The First Eight Months of Oklahoma City.
PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT SCHEME.
In the early part of June, 1889 - the citizens of Guthrie issued a call for a territorial convention to meet in that city on the 17th of July, for the avowed purpose of organizing and establishing a provisional government. This call was signed by an alleged "Territorial Executive Committee," and it was sounded far and wide all over the territory. The manner and mode of appointing delegates to the convention was arranged in detail, and the wires were all "fixed" for the booming of Guthrie. The object was for the Guthrie delegates to control the convention, have one of their number appointed provisional governor and their city made the capital. It was solely for the advancement of the interests of Guthrie, and the intention was, when the territory was divided into counties and the various offices filled with men favorable to Guthrie, to ask congress to ratify what they had done. The public press of Kingfisher, Norman and Oklahoma
City protested vigorously against it and immense mass meetings were held in each of the above named towns. Many resolutions were passed at these meetings condemning the action of the "Territorial Executive Committee," and finally an opposition convention was called to meet at Frisco on July 15th. It was the first representative gathering of the people of Oklahoma territory and was called the "Advisory Convention." The call for this convention was signed by:
M. M. Duncan, Acting Mayor of Lisbon
G. DuBois, " Frisco
J. T. Godfrey " Reno City
W. L. Couch, " Oklahoma City
T. J Fagan, " South Oklahoma
F. R. Waggoner, " Norman
C. S. Rogers, " El Reno
L. L. Stone, " Noble
Virgil M. Hobbs, " Kingfisher
W. A. Beaty, " Alfred
The convention assembled at 2 o'clock p.m. in the then unfinished building of Lieutenant Coffman, which was comfortably seated with benches and covered with boughs, Ledru Guthrie, of Oklahoma City, nominated Judge Amos Green, of Lexington, for temporary chairman, and his election was unanimous amid great applause.
The Rev. J. E. Roberts, a Methodist minister, invoked the Divine blessing upon the proceedings of the first convention ever held in the Beautiful Land. A committee on credentials was appointed consisting of Wm. Grimes, W. W. Witten, J. M. Cannon, T. J. Fagan, G. W. Fletcher, C. T. Quimby and George Foreman. When this committee retired, various delegates, including one lady, addressed the assemblage. Among the speakers were Mrs. Alice McAnulty, J. L. Brown, W. G. McDonald, A. C. Scott, J. V. Admire and General Weaver. The committee on credentials made the following report, which was adopted:
Oklahoma City - Walter Shepard, T. H. Weiss, Ledru Guthrie, L. L. Bell, D. A. Harvey, W. W. Witten, P. H. Wilhelm, L. H. North, W. A. Monroe, J. E. Love B. H. Hull, A. Jacobs, W. L. Couch, Sidney Clarke, C. W. Price, A. J. Beale, H. B. Mitchell, J. T. Hickey, H. B. Calef, S. Armstrong, J. A. Blackburn, W. B. Barger, A. C. Scott, H. W. Sawyer, R. W. McAdam, W. L. Killebrew, W. H. Ebey, C. P. Walker, A. Countryman, G. W. Adams,
W. H. Harper, J. L. Grider, J. L: Brown, J. B. Otto, O. H. Violet, Sidney Denham, M. R. Glasgow, W. F. Higgie.
South Oklahoma--H. A. Bolinger, E. W. Sweeney, W. T. Bodine, E. Holden, Mr. McNish, J. S. Lennox, D. B. Madden, Albert Smith, Mr. Sigler, A. T. Ross, J. N. Harvey, J. P. McKinnis, R. G. Young, G. G. McGregor, S. N. Lodan, D. J. Spencer, Waiter Dolson, I. N. Huntsman, R. Q. Blakeney, J. M. Gaston, C. B. Bradford, W. J. Wallace, B. T. Waller, J. Bohanan, D. C. McKennon, J. A. Swope, Dr. Taylor, W. H. Honneus, R. C. Hillburn.
At large - T. J. Fagan, A. G. Brown, J. H. Beatty.
Lisbon - J. V. Admire, John O. Miles, James Burns, J. W. McLoud, John Garvey, J. E. Tincher, J. G. McCoy, S. D. Houston, E. L. Wallace, John P. Jones, R. C. Palmer, Henry Amey, Chester Howe, C. M. Cade, Wm. Callahan.
Kingfisher - Mayor Hobbs, T. L. Hughes, F. M. Blair, Wm. Lemoyne, Gee. H. Laing, W. W. Noffsinger, G. W. Cox, Dr. R. Green, Waiter Ellis, T. E. Williford.
Lexington - Amos Green, P. R. Smith, A. M. Patterson.
Redwing - G. W. Fletcher.
Reno City - T. L. Easley, Thos. Russell, E. F. Mitchell, C. M. Staples, Wm. Morris, C. F. Quinby, Jack Stillwell, H. V. Clements, Angus McLain, Judge Hall, P. L. Smith, W. M. Cowan, George Mishler, J. C. Lambden.
At large - C. J. Dubois, C. H. Keller.
Moore - John W. Cowan, N. A. Hughes, J. G. W. Pierson.
Rock Island City - Wm. Grimes.
Kingfisher City - E. C. Cole, Dr. Rand, Mr. McMechan.
Alfred - W. A. Beatty, Dr. D. McConnehey, W. T. Lewis.
Frisco - J. T. Godfrey, M. L. Brown, J. C. Coffman, J. M. Cannon, J. C. Sollitt, John Caykendall, George Winter.
Edmond-C. V. Eggleston, J. J. Hunt, S. W. Johnson, C. B. Powell, James Martin.
Union City - J. D. Harston, W. F. Ledbetter, W. H. Goodell, O. E. Pettee, T. J. Sanford.
Orlando - J. M. Walker, J. H. Dyer, T. W. Boise.
Matthewson - C. A. Gaskell, J. W. Bennett.
Township 7, Range 4, W. Matthews, D. T. Huntley. T. 12, R.3. Samuel Crocker, Richard A. Field. T. 17, R. 0, J. A. Stalford, Milton Blair. T. 12 R. 5 H. A. Haskins, John R. Wilson. T. 18, R. 6 A. A. Brigham, T. Owens.
T. 13 R. 6, W. H. Baker. T. 18 R. 1, Kit Karson. T. 16, R.
6, W. Grimes, M. Posey. T. 13, R. 7, E. J. Simpson, J. R. Stevens. T. 13, R. 6, Peter Shields, Benj. Keith. T. 15, R. 6, W. T. Hayard, S. P. Blankenship. T. 14, R. 6, J. R. Booth, Alice McAnulty. T. 19, R. 8, J. H. Croff, Samuel Grotha. T. 15, R. 7, J. R. Stephens, Jack Marshall. T. 14, R. 7, W. H. Divin, A. E. Long. T. 10, R. 5, A. M. Harsha.
T. 18, R. 7, E. C. Cook, P. C. Clark. T. 12, R. 6, W. S. Rice, J. S. McAnary. T. 19, R. 2. W. T. Reed, P. H. McDermid, J. V. Burgess. T. 16, R. 5, Todd Williams, John Young. T. 11, R. 6, C. T. Toarch. T. 17, R. 5, D. B. Garret, Chas. McDowell. T. 12, R. 2. A. M. DeBolt. T. 13, R. 6, W. Crum,C. M. Burke. T. 13,R. 4, J. H. Couch. T. 13, R. 5, A. I. Mathias, M. W. Johnson. T. 13, R. 1. N. T. Nix, J. A. Stafford. T, 11. R. 2, H. Geard, W. A. Amold. T, 11, R 4, John Jones, G. A. Lehman. T. 12, R. 7, Charles E. Lyle, Thomas Janson. T. 11. R 5, Jos. E. Bolezel, A. Caha. T. 10, R. 6, Daniel R. Rigdon. T. 12, R. 4, M. C. McAfee, M. M. Webster.
El Reno - W. G. McDonald, John A. Foreman, H. L.Bickford. A. Long.
T. 10, R. 7, G. W. Dixon. T. 17, R. 7 W. H. Hedges, D. W. Jones. T. 17, R. 5, John G. Crump. T. 16, R 5, S. E. Saunders, J. P. Fletcher. T. 19, R. 3, C. E. Beck. T. 14, R. 4, P. M. Gilbert.
The Committee on resolutions, consisting of Sidney Clarke, J. L. Brown, P. B. Smith, C. B. Powell, John H. Beaty, J. M. McLoud, P. J. McCoy, W. G. McDonald, E. J. Simpson and J. C. Coffman, and on permanent organization, consisting of C. J. DuBois, G. W. Adams, D. B. Garrett, R. C. Palmer, P. M. Gilbert, P. A. McDermid and M. C. McAfee, were then appointed and retired for consultation. The committee on permanent organization returned shortly with a majority and a minority report, the first presenting Col. J. D. Miles, of Lisbon, for chairman, and T. M. Lewis, of Alfred, for temporary secretary, the second recommending that the temporary be made the permanent organization.
This was heatedly discussed for some time and finally in a call of the roll on the adoption of the minority report, but before it had proceeded far, it became so evident that the majority report would prevail overwhelmingly, that the leaders of the minority accepted the inevitable and withdrew their report. Col. Miles was then elected by a rousing vote and was escorted to the chair with great cheering.
He spoke briefly, happily and to the point. Before further business was proceeded with, a vote of thanks with three cheers, was given to the retiring temporary chairman.
Hon. Sidney Clarke presented the report of the committee on resolutions which was adopted and reads as follows:
"The people of Oklahoma Territory assembled in delegate convention for the first time, congratulate the people of the United States that the first steps have been taken on this soil to lay the foundation of a great and prosperous commonwealth. In less than three months, thousands of American homes have been established, populous cities have been built, municipal governments organized and peace and order secured throughout all the lands opened to settlement. At no time in human history has the world witnessed such marvelous and rapid development of civilization, and nowhere in the United States, in the absence of state or territorial authority has there been greater security for life, liberty and property. Conscious of the high obligations resting upon us as the representatives in this convention of more than 50,000 people, thus exemplifying the best elements of American citizenship, and thus engaged in the material development of the most fertile and beautiful portion of the public domain, we declare it to be impolitic and unwise to enter at this time upon the formation of a provisional territorial government for the following reasons:
1. Every indication points to the conclusion that congress must meet in extra session in October or November, and that body will proceed at once to consider a bill for the organization of the territory of Oklahoma.
2. The regular session of congress will commence in less than five months when action on the bill can be had, should it fail to pass the extra session.
3. The discussion during the last five years in congress and by the public press, of every phase of the Oklahoma question has educated the public mind, demonstrated the necessity of territorial organization, and gives a reasonable assurance that such action cannot long be delayed.
4. The future Territory of Oklahoma should com-prize all of the Indian Territory west of the ninety-sixth meridian now occupied by a few thousand Indians, with the public land strip on the west, and should supplant with its authority the reign of the cattle syndicates, and all the usages of barbarism and the injustice which has so long been dominant in this section of country, bearing in mind always that a just, humane and honorable course of con-duct towards the wards of the government should be maintained.
5. No necessity exists for the organization of a provisional territorial government at this time. A vast majority of our people are opposed to the project, but even if it were desirable and practicable there is not sufficient time to put it in operation before congress will be able to pass an organic act.
6. It would be impossible for a provisional territorial government, unless established with great unanimity to compel obedience to its laws, or to establish and enforce a system of taxation from which it could derive support.
7. Believing, therefore, that the attempt to establish a so called provisional government would be detrimental to the best interests of the people of Oklahoma, we not only declare our hostility to it, but we also give notice that we will refuse to recognize any such government by every honorable means in our power.
When the 17th of July arrived, Guthrie held a convention, but it was slimly attended. It adjourned without accomplishing anything, and met again in a few weeks and divided the territory into ten counties, passed many resolutions and adjourned. It ended with that, and the pro-visional government scheme fell into the worst kind of Grover Cleveland innocuous desuetude.