The First Eight Months of Oklahoma City.
DR. G. F. DEAN
The first dentist to arrive in the city was Dr. G. F. Dean. He is a Virginian by birth and possesses all the genial and hospitable propensities that from the Revolutionary War have made the children of the Old Dominion famous. He is a graduate of the Baltimore Dental college and came to Oklahoma City in May, 1889. By skillful work and fair dealing he has built up an extensive practice which is by far the best in the territory. Not only is his practice the best, but Dr. Dean is one of the leaders of his profession in all the south-west. His work is always strictly first class for which he charges a reason-able compensation. His elaborate dental parlors are sup-plied with all the instruments and appliances used in the dental profession.
In his book cases are found hundreds of volumes of standard works and on his tables all the metropolitan and local newspapers can be daily seen. Dr. Dean is a young man in years but an old one in the practice of his profession, he having had eleven years experience. He is a splendid operator; his steady nerve, clean sight and wonderful experience has made him an expert with but few equals. He is a moral, high-minded gentleman and Oklahoma can be justly proud in claiming him as one of her best citizens.
CAPTAIN D. F. STILES
Captain Stiles, as provost marshal of Oklahoma City became famous. His conduct was severely criticized up on several occasions, yet he labored under peculiar circum-stances and as an honest man performed at all times what he understood to be his duty. The Kansas City Times of July 15, 1889, has this to say of him:
"Of the officers of the army stationed in Oklahoma to whom has been confided the duty of preserving peace and order in the new territory without laws to govern the people, Captain Daniel F. Stiles, Tenth infantry, provost marshal at Oklahoma City, deserves special mention.
The performance of the duties required of this civil-military position has always been marked on his part by the most prudent action. He always recognized civil law as superior to the military, and the fact that in no instance has he overstepped the boundaries of either, thus preventing a clash between the two, is deserving of the
highest commendation. Whenever aid or assistance was needed by the new settlers he was always at the front doing that which would meet with the approval of the people. The day following the accident at Oklahoma City, where a number of people were killed and injured by the falling of a grand stand, The Times' dispatches said: "Almost as soon as the accident occurred, the military, under command of Capt. Stiles, were ordered to the scene and rendered valuable services in preventing unnecessary con-fusion.
Again last week, he comes to the front by taking determined action against the turbulent element in that city, threatening them with arrest and confinement if their illegal actions would not cease. This had the desired effect and trouble ceased.
The performance of such duties on the part of army officers, are not only difficult but fraught with the gravest danger. Common sense and sound judgment are the qualities required for such a task and of these Captain Stiles has his full share.
Captain Stiles is a native of Massachusetts and entered the army in August 1861, as quartermaster and commissary sergeant of the First District Columbia infantry. In 1862 he was promoted Second lieutenant and in 1865 a First lieutenant, being honorably mustered out in September of that year. In 1867 he was appointed Second lieutenant of the Twenty-sixth infantry, and transferred to the Tenth in 1869, where he has since served, being promoted a captain in March, 1888."
After the war Captain Stiles was ordered to Texas and served in that state for more than twelve years. In 1879 he was ordered north with his regiment and was stationed at Fort Wayne, Detroit. Michigan, and at Fort Porter, Buffalo, N. Y. At the latter place he was on duty as quartermaster for over five years. In 1884 he was ordered west and was on duty for a short time at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and was subsequently ordered to Colorado, where in April, 1889 while in command of Fort Crawford, he was ordered to Fort Lyon, where he remained but a few days before coming to Oklahoma with the battalion of the Tenth and Eighteenth regiments of United States infantry.
One of the shadiest, coolest and most comfortable
places in the city is the Compton House, on Broadway, between Grand Avenue and Main street. It is admirably located being but a two minutes walk from the depot, postoffice and business center of the city. It is a two story house, well furnished, and very popular with the traveling public. The landlord, MR. C. A. COMPTON, is from Omaha, Nebraska. He came to Oklahoma on the 22d of April 1889, ad staked the lot upon which his hotel now stands. He is a typical landlord, being attentive, courteous and affable. The location of this hotel is the best in the city and it is a very desirable and very valuable piece of property. Outside and inside it is scrupulously clean and neat and the service is always the very best. The Compton House has had its full share of the hotel patronage and still has it. It well merits its success. Mr. Compton is a rustler and understands how to make his guests comfortable and perfectly at home. The prominent citizens of the city - who board - are daily seen at the tables of the Compton House. It is deservedly popular and a credit to the city.
THE OKLAHOMA CITY TIMES
The initial number of this paper was published to the world December 29th, 1888, by Hamlin Whitmore Sawyer, the present editor and publisher. Mr. B. R. Herrington, who was perfectly familiar with this country, was the local editor. The mechanical work on the first issue was executed at Wichita, Kansas, but the copy was furnished by Mr. Harrington from this place. Type and material was at once furnished to Mr. Herrington at this place and the Oklahoma City Times as a weekly paper appeared regularly and was circulated to the world through the post office at this city. The novelty of a newspaper in the Oklahoma Territory, from the city that bears its name, was a drawing card, and everybody wanted to see the new paper. Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, Wichita and many metropolitan papers quoted the Oklahoma City Times. The result was a marvelous increase in circulation. In thirty days from the first issue the circulation was extended to every state and territory in the Union besides quite a list in Canada and Great Britian. It afforded the publisher a handsome income until Feb 10,'89, when Lieutenant Malcomb, commanding a company of U. S. troops, raided this section of Oklahoma and put the Times to flight. The printing material was taken to
and afterwards back to Wichita, but through local representatives on the
grounds here news of a local nature was furnished regularly and the
Times scarcely lost an issue from the first, although it was often
published at the greatest expense.
After the country was opened the thousands who had seen extracts
from the Times, rushed to the office to congratulate the pioneer paper
of Oklahoma and to become its patrons. About this time the Oklahoma City
Times suffered seriously financially owing to another paper having put
in an appearance and taking just enough of the name of this pioneer
paper to succeed in getting large sums of money designed for this paper.
On June 30th the first issue of the Oklahoma City
Daily Times appeared. By
this time the field for daily newspapers was quite thoroughly occupied,
but energy, push and enterprise have brought the Daily Times to full
recognition as a journal of strength at home and abroad.
This paper, from the opening of the country, has held a
conspicuous place in the field of Oklahoma journalism and has wielded an
influence in bringing to this country a large list of most substantial
and influential citizens.
The city of South Oklahoma lies south of Oklahoma City proper. It was settled on the same afternoon that Oklahoma City was. The twenty-two heavily loaded coaches of human freight that came on the north bound special train from Purcell arrived at Oklahoma station the 22d day of April, 1889, at 2:20 p.m. The special train from the north had preceded this train more than an hour and brought hundreds of anxious settlers who at once settled the greater portion of Oklahoma City. There not being enough territory in Oklahoma City to furnish homes for the hundreds that came from the south they at once scattered themselves over the prairie where South Oklahoma City now stands. All the afternoon and evening of this memorable day was spent in staking and selecting desirable locations. Everything went well with the citizens the first afternoon. All had secured lots and as night closed in on the myriads of excited men without shelter, beds or provisions, except a few tents and what blankets and provisions could be brought in valises, it presented a spectacle never to be forgotten by those who had the pleasure of witnessing it.
The principal actor in the planning and organizing
of South Oklahoma City was G. W. Patrick. He came on the train from Purcell in company with his brother Joe and R. R. Connella. When the train arrived he found the most desirable lots taken, and not being able to do any better he staked two lots on the south side of block three, and at once assumed the authority of showing others where to stake lots, and thus caused the citizens to recognize him as their leader. Some excited fellow stepped up to him and said, "I will give you a dollar if you will show me where to stake." Being a surveyor himself he was not long in conceiving the idea that there might be some money in the business. Not having an instrument of his own the next thing was to secure one. He searched through the crowd, anxiously looking for some man carrying a tripod. The first man he came to of the kind was Mr. Burns, now the big canal's engineer. He introduced himself, explained his object, told him he would allow him one-half the proceeds if he would take his instrument and help lay out a new town site. He accepted. Not knowing exactly where the town-ship line was, they commenced surveying where California Avenue now is and located several lots on the afternoon of the 22d. On the morning of the 23d, bright and early, men were up eagerly awaiting the surveying corps to come along and fix definitely the boundary line of their city property. Mr. Burns, securing another job of surveying, could not proceed with the survey in the morning, but had Mr. W. R. Killebrew take his place. The first thing done was to find the township line. Finding they were north of the township line instead of south of it, the survey was commenced in the morning about 8 o'clock at the east end of Reno Avenue. In a very short time all the lots on the south side of Reno Avenue were located. The survey went on peaceably for two or three hours when all at once a man mounted a dry goods box, waved his hat and shouted at the top of his voice, "Attention citizens!" Immediately a large crowd had gathered around to hear what the gentlemen had to say. This was the first mass meeting ever held by the citizens of South Oklahoma. The object of this call was to elect a surveyor, a secretary of survey and an adjusting committee of four to settle disputes between lot claimants. W. R. Killebrew was elected as surveyor; G. W. Patrick, secretary of survey; Messrs. Steele, Hughes, Hilburn and Cochran committeemen. The man who made this first call was Mr. Steele, afterwards one of the first councilmen.
On Friday a convention was held to nominate candidates for the various city offices. G. W. Patrick was
nominated for mayor; L. P. Ross, city attorney; W. T. Bodine, recorder; Nathan Hilburn, marshal; John Cochran, treasurer; E. S. Hughes, J. P. McKinnis, E. W. Sweeney, S. E. Steele, W. R. Killebrew, councilmen. On Saturday the nominees of the day before were elected. This first election was held in a tent some where on block three and the ballot box was a gallon coffee pot. The only opposing candidate was Mr. Downey, of the Troy Laundry, for the office of recorder. Mr. Bodine was elected by a small majority. The board of city officers began to hold council meetings and to enact a code of laws for the city government. It was impossible to make laws to suit all and trouble began. Numerous charges were made against the mayor and certain members of the council. In two or three weeks everything was excitement and confusion. Men who had been disappointed in securing lots and get-ting offices were calling mass meetings and exciting rebellions. G.W. Patrick served as mayor about twenty days when he offered his resignation which was accepted by the council. Mr. Killebrew, one of the councilmen, about the same time offered his resignation also. Mr. Cochran, the treasurer, left the city and never gave his bond. It is due to the honor of Messrs. Patrick and Kil-lebrew to announce here that the charges against them were untrue and the only motive of the opposing parties was to get them out of office or to satisfy some prejudice they had against them. The council ordered an election at once to fill the vacancies made by the resignations of Patrick and Killebrew. An election was held and T. J. Fagan was elected mayor and Benjamin Mills councilman. This election by no means restored peace. For weeks charges of crookedness among the city officers were the principal topic of conversation in South Oklahoma. Charter meetings were held for some weeks and in July a committee was appointed to draft a charter which was to be voted on by the people. The election was held and the charter adopted. The charter provided for a re-election of city officers. At this election the following officers were chosen: T. J. Fagan, mayor; J. M. Vance, recorder; T. H. Beaty, city attorney: Dan McKay, marshal; B. F: Waller, treasurer; R. A. Sullins, city engineer; Messrs. Barker, Robinson, Chinn, Barnes, Head and Feoman were elected alderman; Grimmer, Dunlap and Noonan, school directors.
For a few troubles began to quiet down, schools were opened and it was thought that the difficulties were settled. The council passed an ordinance known as the "certificate" ordinance which aroused the people to a
higher pitch than ever. It provided that no one could hold a lot in the city who was a non-resident unless he had permanent improvements upon the same. That any lot held and claimed by any non-resident could be taken by any person who would pay five dollars into the city treasury. This ordinance caused so much comment that it was soon dropped. Charges of various kinds were made against Mayor Fagan. An impeachment trial had been commenced before the council when he resigned. Owing to the Fagan trouble Mr. Head, a councilman resigned and Judge T. M. Milton was elected to fill the unexpired term of Mr. Fagan and N. L. Heard to fill the vacancy caused by Head's resignation. Mr. Yeoman, another member of the council, resigned and Mr. Schull was chosen to fill the vacancy. From this time affairs remained in statu quo until the regular spring election which was held the first day of April. Considerable
interest was manifested at this election. An effort was made by some to draw political lines, but it would be hardly fair to say they were drawn. Green, a Republican, was elected mayor by a large majority over McGaughey, a Democrat; J. N. Harvey, Union Labor, was elected city attorney over G. W. McClellen, Republican, by a good majority; J. M. Vance was re-elected recorder by a very small majority over J. N. Nicely, a Democrat; B. F. Wal-ler was unanimously re-elected treasurer, no opposing candidate; R. A. Sullin was re-elected city engineer with-out any opposing candidate; Messrs. Bean, Keyes, Snode, Union Labor men, Watson, Chinn and Dierker, Democrats were elected alderman. The defeated
candidates for alderman were Bonthy, McCombs and Gates. At this election the hardest fight was made for city attorney between J. H. Harvey and G. W. McClellan. Mr. Harvey, the successful candidate, is a worthy and well known gentleman. He has been an Oklahoma agitator for ten years, was a delegate to the convention held in Kansas City in 1888 in regard to the opening and came here on the 22d from Purcell. Mr. McClellen is a well known lawyer of the city. He is an able attorney, a fine scholar and a gentleman. The election passed off quietly and at last things are settled.
Thus have been briefly noted the trials and troubles of South Oklahoma. You must not infer from this that the town has done nothing but quarrel. For the opportunities of South Oklahoma there is no city in the territory that will excel her. She has had three months of public schools, two churches, ice factory, lumberyards and good