The First Eight Months of Oklahoma City.


The most personally popular young man in Oklahoma City is C. L. Wagner. He is the soul of honor and good nature, and generous to a fault. He is what is called in land office parlance a "legal sooner," having been in Oklahoma before it was opened to settlement, in the ser-vice of the Santa Fe railroad. He resigned his position soon after the opening and established the first confectionary in the city. His place, a very popular one, is on Main street and he does an extensive business. He smiled on the cruel world for the first time, in Philadelphia, October 16, 1863. When he was but one year old his parents removed to Iowa City, Iowa where they resided for half a dozen years. He was educated in Emporia, Kansas, and engaged in business for himself in the city of Wichita, Kansas. He was station clerk in railroad circles for many years and enjoyed the distinction of being one of the most efficient clerks in the service. His place of business in the city is headquarters for musicians and theatrical people and the young man has found that it was good for him to have come to Oklahoma.


One of the most successful business men in Oklahoma City is Chas. W. Meacham on Main street, proprietor and manager of the DAISY FURNITURE COMPANY. This 

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company is the consolidation of the Furgerson furniture company and that of the Chas. W. Meacham furniture company which occurred in the latter part of May, 1889. It consists of the immense stocks of all kinds and classes of furniture, sold at reasonable figures to the hundreds of patrons from all parts of the Oklahoma territory.

CHAS. W. MEACHAM is a Kentuckian by birth. He is from Christain county, Kentucky, and was born January 7, 1865. He lived with his parents until he was seventeen years of age when he started in life for himself. He received an academic education and first entered business at Fulton, Fulton county, Kentucky, which is one of the western counties of the state. He has been in the furniture business all his life and is perfect in all its various branches and details.

On the 14th of October 1889, he came to Oklahoma and purchased the entire stock of furniture owned by Fred H. Reed, whose establishment was on Broadway. Mr. Meacham remained in that locality until his increasing business compelled him to move on Main street into more commodious quarters.

He is an active, energetic young man and none stands higher for genuine business integrity than he. His business has been flattering and to him Oklahoma has been a booming success.


Among the men identified with Oklahoma City from the first settlement is the Hon. Sidney Clarke.  He is president of the city council and at different times has been acting mayor of the city. Mr. Clarke is about fifty-five years of age and has led a very active life.  He was born in Massachusetts and commenced his public career by establishing a weekly newspaper in his native town which he edited with success for a number of years. In 1859 he settled in Lawrence, Kansas, and was soon recognized as one of the prominent men of the Free State party. He read law in the office of Gen. James H. Lane and served as private secretary for some time after Lane’s election to the United States senate.  In 1861 Mr. Clarke was elected to the Kansas legislature. In the following year he was made assistant adjutant general of volunteers and assigned to duty as provost marshal general for Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Dakota under what was

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known as the enrollment act. He was also superintendent of the volunteer recruiting service and chief mustering and disbursing officer for his district. In the fall of 1864 he was elected member of congress from the state of Kansas, was re-elected in 1866 and 1868, his services in congress terminating on the 4th of March, 1871 Mr. Clarke was the only member of congress from Kansas under the then existing apportionment. During that period the state had a phenomenal growth, and Mr. Clarke originated and pushed through the house of representatives a vast amount of important legislation relating to the material development and public institutions of the state. He was the champion of the settlers on the public domain, and at that early day insisted that public policy demanded that the tribal relations of the Indians should be extinguished and the Indian Territory opened to homestead settlement. He make a desperate fight save the Osage lands in Kansas for actual settlers, against a railroad company who made a treaty with the Indians to purchase them at only nineteen cents per acre. While he won the victory for the settlers and saved the 16th and 36th sections to the state for school purposes, worth several million dollars, the corporation was powerful enough to defeat his nomination for congress in the state convention for the fourth term. He took the position that the Oklahoma lands were practically made a part of the public domain by the treaties of 1866, and therefore they were open for settlement. He has consistently maintained that it is be-yond the constitutional power of congress to make it a penal offence for an American citizen to go on any part of the public domain, and he does not believe that this class of legislation will be sustained by the supreme court. In 1879, Mr. Clarke was again elected to the Kansas legislature as an independent candidate and was elected speaker of the house, receiving the entire democratic and green-back vote, and nearly one-half of the republican vote. The session was an exciting one, John J. Ingalls being a candidate for re-election to the senate. Mr. Clarke was an anti-Ingalls man, and to him was awarded the credit of organizing the forces that brought Mr. Ingalls to within one vote of defeat.

At the commencement of the 48th congress, Mr. Clarke, in connection with Capt. Couch, commenced active work at Washington to secure the opening of Oklahoma to settlement. His long service in congress and his wide acquaintance with public men and public affairs, made his work especially effective. Before the committees of congress, with the press, and in all the avenues of

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public opinion he helped carry on the agitation which culminated in the opening of Oklahoma.  In the last congress of which he was a member he was chairman of the committee on Indian affairs.  There are few men in the country more familiar with the status of the Indian reservations and public land questions than Mr. Clarke.  He believes that the Indian title to all the reservations in the Indian Territory should be extinguished, the Indians required by law to take homes in severalty, a territorial government established over the entire territory, and all the vacant lands opened up to homestead settlement.  He has great faith in the future of Oklahoma City as a commercial metropolis.  He believes that with proper territorial government and liberal and intelligent legislation, that Oklahoma will soon become a state — one of the most populous and productive of all the states west of the Mississippi.


The first Sunday after April 22d, 1889, a Sunday school was organized by W. P. Shaw. The church organization was made by Rev. I. L. Burrow about the 1st of June, '89, with a membership of forty-six, which has since increased to more than one hundred. 

The present and first pastor of the church is Rev. A. J. Worley, a minister of culture and wide acquaintance. He assumed charge of the church in September, 1889. The place of worship is on Third street in the tabernacle, and the society have in course of construction a magnificent church edifice.


The largest building owned and managed by any one individual in the city is the extensive coal, flour and feed building of Adolph Newman, at the corner of First and Harvey streets. He came to Oklahoma City, May 20,'89, from Galena, Kansas, where he was one of the leading business men of the place. He was born in Prussia, February 7, 1847 and from 1864 to 1867 served with distinction in the Prussian army during the Austrian war. He came to America in 1869, and was located in Cincinnati for a number of years. Mr. Newman is a practical brewer and contemplates the establishment of a large brewery in the city at no distant date. His business in Oklahoma City has been prosperous and it is all due to his industry and perseverance.

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Colonel W. C. Jones, United States marshal at the time of the opening of Oklahoma to settlement, is a native of Wisconsin. He was born in Racine, August 11th, 1839. His early years were spent on a farm in that state and it was not until 1859 that Kansas claimed him as an honored son. He settled in Iola, Allen county, where he raised company 1 of the Tenth regiment of Kansas infantry at the breaking out of the war. He was elected captain of the company and until 1864 was in the operations of the army west of the Mississippi river. During that year he was ordered east and assumed command of a regiment in the Army of the Cumberland. For meritorious service on the field of battle he was commissioned major in 1865 of the 19th Kansas cavalry under Colonel Crawford. He participated with distinction in the battles of Franklin, Nashville, Columbia, and all the battles west of the Mississippi with the exception of Pea Ridge. After the war he returned to his home in Iola and engaged with success in farming and stock raising. He was commissioned war-den of the Kansas state penitentiary in April 1883, and held that position for two and one-half years, until he was appointed United States marshal for the district of Kansas. In Kansas politics Col. Jones has conspicuously figured. He was a delegate to the National Democratic convention which nominated Grover Cleveland for president, and at that famous convention was a member of the committee on permanent organization. For years he has been a delegate from his district to every state convention and for the last half dozen years has been a member of the state central committee. He was commissioned lieu-tenant colonel in 1865 for bravery displayed in the expedition against the Indians under Sheridan. Col. Jones' military and political record is without a blemish and his posterity can look upon it with pride. He is a generous, big hearted man and has hosts of friends in Oklahoma and all over the United States.

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If there is one man above another in Oklahoma City who believes her future to be sure and bright that man is a young man, John Eliason by name. His first venture in Oklahoma was at Guthrie, arriving there April 23d, 1889 and but five days elapsed until he was a pilgrim from the place. He registered in Oklahoma City on the morning of the 28th of April and the city has proudly called him one of her best citizens since that time. He embarked in the real estate business and has probably made more important transfers of property than any other one real estate man. He was born in Warmtan, Sweeden, and was educated thoroughly in the schools of his native land and those of Norway. He has traveled extensively through Europe, and in fact, has visited most of the historic places of the world. When he came to the United States he settled in McPherson county, Kansas, and for seventeen years did a successful business in several different lines. He has large property interests in the territory and is classed as one of the city's brightest and foremost young men, he is commissioner of deeds for the state of Kansas and during his residence in that state filled very satisfactorily several important positions of trust.


Religious services were held on the first Sabbath after the 22d Of April by Rev. C. Hembree of the Presbyterian Church. The Bible used on this occasion with inscription testifying to this fact is now in the possession of Mr. Warner. A Sabbath School was promptly organized with Mr. Woodford as superintendent. Mr. Hembree continued to preach in Oklahoma City until September 1st, when he was transferred to Norman and the Rev. W.L. Miller, under commission from the Home Mission board, took charge of the congregation. Services were held in the Mendlich store room until the first of April, 1890, when the congregation removed to the new church on Grand Avenue and Harvey street. The church was formally organized in December of 1889, by the election and installation of Will Young, J. D. Brough and J. Downie, as elders, and A. C. Scott, H. Davis, M. D., H. Overholser, J. C. Anderson, Mr. Banks and Capt. Givins, trustees. Two Sabbath Schools have been sustained; one in the Mendlich building, with Mr. George Anderson superintendent and the other on Reno street, with Prof. E. V. Dolzonikie, superintendent. They were united on the first Sabbath in April in the new church. The church

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edifice is 69 x 40 feet, centrally located and admirably adapted to church and Sabbath School purposes. Value $4,000. The prosperity of the congregation is excellent, there being a large element of intelligent and devoted Presbyterians in the city. The church will be dedicated in May.


The EVENING GAZETTE is the oldest daily newspaper in Oklahoma Territory.  It was started by the McMaster Printing Company who have the largest plant in the Indian Territory.  The paper is democratic in politics, is ably edited and well conducted locally having a larger circulation than any other daily in the Oklahoma country.  The same company also owns THE LEADER, a weekly which has no superior and is the standard paper of every territorial democrat.


Daniel Elliott Huger Wilkinson, one of Oklahoma City's brightest lawyers, has been, perhaps, more than any other one man in the territory, closer identified with the organization of the democratic party.

He was born at Charleston, South Carolina, October 18, 1858. He graduated from the Charleston College with an appointment and in 1874 went to Denver, Colorado, and begun the practice of law. The following year he moved to Boulder and engaged successfully in several mining enterprises. In 1876 he was one of the "pioneers" to the Black Hills and remained in that country until 1882. During that time Colonel Wilkinson held many prominent positions. He was the ranking lawyer in the Deadwood bar and was superintendent, director and president of several immense mining enterprises. He came to Oklahoma in the rush and very soon rose to the position of a leader in his party, for which he is by nature and education so pre-eminently fitted.

Col. Wilkinson is very popular with the masses, and as a whole souled, genial, order loving and law abiding citizen he has no superior.

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