Edited by James W. Moffitt
The thirty-fourth annual meeting of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association was held at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, April 24-26, 1941. An interesting program had been arranged by O. Fritiof Ander, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois and the other members of the program committee. Among those appearing on the program were Ralph P. Bieber, Washington University; James G. Randall, University of Illinois; John D. Hicks, University of Wisconsin; Colin B. Goodykoontz, University of Colorado; Theodore C. Blegen, University of Minnesota; Grace Lee Nute, Minnesota Historical Society; Paul M. Angle, Illinois Historical Society; E.E. Dale, University of Oklahoma; George F. Howe, University of Cincinnati; Phillip D. Jordan, Miami University; Bayrd Still, Duke University.
Among those in attendance were Carl F. Wittke, Oberlin College, President of the Association; A.C. Cole, Western Reserve University, President elect; Mrs. Clarence S. Paine, Secretary; Louis Pelzer, Iowa State University, Editor of the Mississippi Valley Historical Review; Thomas P. Martin, Library of Congress; Clarence E. Carter, Editor, Department of State; William C. Binkley, Vanderbilt University; E. Merton Coulter, Georgia University, Editor of the Georgia Historical Review; Fremont P. Wirth, Peabody College, President of the National Council for the Social Studies; James Sellers, University of Nebraska; William D. Overman, Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society; Thomas D. Clark, University of Kentucky; Lester J. Cappon, Archivist, University of Virginia; Curtis Garrison, Executive Director, Hayes Memorial Library; Fred Harvey Harrington, University of Arkansas, Secretary-Treasurer, Arkansas Historical Association; Kenneth Colton, Iowa Department of Archives and History; Arthur J. Larsen, Superintendent, Minnesota Historical Society; Grace Smith, Wisconsin Historical Society; W. J. Peterson, State Historical Society of Iowa; E. P. Alexander, Executive Director, New York State Historical Association; Paul M. Angle, Librarian, Illinois Historical Society; Harold Larsen, The National Archives; James W. Moffitt, Secretary, Oklahoma Historical Society.
One of the valuable features of this meeting was the helpful exchange of ideas and experiences with one's colleagues.
The Oklahoma Historical Society was the guest of the city of Lawton, May 12, 1941, for its annual meeting. Lawton has grown from a city of tents in 1901 with the opening of the Kiowa-Comanche Indian Reservation, until today it has a population of more than 18,000. It commemorates the name of a brave officer, General Henry W. Lawton, who was killed in the Philippine Insurrection.
Nearby is Oklahoma's largest junior college, Cameron Agricultural College with an enrollment of nearly 1,000 students. The Fort Sill Indian School is one mile to the northeast. Between Lawton and Fort Sill is a United States Field Station. Northeast of the Fort Sill Military Reservation is a fifty thousand acre United States Wildlife Refuge. To the northwest extends the rugged Wichita Mountain Range with Mount Scott standing out in relief. Attracting much interest is Fort Sill where the Society met the second day. Although this army post is today the home of the Field Artillery School, it has always been associated in the minds of many people with the old west, the frontier and the Indian.1 Here is also located the Fort Sill Reception center.
The Society convened at two o'clock in the afternoon in the auditorium of the Cameron State College, with Judge Robert L. Williams, President, presiding.
The meeting opened with several musical selections by the Cameron College band. The invocation was given by Dean Brown of the College.
Charles D. Campbell, President of the Lawton Chamber of Commerce, introduced Judge Robert L. Williams, President of the Oklahoma Historical Society, and he as the presiding officer introduced the Hon. John Thomas, Sr., of Lawton, who gave the address of welcome. Response to the address of welcome was given by Judge Thomas A. Edwards, of Cordell. An address, "Past, Present and Future of Fort Sill," was given by Captain John C. Hayden, of Fort Sill. Dr. E. E. Dale, head of the History Department of the University of Oklahoma, Norman, delivered an address, "The Opening of the Kiowa-Comanche Reservation." 2
Preceding the evening session the members of the Society were the guests of the Lawton Chamber of Commerce at a dinner in the Century Club rooms.
At eight o'clock in the evening, in the high school auditorium the meeting was opened with a musical program by the Lawton High School orchestra; prior to which a number of the members of the Society visited the museum in this building. Charles D. Campbell called the meeting to order and introduced Judge Robert L. Williams, President of the Oklahoma Historical Society, who presided and introduced Dr. Grant Foreman, of Muskogee (substituting for Gov. Leon C. Phillips who was unable to be present), who gave an informal address on a trip he and Mrs. Foreman made to the country which is now known as Iraq.
Tuesday morning, May 13, a visit was made to the Fort Sill Indian School where a program was given in the Indian School auditorium by the school band and several colorful Indian dances
1See W. S. Nye, Carbine and Lance: the Story of Old Fort Sill (Norman: University) of Oklahoma Press, 1937).
by some of the pupils. The beautiful Indian murals in the room enhanced the interest of the visitors. A song "Pale Moon" was sung by an Indian girl, accompanied by another pupil in the Indian sign language. Each number on the program was introduced by Albert Attocknie, Chairman of the Business Council. Others making brief remarks were Charles D. Campbell, Judge R. L. Williams, and the Principal of the school, C. B. Montgomery.
At the conclusion of the program, Yellowfish, the last survivor of the battle of Adobe Walls between the Indians and Whites, gave a talk in his native tongue which was interpreted by Albert Attocknie.
At nine o'clock a visit was made to the Field Artillery Museum located in the old Geronimo "Guardhouse." This building was erected seventy years ago when the Tenth Cavalry constituted the army at Fort Sill. The origin of this museum goes back to 1917 when Colonel William Bryden and Colonel Joseph W. Keller began a small museum in connection with the School of Fire. After the World War, this collection was stored in the basement of the old stone warehouse. It consisted mainly of projectiles, fuses, small arms, and old guns. The museum was revived by Captain Harry Larter, Field Artillery, who was its first curator. A number of the exhibits are devoted to the story of the Southwest Indian. There are also exhibits showing the history of the army, together with flags, pictures and other interesting relics.
At ten o'clock in the old Stone Church or Catholic Chapel, a brief business session was held with the President, Judge Robert L. Williams, presiding. At this time tribute was paid to the memory of the late Judge Samuel W. Hayes, Mrs. Roberta Campbell Lawson, and Judge William P. Thompson who, until their untimely decease, were valued members of the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Historical Society.
A motion was made that Jasper Sipes, Judge Thomas H. Doyle, and General Charles F. Barrett, members of the Board, being absent on account of illness, expressions of regret and sympathy be expressed and conveyed to the absent members with the hope of their speedy recovery. This motion was seconded and unanimously carried.
A resolution was unanimously passed thanking the citizens of Lawton and various organizations including the Chamber of Commerce and other civic orders, Cameron College, the High School, Fort Sill Indian School and the pupils for their entertainment, the Post Commandant of Fort Sill, Brigadier General G. R. Allin, Colonel William Spence, Executive Officer; Colonel L. A. Kurtz; Captain John C. Hayden; Lt. Carl Hagman and others at Fort Sill for their many courtesies and enjoyable hospitality extended to the members of the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Mrs. J. Garfield Buell, Tulsa, and H. L. Muldrow, Norman, were unanimously elected as members of the Board of Directors to fill out the unexpired terms respectively of the late Mrs. Roberta Campbell Lawson and the late Judge Samuel W. Hayes.
Judge Thomas A. Edwards presented an invitation from the Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor and City of Cordell for the Oklahoma Historical Society to hold its annual meeting there in 1942, to observe the fiftieth anniversary of the opening to settlement of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Reservation, April 19, 1892. This gracious invitation was unanimously accepted.
The President, Judge Williams, presented and introduced Dr. Grant Foreman, who delivered an address on the "Historical Background of the Kiowa-Comanche Reservation."3
A visit was made to the new chapel at Fort Sill by some of the visiting members. An enjoyable luncheon was served afterwards in the Officers' Club where Lt. Colonel William Spence introduced Major General Robert M. Danford, Chief of Artillery, and Brigadier General G. R. Allin, Commandant, who made brief but felicitious addresses. Lt. Carl Hagman, Public Relations Officer, after this delightful occasion, escorted the guests on an interesting sightseeing tour of Fort Sill. The highlight of this tour was the visit to the Reception Center where Colonel L. A. Kurtz gave an informing address and outlined the plans relating to our being shown through the Reception Center by the different officers detailed for that purpose. In a graphic manner the various steps through which the "selectee" goes were pointed out as the members moved through each building. Another point of great interest was the library. Here the capable and courteous Librarian, Sergeant Morris Swett took charge of the members and showed them the valuable collections of books housed in a modern building.
The annual meeting of the Oklahoma Historical Society came to an end with the members departing for their various homes with an appreciation for their entertainment.
The annual state meeting of the Oklahoma State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution was held at the Mayo Hotel in Tulsa on February 22, 1941. The State President, Charles W. Grimes, presided. The principal address was given by Hon. Jesse H. Hill on "What has become of our Liberties." The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: John R. Whitney, President; J. B. Milam, First Vice President; Dr. George Tabor, Second Vice President; William J. Crowe, Secretary-Treasurer; W. A. Jennings, Registrar; Rev. Robert Hannum, Chaplain; A. N. Leecraft, Historian; Charles W. Grimes, Trustee; J. Garfield Buell, and Paul P. Pinkerton, delegates to the National Convention. The membership of the society in the state, consisting of 103 members, was well represented. The meeting next year will be held at Ft. Gibson.
Mrs. Mabel D. Holt, James K. Hastings and John W. Hinkel, whose terms on the Payne County Historical Society Board of Trus-
tees expired this year, were re-elected April 20 when the society held its well attended annual meeting. "The History of the Sac and Fog Indians" was discussed by Mrs. Elizabeth Taylor, of Stillwater. The Pioneer Club, of Cushing which is located in what was a part of the Sac and Fox Reservation, was represented. Clarence Bassler, President, talked on "Ghost Post Offices in Payne County," pointing out that approximately twenty "ghost" post offices had been in the county. The Society is to meet again in about two months when Paul Boone, pioneer telephone man, is to talk on the "Installation of the First Telephone in Stillwater." The meeting moved also to call to the attention of the State Historical Society, the old home of Chief Keokuk, noted chief of the Sac and Fox Indians, located near Stroud. Officials of the society were encouraged by the, growing interest in the preservation of Payne County History manifested as fifteen paid-up memberships were reported for the year 1941.4
On March 25, 1941, the recently organized Pontotoc County Historical Society with Professor G. M. Harrel as President, met at the Ada Public Library. Judge J.F. McKeel read a paper on "The Early History of Pontotoc County before Statehood." On April 25, John W. Beard presented an address on "The Building of a City or Ada's First Railroad." Possibilities for growth and interest are assured.
By-laws were adopted and officers were elected Sunday afternoon, April 6, 1941, at an organization meeting of the Grant County Historical Society at the office of Sam P. Ridings, when J.W. McCollom of Medford was elected President, and other officers named as follows: J. H. Asher, Pond Creek, Vice President; Miss Irene Sturm, Medford, Secretary and Treasurer; Mrs. Dadie Caldwell, Medford, Curator; Elmer W. Fink, Medford, Editor-in-chief; and George Streets, Pond Creek, Frank Nichols, Wakita and G. B. Dailey, Medford, members of the board of directors. The local Society is expected to work in conjunction with the State Historical Society and any person interested in the history of Grant County is eligible for membership. The object is to collect and preserve not only the past but also the current history of Grant County. Annual meetings will be held on the second Monday in January with general sessions and meetings of the board of directors subject to call. The Society was invited by the local museum to use its facilities in the exhibiting and preserving of historical data and articles of historical interest.5
The Society has outlined plans for a master yearbook to begin a permanent record of data pertinent to Grant County. The committee chairmen to help with the compiling of the yearbook include: membership and finance, George Streets, Pond Creek; education, James M.
Hannum, Medford; religion, Rev. W. Irving Smith, Medford; civic organizations, Maurice Gale, Pond Creek; public offices, W.S. Williams, Medford; service, G. H. Cowen, Lamont; family history, Mrs. Mabelle Flint, Medford; industry and business, Lee A. Card, Medford; archives, Mrs. Sadie Caldwell, Medford; historical records and pioneer history, G. B. Dailey, Medford; writers, Mrs. J. C. Pond, Medford; American Legion, Frank W. Postlewaid, Medford.6
The Okemah Daily Leader, April 17, 1941 issue sets forth an interesting program as planned for the Okemah pioneer celebration April 20, 21, 22, 1941.
The Pioneer Achievement edition of the Clinton Daily News for April 13, 1941, was devoted to the stirring accounts of the old times regarding the early days in Custer and Washita counties.
The El Reno American published by A. N. Nichols and H. M. Woods issued an interesting historical edition on April 17, 1941, for the Canadian County Pioneers celebration which took place at El Reno, May 19, 20, 21, 22, 1941. The attention of the state was focused upon the part which Canadian County has had in the development of the West. In this area were the old Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian Agency at Darlington, the old Cheyenne School at Concho, Fort Reno, one of the starting points for the openings of 1889, 1892 and the big land registration and drawing of 1901. The curtains of time were rolled back, pioneer garments and equipment were in evidence and cowboys again took possession of the town which had such an important part in the frontier days of old Oklahoma,
Its womenfolk bedecked in garments of days long past, its bewhiskered men in derbies and ten-gallon hats, Miami began celebrating May 7, the fiftieth anniversary of the city's founding. Miami was founded in 1891 through the joint efforts of a Kansas stockman and an Indian chief, through an act of Congress. The Kansan, W. C. Lykins, enlisted the aid of Thomas P. Richardville, Chief of the Miami tribe of Indians. The act of Congress authorized the Secretary of the Interior to sell six hundred acres of land on behalf of the Ottawa tribe of Indians for the establishment of a townsite. The Miami Town Company was organized by Lykin, Richardville, and O. J. Nichols, then a Columbus, Kansas, merchant. Richardville prevailed upon the others to, name the town "Miami" for his tribe. Sale of town lots was begun in May, 1891. Its growth was stimulated by the building of the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis railroad (now a Frisco line) to Miami from Baxter Springs, Kansas, in 1896. Zinc and lead ore deposits were discovered nearby in 1905 and commercial development of these minerals followed on a moderate scale in 1907. With the outbreak of the World War, the mining developments soon reached boom proportions leading to a rapid increase in
population, the inception of many new business enterprises and the construction of many buildings.7
The Guthrie Daily Leader, edited by Raymond Fields, celebrated the fifty-second anniversary of the "run" of 1889 by bringing out, on April 20, 1941, an issue containing numerous items of historical interest. The Guthrie High School history department is making use of the Eighty-Niner celebration each year by interviewing Eighty-Niners and making records of these interviews for historical purposes. Three hundred students are taking part in this project.8
At Guymon, on May 2, 1941, hardy sons of "No Man's Land," cheered by the greening fields, swung into their annual frontier day celebration. Large crowds gathered at noon to see the historical parade composed of covered wagons, ox teams, horses, cowboys, and floats depicting pioneer scenes.9
A historical spot, near Northwest Tenth Street and the North Canadian River, has been marked by the Oklahoma City chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the City Park Department. At ceremonies Tuesday, April 22, 1941, a bronze marker, set in stone, was dedicated, just east and north of the Northwest Tenth Street bridge. It commemorates the "Council Grove Historic Indian Council Ground." The plaque points out, that in 1858, Jesse Chisholm opened a trading post nearby, on the farm of Jimmy Young, whose grandson, Harold Shock, now lives there; in 1859, Col. B. L. E. Booneville and troops escorted Congressman J. S. Phelps there to meet leaders of the Comanches; in 1865, a council was called there between the Comanches, Kiowas and Confederate leaders; in 1884, a sawmill was set up and barracks built for troops detailed there to cut timber for Fort Reno; in 1889, it was part of the territory opened for settlement. The marker was presented by the D. A. R. and set up by the Park Department of Oklahoma City. The dedication was made by Mrs. S. I. Flournoy, 120 Northwest Twenty-seventh street. Mrs. John Lantz Hill was in charge of the program, attended by many '89ers.10
The Oklahoma Society is fortunate in having as a life member, Mrs. J. Garfield Buell, Tulsa, who has presented a bound file of eighteen volumes of The Chronicles of Oklahoma to the national library of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington.
The library of the Oklahoma Historical Society has been enriched by the gift of fourteen volumes of clippings dealing principally with the history of Oklahoma by Reuel Haskell, of Oklahoma City.