Chronicles of Oklahoma

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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 6, No. 4
December, 1928

J.Y. Bryce

Page 405

The shifting of centers as to population, learning and general activities is very much in evidence when one has occasion to visit old sites which represent once famous institutions of our country. The early school buildings, churches, forts, towns and, in a number of instances, the roads and trails which were the great thoroughfares for the many thousands of emigrants and commerce necessarily forced to travel through Indian Territory in the days long since past, are sufficient to convince the most skeptical that the apparently stable things of man’s invention are subject to the shifting sands of commercialism. These old centers of interest, apparently eternal in their surroundings, which were the pride of our former citizens, have passed away, and given place to another and greater center of social, political and commercial interest. On the east side of our state, towns that were centers for all the activities of civilization a half century ago, have lost their identity, institutions of learning that were the pride of the Nation fifty years ago, have crumbled to the ground and now represent so much rubbish that is carted away at one dollar per load. That leads us to say, that our institutions and great centers are in like manner subject to change, and the things that we count so stable now, will, in a short period of time, be thrown on the scrap heap, giving place to the demands of a greater civilization. The writer has been trying for several years to get pictures of these famous institutions, particularly those of our early schools, and in most instances, have had to content ourselves with pictures of the rubbish heap.

J. Y. B.

There are a few men in the state who are anxious to arrive definitely as to the manner of men who lived in this country during the ages that are composed of all the yesterdays. There are pre-historic evidences abundant in Oklahoma, as in other states, that impel the curious to investigate. The Oklahoma Historical Society has made some

Page 406

investigations that have been very satisfactory. These satisfactory results have added stimulus, urging more thorough investigation as to what really may be determined as to the peoples who lived here in the ages gone by. We have no hesitancy in making the assertion that not one per cent of the citizenship of Oklahoma have any conception whatever of the mammoth animals, the curious pottery, ornaments for dress, the many implements, some for warfare, others for agricultural purposes and domestic science, that these quaint progenitors have left as tokens of their skill and energy. A visit to the Oklahoma Historical Society rooms in the State Capitol will help you to appreciate just what we are trying to say. There are hundreds of pre-historic mounds in our state that will give up many relics revealing the manner of men who held sway for how long, no one knows. We want to get into these mounds as soon as the necessary funds can be secured.

In one of these mounds, it is not necessary to ask how large it was, for evidently it was the abiding place for hundreds of them, there was found the remains of a dozen couples in the act of copulation at the time their lives were terminated; by what means they were killed is yet not sufficiently known as to offer comment. Their pottery, ornaments and implements prove them to have been a people of whom we have no knowledge other than that gotten from the mounds where their remains were found.

Our research director is just as anxious to get into these mounds as anyone. When we say anyone, we mean that there are outside of Oklahoma now, steps being taken to get into them; then we lose. Can you help get the necessary funds?

J. Y. B.

That future generations will be digging around to find out about our accomplishments, is a question that presents itself at this time, causing one of observant mind to make one or more observations. To what degree of proficiency will man have come when the world ceases to be? Or will the world cease to be, the world as we know it now? It is not necessary that these questions be answered. But in as much as we are daily coming in contact with the progress of other periods of the world’s history, often dug from the

Page 407

rubbish heap, we naturally wonder what will be dug from our mounds of rubbish as the centuries go grinding on. Will they dig with as much interest and wonder as we of today dig and surmise as to the accomplishments and attainments of those whose former places of abode we enter and demand evidences of greatness?

Our centers of population and commerce will some day be rubbish heaps to the research director of the historical societies of the centuries to come. Believing the world to be in its infancy, with its swaddling clothes on, prompts us to say when the cycles of time have rolled up the centuries of God against us and our civilization, those of that period will wonder at the crudeness of our commodities, laughing us to scorn, wondering how we managed to survive.

This world is the most responsive thing of which man has any knowledge, yet it has not responded to man’s touch as it should, because man has not touched it as he should. We are slow about making demands on the world. If our fathers of even fifty years ago, could appear on the scene of action to-day, what would be their consternation? Yet fifty years hence the cause for amazement will be far greater. Man has not sufficiently developed so as to be trusted with the forces that at present are dormant, forces, taken hold of with unskilled hands, would blow the world into atoms. As the world continues to roll around at God’s command, these forces will be subdued, and made to minister to man’s need.

J. Y. B.

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