The First Eight Months of Oklahoma City.



In the rush and wrangle over lots and claims in the new country, Cupid did not fail to get in his usual work. On Thursday, May 16th, 1889, Rev. James Murray officiated at the first matrimonial venture in the city. The contracting parties were W. W. Wilkenson, of Belle Plaine, Kansas, and Miss Mary Moore, of Peru, Indiana.


Rev. C. C. Hembree preached the first sermon on Sunday, April 28th, from the platform around the public well at the corner of Main and Broadway, of which mention is made elsewhere in this work.

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On Sunday, May 2d, a daughter was born to Mrs. J. W. Cunningham, being the first child born in the city.


The first time a church bell was heard in Oklahoma was on Friday morning, August 3d, it being the one in the belfry of the Catholic church in Oklahoma City.


The first fire occurred on Deep Fork in the shanty of a settler named Newton, on the 3d of September. He was out at work on his claim and when he returned to his home in the evening it was a pile of ashes. The supposition is that the wind blew live coals out of the stove on to the floor.


Saturday afternoon, May 18th, Texas Belle, owned by a gambler, and Shadow Tail, owned by Jack Castorton, of Iola, Kansas, tested their speed. Texas Belle was declared the winner, but the following Monday the race was repeated, resulting in a victory for Shadow Tail.

The first Catholic services were held on Main street, between Robinson and Harvey, in the open air, conducted by Father Scallan, of Purcell.

The Baptists held their first meeting in the hall over Winningham's hardware store.

W. H. Ebey was the first man to alight from the south train on the depot platform on the 22d of April.

P. W. King had the first grocery in operation in the city, having brought his stock of goods in by team.

The Citizens' Bank was the first bank to open up for business in the city.

James McCarthy sold the first dollar's worth of goods on commission and was the first traveling salesman in the city.


From the 22d. Of April, 1889, Oklahoma City contained a variegated population ranging from seven to twelve thousand souls per day. Up to June 5th no robberies or thefts were reported. The first one occurred on the night of June 5th, and the victim was Dr. Scott, of the drug firm of Scott & Co., on Main street. The thief entered

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through a window and secured about $30 from the trousers of the doctor, who slumbered serenely the whole night through. It might be interesting to say that Dr. Scott has since become the editor of the El Reno Herald.


Wednesday, July 17, 1889, the first relief organization was formed. A number of ladies met at the residence of Mrs. J. W. Gibbs and formed the Ladies' Relief Club, its object being to furnish systematic relief to persons in poverty, sickness or distress. The ladies who inaugurated the movement have become well known as active workers in all benevolent movements. The officers elected were:

President, Mrs. J. W. Gibbs; vice president, Mrs. Saunders; secretary, Mrs. W. H. Harper; assistant secretary, Mrs. W. J. Pettee; treasurer, Mrs. Capt. Sommers. 

The first baptism was that of George McKay, by the Rev. T. J. Head, in the river southeast of the city on Sunday. July 7, 1889.

The first street lamp in the city was at the corner of California avenue and Broadway, put in by Judge O. H. Violet.

The first brick kiln was built by Killebrew & Keller, who had thirty thousand brick molded by the 22d of May, just one month after the opening.