesas, part of which has been 
developed for recreation purposes. A clear creek has been dammed to form a swimming 
pool. Of the 120 springs which gush forth here, several are the source of streams, affording 
abundant water for the campsites. Along the face of a sandstone bluff (six feet high and 
more than a quarter of a mile long), facing northeast, is a series of Pictographs, startling 
in their color contrast of blue paint against the sandy rock. They depict Indians, in crude 
fashion, at their various daily activities. There also are many figures of animals; among 
them, bears, deer, antelope, coyotes, and beavers can easily be discerned. 

At 330.7 m. is a Dinos.\ur Quarry (R), burial ground of many mighty 
monsters who roamed the earth during the Jurassic age, more than ten million 


() K L A H O M A 

years ago. Erosion uncovered the spot sufficiently so that workers have been 
able to remove many fossils intact. A WPA project has l>een digging, cleaning, 
and classifying the bones before shipment to the University of Oklahoma (see 
Norman), where they are reconstructed into skeletons for classwork and dis- 
play. Four types of the prehistoric animals have been excavated, of which the 
Brontosaurus — measuring seventy feet in length and about sixteen feet in 
height and weighing some thirty-six tons when alive — is the largest. This 
species together with the Stegosaurus, almost its equal in size, and the Orni- 
thopoda, a giant lizard species, were herbiverous, but the Allosuurus — the 
fourth type brought to light — was a flesh-eater. Surmounting the entrance to 
the quarry is a concrete cast of the six-foot long femur (upper thigh bone) of 
a Brontosaurus. 

The Sphinx or Old Maid Rock, 331.7 m., 200 yards (R), is a curious 
formation, carved by the elements from the point of a sandstone bluff. A 
magnificent figure, it stands out boldly against the blue sky above the mesa 
in the background. 

At 334.1 m. is a junction with an unimproved dirt road. 

Right on this road is the Natural Arch, 3>.7 m., in the bottom of a wide canyon north 
of the Cimarron River. The opening of this white sandstone arch — twenty feet high and 
eight feet wide — was probably formed by the constant battering of sand and wind. There 
are no other rocks or ledges of similar color or composition within a radius of eight miles. 

At 338.3 w., us 64 crosses the Time Zone Boundary Line, dividing line 
where travelers going west turn back their watches one hour for Mountain 
Time while those facing east add an hour for Central Standard Time. 

KENTON, 339.5 m. (4,349 alt., 250 pop.), nestles in a high valley under 
the shadow of lava-capped Black Mesa to the northwest. Before statehood, 
Kenton was a roistering saloon town known as the Cowboy Capital. It was 
platted and laid out as a townsite in 1892 by a nephew of P. T. Barnum. The 
name, Kenton, is a variation of Canton (Ohio), for which this settlement was 

At a filling station here is displayed the so-called Skeleton of a Pre- 
historic Basket Maker, estimated to be more than a thousand years old. 
The bones were unearthed in a near-by cave, which has since been called the 
Basket Maker's Cave. 

Right from Kenton on an improved dirt road to a junction with a second dirt road 
2 ryi.; L. here to BLACK MESA, 3.9 m., a plateau capped by lava deposit from an extinct 
volcano. The lava cap, underlaid with Dakota sandstone, ranges from twenty to seventy 
feet in thickness and extends some forty miles into Oklahoma from the New Mexico line. 
In the center of the mesa is the highest point in Oklahoma, 4,987 feet above sea level, 
designated by a marker of lava fragments and concrete, and topped with a piece of rose- 
colored granite from the quarry at Granite (see Tour 13). The summit of this almost mile- 
high plateau was formerly a camping place for Indians; many arrowheads have been found 

The old Penrose Trail to Fort Lyon, Colorado, began at Black Mesa and extended 
northwest into Colorado. In the fall of 1863, General W. H. Penrose surveyed this route 
for the purpose of transporting a ficldpiecc for an assault against a bandit fortification near 
the Mesa, known as ROBBER'S ROOST. Later the Penrose Trail was used by adventurers, 
and, in the 1870's, by cattlemen who had settled in the valleys of the Arkansas and Cimar- 

TOUR 2 253 

ron rivers. This trail and others of its kind did much to facilitate the settlement of the West; 
along their routes were fresh-water holes and sheltered sp)ots, without which neither man 
nor beast could have endured the long marches over the untamed and ruthless lands. 

At 4 m. on the main side route is the Devil's Tombstone, a towering slab of brownish 
sandstone twenty feet high, eighteen inches thick, and twelve feet wide. A hole, worn by 
constant battering of the elements, is at the bottom of the huge formation and exactly in 
the center. Sightseers frequently photograph each other peering through the opening, the 
finished picture making it appear that the face is imbedded in the rock. The rock is, accord- 
ing to compass findings, set in true directions; the flat sides face north and south. 

At 342 m., US 64 crosses the New Mexico Line, ninety -eight miles east 
of Raton, New Mexico (see New Mexico Guide). 

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Tour 2 a 

Keystone — Gushing — Langston — Guthrie; 80.3 m., State 33. 

Roadbed concrete-paved. 

The Frisco Ry. parallels route between Keystone and Mannford; the Santa Fe between 

Drumright and Guthrie. 

Good accommodations at frequent intervals. 

State 33 crosses the northwestern corner of the former Greek Nation, 
traverses for some fifteen miles the old Gushing-Drumright oil field, passes 
some of the hundreds of huge steel oil storage tanks that make this the largest 
tank-farm area in Oklahoma. The route passes through a region of low 
wooded hills for some thirty miles, then climbs to the prairie upland north 
of the Gimarron River, crosses that river, and rises again to wind through red 
highland farms and orchards. 

State 33 branches southwest from its junction with US 64 (see Tour 2) 
in KEYSTONE, m., (684 alt., 406 pop.) (see Tour 2). 

Taking its name from Mann's Ford on the Gimarron River, MANN- 
FORD, 6.6 m. (740 alt., 403 pop.), was built on land formerly owned by 
Tom Mann, who established the ford. It is the trading point for a consider- 
able farming community. 

The old Berryhill Farm, near the southern edge of Mannford, opened 
up by a citizen of the Greek Nation, was at one time a hide-out for the oudaw 
Dal ton gang; and it is believed locally that large sums of money taken from 
banks by the Daltons are still buried somewhere on the farm. 

A large projecting shelf of rock (R) is known as D.\lton Gave, 7.4 m. 
It was, according to local belief, the place where a half-blood Greek Indian 


named Tom Bartee hid and fed ihc Daltons when they were pursued by 
United States deputy marshals after their raids. 

At 21.9 m. is the northern junction with State 99 (see Tour 14), which 
unites with State 33 for 10.5 miles. 

At DRUMRIGHT, 29.3 m. (866 alt., 4,303 pop.) (see Tour 14). is the 
southern junction with State 99; State 33 turns sharply west. 

GUSHING, 38.9 m. (940 alt., 7,703 pop.), was founded in 1892 on the 
old Turkey Track Ranch in the northern part of the Sac and Fox territory, 
and was named for Marshall Gushing, private secretary to John Wanamaker, 
then Postmaster General of the United States. It was incorporated as a town 
in 1894, and as a city in 1913. 

The discovery of the rich Gushing oil field in 1912 marked the begin- 
ning of the town's swift expansion; by the end of 1915 there were 710 wells 
in this field producing seventy-two million barrels of oil annually. To care 
for this enormous output, twelve refineries were built at Gushing and near 
by; on the prairies of the region more than seven hundred huge steel tanks 
capable of storing nearly thirty-nine million barrels of oil were erected in 
groups called tank farms. Gushing also became the center of a vast system of 
pipe lines laid to gather oil from the wells and carry it to distant refineries — 
some as far away as the Adantic seaboard. 

Gushing's loss of 1,598 in population between 1930 and 1940 was due to 
the waning importance of oil. Its present (1941) status is that of a supply 
point for a large farming and ranching area, and an industrial center. Gheap 
natural gas, an abundant water supply from a three-hundred-acre municipal 
lake, and a municipal light and power plant are among Gushing's indus- 
trial assets. 

A high school and seven grade schools, including one for Negroes, and 
one parochial school; a municipal auditorium seating eighteen hundred; an 
eighteen-hole golf course; fishing, swimming, and tennis courts; a new flood- 
lighted athletic field; a modern gymnasium for the Negro school; one daily 
and two weekly newspapers; and a splendid new public library costing $80,- 
000 — these are in the 1941 picture of Gushing. 

As echoes from the roaring boom days in the big Gushing oil field are 
heard such tales as that of the drunken tool pusher who looked the town over 
and told the crowd who had gathered around him, "You got new buildin's 
here; you got new stores an' new churches; an' I'm goin' to start a 
new graveyard!" But when he attempted to carry out his promise, the ham- 
mer of his six-gun caught on his belt and he shot himself in the leg. 

At 48.2 m. is the junction with a paved road. 

Right on this road to RIPLEY, 2.4 m. (812 alt., 415 pop.), a farming settlement; R. 
from Ripley is the ghost town of INGALLS, 3.2 tn., named for John J. Ingalls, United States 
senator from Kansas (1873-91). The few remaining buildings arc falling into ruins, and 
the streets are overgrown with grass. Most noticeable of the decrepit relics is the former 
Trilby Saloon, the interior of which is bulkt scarred. The Doolin and Dalton gangs of 
outlaws sometimes retreated to Ingalls after their raids. Following the attempted robbery 
of two banks at Coffeyville, Kansas, in 1892, when three of the bandits were killed by the 
citizens of the town, Bill Doolin and Bill Dalton came to Ingalls and then reorganized their 
forces in a cave near the Cimarron River. 

TOUR 2A 255 
At 54 m. on State 33 is the junction with a paved road. 

Left on this road to PERKINS, 1 m. (829 alt., 728 pop.), serving a farm area. The 
town was established at the time of the opening of old Oklahoma to settlement in the Run 
of April 22, 1889. An Old Settlers' Celebration is held here annually, September 22-25, 
with dances, barbecues, pony races, and bow-and-arrow shoots. 

At 2 ni., immediately after crossing the Cimarron River, is a junction with an unim- 
proved dirt road; L. here to a junction with a second unimproved road, 6 m.; R. to the 
Iowa Indian Community House, 7 ni., where the spring and fall green corn dances and 
other Iowa Indian dances and festivals are held; visitors are admitted. 

At 54.9 m. is the junction with State 40 (see Tour 2). 

On the grounds of a country school, 57.9 m., is a Washington Irving 
Marker (L) placed by citizens of Payne County to commemorate Irving's 
passage in 1832. An actual camp site of the Irving party, unmarked, is said 
to be in the middle of what is now (1941) a field of alfalfa about 1.5 miles 
northwest of the marker near the north bank of Wild Horse Creek. 

It was here, as readers of Irving's Tour on the Prairies will learn, that the 
author and his companions had their first exciting experience in capturing 
wild horses. 

State 33 crosses the CIMARRON RIVER, 65.9 m. 

Once named Iowa City, COYLE, 66.5 m. (866 alt., 440 pop.) was first 
located two miles northwest of its present site, and was moved when the 
Santa Fe Railway built through in 1900. The principal street of the town is 
over-arched by fine elm trees. Two cotton gins are supplied by the cotton 
grown in the good river bottom farms that lie between the town and the river. 

On the upland prairie, LANGSTON, 68.1 m. (962 alt., 514 pop.), is 
the all-Negro town founded in 1890 by E. P. McCabe and named for the 
Negro educator and member of Congress (1890-91), John M. Langston, of 

As early as 1885, the movement to establish an all-Negro community — 
possibly a state — was started by S. H. Scott, a Negro lawyer of Fort Smith, 
Arkansas. After the 1889 Opening, McCabe, who had been State Auditor of 
Kansas, promoted the town at the present site, and it is said that at one time 
its population exceeded two thousand. It shrank radically when the Negroes 
who had been attracted to the town by McCabe's enthusiastic words had ex- 
hausted their savings and found it impossible to earn a living here. Many' — 
including McCabe, who became deputy auditor of Oklahoma (1907-08) 
— moved on to Guthrie, the territorial capital. 

Langston University (for Negroes; visitors welcome) was authorized 
by the Territorial legislature in March, 1897. Supported by the state and by 
Federal funds under the Morrill Act and the Smith-Hughes Act plus gener- 
ous grants from the General Education Board and the Rosenwald Fund, the 
university's biennial budget has ranged from $81,000 to $397,000. Its aggre- 
gate enrollment (1940-41) was 1,050 in the college, high school, training 
(elementary) school, extension and correspondence courses; the faculty num- 
bers seventy-six. 

Gradually and steadily, the physical plant of the university has grown 
and been improved until it compares well with any other in the state. In all, 


eighteen buildings are used for school work. Trees, which were lacking for 
a long time, have been planted and are now large enough to remove some- 
what the impression of barrenness suggested by the simple red-brick buildings 
set on a prairie ridge. Besides remodeling and landscaping, recent additions 
are a Science and Agriculture Building, an industrial workshop, two barns, 
and an addition to one of the two men's dormitories. With the exception of 
the campus, the four hundred acres owned by the university are all under 

Dr. G. L. Harrison, who holds a Ph. D. degree from Ohio State Univer- 
sity, is now (1941) president. He is successor to other able Negro educators 
who have built up the university to its position as one of the best Negro 
institutions in the country. 

Langston has consistendy carried out the program suggested in the act 
creating the school: to train teachers, to give instruction in industrial arts, and 
to teach the boys to be good farmers. Trades and industrial and electrical 
engineering are emphasized. Military instruction, for which credit in physical 
education is given, is required during the first two years of the college course. 

A library of more than ten thousand volumes is housed in Page Hall, 
a two-story stone and brick building named in honor of Langston's first presi- 
dent. All the usual extra-curricular activities are carried on by the Y's, Greek 
letter fraternities and sororities, and various clubs; The Langston Lion, a 
monthly, is the student publication. 

GUTHRIE, 80.3 m. (1,021 alt., 10,018 pop.) (see Tour 10), is at the 
junction with US 77. 

t^0^2 - ^^"JL ^ - ^^IZ ~ - e5''^2 -- ^^"J- - - ^^"J^ - - ^"^2 . ^— £5"*! 

Tour 3 

(Fayetteville, Ark.) — Muskogee — Oklahoma City — Chickasha — Anadarko 
—HoUis— (Childress, Tex.), US 62. 
Arkansas Line to Texas Line, 418.1 m. 

Roadbed alternately concrete- and asphalt-paved and graveled. 

Route is roughly paralleled between Wcstville and Tahicquah by the St. Louis-San Fran- 
cisco Ry.; between Muskogee and Taft by the Midland Valley R.R.; between Boynton and 
Henryctta by the Kansas, Oklahoma & Gulf Ry.; Harrah to Oklahoma City by the Rock 
Island Ry.; between Bianchard and Chickasha by the Santa Fe Ry.; between Chickasha and 
Lawton by the Rock Island Ry.; between Lawton and Altus, by the St. Louis-San Francisco 
Ry.; and between Altus and the Texas Line by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas R.R. 
Good accommodations available in cities and tosvns. 

No Other route across Oklahoma passes through areas setded by so many 
different nationalities as the twisting path made by US 62. And though racial 

TOUR 3 257 

assimilation has been at work for many years, the essence of those distinctive 
strains still remains. In the east are the hills where the Cherokees for sixty 
years maintained a self-governing Indian nation and built a culture of their 
own. At Fort Gibson, in that nation, was written the military history of east- 
ern Oklahoma from the initial appearance of the Indians of the Five Civilized 
Tribes, through its contacts with the so-called wild tribes of the western 
plains, and the turbulent years of the Civil War when the Five Civilized 
Tribes were split into factions and both Union and Confederate forces at 
different times occupied the post. 

Along this route, too, an aftermath of the Civil War is seen in the Negro 
settlements made by slaves freed by their Indian owners, for in the final liqui- 
dation of the tribal governments these freedmen shared equally with the 
Indians in the allotment of land. 

US 62 crosses the former Creek Nation, passes through its capital, then 
skirts the northern boundary of the reservation to which the Seminoles came, 
reluctantly, from Florida. 

The route, like most long highways across Oklahoma, taps rich oil fields 
and fine farm lands. In its western section, before leaving the state at its 
southwestern corner, US 62 passes through regions of red earth, rock-pitted 
breaks and canyons, high plains, and short-grass pastures that were once the 
hunting grounds of the Kiowas, Comanches, Apaches, and Wichitas. Here, 
if anywhere in Oklahoma, may be seen the Plains Indian not too far removed 
from his native condition; and here, too, are the evidences of his capacity to 
adopt the highest type of civilization. 

Section a. ARKANSAS LINE to OKLAHOMA CITY 215.5 m. US 62 

US 62 crosses the ARKANSAS LINE, tn., thirty miles west of Fay- 
etteville, Arkansas (see Arkansas Guide). 

WESTVILLE, 2 m. (1,128 alt., 716 pop.), is on the edge of the heavily 
wooded area of the Cherokee Hills. Fish abound in the many near-by creeks, 
but it is advisable to employ a local guide (50c to $1.50 a day) to find the 
best holes. During the early 1900's a considerable variety of wild game was 
found in this section, and a crusade to preserve the wild life was begun by 
thirteen local men. In 1922, a chapter of the Izaak Walton League was estab- 
lished here. 

Westville is at the junction with US 59 (see Tour 15), which unites 
briefly with US 62. 

CHRISTIE, 10.8 m. (834 alt., 100 pop.), is a marketing-place for the 
large crop of strawberries produced on near-by farm.s. A co-operative associa- 
tion acts as the selling agency; there is no other local government. 

PROCTOR, 15.9 m. (788 alt., 55 pop.), is a small settlement, named for 
Ezekial Proctor, a Cherokee. 

At the Goingsnake Schoolhouse, which stood on the bank of Baron 
Fork Creek south of Proctor, Ezekiel Proctor was tried, in May, 1872, in a 
tribal court for the murder of Polly Chesterton (see Tour 15). This trial pre- 


cipitated the Goingsnake Massacre. Proctor had surrendered after the killing 
to the sheriff of Goingsnake District of the Cherokee Nation, and Blackhawk 
Sixkiller had been appointed to try the case. Dissatisfied with the Cherokee 
system of prosecution, Chesterton, husband of the victim, filed charges against 
Proctor in the United States court at Fort Smith, Arkansas. Since provisions 
of the government treaty with the Cherokees had guaranteed to them the 
right of trial and punishment of their own people, this action was deeply 
resented. When word was received that Fort Smith officers were coming to 
arrest Proctor, the Cherokees immediately prepared to defend their treaty 
rights by force, if necessary. Everyone present at the trial in the schoolhouse — 
chosen because it could be more easily defended than the courthouse — was 
armed for attack. Without warning, a posse of Fort Smith marshals charged. 
Seven officers were killed, the prisoner and the judge were wounded, and the 
clerk was slain at his desk. 

In reprisal, indictments were returned by a Federal grand jury at Fort 
Smith against twenty Cherokee citizens, who had been at the trial, and all 
the officers of the tribal court. The Cherokees also issued warrants for a num- 
ber of their own tribesmen. Later all indictments were dismissed by the 
United States government. After Proctor recovered from his wounds, he lived 
a law-abiding life even to the extent of being elected sheriff of the Flint Dis- 
trict of the Cherokee Nation, and a member of the Cherokee Council. 

East of the ILLINOIS RIVER (see Tour 16), 29 m., the vegetation is 
thick and green. On the west bank is a cliff called the Point of Pines; its top 
affords one of the most beautiful views in the state. 

TAHLEQUAH, 31.2 m. (864 alt., 3,027 pop.), was chosen as the perma- 
nent capital of the Cherokee Nation on July 12, 1839, when the East and West 
Cherokees met at Takotokah, northwest of Tahlequah, and signed the Act 
of Union. Until 1843, when the present town of Tahlequah was first platted, 
the capital consisted of a council ground and camping site for the delegates 
attending the conferences. In that year, three cabins were constructed in which 
the council, senate, and treasury were housed. 

The Intertribal Council of 1843, which was called by the Cherokees and 
attended by representatives of eighteen tribes, was in session here for four 
weeks discussing mutual problems arising from the removal of the various 
tribes from their former homes. 

On January 8, 1845, a measure was enacted ordering all houses on the 
Public Square to be moved before September 1; on their removal, the main 
streets were laid out and a brick building was erected for the Cherokee Su- 
preme Court. The Cherokee Advocate (see Newspapers), official publication 
of the Cherokee government, was printed here. During a fire in 1874, the old 
building was pardy gutted but was rebuilt shortly after; the Advocate was 
housed in the Cherokee jail during the interim. Located just across the street 
from the southeast corner of the public square, the first Supreme Court 
Building still contains part (mostly the outside walls) of the original ma- 
terials used in its construction in 1845. In the square also stands the old 
Cherokee Capitol, completed in 1869. It now serves as the County Court- 
house for Cherokee County. West of the courthouse and on the grounds of 

TOUR 3 259 

the old square are Statues of W. P. Adair and Stand Watie, prominent in 
Cherokee politics and war, respectively. 

A present-day hotel, across the street (N) from the courthouse square, 
is on the Site of the National Hotel, erected in 1848 as an inn for the con- 
venience of the representatives attending council sessions. The hotel was built 
by a Mormon bishop and two of his followers, who arrived here on their 
way to Texas in 1847. The Mormons were being driven out of the East at 
that time, but these three men had chosen not to accompany the main body 
headed for Utah. In Tahlequah, the bishop attempted to carry on his church 
work but was so deeply resented that he soon left. In another building (im- 
mediately across from the north end of the west side of the square), erected 
in the same year by Mormons, one of the first telephone lines in Oklahoma, 
from Tahlequah to Fort Gibson, was installed in 1886 by Ed Hicks, a Chero- 
kee who still (1941) lives in Tahlequah. 

Down Tahlequah's main thoroughfare, Muskogee Street, in November, 
1855, marched the famous Second Cavalry numbering 750 troopers on the 
way from Jefferson Barracks at St. Louis to Texas, where the regiment was 
engaged in fighting Indians until the outbreak of the Civil War. In command 
was Colonel Albert Sidney Johnson. Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee, sec- 
ond in command, had been detained at Leavenworth, Kansas, on court-mar- 
tial duty and joined the regiment after its arrival in Texas. Among other 
officers of the regiment were Captain Edmund Kirby Smith, Lieutenant John 
B. Hood, and Lieutenant J. E. B. Stuart. 

In 1851, the Cherokees established two schools of higher learning — one, 
a Male Seminary just southwest of Tahlequah, and the other, a Female Semi- 
nary at Park Hill, approximately four miles south of Tahlequah. Both build- 
ings were destroyed by fire — the school for boys in 1910, and the female 
institution in 1887. The latter school, relocated at Tahlequah in that year, 
was purchased in 1909 by the state of Oklahoma to form the nucleus of 
Northeastern State College. The plant comprises six buildings on a cam- 
pus of much natural beauty. 

A separate building on the grounds houses the Northeastern Histori- 
cal Museum, in which numerous Indian relics and documents are preserved. 
Among these are many volumes of the Cherokee Advocate, the national tribal 
newspaper; leather saddle bags and other effects which belonged to General 
Stand Watie; a plow and ox yoke brought here by the Cherokees along the 
Trail of Tears from Georgia; and portraits of Sequoyah and Samuel Houston 
Mayes, a Cherokee chief. A church bell, reputed to be the oldest in Okla- 
homa, is also on display. 

At 35.3 m. on US 62 is a junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road, 0.5 ;»., to the Jane Ross Meigs House (L), built more than one 
hundred years ago for the daughter of John Ross, chief of the Cherokees. Jane, unlike 
her father, had come west with the first migration; when he arrived later, he bought this 
house, which had been constructed some years before, as a gift for her and her husband. 

At 1 m. is a junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road to the Site of Park Hill Mission, 1 m., established in 1836 by the 
Presbyterians as a religious and educational center for the mission and the schools, homes 
for missionaries and teachers, a boarding hall, gristmill, shops, stables, and a printing office 


and book bindery. Samuel Austin Worcester, the first missionary here, brought his printing 
press from Union Mission (see Tour 8) in 1837 and published many works for both Chcro- 
kees and whites. Millions of pages of tracts, schoolbooks, and extracts from the Bible 
(mostly translated into ("hcrokce by Worcester) came from this press before the Mission 
was destroyed during the Civil War. 

Just north of Park Hill arc the ruins of the Cherokee Female Seminary, which was 
established by the national council in 1850. A disastrous fire in 1887 left only parts of the 
walls and the foundation. 

Straight ahead on the graveled road to the Murrell Mansion, 1.2 m., standing in a 
grove (R) of oaks and catalpas. Though now in disrepair, the stately old building was con- 
sidered the finest residence in the vicinity in Civil War days. All the lumber and finishing 
materials were cut from the near-by trees, but most of the furniture was imported from 
France or bought in New Orleans and shipped up the Arkansas and Illinois rivers by steam- 
boat. George Murrell, the original owner, was a prominent merchant and a member of the 
Ross faction of the Chcrokees. Before, and during, the Civil War, the house was the center 
of social activities for near-by Fort Gibson; later it passed rapidly from one owner to 
another, serving at one time as a school. Today (1941) it is occupied at intervals by tenant 
farmers. The spacious piazzas and the portico are gone, but the sturdy foundation beams 
of the house are still in place. 

Southeast of the Murrell Mansion, a quarter of a mile through a field, is the Park 
Hill Mission Cemetery, where Samuel and Ann Worcester, founders of the mission, are 
buried. The old burial ground has long been abandoned; the monuments to the Worcesters, 
however, are still standing and enclosed by an iron fence. The inscription for Samuel 
reads, "To his labors, the Cherokees are indebted for their Bible and hymn book." 

At 1.5 m. on the main side route is the Grove (L) where the Cherokee Confederate 
Treaty was signed in 1861. 

In the Ross Family Cemetery, 2 m., stands the John McDonald Ross Monument 
(L), enclosed by a three-foot stone wall surmounted by iron pickets. A circular shaft of 
white marble, broken at the top to represent life interrupted at its prime (he died at the 
age of twenty-one), marks the grave of a nephew of John Ross, leader of the Union faction of 
Cherokees, who is also buried here. The story is told that Confederate General Stand Watie, 
needing ammunition, remembered the lead balls which decorated the iron palings atop the 
burial wall of the nephew's grave and ordered his men to remove them to make bullets. 
Thus the lead from a Ross grave was used to bring death to members of the Ross faction. A 
few of the ornaments which Watie's men overlooked still remain. 

The Sequoyah Indian Training School, 36.6 m., is a government- 
maintained institution for Indian orphans. By an act of the Cherokee council 
in 1872, the Cherokee Orphans' Home was created and estabUshed near 
Salina (see Tour 8). In 1904 it was moved to this site and, in 1914, sold to the 
Federal government. From the original building and forty acres (which had 
been occupied by the Cherokee Insane Asylum prior to 1904), the present 
Sequoyah institution has grown into a well-equipped plant with thirty-seven 
buildings, 425 acres of land, and an annual appropriation of $100,000 for 
operating expense. 

At 51.1 m. is a junction with an improved dirt road. 

Right on this road to Fort Gibson National Cemetery, 1.1 m. In the circle of 
officers' graves is that of Tiana Rogers, Cherokee wife of Sam Houston. The inscription, 
perpetuating an old error, gives her name as Talihina. 

Another woman who lies in the officers' circle — in a grave marked simply "Vivia" 
— still retains an aura of mystery, for her real story has never been told. The legend — 
probably true — tells of a teen-age girl in love with a soldier, and of her pursuit of him to 
his post at Fort Gibson, where she masqueraded as a young lieutenant. Her sex was not 
known until after her death. It is said that Fort Gibson officials consulted with Washington 
headquarters as to her disposal and were told, "Bury, and say nothing." 

Captain Billy Bowlegs, famous Seminole warrior, lies in this circle of men and women 

TOUR 3 261 

who made frontier histor\ . Monttord Stokes, governor of North Carolina (1830—32), chair- 
man of the Indian Commission (1 830-34;, and the only known Revolutionary War veteran 
to be buried in Oklahoma, is also interred here. 

FORT GIBSON, 52.9 m. (542 alt., 1,233 pop.), a rural community on 
the bank of Grand River, stands on the site of the frontier post, Fort Gibson. 
This was one of the strongest links in the chain of fortifications stretching 
from the north to the south borders of the United States. Until 1857 it served 
as the chief military center for the whole of Indian Territory, and many 
treaties with the Indians were concluded here. 

In October, 1806, Lieutenant James B. Wilkinson, second in command 
of the Zebulon M. Pike expedition, was detailed to explore the Arkansas River. 
With five enlisted men, he set out from the site of the present Larned, Kansas, 
in an attempt to float down the river to its mouth. Freezing-over of the river 
forced the group to follow the banks on foot. At last the party reached the 
mouth of the Verdigris River; then, on December 6, they came to an Osage 
village, situated on the east bank of the Grand River, which joins with the 
Arkansas and Verdigris at this point. This site, recommended by the lieu- 
tenant in his report as suitable for a garrison, was chosen for Fort Gibson in 
1824, when a military post was needed to halt Osage depredations and to 
establish peace along the frontier. Colonel Matthew Arbuckle, who came with 
a part of his troops by boat while others had traveled overland, was in com- 
mand of the building of the fort, which was to serve as a corrununication and 
transportation link between Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Fort Smith, 

In 1834 an important intertribal Indian council was held here. The fort 
was abandoned in 1857, but was reoccupied by Union soldiers during the 
Civil War. Toward the close of the war, six thousand refugee Creeks en- 
camped here on their return from Kansas, where they had fled to seek haven 
with the Union forces. The Fort also sheltered some ten thousand other 
refugees in the immediate neighborhood, most of them Union Cherokees 
who had been harried by the guerilla tactics of the Confederate Cherokee 
general. Stand Watie. Watie, master of this type of warfare, took their food 
and stock, pillaged their homes, and even at one time stripped them of their 
clothing so that the destitute women and children of his own group might 
have sustenance and cover. 

Fort Gibson was, during its heyday, a busy and active place, frequented 
by many whose names are now famous. Jefferson Davis, later president of the 
Confederacy, served here under General Zachary Taylor, who was inaugu- 
rated President of the United States in 1849. Washington Irving, accompany- 
ing an exploring expedition in 1832, camped here, and it was from this spot 
that he started the trip described in his book, A Tour on the Prairies. The sup- 
posed site where his tent was pitched is marked by a slab made from two 
stones, one said to have come from the original barracks building and the other 
from the house once occupied by Jefferson Davis. 

The old Texas Road, with its constant traffic of cattlemen, emigrants, 
freighters, and traders, passed near the fort, but the main communication for 
the troops and the residents of the surrounding country was by means of 


Steamboat navigation on the Arkansas River. French fur traders of the South- 
west made it a center for their business transactions, and supplies for a large 
area were imported and dispersed at this point. 

Fort Gibson was finally abandoned in 1890, and the reservation was 
turned over to the Department of the Interior. Many of the old buildings have 
since been restored — the four-sided square stockade was rebuilt by the 
National Fort Stockade Commission and the barracks by the Oklahoma 
Historical Society. The stone barracks constructed during the Civil War are 
on a hill overlooking the stockade. 

At 53.7 m., the ARKANSAS RIVER is crossed. A few hundred yards 
south of the bridge is the approximate Site of the Old Steamboat Landing. 
The first river boats here were canoes and pirogues (hollowed-out logs); these 
were succeeded by keelboats which relied on manpower, pulling from the 
bank, for motivation. The early steamboats coming up the Arkansas to this 
region usually stopped at Fort Smith and reshipped their cargoes upstream by 
keelboat. In 1824, however, the sixty-ton steamboat, Florence, carrying one 
hundred recruits for the new military post, Fort Gibson, ventured this far. 
Three Forks, as the region was known since it is the confluence of the Grand 
and Verdigris with the Arkansas, became a busy trading area for the next 
fifty years owing to the advance of river traffic. Because of many shoals in the 
river bed, this particular landing was much used since here the water was 
deeper. In February, 1828, the steamboat Facility (117 tons) ascended to this 
point towing two keelboats laden with 780 emigrant Creek Indians; a new 
Creek agency had just been established at Three Forks (see Tour 8). 

River traffic continued to increase, with only a slight interruption during 
the Civil War, and in February, 1870, a government engineer said in his 
official report: "Twenty steamboats now ply between Fort Gibson, Fort Smith, 
Little Rock, and New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. The 
amount of the up and down the river trade received and shipped at Fort Gib- 
son is about 25,000 tons annually, exclusive of Government freight. . . . The 
Government freight received at the same point amounts to about $5,000,000 
annually . . . and merchants expect traffic to double in the next eight months." 
Two years later, however, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad built tracks 
to Muskogee and gradually absorbed the traffic which had been carried by the 
river and the Texas Road. 

For years, Muskogee and near-by towns attempted to obtain Federal 
funds to construct a deeper and more permanent river bed for the Arkansas, 
and reopen river traffic. The increase of soil erosion in the upper drainage 
area of the Arkansas, however, together with the utilization of much of the 
upstream water for irrigation purposes, has so changed the character of the 
river as, to make the plan impracticable. 

The Oklahoma School for the Blind, 62.5 m., is attractively situated 
on a campus (L) of ninety-nine acres. A coeducational school with an enroll- 
ment (1941) of 144 with 23 teachers, it oflfers instruction through the twelfth 
grade, and in singing, piano, and pipe organ. Emphasis is placed on physical 
and industrial training; and it has been found that students are especially apt 
at weaving and piano tuning. There is a boys' orchestra. 

TOUR 3 263 

The school plant of twenty buildings includes the four large cottages, 
two each for boys and girls, where the students live during the nine months 
of the school year. A herd of Holstein milch cows belongs to the school, and 
visitors are invited to watch the milking at 3:30 p.m. In the three months of 
summer vacation, students not required to stay and maintain the plant are 
placed in such jobs as they can do throughout the state. 

In MUSKOGEE, 63.1 m. (617 alt., 32,332 pop.) (see Musf^ogee), are 
junctions with US 69 (see Tour 8) and US 64 (see Tour 2), which unite 
westward with US 62 for 15.4 miles. 

TAFT, 73 m. (605 alt., 772 pop.) (see Tour 2). 

At 78.6 m., US 62 turns sharply south (L). 

BOYNTON, 86.1 m. (620 alt., 842 pop.), was a farming community 
until oil was found near by in the early 1920's. A refinery and a brickmaking 
plant, both since dismantled, were the town's largest industries. 

In OKMULGEE, 106.8 m. (670 alt., 16,051 pop.) (see Okmulgee), is the 
junction with US 75 (see Tour 9), which unites southward with US 62 for 
22.7 miles. 

Right from Okmulgee on paved State 27 to LAKE OKMULGEE, 7 m., the water 
supply for the city. The lake (L) covers 720 acres and is a beautiful recreational spot. 

A Rifle Range (R) was leased by the United States in 1931 to be used for target 
practice by National Guardsmen and civilians. The range provides a running deer target 
and facilities for antiaircraft marksmanship and bayonet practice. 

At 14 w. is a junction with a graveled county road; R. on this to NUYAKA, 16 m., 
a small settlement where Nuyaka Mission was established by the Presbyterians in 1884, 
when the village was a fullblood Creek setdement. Miss Alice Robertson, pioneer state edu- 
cator, secured funds from church women in the East to build the structure and carr>' on the 
religious and educadonal work. Although the Nuyaka school was sponsored and pardy 
supported by the Creek Nation, it remained under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church 
until all Indian schools were taken over by the Federal government in 1898. It was later 
discontinued as an Indian school, and the buildings were sold; one is still standing and is 
used as a residence. 

In 1790, when the Creek Confederation occupied what is now Alabama and a part of 
Georgia, both Spain and the United States were seeking its friendship and commerce. Spain 
was planning to use the Creeks as a buffer state between her possessions and the boundary 
of the United States. President Washington, eager to obtain a treaty and also a cession of 
land, invited twenty-six Creek dignitaries to New York for a conference. They were so 
impressed with the city that, after their return to the Creek land, they named a town New 
Yorker. Since the Creeks soften and scarcely pronounce the consonant "R," the white man 
transcribed the name as Nuyaka. After the removal to the West and the naming of Nuyaka 
Mission, the same spelling persisted; it still refers to New York. 

Nuyaka's square was the scene of prolonged councils in the fall of 1880 and, in the 
summer of 1882, insurrection threatened in the Creek Nation, with this the starting point. 
The administration of justice by the ruling part>' and the cession of a small tract of land to 
the Seminoles was the source of friction, with a group composed mostly of fullbloods 
responsible for the rebellion. Creek soldiers and lighthorsemen, sent to quell the disturbance, 
were inadequately provided with food and helped themselves liberally to the surrounding 
peach orchards — hence the name, the Green Peach War. No real battles occurred and, 
although most of the insurrectionists were finally captured, they were soon freed. 

HENRYETTA, 120.6 m. (691 alt., 6,905 pop.), surrounded by low hills, 
was founded in 1900 when the Frisco Railway built to this point. The city's 
industries include coal mining, smelting, and glass manufacture; the iron 
foundries, smelters, and coal mines are on the outskirts of the town. 


Left from Hcnryctta on a graveled road, 1.5 w;., is the Jack Nichols Rkcreation 
Park, a 640-acre tract whicli includes a lake (fishing and swimming); fifty acres have 
been set aside as a national campground for the Creek Indians. 

At 129 m. is the southern junction with US 75 (see Tour 9). 

OKEMAH, 139.6 m. (882 alt., 3,811 pop.), was opened to white settle- 
ment in 1902, when lots were offered for sale at an auction attended by three 
thousand people. Since there was no railroad, many people walked long dis- 
tances while others came in wagons and on horseback to attend the event. 
Tents were erected, and it was not until several months after the opening that 
the first building was constructed — a one-story structure of bark and poles 
built by Indians. Drinking water had to be hauled at twenty-five cents a 

A barbed-wire fence, completely enclosing the town, was erected during 
these early days as protection from the thousands of longhorn steers on the 
surrounding broad prairies. Strong, self-closing gates, which the animals 
could not push open, were placed at the east and west ends of the present 
Broadway. Today, the former grazing lands have been plowed and planted 
with pecans, corn, sweet potatoes, and cotton — and Okemah is a modern 
town deriving its business from agriculture and near-by oil fields. 

At 151.6 m. is a junction with an improved dirt road. 

Left on this road is the State Training School for Negro Boys, L2 m. Two large 
brick buildings contain the classrooms and dormitories, while separate brick or frame 
structures house the cafeteria, gymnasium, stables, and shops for cobblery, tailoring, car- 
pentry, and machine work. The 140 boys in the institution (ages 10-16) make their own 
clothing and learn trades and farming. Class work is both academic and vocational. 

In BOLEY, 154.1 m. (859 alt., 942 pop.), (R) is the State Masonic 
Temple for Negroes. Once a year, in August, Negroes from all parts of the 
state gather here for a celebration and barbecue. The idea of this all-Negro 
town was first advanced by the president of the Fort Smith and Western 
Railway townsite company in 1903, when the railway was being extended 
westward toward Guthrie. The Fort Smith and Western roadmaster, W. H. 
Boley, was greatly responsible for carrying out the plan and was honored in 
the naming of the town. The location of Boley was particularly chosen because 
much of the surrounding area had been allotted to Negro freedmen listed on 
the rolls of the Creek tribe at the time of the division of the Indian lands. 

PRAGUE, 164.5 m. (992 alt., 1,422 pop.), a farming center, was estab- 
lished in the early part of the twentieth century by a group of Bohemians 
(Czechoslovakians) with the idea of creating a village like those of their 

Though the inhabitants have become completely Americanized in most 
respects, many Bohemian customs have been retained, largely by members 
of such organizations as the Sokol Society and the Western Bohemian Asso- 
ciation. Prague resembles a "Little Bohemia" when the two societies hold 
annual celebrations just before Easter, on the sixth of July, and on Thanks- 
giving Day. Residents appear in their colorful native costumes for a program 
beginning with a noonday feast. Society meetings follow, and a spirited dance 

TOUR 3 265 

ends the day's festivities. Every two months the societies sponsor plays and 
musical programs presented in the Czech language and with "old country" 
settings and costumes. Gymnastics, at which the Bohemians are proficient, 
are the main activity of the Sokol Society. 

Many of the houses here are typically Bohemian — square white or blue 
structures in a setting of cedar trees which partly obscure the front. Entrance 
is usually made by way of the back door, since the front opening leads into 
an ornate and stiff parlor that is rarely used except on such important occa- 
sions as weddings, christenings, or funerals. 

Prague is at the junction with State 99 (see Tour 14). 

MEEKER, 177.8 m. (874 alt., 502 pop.), is a trading center for the sur- 
rounding fertile farm lands, forming the divide between the North Canadian 
River and its tributary stream to the north, the Deep Fork. Meeker is the 
home town of Carl Hubbell, well-known (1941) pitcher for the New York 
Giants baseball club. 

HARRAH, 193.5 m. (1,080 alt., 620 pop.), a farm village, is the birth- 
place of Paul and Lloyd Waner, star players (1940) for the Pittsburgh Pirates, 
National League baseball team. Paul (Big Poison) and Lloyd (Little Poison) 
received their nicknames because, as heavy hitters, they were "poison" to 
opposing pitchers. 

Harrah is at the junction with US 270 (see Tour 5), which unites west- 
ward with US 62 for twenty-two miles. 

At 195.6 w. is a junction with an oil-asphalt road. 

Right on this road to HORSESHOE LAKE (free fishing), 1.2 m., so-named because 
of its shape. The lake, in a verdant setting which has been made a State Game Preserve, 
furnishes water for a large electric generating plant operated by steam. 

At 211.2 m. is the junction with Eastern Avenue (paved) on the out- 
skirts of Oklahoma City. 

Right on Eastern Avenue, to Lincoln Park, 0.8 m., Oklahoma City's largest public 
recreational center (picnicking and camping facilities; children's playground; hiking and 
bridle trails; golf fees, 50c). This park, with its low, tree-covered hills and spring-fed lake, 
was purchased by the city in 1908 but remained unimproved until 1925, when a zoo was 
moved here from another city park. The Zoo covers fourteen acres and contains more than 
five hundred animals. Extensive work on improvements and posting of classifications for 
the large collection of animals has been done in recent years by CCC and WPA workers. 
Monkey Island is one of the most popular spots, for its chattering population furnishes 
entertainment against a background of an old ship's bow projecting above the surface of 
the ground. The funny little animals perch in the rigging and portholes and promenade on 
the inclined deck. Other attractions include the alligator swamp, the bird and reptile cages, 
and the bear pits. As nearly as possible, abodes have been constructed which resemble the 
natural habitats of the animals. 

In OKLAHOMA CITY, 215.5 m. (1,194 alt., 204,424 pop.) (see Okla- 
homa City), are the junctions with US 66 (see Tour 1), US 77 (see Tour 10), 
and the western junction with US 270 (see Tour 5). 

Section b. OKLAHOMA CITY to TEXAS LINE, 202.6 m. US 62 

Southwest of OKLAHOMA CITY, m., the land is gently rolling and 
to a large extent cultivated. The farms are well ordered, and, in many in- 


Stances, the bungalow farmhouse is overshadowed by a commodious hay barn 
and silo, indicative of the productiveness of the section. 

At 8.4 m., on the enlarged grounds of the former Oklahoma City Munic- 
ipal Airport, is the new ( 1941) Army Light Bombardment Training School 
AND Air Base, built at a cost of $2,000,000. Under the national defense pro- 
gram, this unit will be manned by some 350 officers and 4,200 enlisted men for 
flying duty and ground personnel. It is one of the three government bases o£ 
this kind in the United States. 

The nucleus of the base is the old 640-acre flying field and the four stone 
buildings of Indian pueblo design set in attractively landscaped grounds. 

The long Newcastle Bridge, 14 m., spans the South Canadian River. 
Most of the time, the wide, sandy bed is broken only by pools of muddy water 
or, at best, a very narrow channel, completely belying the river's dangerous 
character when rushing waters come tumbling down its course. Thick 
growths of Cottonwood trees line the banks and dot the bed. 

Southward, the land becomes more hilly and has many trees. Where 
the highway has cut through a small hill, the banks reveal the rich red soil 
peculiar to this section of Oklahoma. 

BLANCHARD, 28.9 m. (1,239 alt., 1,139 pop.), was named for W. G. 
Blanchard, who assisted in laying out the site at the founding of the town 
in 1906. 

Near the Washita River crossing, 45.8 m. is the spot where the old Chis- 
holm Trail crossed the river in the nineteenth century. The Trail is practi- 
cally paralleled, today, by US 81 (see Tour 11). During the 1870's, a trading 
post, known as Fred (named for Colonel Frank Fred, who ran a series of 
such posts) was established here. Later the store was moved farther south on 
the Trail to a point where a connecting wagon road brought more business. 

CHICK ASHA, 48.8 m. (1,116 alt., 14,111 pop.), seat of Grady County, 
is a market place for a wide and prosperous farm and ranch region, the home 
of the largest college for women in the state, and an industrial center, where 
cotton, grain, and dairy products are processed. 

A well-built, spreading municipality, its wide downtown streets are bor- 
dered by brick and stone business buildings, old and modern; along the gently 
upsloping residence streets radiating out to the west and south arc trees, some 
planted in the 1890's. Near by, to the north, the Washita River bottom marks 
roughly the boundary between the city and farm lands. 

Before there was a town, the Rock Island had a train stop here (1892). 
The site of Chickasha was included in the "Swinging Ring" catde ranch 
owned by an intermarried citizen of the Chickasaw Indian Nation, the 
western boundary of which was within a few miles of the place. 

The first considerable industrial development at Chickasha was a cotton- 
seed oil mill, and the next was catde feeding pens where the residue from 
the mill, called "cake," was the chief fattening feed for the thousands of steers 
shipped out every month. At one time, more than ten thousand cattle were in 
the fattening pens there. 

When the new town was only a straggling handful of stores and shacks 
in the middle of a cornfield, and corner sports bet on whether or not a team 

TOUR 3 267 

would "pull" the slough at the western edge of the field, the ChicXasha 
Express began publication as a small, four-page weekly in a leaky shack. 
Today (1941) it is a daily of wide circulation, housed in its own substantial 
brick-and-steel building. 

Ten years after its founding, Chickasha had a population of 6,370 and 
became a city of the first class. Its growth was greatly stimulated by the open- 
ing to white settlement in 1901 of the Kiowa-Comanche reservation, which 
adjoined the former Chickasaw Nation on the west. The Rock Island made 
the city a division point and established shops there. More cotton processing 
plants — gins, mills, and compress — were located in Chickasha. 

After statehood, the growth of the city was steady though census figures 
show a population gain of but twelve between 1930 and 1940. Only two 
small oil fields, the Cement and Carter Knox pools with some three hundred 
oil wells, and the Chickasha gas field with 272 wells have (as of 1941) been 
developed in the Chickasha area, but the surrounding farms and ranches 
have continued to maintain the prosperity of the city. The Lindsay neigh- 
borhood, some twenty-five miles to the southwest, is known as the world's 
greatest producer of broomcorn, and much of it is processed and marketed at 

Recreation is provided by the city's Shannoan Springs Park, the munici- 
pal swimming pool, a Softball diamond, tennis courts, picnic and croquet 
grounds, and public and private golf courses. 

The modern three-story-and-basement Grady County Courthouse, is 
a gray limestone building designed along severe lines; and the older Federal 
Building contrasts with it architecturally. The new Senior High School is 
a red-brick structure of modified collegiate Gothic design set in well-land- 
scaped grounds. 

The Oklahoma College for Women, at the southwestern edge of 
Chickasha (S.W. 17th St.), is one of the few state-supported women's colleges 
in the United States. Founded in 1908 by an act of the first Oklahoma state 
legislature, the college grants degrees in liberal arts, fine arts, and science. 
Courses are also given leading to teachers' certificates, and preprofessional 
courses are offered in medicine, law, nursing, and journalism. A teaching and 
executive staff of seventy-eight is required for the 959 students enrolled ( 1941 ). 

Spread over a tree-shaded campus of seventy-five acres on top of a low 
ridge, the college plant consists of seventeen modern buildings, including the 
big Administration Hall, 220 by 214 feet; Fine Arts, Austin, and Physical 
Education Halls, and eight residence halls. Physical Education Hall contains 
a swimming pool, and close by are six concrete-surfaced tennis courts, two 
playing fields for outdoor games, and golf practice putting greens. On the 
college's 140-acre farm an experiment station is maintained by the Depart- 
ment of Biology. 

SHANNOAN SPRINGS PARK {boating, fishing), also in the south- 
western section of the city, is a popular recreational center with a winding 
lake, where rushes and lilies grow in profusion. In the park, too, is the city's 
zoo and a museum of pioneer relics, housed in the old Territorial jailhouse. 

Chickasha is at the junction with US 81 (see Tour 11). 


VERDEN, 58.4 m. (1,136 alt., 575 pop.), stands on the site of a cotton- 
wood grove near the Washita River where in May, 1865, an important inter- 
tribal council was held. Because a majority of members of the Five Civilized 
Tribes had sided with the Confederacy, a reckoning had to be made with the 
Union. Also fresh outbreaks of trouble with white outlaw bands and with 
groups of wild Plains Indians, bent on following the warpath, made the call- 
ing of the council almost a necessity. 

The entire present town of Verden was included in the site chosen for the 
large encampment, called Camp Napoleon. Attending delegates were Con- 
federate-sympathizing members of the Five Civilized Tribes and allied bands 
of Caddoes, Osages, and Comanches who came to treat with representatives 
of the Plains Indians — Kiowas, Arapahoes, Cheyennes, and some Coman- 
ches, Caddoes, and Anadarkos. The peace pipe was passed, ceremonial 
tokens were exchanged, and a compact was adopted and signed. What might 
have been originally intended as a military alliance turned out to be a league 
of peace, for the Indians present realized that their greatest need was to 
establish strength and unity within their own race in order to combat further 
white aggression. Solemnly, in their compact, they recognized their situation; 
that "our vast and lovely country and beautiful hunting grounds, given to us 
by the Great Spirit, and knowing no limit but the shores of the Great Waters 
and the horizon of the heavens, is now, on account of our weakness, being 
reduced and hemmed in to a small and precarious country that we can 
scarcely call our own." Finally and inevitably they agreed that if they were 
to survive, "an Indian shall not spill an Indian's blood." 

This event has been commemorated by the Marker on the Verden school 
grounds (L) facing on US 62, erected in 1931 by the Oklahoma College for 
Women; it reads, "Ancient council fires shall be kept kindled and burning." 

ANADARKO, 67.5 m. (1,190 alt., 5,579 pop.), seat of Caddo County, 
was named for the Anadarkos, a kindred tribe affiliated with the Wichita 

The city was founded on August 6, 1901, when the surrounding Kiowa- 
Comanche and Wichita reservations were opened to white settlement. On that 
day, some twenty thousand people arrived at the previously surveyed townsite 
to await their chance of occupation of the adjacent lands. At least ten thousand 
remained for several months after which the population shrank to three 
thousand. Probably the first business establishment on the townsite was a 
bank, set up in a tent three weeks before the official land opening. It an- 
nounced its mission on a large piece of canvas hung in front of the tent on 
which the names of the directors were painted. Several days before the open- 
ing, trainloads of liquor had been shipped into the town on the Rock Island 
Railway, which had built through while the site was still a reservation. For a 
time saloons and gambling establishments flourished, but the citizens soon 
tired of being bilked and the gamblers were chased away. Business then 
adjusted itself and proceeded normally until the early 1920's when an oil 
flurry brought about near-by oil-field development and the subsequent growth 
of Anadarko to almost twice its former size. The present business section has 
many motlern structures contrasting sharply with the older buildings; one 

TOUR 3 269 

of the latter is the red brick Caddo County Courthouse, Broadway and 2d 
Street, erected in 1907. 

Anadarko is an important trading center for farmers of the Washita 
valley; alfalfa, cotton, wheat, corn, and watermelons are the chief products; 
stock-raising, cotton-ginning, and cottonseed-oil milling are main industries. 

In 1878, the Kiowa, Apache, and Comanche agencies were consolidated 
here with the Wichita office, and the combined organization is still main- 
tained as an active Indiax Agexcy, serving about 4,600 Indians belonging to 
the four tribes and their affiliates. The agency is now (1941) housed in the 
Federal Building, 1st Street and Oklahoma Avenue and employs 150 per- 
sons to handle business involving approximately $1,000,000 annually. On the 
walls of the main floor of the buff-brick building are murals of Indian scenes 
and peoples, drawn in the true Indian spirit by Mopope, a well-kno\Tn Kiowa 

The outstanding annual event is the American Indian Exposition, (adm. 
50c) usually held the third week in August and attended by a great num- 
ber of full bloods from many tribes. Dressed in gaudy native costume, repre- 
sentatives of Wichitas, Caddoes, Tawakonis, Keechis, Delawares, Apaches, 
Comanches, Lipans, Kiowas, and other tribes make the four-day celebration 
a pageant of color. Pony races, bow-and-arrow shoots, scores of unusual cere- 
monial dances, a display of arts and crafts, barbecues, and rodeos make up 
the program. 

Right from Anadarko on asphalt-paved US 281, across the Washita River, is the 
Riverside Indian Boarding School, 1.5 m. founded in 1872. About half of the 2,200-acre 
reserve (L), controlled by the government, is under cultivation by the pupils. In the rear 
of the four large red-brick buildings on the twenty-acre campus are Two Grass Houses, 
typical of those formerly used by the Wichita tribe. The primitive abodes, constructed by 
students, have a framework of trimmed cedar poles imbedded in the ground at one end 
and lashed together at the top forming a dome. Dried reeds and grass woven together are 
used as shingles. The only opening is a low, narrow door. It was the custom for fifteen or 
twenty people to live in each house. 

St. Patrick's Mission School, 69.7 m., for Indian children (R), is 
managed by Father Aloysius Hitta under the supervision of the Federal gov- 
ernment. Father Hitta's home houses a Collection of Indian Art Objects 
(shown by appointment only). The school was established in 1892, by 
Father Isidore Ricklin, on a hill overlooking the site of the agency and the 
future Anadarko. Ricklin, a Belgian, was adopted by the Comanche tribe 
during that same year. The present three-story brick edifice was erected after 
the burning of the original frame buildings in 1909. A Memorial Ch.\pel, 
built in memory of Father Rickin, has a series of brilliant murals on its sloping 
ceiling. The panels, outlining the school's history, were painted by the Kiowa 
Indian artists Asah, Hokeah, Mopope, and Auchiah, while they were students 
at the school. 

Near the mission and along the Washita River (R) is the area called 
TONKAWA VALLEY because it was the site of the gruesome massacre of 
the Tonkawa Indians. In 1862 this tribe was encamped along the river just 
south of Fort Cobb, the original Wichita Agency situated on the north side 
of the Washita some seven miles northwest of this point. The other tribes, 


served by the agency and encamped in the region, abhorred the Tonkawas 
because they were suspected of cannibaHsm. After finding the dismembered 
body of a Caddo child who had wandered away from his tent, they made 
secret plans to exterminate the Tonkawas. 

On the night of October 23, Osages, Shawnees, and Delawares — who 
had come down from Kansas — together with Caddoes from the agency 
started on a warpath which ended in the near extermination of the Tonkawas 
and the complete destruction of Fort Cobb and several of its Confederate 
officials. Most of the Indians at the agency had remained loyal to the Union 
and consequently had no compunction against aiding the Kansas Indians in 
wiping out the Southerners. The whites (except for some who escaped) were 
first killed, then thrown into the buildings which were set afire. The Tonka- 
was, who had been alarmed and started to flee that morning, were pursued 
to their camping place along the Washita (near the present Catholic Mission) 
and attacked at dawn. Their camp was completely obliterated except for the 
bones of the massacred that lay blanching in the valley for years. Fort Cobb 
was never rebuilt — though the site was occupied by General Philip Sheridan 
and his troops for a short time in 1868 (see Tour 3 A) — but a present-day 
small town near by bears its name. 

APACHE, 87.4 m. (1,300 ait., 1,047 pop.), is in the center of a rich agri- 
cultural community through which Cache Creek flows. The principal crops 
raised are wheat, corn, alfalfa, and cotton. About 35 per cent of the rural 
population are Indians. Oklahoma's newest oil field (1941) is being developed 
near by. 

South of Apache the land is rolling prairie, with only a few trees along 
the creek bottoms, but the blue of the Wichita Mountains dominates the 
horizon to the southwest. 

RICHARDS SPUR, 97.1 m. (1,199 alt., 150 pop.), is a company village 
for the near-by limestone quarry. Small, bluish-gray uniform houses line the 
highway, and in the distance (R) is a great crusher cutting down a rounded 
limestone hill, one of the foothills of the Wichitas. Great tilted exposed ledges 
of limestone indicate the force with which the mountain mass was originally 
thrust up. 

At 100.8 m. is the junction with State 49 (see Tour 3 B). Between 101.2 
m. and 105.4 m., US 62 passes through the FORT SILL MILITARY RES- 
ERVATION (see Tour 3 A), which extends for several miles on both sides 
of the highway. 

At 104.2 m. is the junction (R) with the paved Fort Sill Road (see Tour 

A U.S. Agricultural Experiment Station, 106.5 m., is one of the 
string of similar institutions operated by the Division of Dry Land Agricul- 
ture in the Great Plains region. The station (R), established in 1915, con- 
sists of several cottages and barns on 160 acres of land, and has the appearance 
of a private farm. The work done here is primarily for the purpose of finding 
what crops may be successfully grown, since the region's rainfall is light and 
uneven; wheat, oats, barley, sorghums, and sweet clover are being grown 
on the tract. 

TOUR 3 271 

The Fort Sill Indian School and the Kiowa Indian Hospital, 106.6 
m., lie within a thousand-acre tract (L) including both farming and pasture 
land, utiHzed for the vocational instruction and the maintenance of both 
institutions. Established in 1871 under President Grant's "peace policy," the 
school served as a branch of the Kiowa-Comanche Agency, operated at that 
time by the Quaker agent, Lawrie Tatum. Since the opening date, the capacity 
of the school, one of twelve Indian boarding schools in Oklahoma, has been 
overtaxed; the average enrollment is 250. Primary students are taught in a 
little red schoolhouse, and other grades through high school are housed in 
modern brick and native stone pueblo-type buildings, which were erected 
and are maintained by the Indian Bureau of the government. Murals painted 
by Kiowa Indian artists decorate the walls of the buildings. 

The Indian Hospital, north of the school, is a commodious, well- 
equipped institution; its three red-brick buildings, trimmed in white, are 
modern and contain a solarium for the use of tuberculous patients. 

At 106.9 m., US 62 turns sharply west (R) to CACHE, 121.5 m. (1,260 
alt., 620 pop.), located in the foothills of the Wichita Mountains. 

Right from Cache on an improved dirt road to CRATER VILLE PARK (camping and 
recreational facilities, bridle paths, store, hotel), S m., a large natural amphitheater, enclosed 
by hills, covered with grass and timber, and watered with clear sparkling springs and a 
mountain brook. 

The All-Indian Fair and Exposition was first organized here in 1924, but it was 
moved to Anadarko in 1935. Many of the Indians who live in the region still visit Crater- 
ville Park in the spring and summer months to hold powwows and dances. While here, 
they usually construct and live in grass houses and arbors. Footraces among the young 
braves are often run on a half-mile track. Annually, on July third and fourth, a rodeo is held. 

Left from the entrance of Craterville Park to the Home of Quanah Parker, 1 m., 
last chief of the Comanches. Quanah was the son of Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman, 
and Peta Nokoni, a Comanche chief. Cynthia's story has been told in literature and song; 
she was kidnaped (1836), when nine years old, by the Comanches who destroyed the Texas 
frontier fort where her family had setded. Years later Cynthia was identified and urged to 
return to her own race, but through her marriage and the birth of her half-Indian children 
she had become a true Comanche at heart. Texas Rangers forcibly returned her to her 
family, and she died soon after. 

Quanah, who had been born about 1845, was of superior intelligence and character. 
While principal chief of his tribe, he led his warriors in the battle on Adobe Walls in Texas, 
the last great Plains Indian fight against white buffalo hunters. He rode at the head of his 
tribe when they surrendered tribal rule at Fort Sill in 1875, marking the close of Indian 
warfare in the region of southwestern Oklahoma. Quanah was later allotted this tract of 
land on which he lived with his five wives and built his eight-room home in 1890. On one 
occasion the old chief was being given advice by Theodore Roosevelt on "how to walk the 
white man's road." The gist of the counsel was that Quanah should end his bigamous 
status by relinquishing all his wives except one. The Comanche's concise answer was, 
"You tell 'em which one I keep!" The old house, in which he lived until his death in 1911, 
is now occupied (1941 ) by his daughter, Mrs. Neda Birdsong. 

Right (N) from the entrance to Craterville Park is the south gate, 0.5 m., of the 

On the main route is INDIAHOMA, 128.8 m. (1,335 alt., 337 pop.), a 
trading center for Indians and farmers of the surrounding vicinity. 

Right from Indiahoma on a dirt road to a junction with a second dirt road, 2 m.; 
L. on this road to the old Post Oak Mission-, 5 m., founded in 1894 by the Mennonite 


Brethren Home Mission Society. Lumber for its construction was hauled from Marlow, 
some sixty miles distant and the nearest railroad station at that time. 

In the mission cemetery are the Graves of Cynthia and Quanah Parker. Cynthia 
Ann's body had first been interred at Stevens, Texas, but was removed here for reburial in 
1910 at her son's behest. Quanah Parker was buried beside his mother, as was his wish, in 
1911; and on May 30, 1930, before a crowd of five thousand people, a seventeen-foot 
granite monument, purchased with a Congressional appropriation, was raised above the 
chief's grave. 

SNYDER, 140.8 m. (1,360 alt. 1,278 pop.), is the center of a diversified 
farming area. Three years after its founding in 1902, Snyder was almost com- 
pletely demolished by one of the severest storms ever to occur in this part of 
the state. The courageous townspeople rebuilt and, today, Snyder is a modern 
municipality. The terrible destruction of that early-day storm, however, is still 
vividly remembered; most residents have constructed cyclone cellars in the 
rear of their homes. Granite, of unusual hardness and distinctive coloration, is 
quarried and processed near by. 

Snyder is at the junction with US 183 (see Tour 12). 

HEADRICK, 152.3 m. (1,361 alt. 174 pop.), is a farm community which 
remains a busy trading center despite several unfortunate fires and a cyclone, 
each having almost destroyed the town's buildings. 

Just west of Headrick is an unusual rock formation (R) rising abrupdy 
in a near-by level field. The side sloping toward the highway looks like a 
gigantic hand, the thumb and fingers seeming to grasp the lower end of a 
rock crescent. 

ALTUS, 163.4 m. (1,389 alt. 8,593 pop.), an oil and cotton marketing 
center and seat of Jackson County, was founded in the spring of 1891 at the 
height of a flood. Near-by Bitter Creek had overflowed suddenly and inun- 
dated the surrounding territory. Setders seized what household possessions 
they could and rushed up the slope of the hill on which the city now stands. 
Here they established a camp out of reach of the waters and called it Altus, 
since one of their number declared the name meant "higher ground." Inured 
to hardship, they lived in dugouts until lumber could be hauled over the 
rutted wagon roads and "rustled" wood for their fuel from the Indian reser- 
vation across the North Fork of the Red River, some fifteen miles away. 
Church services were held in the dugouts or under arbors constructed of 
brush and young saplings laboriously hauled up the creek. School children 
assembled wherever convenient — once in the livery stable — and the length 
of the academic term was governed by the length of time in which the setders 
could provide a teacher with board, room, and a litde cash. 

In the city square is a concrete marker designating the spot where the 
Community Pump once stood. Today (1941) water is supplied by the munic- 
ipally owned Lake Altus waterworks at Lugert (see Tour IS) on the North 
Fork of the Red River. 

Two hundred bales of cotton were ginned here in 1897 by a sixty-saw 
gin run by a threshing machine engine; in 1937, the number of bales had 
grown to 110,000 and the quantity is steadily increasing. Jackson County, in 
which Altus is located, is termed a one-variety cotton region where all the 
growers obtain a higher price by producing a uniform fiber. Oil development 

TOUR 3 273 

of the surrounding vicinity started when a well was drilled two miles north- 
west of the town in 1908. Since then production has increased rapidly, and 
gas has recently been found at a depth of seventeen hundred feet. 

Altus is at the junction with US 283 (see Tour 13). 

West of Altus, trees are fairly numerous since the route is through the 
valley formed by the Red River and its forks. The prairie is dotted with 
graceful, shrub-like growths of mesquite. 

At 175.4 m. the highway crosses a steel and concrete bridge over a dry, 
sandy river bed. Westward the prairie is broken by valleys and long curving 
hills; much of this sandy land is covered with short grass, and is used for 

DUKE, 177 m. (1,417 alt., 412 pop.), is surrounded by cotton fields; 
approximately 7,500 bales are ginned here annually. A silver-domed water 
tower overlooks the two-block business district through which the highway 

The route proceeds through a rocky area, covered with clumps of brush 
and cactus. 

Just northeast of GOULD, 189.3 w. (1,621 alt., 391 pop.), are the base 
marks from which the one hundredth meridian was located by the United 
States Geodetic Survey. 

The terrain becomes more barren between Gould and HoUis; trees are 
few, and wind-swept tumbleweeds are packed against the fences in great, 
bushy walls. 

MOLLIS, 197.6 m. (1,615 alt., 2,732 pop.), is situated in the extreme 
western part of old Greer County (now Harmon), the Red River territory 
which Texas claimed prior to a Supreme Court decision in 1896. Cattle-raising 
is the chief industry of the area. 

At 202.6 m. US 62 crosses the Texas Line, twenty-six miles northeast of 
Childress, Texas (see Texas Guide). 

^0^: ^ ^ :^il/»;: ^ „ ^n^^ , ^0/f: _, ^^/ijr Mi)z ^ , jjOliz ^ ,. jjfl/i: 

Tour 3 a 

Junction US 62 — Fort Sill — Junction with US 62; 6.2 m.. Fort Sill Road. 

Roadbed paved throughout. 

No accommodations in Fort Sill; available at near-by towns. 

open to visitors except during times of national emergency. (Visitors must 


not photograph armed units in maneuvers; no civilian visitors, except personal 
guests of officers, allowed anywhere on reservation except at points mentioned 

The reservation proper covers 51,242 acres, varying in topography from 
rolling open prairie, marked by several abrupt hills on the east, to the rugged, 
granite peaks of the Wichita Mountains on the west. This tract of ground, 
set aside for national military purposes, is shaped much like the figure 7, the 
short arm pointing north. The area is watered by Medicine Bluff and Cache 
creeks. Medicine Bluff (R) is a granite and porphyry formation about three 
hundred feet high. Indians once invested it with supernatural powers, often 
leaving their sick on its top either to recover or die. 

The Wichita Indians were the first people known to have inhabited the 
region; it has been established that a group of them built a village in the latter 
part of the eighteenth century near the mouth of Medicine Bluff Creek, 
where it enters into Cache Creek. Some of their grass houses stood where the 
post polo fields are today. Osage depredations and attacks caused them to 
move to a site on the North Fork of the Red River west of the Wichita Moun- 
tains. It was there that they were found by Colonel Henry Dodge and his 
regiment of dragoons in 1834. Dodge and his men had been sent out from 
Fort Gibson (see Tour 3) to establish friendly relations with the wild Plains 
Indians so that Santa Fe Trail travelers might be protected and peace assured 
to the Five Civilized Tribes following their removal from the East. Treaties 
with the United States were signed the following year as a result of Dodge's 
friendly expedition, on which he made successful overtures to the Wichitas 
and to a band of Comanches who were then occupying the site of the former 
Wichita village on the western half of the present fort. The Colonel first saw 
the Comanche village when he and his company topped a hill, later named 
after him, in the northeastern part of the present Fort Sill area. The dragoons 
camped on the east side of Cache Creek across from the Comanches, not com- 
pletely trusting their hosts. Soon after making camp, they were amazed to 
see the Stars and Stripes raised over the lodge of the Indians' chief. 

The only white habitation in this region during this period was the trad- 
ing post established by an agent of the Chouteau interests in 1837. Nothing 
is known about it except that it was located on the west bank of Cache Creek 
a little south of where the present road leading from Post Field joins US 62. 

Since the Dodge expedition also established peaceful relations with the 
warring Osages, the Wichitas were enabled to move back to the site of Fort 
Sill. Here they lived until 1850 when, because of a malarial infection, they 
migrated east to near the present site of Rush Springs (see Tour 11). The 
region of Fort Sill was deserted for several years although, in 1852, the mili- 
tary and exploratory expedition of Captain R. B. Marcy arrived and camped 
for a few days where the post now stands. Marcy had been told to explore the 
country north of the Red River, and his company accomplished their task in 
a systematic manner, making a geological survey, classifying the natural life, 
marking the meridians, and making a map. The captain noted the desirability 
of the Fort Sill site for use as a military post, but it was not until 1868 that a 
fort was established there. 

TOUR 3A 275 

General Philip H. Sheridan, of Civil War fame, was assigned the task 
of pacifying the Plains Indians and placing them on reservations; in 1868, at 
the start of his campaign, he established his troops at the site of the burned 
and abandoned Fort Cobb (see Tour 3), some thirty miles to the north of 
present Fort Sill. His purpose was also to protect the agency there and to keep 
the peaceful Indians away from the warring ones so that what had been 
gained toward final harmony might not be lost. The lack of adequate food 
and shelter in this camp became so acute that late in 1868 Sheridan sent Colo- 
nel Benjamin H. Grierson on a reconnaissance trip to Medicine Bluff to de- 
cide on a new camp site. Grierson had explored there before, and now con- 
firmed his former recommendation. When Sheridan arrived in January, 1869, 
he decided to erect a permanent fort at Camp Wichita, as it was then called. 

At first the troops — the Tenth and Seventh (Custer's) Cavalry, and the 
Nineteenth Kansas Cavalry (Volunteers), lived at various places over the 
post area in brush-roofed dugouts. Headquarters for the Fort Cobb Indian 
agency were moved to Camp Wichita, and many of the roaming Indians were 
brought in to live on the reservation. Sheridan left Camp Wichita in Febru- 
ary, eventually to rise to the position of Commander in Chief of the United 
States Army in 1884. Grierson, the new post commander, aided by the troops 
left at the fort after Sheridan's departure, began construction of permanent 
buildings. Logs were cut from the surrounding stand of timber. 

On August 1, 1869, the post was officially named Fort Sill by General 
Sheridan, in memory of Brigadier General Joshua W. Sill, who had been 
Sheridan's West Point classmate and a fellow officer during the Civil War. 
By 1870, the building program was well under way. Stone was found in 
Quarry Hill, southeast of the post, and lime for mortar was prepared in rude 
ovens along the banks of Cache Creek. Most of the work was done by the 
soldiers, though some artisans were imported. In early 1871 the quarters were 
finished and a lookout post, the Blockhouse (visible from the highway), 
was erected on Signal Mountain in the western section of the reservation. 
The remaining construction work was carried on intermittently for the next 
five years. 

The careers of three Kiowa warrior chiefs — Satanta, Satank, and Big 
Tree — interlaced closely with the development of Fort Sill during this time 
and for several years after. The quick-witted Satanta, called the "Orator of 
the Plains," first came in contact with the military when he was arrested in 
1868 after the Battle of the Washita. He was released by Sheridan at Camp 
Wichita in 1869 after promising to keep his followers at peace. In 1871, he 
played a leading part in the Jacksboro wagon-train massacre in Texas, an 
event which brought swift reprisal from General W. T. Sherman, who was 
visiting Fort Sill on an inspection tour at the time. Satanta, whose moral out- 
look was that of a statesman at war but whose keenness was sometimes ex- 
ceeded by his vanity, boasted in connection with the massacre, "I did it. If any 
other Indian claims the honor, he will be lying; for I did it myself," thereby 
practically placing a rope around his own neck. 

Satanta, Satank, and Big Three were arrested and placed in the old 
guardhouse in which Geronimo later spent many days. The three were loaded 


into wagons and senf to Texas (where the massacre had occurred) for trial; 
Satank was killed along the way as he made a desperate attempt to escape. 
The others were sentenced to hang, later given commutations to life imprison- 
ment, and were finally promised pardons at a conference at Washington, 
D.C., on condition that their people should fulfill certain peace agreements. 
Following parole in 1873, after being again lodged at the Fort Sill guard- 
house, Satanta immediately reverted to his warrior's role and took part in 
several raids. Finally he surrendered and was brought to Fort Sill in 1875 in 
chains, to be confined again in the Huntsville, Texas, prison, from which he 
had been paroled. When he found that there was no chance of being set free, 
he committed suicide by plunging head first from his second-story cell — the 
fulfillment of an early and prophetic utterance made by him, "When I settle 
down, I grow pale and die." 

Indian outbreaks continued, though usually on a much smaller scale 
than in the days before Sheridan's campaign of dissuasion. The forays finally 
led to a discontinuance in 1874 of the Quaker Peace Policy (see Tour i j of 
handling the Indians at Fort Sill. Finally, by use of sterner methods and under 
military command, Indian resistance was virtually broken in 1875. After 
1876, the Fort Sill garrison found it necessary in many instances to protect 
rather than fight the Indians, for swarms of unscrupulous whites drifted into 
the section to plunder the subdued foe. 

Agriculture had been introduced meanwhile to the Indians camped at 
Fort Sill. The Wichitas and the Caddoes needed little training in farming for 
they had been in the habit of raising much of their foodstuff, but the Kiowas 
and Comanches found it difficult to learn the rudiments of horticulture, 
though they liked its products. Logically enough, to them, their method of 
plunder seemed much more convenient than the orthodox routine of grow- 
ing. The agent once sent a party of Comanches to the agency at Anadarko to 
drive back eleven head of cattle, to be used for rationing at Fort Sill. On their 
return, the wily Indians passed a melon field and promptly traded five of the 
beeves for some of the melons. When the agent took the group to task, the 
Comanches, both hurt and surprised, explained that they had only been trying 
to act in the "white man's way" by paying a good price for what they wanted 
rather than stealing it. The agent perforce exonerated them. 

In 1891, when the last Indian disturbance occurred, quartermaster Lieu- 
tenant Hugh L. Scott and a faithful Kiowa assistant, I-see-o, managed to keep 
the Fort Sill Indians from taking the warpath. This near-rebellion — the 
Ghost Dance or "Messiah Craze" — covered most of the western part of the 
United States and was in part an outgrowth of the misfortunes which had 
befallen the Indians. John Wilson, a Piute Indian of Nevada, had fathered 
the religion which involved a mystic conception of a Messiah who had thrown 
over the white people for the red, and whose coming would be synonymous 
with the return of the almost-extinct buffalo. Many self-appointed prophets 
sprang up and acquired converts and tribute through a type of spiritual mes- 
merism. The Ghost Dance, the main ceremonial of the faith, began with the 
believers' forming a circle in which they moved slowly while chanting. The 
medicine man in the center strove by exhortation to induce a hypnotic trance 

TOUR 3A 277 

in which the dancer would fall in a stupor and experience visions of the 
Utopia to come. An Arapaho named Sitting Bull agitated the craze among 
the Fort Sill Indians. To deal with a situation that promised to develop into 
an uprising, Scott kept watch unobtrusively through I-see-o and allowed the 
obsession to fall of its own weight. Scott later appointed I-see-o a sergeant for 
life, and the respected old Indian was given military burial with full honors 
at death. 

Fort Sill was a busy and crowded place in 1901 when the surrounding 
land was thrown open to white occupation. While awaiting the results of the 
drawing at El Reno, people converged from all directions to camp at the 
post. Finally in 1909, after the fort had been in danger of abandonment, work 
was begun on the construction of a new post, northwest of the group of old 
buildings. A School of Fire for field artillery was established here in 1911 
and in 1917 the field artillery unit and its equipment was increased tremend- 
ously for the duration of the World War. A field officers' advance course was 
inaugurated in 1922; since then courses have been given for regular army 
officers, National Guard, Citizens' Military Training Corps, Reserve officers, 
and enlisted specialists. In 1930, the fort was made a permanent location of 
the Field Artillery School, whose maintenance is its main purpose. 

The Selective Service Act passed by Congress in September, 1940, as a 
part of the nationwide defense program, gave renewed importance to Fort 
Sill. An extensive building program (estimated at $1,500,000) and the addi- 
tion of some twenty thousand acres to the reservation is now (1941) being 
carried out to accommodate the men inducted into service for training. 

The Fort Sill Road branches right (N.W.) from its junction, m., with 
US 62 (see Tour 3), 16.8 miles south of Apache (see Tour 3). The Polo 
Fields (L) are kept smoothly level with velvety, short-cropped grass. New 
barracks, built hastily at the start of the national defense program, line both 
sides of the route. 

The Old Corral, 0.3 m., is a loopholed, stone-walled structure (R), 
built by Colonel Grierson in 1870 to protect the fort livestock from the Indians. 

The buildings in the square comprising the Old Post, 0.6 m., are of 
white stucco and limestone. The Old Chapel, 0.8 m., is a small ivy-covered 
structure (R) of native stone with six windows and a heavy, iron bell with a 
pull rope. Built in 1870, the chapel has a fine fireplace and is furnished with 
dark, wooden pews; a reed organ occupies the choir at the rear. It is now 
(1941) used by the Catholics of the post. 

Between the Old Post and US 62 is the Site of the Prison in which 
some one hundred Indians were incarcerated from December, 1874, to 
March, 1875. These were the captives taken in the last big campaign during 
which Indian resistance was finally broken. The prisoners were mostly sub- 
chiefs and warriors who had taken an active part in the battles. They were 
moved from here to the St. Augustine, Florida, military prison, from which 
they were released in 1878. Only the floor of the old structure, later used as 
an icehouse and a blacksmith shop, is still visible. 

A white stone, two-story residence on the north side of the square has 
been used as the Post Commandant's Quarters since the early days, although 


new quarters were built in 1936. It was here that an attempt on the life of 
General W. T. Sherman was made by an Indian named Stumbling Bird. 

Opposite the southwest corner of the Old Post Parade ground is the 
Museum (open 8-11:30 a.m., 1-4 p.m. weekdays, 1-5 p.m. Sun.), 1 m., in the 
old guardhouse, where Geronimo was sometimes confined while at the post. 
The Apache chief and other prisoners of his band had been sent here in 1894 
after being quartered in Florida and Alabama from the time of their capture 
in 1886. At Fort Sill, Geronimo was subject to military control, but was free 
to roam at will over the reservation. The old chief, who was addicted to spirits, 
was of necessity often confined to the guardhouse in an effort to sober him. 
Fort Sill inhabitants of those days grew familiar with the sight of the notori- 
ously bloodthirsty Indian recovering from a hangover while splitting wood 
at the rear of the jail. Geronimo was much in demand for traveling fairs and 
shows; since he liked being stared at, he obtained leave for this purpose as 
much as possible. He died of pneumonia on February 17, 1909, and was 
buried in the Apache cemetery near Cache Creek on the post grounds; the 
other Apaches were returned to Arizona. 

The museum was founded in 1934 and contains a comprehensive col- 
lection of old carbines, field guns, uniforms, medals, flags of various epochs 
and units, Indian weapons, dresses, and peace pipes. 

The Administration Building, 1.2 m., a large three-story brown stucco 
structure (R) contains the library, the lecture rooms of the Field Artillery 
School, and the administrative offices of the post. North of the Administra- 
tion Building are the Station Hospital (visiting hours, 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 
p.m.). Nurses' Quarters, Officers' Quarters, and the Academic Area 
where the brown stucco officers' quarters line both sides of a wide parked 

At 1.4 fn. is a junction with a side road. 

Right, 0.1 m., to the Horseshoe Ring, where in normal times an annual horse show 
is held in the late spring or early summer; animals from the post and from outside stables 
are exhibited. 

The route, which follows the four sides of the New Post Parade Ground, 
turns right at 1.9 w. to parallel the east side. 

Used by the Protestants, the New Chapel, 2 m., is a narrow, brown- 
brick structure (R) designed in a pseudo-Gothic style; near by is (R) the 
white stucco Liberty Theater (civilians not admitted), with a tile roof. 

At 2.2 m. Fort Sill Road turns left to parallel the north side of the Parade 
Ground, with quarters for officers (R). Near Medicine Bluff Creek, to the 
northeast, is the site on which Custer and the Seventh Cavalry camped at the 
founding of the fort in January and February, 1869. Depressions marking 
the sites of their brush-roofed dugouts are still visible. 

Turning left again, 2.7 m., the route passes along the west side of the 
Parade Ground, which is bordered (L) by the cream stucco barracks of a 
Field Artillery Regiment, and (R) by the gun sheds and garages of the 
same unit. The Field Artillery is motorized and equipped with 75 mm. guns; 
the other outfits use 75 mm.'s and 155 mm. howitzers. 

Again turning left, at 2.9 m., the route (here called Randolph Road) runs 

TOUR 3A 279 

along the south side of the Parade Ground. On the left are more field artillery 
barracks. This regiment is equipped with one battalion of truck-drawn 155 
mm. howitzers. Additional barracks, the Post Exchange (only post personnel 
permitted to trade here), the Guardhouse, Signal Office, and Quarter- 
master's Office are R. Gun sheds and stables for field artillery units are 
south of these buildings. Directly across the road from the Guardhouse and 
on the edge of the Parade Ground is the Headquarters Building. In front is 
the Flagpole, 3.2 m., where the retreat ceremony is held daily (5:15 p.m. 
winter; 5:00 p.m. summer). Bugles sound, the retreat gun is fired; all present 
stand at attention while giving the hand salute as Old Glory is slowly lowered. 

Leaving the Parade Ground, the route, again Fort Sill Road, turns right 
3.4 m. and passes (L) a quarry, 3.7 m., from which rock is taken for camp 

Between the quarry and Post Field is the former summer-camp site of 
the Oklahoma National Guard (R). The area (approximately a square mile) 
is now (1941) occupied by units quartered here in connection with the na- 
tional defense program. An enormous number of barracks and tents stretch 
row on row. 

Fort Sill Road turns left, 4.8 m., and passes through Post Field, 5.2 m., 
the aviation field established in 1917. It was named for Sergeant Henry B. 
Post, Twenty-fifth Infantry, who was killed in 1914 while attempting to set 
an altitude record at San Diego, California. An observation "blimp" usually 
sways some five hundred or a thousand feet above the field; from it officers 
observe artillery fire. Buff stucco hangars and barracks are on both sides of 
the road throughout Post Field. 

At 6.2 m. is the South Gate of the Fort Sill reservation and the junction 
with US 62 (see Tour 3). 

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Tour 3 b 

Junction US 62 — Medicine Park — Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge — 
Indiahoma; State 49, Meers Highway, Scenic Highway; 31.8 m. 

State 49 asphalt-paved; Scenic Meers Highway graveled. 

Good resort accommodations at Medicine Park; tourist camps at East and South gates of 

Refuge; camping and picnicking facilities within Refuge. 

This tour passes through the resort and national forest areas of the Wich- 
ita Mountains, a region closely packed with low but rugged mountains, clear 
streams, and small, oddly-shaped lakes that are easily reached. 


State 49, a paved highway, branches west (R), m., from its junction 
with US 62 (see Tour 3) at a point 13.4 miles south of Apache (see Tour 3). 

At the beginning of the mountainous area is MEDICINE PARK, 6.6 m. 
( 1,765 alt., 25 pop.), a popular summer resort. LAKE LAWTONKA (fishing, 
swimming, boating), extending from the northern edge of town, covers ap- 
proximately fourteen hundred acres. A dam, 60 feet high and 375 feet long, 
was constructed across Medicine Bluff Creek at the mouth of a steep gorge to 
form this reservoir for the city of Lawton and the Fort Sill Military Reserva- 
tion (see Tour 3 A). 

West of Medicine Park, the route crosses a wagon bridge and passes 
through the East Gate, 7.4 m., of the WICHITA MOUNTAINS WILD- 
LIFE REFUGE (adm. free; no guides necessary), an area comprising 61,480 
acres. This range of mountains, extending northwest and lying completely 
within Comanche County, is sixty miles in length and twenty to thirty miles 
wide. The rounded summits of the granite peaks average 650 to 700 feet in 
height. According to geologists, these mountains are among the oldest in the 
United States, and the crumbling rocks and general disintegration of the 
strange formations bear out this theory to the layman's eye. Interveining of 
quartz with the prevailing granite results in shadings from purple to red. 
The water has an alkaline substance, yet is clear and limpid. Scrubby white 
oak predominates, but the valleys have many leafier trees, such as ash, cotton- 
wood, and willow. 

Until the middle of the nineteenth century, the only inhabitants of this 
area were Indians. The onetime presence here of a tribe of Wichita Indians 
has been substantiated, and remains of other tribal lodges have been found. 
In the extreme northwestern section of the Refuge is Cutthroat Gap, scene 
of the hideous massacre of a band of Kiowas by Osages in 1833. The Kiowa 
camp was occupied on this tragic day only by the young and old, for the 
warriors were all away hunting. The Osages struck suddenly, first slitting 
the throats of their victims, then cutting off their heads, which they placed 
in the convenient buckets of the Kiowas as an offering to their gods. One of 
these buckets, found standing in the ruins of the village after the disaster, is 
in the Fort Sill Museum (see Tour 3 A). 

When this section of Indian land was opened for white settlement in 
1901, Congress set aside the Wichita Mountains as a forest reserve under the 
jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior. When it was transferred to 
the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture in 1905, along with all 
national reserves, it was designated a game preserve by proclamation of 
President Theodore Roosevelt. After several changes of name and jurisdic- 
tion, the area was given its present name, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife 
Refuge in 1935. Five years later it was placed under the jurisdiction of the 
Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior. 

The alarmingly rapid disappearance of the buffalo was responsible for 
the Roosevelt proclamation of 1905. A herd of fifteen buffaloes was donated 
to the government by the New York Zoological Society, which had been mak- 
ing a determined effort to perpetuate the breed, and Congress appropriated 
$15,000 to fence eight thousand acres in the Wichitas as a pasture for the 

TOUR 3B 281 

animals. By 1940 the original fifteen buffaloes had grown in number to 439, 
including a record crop of 111 calves in 1939. One of the original herd, weigh- 
ing 2,800 pounds, was the largest of the breed ever recorded. Since the acre- 
age of the pasture limits the size of the herd, some have been given away; 
among the recipients were the governments of Mexico and Uruguay. Mes- 
quite, bufifalo, and bluestem grass furnish grazing in the area set aside for 
the bison, and the surrounding rock-capped hills and red granite cliffs afford 

Other wild life being conserved in the Refuge are elk, white-tailed deer, 
Texas longhorns, wild turkeys, and birds; the elk numbered 200 in 1939; the 
deer, 750; the longhorns, 123; the turkeys, 400; and there were about 62 dif- 
ferent species of birds. The first elk was placed here in 1911 and the turkey 
brood was started in 1912. The longhorn catde are descendants of domesti- 
cated animals brought to this continent by the Spanish in 1521. By the close 
of the Civil War, Texas was overrun with this type of cattle that had been 
allowed to run wild. With settlement of the range and consequent increase 
in value of land, the longhorns had to give way to improved breeds and were 
rapidly becoming extinct. Upon the government's initiative, a few were found 
along the Rio Grande and the Gulf Coast and brought to the Wichita Refuge 
in 1927, where they have since increased to their present number. An attempt 
was also made to establish the antelope here, since this is its natural habitat, 
but the only ones available were from conservation herds at Yellowstone 
National Park and in Canada. They had become acclimated to those locations, 
and the sudden change to the variable Oklahoma weather proved fatal to 
most of them. 

Some twelve hundred head of privately owned livestock graze on sections 
of the Wichita Refuge not needed for the conservation herds; this privilege 
is granted by government permits. 

Oak trees — white, blackjack, and post oak — comprise most of the natu- 
ral stand of timber in this area, but tree plantings of various other varieties 
have been made under government auspices. In 1913, juniper, bois d'arc 
(osage orange), black and honey locust, black walnut, and mulberry trees 
were set out on the lower slopes of the mountains. These plantings have 
grown to such an extent that they play a large part in making the Refuge an 
attractive haven for birds. Those most commonly seen are the cardinal, differ- 
ent types of wrens, titmouse, chickadee, and bluebird. Thirty-three varieties 
of wild flowers grow here; among them are the colorful yellow coreopsis, 
calliopsis, and black-eyed Susan, mingling with the purple-shaded larkspur, 
and verbena. 

State 49 passes through the tree-shaded Mount Scott Campgrounds (fire 
grates and water), 8.4 m. A quarter of a mile south of the camp ground is 
LAKE THOMAS (free swimming), an artificial lake named for Elmer 
Thomas, who has represented Oklahoma for fourteen years in the United 
States Senate (1941). Senator Thomas was formerly the owner of the land 
on which Medicine Park stands and still maintains his home here. A broad 
driveway leading across the top of the dam offers an excellent view of the lake. 

At 9.5 m. is the junction with the graveled Mount Scott Scenic Road. 


Right on this winding, looping road, 3 m., to the summit of MOUNT SCOTT (2,400 
alt. 1,000 ft. above the base), named for General Winficld Scott, of Mexican War fame. 
Scott also conducted a part of the removal of the Cherokee Indians from the East to their 
new home in what is now Oklahoma. Construction of the scenic highway, completed in 
1935, necessitated blasting through granite walls twenty to sixty feet high. From LOOK- 
OUT POINT on the top there is a wide view of the surrounding country. A foot trail winds 
over the summit. 

The Indians say that the Great Spirit appeared on Mount Scott after a devastating 
flood; here He called all Indians to Him and provided them with the means to survive. 
Other legends tell of the gold which Spaniards supposedly mined here in the seventeenth 
century. An old trail, connecting the Spanish possessions east of the Mississippi with their 
Southwest holdings, is said to have skirted the base of this mountain. Rusty knives, pieces of 
armor, and other relics have been found here, giving some credence to the tale. 

At 12.1 m. is the junction with Meers Highway (graveled). 

Right here to MOUNT ROOSEVELT (1,800 alt), 1.1 m., named for President 
Theodore Roosevelt. On the south flank of the mountain is the Easter Holy City (see below). 

A quarry, at the base of MOUNT SHERIDAN (2,000 alt.), 1.6 m., produces and 
ships a carload of blue-granite slabs each week. On the mountain's northeastern slope, a 
knob-shaped peak of solid granite juts out to a height of one hundred feet from a perpen- 
dicular wall of rock. 

At 1.8 m. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Right here to CEDAR PLANTATION, 0.2 m., a seventeen-acre government nursery 
from which young fifteen-foot cedar trees are transplanted each year to other parts of the 
Refuge. After the seasonal thinning, there are usually approximately fifteen thousand trees 
left in the plantation. 

At 2 ni. is the North Gate to the Refuge. 

Left on Meers Highway, now the main route, to the junction with Rush 
Lake Trail, a graveled road, 12.3 m. 

Right on the Trail to the Easter Holy City, 0.8 m., site of the annual Easter Pageant 
and Passion Play (3:30 a.m. to dawn; free adm.) , presented by the citizens of Lawton. On 
the slope of the small hill is a natural amphitheater which seats an audience of approximately 
150,000. Buildings of red sandstone, constructed by WPA workers on the flank of the 
opposite hill, are used as dressing rooms by the two thousand persons who participate in 
the pageant. The six-hour program is broadcast over a national radio chain. The Garden of 
Gethsemane, the Tomb, and the Court of Pilate have all been reproduced out of natural 
rock as the setting and are an effective background for the floodlighted performance. 

At 2.1 m. are LAKE RUSH (fishing) and Blue Beaver Dam. 

At 12.5 m. on Meers Highway is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right here is LAKE JED JOHNSON (picniclyiiig; no camping), 0.2 m., one of the 
many artificial lakes which have been created in the Refuge. 

The route leaves the Refuge, 13.6 m., and re-enters it at 14.9 m. 
At 15.2 m. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road to INDIAN HILL LAKE (locally known as Crater Lake), 0.5 m. 
On a rock butte, which projects from a near-by hill into the water, are traces of rock fortifi- 
cations said to have been erected by Indian war parties. 

At 15.7 m. is the "Y" junction with the Scenic Highway. 

Left on the Scenic Highway to a junction with a dirt road, 1.7 m. 
Left here to the Pecan Springs Campground and Wading Pool, 0.2 m., a shallow 
pool affording safe swimming and wading for children. 

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Along the Highway 

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will rogers memorial, claremore 

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TOUR 3B 283 

The route passes through the South Gate of the Refuge, 1.9 m., and proceeds to 
CACHE, 5.4 m. (1,260 alt., 620 pop.) (see Tour 3A), at the junction with US 62 (see 
Tour 3). 

Right from the "Y" junction on Scenic Highway, now the main route, 
to a junction with a graveled road, 16.1 m. 

Left here to the Quanah Parker Dam and Lake, 0.8 m., named in honor of the last 
chief, whose home and grave are not far from here (see Tour 3). The dam, the largest in 
the Refuge, is semicircular, with a siphon spillway, and measures seventy feet from summit 
to base. Steps at each end enable visitors to walk across the top; below the spillway is a 
small auxiliary dam. The lake covers eighty-six acres. 

At 16.6 m. on the main route is the junction with the Seminole Beach 

Left on this trail to the Quanah Parker Campgrounds, also named for the Comanche 
chief, and Seminole Beach, 0.3 m. All work on the extensive beach, the one-hundrcd-foot 
diving pier, and the surrounding native-stone buildings was done by the CCC. Some of the 
large, flat slabs of red granite used in the construction of the buildings are ten feet in 
height; the tawny red of the igneous rock is colorfully highlighted by the velvety green of 
clinging moss and lichens. The main structure, the Community House, has an arched 
ceiling of white pine, scorched to reveal the beauty of the grain; the walls are finished with 
rough plaster, and the huge fireplace carries out the prevailing theme of granite. The fifteen- 
foot mantel is inlaid with an Indian pictograph of arrowheads and pines. The near-by 
bathhouses are square stone structures built in Spanish style; their dressing rooms (no 
charge) open into a patio. 

A footbridge spans the western arm of Quanah Parker Lake here, and a foot trail 
leads one mile west over Mount Baldy to LAKE OSAGE. On the eastern shore a large 
mound of rock rises almost perpendicularly from the water to form a jagged peninsula. 

At 19.3 m. on Scenic Highway is the junction with the Lost Lake- 
Boulder Campgrounds Trail. 

Left here to LOST LAKE, 1.1 m., which legends say was at one time the site of a 
natural lake. Once, after an absence of three years, Indian hunters returned to find that the 
body of water had completely dried — hence, its name. Lawton citizens subscribed funds for 
the creation of the present artificial lake and campgrounds and dedicated the recreational 
improvements to the National Forest Service on May 31, 1926. Upstream there is a chain 
of fish culture dams. 

At 2. tn. is a junction with a foot trail. 

Left here over a cement bridge and up a steep hill to Boulder Canyon View, 0.3 m. 
This point provides a thrilling view of the Narrows, the sheer one-hundred-foot granite 
walls which imprison West Cache Creek just before it breaks through into the plains. Red- 
tailed hawks build their nests high on the steep cliffs, and in the morning and evening 
skim up and down the canyon in their search for food. The rugged, massive walls, reflect- 
ing the ever-changing colors caused by the play of light and shadow on the stream below, 
make the canyon a miniature Garden of the Gods. 

Camp Boulder (tables, benches, fire grates) , 2.5 m., is the scene of an annual course 
in nature study given by the Wild Life Institute, sponsored by the University of Oklahoma 
and other organizations interested in biological research. 

In Pr.\irie Dog Town, 20.5 m., where some four thousand prairie dogs 
have dug their dens, the little brown animals — about the size of small pup- 
pies — whisk, in and out of their holes so rapidly that they defy observation. 
They usually emerge at dusk or early in the morning to seek food, but dodge 


back into their holes at the slightest sound. They are strictly vegetarians, and 
because of their proclivity for burrowing and the consequent destruction of 
crops, farmers regard them as nuisances. 

Westward, the Exhibition Pastures (L) cover a large area of gently 
rolling prairie land surrounded by high, round-topped hills and red granite 
cliffs and ridges. Small groups of elk, bison, deer, and Texas longhorns are 
pastured here so that visitors may watch them graze. The majority of the 
animals making up the vast Refuge herds roam far from the traveled roads, 
but magnificent specimens may be seen here. The pastures, extending along 
the route for about a mile, are covered with an abundant growth of mesquite, 
bufifalo grass, and bluestem, and groves of blackjack and post oaks grow at 
the bases of the hills and cliffs. Visitors are forbidden to enter the exhibition 
pens, and any molestation of the animals is rated a Federal offense. 

At 21.4 m. is a "Y" junction with a graveled road. 

Straight ahead on this road to Refuge Headquarters (maps and descriptive pam- 
phlets), 0.2 m., which comprises the main office, the superintendent's home, and the resi- 
dences of the other Refuge workers. In the main office (open to visitors) is a Collection 
OF Wildlife Specimens: heads of deer, elk, antelope, longhorn steers, water buffalo, and 
coyote. There are also mounted squirrels and birds; the skins of three enormous rattle- 
snakes with more than thirty rattles apiece; and a section of a petrified tree. Wild turkeys 
wander about in the yards of the buildings here; squirrels dart through the trees and even 
hang to the window screens; glistening, black, fat crows stalk about unafraid; and the 
deer come in herds at dawn to be fed personally by the superintendent. 

At 1.6 m. is a junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road is FRENCH'S LAKE, 0.4 m., named for a former superintendent of 
the Refuge. There is a large spiral fish ladder at the dam, and downstream from the lake 
proper is a long line of fish culture ponds extending as far as Lost Lake. A hiking trail, 
beginning on the left side of French's Lake, follows the stream to that point. 

Coundess bats live in BAT CAVE MOUNTAIN, 3.1 m. The mouth of the cave is 
about thirty feet above the base of the small red granite, moss-covered mountain (R). 

The main route turns sharply left (south) to the junction with graveled 
Treasure Mountain Road, 24.1 m. 

Right here, 0.2 m., to TREASURE MOUNTAIN, where scores of hunters have dug 
for gold said to have been cached here in the seventeenth century by the Spaniards. At the 
mountain is a junction with a dirt road. 

Right across Post Oak Creek to Treasure Tree, 0.2 m., estimated to be more than 
five hundred years old. Only a few limbs remain, for the seekers of the legendary gold 
have hacked at the tree in addition to digging many gaping holes at its base. Near the tree 
is an Old Cabin, which probably originally served as headquarters for bandits or rusdcrs. 
But the wretched hovel is believed by each new treasure-seeker to have been a hiding place 
for Spanish gold; the floor boards have been ripped up and scattered about. 

At 0.3 m. on the Treasure Mountain Road is a cement culvert spanning a dry creek 
bed; L. here to the SPANISH CAVE, 0.5 m., which opens from the side of a canyon wall. 
Inside, the walls are of yellow stone, spotted with a clinging olive-hued moss. The floor, 
stained by countless campfires, is a solid ledge of red granite flecked with a blue substance. 
Forming the other side of the canyon opposite the entrance of the Spanish Cave is a huge, 
round rock, balanced high on a pile of jagged boulders. The canyon abrupdy terminates 
in a curious formation resembling a gigantic chair. 

The Post Oak Campgrounds (tables, benches, fire grates), 1.4 m., lie on one side of 
POST OAK LAKE (swimming permitted, but no facilities). A rugged mountain rises 
above the deep lake on the opposite shore; a siphon spillway dam holds the twenty to fort>' 
foot depth of water. 

TOUR 3B 285 

TREASURE LAKE (diving board and wire depth line; no other facilities), 2 m., 
shares in the tradition of Treasure Mountain and Treasure Tree; fanatical diggers, with 
so-called ancient treasure maps as standard equipment, are not unusual in this vicinity. One 
legend of buried gold arose from a story told by Indians some years ago about a band of 
Comanches who had robbed an army paymaster and buried the stolen money near the lake. 
Racketeers immediately made and sold more than 250 maps, each one of which was the 
"original map." According to another tale, a "Catholic pope was killed in Mexico and 
buried near the lake; in the grave was also buried a golden calf, weighing 100 pounds." 
Rangers are on the lookout at all times to enlighten the credulous treasure-seeker, appearing 
with a shovel on his shoulder, a wild gleam in his eye, and the quest of a buried fortune in 

The main route passes out of the Refuge at the Southwest Gate, 24.6 m., 
and proceeds southward to INDIAHOMA, 31.8 m. (1,335 alt., 337 pop.) 
(see Tour 3), at the junction with US 62 (see Tour 3). 

^(i/ljl ^ , ^d/lj, ^ , j5il)/»2 ^ j5>0/»2 ^, ^f^lj. ^ , ^^"J. . - ^^IZ . - ^^1J- 

Tour 4 

(Seneca, Mo.) — Bartlesville — Ponca City — Enid — (Canadian, Tex,); US 60, 
Missouri Line to Texas Line, 360.1 m. 

Alternately concrete and asphalt paved and graveled roadbed between Missouri Line and 
Fairview; graveled and graded earth between Fairview and Texas Line. 
The Frisco Ry. roughly parallels US 60 between Seneca, Mo., and Vinita; the Katy between 
Bartlesville and Pawhuska; the Rock Island between Ponca City and Tonkawa; and be- 
tween Pond Creek and Meno; and the Santa Fe between Cleo Springs and Fairview. 
Good accommodations between Missouri Line and Enid; at longer intervals between Enid 
and Texas Line. 

Crossing from Missouri, US 60 continues for a short distance among the 
rocky, wooded ridges and narrow valleys of the northwestern slopes of the 
Ozark range, a region where in mid-April dogwood blossoms make vivid 
white splashes against the dark leafless oaks. It then passes through a section 
of alternate forest and grassland, where the remnants of a number of small 
Indian tribes live. The route crosses Grand River, then traverses open country 
fairly evenly divided between farms and pastures. 

Westward is the northern portion of the former Cherokee Nation, near 
the western edge of which scattered wells of the first extensive shallow oil 
fields developed in Oklahoma are still (1941) producing. 

Next the route bisects the Osage Indian reservation, an area of blackjack 
oak woods and rich upland pastures where gusher oil wells and fine Hereford 
cattle have brought wealth to these lucky Indians and to the white ranchmen 
who lease their grazing land. 


Beyond the country of the Osages the route touches the lands of the 
Ponca and Tonkawa Indians. It crosses the richest wheat-growing region of 
the state east and west of Enid, then a part of the arid, dust-blowing high 
plains broken by gypsum-crusted formations that suggest, on a giant scale, 
five-and-ten-cent-store decorations. Near the Texas Line, the desert motif is 
emphasized by the appearance of the graceful, drought-resistant yucca plants. 

Section a. MISSOURI LINE to BARTLESVILLE, 89.7 m. US 60 

US 60 crosses the MISSOURI LINE, w., at a point 0.8 miles west of 
Seneca, Missouri (see Missouri Guide) and winds for a few miles through the 
Oklahoma Ozarks. Numerous streams have cut narrow, V-shaped valleys 
in the plateau, forming broad, flat-topped hills from six hundred to thirteen 
hundred feet high. Post oak, hickory, Cottonwood, and walnut are abundant 
in both hills and valleys and, in the spring, the bright redbud and the white, 
wild plum blossoms splash young blue-green prairie grass with color. 

WYANDOTTE, 7.5 m. (754 alt., 348 pop.), was named for the Wyan- 
dotte Indians, whose reservation included this area after the land was ceded 
to the United States by the Senecas in 1867. Today (1941), Indians make up 
the greater part of the population of the village and the vicinity. The heavily 
wooded country is unsuitcd to agriculture except along the creek bottoms; 
most of Wyandotte's activities are dependent on the near-by Seneca Indian 

Right from Wyandotte on a graveled road to the Semeca Indian School, 0.5 m. 
(visitors welcome), founded by the Quakers. The first building, a log cabin north of the 
present site, was erected in 1869; now a dozen brick and frame structures comprise the 
plant, occupying a high bluff overlooking Lost Creek. The institution, which is under gov- 
ernment supervision, is open to members of all the northeastern Oklahoma tribes coming 
under the jurisdiction of the Quapaw Agency, and has an annual enrollment of 275. The 
school museum contains a collection of Indian relics. 

The town of FAIRLAND, 15.6 m. (828 alt., 781 pop.), was originally 
about two and one-half miles east of the present site and was called Prairie 
City. The first settlement moved to the present spot and changed its name 
to Fairland when the postmastership was obtained by an early-day store- 
keeper on this location. 

Fairland is in the center of a cattle-raising section, which also produces 
hay and grain. The large consolidated school, municipally owned water sys- 
tem, and modern business section will aid in making the town, which is 
within a few miles of the newly created (1941) Grand Lake, a resort center. 

Northwest of here are large deposits of tripoli — a rock which is ground 
into a flour used as an abrasive and a polisher in metal-working trades, for 
foundry facing, and as a filter. Most of the refining of the raw mineral is 
done at mills located at Seneca, Missouri. 

At 19.7 m., the route unites southwestward with US 66-69 (see Tours 1 
and 8) for twenty-five miles. 

At 22.9 m. is the junction with US 59 (sec Tour 15). 

AFTON, 23.9 m. (790 alt., 1,261 pop.) (sec Tour 1). 

TOUR 4 287 

VINITA, 39.5 m. (702 alt., 5,685 pop.) (see Tour 1). 

At 43.5 m. is the western junction with US 69; at 44.5 that with US 66. 

At 66.1 m. is the junction with an unimproved dirt road. 

Left on this road to a Delaware Church, 3.2 tn., built in 1871 by Rev. Charles 
Journeycake, the last chief of the Delaware Indians. South of the church is a monument to 
the old chief. 

Near the bridge across the Verdigris River at GOODY'S BLUFF, 62.5 
m. (648 alt., 64 pop.), is a log cabin that has been standing since pioneer 
days. The town was named for a Cherokee Indian family. 

An unusual method of oil extraction has been used in this area since 
1937 — the use of water pressure in order to produce enough oil from stripper 
wells to warrant their being operated. Water is forced down a well drilled 
to the same depth as several surrounding wells; it makes its way through 
the minute crevices and channels of the oil sands in which pockets of crude 
have been left in the normal process of drilling and pushes that crude toward 
the various holes, from which it can easily be retrieved by pumps. This re- 
pressuring method has brought about a "five-spot" appearance to the fields, 
since the original wells were fairly regularly spaced, one to every ten acres 
of drilling land; now a water well usually occupies the center of each forty- 
acre tract. A central powerhouse and reservoir furnishes water and power 
for as many as five of the forty-acre divisions. The process was first instituted 
because geologists estimated that only two thousand barrels had been re- 
moved from each potential forty-thousand-barrel acre. 

The turreted and spired houses of NOWATA, 68.5 m. (707 alt., 3,904 
pop.), with their ornamental lattices, carved banisters, and porch posts are 
typical of the "turn-of-the-century" architecture. In 1868, this area was in- 
cluded in the land sold by the Cherokee Indians to the Kansas Delawares. 
From the trading post, which was established a short time later, a setdement 
grew up to become the town of Nowata. When the railroad built through, 
two company surveyors are said to have named it Noweta at the suggestion 
of a Cherokee woman who said that the word meant, "We welcome you to 
come." The spelling was later changed in the records of the Post Office 

Nowata is at the junction with US 169 (see Tour 16). 

At 87.3 m. is the junction with US 75 (see Tour 9). 

BARTLESVILLE, 89.7 m. (694 alt., 16,267 pop.) (see Bartlesville). 

Left from Bartlesville on graveled State 23 to the Frank Phillips Ranch (admission 
only by appointment with Phillips Petroleum Co., Bartlesville) , 12 m., the country home 
of Frank Phillips, president (1941) and founder of the widespread Phillips Petroleum Com- 
pany. A rustic arched gateway marks the beginning of the winding drive through the ranch 
grounds to the Woolaroc Lodge and Museum, synthetically named for the words "woods," 
"lake," and "rock." The ranch, consisting of one thousand acres, is a private game preserve, 
and has seven lakes stocked with game fish. The entire estate is fenced, enclosing the vast 
pastures on which numerous species of animal and fowl, both native and foreign to Okla- 
homa, are kept. 

The ranch buildings are situated on a hill overlooking Oudaw Gulch and the largest 
of the lakes. Steps of native stone lead to the lake's edge where there are bathhouses, bathing 


beach, picnic grounds, barbecue pits, an Indian tepcc, and an old prairie schooner. The 
Lodge is a rambling, twelve-room, log structure. In the reception room the furnishings 
carry out the rustic theme; the piano and phonograph arc covered with a veneer of bark, 
and on the walls are stuffed animals, trophies, and many paintings. 

The museum was dedicated by Phillips to the Osage Indian tribe, of which he is the 
only white man to be an honorary member. A native-stone structure, it contains a varied 
and valuable collection, including the airplane, "Woolaroc," which Phillips furnished Art 
Goebel for his prize-winning flight to Honolulu in the Dole race of 1927. Fossils, relics, 
Indian costumes and trophies, shrunken human heads excavated in Central America, and 
gem-studded saddles are also displayed. Many oil paintings — mosdy western and Indian 
subjects — are hung against backgrounds of animal skins. John Noble's famous painting, 
"The Run," depicting the Cherokee Strip opening of 1893, is probably the most notable of 
the collection. A large album lists the approximately seventy-five thousand documents mak- 
ing up the Frank Phillips collection of historical papers at the University of Oklahoma 
Library (see Norman). 

Right from Bartlesville on a dirt road to the barren summit of ROUND MOUNTAIN, 
L8 m., from which there is a widespread view of the surrounding countryside. Atop the 
hill is a beacon for air navigation. 

Section b. BARTLESVILLE to ENID, 134.3 m. US 60 

Between BARTLESVILLE, m., and Ponca City, US 60 traverses 
the confines of the old Osage Nation, now Osage County. Indian teepees 
once dotted the rocky hills but today they have been replaced by "stripper 
wells" and "pumping jacks." The high-rounded Osage Hills encompass 
well-watered valleys, both blanketed in the spring and summer with many 
wild flowers. 

In 1872, the Osage Indians were removed from Kansas to Silver Lake 
(see Tour 9), and then to this tract of almost 1,500,000 acres, which they 
purchased from the Cherokee Nation. They had been paid $9,000,000 by the 
Federal government for their Kansas land, and since they lived on the inter- 
est from their money, they were known as the wealthiest Indians in the 
country. Their new lands were composed of hills and prairies, which was 
much to their liking, for they were naturally hunters and fighters rather 
than farmers. Many leased their lands for pasture; others adopted the white 
man's way and became ranchers themselves. 

The Osage roll, which was approved in 1908, listed 2,230 persons receiv- 
ing an allotment of 657 acres. All mineral rights were reserved for the benefit 
of the tribe, each individual headright to receive a pro rata share of the 
income. The discovery of oil and gas in the southwest corner of the nation 
in 1903 and the subsequent development of the vast field catapulted the 
Osages into an even greater luxury. By 1916, each member of the tribe was 
receiving annual amounts ranging from $2,200 to $15,000, and those who 
had inherited headrights had a still larger income. Total royalty and lease- 
bonus payments received by the tribe for their oil by 1934 amounted to some 

On the closing date for enrolling the Osages, some unique names were 
given to newborn babes, whose arrival might mean another headright for 
its family. One boy, born at 11:50 on the last night before the closing of the 
rolls, received the title of Johnny-On-The-Spot; while a luckless girl baby, 


TOUR 4 289 

who came into the world half an hour after midnight, was dubbed Mary- 

During the period of luxury for the Osages, it was not unusual to see 
a blanketed Indian — braids down his back and a Stetson on his head — at 
the wheel of an expensive automobile, while his wife and family, also color- 
fully blanketed, occupied the back seat. Today (1941), because of the depres- 
sion years and a partially depleted oil basin, the value of the Osage head- 
rights is considerably smaller but it is still appreciably larger than the income 
of the average white citizen. The Osage per capita wealth is now estimated 
at $4,700. 

The OSAGE HILLS STATE PARK (cabins, picnicking, swimming, 
and fishing facilities), 11.4 m., is a roUing, wooded area of 720 acres which 
has only recently been developed as a recreational area. Civilian Conserva- 
tion Corps workers, under the supervision of the National Park Service, have 
constructed hiking and bridle trails, picnic areas, shelters, a bathhouse, swim- 
ming pool, and natural-stone cabins. Sand Creek (boats 50c per day), a clear- 
water stream winding throughout the park, is stocked with several varieties 
of game fish. The gorges, glens, and bluffs furnish an ideal sanctuary for the 
wild game protected here. 

The recreation area was originally developed by citizens of the near-by 
city of Bartlesville, when they contributed money to build cabins for city 
Boy Scout troops. Now (1941), scouts from eight counties, and other organi- 
zations including the YWCA, YMCA, and Girl Reserves use the site as a 
summer camping ground. 

At 23.9 m. is the junction with graded County Road No. 7. 

Left on this road to PAWHUSKA INDIAN VILLAGE, 0.8 m., home of many mem- 
bers of the "D\veIlers-in-the-Thorny-Thickets" (see Tour 14) division of the Osage tribe. 
Chief Bacon Rind's Home is a grey, two-story structure with four gables; it has been 
allowed to deteriorate since the death of the famous chief in 1932. Bacon Rind, or Wah-she- 
hah, was born in 1853 of a family long important in the tribal government. His brilliance, 
fine physique, and ability as an orator in the Osage tongue (though he spoke little English) 
made him one of the best-liked Indians. After his death, Bacon Rind lay in state in his home, 
face painted in ceremonial fashion and body clothed in Indian costume. The funeral was 
a strange mixture of traditional Christian and Indian burial rites; weirdly singing mourners 
were employed and the guests feasted following the interment. A statue of him has been 
erected at Skedee (see Tour 2). 

A dance to commemorate the removal of the Osages from Kansas is held in the village 
in the latter part of September (visitors welcome); invitations are sent to neighboring tribes 
to attend the ceremonies. The dancing continues for four days with rites honoring past 
chiefs. Other powwows and feasts are held in the arbor here during fair weather, but during 
rainy seasons the "round house" at Grayhorse is used. One annual dance, around the 
American flag, celebrates the day (October 14) on which the tribe received from President 
Calvin Coolidge a certificate of thanks for Osage participation in the World War. 

The use of peyote, a dried cactus "button," as a sacrament figures largely in the elab- 
orate night-long Osage religious ceremonials. As early as the Spanish conquest, certain 
Mexican tribes employed peyote in religious rituals, and gradually its use spread northward 
until the end of the nineteenth century when it became popular among the Indians of 
Oklahoma. It was introduced on the Osage reservation in 1898 by John Wilson, a Caddo- 
Delaware. In 1911, a charter for the incorporation of the Native American Church was 
obtained from the state by Oklahoma Indians — the articles specif>'ing the use of peyote 
as a sacrament. 

The Osages hold their church meetings on Saturday nights in octagonal lodge houses 


with earthen floors and cement altars. About sixty feet from the church door is a sweat- 
bath house in which tlic ceremonial participants purify themselves physically with a buckeye 
root emetic while taking the bath. After purification, the Indians are led into the clcanswcpt 
church by the "Road Man" or leader; all scat themselves on blankets placed on the dirt 
floor and observe silence while the leader makes and lights a corn-shuck cigarette and prays 
aloud for the whole world. After the prayer the cigarette is placed on the "Road," and the 
"Road Man" continues during the night, admonishing, exhorting, and pointing out the 
right road to the worshipers, who throughout the ritual use the peyote both in its original 
form as a cactus button and steeped in a tea. The rhythms of a drum and gourd heighten 
the emotions until the end of the services on Sunday morning when the participants partake 
of a feast. 

The Grave of Bacon Rind, 1 »;., is located on the hilltop (L) in traditional Osage 

PAWHUSKA, 25.2 m. (885 alt., 5,443 pop.), is the seat of Osage 
County, the largest county in the state, and the tribal capital. The town, 
which still has the traditional Indian atmosphere, was named for a famous 
Osage chief. Pahu-^ka, or White Hair, received his name from an incident 
in the battle known as St. Clair's Defeat, fought during Washington's admin- 
istration. The Osage, then a youth, wounded an ofBcer wearing a powdered 
wig. He started to scalp his quarry when, to his amazement, the whole scalp 
came off and the victim escaped, leaving the Osage standing with a fluffy, 
white wig grasped in his fingers. Believing that the wig had supernatural 
powers, the warrior henceforth wore it fastened to his roach. 

The original White Hair was chief of the Osage tribe at the beginning 
of the nineteenth century, a position which he is said to have usurped from 
the lawful heir, Clermont, through the influence of the Chouteau family 
(see Tour 8). This action brought about a division of the Osage Nation, 
Clermont's band separating entirely. Both White Hair and his son, also 
known as Chief White Hair, were presented with medals by Lieutenant 
Zebulon M. Pike (see Tour 3). 

On the site of the first station here for the disbursing of funds to the 
Osage tribe is the Flatiron Building, Ki-he-kah Avenue and Main Street. 
A hitching rail originally enclosed the area; later, Pawhuska businessmen 
purchased the triangular plot and erected the modern building. The fabulous 
oil lease auctions of the Osage lands were held where the Ki-he-kah Theater, 
Ki-he-kah Avenue and Main Street, now stands. The yearly lease sales ranged 
from one to fourteen million dollars from 1916 to 1928, with the exception 
of 1926. On one occasion, an opening bid of $500,000 started a series of sales 
which closed at a total of more than $3,000,000. 

Rising above the business district is Agency Hill; at its foot is the City 
Hall, Main and Grandview Streets, formerly the Osage Council House. At 
the top of the hill are the stone and frame buildings of the Osage Agency, 
on a 104-acre tract. Here the tribal business is conducted by the superintend- 
ent, aided by a council composed of the chief of the Osages, assistant chief, 
and eight councilmen and a secretary elected by the tribe. 

The Osage Tribal Museum and Auditorium (free adm. 1:15 to 4 p.m. 
workdays; 2 to 5 p.m. Sundays), constructed of native sandstone, occupies the 
site of the first agency building on the hill. Its erection in 1938 was sponsored 
by the Osage tribal council in order to preserve linguistic and mythological 

TOUR 4 291 

data relating to the Osage Indians. The museum houses several extensive 
collections, the most outstanding of which are the Chief Bacon Rind and the 
John Bird accumulations of tribal costumes, paintings, bead and feather 
artcraft, treaties, and valuable documents. Bacon Rind's collection was willed 
by him to the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, D.C., but with the 
building of the Osage Museum the institution loaned the historical objects 
to the tribe for an indefinite period. There are also old photographs, voice 
recordings in the tribal language, and other materials necessary to trace a 
complete history of the tribe. 

Pawhuska is the home of Mary Todd Aaron, contemporary Oklahoma 
artist; Lemuel Jennings Childers (b. 1898), composer of works using authen- 
tic Indian themes; and John Joseph Mathews (b. 1895), of Osage blood, 
whose books have received wide acclaim. 

Herbert Hoover, President of the United States (1928-32), spent several 
boyhood summers here with his uncle. Major Laban J. Miles, who became 
Osage agent in 1878. Some Pawhuskans remember the interest of the orph- 
aned boy visitor in the rocks of the surrounding Osage Hills — an interest 
which later blossomed into a mining and engineering career. 

In the hills near the city are widespread grazing lands on which as many 
as four hundred thousand cattle are pastured in one season. Approximately 
two-thirds of the herds are owned by Osage ranchers; the remaining third is 
shipped in from Texas and other states, during March and April, to be fat- 
tened for July and August markets. Agricultural products of the ranches are 
corn, cotton, oats, hay, fruit, and berries. 

Pawhuska is at the junction with State 99 (see Tour 14). 

Right from Pawhuska on the graveled Osage Highway to the Barnard-Chapman 
Ranch (visitors welcome), 15.4 m., which covers one hundred thousand acres of rolling, 
prairie hills on which more than sixteen thousand head of Hereford cattle graze. The ranch 
house is a sprawling, twelve-room, brick building with a tile roof and many porches. The 
ranch has its own shipping pens and station located on the main line of the Midland Valley 
Railroad, which runs through the far-flung acres. When the ranch was first established, 
cattle were allowed the right of way and gates were put up across the highway so that they 
might saunter from one side to another at will. There were some thirty-seven gates across 
roads leading from Tulsa to the Barnard-Chapman Ranch at that time. With increasing 
travel, however, the gates were removed and notices of the catde crossings posted, warning 
the motorist to slow down. In addition to the grass-covered pastures, Sand, Dog, Buck, and 
Bird creeks cut across the ranch and afford a plentiful supply of water. It is said that there 
are more grass-fattened cattle shipped from here annually than from any other point in the 
United States. 

Right from Pawhuska on an unimproved dirt road is the Chief Saucy Chief Home- 
stead, 3.6 m. Nellie, the daughter of the chief, was the first Osage to be given Christian 
burial. She contracted pneumonia in 1885 at the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania 
and was sent home, where she died. Major Laban J. Miles, the Osage Agent at that time, 
persuaded her parents to conduct the Christian rites rather than their customary procedure 
of burying the dead in a sitting posture on the summit of a hill. However, the Indians kept 
their own mourning customs, the chief wearing only a white sheet, moccasins, and breech- 
clout for a three-and-a-half-month period, despite the snow-covered ground. In preparation 
for the three-day dance which was to end the mourning observance, the funeral party rode 
out solemnly to capture the scalp of a town merchant who had ingratiatingly decided to 
submit himself to a mock scalping; he allowed the Indians to cut off his forelock, minus 
the traditional accompaniment of skin. Major Miles was accorded the honor of leading the 


group — much to the amazement of Pawhuska citizens, who saw him riding into town 
holding the scalp-pole with the hair flying from its top. After Saucy Chief had been bathed 
and dressed in warm blankets, the dance began. Nellie's death had been properly observed, 
and her spirit sent on its journey with the blessing of both the white and red man's ritual. 

At 46.9 m. is the western junction with State 18, a graveled road. 

Left on State 18 to Fairfax, 9.6 m. (841 alt., 2,327 pop.), located in the center of 
large oil fields. 

Left from Fairfax on an improved dirt road to the Grave and Statue of Chief 
Ne-ka-wa-she-tun-ka, 4.3 m., the last Osage chieftain to receive the complete Osage burial 
ceremony. This included the killing of his favorite horse and the placing of a human scalp 
on his grave at the end of the mourning period to allow his spirit to enter the Happy Hunt- 
ing Ground. The scalp secured in this case was that of a Wichita chief, A-sa-wah, and its 
taking precipitated an intertribal incident which caused the government to forbid all future 
scalp-hunting. The Osages finally settled the score by making large payments of money and 
goods to the Wichitas. 

Left from Fairfax on graveled State 20 to a junction with a county road, 3 m.; L. on 
this road to GRAYHORSE, 4.5 m., where the "Dwellers-on-the-Hilltop" division (see Tour 
14) of the Osage Indians hold tribal dances and gatherings in the "round house" in inclem- 
ent weather. 

State 18 continues south from Fairfax to the Site of an Old Osage Rfver Ford, 15.7 
m., on the east bank of the Arkansas River, just across from the small town of RALSTON, 
15.9 m. When the river at this point divided the Osage and Pawnee Nations, charges of 
stealing and the raids of scalping parties caused many skirmishes between the two tribes at 
the ford. 

In the early history of Oklahoma, there were many attempts to establish a trade route 
up the Arkansas River past Fort Gibson (see Tour 3), at which point ascending navigation 
became dangerous. In 1878, one small steamer managed to go as far as the mouth of the 
Walnut River in Kansas; and in the 1880's, a flour carrier, "Kansas Millers," successfully 
made the trip from Arkansas City, Kansas, to the Arkansas Line. In 1885, a steamer 
unloaded merchandise at the Kaw Indian Agency (northwest of this point), and in 1898, 
the "Minnie" made the last attempt to ascend farther than this landing. Loaded with walnut 
logs to fill a contract for gunstock lumber, she went aground on a sand bar just southwest of 
this ford; her cargo was unloaded and hauled to its destination by wagon. In the early 
1900's, a small steamboat made several trips between Ralston and Tulsa. Though the ship, 
using a threshing machine engine for power, was not much more than a flatboat, it pro- 
vided a means of transporting merchandise to towns having no transportation facilities other 
than freight wagons and stage coaches. 

BURBANK, 49.1 m. (935 alt., 329 pop.), until the discovery of oil 
brought a boom to the town, was primarily an Osage settlement. The near-by 
blufls on which cockleburs grow in profusion are said to have furnished the 
inspiration for the town's name, suggested by railroad men when the Santa 
Fe established a station here in 1903. 

At the opening of the Burbank field in May, 1920, the sale of leases 
brought less than $10 an acre, but after production was well under way, leases 
sold for as high as $10,000 an acre. The rush for leases in the Burbank boom 
brought fabulous prices for land which had sold for as litde as $800 a quarter 
section prior to 1920. In June, 1921, the sale of fourteen leases brought 
$3,256,000, while in a December sale of that year, eighteen sold for $6,250,000. 
By 1922, two leases sold for $1,335,000 and $1,160,000, respectively. In addi- 
tion to the bonuses paid to the Indians for the right to drill, all contracts with 
them call for a special royalty on the production. The ordinary royalty is one- 

TOUR 4 293 

eighth of the oil and gas produced, but the Osages receive one-sixth on leases 
producing less than one hundred barrels a day and one-fifth where the yield 
is more. 

At 67.9 m. US 60 crosses the Arkansas River, 

At 68.5 m. is the junction with US 77 (see Tour 10), which unites south- 
westward with US 60 for 4.2 miles. 

PONCA CITY, 69.4 m. (1,003 alt., 16,794 pop.) (see Ponca City). 

At 80.5 m. is the junction with US 177, a paved highway. 

Right on this road to BLACKWELL, 11 tn. (1,020 alt., 8,537 pop.), the second largest 
municipality in Kay County and the center of a rich farming region. Extending from the 
southwest bank of the Chikaskia River to and beyond US 177, which is its main north and 
south street, Blackwell spreads over four square miles of flat land. 

This prairie city came into existence at the opening to settlement of the Cherokee Out- 
let in the Run of September 16, 1893. A. J. Blackwell, an adopted citizen of the Cherokee 
Nation, who asserted his right to occupy and use land assigned to the tribe as an outlet to 
hunting grounds, platted the site, set up a provisional town government with himself at the 
head, and sold lots. A group of families from Winfield, Kansas, were the first permanent 

Even before the opening, however, a tent city of some fifteen hundred of Payne's 
"boomers" (see History) was established just across the river from the present city. The 
trespassing colonists lived there in the summer of 1884, until United States troops drove 
them out, and published a little newspaper called the Oklahoma War Chief (see News- 
papers) . 

For a considerable time after Blackwell was established, its founder continued his 
practically one-man government. His despotic attitude caused resentment, and when he 
undertook to bring in Negro workmen in defiance of the unofficial but strict ban on their 
residence or employment in town, the tent they occupied was fired upon at night. Some 
were killed, and others were wounded, and neither Blackwell or anyone else made further 
attempts in that direction. 

As town-builder and boss, Blackwell had a tumultous career. In his role of self- 
ordained Baptist picacher, he earned the title of "prophet"; as a hot-tempered frontiersman, 
he twice drew indictments for murder, neither of which resulted in conviction. 

With the founder's passing, the town setded into a period of steady growth as the 
market for a good wheat-growing section. Then, to serve the needs of cattlemen of the 
Tonkawa and Ponca reservations region to the south and southeast, a packing plant was 
established, and its products still (1941) find a market in northern Oklahoma and southern 
Kansas. During the first World War a zinc smelter was built, where for a time 650 work- 
men treated some seven thousand tons of ore monthly. After being shut down for years, 
this smelter was reopened in 1941 in response to demands for zinc and lead due to the 
second World War. Other industries are an oil refinery, a glassmaking factory, a brickmaking 
and two cabinetmaking plants, a cheese factory, and two that turn out other dairy products. 

An excellent public library, in a tile-roofed, red-brick, one-story building, grew out of 
a small Chautauqua collection of books housed in a single room over a bank in 1903. Among 
its more than thirteen thousand volumes are many autographed copies of books by Okla- 
homa writers, a considerable collection of material on the state's history, and thirty pictures 
by Oklahoma Indian artists donated by Mrs. Laura Clubb, of Kaw City (see Tour 10). In 
the library is a minature theater for presentation of puppet plays. The building was erected 
in 1931 at a cost of $35,000 for building and furniture; this sum came from a fund accumu- 
lated from a two-mill municipal levy for library purposes imposed in 1921. The library's 
current annual budget of some $7,700 is provided from a continuing levy. 

There is an airport west of the city, and Wheeler-Huston Athletic Park (lighted; dog 
racing) is at its southern edge. 

Named for the Tonkawa Indians who once owned the land surrounding 
it, TONKAWA, 82.6 m. (1,003 alt., 3,197 pop.), is today a busy oil city. 


Wells in the vicinity have been producing since 1921 and are covering an 
ever-widening area. 

In 1879, Chief Joseph and his band of Nez Perce Indians were brought 
as prisoners and exiles from their home in Idaho and placed on a reservation 
located at the Yellow Bull crossing on the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River, 
just a few hundred yards west of the present main street of Tonkawa. The 
crossing received its name from the Nez Perce chief. Yellow Bull, who built 
a log house near by. Here they stayed for several years, always longing to 
return to their former home, and finally they were allowed to remove. 

The Tonkawas, who were few in number, seem to have originated in 
Texas; but during the Civil War they were encamped on the Washita River 
near Anadarko (see Tour 3) where, because they were suspected of cannibal- 
ism, the tribe was almost exterminated. During their wanderings, these so- 
called "Ishmaels of the Plains" were successively thinned by war, massacre, 
and disease, before they finally found a home here on the Salt Fork of the 
Arkansas. It is said that the meaning of the name, Tonkawa, is "They all stay 
together." They accepted allotments in 1891 and sold the remainder of their 
land to the United States; it was opened for settlement along with the Chero- 
kee Strip in 1893. At present (1941) the only available count of the Tonkawas 
lists eighteen persons. 

Tonkawa was platted the year after the Run, and in 1901 was chosen as 
the site for the present Tonkawa University Preparatory School and 
Junior College (five blocks L. from junction of US 60 and Grand Avenue), 
by the Territorial legislature then in session. The state-owned institution is 
housed in five buildings in the center of a twenty-acre tract; the oldest struc- 
ture, ivy-covered Central Hall, contains workshops, the business school, and 
classrooms. Wilkins Hall, which is the newest of the buildings, has an impos- 
ing entrance supported by two massive Corinthian columns. North Hall and 
the Gymnasium complete the college group. 

Since the vicinity was included in the Cherokee Strip opening, Tonkawa 
citizens join a number of other Oklahomans in the annual celebration of Sep- 
tember 16, anniversary of the Run. The day begins with a parade and repro- 
duction of the stirring chase for land, the participants dressing in authentic 
costumes of 1893. The Old Settlers program in the afternoon includes Indian 
dances, reels, and fiddling contests. 

LAMONT, 97.9 m. (997 alt., 577 pop.), named for Daniel Lamont, 
Secretary of War (1893-97), is near the sandy lowlands of the Salt Fork, 
where unusually large and delicious watermelons are grown. Annually in 
September, the residents celebrate their harvest with a Watermelon Festival, 
when they boast that they serve ten tons of the fruit free to visitors. A huge 
concrete pit, which was constructed back of the Community House especially 
for storage of the melons, is the center of the day's events; these include a 
football game, horseshoe pitching, terrapin derby, dancing, and the corona- 
tion of the festival queen. 

POND CREEK, 112.4 m. (1,050 alt., 1,019 pop.) (see Tour 11), is at 
the eastern junction with US 81 (see Tour 11), which unites southward with 
US 60 for twenty-two miles. 

TOUR 4 295 

At 116.8 m. is the junction with US 64, which unites with US 60 and 
US 81 to Enid. 

ENID, 134.3 m. (1,246 alt., 28,081 pop.) (see Enid), is at the southern 
junction with US 81 and US 64; US 60 again turns sharply west. 

Section c. ENID to TEXAS LINE, 136.1 m. US 60 

West of ENID, m., US 60 passes through wide-stretching wheat fields, 
where grain elevators occasionally tower like skyscrapers above the level land. 
In the high, dry country west of the North Canadian River, towns are seen 
at a great distance because of the clarity of atmosphere. Overgrazing and 
overcultivation in addition to prolonged years of drouth have caused this sec- 
tion of Oklahoma to suffer in recent years; but a farseeing program of contour 
farming, reforestation, and planting of soil-binding crops is checking the Dust 
Bowl encroachment. 

At 8.2 m. is the junction with an improved dirt road. 

Left on this road to DRUMMOND, 8.1 m. (1,213 alt., 245 pop.) ; just west of the town 
are flats which fill with water during the rainy season in the fall, affording excellent hunting 
for ducks, geese, and other migratory wild fowl. 

The largest community of Mennonites in Oklahoma, and probably of the 
Southwest, live on farms near MENO, 18.2 m. (1,300 alt., 180 pop.), which 
serves as a trade center. The sect has a church here, with eight hundred mem- 
bers, and a grade school, high school, and college. In accordance with their 
age-old custom, many of the older men still wearing undipped beards, and 
black-capped old ladies wearing picturesque white neckpieces and black 
shawls, may be seen on the street. 

At 22.2 7W. is the junction with State 58, a graveled highway. 

Left on State 58 to RINGWOOD, 1 m. (1,307 alt., 288 pop.), named for the ring of 
woods encircling the town. The site was homesteaded in 1895, and the township platted 
and lots sold at auction in 1901. 

At 33.3 m. is the junction with State 8, an improved dirt road. 

Right on State 8 to CLEO SPRINGS, 1 w. (1,242 alt., 386 pop.), which, according to 
legend, was named for an Indian maiden and the near-by presence of clear-water springs. 
There is a large swimming pool (free), fed by the limpid spring water, in the town. 

The wide, sandy CIMARRON RIVER, 34.3 m., is typical of all river 
beds in the western part of Oklahoma; shifting sands allow the channel 
to change course frequently, and gypsum deposits have given the banks a 
bare and desolate air. 

ORIENTA, 36.2 m. (1,245 alt., 37 pop.), a farming hamlet, is at the 
junction with State 15, an improved dirt road. 

Right from Orienta on State 15 are the gypsum-covered buttes of the GLASS MOUN- 
TAINS, 5 ni., so named because their surface is covered by millions of tiny, sparkling selenite 
crystals. The abrupdy-rising, fancifully-shaped hills are a part of the Blaine Escarpment, a 
great gypsum formation which extends across most of western Oklahoma. Geologists believe 


that water, through the centuries, has worn away the softer shales and clays, leaving the 
resistant gypsum to form a hard, protecting top. Gradual erosion has left strange forma- 
tions — appearing to be feudal castles, or minarets, or human profiles — carved in solid caps 
of the gypsum, four to five feet thick. Large quantities of the sclenitc crystals and bands 
of satin spar cover the Glass Mountains, which range in height from a few feet to three 
hundred feet above the valley floor. Chunks of the crystal, clear as processed glass, may be 
picked up, but will crumble into powder when light pressure is applied. 

One towering, crystalline rock, CATHEDRAL MOUNTAIN (300 alt.), 5.8 m. 
stands out from the rest — shaped like a great cathedral, with portals and towers. From a 
distance its thick layer of gypsum, which has been streaked a gray-green by the weather, 
gives the appearance of varicolored and mullioned windows. Westward from there, sand 
dunes have piled up on the edges of the mountains, covering some of the smaller peaks. 
Because the vicinity is so desert-like, there are few houses; even the perennial filling station 
has been routed. 

US 60 is the main street of FAIRVIEW, 42.8 m. (1,302 alt., 1,913 pop.), 
the seat of Major County. The town is located on a flat plain in an agricultu- 
ral section, with the Glass Mountains to the northwest and the Cimarron 
River valley to the east, making a setting of natural beauty. Because of the 
presence of gypsum in the water underlying the townsite, the city supply is 
piped from a source northeast of the Cimarron River. The water and electrical 
systems are both municipally owned. 

West of Fairview, many of the farms seen for the first few miles belong 
to members of a separate sect of the Mennonites. This group, called the Church 
of God in Christ Mennonites, are descendants of German-Russians who first 
followed the teaching of Menno Simons (1492-1559), a Catholic priest who 
discarded the Roman faith to join the Anabaptists and then formed a new 
sect which eventually took his name. Their emblem is the cedar tree — chosen 
for its sturdy and resistant qualities — and their homes may be easily distin- 
guished, for the yards are usually dotted with evergreens. The simple life is 
their creed, and they believe in a doctrine of nonparticipation in civil or mili- 
tary activities. They boast that none of their members has ever registered as 
a relief client; the financial status of each individual is under supervision of 
the church at large, its approval being necessary before debt can be incurred. 

SEILING, 75.2 m. (1,760 alt., 629 pop.), was named for the original 
homesteader of the townsite. It is located in the fertile valley between the 
North and South Canadian rivers, with big-scale wheat raising as its main 
agricultural activity. In the spring and fall, races are held at the near-by Neck- 
lace Downs, earning for the town the sobriquet of "The little Louisville of 
the Southwest." 

Amos Chapman, famous army scout in the days of the settlement of Ok- 
lahoma, lived at Selling after his retirement and was buried in the family 
cemetery east of town. Chapman was the hero of the Buffalo Wallow fight 
(see Texas Guide) when he lost a leg attempting to save a soldier. His wife 
was a relative of Chief Black Kettle, the Cheyenne chief. General W. T. Sher- 
man's aide-de-camp. Colonel Richard Dodge, said in his book, Our Wild 
Indians, that Amos Chapman was "one of the best and bravest scouts ... I 
have ever known." 

Seiling was also for a short period the home of the prohibition-crusader, 
Carry A. Nation. It was probably from here that she started many of her lee- 

TOUR 4 297 

ture tours and hatchet-wielding forays through the saloon-infested parts of 
Oklahoma Territory. Later she moved to Guthrie, where in 1905 she began 
to publish her newspaper, The Hatchet (see Tour 10). 

In Seiling are the junctions with US 270 (see Tour 5) and US 183 (see 
Tour 12), which unite with US 60 for two miles. The route continues almost 
due west from this point to the Texas Line, traversing a high flat country in 
which timber grows only along the streams. Cattle-raising was once the dom- 
inant activity of the section, but agriculture (particularly wheat-raising) has 
gained ascendancy. 

Near VICI, 96.2 tn. (2,253 alt., 617 pop.), a cattle and farming center, 
are large quantities of bentonite, a clay used in the manufacture of cosmetics. 
The substance is also used in refining crude oil. 

Westward, the rolling plains are covered with tumbleweed and yucca or 
soapweed — a sturdy plant of many sword-shaped leaves thrusting skyward 
abruptly from the earth, and adorned with tall spikes of creamy, drooping, 
bell-shaped flowers. The yucca withstands the most adverse weather condi- 
tions because of its long, tough roots; farmers dig and boil them to make a 
thick soap, and one commercial soap product is made entirely from the plant. 
In some places, the highway has been cut through red-clay hills; piles of 
brush, weighted with logs and stone, line the slopes to prevent dirt slides. 
Scattered clumps of scrub oak have been left infrequently to serve as wind- 
breaks, but most of the small frame houses have no protection or shade. 

At 122.7 m. is the eastern junction with US 283 (see Tour 13), which 
unites westward with US 60 for 6.6 miles. 

In the center of the ARNETT 123.2 m. (2,460 alt., 529 pop.), town 
square is the Ellis County Courthouse; also in the square is the public library. 
Near the town are several large ranches; one, the Berryman Ranch, has a 
herd of purebred cattle and a wildlife refuge stocked with quail and prairie 

At 124.1 m. US 60 crosses the old Indian Buffalo Trail, which ran 
from old Fort Supply (see Tour 12) to a huge buffalo wallow northeast of 
the Antelope Hills (see Tour 13) in a bend of the South Canadian River. 
Many Indian hunting parties once filed along this trail, and General George 
A. Custer and the Seventh Cavalry marched south on it from Fort Supply to 
the Washita River when they met the Cheyennes and allied tribes in the 
Battle of the Washita (see Tour 13). 

At 129.3 m. is the western junction with US 283. 

Left at this point on a series of graded dirt roads; R. at 5.4 m., L. at 6.4 m., R. at 7.5 
m., and L. again at 8.3 m. to the Burnett Gristmill, 12.8 m., built by W. F. Burnett on 
his homestead about 1900, and run by the waters of near-by Little Robe Creek. The mill was 
abandoned in 1925, then used for several years as a canning factory; today (1941), the 
board walls are warped and peeling, the floor is sagging with the weight of stored baled hay 
and rusty mill machinery, and the huge paddle wheel is broken. The sturdy axle, which 
turned the wheel for many years, was originally hewn from a single tree and still is in 

A story is told of a battle between Texas Rangers and a band of Comanches that sup- 
posedly took place near the site of the old mill. In the late spring of 1858, a detachment of 
Rangers, accompanied by friendly Tonkawa Indian scouts, came up the Red River and 
attacked a Comanche village which was then on Little Creek. Prohebits Quasho (Iron 


Jacket), the band's war chief, rode out to greet the attackers, mounted on an iron-gray 
horse and wearing a rusty coat of mail — armor which had probably been taken from a 
Spanish explorer some generations before and handed down to each succeeding Comanche 
chieftain as an insignia of leadership and invulnerability. Iron Jacket courageously braved 
the fire of the rangers, the bullets having no effect other than to cause him to swerve back 
and forth. He passed unscathed through the barrage, warranting — even to some of the 
Rangers — the Comanches' belief that he bore a charmed life. But the bullet of one of the 
Tonkawa scouts found its mark in his neck, exposed for a moment as he abruptly turned 
his horse, and Iron Jacket fell dead. The Comanches were easily routed after the death of 
their leader. 

US 60 crosses the Texas Line at 136.1 m., twenty-seven miles northeast 
of Canadian, Texas (see Texas Guide). 

Mii^ ^ ^ j^O/^^ j^O/?^ ^ , jtsOiii ... ^^"i . .. ^^11 . , v^^"i . . ^^/H 

Tour 5 

Junction US 271 — McAlester — Oklahoma City — Watonga — Seiling; 
299.5 m. US 270. 

Roadbed alternately paved and graveled. 

The Rock Island Ry. parallels the route between Junction US 271 and Watonga. 

Accommodations available chiefly in towns and cities; few tourist camps. 

Both in the eastern and western parts of the state, US 270 passes through 
rugged country — mountainous and wooded, bald and hilly. In the middle 
section are fertile valleys where busy cities have grown steadily from Terri- 
torial villages or shot up abruptly after the discovery of oil. 

Constantly changing, too, are the racial strains of the people. At its east- 
ern end, where US 270 tops the northern edge of the peaceful, green Winding 
Stair mountain range, the Choctaw Indians once established a republic. 
Earlier, intrepid French explorers had left their stamp in the naming of the 
Fourche Maline and the Sans Bois foothills. Later, swarthy Italians came to 
mine the valuable coal deposits of the section. West of Mc.\lcster, US 270 
passes through land formerly belonging to the unhappy and sometimes tur- 
bulent Seminoles, the hospitable Creeks, and the smaller groups of Shawnees, 
Potawatomis, and the recalcitrant Kickapoos. Here the route crosses one of 
the greatest oil fields of the state. 

Northwest of El Reno are strange formations of bare gypsum hills, 
through which the North Canadian River cuts a gash to reveal peculiarly 
bcautilul red soil, heightened and contrasted by growths of cedar trees. The 
Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians once ranged there, and later the abstaining 

TOUR 5 299 

Amish, Dunkard, and River Brethren flocks made their homes in isolated 
communities. Calm and unchanged, they adhere to the tenets and customs 
of their forefathers. 

Section a. JUNCTION US 271 to McALESTER, 59.9 m. US 270 

US 270 branches west from its junction, w., with US 271 (see Tour 7) 
at a point 14.3 miles southwest of Poteau (see Tour 7). 

Plans have been drawn for the construction of a dam at the confluence of 
the Fourche Maline and the Poteau rivers a few miles southeast of this junc- 
tion, creating a large lake which would parallel the highway. No definite 
action (1941) has been taken, however. 

In the nineteenth century, this wooded and mountainous section was 
dotted with many Choctaw setdements, but today only scattered piles of stone 
mark their sites. After the coming of the railroads, coal mining was an im- 
portant industry, but with the decreased demand for coal and the concerted 
development of more productive areas, these mines are being worked on only 
a small scale. Agriculture and tourist trade are the industrial mainstays of 
the region. 

RED OAK, 14.2 m. (590 alt., 484 pop.), is a small farming center which 
was named for a large red oak tree that stood in the center of the town 
when this region was the Choctaw Nation. The Indians held district court 
there and used the oak as a whipping post. 

The most serious political disturbance in the history of the Choctaw 
Nation had its finale at Red Oak when Silan Lewis was executed for his part 
in the Nationalist uprising at Antlers (see Tour 7), following the election of 
1892. The fuUblood Lewis, who had once been sheriff of his own district, 
upheld the traditional Choctaw honor when he came striding in from his 
woodland home on the appointed day, November 5, 1894, and quietly sat 
with back against the tree to await his death from the firing squad. 

WILBURTON, 27.1 m. (657 alt., 1,925 pop.), was named for Will 
Burton, a contractor employed in the construction of the Choctaw, Oklahoma, 
and Gulf Railroad (now Rock Island) through this vicinity in 1890. After 
completion of the railroad, coal mines were opened near Wilburton and much 
coal was shipped from here for a number of years; today (1941), mining 
operations have greatly decreased. 

Right from Wilburton on State 2, a graveled highway, is the CHOCTAW INDIAN 
COMMUNITY SETTLEMENT PROJECT, 1.7 m., established in 1933 as a rehabilitation 
measure. The settlement, which is operated under the colony plan, was built on 2,200 acres 
of unsold mineral land belonging to the Choctaws. The community hall and offices are 
grouped at the south end of the area, and the cottage homes are located on twenty-acre 
tracts; the construction work was done co-operatively by the Indians, who share their farm 
implements and other equipment. The project is supervised by the Indian agent at Wilburton. 

ROBBER'S CAVE STATE P.VRK, -4.3 m., a mountainous tract of 8,400 acres, is one 
of the largest recreation areas owned by the state. The canyons, pine-covered hills, streams, 
and huge rocks of the Sans Bois range are visible from the winding highway and the many 
foot trails. Six miles of the sparkling, clear Fourche Maline Creek, running swiftly over 
rock bottom, are within the park; in places, the stream has cut deep gorges, lofty cliffs, and 
imposing bluffs. The Fourche Maline has been damned to form Lake Carlton, a fifty-two- 


acre basin; work on the lake, the grounds, and recreation facilities was done by CCC workers 
under the direction of the National Park Service. The entire area is enclosed with a seven- 
foot, all-steel fence because the park has been designated as a game refuge. 

In the center of the park is the Tom Hai.k Boy Scout Camp (No trespassing; permis- 
sion to camp tnay he obtained from caretaker at headquarters building) , 7.6 m., covering 
140 acres adjoining Fourchc Maline Creek. The camp was named for Tom Hale, a generous 
contributor to welfare projects for the young people of southeastern Oklahoma, and has 
accommodations for 175 boys. The buildings were constructed of native stone at an esti- 
mated cost of $50,000. 

Just north of the scout camp is Robber's Cave, for which the park was named. Steps 
have been carved to the mouth one hundred feet up the side of a sandstone cliff. Within the 
cave are many chambers, tunnels, and labyrinths supposed to have been used as hiding places 
by outlaws. Legend has it that loot once cached by early-day robbers and highwaymen is 
still buried in the cave, and many treasure-seekers visit here yearly. One story is told of 
"Fiddlin' Jim," an admirer of the notorious Belle Starr (see Tour 2) who was slain here 
by a jealous rival as he sat playing his fiddle at the entrance of the cave. Natives say that a 
weird melody is heard when the harvest moon shines — "Fiddlin' Jim" is playing again. 

At 28.9 m. on US 270 is the western junction with State 2. 

Left on State 2 to the Spanish War Veterans' Colony, 8 m., founded in 1936 and 
controlled by the Oklahoma group of the United Spanish War Veterans. The 760-acre tract 
is owned by the organization, which retains the deed to the land although a veteran and 
his family may, for a $5.00 fee, build a house here and remain for life. More than thirty 
houses, a large administration building, and a central office building have been constructed 
of native stone and pine. Individual gardens, a communal orchard, wild fruit and berries, 
good fishing streams, and free pasturage for their cattle provide the colonists the most needed 

The Eastern Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, 
30.1 m., is a state junior college (R), founded in 1909 as a School of Mines 
and Metallurgy. Wilburton citizens gave sixty acres of land to establish the 
school, which was a mining engineering institution until it was closed for 
two years during the first World War. After the war, the Federal govern- 
ment operated it for several years as an industrial training school for dis- 
abled veterans. In 1927, the name was changed to the Eastern Oklahoma 
College, and a general college curriculum was established in addition to voca- 
tional secondary work. In 1935, the state legislature authorized the school to 
care for and educate dependent youths and orphans; many counties are now 
taking advantage of this benefit and sending deserving youths to the school. 
The name of the college was changed again in 1939 to conform to the specific 
courses now being offered in addition to the regular program. A 270-acre 
farm, well-equipped machine shop, men's and women's dormitories, admin- 
istration building, and dairy barn comprise the campus unit. 

GOWEN, 38.2 m. (691 alt., 633 pop.), a coal-mining center, was once 
the home of the popular Negro screen actor, Stcpin Fctchit (Lincoln Perry). 
The one-mile walk from his home to the school here was "jes too much," so 
the story goes, and he rarely attended; but he so successfully capitalized his 
laziness that he rose from a $3-a-week job with a medicine show to his pres- 
ent (1941) status as a well-known movie character actor. His screen name 
has evolved from the consistent answer he makes to a request for action, "I'll 
stcp'n fetchit purty soon." 

At 45 m. is a junction with a narrow lane. 

TOUR 5 301 

Right on this lane to the Jones Academy, 0.5 m., an Indian boys' school established 
by the Choctaw tribe in 1891 as a companion school to the Tuskahoma Female Academy 
(see Tour 7). The institution was named for Wilson N. Jones, then principal chief of the 
Choctaws, and became the most important of the tribal boys' schools after the Spencer 
Academy near Soper (see Tour 6) burned in 1896. The Choctaw Indians still own the 
buildings and grounds, but the academy is at present (1941) supported by Federal appro- 
priations. The course includes vocational and agricultural training. 

In this vicinity, Bernard de la Harpe, the French explorer, camped in 
1719 during his expedition to the Arkansas River, where he hoped to make 
treaties with Indian tribes. 

HARTSHORNE, 45.4 m. (705 alt., 2,596 pop.), and HAILEYVILLE, 
47.3 m. (612 alt., 1,183 pop.), were both established about 1890 and platted 
in 1902, and both have coal mining as their principal industry. Hartshorne 
was named for Dr. Hartshorne, an early setder, and Haileyville for Dr. David 
Morris Hailey (1841-1919), who emigrated to Oklahoma from Louisiana 
after the Civil War. Dr. Hailey assisted in sinking the first coal mine shaft 
in the McAlester district of the large Pittsburg County field. His portrait 
hangs in the State Confederate Memorial Hall of the Oklahoma Historical 
Society Building in Oklahoma City. 

Since both towns have depended almost entirely on coal mining for live- 
lihood, populations and community wealth have decreased since the cessation 
of large-scale mining activities. Between Hartshorne and Haileyville, resi- 
dences and shops line the highway, and an interurban service is maintained 
for the short distance. Farming, lumbering, and livestock-raising have to a 
certain extent replaced the mining industry in the district. 

A pioneer coal-mining setdement, ALDERSON, 55.3 m. (680 alt., 340 
pop.), was the scene of an unusual labor situation in 1894. The Choctaw 
Nation required the mining corporations to pay a small monthly tax for each 
employee. As the result of a strike by the miners over a 25 per cent wage re- 
duction, the company refused to pay the tax; and the workers thereby auto- 
matically became intruders in Indian Territory. The Choctaw Chief then 
asked that the miners be removed from his nation since the tribe received no 
royalties when the mines were closed. The appeal passed through the offices 
of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, the Secretary of the Interior, and 
finally to President Cleveland, who approved it. Three companies of infantry 
and two of cavalry were dispatched to deport the group; Alderson was desig- 
nated as troop headquarters and all arrested miners were brought here. Ap- 
proximately two hundred workers and their families were loaded into box- 
cars and taken to Jenson, Arkansas, the nearest town outside of Indian Terri- 
tory from this point. 

The governor of Arkansas protested against the action, and Italy and 
Great Britain, since many of the evicted miners were citizens of these coun- 
tries, also protested through the State Department. But the strike was broken, 
mines resumed operations shordy, and royalties once more poured into the 
Choctaw treasury. 

KREBS, 58.4 m. (715 alt., 1,436 pop.), was built in the midst of coal 
mines that are now (1941) abandoned, and great piles of waste rock may still 


be seen throughout the town. Many ItaHan miners, who first came when the 
mines were flourishing, are engaged in farming today. 

Wide differences in the background of these early settlers and the con- 
fusing circumstances of rule by Choctaw law. Federal courts, and the Indian 
agent gave the town an unsavory reputation during Territorial days. Legal 
restrictions regarding the importation, sale, and manufacture of liquor dif- 
fered and allowed so many loopholes for violation that Krcbs became known 
for its production of a drink called Choctaw or "choc" beer, made of hops, 
tobacco, fishberries, barley, and alcohol. In 1895, Congress enacted a law 
which was sufficiently comprehensive to override all previous judgments, and 
"choc" beer was finally made illegal. 

A drug store, established here in 1888, is still operating. It has been the 
scene of many emergency treatments, for in Indian Territory days there were 
no hospitals, and numerous injuries, gas burns, and explosions occurred in 
the near-by mines. Vaseline was stocked in five-hundred-pound quantities, 
raw linseed oil in fifty-barrel lots, and iodoform in ten-pound lots. One par- 
ticular explosion caused by blackdamp in 1892 kept the store open day and 
night for two weeks. A story is told about the tattered clothes of an Italian 
victim of this tragedy; in their haste, rescuers hung the articles on a fence, 
where they flapped in the wind for days until the brother of the man identi- 
fied them and, upon examination, found $975 sewed in the ragged jumper. 

McALESTER, 59.9 m. (718 alt., 12,401 pop.), started as a tent store at 
the crossroads of two well-traveled Indian Territory roads, the California 
Trail and the Texas Road. The heavy traffic of the Texas Road, used until 
1872 when the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad built tracks almost parallel 
with it, and the influx of adventurers along the California Trail after the 
discovery of gold in 1849 made a flourishing business for James J. McAlester, 
who established the crossroads store in 1870. 

McAlester is also given credit for the discovery of coal in Pittsburg 
County. A geologist's memorandum book, telling of rich deposits of the 
mineral, had fallen into his hands and this resulted in his coming to Indian 
Territory. After his arrival, McAlester married a Chickasaw girl and thus 
became a citizen of the Choctaw Nation, since by the treaties of 1837 and 
1855 the two tribes owned their land in common and enjoyed full citizenship 
rights in either nation. When the coming of the railroad made mining opera- 
tions possible, he and other Choctaw citizens began extracting the coal under 
a Choctaw constitutional provision allowing a citizen the right to mine for 
a mile in every direction any mineral discovered by him. Controversy resulted 
when the Choctaw government claimed the royalty which McAlester's group 
began to receive from the lessees. Legality of the transaction was approved 
by the tribal court, but Chief Coleman Cole expressed his opposition to the 
mines by sentencing McAlester and three of the co-owners to death. They 
escaped, however, with the aid of their guard, and a compromise later settled 
the affair by giving half the royalty to the Choctaw Nation and the other 
half to the mine owners. McAlester later became lieutenant governor of 
Oklahoma (1911-15). 

The town which grew up around the founder's store is now called North 

TOUR 5 303 

McAlester; the main part of present-day McAlester developed later when the 
Rock Island Railway built to a junction with the Missouri-Kansas-Texas 
line. The city is laid out over a series of hills, with the main business district 
on one hill. US 270, which becomes Grand Avenue, one of McAlester's im- 
portant thoroughfares, passes the Pittsburg County Courthouse, Grand 
Avenue and 2d Street, and the chief hotels. The red-brick courthouse is con- 
structed in a U-shape around an elevated concrete court and sits flush with 
the street. 

The Ohoyahoma Clubhouse, North Main Street and Park Avenue, is 
an unpretentious frame building with porch, lean-to, and stone chimney. It 
was built in 1876 and served as the Tobucksy County Courthouse in the days 
of the Choctaw Nation. After the absorption of the Choctaws into United 
States citizenry, the building fell into disuse; recently it was purchased and 
restored by the Ohoyahoma Club, a local organization of Indian women. The 
club maintains a Museum (free) in the building with a large collection of 
authentic Indian articles on display. 

The Indian Scottish Rite Consistory, Adams Avenue and 2d Street, 
one of the two consistories in Oklahoma, is a huge, block-long, cream-colored 
brick and stone building elaborately decorated with algonite and Carthage 
stone. A great copper sphere, rising fifty feet above the roof, contains multi- 
colored lenses and when lighted may be seen for several miles. Will Rogers 
received Scottish Rite degrees here in 1908. 

Meat packing, cotton-oil milling, macaroni manufacture, lumbering, 
and dry gas drilling make up the city's important commerce. 

McAlester is at the junction with US 69 (see Tour 8). 

Right from McAlester on the graveled Rainbow Highway to the Oklahoma State 
Penitentiary (9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Tues. and Fri.; guide provided), 1 m., where 
more than three thousand prisoners are confined in the ten-acre tract enclosed by a fourteen- 
foot concrete wall. The main structures within the wall spread out fanwise from the large 
Administration Building facing south. The 1,985-acre farm west of the penitentiary is 
worked by the inmates. There is a branch of the Central State Hospital for the Insane (see 
Norman) on state-owned land adjoining the penitentiary; only senile dementia cases are 
treated here. Rainbow Highway parallels the east wall of the penitentiary and curves around 
a long hill to a gateway, 2.4 m. 

Right through this gateway to LAKE NO. 1 (camp sites, fishing), 0.2 m.; LAKE 
NO. 2 is separated from it by a small dam. 

The main side route continues to a junction with a graveled road, 8 m.; L. here a 
short distance at the top of a steep hill, overlooking Lake McAlester, are the Rainbow 
Gardens (apply for adm., 319 E. Grand, McAlester) , on a beautifully landscaped seventy- 
five-acre estate owned and controlled by the girls' organization, the Order of the Rainbow. 
This international character-building society for girls from thirteen to twenty years of age 
was founded in 1922 by Rev. W. Mark Sexson, of McAlester, under the sponsorship of the 
Order of the Eastern Star. The supreme Office of the Rainbow order is in McAlester; in 
addition to the United States units, Canada, Australia, Alaska, and the Canal Zone have 

The dining hall, kitchen, sleeping quarters, counselor's home, bathhouses, and the 
caretaker's cottage are all built of native stone and provide accommodations for fifty girls. 
The gardens are set in the natural rock formations of the hilly tract, with many transplanted 
flowers dotting the available spaces of soil between the sloping ledges. From the Temple of 
Silence, a stone clubhouse in which the floors are painted with a giant rainbow, the Path 
of Initiation skirts a hill, leads into the heart of a canyon, and then passes over the shoulder of 


another hill to a place representing (in ritual) the House of Gold. For ten days, while in 
camp, the initiate spends a portion of her time tracing a symbolic journey along the pathway. 
A dirt road (impassable in wet weather) starts at Lake McAlester Dam, 9.1 m., and 
encircles the thirty-iivc mile shore line of LAKl-^ McALl-^STER (fishing, 50c a day). The road 
is fringed with cabins, stores, and minnow ponds, and the lake is kept stocked with several 
varieties of game fish by the city of McAlester, which maintains culture ponds near by. The 
best fishing is said to be from boats in the center of the 2,500-acrc lake. 

Section b. McALESTER to HARRAH, 112 m. US 270 

From McALESTER, m., US 270 angles to the northwest, passing 
through widespread oil fields, including the Seminole and Oklahoma City 
areas, the two largest in the state. Drilling rigs — mosdy the slim 130-foot 
steel derricks — oil-field camps, and tool shops are seen frequently on both 
sides of the highway. 

The huge whitewashed, stone chimney of White Chimney, 16 m., a log 
house (R) said to have been constructed in 1828, served as a guidepost on an 
old wagon road through this vicinity. An Indian named Honubby built it, 
but after he moved away it became a rendezvous for outlaws. Numerous 
bullet holes are visible in the walls and posts, substantiating the story that 
many crimes were committed in the house; a recent tenant is said to have 
unearthed human bones while digging a cellar. 

At 31.1 m. is the southern junction with US 75 (see Tour 9), which 
unites with US 270 as the route makes an abrupt turn north. At 40.8 m., the 
northern junction with US 75, US 270 turns sharply westward. 

HOLDENVILLE, 49.1 m. (866 alt., 6,632 pop.), the seat of Hughes 
County, is on the eastern edge of the Greater Seminole oil field. Farm trade 
also contributes to the town's business activities. 

A small combination store and post office called Fentress was operated 
about two miles from the site of the present town when the Choctaw, Okla- 
homa, and Gulf Railroad (now Rock Island) surveyed the townsite in 1895. 
When the survey was completed, the Post Office Department designated the 
new site, Fentress, and so it was called for a short time until the name of 
Holdenville was approved. 

The Hughes County Courthouse, a native stone structure, housed a 
Federal court in Indian Territorial days and has served as the county govern- 
mental building since statehood. 

Left from Holdenville on asphalt-paved State 68 to LAKE HOLDENVILLE (fishing, 
boating), 4.5 m., a 550-acre body of water (L), with a well-timbered fourteen-mile shore 

At 6 n2. is the Site of Fort Holmes (R), on the south bank of the Litde River 
near its confluence with the South Canadian. Fort Holmes or Fort Edwards, as it later came 
to be known, was established in 1834 under the supervision of Lieutenant Theopolis Hunter 
Holmes, an officer of the dragoon expedition that had been sent out from Fort Gibson (see 
Tour 3) to meet the Plains Indians and make treaties with them. Fort Holmes was soon 
abandoned but a firm of traders, Edwards and Shelton, established a trading post just across 
the river and for years it flourished as Edwards' Settlement and Trading House or Fort 
Edwards. Jesse Chisholm, half-blood Cherokee and famous guide and scout for whom the 
well-travticd Chisholm Trail (see Tour 11) was named, married Edwards' daughter and 
lived at the post for a time. It was on the busy California Trail and was also a favorite 
trading place for many of the southwestern Indian tribes who not only brought furs and 

TOUR 5 305 

pelts to trade but also white prisoners. The Comanche Indians, in particular, trafficked in 
human beings, usually kidnapping the whites at isolated settlements in Texas and ex- 
changing them for merchandise at trading posts or for ransom at Fort Gibson. 

Between Holdenville and Wewoka there are many field camps of the 
oil companies of the Greater Seminole Field. The comparatively shallow wells 
are equipped with shorter derricks than those seen in the Oklahoma City 
Field (see Oklahoma City). 

WEWOKA, 60.4 m. (788 alt., 10,315 pop.), the seat of Seminole County, 
was named for one of the former Creek tribal towns in the East; when the 
Seminole Indians, who were affiliated for a time with the Creek confederacy, 
branched from the league, they also had an eastern Wewoka town, and 
transferred the name to this site in Indian Territory at the time of their 

A controversy developed in 1845 over the Seminoles' migration to the 
Territory. They agreed to settle on Creek land and under Creek government; 
but the comparatively free status of their Negro slaves was distasteful to the 
Creeks, whose own slaves were held in stricter bondage. The Negroes among 
the Seminoles had a status similar to that of renters or sharecroppers of 
today; they lived in separate villages and enjoyed equal liberty, paying a por- 
tion of their crops for the use of the Seminole land. They could even own 
land on which their masters made no claim. When the United States Gen- 
eral Thomas S. Jesup was conducting his campaign to subdue the Seminole 
tribe in Florida, he had promised the Creek Indians that they might have all 
the Seminole slaves they could capture. But the Federal Attorney General 
later ruled that all Negroes taken under Jesup's order were to be restored to 
the Seminoles, and 286 Negroes from Florida were accordingly delivered to 
a group of Seminole chiefs at Fort Gibson in January, 1849. 

The Creek Indians were resentful over the decision and passed a law 
declaring that no town of free or limited slavery Negroes could exist in their 
country and also forbidding the possession of arms by slaves. The Negroes 
had already settled in the vicinity of present Wewoka and, aware of the hos- 
tility of the Creeks, had armed themselves. On June 24, 1849, an armed party 
of Creeks, with some whites and Cherokees, came to Wewoka to seize several 
Negroes whom they claimed were rightfully their slaves. Many of the Semi- 
nole Indians prepared to aid in the defense of the Negro town, but troops 
from Fort Smith, Arkansas, intervened in time to stop the battle. A council 
was held, and a few of the Negroes claimed by the Creeks were turned over 
to them; the threat of a real war between the two tribes subsided. 

As an aftermath of the dispute and in accordance with a treaty signed in 
1856 by the Creeks, the Seminoles, and the United States, the Seminole tribe 
was assigned a separate domain. When they purchased their present tract of 
land in 1866, a mistake was made in surveying the boundary line but it was 
not discovered until after Wewoka, which straddles the line, had been estab- 
lished as the Seminole capital. The boundary between the Creek and Semi- 
nole nations has remained a subject of friction even since allotment, mainly 
because of public improvements, like schools, which were built by the Sem- 
inoles on land found later to belong to the Creeks. Present-day Seminole 


Street (one-half block east of Main Street) in Wevvoka was the last-named 
true boundary between the two nations. 

The government set up by the Seminoles in their new land in 1866 was 
the most primitive of those of the Five Civilized Tribes. The principal chief, 
his assistant, the treasurer, and the superintendent of schools were elected by 
the people, and a council, composed of fourteen clan chiefs, assumed both 
the legislative and judicial duties. The only record of law was written in a 
book kept by the chief. Twenty "lighthorsemen" performed police duty and 
also officiated at floggings and executions. 

The chief and the treasurer personally owned trading posts where they 
extended credit to enrolled citizens in anticipation of the per capita payments 
due them. 

The railroad through Wewoka was constructed in 1899, and a townsite 
laid out shortly after, but white settlers did not arrive until 1902. Though oil 
was first discovered there in 1912, the region of the Greater Seminole Field 
was not developed until 1926. Wewoka's population doubled within sixty 
days at that time, and for several years it ranked as one of the principal oil 
towns of the state. 

Seminole County and the immediate vicinity of Wewoka is the foremost 
corn-growing region of Oklahoma; it has won first prize almost consistently 
at the State Fair since 1926, when the Oklahoma Silvermine species was first 
produced in the county. It is estimated that fifteen hundred bushels of Silver- 
mine seed have been shipped to other states and foreign countries since that 
year; some of the seed corn has sold for as high as $5.00 a bushel. 

The County Courthouse, Wewoka Avenue on Courthouse Square, is 
a modern, three-story brick building; similar in design is the City Hall, 
204 South Wewoka Avenue. 

An old pecan tree. Courthouse Square, was used as a Tribal Whipping 
Post from 1899 until statehood (1907); it replaced the original "execution 
tree," the stump of which is now (1941) on exhibition in the Oklahoma His- 
torical Society Building (see Oklahoma City). 

Right from Wewoka on paved State 56, 1 m., to the last Council Hocse of the 
Seminoles, now used as a residence on the Youngblood farm. It was built about 1890 and 
replaced the brush-covered arbor that had previously served as the tribal capitol. Here, too, 
were the campgrounds and the big spring of the Seminoles. 

Right from the former Council House to the old "Line Store," 1 w., built about 1867 
by Ard Brothers to serve the traffic on the route westward from Fort Smith to a terminus 
on the Wichita Indian reservation. Present-day Lawton is on the site of this terminus. 

At 62 tn. is a junction with an improved dirt road. 

Right on this road to LAKE WEWOKA (swimming, fishing, free campgrounds, 
recreational facilities). \A m. The lake, three miles long, supplies water for Wewoka. 

In the valley midway between the North and South Canadian rivers is 
SEMINOLE, 72.4 m. (863 alt. 11,547 pop.), named for the Seminole Indians, 
who originally were a branch of the Creek confederation. Their habit of liv- 
ing apart gave them the name Seminole, which means "wild" or. literally, 
"those who camp at a distance." 

When the Mekusukey Mission was built three miles southwest of the 

TOUR 5 307 

site of the present city in 1890, shipments of freight for the mission were billed 
to a "Mr. Tidmore," and until the Post Office Department officially named 
it Seminole, the sleepy little settlement was called Tidmore. Cattlemen of 
the surrounding territory made it a trading center, but from statehood until 
1926 Seminole remained just a small agricultural community. 

In that year one of the greatest oil pools in the history of the nation was 
tapped. Overnight the population jumped to several thousand, and the usual 
meager country town facilities were strained to the utmost to care for the 
influx of people — many slept under pool tables while the click of balls went 
on ceaselessly, others slept in motion picture houses, and thousands walked 
the streets; the water supply was soon depleted and no one bathed, for the 
precious fluid had to be hauled from a distance and the price was exorbitant; 
fabulous rentals ranged from |400 a month for a basement and $200 for a 
barn to $50 for one room in a smokehouse; farm produce was scarce and 
commanded "Klondike Gold Rush" prices, for farmers had exchanged the 
plow for the drilling rig. 

For six months during 1926, the Rock Island Railway did more than a 
million dollars worth of business in Seminole; it was claimed that only the 
great shipping center at Chicago exceeded the town in volume of freight 
during that period. 

Vice and crime became the boom town's biggest problem, since gamblers 
and riffraff from every section of the country had been lured to Seminole by 
the plentiful "black gold." W. A. Bishop, an attorney who had lived peace- 
fully in a big house on the edge of town, suddenly found that a suburb called 
Bishop's Alley had mushroomed at his doorstep — and Bishop's Alley soon 
became known far and wide for its "49er's Dance Hall," the "Big C," and the 
"Palace." Bootlegging, dope-peddling, brawls, hijacking — with an occasional 
mysterious murder — were daily fare along the street. After the killing of a 
state peace officer, a crusade was started by Seminole citizens, backed by the 
state press and officials, and the lawless element vanished. 

Today (1941), Seminole is a substantial and civic-minded city — the 
hectic days are over for the oil flow has been steadied by proration, a check 
on production and price regulation first introduced because of the immense 
reservoir discovered in this field, and later embodied in a compact between 
the oil states. Some scars from the roaring twenties still remain — next door 
to beautiful modern homes stand clapboard shacks, thrown up in a few hours 
in the housing exigency of 1926. The more than fifteen thousand people who 
live in company camps within a ten-mile radius of the city make Seminole a 
busy place. The oil field continues to be the main industry; but agriculture is 
also important in this fertile region. 

The Seminole High School, 501 N. Timmons Street, a large buff build- 
ing of concrete and stone, also houses the Semixole Juxior College. This 
coeducational college has an annual enrollment of approximately eighty and 
is supported entirely by tuition fees. It is operated in connection with the city 
public schools and is under the supervision of the city superintendent. 

Southwest from Seminole to the Site of Mekusukey Mission, 3 m., built in 1890 by 
the Seminole Indians as part of their tribal school system and supervised by the Presbyterian 


Church until the Federal government took over the Indian schools in 1906. The institution 
was closed in 1930. The red sandstone brick used in the construction of the buildings was 
hauled overland by oxen from Muskogee. An unexpected bonus of $35 per capita was paid 
to each enrolled member of the tribe in 1934 when oil was discovered on the school grounds 
to which the Seminole tribe still retained the title. The wells arc producing today (1941), 
though on a minor scale. 

Seminole is at the junction with State 99 (sec Tour 14). 
SHAWNEE, 90 m. (1,008 alt., 22,053 pop.) (see Shawnee). 

Left from Shawnee on paved State 18 to a cluster of buildings, 2.5 m., the 
Shawnee Indian Sanitorium (L), the Shawnee Indian Agency (R,) the old Shawnee 
Quaker Mission (L), and the Mission Cemetery (R). The entire center started when the 
Society of Friends built the tiny, white, frame Shawnee Quaker Mission in 1885. Their 
missionaries had previously held services in log cabins in the Shawnee lands until one of 
them, Franklin Elliot, completed this single-room church, set facing east on a hill. The 
lumber was hauled from Independence and Coffcyville, Kansas, over a route that was un- 
broken much of the way. The heavy iron bell, still hanging in the open belfry, was brought 
overland in the same manner. After white infiltration into the surrounding vicinity, the two 
races worshiped in the old mission until it was abandoned in 1924. Since then, it has been 
opened only once for the wedding of the granddaughter of Anthony Bourbonnais, one of 
the three Indian men who hauled the original lumber. In co-operation with the Quaker 
Church, which still retains the title to the accompanying three and one-half acres of land, 
the Pottawatomie County Historical Society has restored the old landmark and the near-by 
Mission Cemetery. 

A school was conducted as a part of the early work of the old Quaker Mission; the 
supervision was later transferred to the government, which continued to maintain it as an 
educational institution until 1918. In 1925, the Department of the Interior decided to utilize 
the plant as a sanitarium to combat the ever-growing prevalence of tuberculosis among the 
Indians. Accordingly, the Shawnee Indian Sanitorium was established on the site of the 
school and the 240 acres of surrounding land. Materials from the old buildings were used 
in construction of the present plant of fifteen units, centering around a large, modern, fire- 
proof, brick infirmary. 

The Shawnee Indian Agency, which ministers to the 1,107 enrolled Indians, was 
established by the Federal government on government-owned land near by; the white frame 
structures include an administration building, stores, and living quarters for employees. 

At 93 m. on US 270 is the junction with a graveled drive. 

Right on this drive is St. Gregory's College for Young Men, 0.3 m., a large, red- 
brick and white-stone, five-story structure considered one of the best examples of Tudor 
Gothic design in the Southwest. Turrets surmount the four corners of the square tower. 
Part of the hundred-acre campus is cultivated for the institution's food supply. 

The school, which offers accredited junior college and high school courses to the ap- 
proximately one hundred students, is an outgrowth of the work of the Benedictine Fathers 
of Sacred Heart Abbey (see Tour 14) in the southern part of Pottawatomie County. The 
Abbey, which was established in 1876 on a land grant from the Potawatomi Indians, was 
burned in 1901 ; it was rebuilt and is now (1941 ) used as a home for the fathers in their old 
age. The early school work of the order was perpetuated in the founding of St. Gregory's 
here in 1915. 

The Gerrer Museum and Art Gallery (open to public during school terms, 1-5 
P.M. Sun.) has an outstanding display of paintings and art objects which have been collected 
over a period of twenty-five years by Rev. Gregory CJerrer. Father Gerrer, who is a dis- 
tinguished artist, painted the official portrait of Pope Pius X which hangs in the Vatican at 
Rome. Although he was the youngest of the six famous artists invited to paint the Pope's 
portrait in 1902, his work was chosen as the finest; it was later exhibited at the Louisiana 
Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1904, and at the Century of Progress World's 
Fair in Chicago, Illinois, in 1933-34. A replica of the brilliantly colored and expressive like- 

TOUR 5 309 

ness is in the art gallery here. Seventy-three of the 176 paintings exhibited in St. Gregory's 
east and west parlors were executed by Father Gerrer; his other subjects include Indian por- 
traits, landscapes, and still-life pictures done in Oklahoma and during his travels in the 
United States and abroad. 

The gallery has priceless canvases by the Renaissance artists II Guercino, Raphael, 
Murillo, Aretino Spinello, Guido Rcni, Jose de Ribera, and others. One is the famous paint- 
ing, "The Adoration of the Magi," by Giulio Romano, pupil of Raphael. Whisder and 
Rembrandt are among those represented in the group of etchings; several works by the 
Kiowa Indian artists — ^Mopope, Asah, and Auchiah, of Anadarko (see Tour 3) — are also 
on display. 

The museum contains a comprehensive and varied collection of four thousand speci- 
mens, art objects, and curios gathered from all parts of the world. Egyptian mummies; 
skulls; strange and ancient seeds and nuts; old copies of newspapers; specimens of minerals 
(many representative of Oklahoma formations); native and foreign woods, shown in cross 
section; mounted and classified rare birds, mammals, and reptiles; antique and modern fire- 
arms and medieval armor; primitive utensils, Indian handicraft, rare Oriental art works, 
and antiques of Babylonian, Greek, Roman, Aztec, and Toltec origin are included in the 
various sections. 

DALE, 100 w. (1,037 alt., 372 pop.), a farm trade center, was first estab- 
lished in 1889 as King's Post Office since it was located on the allotment of 
an Indian named John King. In 1890, it was moved two miles east and named 
Dale, in honor of Judge Frank Dale, a Federal Territorial Judge of Guthrie 
(see Tour 10), noted for his stern treatment of Territorial bad men. When 
the Choctaw, Oklahoma, and Gulf Railroad (now Rock Island) was built 
through this vicinity in 1895, Dale was moved to its present location; the 
buildings were loaded on wagons and moved intact. 

On a hilltop about one mile from Dale is said to be the site of a Civil War 
encampment from which Confederate raiders made forays into Kansas. Well- 
defined trenches of the earthwork fortification still remain. Cartridge cases 
have been found near by. 

In a rich farming section on the bank of the North Canadian River is 
McLOUD, 104.4 m. (1,058 alt., 616 pop.), established at the time of the ex- 
tension of the railroad and named for John W. McLoud, railway attorney. 

Right from McLoud on an improved dirt road to the junction with a second dirt road, 
3 m.; R. here to KICKAPOO VILLAGE, 3.5 m., where the Kickapoo Indians hold a cere- 
monial dance (small adm. fee) annually during the latter part of July. This well-defined 
tribal ritual was formerly a war dance; only elaborately costumed men performers take part. 

The Kickapoos, closely related to the Sac and Fox tribe, were driven out of their 
former home in Illinois to the Southwest by the inexorable advance of the white man about 
the middle of the nineteenth century; a band of them drifted into Mexico, where they made 
frequent raids across the border into Texas. In order to solve this international problem, the 
United States persuaded them to return in 1873 and settled the tribe on a small reservation 
in this vicinity to become the peaceful neighbors of the Sax and Fox tribe, the Seminoles, 
the Potawatomis, the Shawnccs, and the lowas. Rut after the opening of near-by land in 
1889, white setders made a practice of cutting timber on the Kickapoo reservation and driv- 
ing cattle there to graze, so angering the Indians that they were apparendy ready to take to 
the warpath. Wild rumors reached the citizens of newly founded Oklahoma City to the 
northwest, and for a few days hurried and frenzied preparations were made for defense of 
the sodhouse and tent settlement. A Federal order prohibiting white men from encroaching 
on the Kickapoo reservation checked the rumored revolt, however, and the scare was over. 
When the government proposed to open their land for setdement in 1895, the tribe 
strenuously objected — since their treaty had made no provision for such action — and earned 
the name of the "Kicking Kickapoos." The majority of the remaining tribesmen now live 
on their allotments on the old reservation. 


HARRAH, 112 w. (1,080 alt., 620 pop.) (see Tour S), is at the junction 
v^khUS 62 (see Tour S). 

Section c. HARRAH to SEILING, 127.6 m. US 270 

West of Harrah, US 270 passes through a well-populated section until it 
turns northwest into the Gypsum Hills — "Gyp Hills" as they are termed by 
cattlemen. Where erosion has worn away the top soil, ledges of dead-white 
gypsuni stand out as though drawn with chalk. The hills, with bold, f^at- 
topped knobs rising at intervals, extend for some one hundred miles across 
Blaine, Dewey, and Woodward counties. The Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians 
roamed in this section before it was assigned to them as a reservation (see 
Tour 1). 

Westward from HARRAH, m., US 270 unites with US 62 to OKLA- 
HOMA CITY, 24.1 m. (1,194 alt., 204,424 pop.) (see Oklahoma City). 

In Oklahoma City is the junction with US 66 (see Tour 1 ) which unites 
with the route westward for 33.3 miles. 

At 57.4 m. is the western junction with US 66; US 270 turns abruptly 
north (R). 

CALUMET, 60.3 m., is a small agricultural community in the fertile 
valley of the North Canadian River. 

At 67.2 m. is the junction with an unimproved dirt road. 

Left on this road is COYOTE BUTTE, 1.5 m., formed by a ledge of white dolomite 
and affording an excellent view of the North Canadian River valley. Since dolomite is a 
harder and more resistant substance than sandstone, the butte is striking evidence of erosion 
through the years. This spot was a favorite meeting place for the Cheyenne and Arapaho 
Indians, whose present tribal center is only a few miles east at Concho (see Tour 11). Many 
gatherings took place here in 1890 during the "Ghost Dance" or "Messiah" craze (see Tour 
3A). The fanatical belief of the devotees was that the Indian Messiah was coming, and 
anticipatory preparations for his arrival needed to be made; consequently the group meeting 
at this spot placed an iron bedstead, equipped with springs, mattress, and blankets, on the 
summit of the butte. The Indians' logical explanation of the action was, "When the white 
man's God came to visit His children, He was a poor man. He had no house. He had no 
bed. He had no money. The little bird had a nest in the tree, the coyote had a hole under 
a rock, but white man's God had no place to sleep. We are better than white man. When 
our God comes He will find that we, His people, have bed ready for Him." 

Although named in honor of Ed Guerricr, a pioneer settler, this busy, 
farm trade center early became known as GEARY, 73.3 m. (1,499 alt., 1,634 
pop.). The community was first established in 1898 on land which had be- 
longed to the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians until it was thrown open to 
setdement on April 19, 1892. 

Since this is an important wheat-growing region, the flour mill located 
here is the prime industry; a cheese factory has also been established in Geary 
recendy. The town has a $25,000 civic recreation park with a large swimming 
pool, baseball field, tennis and croquet courts. Near by is a Soil Conservation 
Camp, one of the Oklahoma soil-control units under the supervision of 
the Soil Conservation Service of the Department of Agriculture. 

GREENFIELD, 80.8 m. (1,455 alt., 303 pop.), is a farming town named 
for William Greenfield, an early settler. Many Cheyenne and Arapaho In- 

TOUR 5 311 

dians accepted their allotments and have continued to live near by; although 
their children attend the local public schools, the native tongue is spoken in 
most of the homes, and the tribal members gather often to hold ceremonials 
and dances. 

Right from Greenfield on a graveled road to a junction with a dirt road, 4.5 m.; R. 
here to a farmhouse, 5.6 m.; in the pasture near the house is Jesse Chisholm's Grave, on the 
side of a sloping knoll. Chisholm was the Cherokee half-blood who laid out the famous 
Chisholm Trail, now followed approximately by US 81 (see Tour 11). His grave is marked 
by a simple wooden cross on which his name is inscribed. 

Between Greenfield and Watonga, the route lies close to the North Cana- 
dian River (R) and makes a long curve around the Red Hills, a short out- 
cropping of white dolomite and shale; at 88.4 m. the wide, sprawling, lazy 
river is crossed. 

Named for an Arapaho chief, WATONGA, 89.9 m. (1,515 alt., 2,828 
pop.), the seat of Blaine County, was first established in 1892. Many Chey- 
enne and Arapaho Indians still live in or near the town; and the older mem- 
bers of the tribes retain their traditional dress, the women in blankets and 
moccasins and the men with their hair in long black braids interwoven with 
gaily colored ribbons. 

An important feature of the early history of Watonga was the publica- 
tion of its first newspaper, the Watonga Republican (see Newspapers). Its 
editor, Thompson B. Ferguson, was appointed by President Theodore Roose- 
velt as governor of Oklahoma Territory in 1901. 

Three cotton gins and three grain elevators make Watonga the commer- 
cial center for the chief activity of the region, agriculture. 

Right from Watonga on graveled State 8 is ROMAN NOSE STATE PARK (pic- 
nicking, trailer camp, boating, swimming) , 6.1 m., named for Chief Henry Roman Nose, 
the last warrior-chief of the Cheyennes. Although the surrounding area is open prairie, the 
520 acres comprising the park consists of rolling hills gashed by canyons and streams. The 
site served as a favorite camping ground for the Cheyenne Indians when they roamed freely 
through the region, and at the time of allotment Chief Roman Nose chose his 160-acre 
tract here. Near the dugout in which he lived was the "Spring of Everlasting Water," which 
today (1941) feeds the four-acre lake and swimming pool. Roman Nose, who had taken 
part in the Battle of the Washita (see Tour 13) as a member of Black Kettle's band, died 
here about 1917, but his many descendants still live near by. 

An old military trail from Fort Reno (see Tour 1 ) to Fort Cantonment, northwest of 
the park, led through this area, and the sparkling, clear spring was usually chosen as a 
camping site by the Federal troops. Local legend tells of several Territorial oudaw bands 
who found the hills and canyons an ideal hiding place both for themselves and their loot. 

The park land, marked irregularly by lines of exposed, white gypsum, was bought 
by the city of Watonga and deeded to the state, which developed the tract as a game sanc- 
tuary and recreational ground. The springs have a total flow of eight hundred gallons per 
minute and provide water for the several small streams, the newly created lake, and the 
concrete swimming pool. Recent improvements have been made in the area by CCC workers 
under the supervision of the National Park Service. Many squirrels and opossums inhabit 
the elms, cottonwoods, and cedars dotting the canyons, and native bushes afford shelter for 
the wild fowl. 

Between Watonga and Seiling, the main route traverses an undulating 
plain with scattered growths of scrub oak and blackjack. During the winter, 


snow fences may be seen a short distance from the highway wherever the 
fields are rolling in character; for although snow is on the ground for only 
short periods, the intense winds would otherwise pile great drifts on the 
road. The rust-red fences, not familiar to most Oklahomans, look like grass 
matting, so closely are the thin, narrow laths placed together; in summer 
they are easily rolled up for storage. 

The route again crosses the North Canadian River, 94.8 m., bordered 
here by high sand dunes; the district is sparsely settled. 

At 99.8 tn. is the junction with State 33, a graveled highway. US 270 
turns sharply northwest here. 

Left on State 13> is THOMAS, 12.1 m. (1,513 alt., 1,220 pop.), an agricultural town 
platted in 1902 on land which had been homesteaded by Joseph W. Morris in the Run open- 
ing the Cheyenne and Arapaho territory ten years before. Extensive sweet potato fields 
furnish the town with an unusual industry, for the plants grown are of such excellence that 
seedlings are shipped from this point to all parts of the United States; a cannery makes 
the surplus crop marketable. There is also a Farmers' Co-operative grain elevator to handle 
the large wheat production of the surrounding farm lands. 

Near Thomas arc the homes and community settlements of three religious groups, 
the Amish, the Dunkards, and the River Brethren — all similar in general character and 
purpose with the Mennonites, though only the Amish are an actual branch of that sect. 

The Amish, popularly called the "Hook-and-eye Dutch," first came to America from 
Holland and Switzerland in the seventeenth century, hoping to setde where they might be 
free from all hindrances in following their customs and institutions. They emigrated to New 
York and Pennsylvania, where they settled near the Quakers. Later, when the eastern United 
States began to become heavily settled, some of them came to their present home in Okla- 
homa. The forefathers of the Amish were among the first persons in America to protest 
against slavery. The present-day church still uses the German language in its services. 
Originally, the Amish did not permit private ownership of land, but today it is counte- 
nanced; they tend to marry within their sect and meet in their homes in small groups to 
worship, observing a fixed order of service. They consider color and style in clothing friv- 
olous and unworthy; both men and women wear dull brown or rusty black, often in home- 
spun materials, and all cut by a certain pattern — the women in long, full-skirted, high- 
necked, long-sleeved dresses and modest poke bonnets of the same color, and the men in 
straight sack coats, blunt-toed, high-laced shoes, and flat, widebrimmed hats with uncreased 
crowns. Neckties are never worn, nor are buttons used; the original European Amish began 
using the traditional hook-and-eye fastener as a protest against what they considered an 
unfair tax on buttons. The absence of whiskers on the smooth faces of the Amish men, with 
the exception of the distinctive rim around the chin, also began as a protest against taxation. 
The children are counterparts of their parents in appearance. Saturday is their market day, 
and the streets of Thomas are usually crowded with horse-drawn vehicles as whole families 
come to trade produce for merchandise. 

The Dunkards or the Church of the Brethren, as they prefer to be known, are an 
outgrowth of the widespread church-reform movement in Europe in the early part of the 
eighteenth century; this sect originated in Germany, vowing to found a new church by 
baptism, and later the entire group emigrated to the United States. They observe the dis- 
tinctive ritual of washing one another's feet, commemorating the act of Christ and His 
Disciples at the Last Supper. Besides the feet-washing ceremony, they observe the kiss of 
charity and the feast of love and lead a generally austere life, aloof from politics or current 
world upheavals. The sect is not as strict in matters of dress and custom as are the Amish, 
but the women observe certain conventions of dress: they use no cosmetics, arrange their 
hair in tight buns at back or on top of their heads, and wear tiny, plain poke bonnets of 
black silk or satin perched straight on the top of their heads and held in place by chin straps. 
The Dunkards are progressive farmers and have accepted many of the conveniences made 
available by present-day inventions. 

The River Brethren (or Brethren in Christ) probably originated in Pennsylvania when 
the first group began the practice of immersion in the Susquehanna River. Their church 

TOUR 5 313 

tenets suggest a Mennonite origin, although they have no definite creed, merely stressing 
plain living, spiritual regeneration and sanctification. The Thomas church was founded 
by a missionary from Indiana who persevered until a church had been built, and several 
missions in the region and the Jabbok Bible School and Orphanage had been established. 
The school continued caring for orphans, both Indian and white, until 1925, when this part 
of the work was dropped; a dairy, run by the students, provides the chief source of revenue. 

At 119.5 m. on the main route is the junction with State 51, a graveled 

Right on State 51 to a junction with a second graveled road, 11.2 m. 

Left on this road to the Cheyenne-Arapaho Subagency, 2.8 m., on the site of old 
Fort Cantonment. The fort was established in the spring of 1879 and troops were billeted 
here to control the Cheyennes during the Plains Indian campaign (see Tour 3A). The fort 
was located just sixty miles due northwest of the old Darlington Agency near the present 
Fort Reno (see Tour 1), which also served the Cheyennes and Arapahoes; but the establish- 
ment of Cantonment was considered necessary because of the hostile feeling between the 
Southern Cheyennes, who were in home territory, and the Northern Cheyennes, who had 
been brought south from Nebraska and the Dakotas. Not long after the fort had been 
founded, a number of stone buildings were erected, three of which are still standing. After 
the dissatisfied Northern Cheyennes returned to their original home, the necessity for Fort 
Cantonment's existence decreased, and it was abandoned in 1882. The plant was then turned 
over to the Department of the Interior, which contracted with Mennonite missionaries to 
open a school for the Plains Indians. 

The Mennonites conducted the school for a few years before erecting a private institu- 
tion, and in 1898 the government took over the supervision of the Cantonment school, 
which it has maintained until the present time (1941). It is now a day school for children 
of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes. 

The subagency was established in 1903, when the jurisdiction of the old Darlington 
Agency was divided. Ceremonial dances of the two tribes are frequendy held here, and 
the ritual of the Peyote Dance, despite the absence of the forbidden peyote, is often observed. 

Straight ahead on State 51 to CANTON, 12.9 m. (1,590 alt., 775 pop.), an agricul- 
tural and cattle-raising center which came into being as a result of the proximity of the old 
fort and the Indian school. The many Indians who lived near by trade in Canton and on 
Saturdays and holidays crowd the narrow streets. 

Construction has begun on a $15,000,000 dam across the North Canadian River at 
a point one mile north of Canton and present (1941) plans call for its completion by 1942. 
The structure, three miles in length, will span the river at the turn of a sharp bend and will 
provide flood control, irrigation, and better water supply for the surrounding region. 

Right from Canton on State 51, now a graded road, to the United States Gypsum 
Company Plant (guides available) , 19.2 m., comprising mines and mills which have been 
operated by the company since 1912. Although totals vary according to business conditions, 
annual shipments of gypsum are esdmated at from four to five thousand barrels; in addi- 
tion, plaster board, partition tile, stucco plaster, gypsum plaster, and plate glass are manu- 
factured. The entire property embraces one thousand acres of gypsum beds. 

SEILING, 127.6 m. (1,760 alt., 629 pop.) (see Tour 4), is at the junction 
with US 60 (see Tour 4) and with US 183 (see Tour 12). 

z^f\iJ2. ^ , z^f^iiz ^ , :^f\i!i. ^ . j!;I)/»2 ^. i^^'li . , i^^^jl ^ . t^^ll . ^ ^f\l* 

Tour 6 

(De Queen, Ark.) — Hugo — Durant — Ardmore — (Burkburnett, Tex.); 
US 70. Arkansas Line to Texas Line, 268.5 m. 

Intermittently paved roadbed of various types, also graveled and unimproved stretches. 
Texas, Oklahoma & Eastern R.R. parallels route between the Arkansas Line and Broken 
Bow; St. Louis-San Francisco between Idabel and Ardmore; Santa Fe, between Ardmore 
and Ringling. 
Good accommodations in larger towns. 

Passing between rich cotton lands to the south and what was once an 
area heavily timbered with pine and other marketable lumber trees, the route 
bisects the oldest Choctaw Indian settlements in Oklahoma. It is approxi- 
mately the trail beaten out by the Choctaws as they pushed westward from 
their first settlement in the new land to which they were exiled from their 
Mississippi homes in 1831-33. 

Between Idabel and Madill, US 70 roughly parallels the north bank of 
the Red River, keeping to the high ground above the wide river bottoms that 
are sometimes inundated at flood stage. West of Durant, the highway crosses 
the old Chickasaw Nation and completes its course in the southern edge of 
the former Kiowa-Comanche reservation. 

Thus US 70 throughout its course in Oklahoma is reminiscent of Indian 
history. Along it were established the first schools and churches for the immi- 
grant Choctaws and Chickasaws, their first mills and trading posts, and the 
few big plantations owned by enterprising mixed bloods. Beside it live the 
descendants of slaves freed by the Civil War from Indian masters, a consider- 
able Negro population that for the most part cultivates small patches of cotton 
and corn in the cutover sections of the southern Kiamichi mountain slopes. 
Along this highway, if anywhere in Oklahoma, can be seen relics of the life 
lived by the Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes more than a century ago. On 
inconspicuous roads leading off from the main highway live what are known 
locally as "pure strain" Indians, full bloods who seem to have lagged a hun- 
dred years behind the world and who regret their backward state not at all! 

US 70 crosses the ARKANSAS LINE, m., 8 miles west of De Queen, 
Arkansas (see Arl^ansas Guide). 

EAGLETOWN, 6.7 m. (400 alt., 300 pop.), was the site chosen by one 
of the three district chiefs of the Choctaws, on the removal of the tribe to 
Indian Territory in 1831-33, as the principal town of the Upper Town people. 
The Choctaw name, Apukshunnubbee, was that of a chief who died just be- 
fore the removal. The old district courthouse stands on the spot where the 


TOUR 6 315 

exiles' first building was erected; and there, too, is the big tree to which offend- 
ers against Choctaw laws were bound and whipped. On July 1, 1834, Eagle- 
town was named a post office, one of the first to be established in Indian Ter- 
ritory, and the missionary Loring S. Williams was made postmaster. 

From the first, the town was given added importance as a station on the 
military road from the East to Fort Towson and Doaksville; much later it 
was a headquarters for Texas cattlemen; and still later it was known as a ren- 
dezvous for outlaws — Indian, Negro, and white. 

At 8.5 m. is the junction with a country lane. 

Right on this lane is a farmhouse, 0.2 m.; R. here on foot trail to a Cypress Tree, 
0.4 m., on the south bank of Mountain Fork River in the midst of pines and sycamores. This 
ancient cypress is fifty-six feet in circumference and ninety feet high; the trunk is carved 
with many initials, hearts, flowers, and other devices. A Hghtning rod has been fixed in its 
top as protection against electric storms. 

West of Eagletown some small pastures and barnyards are enclosed by 
old zigzag rail (worm) fences, and the dooryards have palings made by split- 
ting six-foot lengths of logs with a mallet and frow, an old-fashioned tool 
for riving shakes, clapboards, and barrel staves. 

At 8.5 m. US 70 crosses Mountain Fork River, a well-stocked fishing 
stream, one of the clearest and most beautiful of the Kiamichi mountain re- 
gion. It plunges down to Little River over riffles and falls and between rock 
cliffs overhung by willows and tall gum trees. North of the highway, Hoff- 
man's Camp {cabins, boats, fishing gear), a two-story stone building (R), is 
a favorite meeting place for sportsmen. 

BROKEN BOW, 15.4 m. (467 alt., 2,367 pop.), center of the state's 
largest timbered area, was named by the Dierks Brothers, pioneer lumber- 
men, for their Nebraska home; the mill they erected still turns out its daily 
thousands of feet of white pine and hardwood lumber — hickory, walnut, 
and gum. Throughout the year, the aroma of fresh-cut pine fills the air and 
mingles with the acrid smell of coal smoke from the mill's tall stacks. 

On Saturdays, the wide streets become a parade ground for the farmers 
of the region, among them overall-clad Choctaws and their families, who 
come to trade produce for groceries. An annual tomato festival is held here 
by the growers. 

A few hundred feet west of the lumber mill (L) is the tall steel lookout 
tower of the State Forestry Service (open), where a ranger is constantly 
on duty. 

Broken Bow is at the junction with State 21 (see Tour 15 A). 

Westward, cotton fields lie on both sides of the road; and in the fall 
families of cotton pickers — Indians, Negroes, and whites — may be seen at 
work between the white-boiled rows or camped near the scene of their sea- 
sonal employment. "Clearin's" or "burnin's," new fields carved out of the 
forest area, in places border these cotton patches; and high up among the 
branches of surrounding trees — elm, hickory, gum, and cottonwood — mis- 
tletoe grows in such abundance that the farmers make Christmas money 
gathering and shipping it to markets in northern states. 


IDAREL, 27.8 m. (504 alt., 3,689 pop.), seat of McCurtain County, on 
the divide separating the valleys of Little and Red rivers, was at first named 
Mitchell, then renamed for the daughters, Ida and Belle, of a Choctaw citizen 
on whose land the town was built. Farming and lumbering are the principal 
supports of the town; and here is the main office of a big lumber and coal 

GARVIN, 37 m. (500 alt., 170 pop.), was one of the towns laid out when 
the Frisco railroad was built through this region. The first bank in the county 
was opened here, and here sat the first U. S. Commissioner's Court in the 
southeastern section of the state. The little town is supported almost entirely 
by farming. 

MILLERTON, 41.7 m. (519 alt., 225 pop.), is one of the first towns 
established in the Choctaw Nation. 

Right from Millcrion on a graded road to Wheelock Academy, 1.9 m., founded in 
1832 for the education of Indian girls by the missionary Alfred Wright, who helped to 
reduce the Choctaw language to writing. On top of a small hill near the present school arc 
the ruins of one of the original log buildings occupied by the United States soldiers who 
conducted the first Choctaw exiles from their homes in Mississippi. 

The academy was named for Eleazcr Wheelock, founder and first president of Dart- 
mouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. South of the Academy site is the stone 
Wheelock Mission Church, said to be the oldest church building in the state, erected by 
Presbyterian missionaries in 1842. Near by is the old missionary cemetery where Wright 
was buried. 

Since its founding Wheelock Academy has been rebuilt, added to, and remodeled. 
The plain wooden buildings, attractive in their simplicity, house one of the most complete 
institutions of its kind in Oklahoma — a school for orphan Choctaw girls, maintained by the 
Federal government. Its centennial celebration, in 1932, included an elaborate pageant 
illustrating one hundred years of Choctaw history. 

At 44.5 m. on the main route is the junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road to Valliant's Waterworks, 0.5 m., where an old water mill is 
enclosed by the waterworks building. The mill was installed for grinding corn meal in 1834 
by Joel Kemp, a rich plantation owner who had one thousand acres, worked by one hun- 
dred slaves. At the time of the Civil War an Indian farmer named Okiabbi got possession 
of it and installed a turbine in place of the undershot drive; later he turned it into a cotton 
gin. The crude press was operated by horse power, and seven bales a day was maximum 

The natural dam near by, connecting with one of concrete to impound the water, is 
a ledge one hundred feet long formed almost entirely of fossil shells. A swimming pool has 
been built here. 

VALLIANT, 46.3 tn. (522 alt., 551 pop.), is a center for lumbering and 

The Alice Lee Elliott Memorial School (Negro) here was founded 
as Hill School, then called the Oak Hill Industrial Academy, and finally, 
about 1902, on receiving a special gift in memory of Alice Lee Elliott, it was 
given its present name. 

In the period from the end of the Civil War to 1885, former slaves of the 
Choctaws had no legal status in the nation, and the United States government 
failed to carry out its promise to remove them. It was in this period that mis- 
sionaries undertook to provide, in whatever meager way they could, for the 

TOUR 6 317 

education of the freedmen's children; and Oak Hill came into existence as a 
Presbyterian chapel-school. After 1885, freedmen as adopted citizens of the 
Choctaw Nation were schooled by the tribe. 

Right from Valliant on a series of dirt roads; R. to WRIGHT CITY, 12.3 m. (520 alt., 
573 pop.); R. to a junction, 16.9 m.; then L. to ALIKCHI, 21.6 m., where it is said that 
the last tribal execution of an Indian in McCurtain County took place in 1902. Tried by a 
jury of fellow Choctaws, he was convicted of murder; then, according to an old custom, 
was allowed to go home until the day of his execution; and on the appointed day he pre- 
sented himself to be shot to death. 

At 56.2 m. on US 70 is the junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road are the Ruins of the Original Fort Towson, 0.5 m. The fort was 
established in 1824 to protect the Choctaws who were induced by the Federal government 
to emigrate voluntarily from their Mississippi homes both from the raiding western Plains 
Indians and the outlaws that made their headquarters along the north bank of Red River. 
Soldiers sent to Fort Towson had little military work to do and were occupied mainly in 
building roads; and in 1829 the post was abandoned. It was re-established, however, when 
enforced removal of the Choctaws began in 1831. Abandoned again in 1854, it was used as 
a Choctaw Indian Agency until the outbreak of the Civil War, when it was taken over by 
the Confederates. In 1864 the fort was headquarters for General S. B. Maxey; and here in 
June, 1865, two months after the official ending of the war, the Cherokee Confederate 
General Stand Watie surrendered. 

It is said that Sam Houston met representatives of the Pawnee and Comanche tribes 
at Fort Towson in December, 1832, to negotiate treaties of peace between them and the 
tribes then being removed from east of the Mississippi; and that from this meeting Houston 
went on to begin the four-year campaign that ended with the wresting of the Province of 
Texas from Mexico. 

All that remains of the commodious hewn-log barracks and lathed and plastered 
officers' quarters, ample for the accommodations of four companies, are scattered stones 
and traces of the foundations of some of the buildings. 

FORT TOWSON, 56.8 m. (448 alt., 501 pop.), named for the old mili- 
tary trading post, is a trading place for farmers. 

A 970-acre flood control and recreational lake is (1941) under construc- 
tion just north of Fort Towson; and the site of the old fort will be at the top 
of a seventy-five foot bluff overlooking the new reservoir. 

Right from Fort Towson on a dirt road is the Site of Doaksville, 1 m. Established in 
1821 by the Doaks brothers, fur traders, the settlement became an important center for 
trappers and Indian and white setders as the frontier pushed farther and farther west. 
Shallow-draft steamboats on Red River and overland freight served the place; in 1833, 
seventeen boats discharged cargoes for Doaksville of such varied items as powder and shot, 
churns, and cloth, and loaded peltry and cotton for the return voyages. 

By a treaty made at Doaksville in 1837, the Choctaw Nation agreed, for a considera- 
tion of $530,000, to grant equal rights in their country to the Chickasaws; and the boun- 
daries of a Chickasaw District were defined. In 1855 the tribes agreed to formal separation, 
and the Chickasaw District became the Chickasaw Nation. From 1850 to 1863, Doaksville 
was the Choctaw capital. Its decline and disappearance were due to the war, removal of 
the capital, discontinuance of river traffic. Nothing remains of the old town but two ruined 
log buildings and the cemetery which contains many pre-Civil War gravestones. 

Near Doaksville, two girls' schools were located; Goodwater, founded in 1837 by the 
missionary Ebenezer Hotchkin; and Pine Ridge, opened in 1845. 

SAWYER, 63.4 m., came into existence about 1900 when the Arkansas 
and Choctaw Railroad (later the Frisco) built its branch line between Tex- 


arkana, Arkansas, and Ardinore to provide an outlet for the lumber and cot- 
ton produced in tliis district. 

At 66.6 m. is the junction with an improved dirt road. 

Left on this road, 1.5 m. to the Rose Hii.l Cemetery (R), where Captain Robert M. 
Jones, perhaps the most notable figure in the history of the neigliborhood, is buried. He was 
a half-blood Choctaw, who established a store here as one of his many enterprises, including 
stores at Scullyville (see Tour 7) and Lukfata, and six plantations with five hundred slaves. 
One of the plantations, which he called Lake West, consisted of some five thousand acres 
of rich Red River bottom land planted to cotton; the others, strung along Red River, were 
called Boggy, Rose Hill, Root Hog, Shawneetown, and Walnut Bayou. To carry his produce 
to market and bring in stocks for his stores, he also owned and operated two steamboats. 

The cemetery is on the site of the old Rose Hill plantation, which was Captain Jones' 
home in the days when he lived in truly southern opulence. The house was elaborately 
finished in oak, maple, walnut, and mahogany, furnished largely from France (as was 
customary among rich ante bellum plantation owners); it burned in 1912, long after it had 
been abandoned and had fallen into decay. Today, only a small tenant house, some cedar 
trees, and other plantings remain. Jones was ruined by the Civil War and died at Rose Hill 
in 1873. The cemetery, with its impressive tombstones, has been enclosed with a rock wall 
and otherwise restored as a WPA project. 

HUGO, 71.1 m. (549 alt., 5,909 pop.), seat of Choctaw County, was 
named by Mrs. W. H. Darrough, whose husband surveyed the original town- 
site, in honor of Victor Hugo, her favorite author. Its growth was stimulated 
when the Arkansas and Choctaw Railroad, building westward, crossed the 
tracks of the Frisco. After that first mild boom and considerable real estate 
speculation, the town settled down to steady development as the center of a 
productive farming region. It has a pecan-cracking mill, a peanut butter fac- 
tory, and one of the largest creosoting plants in the state. 

Hugo is at the junction with US 271 (see Tour 7), which unites west- 
ward with US 70 for 7.2 miles. 

SOPER, 83.5 m. (551 alt., 481 pop.), is in a productive farming area. 

BOSWELL, 94 m. (580 alt., 962 pop.), grew up on the site of a much 
older settlement of Choctaws and the region has remained largely Indian in 
character. Here in a modified form is still followed the old custom of holding 
a Funeral Cry twenty-eight days after the burial of a Choctaw. Formerly, on 
the day of the burial, the surviving head of the family cut twenty-eight small 
sticks representing the duration of the lunar month, and each morning one 
stick was taken from the bundle and broken. When only seven sticks re- 
mained, he sent invitations to kinsmen and friends to come for the cry on 
the day the last stick was broken. Each family brought its own provisions of 
corn meal, fiour, beef, and vegetables and camped near the burying ground. 
The Cry began with the recital by a close relative of the good qualities of the 
deceased, and as he proceeded the mourners, gathered aroimd the grave with 
heads covered, started to cry. This ceremony sometimes lasted several days. 
In bad weather, it was held in the church, lighted at night by candles. 

Right from Boswel! on a dirt road is the Site of Mayhew Courthouse, 4 m., where 
the Choctaws held tribal court, generally four sessions each year. The courthouse was a 
one-room building in which offenders received whipping or death sentences. All that 
remains is an old picket fence and a four-room house of logs and slabs. 

TOUR 6 319 

BENNINGTON, 105.2 m. (615 alt., 513 pop.), an old Choctaw settle- 
ment on a part of the route that coincides with the original road from Doaks- 
ville to the west, is the trade center of a rich farming and grazing area. The 
town grew up around a church, organized in 1848 by the Presbyterian Mission 
Board. Still standing on the spot known locally as Old Bennington, the 
church has a burying ground near by. 

Best remembered of the old church's ministers was Rev. W. J. B. Lloyd, 
who preached there after the Civil War. It was Mrs. Lloyd who told the story 
illustrating early banking practices. One day in the seventies she rode on a 
visit to the home of Wilson N. Jones, later chief of the Choctaws. As she pre- 
pared to return, Jones came out and tied a small, heavy bag to her saddle, 
saying, "This is $10,000 in gold; take it home and keep it until I come for it. 
I'm afraid of being robbed here, but no one would think of robbing a preach- 
er!" It is said that Mrs. Lloyd kept the bag of gold, hidden in the foot of a 
feather bed, for five years before Jones claimed it. 

Some Choctaws live in BOKCHITO, 111.9 m. (615 alt., 581 pop.), trade 
center of a farming region. 

Right from Bokchito on a dirt road are the ruins of Armstrong Academy, 2.3 m. In 
1844, two years after the Choctaw Nation had provided for a school system, the academy 
was built to serve the western portion of the Pushmataha District, placed under the super- 
vision of R. D. Potts, a Baptist missionary, and named for the popular Choctaw agent, 
William Armstrong. 

Instruction for adults was undertaken on week ends; and toward sunset on Friday 
evenings wagons bearing families began arriving at the campground in the clearing around 
the school. From Saturday morning to Sunday evening classes for men and women were 
held in which reading, writing, and arithmetic were taught along with religious instruction. 

The academy site, renamed Chata Tamaha (Choctaw Town), served as capital of the 
Choctaws from 1863 to 1883, when the tribal lawmakers removed it to Tuskahoma (see 
Tour 7). Closed in the Civil War, Armstrong Academy was reopened in 1882 by the Pres- 
byterians, under contract with the Choctaw Nation, and continued as a school for orphan 
boys until it was burned in 1921. Some of the old buildings, now ruins, are still standing. 

At 119 m. US 70 crosses Blue River. On the east bank is Philadelphia 
{brotherly love) Church, erected in 1840, and housing the oldest functioning 
Baptist congregation in Oklahoma. The minutes of the church for 1850 re- 
cord the reception and baptism, among others, of a Choctaw named Yokme- 
tubbe, who had been tried for murder and sentenced to death. On his convic- 
tion he was placed in charge of an officer of the church and urged to repent 
and prepare his soul; the record says that "he prayed for forgiveness of his 
sins — and though compelled to sufler the penalty of the law of his country, 
we trust he will escape the severe penalty of God's law through mediation of 
Jesus Christ." 

For many years the church had only Choctaw ministers, and the congre- 
gation is still almost exclusively Indian. Its male quartette gives concerts 
throughout southern Oklahoma. 

Seat of Bryan County and metropolis of the Red River Vallev section of 
Oklahoma, DURANT, 162.2 m. (643 alt., 10,027 pop.), was first setded by 
the Choctaw family of that name in 1870 and built on the Dixon Durant 
ranch. The present (1941) principal chief of the tribe is W. A. Durant, also 
of the same family. 


Lying in a region somewhat broken and roughly terraced by nature, 
Durant has grown to its position of local importance through service to a 
variety of agricultural needs, and as a seat of two colleges, one maintained by 
the state and the other — for women — by the Presbyterian denomination. 

Cotton is the principal crop to contribute to the city's market activities, 
though the region is also productive in livestock, grain, potatoes, hay, and 
peanuts. Two peanut warehouses built in 1940 by the Bryan County growers' 
co-operative were filled at harvest time with 2,800 tons, to be held for a better 
market under a Federal government guarantee of a minimum price. The crop 
of wild pecans is also important — as it was in 1834 when a Choctaw tribal 
law forbade the cutting of pecan and hickory trees. A pecan cracking and 
picking plant in the city has sent out in one year forty-eight carloads of the 
nut kernels to be used in confectionery factories. Two peanut processing 
plants and a cottonseed-oil mill are evidences of Durant's dependence on the 

Unusual among industrial enterprises is the factory established here for 
utilizing the wood of the bois d'arc (Osage orange), most commonly known 
as a hedgerow bush and valued in the old days by the Indians as material for 
bows. It grows abundantly in the Durant area, and the factory has fashioned 
paving blocks and wagon felloes from the tough and durable wood; has util- 
ized smaller bits for insulator-supports on telegraph and telephone lines; and 
out of the sawdust and ground-up waste has produced a valuable yellow dye 
which is sold as far away as eastern Europe 

A free County Fair, and Farmers' Sales Day, make for close co-operation 
between Durant and the surrounding farms. 

One daily newspaper, the Durant Democrat, is the survivor of ten that 
have been published there at different times. 

Characteristic of Durant's architecture are the galleried residences, with 
high ceilings and big windows, that reflect the influence of the old southern 
plantation owners' "town houses." 

Southeastern State College, with an enrollment (1941) of 1,064 and 
a faculty and administrative stafT of sixty-three, is one of the six training 
schools for teachers in Oklahoma. Opened in June, 1909, its plant has grown 
to include seven buildings devoted to college work, a stadium and athletic 
field, and an amphitheater capable of seating three thousand persons. These 
are on a campus of thirty-eight acres at the northern edge of the city. Concrete 
walks connect the buildings, and the grounds are landscaped and planted to 
flowers and ornamental shrubs. 

Connected with the college is the Russell Training School, a labora- 
tory for advanced college students, with elementary department and junior 
and senior high school courses. There, embryo teachers are given demonstra- 
tions in the best teaching practices on each grade level and later permitted to 
teach under the direction of a supervisor. Music, art, and physical education 
are among the branches taught in the training school. 

On an elevated tableland at the western edge of Durant, the Oklahoma 
Presbyterian College for Girls occupies a twenty-two-acre campus. Its 
work is carried on in a three-story brick main building, which also provides 

TOUR 6 321 

dormitory space for seventy-five girls. Another dormitory, modern and well 
furnished, is connected with the main building by a covered passageway. 
With a teaching staff of seven and an enrollment (1940) of forty-eight col- 
lege, and twenty preparatory, students, the school attempts (in the words of 
its circular) to make of its graduates "well rounded young women, prepared 
in mind, soul, and body for consecrated leadership in activities properly be- 
longing to women." Approximately half of the students are Indian girls 
whose expenses are paid by the Federal government. The college has a swim- 
ming pool, gymnasium, library, and a pipe organ in the main building. 

Nearest city to the site of Denison Dam, Durant has received a new impe- 
tus as supply base for the builders; and when the lake comes into existence 
(probably in 1944), plans will be carried out for making the region around 
the reservoir an extensive recreation area, with shelters and piers for sailboats 
and other craft. 

In Durant is the junction with US 69 (see Tour 8). 

Just west of Durant, US 70 crosses the boundary line between the former 
Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. When the Denison Dam is completed a 
section of the highway will be inundated, and it will be necessary to reroute 
it to Madill. 

MADILL, 154.2 m. (775 alt., 2,594 pop.), named for an attorney of the 
Frisco railroad, is the seat of Marshall County. Around it is a farming and 
livestock growing area, dotted with the pump jacks of the shallow oil field 
which was opened here in 1907 and is still producing oil of very high gravity. 
The town, however, has never experienced an oil boom comparable to those 
at other Oklahoma towns and cities, although a new, productive field is being 
developed near by. Madill's first bank was known locally as the Cottonwood 
National, because it was built of boards sawed out of cottonwood trees. 
School desks, and pecan cracking, shelling, and packing machinery are man- 
ufactured here. In Marshall County are many groves of wild and paper-shell 

Madill is at the junction with State 99 (see Tour 14). 

At 174.2 m. is the junction with graveled State 18. 

Right on State 18 to a junction with a graded farm-to-market road, 18 m.; R. here 
to OIL SPRINGS, 22.5 m. This is an old resort for swimming, camping, and fishing and 
was named for the trace of oil found on the water that gushed from the spring. There has 
been no commercial oil development in the neighborhood, however. 

At 175.2 m. is the junction with an improved dirt road. 

Right on this road to Oak Hill Farm (visitors admitted), 2.5 m., one of the largest 
establishments in the world for the breeding of show ring horses, especially three-gaited 
and five-gaited saddle horses; in addition, entries in the fine harness classes are sent to the 
annual shows throughout the Southwest and at Kansas City, St. Louis, and Louisville. 

On the farm's three thousand acres, and in its commodious barns — the largest 324 
by 54 feet, with concrete stalls for fifty-four animals — are kept more than fifty registered 
brood mares; five pedigreed stallions; some Thoroughbreds; some standardbreds; a few 
Percherons; a small herd of registered Durham cattle; and three hundred Angora goats. 
About fifty colts a year are foaled here, to be trained for the show ring. 


ARDMORE, 182.3 m. (872 alt., 16,886 pop.) (see Ardmore), is at the 
Junction with US 77 (see Tour 10). 

RINGLING, 210.5 m. (846 alt., 902 pop.), was named for one of the 
brothers who operated the old Ringling Brothers-Barnum and Bailey circus. 
The story is that in the early 1900s a young lawyer named Jake L. Hamon 
boarded the circus train that lay on a siding at Ardmore and presented his 
card to John Ringling, who said, "I'm afraid we can't do anything for you; 
our legal business is already taken care of." 

Hamon answered, "I don't want your legal business, I want three dol- 
lars. Several years ago I worked as a roustabout for this circus, and when I 
was paid off you beat me out of that amount." 

Ringling liked the young man's nerve, invited him to stay for dinner, 
they became friends; and in 1914 when oil was found on Hamori^s leases west 
of Ardmore he induced Ringling to enter the field and build twenty miles of 
railroad to their holdings. That road was extended, and at its western termi- 
nus is the town named for the circus man. 

In 1916, most of the residents of Cornish, a small town one mile south, 
moved to Ringling, leaving only an orphans' home on the old site. 

At 233.2 m. is the Y junction with US 81 (see Tour 11). 

WAURIKA, 234.2 m. (873 alt., 2,458 pop.), is a town that in layout re- 
sembles a stadium, its residence section spread out and overlooking an arena 
of business buildings. Like many other Oklahoma towns, it has in its short 
history changed names. When first laid out in 1892, the railroad station was 
called Monika. It became the seat of Jefferson County in 1908 after a year's 
fight with the near-by town of Ryan (see Tour 11). Besides farm trade, Wau- 
rika is also dependent on the Rock Island shops at the southern edge of town. 

West of Waurika are hill pastures covered with nutritious buffalo grass; 
in the days of the trail drives cattle were allowed to linger here in order to 
put on fat quickly. 

This varied range and farm country was a part of the Kiowa-Comanche 
reservation, opened to white settlement in 1901. Where once stolen Coman- 
che ponies ranged, graded white-face cattle now (1941) graze. Stretches of 
flat alkali-whitened land alternate with rolling pastures, wheat fields, and the 
frayed-thread-like timber borders of small creeks. Farmhouses, with wind 
chargers whirling above the roofs, indicate by their size and state of repair 
a wide range of prosperity. 

Where the route comes close to the Red River bottoms there are patches 
of good timber, mesquite, tamarack, irregular windrows of blown sand, some 
small farms, and one extensive peach orchard, which suggests one of the 
possibilities of the region. 

RANDLETT, 261 m. (1,248 alt., 327 pop.), a collection of neat houses 
extending for a considerable distance along the route, is a farm trading center. 

South to Red River is level land, poor soil, buffalo grass, and mesquite. 
Some wheat, however, is grown in the region. 

US 70 crosses over a long bridge spanning a wide expanse of river-bed 
sand and a narrow stream to the TEXAS LINE, 268.5 m., at a point 2.5 miles 
northeast of Burkburnett, Texas (see Texas Guide). 

^Oiij ^ , sji)if: ^ , ^il/ij, ^ „ jjO/y ., jjDii: ^ , ^^ii ^ , jjO/'i ^ .. ^t)/!" 

Tour 7 

(Fort Smith, Ark.) — Poteau — Talihina — Antlers — Hugo — (Paris, Tex.); 

US 271. 

Arkansas Line to Texas Line 165 m. 

Roadbed graveled throughout. 

Kansas City Southern Ry parallels route between Spiro and Poteau; the Frisco Ry. between 

Poteau and Paris, Tex. 

Accommodations limited to the larger towns. 

Ch ah ta Okja i Min\o sia hash himmaka okla kflna hokeya, pi yaJ{ni 
illappa ietanotvt't nine chito micha boke oka achuhjna, yakpmi }{a o\la pisat 
itanowa chi }{a ashliha illappa pit achile hoke." 

Translation: "As chief of the Choctaw people, I do hereby extend a 
welcome and an invitation to all who wish to visit the Indian country and 
view the mountains and the many beautiful fishing streams." 

— W. A. Durant, present (1941) Principal Chief of the Choctaws. 

US 271 winds through the rugged hills and narrow valleys that were 
once the home of the Choctaws. Driven from the East, they labored to re- 
create the traditional strength of their nation in this area of verdant beauty. 
Log and brick buildings and forgotten piles of stone, now standing amid the 
upland forests of pine and oak, testify to tribal decisions that school children 
of today recite as history. 

For a few miles along the most eastern portion of US 271 in Oklahoma 
the Chickasaws, too, once beat out their Trail of Tears, and not long after- 
wards there passed over it the turbulent remnant of the fierce Seminoles, who 
had fought so desperately in Florida to protect their homes against white 

The old Fort Towson Road, along which processions of troops and sup- 
plies from Fort Smith were routed to Fort Towson, nearly parallels US 271; 
deep ruts made by the heavy wagon wheels are still visible in places. Piles of 
stone, from chimneys long in disuse, indicate the buildings that once were 
havens of rest and refuge for hardy early-day stagecoach passengers. Across 
this region from the southeastern corner of the state, up the divide between 
the Litde and Kiamichi rivers, across the latter stream near Tuskahoma, and 
on to the northwest went Bernard de la Harpe, exploring for the glory of 
France in 1718. 

The highway passes through the beautiful game-stocked region of the 
Ouachita National Forest and crosses clear, plunging streams in which there 
is good fishing. Over the Winding Stair and Kiamichi mountains and through 
the regular rows of the Potato Hills US 271 twists and dips. 



US 271 crosses the OKLAHOMA LINE, m., six miles west of Fort 
Smith, Arkansas (see Arf^ansas Guide). 

BRADEN, 7 m. (423 alt., 150 pop.), lies in the wooded valley formed by 
the confluence of the Arkansas and Poteau rivers. Much of the rich bottom 
land has been cleared to form a fertile farming district. 

The almost completely deserted village of SCULLYVILLE, 11.2 m., was 
established in 1832, when the Choctaws were being removed from their east- 
ern homes. The site was chosen by the Indian agent as a center where annu- 
ities due the Choctaws were to be paid — hence the name, derived from the 
Choctaw word is^uli, meaning money. A part of the old Agen'cy Building, 
erected from hand-hewn logs on a four-foot stone foundation, is still standing. 
Appropriately and succinctly, the Choctaws called it the "pay house." 

It was here that Moshulatubbee, important political figure of the Choc- 
taw Nation, lived while serving as chief of the northern district, of which 
Scullyville was the capital. 

Although today (1941) there are only a few buildings left standing in 
Scullyville, a century ago it was an educational, social, and political center 
for the Choctaw Nation. The artist, George Catlin, visited there in 1834 and 
painted his virile canvas, "TuUock-chisk-ko," using as a model the most dis- 
tinguished ballplayer in the nation; the picture is in the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion at Washington, D.C. Catlin told of watching a ball game (the subject of 
another of his famous paintings), on a site southwest of the town, with some 
three thousand cheering and betting Indians in attendance. The games were 
usually played between teams of the diflferent districts, with much rivalry 
and sometimes a riot. The game is still played by Choctaw boys in various 
Indian schools. 

In 1844, New Hope, the most noted of the schools established for Choc- 
taw girls, was located here. The institution was closed during the Civil War, 
reopened in 1870, and continued in operation until it was burned in 1897. 
The custom of the Choctaws at the time was to send some of this school's 
graduates to an eastern college at the expense of the nation. Only fragments 
of the foundation of this important seminary remain. 

When the famous Butterfield Overland mail route was established be- 
tween St. Louis and San Francisco in 1858, Scullyville was made one of the 
stations on the line. The nearness of the town to the Arkansas River (some 
five miles northwest) also made it a busy trading post for river traffic; the 
Scullyville boat landing served both this settlement and Fort Coffee. 

The Choctaw cemetery there is the final resting place of many of the 
early leaders of the nation, including members of the McCurtain, Folsom, and 
Ward families. Some lie in unmarked graves and some in graves with half- 
fallen stones, dating back to 1830. 

In 1863, Union forces captured Scullyville and held it until the end of 
the Civil War, leaving devastated fields and ruined homes behind them and 
bringing about the early decline of this once important town. One residence, 
the Tom Ainsworth home, survived the war and is still in good repair. 

At 13.5 m. is the junction with an improved dirt road. 

Right on this road to a junction with a second graded dirt road, 4.3 m. 


TOUR 7 325 

Right here, 1 m., to the Spiro Indian Mounds (200 yds. L), the best-known archeo- 
logical site in Oklahoma. The mounds were leased by the University of Oklahoma in 1934 
for excavation, which has been done as a WPA project under the direction of the university's 
department of anthropology. The workers have dug up ornaments whose carvings indicate 
Aztec origin; pearls and beads of shell, copper, wood, and stone; vases in the shapes of owls 
and frogs; ceremonial maces, arrowheads, bone fragments, and woven cloth. The bodies 
of ancient chiefs had been placed on beds of sand with their ornaments and weapons ar- 
ranged around them according to the ceremonial burial custom of this ancient civilization. 
There are three mounds, which had been partially despoiled by souvenir-hunters before the 
university acquired the excavation privileges. Scientists estimate that the burial mounds 
antedate the coming of Columbus, and that the builders were members of a southwestern 
group of Indians. Another archeological theory is that these sites are the traces of a Lower 
Mississippian Indian civilization which existed about 750 years ago. 

At 5 m. on the main side route is the junction with a second dirt road; R. here to a 
farm home, 0.5 m., which has been built (L) on the site of the quadrangle of Fort Coffee. 
The post was established in 1 834 and named in honor of General Coffee, who was a close 
friend of President Andrew Jackson and aided in the removal of the Choctaws from the 
East. Fort Coffee was a busy and important military post during the removal years. It was 
built on a high bluff on the south bank of Arkansas River, the one-story buildings grouped 
to form a hollow square in the manner of pioneer fortifications. The barracks were con- 
structed of rough slabs, with battened doors and window shutters, and with a natural stone 
fireplace and chimney at each end. The post faced in the direction of the river, with a watch 
tower — commanding a sweeping view of the stream — perched on the tip of a rocky 
promontory on the bank. The Scullyville boat landing was also located at this strategic point. 

After the abandonment of Fort Coffee in 1838, an academy for Choctaw boys was 
established there in 1844 and remained in operation until the outbreak of the Civil War. 
Today, nothing remains of the buildings except the large blocks of sandstone which formed 
the foundation. 

SPIRO, 15.2 m. (494 alt., 1,041 pop.), was founded about 1895 when the 
Kansas City Southern Railway was built through this region. At that time, 
the majority of the few inhabitants still at Scullyville after its devestation 
during the Civil War moved to this new town. A few years later, the Fort 
Smith and Western Railway also built to Spiro, making it a shipping point 
for the adjacent area. Today (1941), four cotton gins are located there and, 
in addition, Spiro is an important marketing center for potatoes, a crop por- 
ticularly suited to the Arkansas River bottom land which surrounds the town. 

At 18.3 m. is the northern junction with US 59 (see Tour 15), which 
unites with US 271 for 17.2 miles. 

PANAMA, 23.3 m. (490 alt., 880 pop.), like Spiro, was established about 
1895 as a result of the extension of the Kansas City Southern Railway through 
this part of the state. The name was chosen because of the interest of the resi- 
dents in the Panama Canal, the reconstruction of which was being planned 
at that time. 

Panama is primarily a coal-mining town, but farming and stock-raising 
are additional commercial interests. 

SHADY POINT, 25.6 m., is an outgrowth of an early Choctaw setde- 
ment about one mile west, known today as "Old Town." A well-known 
Choctaw politician, Jacob B. Jackson, once made his home there. In Old 
Town is an early-day Choctaw church with the familiar shingle-and-brush- 
sheltered graves of its cemetery surrounding it. The ancient tribal burial 
customs, including the "burial cry" (see Tour 6), are observed here, as in 
former years, whenever rites are conducted for the older Choctaws, 


Near this settlement, in the days of the stagecoach route on the Military 
Trail to Fort Towson, was a stop called Ikazil Station. 

POTEAU, 31.5 m. (483 alt., 4,020 pop.), seat of LeFlore County, was 
founded in 1898 and named for the Poteau River near by. The town is located 
in a valley which lies between the Cavanal and Sugar Loaf mountains, the 
latter (2,600 alt.) being one of the highest in the Ouachita region. Because of 
the mountainous terrain, the streets of Poteau wind and dip, paying no par- 
ticular attention to definite direction. Only one home in the town has the dis- 
tinction of being in line with a cardinal point of the compass; it faces due west. 

Coal-mining was the primary industry of Poteau until production slack- 
ened in that field; since then lumbering, cotton-raising, truck gardening, and 
glass manufacturing have become important. 

Within ten miles of the city are more than a dozen large lakes and streams 
in which bass, bluegill, crappie, channel cat, and bream are plentiful. Fourche 
Maline and Poteau rivers, which join south of the town to half-circle it to the 
east, are good fishing spots. A canyon at the foot of Mount Cavanal has be- 
come known as a miniature Royal Gorge, for its jagged rock cliffs and tum- 
bling water falls resemble that famous and beautiful site in Colorado. 

At 35.5 m. is the southern junction with US 59 (see Tour 15). 

WISTER, 41.3 m. (510 alt., 763 pop.), was first known as Wister Junc- 
tion because two important railroads, the Rock Island and the Frisco, crossed 
at this point. 

At 45.8 m. is the junction with US 270 (see Tour 5). 

Turning sharply southwest, US 271 passes through the region of the 
Winding Stair Mountains of the Ouachita Ts'ational Forest, with the contrast- 
ing beauty of the dark-green pines and the lighter-hued oaks against a back- 
ground of red-tinged soil on every side. 

At 70.1 m. is an old Choctaw Cemetery (R). 

TALIHINA, 73.1 m. (688 alt., 1,057 pop.), was a small, unnamed mis- 
sionary settlement in this valley in the Winding Stairs Mountains when, in 
1888, the Frisco Railway built across the mountains from Fort Smith, Arkan- 
sas, to Paris, Texas. The name Talihina dates back to this event, for in the 
Choctaw language it means "Iron Road." 

As the road crews laid the shining steel rails, the Indians looked on in 
superstitious wonder. In the diary of one of the missionaries, present at the 
time, are recorded the words of a chief who had once been on a train: "I have 
ridden on the railroads east of the Mississippi. They have little houses on 
wheels which can be shut up and locked. If we allow these railroads to come, 
the white men will invite all the full bloods to a picnic and get the men to go 
off and play ball. Then they will get our women to go into the little houses 
on wheels and lock them up and run off with them into Texas or Missouri. 
Then what will we do without our women?" 

Despite the objections of the Indians, the railroad was completed and 
the missionary settlement grew into the present town. Until 1919, Talihina 
remained almost inaccessible except by rail. At that time a highway was built 
through the near-by forest by convict labor. Since then highways have been 
constructed through the valley to the west and eastward toward Hot Springs, 

TOUR 7 327 

Arkansas. Many streams for fishing, and consistent wildlife protection by 
Federal and state governments have made this section a popular playground 
for sportsmen. Practically all of the business activity at Talihina is dependent 
on lumbering. Large oak, pine, and hickory forests surround the town. 

Right from Talihina on asphalt-paved State 63 to a V junction, 2 m., with two 
graveled roads. 

Right (following signs) to the State Tuberculosis Sanitorium, 1.5 7n., built in 
1921. Set down among the oaks and pines on the side of a mountain that protects it from 
north winds, the sanitorium has the appearance of a summer resort, for many of the patients 
are housed in two-room cottages and the long, white ward building is completely covered 
on one side with screened-in porches. The Administration Building, constructed of brick 
in a design of medieval simplicity, contains the dining room, kitchen, operating rooms, and 
laboratories. The grounds and structures of the institution are enclosed by a rail fence. 

Straight ahead (following signs) to the Choctaw-Chickasaw Tuberculosis Sani- 
torium, 3 tn. The hospital was first established here in 1916 with $50,000 furnished by the 
Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian tribes and built under the supervision of the Federal gov- 
ernment. Originally only tuberculous patients were admitted, but in 1936 Congress appro- 
priated money to enlarge the hospital so that general medical service might be offered. The 
present-day $1,000,000 plant includes a huge, rambling building of native stone, built 
around an open court; nurses' quarters designed in tourist-camp style, four rock residences 
and five frame, used by doctors and employees. The main building contains air-conditioned 
X-ray and operating rooms, and corridors decorated in tasteful colors rather than the usual 
hospital white. 

ALBION, 81.9 m. (678 alt., 240 pop.), is a lumbering town. 

KIAMICHI (Ki'-a mish'-e), 87.0 m., is a small settlement named from 
the Kiamichi River, which flows near by, paralleling the highway for six 
miles. In a report made in 1805 by Dr. John Sibley, United States explorer, he 
speaks of a tributary to the Red River, "which is called by the Indians 
Kiomitchie." Fishing is excellent in these waters, crappie and catfish being 

At 91. m. is the site of Springs Station, a stop on the old Fort Towson 
Military Road from Fort Smith, Arkansas, named for John Springs, an in- 
fluential Choctaw, whose home was there. Near by, in a field, is the unmarked 
grave of William Bryant, principal chief of the Choctaws from 1870 to 1874. 

The present town of TUSKAHOMA, 93 m., came into existence with the 
coming of the railroad. Long before, however, it was the political capital of 
the Choctaws. As early as 1838, representatives of that nation first met to 
legislate for the people in their new home. Today, as citizens of a nation 
embracing all races, descendants of those same Choctaws live in and around 

By the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, made in Mississippi in 1830, 
the Choctaws were promised many things in return for their land; one 
provision was that funds would be appropriated for the erection of a new 
council house in the approximate center of the land that they would hence- 
forth occupy. The site selected was on a mound about one and one-half miles 
northwest of the present Tuskahoma. This was in 1834, but it was 1838 before 
the pine-log house was erected and ready for the first council meeting in the 
new capital, Nunih Wayah; the name had been brought from the East, where 


a sacred mound, which figured in the legends pertaining to the Choctaw 
origin, was also named Nunih Wayah. 

Because of factional disputes, the scat of government was located at 
various places until 1883, when the council appropriated funds to erect a 
building on a permanent site about two and one-half miles northeast of the 
original capital, Nunih Wayah. The new structure, built of wood from the 
surrounding forests and of red bricks from native clay, remained the capitol 
of the nation until tribal government was ended in 1906. 

In 1888, the Frisco Railway built through the region, but the Choctaw 
Council refused to pay the excessive bonus demanded by the company for 
building a station near the capital. A town gradually grew near the railway 
stop some two miles south, however, and thus the present Tuskahoma came 
into being. 

Right from Tuskahoma on an improved dirt road to a junction 0.5 m., with a second 
county road. 

Left on this road to the Site of Nunih Wayah, 1 m., which is unmarked but easily 
located by the large pile of rocks (L) that was once the chimney of the old log capitol. An 
early-day Choctaw Burial Ground is near by. 

At 2 m. is the junction with graveled State 2; R. on State 2 to the Site of the 
Tuskahoma Female Academy, 3.3 m., which was established in 1891 to serve as a com- 
panion school for the Jones Academy, Choctaw boys' institution at Hartshorne (see Tour 5). 
The main building burned in 1927 and a home (R), built partially of its ruins, now stands 
on the spot — the residence of Dr. Anna Lewis, a well-known historian of Choctaw blood, 
who once attended the academy. 

At 2 m. on the main side-tour road is the Choctaw Council House (L), a solid 
rectangular red-brick building of two stories and a mansard garret third story, erected in 
1883. In 1934, the Choctaws drafted plans to restore the building and to purchase one 
thousand acres around it for use as a park and for farm lands, the proceeds from the latter 
to be used to maintain the historic site permanently. In June, 1938 — one hundred years after 
the first council meeting at Nunih Wayah — the Tuskahoma Council House, last of the 
Choctaw Capitols, was rededicated as a historical and educational institution. Each year, in 
May or June, a meeting of general tribal interest is held here. 

North of the Council House is an old Burying Ground, where many well-known 
Choctaws rest. In this spot are the graves of Jackson McCurtain, who was chief of the 
nation when the council building was erected; of his wife, Jane, most prominent and cap- 
able of the few Choctaw women who took an active part in politics; and of Peter Hudson, 
brilliant educator and writer, who used his talents to keep alive Choctaw histor>' and tradi- 
tion. A few feet from the Council House stands the McCurtain Home, built at about the 
same time as the capitol, where many prominent tribesmen were entertained while the 
council was in session. 

LAKE CLAYTON, 99.3 m. (R), is named for the near-by village of 
Clayton. The lake, which covers one hundred acres, was completed and 
stocked in 1936 and affords abundant fishing. 

The route continues to wind through the sparsely settled rough slopes 
of the Kiamichi Mountains, roughly following Cedar Creek, one of the fine 
fishing streams of the region. 

FINLEY, 123.6 m., lies in a fertile valley just south of the Kiamichi 
mountain range. Stock-raising and lumbering comprise the industry of the 
town and vicinity. 

ANTLERS, 133.8 m. (511 alt., 3,254 pop.), was so named because of the 
Indian custom of fastening a set of anders to a tree to mark the site of a spring; 
a large spring near the town had been marked in this way. The chief industry 

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TOUR 7 329 

of this district is lumbering, and a large lumber and planing mill is one of the 
town's most prominent structures. 

During the winter of 1892-93, Antlers was the scene of a political insur- 
rection still known locally as the "Locke War." Congress had voted to pay 
$2,943,050 in settlement of a land claim to the Choctaw Nation, and bitter 
strife developed between the citizens as to the handling of this money. The 
question became the main issue in the election of 1892, when the voters were 
to cast their ballots for principal chief. The two main political parties, Nation- 
alist and Progressive, had as their respective candidates Jacob B. Jackson, an 
influential full blood who had received a college education and had held 
numerous tribal offices, and Wilson N. Jones, a wealthy ranchman then serv- 
ing as chief. The vote was very close, but the party in power, which canvassed 
the returns, decided in favor of Jones. The Nationalists formed armed bands 
with the intention of marching against the capitol and seizing the govern- 
ment. Most of them were dispersed with little bloodshed by the tribal militia, 
but about 150 of the insurrectionists barricaded themselves at Antlers under 
the leadership of Victor M. Locke, an intermarried white man, and prepared 
to defy the administration. Chief Jones' militia attacked their stronghold, but 
few casualties resulted since neither side was willing to engage in a pitched 
battle. For the first time in the history of the Choctaw people. Federal troops 
were called in to restore order, and a United States commissioner finally per- 
suaded the leaders of the two factions to make peace. Jones served out his 
term without further incident, but the log stockade in which the Nationalists 
had barricaded themselves at Antlers remained standing for many years as a 
grim reminder of the most serious political disturbance in the history of the 
Choctaw Republic. 

FORNEY, 148.3 m. (609 alt., 50 pop.), a small setdement, is at the 
western junction with US 70 (see Tour 6), which unites eastward with US 
271 to HUGO, 155 m. (549 alt., 5,909 pop.) (see Tour 6). 

At 156.1 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road to the Goodland School, 2.3 m. In 1848, the Indian Presbytery was 
petitioned by the Choctaws living in this vicinity to send a teacher. In 1850, Rev. O. P. 
Stark and his wife settled at Goodland and established a mission and school in their log 
cabin home. A church was soon built, and the school was conducted in this building for a 
number of years. Until 1890, the institution depended largely on the support of the com- 
munity; this was obtained mostly through the efforts of Mrs. Carrie LeFlore, wife of Basil 
LeFlore, the chief of the district. In memory of her and her husband, their home has been 
moved to the campus and dedicated as a Museum (open to fisitors) of Indian and mission 
history. The institution is now a public school supported and supervised by the state. A 
dormitory on the grounds operated by the Presbyterian Church cares for Indian orphans; 
Hugo social service organizations aid in its upkeep. Eight modern buildings on 430 acres 
of land comprise the school plant, where regular scholastic courses throughout high school 
grades are given. 

GRANT, 159.7 m. (573 alt., 309 pop.), which was established at the time 
the Frisco Railway built through this region, is a marketing town for the 
surrounding agricultural lands of the Red River bottom. 

ORD, 164.7 m. (ill alt., 206 pop.), was named for a town in Nebraska. 

At 165 m., US 271 crosses Red River at the Texas Line, fifteen miles 
north of Paris, Texas (see Texas Guide). 

t^fi/lj jjflrf* , sS^^J , ^^11 ^- £^''^2 ^ , ^^'H ^ -— £^"^2 ^ - sj"^ 

Tour 8 

(Columbus, Kans.) — Vinita — Muskogee — McAlester — Atoka — Durant — 

(Denison, Tex.); US 69. 

Kansas Line to Texas Line, 272.2 m. 

Roadbed intermittently paved with concrete and asphalt; also graveled. 

The Missouri-Kansas-Texas R. R. parallels the route throughout. 

Good accommodations at short intervals; hotels chiefly in cities; numerous tourist camps. 

Probably as significant historically as any route throughout Oklahoma, 
US 69 follows almost exactly the old Texas Road, over which fur traders, 
trappers, freighters, emigrants, and pioneer settlers traveled. From the Kan- 
sas Line to Muskogee, the Three Forks district, it follows the old Osage Trace, 
along which the Osage Indians frequendy sent hunting parties into the wilder- 
ness region. Records have established the trail's use as far back as the opening 
years of the nineteenth century. 

Soon after came the establishment of trading posts, missions, and the 
military outpost of Fort Gibson; then the Trace developed into a road advanc- 
ing rapidly toward Texas and other points to the southwest. The heavy traffic 
that followed left ruts that are still visible today. A count taken in March, 
1845, showed that one thousand wagons crossed from what is now Oklahoma 
over the Red River into Texas in a period of six weeks. 

Indians and early pioneers surveyed skillfully, even though they did not 
have twentieth-century knowledge and equipment; when the inevitable rail- 
road and highway were laid out, they followed the rutted old road very 

Many Indians still live along the route, for some of the areas traversed 
belonged at various times to the Osages, the Cherokees, the Creeks, the 
Choctaws, the Chickasaws, and the Caddoes. Though Washington Irving's 
description of the Osages as ". . . stately fellows, stern and simple in garb and 
aspect" and the Creeks as "gaily dressed," does not fit the appearance of 
present-day Indians, much of their former colorful array may still be seen in 
museums and displays along the way. 

Section a. KANSAS LINE to MUSKOGEE, 114.2 m. US 69 

US 69 crosses the KANSAS LINE, m., at a point 13.1 miles south of 
Columbus, Kansas (see Kansas Guide). 

Here the route passes through the lead and zinc mines of the Tri-State 
area (see Tour 1). The mines are now (1941) operating on a full-time basis 


TOUR 8 331 

adding to the many huge piles of chat that are reminders of the boom days of 
the first World War. In some places board or stone barricades protect the 
highway from the encroaching man-made hills. 

In PICHER, 1.6 m. (820 alt., 5,848 pop.), houses have been located in a 
hit-and-miss fashion in the spaces about the great shaft openings and the 
sprawling chat piles. The small houses in which the miners live are built 
impermanently, for approximately the entire townsite is leased to the mining 
companies, making the buildings subject to removal when mine operations 
require it. Picher's business district is composed of a dozen or so one-story 
brick structures facing the highway. 

Mining in the Tri-State area is of the shaft type, the shafts sometimes 
extending into the earth for almost a quarter of a mile with octopus-like arms 
branching off in many directions. The miners work by the light of carbide 
lamps attached to their caps as they follow the veins — drilling, blasting with 
dynamite, picking, and shoveling the ore into cars drawn by well-trained 
mules. The animals often spend most of their lives underground drawing the 
cars from the workings to the elevators that haul the raw ores to the top. The 
ore is next crushed in huge mills and separated from the accompanying rock; 
then, as a "concentrate", it is transported to the smelters for refining. 

CARDIN, 2.7 m. (813 alt., 437 pop.), formerly named Tar River, came 
into existence as a mining camp in the boom years of this area. It was incor- 
porated in 1918 and named for W, C. Cardin, who laid out the townsite. 
Some farming is done in the surrounding prairie land, but the chief com- 
mercial activity is lead and zinc mining. 

The recendy built Eagle-Picher Central Mill (open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 
visitors must register at office), 4.2 m., is one of the largest and most modern 
in the world, milling approximately eight hundred tons of ore daily. In recov- 
ering the lead and zinc from the rock, much chert and limestone is extracted, 
and this substance, called chat when crushed, is used widely as road surfacing 

COMMERCE, 5.7 m. (805 alt., 2,422 pop.) (see Tour 1), is at the junc- 
tion with US 66 (see Tour 1), which unites southwestward with US 69 for 
thirty-nine miles. 

At 20.6 m. is the eastern junction with US 60 (see Tour 4), which unites 
with the route southwestward for 24.1 miles. 

At 23.8 m. is the junction with US 59 (see Tour 15). 

AFTON, 24.8 m. (790 alt., 1,261 pop.) (see Tour 1). 

VINITA, 40.2 m. (702 alt., 5,685 pop.) (see Tour 1). 

At 44.7 m. is the western junction with US 66 (see Tour 1); US 69 turns 
sharply south. 

BIG CABIN, 50.7 m. (720 alt., 270 pop.), is a farm and poultry center 
named for the frame cabin belonging to the settler who first occupied the site. 

Cabin Creek (L), which runs almost parallel with US 69 between Vinita 
and its confluence with the Grand River near Langley, was the scene of two 
important Civil War battles. Approximately eight miles east of the highway 
there, where the old Texas Road crossed Cabin Creek, the Confederates at- 
tacked a Union supply train of two hundred wagons on July 1 and 2, 1863. 


Food supplies tor Fort Gibson {sec Tour 3), held during the latter part of the 
war by Federal troops, were being brought from Fort Scott and Baxter 
Springs, Kansas, for the many soldiers and Indian refugees who had been 
existing at the fort on half rations. The Confederates, numbering about fifteen 
hundred under command of the Cherokee General Stand Watie, were trying 
to blockade the garrison, but the attack was beaten oil and the train reached 
Fort Gibson safely. 

In the battle on the same spot in the following year the Confederate 
General R. M. Gano and General Stand Watie captured a Federal supply 
train valued at $1,500,000. The 295 wagons, several ambulances, and 260 men 
en route from Fort Scott to Fort Gibson and Fort Smith, Arkansas, were at- 
tacked by the Confederates at two o'clock in the morning of September 19 by 
artillery pieces, hidden in the timber. Only 130 wagons were taken away; the 
others, including ricks carrying some three thousand tons of hay, were de- 
stroyed by order of General Gano. In addition to clothing and food, the 
wagons contained a quantity of whisky on which the Confederate troops are 
said to have become quite drunk after the fighting was over. Watie stopf)ed 
the drinking by ordering the remaining whisky poured into the near-by creek. 

ADAIR, 60.2 m. (682 alt., 407 pop.), was named for the prominent 
Cherokee Indian Adair family. The town was a center for the surrounding 
rich grazing lands, which, after allotment, were cut into small farms whose 
produce and livestock are marketed there today (1941). 

In July, 1892, the Dalton gang of outlaws (see Tour 11) committed one 
of their most daring robberies at the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad station 
in Adair. A shipment of $17,000 in currency was carried by the express due 
to stop there, but the plans of the Daltons had become known and a posse of 
deputy marshals was also on the train. Despite the hot gunfire, the gang 
managed to escape with the money, which they are said to have buried in the 
Dalton caves near Sand Springs (see Tour 2). 

Left from Adair on a graveled road is PENSACOLA, 8.5 m. (681 alt., 109 pop.), 
built on the Site of Hopefield Mission, a branch of the old Union Mission near Chouteau. 
Hopefield was originally established for the Osage Indians farther south on the Grand River, 
but the Cherokee -Osage treaty of 1828 placed that site in Cherokee country; hence the 
mission was moved there, where it remained a busy and helpful organization for several 

East of Pensacola, at the great bend in the Grand River, is the Grand River Dam 
(see Tour 1); highways, railroad right of ways, and even entire townsites were moved as 
the shore line of the immense new Grand Lake lengthened. 

PRYOR, 70.8 m. (627 alt., 2,501 pop.), was given its present name in 
honor of Nathaniel Pryor, who served as a scout with the Lewis and Clark 
expedition and as a captain in the Battle of New Orleans. In 1819, after hon- 
orable discharge from the army, Pryor obtained a license to trade with the 
Osage Nation and, by 1820, he had established a trading post near the mouth 
of the Verdigris River. Later, he built a post southeast of Pryor on the creek 
which was also named for him. 

The United States Department of Agriculture has an experiment station 
here and is sponsoring the construction of diversion ditches and terraces 

TOUR 8 333 

throughout some fifty thousand acres of surrounding farm land. The pro- 
gram also includes reforestation, soil testing, and restoration of worn-out 
land. Mineral water is plentiful in near-by springs but is not commercially 
marketed. In Pryor there is a mineral-water Swimming Pool (adm. 25c). 

Left from Pryor on graveled State 20 to SALINA, 11.2 m. (618 alt., 687 pop.), a 
modern town built on the Site of the Chouteau Trading Post, established in the early 
nineteenth century by the famous French family that figured in the founding of St. Louis, 

In the latter part of the eighteenth century the Chouteaus possessed the license to trade 
with the Osage Indians, then living in the present limits of Missouri, but the Spanish gov- 
ernor cancelled their privilege and granted it to Manuel Lisa, a Spaniard. The Chouteau 
brothers decided to retain the trading business without official sanction, however, and 
accordingly Major Jean Pierre Chouteau set out at the close of the century to establish new 
posts and cement the family's relation with the Indians. The expedition brought him to this 
ideal location on a wide, navigable river, the Grand, known as the Neosho in Kansas, 
bounded by well-wooded hills on the east and level lands to the west; near by were both 
clear-water and salt-water springs. He set up a trading post here (exact date is a matter of 
controversy), but the establishment was not really active until 1802, when Chouteau per- 
suaded some three thousand Osage Indians with whom he had traded for a number of years 
to remove to this area. He appointed a new chief for the emigrants — Cashesegra or Big 
Track — and became a benevolent but firm dictator of his self-made empire. Since the coun- 
try was rich in furs, fowl, tallow, wild honey, and many other marketable products, he 
enriched the family coffers. 

Auguste Pierre Chouteau, son of Jean Pierre, took charge of the post some twenty 
years after his father first arrived; he built a pretentious home here, which Washington 
Irving visited in 1832 and described in his Tour on the Prairies as a large, t\vo-story log 
structure filled with valuable furnishings and surrounded with trees, shrubberies, and 
flowers. Smaller houses dotted the river bank and the woods. Texas Road travelers found 
gracious hospitality at this frontier palace, where lived Auguste and his numerous children 
by his two wives (one, a cousin; the other, an Osage Indian). He also had a large retinue of 
Indians and Negroes. 

Auguste died in 1838 at Fort Gibson while engaged on a government diplomatic mis- 
sion with the Indians. He was heavily in debt, and his slaves, stock, and merchandise were 
mostly attached or stolen. John Ross (see Tour 3), chief of the Cherokee tribe, and his 
brother Lewis acquired many of the Chouteau holdings and built a brick mansion on the 
site now occupied by the Saiina High School gymnasium. In one corner of the schoolyard 
still stands a Blockhouse, built by Ross, enclosing one of the springs used since the founding 
of the Chouteau Trading Post. 

The setdement then became known as Grand Saline and served as an important point 
on one of the California trails. A marked depression near the bridge on the west bank of the 
Grand River is said to have been made by the wagons of the many emigrants who traveled 
to California in 1849 and later. Traffic became so heavy that a p)ost office was established on 
June 11, 1849. In 1872, the Lewis Ross home and surrounding farm lands were purchased by 
the Cherokee Nation for the establishment of the Cherokee Orphan's Home, which oper- 
ated there until the building was destroyed by fire in 1903 and the institution moved near 
Tahlcquah (see Tour 3). 

In recognition of the significance of the site, a Stone Marker has been erected in the 
center of Salina's main street, commemorating the dates of the trading post, the Cherokee 
town, and the orphan asylum. The state legislature proclaimed October 10, the birth anni- 
versary of Major Jean Pierre Chouteau, as "Oklahoma Historical Day" and in 1940 the first 
observance of the date was held at Saiina. 

Some three miles south of Saiina a small creek flows from the east into the Grand River 
at the foot of a range of rocky bluffs. High on the cliffs is the spot which Cherokee Indian 
legends say is the home of the "Little People" who have been a part of Cherokee traditional 
lore since ancient times. When the tribe lived in the East, they believed in the "Little 
People," who were supposed to be no more than knee-high, but well-formed, handsome, 
and exceedingly clever. They lived far back in the mountains and were never seen except 
at dusk or by solitary individuals. 



Some Cherokecs, at the time of the Removal, still believed in the legendary figures and 
moved their "Little People" to the new nation and to this site. Tribal members would stop 
fishing at a certain spot in the Grand River if stones happened to roll down the bluffs into 
the water, usually with the remark, "Let's move downstream, I sec the 'Little People' live 
here and want the fish for their own use." 

State 20 continues to SPAVINAW, 13 m. (668 alt., 255 pop.) (see Tour 15), and the 
Spavinaw Hills Park. 

Whitaker State Orphans' Home, 71.5 m., was first established in 1879 
for the orphans of Indian Territory. In 1908, the state took over the institu- 
tion, and today (1941) it represents an investment of $500,000, occupies six 
hundred acres, and provides a home and school for more than three hundred 

The business district (R) of the town of CHOUTEAU, 79.4 m. (627 alt., 
400 pop.), which was named for the Chouteau family, is a market center for a 
considerable farm area; east of the town is the big $80,000,000 powder plant 
to be built (1941-42) as a part of the national defense program. 

At 84.4 m. is the junction with an unimproved dirt road. 

Left on this road, across railroad tracks, 0.9 m.; R. here 3.5 m.; then L. to the Site 
OF Union Mission, 5.2 m., indicated by a stone marker at the top of a wooded hill near the 
road. All that remains of the twenty buildings formerly comprising the old mission are a 
few foundation stones placed around the spring (300 yds. S.E. of the marker) about which 
the buildings were originally grouped. 

Epaphras Chapman, a Presbyterian missionary, located the site in 1819 and obtained 
permission from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions and the Osage 
Indian tribe to set up a mission here in the Osage territory. On November 5, 1820, Chap- 
man and his caravan of nineteen men, women, and children (two had died along the way) 
reached the remote wilderness station after suffering much hardship and sickness on the 
long journey from New York. They cultivated about one hundred acres of the surrounding 
land and, in 1821, opened the Union Mission school, which they continued to operate 
until 1832-33. In addition to the Osages, some twenty Creeks, who were destined to play 
an important part in tribal life, enrolled in 1830. Prcsbyterianism spread among the Creek 
tribe from this start. The Cherokee-Osage treaty of 1828, however, placed Union in Chero- 
kee country and, since the mission had been established primarily for the Osages, the work 
was necessarily curtailed. This circumstance brought about the founding of the Hopefield 
Mission near Adair (see above). 

In 1835 the Presbyterian minister, Rev. Samuel Austin Worcester {see Literature), 
came from Georgia, installing his printing press in Union's vacant buildings. The press had 
been retrieved once along the way when the boat carrying it sank in the Arkansas River. 
Worcester printed the first publication issued in what is now Oklahoma, said to be The 
Child's Book, or / stutsi in Naktsok.v (Creek or Muskhogean); it was written by John Flem- 
ing, of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and James Perryman, 
prominent Creek Indian, who together reduced the Creek language to writing. In June, 
1837, the press was moved to Park Hill (see Tour 3), where many publications in the 
Cherokee, Creek, and Choctaw languages were printed; several volumes from this press are 
now preserved in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. 

A monument here marks this Site of Oklahoma's First Printing Press. .Across 
the road from the marker is the Union Mission Cemetery, where the founder of the 
mission, Rev. Epaphras Chapman, who died in 1825, is buried. Near by, in a grove of 
black locust trees, is an old French Cemetery where growing crops almost cover the 
toppled and broken headstones that once marked the graves of early French traders. 

A short distance north of Union Mission site is the Saline Si'Ring, mentioned in a 
report made by Major .\mos Stoddard in 1806 concerning the natural resources of the 
Louisiana Territory. Later the Osages came here to make salt, frequently borrowing from 
the Union missionaries kettles in which to boil the water. Two men, named Campbell and 
Earhart, acquired the property and built a furnace (one hundred feet long) to quicken the 

TOUR 8 335 

boiling-water process of extracting the salt; many people were employed by them to cut 
the wood necessary for fuel. The spring is still active, but there are no remains of the old 
furnace; one of the huge kettles said to have been used then is at present (1941) on display 
at the Brooks Hotel in Wagoner. 

MAZIE (cabins, camp sites, boats), 85.1 m. (620 alt., 200 pop.), a 
popular stopping place for sportsmen as the Grand River near by (L), offers 
exceptionally fine fishing for bass, perch, and channel cat; natives tell of a 
ninety-pound catfish taken from the Grand in this vicinity. 

At 92.6 m. is the junction with an unimproved dirt road. 

Left here, 3.5 m.; then R. to a Fishing Camp (cabins), 3.8 m., on the Grand River. 
Quail and squirrel hunting is permitted in season. 

WAGONER, 95.7 m. (588 alt., 3,535 pop.), serving an agricultural area, 
was established when the Arkansas Valley and Kansas Railroad built to a 
junction here with the Missouri-Kansas-Texas line in 1886. It is said that the 
town was named for a popular train dispatcher, "Bigfoot" Wagoner, of 
Parsons, Kansas. 

In the Carnegie Library (open weekdays: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) is a Museum 
(free) where relics of the Civil War and many Indian articles are on display. 
At the American National Bank is exhibited a copy of a Cranmer Bible, a 
reprint of the famous edition issued in 1539-40 under authority of Henry 
VIII. This copy carries the date 1585 and the name of Christopher Baker, 
printer for Queen Elizabeth. It contains an almanac computing the special 
feast days and seasons for a period of fifty years (1580-1631). The first entry 
in the family records chronicles a birth in 1751 at "Port Glasgow, North 

Left from Wagoner on graveled State 51 are (R) prehistoric Indian Mounds, 6.5 m., 
which were excavated as a WPA project (1936) under the supervision of the Department 
of Anthropology of the University of Oklahoma. Two connected double-mound units, two 
single mounds, and traces of an ancient village were found. Digging exposed postholes 
indicating a fortification measuring about 150 feet square. Baked clay floors of the former 
dwellings, about twenty-five feet long and fifteen feet wide, revealed shallow, circular fire 
pits with raised brims and postholes in which the supports for the crossbeams of the thatched 
roofs stood. The articles unearthed include burial bundles, pottery, stone pipes, sheet-copper 
breastplates, solid copper and copper-coated ceremonial sticks, flint knives and scrapers, 
projectile points, shell beads, and fresh- water pearls; they are now on display at the Univer- 
sity of Oklahoma. 

BLUE MOUND, 98.7 m., was so named because of the hue appearing 
over its summit (R) in the early morning light. 

For a few months in 1871, while the Arkansas River to the south was 
being bridged, GIBSON, 102 m. (534 alt., 110 pop.), was the southern ter- 
minus of the Missouri