The First Eight Months of Oklahoma City


On the morning of this day, the surveyors of the citizens' committee reached Main street - according to the Seminole survey - where they encountered the first real opposition. People had already settled along the lines of the Seminole survey in that part of the city, and they positively refused to be moved or shifted. A committee was appointed to assist the surveyors but it was powerless to act. The surveyors would put down their stakes and the settlers would immediately, pull them up. The excitement was high for a time and serious trouble seemed imminent. The right spirit prevailed however, and at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, fully three thousand people assembled in mass meeting at the corner of Broadway and Main, with A. C. Scott presiding, and with creditable skill did he manage that mighty throng.

A committee of ten citizens - five from the north side and five from the south side of Main street - were selected to harmonize the conflicting surveys. General J. B. Weaver, Captain W. L. Couch, A. C. Scott, Moses Neal and M. M. Beatty were elected from the north side; Judge John T. Voss, John Wallace, C. P. Walker, M. V. Barney and C. T. Scott from the south side. This committee consulted long and unanimously agreed upon a report adjusting the strip between the two surveys. It was that the survey of the citizens' committee and its adjustment should stand up to Grand avenue, or what was then called Clarke street; that the space between Grand avenue and south of the lots abutting upon the south side of Main street, should be platted into twenty-two lots standing east and west, and five commons, the latter to belong to the city. This report was presented to a mass meeting in the evening by General Weaver, in behalf of the committee. It was adopted with great cheering. Hon. Ledru Guthrie presided at this meeting and Judge O. H. Violet was secretary. Captain W. L. Couch was elected temporary mayor, W. P. Shaw, temporary recorder, and an election for permanent officers agreed upon for May 1st. The following Articles of Confederation after being read and discussed were adopted:

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"We, the people of Oklahoma City, in the Indian Territory, for the more adequate protection of property and for the better preservation of order, and to form a more perfect union, do ordain these resolutions to be in force and effect.

First: That there be elected one temporary mayor, who shall hold this office for the term of five days, or until his successor is duly elected and qualified.

Second: That there shall be elected one temporary recorder, who shall be elected for five days, or until a permanent provisional successor is duly elected and qualified.

Third: It shall be the duty of the temporary mayor to call an election for the first day of May, 1889, for mayor, for recorder, for police judge, for city attorney, and city treasurer and six councilmen, which shall be by proclamation signed by said temporary mayor and at-tested by said temporary recorder, and shall be posted in in three public places in said city at least two days before the day of said election, and shall proclaim the manner, the time and the places for holding the same. He shall be ex-officio chief of police, and shall have power to appoint such additional persons to act as police as he may deem necessary to preserve good order; he shall have the power to designate and appoint three judges for each voting place who shall have charge of the ballot boxes and the counting of said ballots.

Fourth: The temporary recorder shall make a complete record of this article in a book for that purpose, together with the proclamation of the mayor, and shall per-form such other duty as may be imposed upon him by the temporary mayor or council before his successor is elected and qualified.

Fifth: Said permanent mayor and councilman shall constitute the legislative power of said city government, and shall have power to provide by ordinance such rules and regulations as they may deem best for the public welfare of said city.

Sixth: The temporary mayor, recorder, and police, appointed under said temporary mayor, shall each receive the sum of one dollar for their services."

The meeting closed with three rousing cheers and the singing of "Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow." The day closed with everybody cheerful, for the happy assurance was theirs that an adjustment of their greatest differences was close at hand.

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