The First Eight Months of Oklahoma City.


Four months after the founding of the city, R. W. McAdam, proprietor and publisher of the Oklahoma Chief, published a carefully compiled directory of the city, which showed the city to have a population of 7,000 souls, and the following business houses and enterprises: Eight churches, four public and private schools, five public halls, two theaters, a board of trade, five miles of graded streets, five miles of sidewalk ten feet wide, a $50,000 ice factory, a planing mill, three bottling works, three daily and three weekly newspapers, four banks with $300,000 capital, twenty-seven lumber yards, four coal yards, one wholesale lime, stucco and building material yard, forty-two groceries, (four wholesale,) twenty-three drug stores, twenty-eight dry goods and clothing stores, twenty-four hardware stores, seventeen flour, feed and commission houses, thirteen hotels, thirty-three restaurants, twelve bakeries, sixteen barber shops, twenty-four fruit, vegetable and confectionery stores, seventeen meat markets, nine pump, hose and well boring establishments, fifteen blacksmith shops, two stone cutting and seven brick yards, ten paint shops, eleven tin shops, seven furniture stores, three book and news stores, two paint manufacturers' branch houses, seventeen laundries, (one steam) four gun shops, nine billiard halls, eighteen club houses, five photograph galleries, two undertaking establishments, twenty-seven surveyors and engineers, forty-nine lawyers and forty-five doctors, (two female.)


The first industry that came to Oklahoma City was that of lumber. It arrived with the rush on the memorable 22d, and has kept pace with the city's development and progress. The substantial lumber firm of the city, one that is backed by capital, energy and push -three essential factors in any enterprise - is that of Jones & Richardson, on Grand avenue and Harvey street. This firm has, without doubt or question, transacted more business in the city and territory than any two firms in the same lines.


The manager of the company's mammoth and numerous yards in the Oklahoma country and vice-president of the M. T. Jones Lumber Company, was born in Okolona, Chickasaw county, Mississippi, November 1, 1848.

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He was educated in the city of Aberdeen and resided in his native state until 1874, when he moved to Ennis, Ellis County, Texas, where he was identified with all the progression and important enterprises of that city for a number of years. From Ennis he removed to Albany, Shackleford county, of the same state. He was one of the incorporators of the M. T. JONES LUMBER COMPANY, the largest and most widely known lumber institution in all the south.

When Oklahoma opened for settlement, M. T. Jones and Mr. Richardson, with true business acumen, divined the great future of the country and at once established numerous yards along the line of the Santa Fe rail road, and, as in Texas, took the lead of all other dealers in their line. The immense stocks of lumber and shingles they carry in their thirty or more yards is conclusive evidence that their facilities are second to none. They constantly employ several hundred men, and are famed for their prompt shipments.

Mr. Richardson gives the management of their business in the territory and Texas his personal attention. He is an active, generous, public spirited citizen and is the peer of any living man for morality and integrity. He is vice-president of the Oklahoma Bank, a sound financial establishment, and his son, D. C. Richardson, has the handsomest private residence in the city.

M. T. Jones has his headquarters in Houston, Texas, and looks after the vast business of the M. T. JONES LUMBER COMPANY at that point.

The capital of this great lumber firm is over $350,000. Their trade is rapidly increasing and extending throughout the entire southwest. They well merit their success and the confidence reposed in them. The firm is enterprising, financially substantial, and will endure.


In the earliest days, when the citizens' committee of fourteen and the holders of lots on Main street came near clashing, when surveyors stakes were pulled up as fast as they were driven down, Richard Poplin, of Montana, who is an old time hunter, miner and explorer, constructed a martin box and raised it on his lot located on the strip between Main street and Grand avenue. In a very short time it became inhabited with quite a large number of martins. They remained in undisputed possession of their habitation but an hour or two for two woodpeckers discovered the tasty house and immediately besieged it.

The battle was furious and resulted in the martins being put to inglorious flight. The woodpeckers took possession 

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of the place and held the fort for several days. Their jumping the martins claim was in keeping with the spirit of a great many citizens at that time, and is related to show that the men whose lots were taken away from them, had even the company of birds in their misery.


The Oklahoma Journal was established by A. C. and W. W. Scott, under the firm name of Scott & Scott. A large and well assorted plant was shipped from Iola, Kansas, about the time of the opening, arriving at Oklahoma City May 1. The first copy of the paper, an eight-column folio, was issued May 9, and was the first paper published in Oklahoma City. The material of the plant was at that time temporarily located in different places of shelter, a part of it being in a 9 x 12 tent, and part in the unenclosed Journal building. The first issue of the paper was called the Oklahoma Times, the name was changed in the next issue, May 16, to the Oklahoma Journal. The daily edition, seven-column folio, was be-gun June 3, since which date the paper has been regularly published as a daily and weekly.

September 15, 1889, Scott & Scott leased the Journal plant and business to J. J. Burke, who has since been the editor and publisher, with E. E. Brown as city editor.


The physicians of the city first talked of forming an organization about June 1, 1888. On the night of the 11th, they met at the office of Dr. Bradford and effected the organization of The Oklahoma Medical Society. The officers elected were: L. W. Benepe, president; Delos Walker, vice-president; W. M. Baird, secretary; H. C. Way, treasurer. The objects of the society are shown in the following preamble: 

"We, the physicians of Oklahoma City, South Oklahoma and vicinity, for the purpose of investigating, by discussions, lectures and essays, all that pertains to our profession, including our relations to our patients and to each other, do hereby organize our-selves into a Medical Society."

Dr. Benepe, the president of the association, is a physician of extended practice and fine reputation both in Kansas and Illinois. He is a graduate of the Belle-view Hospital Medical College, New York, and came to Oklahoma in the rush. He has an extensive practice in the city and vicinity, and is consulted in all serious cases.

Dr. H. C. Way, comes from Wisconsin. He is an excellent physician and in every way worthy to fill any office of any medical association in the country. The physicians of the city are all men of high rank and good attainments. As a body they will ably represent the city in matters in and out of their profession.

A few of the prominent ones are C. F. Waldron, U. S. examining surgeon for pensions, J. C. Wynkoop, mentioned elsewhere in this book, F. S. Dewey, United States Army Surgeon, J. S. Childs, H. H. Black, A. J. Beale, mayor of the city, C. B. Bradford, I. W. Folsom, Hello-man, J. R. McIlvain, Richardson, Rolater, and Thomson.

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