Chronicles of Oklahoma

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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 4, No. 3
September, 1926

Page 213

Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. This is true in the fullest sense as it applies to our country, the State of Oklahoma, and to those of the present day no statement comes with more terrific force. We have seen the passing of a number of civilization’s essentials, things that were absolutely necessary to the conveniences of the days in which our fathers lived. Things without which happiness and prosperity would have been unknown; but now they are looked upon with curiosity, mingled with amazement. It was necessary then to have in every home, and on every farm some of the crudest implements of which we can conceive. Yet these crude instruments were the source of profit and pleasure. While we laugh at their crudeness to-day, those who lived before us, used them, to make possible the good things of to-day. These days make demands of us that were not made in the days in which our ancestors strove with the forces and elements of nature, and while we laugh at their accomplishments, in its crudeness, we must remember they gave to us all we have that is really worthwhile. Those coming after us, will in like manner, look with more or less amusement on our accomplishments and wonder how we managed to survive.

The old spinning wheel, the loom, the cotton and wool cards, all of which were used with all the dexterity known to man; the bull tongue plow, the old frow, along with the ox cart, all of which were very important factors in making this country habitable in the days gone by. These things are only seen on exhibition among the curiosities of a past civilization; but they are the evidences of a civilization that combatted obstacles with which we will never have to contend. These things with the past civilizations of this country have gone into the rubbish heap, worthless, abandoned and all but for-

Page 214

gotten, cherished only as they remind us of former days, whose generation blazed for us a pathway leading to heights to which they never attained.


In discussing "Publication Activities of a State Historical Society," Mr. Benj. F. Shambaugh declared that publication was the goal of State historical society work, since the dissemination of State and local history depends largely upon the printed page. The publications of such a society should be carefully planned and systematically issued in series. Among the standard series are: the monthly magazine, the quarterly, the archives series, the biographical series, the economic history series, the social history series, the political history series, and the bulletins of information. Since the purpose of all such publications is the preservation as well as the dissemination of history, attention should be given to the quality of the paper and the character of the binding, as well as the format.

Executive Secretary,
The State Historical Society of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa.

To one who has grown from infancy to mature life in this country, nothing is more significant than the mode of conveyance. When we remember that our only way of getting over the country years ago was the lumber wagon, sometimes drawn by horses, of an inferior grade, more often by oxen, over roads that were almost impassable, and absolutely so, during high water, which necessitated a week’s travel and an unusual supply of patience to make a journey of one hundred miles, all of which staggers our belief when we step into an automobile and make the distance in less than half a day. The writer’s first farm activities were with a yoke of oxen hooked to a sixteen inch plow with a span of Texas ponies hitched in front, with the writer on the lead horse; by this method we succeeded in turning the first twenty acres of land

Page 215

on the farm opened up by father, near Kiowa, in what is now Pittsburg County.

The year of statehood, the writer of this article had the pleasure of addressing the members of the Federated Commercial Clubs in Oklahoma City, when we made this statement, "It will soon be possible for one to take breakfast in Oklahoma City, lunch in Chicago and back home for the evening meal"; at that time this statement was taken as a huge joke, and much merriment was had, apparently at the speaker’s expense, but now it is possible, and we have not yet fully come into our own. Our present mode of conveyance has practically dispensed with time and distance, the road is shortened, and the time is lessened. What will be our possibilities when we have acquired the habit of using electricity as a means of our locomotion? There are hidden forces lying dormant in the earth and above, if by accident discovered, before we have become sufficiently skilled to properly apply it to our use, to blow the world into atoms. Among the startling inventions and discoveries of the future, none are to be more significant than our method of propelling.

J. Y. B.

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