Kingfisher, Oklahoma, May 23, 1923.
A special meeting of the Oklahoma Historical Society, authorized by a vote of the last annual meeting, having been called to convene at Kingfisher for the purpose of commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the organization of the Society, a number of members visited the city for the purpose of attending such a meeting. A heavy rain storm which prevailed during the greater part of the previous week prevented the attendance from being as large as it otherwise would have been. The meeting convened in the dining room of the Central Hotel, in which the Society was organized May 27, 1893, the hotel being known as the Johnson House.
Luncheon was served, after which Mr. C. P. Wickmiller of Kingfisher as toastmaster, called the assembly to order and made a brief address, in the course of which he told of his first visit to Oklahoma, as the official photographer of Payne’s Oklahoma colony, on the occasion of its first invasion of the Unassigned lands; then commonly known as the “Oklahoma Country,” in the early part of 1883. He especially mentioned the speech which Captain Payne made after the arrival of the Colony on the site of the proposed settlement and quoted Payne as closing his speech by saying, “Boys, if we do nothing else, we are at least making history.”
Hon. George. L. Bowman of Kingfisher was then introduced to deliver an address welcoming the visiting members of the Society to Kingfisher, which he did in most felicitous terms.
Mr. Jasper Sipes, President of the Society, was then called upon to respond. In the course of his response, President Sipes referred to the number of leading citizens whom Kingfisher had given to the public service of the Territory and State, mentioning Governor Seay, Secretary Grimes, Judge Kane, Mr. and Mrs. Pat Nagle and others almost equally as well known. He also took occasion to pay a tribute to Wm. P. Campbell, who was the real founder of the Oklahoma Historical
Society, and who has ever been indefatigable in his efforts in its behalf as its custodian.
Hon. D. W. Perry of Carnegie was introduced as a man who had helped locate the capital at Kingfisher. Mr. Peery introduced his remarks by paying a fine tribute to the ability and sterling worth of Hon. Wm. C. McCartney, who represented Kingfisher County in the Upper House of the Territorial Legislative Assembly in its first session in 1890-91. Mr. Peery then recited at considerable length the story of the struggle for the location of the territorial capital during the first session, when he was a member of the Lower House and of his efforts to locate it at Kingfisher, after the governor had vetoed the bill locating it at Oklahoma City. Because of the personal interest involved, Mr. Peery’s address was listened to with the keenest attention and interest.
Mrs. Michael Conlan was then introduced and spoke briefly of her work as Field Collector of the Society and emphasized especially the importance of aiding the Society in its efforts to gather up all sorts of historical material, both for library and museum and warning that much of it would be lost if not secured soon.
Mr. J. B. Thoburn, Secretary of the Society, was then called for and introduced. Mr. Thoburn confined his remarks to the local history of Kingfisher and its immediate vicinity, suggesting and urging especially that a marker should be put on the site of the old Kingfisher stage station and another one on one of the approaches of the ford over which Kingfisher Creek was crossed by the Chisholm Trail.
Mr. W. P. Campbell, Custodian of the Society, was then introduced and read a brief address which is preserved elsewhere.
Mrs. Annette D. Ehler of Hennessey, was then called for and introduced. In her bright and witty way she congratulated the Society on having chosen a good county in which to be organized, mentioning that Kingfisher and Kingfisher County is a good place in which to inaugurate any enterprise and urged the Society and its members to feel free to come back there for inspiration at any time.
The meeting was then adjourned