Welcome to May, friends. What seems crazy to me is that we are 30 days away from being half way through 2023. Grace will be leaving her junior year and will be a senior next year. We will be welcoming a new grandbaby next month, which we are so excited about. James and Brittany decided not to find out if it’s a girl or boy. Christy and I believe this baby will be our first grandson. In this month’s issue Debbie Neece writes about our beautiful, historical state that we all call home… OKLAHOMA! I love this story and what I learned about how we became the 46th state and how Guthrie and Oklahoma City battled it out to become the capitol.
Christy and I are excited to announce Gracefest on the Green 2023 on May 13th at 5:30 p.m., which like the two years before is on Mother’s Day weekend. This is our 3rd annual concert at the beautiful Tower Center at Unity Square. Gracefest is a FREE concert with Fun, Food, Family, Fellowship, and Worship. When we started Gracefest three years ago, our first and most important goal was to bring our community together and to build God’s Kingdom one soul at a time. Secondly, we wanted to raise awareness and money for The Journey Home, which provides each guest - at no cost - compassionate care and dignity at the end of life in a home setting. The past two years we have raised $22,000 for this incredible non-profit.
This year we are raising money for our new non-profit, B the Light Mission . For the last two years, we have worked with the homeless community to provide them shelter during winter storms. This work led us to create B the Light Mission . In the upcoming months, I will talk more about how God moved mountains so we could start B the Light Mission and the impact it has already made on the lives of the underserved and the community. We are praying that we can raise $15,000 to help the ones who have fallen through the cracks and need a hand up.
This year’s concert features some of the best Christian music. We kick off the concert with our own hometown boys Caleb and Aaron . Then we have three brothers from the Wagoner area, Consumed by Fire, who currently have a top 10 song on Christian radio, First things First. We end the night with 7eventh Time Down . This band is from Mount Vernon, Kentucky. They have released five full-length albums
and two Christmas EPs. Their biggest radio single is God Is on the Move which stayed at No. 1 for five weeks and was the #5 song of 2016. Their single Just Say Jesus remained on the charts for 52 consecutive weeks and was the #16 song of 2014. Their new album was released in 2022 with the current hit single by Faith which is climbing the charts.
We love this city and ALL of her people. We want to be a light to anyone who struggles and to give a purpose to the ones who have given up. We are here to give a hand up, NOT a hand out! We ask that you go to our website, B-theLightMission.org , and become a monthly donor of $20. That $20 will give our guest a hot shower, new clothes, 2 hot meals and a bed to sleep in. What makes us different is that each guest has to earn their stay with work either outside the mission or inside.
We help them get their purpose back. We have many success stories, and we believe we can help the ones who want help. Here is what God put on my heart over a year ago for our mission statement. He said to me your mission is going to bring Hope to the Hopeless, Love to the Lost, Food to the Hungry, Healing to the Broken, and Shelter to the Struggling! God is on the move and we ask you to join us to help save that one person, to get God in their life, off the streets, and start a new life. Everyone deserves a hand up. If I didn’t have people believing in me and fighting for me 16 years ago, you would not be reading these words today.
Magazines are out now so go get your copy before they are all gone. God bless and God bless the broken ones!
Keith and Christy
Bartlesville Monthly Magazine is published by ENGEL PUBLISHING
Offices located in Downtown Bartlesville in the historic Price Tower 510 Dewey Ave, Suite 400, Bartlesville, OK 74003 P.O. Box 603, Bartlesville, OK 74005 www.bartlesvillemonthly.com facebook.com/bartlesvillemonthly
Publisher Brian Engel firstname.lastname@example.org
Copper Cup Images email@example.com
Director of Sales & Marketing Keith McPhail firstname.lastname@example.org
Christy McPhail email@example.com
Project Manager Andrea Whitchurch firstname.lastname@example.org
Shelley Greene Stewart
Delivery and Distribution Tim Hudson
Calendar/Social Media email@example.com
Debbie Neece, Kay Little, Kelly Hurd, Lori Kroh, Jay Hastings, Sarah Leslie Gagan, Brent Taylor, Lori Just, Keith McPhail, Jay Webster, James Biesiadecki, Randy Standridge, Rita Thurman Barnes, Maria Gus
Contributing Photographers Bartlesville Area History Musuem, Robyn Mackey, Becky Sewell Burch, Library of Congress
Kids Calendar Jessica Smith
ABOUT THE COVER
A look at the history of our great state...Oklahoma!
Creative concept by Keith and Christy McPhail
Design by Copper Cup Images
We live, work, and play in Bartlesville, and we’re proud to serve our neighbors with integrity
Experienced, Honest, Local
Sergeant Michael Bean Local Veteran Serves Country & Communityby Sarah Leslie Gagan
This month, as we pause on Memorial Day to honor the country’s military members who died in service, we share the profile of local veteran Sargent Michael Bean, who candidly shares what combat is truly like for our soldiers. As we reflect on Sargent Bean’s story, and the countless individuals who served and lost their lives, each section of this profile will begin with a stanza of a poem written by Sargent Bean, that shares frank prose on his experience and thoughts of war.
The Glory of War
What is the expression, the glory of war? If this is it, I wish to see glory no more.
Bartlesville resident Mike Bean was born in England where his father was stationed with the Air Force. At the age of six, Mike and his family, which included an older brother and sister, moved to Texas for 1 year. After Texas, the Bean family moved to Muskogee Oklahoma where Mike’s father worked as a police officer until 1971. In 1971, the family moved to Tahlequah, where Mike graduated high school in 1977.
After graduation Mike enlisted in the Army and served three years as a military police officer. In 1980, Mike returned to Tahlequah to attend North Eastern State University. There he met Marcy, the woman who would become his wife. The couple dated and fell in love. Before becoming engaged, Mike re-enlisted in the military joining the 82nd Airborne Division Paratroopers. On a trip home, he proposed to Marcy, explaining to her that marrying him would be very trying because he would be gone for up to a year at times, because of his service. Marcy replied to Mike,
“I would rather be around you part of the time than not at all.” And that comment won her the position of Mrs. Michael Bean.
Their commitment to each other was tested after one year of marriage when Mike received orders to go to Korea for one year, leaving Marcy alone in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Marcy is a special education teacher and kept herself busy with teaching in a nearby town. Upon returning, Mike attended special forces school, passing the incredibly hard class. He recalls being on a 20 day leave visiting his parents, when he received a 2a.m. call from his 1st Sargent saying “he couldn’t tell him why” but he needed to return to the base as soon as possible. Earlier that night, Mike had seen the news report that Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait. It was August 2nd, 1990.
Mike and his team of paratroopers were the 6th team to land in Saudi Arabia for deployment, making him one of the first 50 soldiers to arrive. When the American administration reported that a line had been drawn in the sand, that was, in reality, the line of several hundred troops, including Mike, that stood at the border of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The Secretary of Defense at the time said that if Iraq wanted to invade Saudi Arabia, they would have to go through Americans first.
The heat was so oppressive in the desert, unlike anything Mike had seen. The air was so dry that you were physically unable to sweat, as the
perspiration turned to a fine white dust on the skin when excreted. Each soldier was issued 2 uniforms, usually wearing one for a week at a time. Mike’s team was in position in Iraq, alongside the French Infantry troops when the ground war began in January 1991. He recalls viewing the devastated buildings and towns that had been leveled previously by Apache helicopters, with captured Iraqi solders lined up receiving their rations.
The adrenaline required to carry out the necessary tasks of the ground war is something Mike cannot describe, but emphasizes it is stronger than any drug that exists. They are taught from day one to control their fear, and turn off their emotions, no matter that they encounter.
One story Mike told regarding the war revealed the care and concern for humanity amid the fight. “When we were assigned to take Tallile airfield, it was protected by about 125-150 Iraqi Republican guards who did not want to give that place up or surrender. The Republican Guards were the elite of the Iraqi army. Very well trained and equipped. When we moved in to engage them, in order to take the airfield, the fire fight was very intense. After time, it started to become a route and the Iraqi losses were becoming high, but they would still not surrender. To save lives, at one point, we made the decision to open a gap in the line so the remainder of the Iraqis who could escape were allowed to. I’m guessing maybe 15 or 20 got out. Later, up the chain of command, this action was incredibly questioned, but those who questioned it weren’t there to see what might have happened. In war, even though they are the enemy, there is still an amount of respect simply because they are fellow soldiers. Though death is a constant so can life be. There is nothing wrong with allowing the enemy to live.”
While serving in Iraq, the troops had little knowledge of the news being reported back in the states. Upon arriving home in June 1991 he was surprised to be greeted with a welcome home parade in Tahlequah, and personally thanked for his service by Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller.
Where is this glory? In a flagged draped casket?
After 18 years in the military, Mike was medically discharged, and experienced a very difficult transition back into civilian life due to PTSD. He experienced a personality change because of war, and he had a difficult time socializing with others.
He had become a different person, and hated everyone and everything. The couple relocated to Marcy’s hometown of Bartlesville, and Mike was able to receive the help he required. In 1992, his son Rory was born and had a special healing effect upon Mike’s life, the innocent love for a child helped bring Mike out of the trauma he had endured. They also have a daughter Autumn, born in 1999.
Today, Mike is an active volunteer in the community. He is very friendly and open, and volunteers at B the Light homeless shelter, and as well as volunteers as a strength training coach for the Wesleyan wrestling team. Mike served on the Osage Hills School Board from 2000-2015. He has also won 3 national titles in powerlifting in 2009, 2011 and 2012. He also stresses that because of Marcy, he has a closer relationship with Christ than he would have had without her.
I see no glory in a mother weeping or her brave young son eternally sleeping.
Mike cannot emphasize enough how important the support of a military spouse is. Marcy, who grew up in Bartlesville, was Mike’s stability in life. Marcy has a very strong faith in Christ that helped her care for Mike upon his return. She hung in there with Mike through it all. Spouses are the real unsung heroes of war, knowing how dangerous their spouse’s job was and still carry on with life and a family is a stress that cannot be easily explained. The wives that live the reality that their husband has been deployed and may not come back alive are the unsung heroes of the military, according to Mike.
Sargent Michael Bean sums it up, “War, at it’s very best, is a necessary evil. And it is absolutely evil. And at its worst, it murders the innocent. There is no glory to war. I left the war, but the war never left me.”
The First Americans ...And the Unscrupulous
Red 46th StarBy Debbie Neece, Bartlesville Area History Museum
Oklahoma is a red ribbon state and the history that binds all of the significant, and not so significant, puzzle pieces together is tied with the red ribbon of bloodshed and political deceit...
Over the course of the last five centuries, four foreign nations have laid claim to the ground we call Oklahoma and fourteen varied flags have flown over the land we walk upon. However, the true claim to this land belongs to the “First Americans” who were forced to call this land home.
As early as the 1500s, French and Spanish explorers traversed this uncharted area in search of trade options and gold. Among the French explorers, Jean Pierre Chouteau established a trading post along the Neosho (Grand) River which became Salina, “the oldest white settlement in Oklahoma.” Jean Pierre developed a firm relationship with the Osage Tribe, who were reputable hunters and trappers and provided a healthy source of wealth for the Chouteau family enterprises.
Wading past the establishment of the Thirteen Colonies, Great Britain and Spain held ownership of North America. Control of the Louisiana Territory volleyed between the Spanish and French to prevent British rule. Then, in 1803, President Thomas Jefferson invested $15 million to acquire the 827,000 square mile “Louisiana Purchase,” which greatly enhanced the trade opportunities along the Mississippi River. Since most of
this land had not been explored, Jefferson enlisted Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, to explore west of the Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast.
Over the course of the next 60-70 years, most of the land within the Louisiana Purchase became split, divided into territories and, eventually, admitted into the Union as new states. As white settlers consumed more and more land to the south, President Jefferson encouraged Indian tribes living east of the Mississippi River to relocate to the west where they could live in peace upon the open range, “As Long as the Waters Flow.” In 1824, a voluntary relocation plan was enacted and some tribes relocated “willingly.” However, under President Andrew Jackson, the 1830 Indian Removal Act was approved by Congress, followed by the Indian Intercourse Act of 1834 by which Congress set aside specific land for Indigenous people, originally recognized as “all of that part of the United States west of the Mississippi, and not within the states of Missouri and Louisiana, or the Territory of Arkansas.” Eventually the land mass, known as Indian Territory, was redefined to the size of current Oklahoma, minus the panhandle and Greer County, which belonged to Texas until 1845 when Texas relinquished all
claims to the land north of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes and entered the United States as a slave state. In addition, in 1896, the Supreme Court declared the 644 square miles in Greer County to be attached to Oklahoma Territory as well.
Beginning the winter of 1830, the federal government forcibly displaced as many as 100,000 Indigenous people from their eastern settled homes to Indian Territory. Known as the Trail of Tears, the inhumanly brutal frozen travel crossed nine present-day U.S. states and brought much bloodshed, starvation, disease and death. The removal continued through 1907, until the area was home to at least 67 Indian tribes, including the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole, recognized as the Five Civilized Tribes. Thirty-nine tribal governments remain.
Indian Territory became a safe haven for outlaws and criminals who knew protection existed in the lawless land. In addition, during the Civil War, at least eight documented battles took place upon the land of Indian Territory, including the 1861 “Trail of Blood on Ice” battles in Tulsa, Osage and Washington Counties between Confederate Colonel Douglas Cooper and Creek Chief Opothleyahola at Round Mound, Chusto-Talasah,
Chustenahlah and Butler Creek, northwest of present-day Bartlesville. Battles also occurred at Old Fort Wayne, Middle Boggy Depot, Cabin Creek and Honey Springs.
In 1862, while the United States was in the heat of Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act into law, pitting the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad in a race across North America. He committed complete governmental support towards the Transcontinental Railroad efforts to create a rail line from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Workers braved harsh weather, blasted mountains and built bridges to complete the task at Promontory Point, Utah, where the Golden Spike of completion was driven May 10, 1869.
With the Civil War in the rear-view mirror, a period of reconstruction and retaliation was in order. In 1866, “The Five Tribes” were forced into a treaty of political punishment for supporting the Confederates during the Civil War. Within the terms of the Reconstruction Treaties of 1866, “The Five Tribes” agreed to abolish slavery, giving citizenship and property rights to the Freedmen; agreed to grant railroad rights-of-way across the land held by the tribes; agreed to establish an intertribal
council; and, agreed to cede a considerable portion of their lands to the U.S. government with the pretense of opening land to relocate other tribes and Freedmen. The land in question was the Cherokee Outlet, a portion of which became the Osage Reservation. This treaty essentially granted amnesty for all crimes against the U.S. government, restored the tribal annuities forfeited when the tribe’s signed treaties with the Confederates, and resulted in the creation of Oklahoma Territory.
Choctaw native, Kiliahote was born in Mississippi and his family’s long march to Indian Territory brought them to present McCurtain County where his father died in 1839. Kiliahote was an orphaned survivor of the Trail of Tears at the age of thirteen with no path forward. Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury of Doaksville enrolled him in a Choctaw mission school; there, he was given the name Allen Wright, in honor of Rev. Alfred Wright, a Choctaw missionary who built the rock Wheelock Church at Millerton, Oklahoma’s oldest church building. Presbyterian leaders sent Allen to the Union Theological Seminary in New York City and he became the first Native Indian to earn a Master’s in Theology. As an ordained Presbyterian minister, he taught at Choctaw schools, and was elected the Treasurer of the Choctaw Nation. He served the Confederacy during the Civil War; compiled a Choctaw dictionary; served as the Choctaw Chief from 1866-1870; was a
member of the Choctaw Treaty Delegation who signed the 1866 Reconstruction Treaty; and most importantly, he suggested the Choctaw word Oklahoma, meaning “home of the red people,” as the name for Oklahoma Territory. He died in 1885 but his legacy has continued strong. His granddaughter, Muriel Wright is a well-documented historian and inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1940. Allen Wright was posthumously inducted in 2019.
In 1865, mixed-blood, Jesse Chisholm, established the Chisholm Cattle Trail from Texas to Kansas. Crossing the Cherokee Outlet allowed large cattle herds access to prime grazing on their travel to the Kansas railroad shipping hub. The Cherokee annually leased the land to the Cherokee Strip Livestock Association for $200,000 resulting in fences, corrals and ranch homes littering the area. This carved the path for future intrusion.
“In compliance with the desire of the United States to locate other Indians and Freedmen thereon, the Creeks hereby cede and convey to the United States, to be sold to and used as homes for such other civilized Indians as the United States may choose to settle thereon (the west half of their entire domain) for the sum of thirty (30) cents per acre, amounting to nine hundred and seventy-five thousand one hundred and sixty-eight dollars...”
The 1887 Dawes Severalty Act or General Allotment Act, sponsored by Senator Henry Dawes of Massachusetts, provided for the division of sovereign reservations and the allotment of 160-acre farming plots to individual Indians. The motives of the U.S. Supreme Court “were simple and clear cut: to extinguish tribal sovereignty, erase reservation boundaries, and force the assimilation of Indians into the society at large.” The Dawes Commission negotiated land ceding deals with “The
Five Tribes,” offering landownership and full U.S. citizenship, but destroying the culture and traditions of the tribes. Prior to enacting the Dawes Act, Indian tribes held about 150 million acres; after allotment, the reservation system had been destroyed and two-thirds of their land had transferred to white settlers as “surplus.” This Act was an omen of things to come and stayed in effect until 1934.
The Osage Nation did not participate in the allotment of lands. The Nation retained reservation sovereignty through “collective ownership of the sub-surface mineral rights.” As the Tribe received mineral lease royalties, the monies were/are divided among the tribal members in the form of quarterly “headright” distributions. In 1896, brothers Henry and Edwin Foster obtained a 10-year Osage County blanket oil and gas lease which brought Foster’s first oil well October 1897. After the brother’s untimely deaths, Edwin’s son, H.V. Foster renewed the blanket lease from 1906 to 1916. Then, by 1923, the Osage Nation began leasing to the highest bidder under the “Million Dollar Elm” which brought the Osage fame as the richest nation in North America. Unfortunately, headrights were hereditary and passed to immediate legal heirs who may or may not have been Osage Tribal members by blood. This created a greedy
situation of not-so-accidental deaths resulted in the “Osage Reign of Terror.”
In 1890, Congress nullified the Cherokee’s lease with the Cherokee Strip Livestock Association and President Benjamin Harrison eliminated all cattle grazing in the Cherokee Outlet, ending the Cherokee’s revenue stream. Harrison then established a purchase agreement with the Cherokees to open the area to white settlers through a series of land runs, changing the shape and history of Oklahoma. However, that payment was not made to the Cherokee until 1961, resulting in a $14.7 million payment to the original landowners, or their heirs, and an additional $2 million to the Cherokee government as interest.
“Congress felt it was time for the tribes to give up their tribal lands, traditions, and even their identities as Indigenous people. The Dawes Act was, at the time, considered the solution. Each head of the household was offered a 160-acre allotment, while unmarried adults were offered 80-acres. The law stipulated that grantees could not sell their allotment for 25 years. Those Indigenous people who accepted their allotment and agreed to live separately from their tribe were granted the advantages of full United States citizenship.” Additionally, often family members were allotted land far from other family or their settled home.
Amid an economic depression, at exactly twelve noon on September 16, 1893, an estimated 100,000 hopeful homesteaders and town speculators participated in the largest land run in American history. The silence was broken by the deafening sound of cannons and gun fire as a cloud of dust and chaos consumed the area as horses, wagons, bicycles and tireless feet “rushed” across the 6-million-acre Cherokee Outlet for their stake in only 42,000 parcels of land.
On that day, the terms “Boomer” and “Sooner” were chiseled in stone. Those who waited for the “boom” of the cannon were called Boomers; while the rule-breakers who jumped the line by the light of the moon were initially referred to as moonshiners, and later called Sooners for staking their claim prior to the beginning of the land run.
In 1825, the U.S. House Committee on Territories was formed with the purpose of overseeing the Twin Territories and the eventual blending of the separate entities as one state of the Union. This committee was not dissolved until 1946. However, their goal met with some bumpy roads.
In 1898, the Curtis Act began the process of surveying and incorporating towns within the Indian Territory. This also gave all townsmen (regardless of race) the right to vote, established free schools and abolished tribal courts which were replaced by federal jurisdiction under the laws of Arkansas. In August and September 1905, the State of Sequoyah convention was held in Muskogee to write a constitutional proposal for the Indian State of Sequoyah which was overwhelmingly approved
by Indian Territory voters. However, the U.S. Congress adamantly rejected their efforts and pressed for a single state.
The Oklahoma Enabling Act was passed in June 1906, guiding the Twin Territories towards joint statehood. On November 6, 1906, 112 Constitutional Convention delegates were elected; 55 delegates from Indian Territory, 55 from Oklahoma Territory and 2 from the Osage Nation. William “Alfalfa Bill” Murray, who served as a Chickasaw delegate at the earlier Sequoyah convention, assembled Oklahoma’s Constitutional Convention at Guthrie between November 1906 and April 1907. Their constitutional draft was adopted, approving prohibition and selecting Democrat Charles Haskell as Oklahoma’s first Governor. On September 17, the people of the Twin Territories took pen in hand, voting to accept or reject the drafted constitution, which, if approved, would admit the territories into the Union as a single state, set forth governmental officers and most importantly, voice their prohibition desires.
George Guess, aka Sequoyah, was a mixed-blood Cherokee and wellrevered leader among the Cherokees. He invented the Sequoyah syllabary, or alphabet, by which the Cherokee language could be expressed through symbols, enabling written communication between the Cherokee and white men, most notably used in the Cherokee Advocate newspaper beginning in 1844.
At 9:16 a.m. Oklahoma time, the morning of November 16, 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt affixed his “John Hancock” toThe State of Sequoyah Convention H. V. Foster
Presidential Proclamation 780 with an eagle quill pen, declaring the Twin Territories united in the “marriage of statehood” as Oklahoma and admitted to the Union as the 46th State of the United States. By noon, Territorial Governor Frank Franz stepped down and Charles Haskell became Oklahoma’s first Governor as he received the oath of office and addressed his peers at the entrance of Guthrie’s Carnegie Library.
The Oklahoma constitution “provided a republican form of government, establish religious liberty, prohibit polygamous marriages, and guarantee suffrage regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. In addition, the new constitution had to provide for prohibition in Indian Territory and the Osage Nation for twenty-one years and the new state capital had to be located at Guthrie until 1913.”
bitter rivals. The constitution clearly stated the capital would remain in Guthrie until 1913, but rules are made to be broken… right? With the impatient toe tapping of a caged cat, plans immediately began to transfer the State Capital from Guthrie to Oklahoma City.
Incorporating the original Indian State of Sequoyah Seal designed by Reverend A. Grant Evans, the Great Seal of the State of Oklahoma was designed by Gabriel Edward Parker and consists of a five-pointed star representing the 46th State in the Union, surrounded by forty-five stars representing the states of the Union prior to Oklahoma. Each of “The Five Tribes” are depicted on the star points with an American Pioneer and Native Indian shaking harmonious hands before Lady Justice in the center.
November 16, 1907 was a red-letter day, for on that day, newspaper headlines across the country announced Oklahoma’s Statehood in justifiable scarlet red letters. Throughout the Twin Territories, treaty after treaty had been broken and as the new state entered the Union with her state capital at Guthrie, plans were already in the works to break that law too. From the beginning, Guthrie and Oklahoma City had been
The controversary of the Oklahoma state capital location pitted the language of the Enabling Act against the voice of the Constitutional Convention. To settle the issue, a vote of the people was slated for Tuesday, June 14, 1910; however, in an unprecedented move, Governor Charles Haskell changed the election date to Saturday, June 11, knowing the election results would hit the wires late that evening…delaying the announcement of voting results and preventing Guthrie supporters from filing a timely court injunction. Governor Haskell was indeed a Sooner! Before the ink was dry on the ballots and before the votes had been certified, he set into action his plans to move the capital from Guthrie in the “steal of the night.” But the removal of the state capital from Guthrie to OKC is wrought with a dust bowl of conspiracy, illegal activities and contradicting documentation.
The Enabling Act: ‘The first legislature shall meet at Guthrie and at said first session, or as soon thereafter as the Legislature and the Governor shall deem expedient, they shall proceed to locate the permanent seat of government for the territory of Oklahoma.’ versus the Constitutional Convention which stated the capital of Oklahoma shall remain in Guthrie until 1913.
Many versions of the statehood story vary; however, as one story goes… Governor Haskell was dining at the Brady Hotel in Tulsa when he heard the votingJanuary 22, 1890. A Professional Sketch of Guthrie, Oklahoma, Nine Months After the City’s Founding 1910. A Bird’s Eye View of Oklahoma City
results (Oklahoma City 96,261 votes, Guthrie 31,301 and Shawnee 8,382). He called W.B. Anthony, his private secretary, to travel to Guthrie and retrieve the State Seal, constitutional articles and record book. When Anthony arrived, Guthrie had stationed a plethora of deputy sheriff guards at the building, so he dispatched Jim Noble to retrieve the “package.” Anthony noted, “The seal of state, constitution and recording book were concealed in a bundle of laundry allowing the items to be removed without anyone ever knowing what was going on,”
Jim Noble was an adopted Seminole Freedman; he served as porter at both the Sequoyah and Constitutional Conventions; was a Calvary Baptist Deacon; Guthrie State Capitol messenger; and he was the father of Oklahoma City and the first governor to rein over the state capital. On election eve, it was Jim Noble who breached Guthrie’s capital, passing security to take the State Seal, constitution and record book to OKC. The constitution stated “the one who has the seal is governor.” Therefore, for that night, Jim Noble was governor of the state of Oklahoma. He was a Golden Rule man and knew moving the state seal was the “noble” thing to do. He gained the respect of all future Oklahoma governors and worked at the capital for 38 years.
Anthony said, “Jim, you have complete freedom in and out of the building. Take the State Seal to Oklahoma City and we will be waiting for you. Don’t ride the bus, train, or in cars of your friends. Walk, run, hitchhike or hobo. Remember Jim, you are Governor of the State of Oklahoma and the future of your State depends on you.” All persons entering the Guthrie capitol were searched but not Noble. Mr. Jim followed orders and exited the Guthrie capital building with the package under his arm. The guards joked about the package possibly containing whiskey for a party. Indeed, the package was for a very big party at the Lee-Huckins Hotel where he was greeted by Governor Haskell. But not so quick! Haskell dug his heals in and operated governmental business as normal in OKC’s Lee-Huckins Hotel, while Guthrie remained the location of state agencies, including the State Supreme Court, pending state and federal court rulings. So, for a time, state governmental business functioned at both locations. Perhaps the story of the state capital “steal” has more to do with election fraud than the dramatic steal. Dirty laundry and dirty politics joined forces in a plan that required the Enabling Act to be nullified by the United States Supreme Court to resolve the issue. And yet another red-letter headline blasted the newspaper headings on the morning of June 1, 1911 with the announcement, “Oklahoma City Holds Capital.”July 1, 1916. Construction of the Oklahoma Capital Building in Oklahoma City
. . . A Trailblazine Deputy Marshallby Debbie Neece,
Bartlesville Area History Museum
George B. Keeler arrived in Indian Territory in 1871 and worked at a Silver Lake trading post, south of Bartlesville, until the 96th Indian Meridian was surveyed, finding the Osage Tribe had settled east of their purchased reservation. At that time, the Osage moved to establish Pawhuska at Bird Creek. At Silver Lake, George Keeler met and married Josephine Susan “Josie” Gilstrap in 1872. Josie was a Cherokee which allowed George to become adopted into the Cherokee Tribe.
They were parents to nine children: Nina, Charles Rogers, Kenneth “Frank,” William, Albert, Frederick “Fred,” Maude, Lillie Ann and Pearl Lucille. Josie Gilstrap Keeler died in 1893 and, two years later, George married Josephine Cass.
“Holdup Hollow” to steal their horses. No one was harmed but from that incident Fred was nudged towards law enforcement.
His business career began as an auto dealer in 1919, when he became a partner with C.W. James in the James and Keeler Motor Company at 317319 S. Johnstone Avenue. The following year, James left the business and Keeler continued at that location through 1922, when he relocated to 322 S. Keeler Avenue through 1926, selling Pierce-Arrow, Chrysler and Maxwell autos. In March of 1927, he liquidated and sold the company to Frank Murdock Motor Company.
On March 25, 1897, Jenny Cass, George Keeler’s stepdaughter, dropped the “go-devil” which set off a blast of nitroglycerin, erupting the well that became to be known as the “Nellie Johnstone No. 1.”
Through his mother’s heritage, Fred Keeler was one-eighth Cherokee and born to prominent pioneer stock on Keeler Creek, ten miles south of Bartlesville. He witnessed the development of Bartlesville from the William Johnstone and George Keeler North Delaware Settlement to the Incorporation of Bartlesville as a first-class city and beyond.
Fred received his early education at Bartlesville schools, followed by attendance at the Hillside Mission School near Skiatook and he completed his education at Kemper Military Academy at Boonville, MO. He then returned to the Bartlesville area and became associated with his father’s cattle enterprises.
Fred married Mary King and they had one child, George B. Keeler, Fred’s father’s namesake. Mary enjoyed the social affairs of Bartlesville until Fred entered the employment of Phillips Petroleum Company in 1933 and the family relocated to Kansas City. The end of Fred Keeler’s trailblazing path came April 10, 1940 in Kansas City and he was returned to Bartlesville’s White Rose Cemetery for eternal rest.
Mary settled the family affairs in Kansas and then returned to Bartlesville as well. In 1946, she worked as a saleswoman at Zales Jewelry, then at Martins Department Store from 1950 to 1962, when she retired. She passed away in October 1971 and joined Fred in White Rose Cemetery.
Fred lived in the shadow of his well-known pioneer father, George B. Keeler; however, his notoriety came as the Deputy Marshal who brought the criminal career of Ernest Lewis to an end on Statehood Day in 1907. Before Fred pinned on the Deputy Marshal star, he experienced firsthand the terror of outlaws. One Sunday afternoon in 1903, while returning from a leisurely Osage County picnic with the Keeler and Johnstone families, the Martin Gang ambushed the travelers at a spot called
Fred once bragged, “I have an old gun once owned by Henry Starr.”
MAY CALENDAR SPONSORED BY
Youth Art Show
8 AM; Price Tower Arts Center
Celebrating youth art education and young artists, this annual Youth Art Show has exhibited more than 300 pieces of artwork from students in public, private, and homeschools from grades Pre-K to 12th grade. In its eight years, this show has captured visitors’ hearts and emphasized the value of children learning and participating in visual arts education. This will be on display through May 7.
Girls Basketball Tryouts
Central Middle School
5:30pm- 7th-8th grade
6:45pm- 9th-12th grade
Girls Basketball Tryouts
Central Middle School
5:30pm- 7th-8th grade
6:45pm- 9th-12th grade
Putt Putt for Paws
6:30 PM; Sooner Jr Miniature Golf
Bring your family and friends for a fun evening of miniature golf and show your support for Washington County animals in need! There will be food available for purchase as well as a Star Wars themed costume contest for best dressed human, best dressed pet and best dressed human & pet! All proceeds will benefit the Washington County SPCA! Cost is $6 per person per game or 2 games per person for $10 when purchased at same time.
BHS Spring Fling
5 PM; Fine Arts Center
Kiddie Park Opens
7 PM; Kiddie Park
The Kiddie Park is open Fridays and Saturdays through the month of May
50 State Tour
7 PM; The Center
As the official Oklahoma stop of their 50-States Tour, Letters From Home will bring back the style of the USO with a high-energy performance featuring Erinn Dearth and Dan Beckmann! This duo has performed over 900 shows across the United States for veterans and their families, and performed at the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France.
BHS Spring Band
8 PM; Bartlesville High School
Lady Bruin Basketball Camp
Central Middle Schol
9-11 am – 3rd-5th Grade
12:30-3:00pm- 6th-9th Grade
Lady Bruin Basketball Camp
Central Middle Schol
9:00am-11:00am – 3rd-5th Grade
12:30-3:00pm- 6th-9th Grade
58th Annual Delaware Pow Wow
6 PM; Fall Leaf Family Memorial Pow Wow
7 PM; Fine Arts Center
Ice Cream Social
5:30 PM; Cerious Rolls
Last Day of School
Bartlesville Public Schools
Three miles east of Highway 75 on road 600 in Copan. Vendors and Food (Concession stand) will be available (no food vendors allowed), anyone selling meat pies or other food items will be asked to leave.
The event runs through May 28.
Woolaroc Animal Barn Open
10 AM - 5 PM; Every Wednesday through Sunday through Memorial Day.
Mon, May 1
MAY EVENTS CALENDAR
Animal Barn and Mountain Man
Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve
1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd.
BAHM Exhibit: Oklahoma
Bartlesville Area History Museum
401 S Johnstone Ave.
This spring, BAHM is proud to present: Oklahoma Beginnings: The Legacy of Ranching in Northeast Oklahoma. On display from April 10th - June 30th, the exhibit takes visitors on a rustic journey exploring development of the west and the legendary history of ranching in Washington County. Long before Oklahoma became a state, the fight for land was real as white settlers moved further and further west. Ground once deemed Indian Territory became split to form Oklahoma Territory. On September 16, 1893, cannons boomed unleashing the largest land rush in American history as hundreds of thousands of people raced across the open prairie to stake their claim. Such was the beginning of ranches like the 101 Ranch in Kay County. Join us in exploring the rich ranching history of Washington County and discover the foundations of some of our well-known family ranches. The exhibit will feature various artifacts from local ranches over the years and display examples of local cattle brands If you have questions, you may reach Bartlesville Area History Museum staff at (918) 338-4290 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The “crack” of the black powder rifle will be echoing off the walls of Woolaroc as the Mountain Man Camp officially opens for the season. Mountain Men, Wes, and Roger Butcher will have the camp open and ready for the public. Learn the proper art of throwing a tomahawk, shooting a black powder rifle, and seeing how people lived in the 1840s within the beautiful grounds of Woolaroc. The Animal Barn will also be open during regular business hours and is located on the main grounds. The variety of animals is always changing, and may include animals such as rabbits, goats, chickens, peacocks, donkeys, sheep, and more!
Open Normal Business Hours: March 15th - September 4th. Admission is covered with paid admission at the front gate, (Adults are $14, Military Discount –$10, Over 65 – $12, and Children 12 and younger are FREE).
Roark Wildlife Exhibit Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve
1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd.
Woolaroc is excited to partner with regional wildlife sculptor, Dale Roark. This partnership will bring 32 of Roark’s signature pieces to Room 6 of our museum for a 4-month wildlife sculpture exhibition. Roark’s works will be on display in the museum starting March 24th and running through July 28th. Guests will be able to see works ranging from furry creatures, to feathered friends! To see this amazing artwork, visit Woolaroc’s History Museum, open Wed - Sun, 10am - 5pm.
Virtual Storytime on Facebook www.facebook.com/bvillelibrary
Join us every Monday at 11am for Virtual Storytime on our Facebook page. You can find us by searching for Bartlesville Public Library on Facebook or by going to www.facebook.com/bvillelibrary.
Free Spanish Classes
Bartlesville Public Library
600 S Johnstone Ave.
Free Spanish Class every Monday evening at 5:30pm in Meeting Room B on the first floor of the Bartlesville Public Library. This class is free and open to the public. Please contact the Bartlesville Literacy Services office at 918.338.4179 if you have any questions.
6 PM Pound With Tarah
300 SE Adams Blvd.
Pound is a full-body workout that combines cardio, conditioning, and strength training with yoga and Pilatesinspired movements. Pound uses lightly weighted drumsticks engineered specifically for exercising. It is designed for all fitness levels. This class is free and open to the public. Bring water, mat, and drumsticks (if you have some). A limited number of drumsticks will be available at the class.
Tue, May 2
Caregivers Support Group
1223 Swan Dr.
Being a caregiver can be physically and emotionally draining. Elder Care offers a monthly support group for caregivers that provides practical information in a nurturing environment and offers participants a safe place to share their stories and frustrations. The health and well-being of the caregiver is important too. Caregiver Support Group sessions will meet the first Tuesday of each month at 10am for one hour through July 11th. For more information, please call Sheila. Call (918) 336-8500.
In The Kitchen With Susan
Bartlesville Public Library
600 S Johnstone Ave.
Please join us IN PERSON in Meeting Room A or live on the Bartlesville Public Library Facebook page for In the Kitchen With Susan. This free program consists of eight healthy cooking classes. Susan is a local restaurateur with many years of cooking experience. Susan loves to share with us how she has made healthy cooking easy in her own home and brings her best ideas and practices to make us all better chefs.
Johnstone Irregulars Book Club
Bartlesville Public Library
600 S Johnstone Ave.
The book club meets in the Literary Services Office on the 2nd floor of the library on the first Tuesday of every month.
Trust our experience
100 SE Frank Phillips Blvd, Bartlesville (918) 337-3396
National Day Of Prayer Event
3401 Price Rd.
Sat, May 6
BSO’s Reflection Concert
Master Gardners - Soil Properties
Bartlesville Public Library
600 S. Johnstone Ave
Neil Loftis will discuss soil properties, the importance of soil testing, and how to obtain and submit a soil test to the OSU Extension office. Identifying the right fertilizers and determining the correct application rates will be presented. Meeting Room C
Cheerfit With Macie
Bartlesville Public Library
600 S Johnstone Ave.
Cheerfit With Macie will be held on Tuesdays at 6pm. While the weather is cold, Cheerfit will be held in Meeting Room A at the BPL. Once it warms up, this class will be held outside at the Tower Center at Unity Square. No prior cheer or dance experience is required and there is no jumping, stunting, or tumbling involved! Cheerfit Dance is a total body, mood-boosting workout. Sweat, sculpt, and dance it out with a combination of cardio exercises, alongside cheer and pom-inspired choreography!
Wed, May 3
Bartlesville Public Library
600 S. Johnstone Ave.
We accept donations every Wednesday! We accept books, audiobooks, DVDs, and video games (PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One). Please bring your items to the loading dock door and ring the doorbell and someone will be with you shortly.
Free Citizenship Class
Bartlesville Public Library
600 S Johnstone Ave.
Citizenship classes are held on Tuesdays at 6pm, Wednesdays at 5:30pm, and Thursdays at 11am on the second floor of the Bartlesville Public Library in the Literacy Services office. These classes are FREE and open to the public. Please contact the Bartlesville Literacy Services office at 918.338.4179 for more information.
Dance ’N Define With Tarah
300 SE Adams Blvd.
Dance ‘N Define With Tarah is held outside on the Stage at Unity Square on Wednesdays at 6pm. It is free and open to the public. This fitness program incorporates a mixture of dance, core work, and lightweight/full body toning.
Thu, May 4 10 AM
ELL Conversation Class
Bartlesville Public Library
600 S Johnstone Ave.
ELL Conversation classes are held on Tuesdays at 5pm and Thursdays at 10am on the second floor of the Bartlesville Public Library in the Literacy Services office. These classes are FREE and open to the public. Please contact the Bartlesville Literacy Services office at 918.338.4179 for more information.
The annual local prayer event for the National Day of Prayer will be at HeartMatters in Bartlesville. Families are encouraged to attend this special time of prayer for our nation, state and community. This year celebrates 72 years of Prayer for America, 1952-2023. A local interdenominational committee is organizing the Bartlesville prayer event. Local ministers, ministry leaders and community leaders will be participating in the service. As our nation struggles with foreign and domestic threats, economic insecurity, cultural tensions, and challenges to basic constitutional rights, we are preparing to turn to God and pray. The public is invited to attend. There is no charge and no reservations are necessary.
Fri, May 5
300 SE Adams Blvd.
Decades of great music as reflected in the BSO of today. Our exciting orchestra led by longtime Maestro Lauren Green. Free admission for students through high school with purchase of adult ticket. For tickets, go to www.bartlesvillecenter.com
History And Haunts At The Dewey Hotel
Dewey Hotel Museum
801 N Delaware St., Dewey
We are pleased to Introduce our new History and Hunts tours. For booking email us at email@example.com. The tours will be for 5 hours at $200 and that will include learning about the history and how to conduct paranormal research. Equipment will be available to use during the tour, but you are welcome to bring your own. The time will be from 10pm-3am and if you want more information please email us!
Sun, May 7
Stray Kat 500
Stray Kat Kustoms
700 N Delaware, Dewey
This will be our 22nd try to put on the Stray Kat 500. The show will be all over Downtown Dewey and around the Stray Kat headquarters. Show is for Pre-64ish Enthusiasts that like real Hot Rods, Kustoms and Stockers. You can register go on line at www.straykatkustoms.com
Registration will be open Friday from 10am - 6pm, Saturday from 7am - 4pm and Sunday 8am - 10pm. Registration will be at Stray Kat headquarters. The host hotel for this year’s show is the Fairfield Inn in Bartlesville, OK. Check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/straykat.kustoms for more details!
Bartlesville Farmers Market
222 SW Frank Phillips Blvd.
Come shop Bartlesville’s Farmers Market. Products include Fresh Produce, Baked Goods, Local Honey, Grass-Fed Beef, Fresh Eggs, and Handmade items! We meet every Saturday, May 7th - October 15th. To stay up to date on the latest details, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook. com/bartlesvillefarmersmarket
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Tue, May 9
Fri, May 12
4 PM Women Artists Of The West “Gathering”
6 PM Master Gardners - IPM Bartlesville Public Library
600 S. Johnstone Ave
Susan Henning will discuss IPM, an environmentally sensitive approach to prevent pests before they occur. IPM can help maintain healthy plants and resist pests by using physical, cultural, and biological methods in lieu of some traditional, and potentially harmful, chemical pesticides. Not all pesticides are “bad.” Some chemical pesticides are IPM compatible, pest specific, safe for non-target beneficial insects, and safe for the environment. Meeting Room C
Letters From Home: The 50 States Tour
300 SE Adams Blvd.
As the official Oklahoma stop of their 50-States Tour, Letters From Home will bring back the style of the USO with a high-energy performance featuring Erinn Dearth and Dan Beckmann! This duo has performed over 900 shows across the United States for veterans and their families, and performed at the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France. The show is filled with singing, tap dancing, knee-slapping jokes and audience interaction that make up a spectacular performance geared towards uniting the nation through music.
Thu, May 11
2 PM Story Time: Powwow Day Delaware Tribe of Indians
5100 Tuxedo Blvd.
Join us in front of the Family and Children Services building for an interactive story and fun! (If weather is not acceptable for outdoors will be held inside).
The Odd Couple Theater Bartlesville
312 S Dewey Ave.
Theater Bartlesville presents Neil Simon’s classic comedy that opens as a group of the guys are in the midst of their weekly poker game in the apartment of divorced sportswriter, Oscar Madison. And if the mess is any indication, it’s no wonder that his wife left him. The apartment is smoke-filled, and the only thing Oscar can offer his guests is warm Coke and moldy sandwiches. The last to arrive is Felix Ungar, who has just been thrown out by his wife. Felix is depressed and seems suicidal, leading Oscar to invite Felix to be his roommate. However, as Felix takes on the domestic mantle in the apartment and proves just how difficult he is to live with, Oscar is driven to the edge of madness! Shows take place May 11th - 14th. For tickets, visit www.theaterbartlesville. com, or call 918-440-7498.
The national organization, Women Artists of The West (WAOW) will be gathering again in the Bartlesville/ Pawhuska area this spring for a open air painting event and social. WAOW members will be painting at Wolf Creek Ranch near Pawhuska on May 12th. The ranch owners have invited the public to attend on that day from 4pm - 6pm to visit with the artists, enjoy the “wet wall” of just completed paintings. See www.WolfCreekRanchOsage.com for directions and details. On May 13th, WAOW members will be painting at Woolaroc from 10pm - 5pm. Visit www. Woolaroc.org for admission details. Several members will also be painting throughout the area on May 14th. Watch for the artists at several locations in Bartlesville and Pawhuska!
Sat, May 13
Gracefest On The Green 2023
300 SE Adams Blvd
Gracefest returns to Bartlesville! Come to this FREE concert and enjoy music, food trucks, and much more! For more details, visit our facebook page or www. bartlesvillemonthly.com. Proceeds will go toward supporting B The Light Mission.
Dewey Flea Market and Bartlesville And Beyond Boutique
Washington County Fairgrounds
1109 N Delaware St.
Come and shop some new and repurposed items with some of the finest vendors monthly on the second Saturday of each month! Admission is FREE.
Ashlynn Nicole’s Boutique
2nd Birthday Bash
Washington Park Mall
2350 SE Washington Blvd.
We are celebrating two years of business. The event will be held at the Washington Park Mall, where both of our stores are located. There will be a live fashion show, mother daughter lookalike contest, and a couple dessert/ beverage vendors!
The Good, The Bad, The BBQ Hughes Ranch 63 County Road 2696
Elder Care celebrates its 24th anniversary event of The Good, The Bad, The BBQ on May 13th at the Hughes Ranch. All proceeds Benefit Elder Care. Tickets include live and silent auctions, BBQ dinner, cash bar, music and dancing and more! Attendance fee, includes BBQ dinner, silent and live auction, music, dancing, cash bar, and more! Sponsorships are available by callling 918-336-8500.
Sun, May 14
Happy Mother’s Day from your friends at bmonthly magazine!
Beginnings - The Music Of Chicago
300 SE Adams Blvd.
Beginnings is a tightly woven structure of musical talent that brings to life the original and glorious music of Chicago. Beginnings is a band of great musicians who grew up listening to Chicago and developed a love for bringing that music to life for themselves and Chicago fans everywhere! They transport audiences through more than five decades of Chicago’s extensive catalog of gold and platinum recordings and provide family-friendly entertainment for music lovers of all ages! Fueled by world class musicianship and a passion for performance, the band is a live music experience not to be missed! Come see the band live, and they promise to “Make You Smile”!
Thu, May 18
Simple Eats With Amanda
Bartlesville Public Library
600 S Johnstone Ave.
Please join us in person in Meeting Room
A at BPL or live on the BPL Facebook pageQ This free program consists of eight healthy cooking classes. Amanda will demonstrate how to make seasonal, simple, made-from-scratch meals using vegetables that you can grow in your own backyard!
Ice Cream Social
219 SE Frank Phillips Blvd.
Please join The Young Professionals of Bartlesville for our May Ice Cream Social at Cerious Rolls. The special will be $3 off any one menu item.
Sat, May 20
Spring Trail Ride
Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve
1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd
The country retreat of oilman Frank Phillips - Woolaroc is hidden away in the beauty of the rolling Osage Hills. The trail ride covers approximately 15 miles of terrain that is rarely seen by the general public. It is common to see bison, elk, deer, and longhorn cattle along the trails of Woolaroc. Registration check-in time is from 7am - 9am, and the ride begins promptly at 9am. Lunch and rest period is from noon - 1pm at the front gate. From 10am - 5pm, non-riders can enjoy the main grounds of Woolaroc. For more information please visit www.woolaroc. org. Please contact us at 1-918-3360307 ext. 100 for all questions.
Monthly LEGO Club
Bartlesville Public Library
600 S. Johnstone Ave.
Come join us every 3rd Saturday for our LEGO Club! We provide the LEGOS, all you need to do is be ready to have fun! We meet in the BPL’s upstairs meeting room. We hope to see you there!
Get Real Ministries
411 W 14th St.
Get Real Ministries is having Jesus Burger every 3rd Saturday of the month. Come be fed spirituality and physically with others that have recovered from all kinds of addictions and life struggles that have been healed or are being healed. We will fight the fight with you! Come witness the “Miracles on 14th Street.” It’s a Holy Spirit revival! Baptisms, free food, free clothes, and free love — all paid for by Jesus. You will leave changed!
BCF Legacy Hall Of Fame Gala
300 SE Adams Blvd.
Join us in celebrating two organizations whose impact on our community has spanned generations! At this event we will welcome guests with a happy hour event in the Lyon Gallery with refreshments. At 7pm guests will be asked to transition into the Community Hall for dinner and the program. The program will include the unveiling of video vignettes for the two organizations of recognition. Donations made on behalf of any person or organization are contributed to the Legacy Hall of Fame Fund at the Bartlesville Community Foundation which is used to make grants back to our community.
Fri, May 26
58th Annual Delaware Pow Wow
Fall-Leaf Family Campgrounds
3 miles east of Highway 75 on road 600, Copan OK 74022
Come join us for the 58th Annual Delaware Pow Wow! The Pow Wow may run Friday - Sunday, but you won’t want to miss a single minute! For details and updates, visit the Delaware Tribe of Indians Facebook page at www. facebook.com/delaware.tribe
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Brings Boot Hill to Bartlesvilleby Debbie Neece, Bartlesville Area History Museum
Kentucky born Julia Johnson traveled to Indian Territory with her parents by wagon train, but wheel troubles caused them to fall behind. U.S. Marshal Frank Dalton happen upon their woes and offered his assistance. It was from that chance meeting that the quick-tempered, rage-prone, raven-haired maiden became fast friends with Emmett Dalton, who taught Julia bullwhip tricks which she played to her advantage later. After the famed 1892 Coffeyville bank robbery and slaughter of the Dalton Gang, only Emmett survived and he was sentenced to life in prison. Julia was devastated but found love in the arms of Robert Ernest Lewis and they wed at Bartlesville, September 1901. Ernest was also an outlaw and bank robber who had seen his share of brushes with law enforcement. Julia loved that excitement.
Every community has a well-known “character” who constantly stirs the pot of criminal activity and for Washington County, one of the most notable was Ernest Lewis. Long after the land runs had ended, Lewis staked a parcel as his own along the Kansas border, claiming it as No-Man’s Land, owned by neither Kansas nor Indian Territory. In a 60x10.9foot building, Lewis operated a full bar in the front with games of chance in the rear, which he called his Monte Carlo. Fusses with the law brought permission to continue from judges in the area until a federal land survey could be conducted.
Lewis claimed the area as his own sovereign state and gambler’s paradise, contrary to Deputy Marshal
Fred Keeler who shut the joint down, only to find it reopened shortly thereafter
As word of pending statehood spread throughout Indian Territory, Ernest knew his little gambling kingdom was in jeopardy; therefore, out of frustration and determination, he established the Blue Front Livery Barn and Uno Joint at the northwest corner of Keeler Avenue and Third Street (now Frank Phillips Blvd.) where he offered a full-service bar of bootlegged liquid refreshment.
Statehood morning, territorial law enforcement shifted to county control; John McCallister became one of only three state coroners; and prohibition took effect as mandated in the state constitution. In a barrage of political speeches celebrating the marriage of Oklahoma and Indian Territories, Oklahoma became the 46th state to enter the Union on November 16, 1907 with a drought….an alcohol drought that is.
Lewis liked to dance outside the lines the law drew in the
Locally made and sold, Uno was a bootlegged “near beer” containing less than two-percent alcohol.
sand...and for the most part he got away with his unlawful deeds. Deputies Keeler and Williams had eaten enough of Lewis’ crow and they took their fight to Third Street. Lewis had been warned to cease alcohol sales by noon on November 16th, a warning Lewis scoffed at and as darkness fell, Lewis was still in business. Fred Keeler and George Williams thought it was high time to put Ernest Lewis in his place…the jail or a grave.
Third Street was a hub of celebratory activities that fateful day. John McCallister was sworn in as the County Coroner at 3:30 and that evening all hades broke loose at the Lewis Uno Joint requiring McCallister’s attention.
Revelers at the Piazza Hotel, directly across from Lewis’ enterprising corner, were eyewitnesses to a lot more than fireworks that evening, it was a blaze of gunfire. Bullets were flying…witness Jack Davis of Dewey received a bullet in the hand and another man’s hat was pierced by a bullet as patrons fled from the scene to watch from the safety of the Piazza Hotel. When the smoke cleared the tavern, George Williams and Ernest Lewis had fallen dead in the sawdust covered floor. Fred Keeler survived.
In 1907, Second Street was the location of home furnishings, ladies of the night and undertakers. The bodies were carried to McCallister’s office in the rear of the Indian Territory Furniture Company at 120 East Second Street (currently Bartlesville Print Shop). As the coroner’s inquest began, the door burst open and a seething Julia Lewis entered the room pointing her dead husband’s .45-caliber pistol in McCallister’s stomach, screaming she was there to kill Fred Keeler. McCallister thought he would be killed first. The severely scorned Julia was disarmed and sent home, but her wrath was far from over.
Some say the truth hurts and that was a true fact for Jess Leach, editor of Bartlesville’s Daily Enterprise.
Leach placed an article in the newspaper describing Ernest Lewis as an outlaw, bully and coward. Julia was enraged! She flew into town and waited for Leach to exit the newspaper office for lunch at which time she lashed at him with blacksnake whip all the way down the street to the Right Way Hotel in front of a laughing stock of onlookers.
Julia buried her husband in the White Rose Cemetery with a stone that read, “Murdered by Fred Keeler.” After negotiations with the Keeler family, the stone was changed to read “Killed by Fred Keeler.” Because Fred Keeler was not a law enforcement officer at the time of the shooting, he was tried as a private citizen, but acquitted under a self-defense plea. This did not please Julia either.
To shed the city of the scornful scene, Lewis’ buildings, once occupying the northwest corner of Keeler Avenue between Second and Third Streets, were removed beginning February 2, 1909. Then, March 30th, the Santa Fe Railroad acquired the property title and built the Union Station. In later days, Phillips Petroleum Company placed a cottage style gasoline service station at the northwest corner of Third Street and Keeler Avenue.
Julia’s first love, Emmett Dalton, was released from prison August 31, 1908 and he returned to Bartlesville. The couple rode their horses to the Presbyterian Church where they were wed and then lived at 421 Cheyenne. By 1916, the Dalton’s had settled in Tulsa briefly, then to California where Emmett was a realestate agent and wrote a book, “When the Dalton’s Rode.” He died in 1937 and was buried at Kingfisher, OK. Julia married again briefly but died six-years later and is buried at Dewey.
Did You Know?
Julia Ann Johnson wore a hatful of last names. She was married to Albert Whiteturkey, Robert Gilstrap, Ernest Lewis, Emmett Dalton and finally John Robert Johnson… making her name Julia Johnson Whiteturkey Gilstrap Lewis Dalton Johnson.
Now You Know *
Located in the heart of Downtown Bartlesville
Located in the heart of Downtown Bartlesville
100 SW Frank Phillips Blvd
100 SW Frank Phillips Blvd
Reserve your spot at the top (918)440-6773
Reserve your spot at the top (918)440-6773 JOHNSTONE-SARE
Winnie Guess Perdue
A Look at Sequoyah’s Great Great Great Great Granddaughterby
Kay Little, Little History Adventures
Winnie Guess Perdue is the great great great great granddaughter of the Cherokee visionary, Sequoyah, who invented the Cherokee alphabet, after noticing the white people’s ability to communicate through writing. Winnie says of her ancestor, “He was a passionate man and always wanted to learn more. He was enthusiastic about what could happen with the language.”
Many in the tribe were reluctant of Sequoyah’s alphabet at first because the people passed down their history through oral stories. They did not want to lose the uniqueness of that. They eventually realized what a good thing Sequoyah did for their tribe and published the Cherokee Advocate newspaper and printed books to help their tribe obtain a very high literacy rate. This writing system was very important in preserving the Cherokee history, culture and spiritual beliefs. No telling where the Cherokee would be without this great man.
While the people of Oklahoma Territory were working towards establishing the state of Oklahoma, the Five Civilized Tribes were working towards a state of their own, naming it Sequoyah. Unfortunately, politics got in the way. We became the one state of Oklahoma on November 16, 1907. Oklahoma historian, Bob Blackburn said, “The Sequoyah Convention was the voice of the Indians and their desire to have their own state to serve the needs of their own people.”
Fast forward to Winnie Guess Perdue. Winnie is also a fascinating Cherokee elder. She did not allow people to tell her she wasn’t able to do something just because she was a girl or an Indian. She was an accomplished ballerina by the age of twelve and went on to perform Indian dances that girls usually did not do. Winnie mastered the Hoop and Eagle dances. She broke many barriers as one of the first female fancy dancers on the nationwide Powwow circuit, becoming very prominent among the Cherokee. One of the things she is known for is being named one of five Cherokee women who changed the world.
Winnie is now in her 80s and still going strong. She has appeared in several shows and will be in the upcoming film, “Killers of the Flower Moon”, which will be released later this year. She continues to lecture and perform, passing her legacy
to her daughters and granddaughters. She believes women can be warriors.
Like her ancestor, Sequoyah, Winnie wants to preserve history, specifically Native American. She says she enjoys sharing her colorful, unique history and having an impact on the community. I was blessed to see her perform and hear her stories twice at the Bartlesville Area History Museum. She is very proud of her Cherokee heritage and of being a descendant of Sequoyah. I think he would be very proud of what she has accomplished and continues to accomplish.
Singing in the Storms
Be Thankful, Even in the Face of Adversityby James Biesiadecki, Senior Pastor,
A year and a half ago, I was expressing overwhelming thankfulness after the healing of our 20-year-old son, Chandler. God was merciful, and Grace conquered his cancer. After months of treatment and thousands of prayers, the “all clear” was medicine for our souls, and we couldn’t compare our gratitude to any other experience in life thus far.
First Baptist Church
As is often the case, one crisis may be only a trial run for the next. This time, it was my baby girl (at 20 years old - still my baby girl). Carly had been sick with what we thought was COVID, but her fever lingered on. Days turned into a month, and we had to see if the infection progressed to pneumonia. Our doctor and dear friend made a special house call to give the results of her visit. The X-ray revealed clear lungs but also uncovered a mass that was the diameter of a softball. Unlike my son’s cancer, hers was between her lungs and against her heart. The constricting of her esophagus was the cough, and the lingering fever was only a taste of what the coming months would hold.
Thankfulness can be a natural reaction to good things, but thankfulness is neither intuitive nor immediately sensible in the face of such adversity. At least for me, thankfulness comes easily in moments of blessing. On the other hand, anger, depression, or paralysis have often been my knee-jerk reactions to moments of pain. God’s expectation for us to be thankful is only provided by divine revelation and requires divine strength to counter that. Paul said, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV). The command comes in the serene moments BEFORE the clouds come in so we can prepare for the storm.
We found ourselves uprooted from our normal support networks, spending five months at St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. On one of the first days, I sat outside the hospital between Carly’s appointments and watched a mother help her daughter off the bus. The poor girl looked like a photograph of those behind the barbed wire at Auschwitz. The clothes draped on her body may have been the slimmest size she could buy, and they still looked three sizes too big for her skin-and-bones frame. She trembled with every determined step. As a father, it was the first time my breath was literally taken from me as I grieved for what was ahead for Carly. I genuinely sensed the force of Martin Luther’s words:
“For still our ancient foe does seek to work us woe; his craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.”
Martin Luther himself was not unaccustomed to grief, with the death of a 1-year-old daughter (Elizabeth) to the plague and a 14-year-old daughter (Magdalene) to an unknown illness; his journals reveal crippling grief. In writing a friend, he said, “It is amazing what a sick heart she has left to me, so much grief for her overcomes me. Never before would I have believed that a father’s heart could have such tender feelings for his child. Do pray to the Lord for me.” Yet through his grieved heart, he had a predetermined hope. When he says, “when the world with devils filled that seeks to undo us,” he speaks from personal pain. Yet, he was able to face it with this encouraging reality:
“Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing, were not the right man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing.
You ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He!”
Luther knew what we must understand in those moments: with a single word, Christ can take down Satan’s schemes or provide strength and stability to withstand it, and yes, even despite circumstances--we can be thankful and joyful.
As a parent, nothing can be more devastating than seeing your child battle a life-threatening illness like cancer. It’s a journey filled with fear, uncertainty, and despair. However, it has only been in the storms that I have learned to sing “A Mighty Fortress is our God” with fuller understanding. Not only that, but I am also happy to report that Carly’s treatment took that tumor from its massive size to being undetectable today. She is gaining weight, her hair is coming back, and she is gaining strength every day.
I don’t know when the next storm will come, how intense it will be, or what it will entail - I only pray that I will remember to find my strength, joy, and gratitude in the presence of Christ. When it comes, it won’t matter the size of the storm as much as who is in the boat with me - and Christ will be with me!
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold”
- Psalm 18:2
14 Flags of Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s Different State Flags Over the Yearsby Kay Little,
Little History Adventures
Flags are generally used to identify something about you. The colors and designs are very symbolic of who they represent. So, it is important to research the meaning and history of a flag. Oklahoma has had 14 different flags fly over some part of the state through the years.
In 1541, Spanish explorer, Coronado, came through the western part of what is now Oklahoma, looking for Quivira, the fabled city of gold. He planted the standard of Spain and left a stone marked “Coronado 1541”.
In 1663, the Great Union of Great Britain flag flew over most of what is now Oklahoma because King Charles II gave a wide strip of country between Atlantic and Pacific to his friends. It was known as Carolina.
Bernard de la Harpe brought the Royal Standard of France here in 1719, though LaSalle claimed all the country drained by the Mississippi River in the name of the French King.
In 1763, France gave all the country west of the Mississippi to Spain with the Treaty of Paris. The updated Standard of Spain flew.
In 1800, Napoleon reclaimed a portion of Louisiana for France by signing a secret treaty with Spain, so the Standard of the French Republic was the 5th flag.
The 1803 Louisiana Purchase, in which President Jefferson purchased all of Louisiana Territory from
Napoleon, was the reason the U.S. flag flew here. This flag held 15 stars and 15 stripes because at the time, every time a state was added to the Union, a new star and strip were added.
In 1819, we were in what was known as the Arkansas Territory and the U.S. flag had 20 stars. By this time, the law was changed so only 13 stripes, representing the original 13 colonies, are on the flag, with a new star added every time a new state was added to the Union.
From 1821-1836, the flag of Mexico flew over the panhandle, but in 1836, the Republic of Texas won independence from Mexico, so our Panhandle was part of Texas.
Texas designed the “Lone Star Flag” in 1839. In 1850, Texas gave up the Panhandle because there could be no new slave state that far north. For several years, the Panhandle was not possessed by any state or territory and was known as “No Man’s Land”.
Of the Five Civilized Tribes, the Choctaw was the only one with a flag for many years. They carried it during the Civil War, 1861-1865.
Even though most of the five tribes wanted to remain neutral, they were forced to take sides. Most of them chose the Confederacy. After all, the Union government represented the people who forced the tribes to leave their homes to move here.
Oklahoma became the 46th state in 1907. The first state flag was red with a 5-pointed white star bordered with blue and the figure 46 in blue, at the center.
Soon, people in the state became concerned that our red flag looked too communist, so plans were made to make a new one. In 1925, a new flag was adopted. In 1941, the Oklahoma was added, honoring the different groups of Native Americans living in Oklahoma.
You can see a display of all 14 flags at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City.
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Many of you regular readers of my column know that I am married to a famous singer-songwriter. The challenges of being a trophy husband to a celebrity wife notwithstanding, Ann-Janette’s talents have provided us with a lot of unique experiences. They’ve taken us from Chicago to Florida, from side stages to main stages, and on and on.
Recently it seems like large fundraising events have been calling the most. This month her jazz combo will play at the COX center in Tulsa for a large gala event. It’s the second year in a row for the invitation. I will, of course, revive my role as the doting husband and on-call roadie, who also samples all the available gourmet food treats and frequents the cash bar. It’s difficult work
That was my primary function last month when the generous people at the Brown Mansion in SE Kansas called about a wine pairing fundraiser with Silver Oaks Winery out of CA. The celebrity chef for the event happened to be my cousin, Brian Fisher (from Austin). He wowed the visitors from Napa Valley and Verdigris Valley alike.
The night was pretty perfect. Good wine, great food, lots of laughter, and music that was perfect for the setting. It was all so good, they wouldn’t let us leave. Ann-Janette ended up playing a full hour later than she was scheduled. It’s nice to be wanted.
All of that gave me extra time to explore the house with its six bedrooms and third-floor-house wide ballroom with intricate
hand-painted ceilings. The home is haloed with a wrap-around concrete porch that looks out on former fountains and manicured landscapes. And then there were all the roped-off areas.
Nothing says “then and now” quite like a red velvet rope. Over there is preserved history which you are viewing from over here on a guided tour in the present. It’s such an odd concept isn’t it, that someone’s home could become a museum.
Of course here in the Ville, we have the Phillips home as well as the lodge at Woolaroc, both having once belonged to the family of Frank and Jane Phillips. I’ve had the privilege of being on both sides of the velvet ropes at these homes-turnedattractions. Occasionally, events will be hosted at either venue and for a moment it feels like a house again. It’s as if the very building itself has been revived and come back to life with the fresh pulsing of human activity. The vacuum that settles on an empty house is lifted, and it seems to be flush with relief to be needed and active again.
Many times in homes like this they try to stage some appearance of daily life for the former residents behind the ropes. They carefully lay out a breakfast tray on the bed alongside a pair of reading glasses and an open book of poetry. In the children’s rooms, the stuffed animals will be precisely arranged just so, and maybe some clothing of the day will be laid out on the bed. It’s all done in the hopes of displaying a day in the life of these people as if they had been suddenly swooped up and the house is just as they would have left it.
This is his vast collection of ‘readers’ which he had stashed throughout the house and his vehicles. Just look at all the different styles. If you look in the refrigerator you’ll notice a half dozen bottles of mostly empty condiments. We still aren’t sure why he was saving them. In the bathroom, you’ll notice an assortment of creams and ointments and a tube of toothpaste rolled up and squeezed as if to get the very last remnants out. Why do you suppose he couldn’t just remember to buy a new one? We’ve left the clothes on the floor. Apparently, Mr. Webster only wore the color black and was a huge conservationist who didn’t want to do laundry until it was absolutely necessary.”
And then on the final tour of the day, just before the attraction that used to be your house closes, your neighbors would sneak over for a peak. They were always a little curious about the upstairs in your house and the one room that seemed to be shielded from the outside world. There are the hedge trimmers you borrowed, now forever sealed behind a plexiglass display in the garage. Your utility bills are on display on the dining room table revealing you valued your hydrangeas over water conservation during a drought. Was your bathtub always that dirty? “I don’t know why the aliens picked him, he couldn’t even get his trash can back from the curb on a weekly basis. At least his house is still lit for Christmas. That’ll save the family some time.”
Nothing says “then and now” quite like a red velvet rope. Over there is preserved history which you are viewing from over here on a guided tour in the present. It’s such an odd concept isn’t it, that someone’s home could become a museum.
Try and imagine if you were suddenly abducted by aliens in full view of the rest of the world. You were chosen because of your superior intellect, exceptional empathy, and unique insights into the human condition. You would be an instant celebrity as the ambassador for all humankind. And then imagine, in your absence, your family rushes to your home and cordons off every room with velvet ropes, hoping to reveal the living habits of the genius that is you. Your home is now an attraction on the Frank and Jane scale.
What would people see?
Hopefully, your family loves you enough to put the dishes in the sink into the dishwasher and maybe mop the floor. What else? Would the artful display of the five remotes it takes for your entertainment viewing say something insightful? What does your bedroom look like? Is the bed made? Are your shoes out? What’s on your nightstand? What about all the hygiene products left out in the bathroom … what do they reveal about the Alien’s first choice for the study of all humans?
If you were a paid visitor to your home, what would you see? What does the tour guide say? “And here they drank coffee made from tiny little futuristic pods in what they called a Keurig. Often in the mornings, they would sit staring outside, contemplating their life choices while drinking straight caffeine, wearing the very robe you see discarded carelessly on the floor here.”
If someone walked through my house, what would they discover about me? “Here’s a man who almost finished many, many house projects. He was celebrated by extraterrestrials and yet he couldn’t begin to get through the books on his nightstand.
This is starting to feel like something I need to add to my last will and testament, right beside the “do not resuscitate” and give my body to science (as long as I can still wear underwear). “In case of alien abduction, I consent to open my house as an attraction only after my friend Marty goes through it and removes anything potentially embarrassing or defaming. Marty, please just empty the medicine cabinet blindly into the trash. Also, clear my Netflix account. I mean, I mostly just watched religious programming and documentaries, but those don’t seem to be listed on my viewing history…”
What a weird tangent I took us down this month. But that’s what it’s like to be married to a celebrity. We “gifted” can afford to think of such oddities. Now you’re thinking about them too. You’re welcome.
Until next month, cheers my friends.
Mark Ebertby Randy Standridge
My first memory of Mark Ebert was in elementary school when I started wrestling at the YMCA. His dad, Derry Ebert, was the coach and there has probably never been a better YMCA coach than him. Derry was a Marine in WWII and he actually helped Coach Holbrook at College High in 1962 to start the wrestling program for the high school that year. It just so happened that Mark was a year younger than me but at about the same weight. We quickly became wrestling partners and spent a lot of time on the mat together working on the moves that his dad was teaching us and other wrestlers in that downstairs wrestling room at the old YMCA where there is now a parking lot across from Truity today.
In junior high and high school we continued as wrestling partners for most of those years as we were still close in weight. After high school in 1973 I joined the Army and then went to OSU at Stillwater in January 1977. Mark completed high school in 1974 and here is his story:
I went to Oklahoma State after graduation in 1974 after my years at Hoover Elementary, Madison Jr. High, and Sooner High School. My roommates were Ken Unfer and Steve Myerdirk my freshman year. I didn’t take much time for extracurricular activities in college. Pre-med is like that. I spent my college summers back home. I worked 2 summers for Ken Dunlap Construction and one summer as an orderly at Jane Phillips Memorial Hospital.
I married my high school sweetheart, Renee Cooper, also from Bartlesville, in 1976. Her family owned and operated CooperHerrington Furniture & Lazy H Western store in Bartlesville. The furniture store was in business for 84 years and just closed at the end of 2021! I bought bell bottom Levis and Dingo boots at Lazy H way back then! We started dating after a youth church trip to Falls Creek, that friends had invited me to attend before my senior year.
It was a leap of faith for Renee to sign on with me. Neither of us knew what the challenges of the training process and career in medicine would be like. I really had no “plan B”. We both attended Oklahoma State. Our first home of 800 square feet in Stillwater has now been replaced with a section of left field at OSU’s new baseball field!
We had our first child, Jason, during my 4th year of medical school in 1981 and second child Rachel my 3rd of year of residency in 1984, both at the pink palace: St. Francis. Justin was born in Stillwater in 1989.
We moved back to Stillwater after the medical training marathon was finally completed in June of 1985 and we remain there today. During all of that, I managed to check off a goal of
becoming a pilot and got my private pilot license and instrument rating. We took many trips through the years in Pipers and Beechcrafts. Jason was just 4 months old when I received my wings and is now a captain for United Airlines.
The home we moved to in Stillwater was designed by my dad, Derry Ebert who was an architect in Bartlesville for close to 50 years. My brother Mike who graduated from College High in 1964 was our builder. He also helped build our medical building.
I purchased an existing practice joining a partner at Stillwater Women’s Clinic in 1985 while serving on staff at Stillwater Medical Center. That same year, Tom Karns who was married to Marcia Blevins, also a Bartian and Sooner High alum, joined us in our practice. We had been one year apart in training. We became lifelong friends and practiced together for over 30 years and still wander down to Honduras for a week each year to do gynecological surgery with a mission team. For a short time, I worked at Jane Phillips in Bartlesville , first in the ER during residency, later helping a friend David Rumph cover his OB practice. It was surreal to deliver babies in the hospital where I was born!
I made a late career shift for my last 5 years of practice commuting and managing high risk pregnancies as an OB/GYN Hospitalist at Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City until retirement in 2020.
Renee did the exhausting task of doing the majority of raising our kids. She has been a great mom. She amazingly found time to open an outstanding inspirational Christian gift and book store she named Heavensent in Stillwater in the 90’s.
We have spent a great deal of special family time at Grand Lake thanks to the use of Renee’s family property there.
We have been blessed beyond measure with loving family, amazing and great children and grandchildren and great friends. Renee’s mom Barbara is still with us at 89 and moved to Stillwater in 2022. God has been beyond good to us. We have enjoyed travel and adventure. We have hiked to mountain tops and seen stunning underwater views while scuba diving. We’ve skied on water and snow. I still play golf and love hiking. We have been witness to the miracle of new life and had our share of mourning at the other end. My career was blessed with countless heights of joy of new life sprinkled with some of the lowest of lows with those who lost a child. I witnessed the dead come back to life. We have witnessed many true miracles and been lifted to amazing heights by our precious Lord and Savior.
Let me end Mark’s story with another interesting fact. In 2001, our middle daughter, Lauren Vysotsky, was going to school at OSU in Stillwater with her husband Igor Vysotsky. She was pregnant, having our first grandson, Ethyn, and her doctor was Dr. Mark Ebert. When Lauren told me who her doctor was, she said he told her to tell “Chicken Wing” hi. This was a reference to what he use to call me in high school as I used that wrestling hold on him in almost every practice. I had forgotten, but apparently he hadn’t. He also delivered Lauren’s second son, Trystan, two years later. It’s a small world sometimes.
The Rogue Lensby Maria Gus
The Price Tower will hold a one-of-a-kind exhibition featuring local artists beginning May 12. “The Rogue Lens” will feature the photography of Andy Dossett, capturing artists at work, alongside their completed project.
For Dossett, this will be the first full gallery exhibition for the award winning photographer.
Dossett hopes to tell a story with this exhibition and focus on the collaboration needed to put together the show. “I want to tell stories, not just wow people with a photo,” said Dossett, “I really hope this gallery brings attention to the local artists that are featured in the work. They do amazing stuff, and they should have time to shine.”
Guests will have the opportunity to not only see the work of several artists, but also see Dossett’s photographs of their creative process.
“I have always loved shows where artists collaborate,” said Deshane Williams, curator of the Price Tower. “We are thrilled to share Andy’s beautiful photography style and the featured artists, all with different disciplines. Through Andy’s images the viewer can see the process of creating to completed work.”
Dossett started getting serious about photography in May of 2020. He downloaded Instagram and told himself he would post one photo a day until the end of the year. “So every day, I told myself I needed one good photo,” added Dossett. “I think I only missed about ten days that year. During that time, I got involved in working for (the Examiner-Enterprise) and took photos of everything I could, and some of my favorite photos were from that first year.”
Dossett says that capturing a moment with just the right timing and in just the right moment is one of his favorite things about a still image.
“When you can see the photographer’s vision in a photo and how they are able to capture something no one else could, that is a powerful thing,” said Dossett.
“I think a single frame has the ability to simplify complex moments and really focus the mind, which allows the imagination to fill in the blanks.”
Guests will be able to see the work of artists like Jon Lindblom, Erich Minton, Kyle Travis, and Whitney Virden, among others. The show will be as diverse as the artists themselves.
“We’d like to invite everyone in the community to the opening reception on May 12th from 5:30 to 7pm,” said Williams. Those interested are encouraged contact the Tower to RSVP.
The Price Tower Plaza will be open that evening as well. Guests are encouraged to visit the exhibition and stay to spend time enjoying the spring air on the Plaza.
Dossett is active in the community through his writing and photography with the newspaper, work with local nonprofit The Rock, filmmaking, and spending time with his family. He says his family and dedication to achieving his goals is what keeps him motivated.
For more information on “The Rogue Lens” or the Price Tower, go to www.pricetower.org or call (918) 336-4949.
Tri County Tech and Downtown Kiwanis Club are proud to name the April Students of the Month. Our students of the month are chosen based on their character, leadership, and contribution to our community.
We are proud of their performance as students, role models, and future professionals.
Gold in His Pocket
Remembering Jesse Renick and the 66ersby Brent Taylor
My future is behind me now, but I remember the days when my future was in front of me. At the age of seven, I leaned a cardboard sign against the garage with the hand scrawled letters, “Basketball game here tonight 6:00 pm” My buddies and I anticipated drawing an enthusiastic crowd to our driveway, perhaps even a college scout. I shot hoops on that driveway, pretending to be Oscar Roberston. Ambition is often wasted on the young who dream wild dreams and chase shining moments. I grew up wanting to be a sports hero, not really a famous one, but a rather modest one, who beat you on the court and then respectfully shook your hand saying, “Nice game, well played.” Today’s many-channeled heroes are often flawed by overexposure, given to unabated transparency and social connectedness. Back in the day, catching a fleeting glimpse of anybody famous was a rare event. My heroes were seldom seen, more often heard and imagined through radio voices like Curt Gowdy and Jack Buck. However, I’ll always remember the quiet yet remarkable athlete who lived across the street from me. He was a 6’2” guard who played for Marietta High School, a member of the Chickasaw tribe who went on to play for Coach Henry Iba at Oklahoma A&M, attaining AllAmerican status in 1939 & 1940, later becoming the captain of the 1948 USA Olympic basketball team. But before those Olympic games were played, there was a tournament to select the USA team. The finals of the Olympic Trials came down to the Kentucky Wildcats and the Phillips 66ers. Louis Effrat called it the greatest game of all time in his March 31, 1948 article in the New York Times:
A.A.U. Squad Defeats Cats in Olympic Trials Final
NEW YORK, March 31, 1948 -- As the fourteenth season of college basketball at Madison Square Garden ended last night, and 18,475 fans filed out of the arena, the buzzing was not about the 53-49 victory of the Phillips 66ers over the University of Kentucky. It did not concern individual exploits, nor did it speculate about the personnel that will emerge from the Olympic Trials to wear our colors at London next summer.
“Greatest game of all time!” These five words that cover a lot of years and a lot of thrills were heard all over the Garden,
undisputed by anyone. For this finale, pitting the best of the A.A.U. and collegiate quintets, was, indeed, more than an exciting, tense, spectacular contest, in which fortunes rose, sagged and rose again. It was basketball at its very best -- sharp, smart, daringly aggressive.
At the 1948 London Olympics, the USA team brought home the gold medal led by the Phillips 66er starting five and the Kentucky Wildcat starting five. My neighbor, Jesse “Cab” Renick, was a catalyst and captain for that Olympic team. They carried him off the court after that gold medal game in the 1948 Olympic Games. Or perhaps they didn’t want to risk trying to hoist the seven-footer, Bob Kurland. Mr. Renick was the second Native American, after Jim Thorpe, to win an Olympic Gold Medal. The 66ers team he played on was so successful that they built the Adams gymnasium in 1948 to accommodate and showcase the team, which won the AAU national championship six years in a row from 1943-1948.
Interestingly, Adolph Rupp, the legendary Kentucky Wildcat basketball coach, had a group of five players that included Ralph Beard and Alex Groza. Collectively, Rupp called his starting five the Fabulous Five, and after the 1949 season, Kentucky retired all five of their jerseys. Fabulous they may have been, but they couldn’t beat the Phillips 66ers starting five. The legendary Adolph Rupp was relegated to assistant coach for the 1948 Olympic team which was led by the head coach of the Phillips 66er team, Bud Browning.
Thirty years after the London Olympics, my dad invited Mr. Renick over for dinner. They both had worked at a Phillips 66 filling station once upon a time. While I was eating a slab of mom’s chicken fried steak and listening to old gas station stories about Boots Adams, the conversation paused, and Mr. Renick pulled something out of his pocket. It was a 1948 Olympic basketball gold medal. It was a remarkable moment for a Bartlesville kid to see a gold medal from what was perhaps the pinnacle moment of the Phillips 66ers and Mr. Renick’s career in basketball.
Big Dreams Happen Hereby Lori Kroh
I have a dream of creating a wooden stand and setting it up at Unity Square and seeing what would happen. It’s a wooden stand and it’s white with gold tin stars surrounding it. I will make a sign that will read: Big Dreams Happen Here. I will charge $1.00 and if after you tell me your dreams and you don’t feel inspired, then you are entitled to a full refund.
Why on earth would I offer a refund for your dreams?
I believe so much in the gift of inspiring yourself that I am willing to risk the $1.00 to prove to you that your dreams are there for a reason. You just needed to let yourself hear it.
Let me encourage you that if you inspire yourself long enough, it can inspire others.
Did you know the act of speaking words about yourself and what you envision benefits you the most? You are always listening to yourself, so don’t let your words drag you down or stop you from doing what you truly want to do in life. You really should not give up on yourself.
Many times we have been taught to keep it to ourselves, don’t brag or cause a commotion. Keep your head down and work. We are taught to not take too many risks and play it safe.
I came here to set up my dream stand and to raise the flag, fly a kite, and plant the pinwheels so that you can inspire others when you inspire yourself.
I know there are those who have a dream in their heart and yet, they possibly feel stuck and perhaps don’t know what the next steps are to take.
Recently, I got to share some genuine thoughts with a few entrepreneurs and what I found out was as I was speaking to them, I was speaking to myself.
Here’s a few of my notes I found in my notebook.
One. Hang out with treasure hunters because they know. Just like an oyster had an irritant, it was a pain to that oyster…it dealt with the granule of sand and adapted and that produced a pearl. Someone has to crack it open to receive the treasure. The path to achieving your dreams will involve some pain and adaptation however, stay with it because there is a pearl to produce. Be very mindful of the ones who are around long enough to get to know you and treasure them for what they believe for you. They obviously see something in you of value and great worth.
You absolutely can share your dreams with those you feel could benefit. There is a myth out there about being careful who you talk to about your dreams as if they’re dream stealers.
I truly think you will have an instinct and deep connection with those who also could benefit. All of sudden a conversation will happen and then perhaps lead to a meeting and it will be divine. Yes, divine! I don’t believe in coincidences, I believe in divine destiny. The one you share your dreams with can also be the very person needed to help you get to the next step. You will know when the time is right to open up and share. Let your treasure be found.
Two. Write down your biggest dreams for your life. As much as you can think and as far as you can purposely see. Write it down. Stare at it. Let it sit in your soul for more than a moment. Not only does the act of writing take time, it is also a scientific truth that if you write something down, it stays with you longer. You want the art of writing your dreams to be etched upon your heart. You can use a pencil with an eraser if that helps you because often the dream can pivot or grow or change with you. It is a mirror of what you want to magnify in your life. You can also use a pen and this means you are so convinced that this is your calling and your path that there is no turning back now. You wrote it in ink and as it dried in place so you were set in your mind. You know that you know and you just have to trust the timing.
Three. Be open to the new place and the new time. You never know how someone who knows you can know someone who has the answer for you. Whether it be a building, a complete connection of processes or even financial backing… there is someone who has something to give. Don’t deny them the ability to give what they want to you. Many times we look back and can see how we helped someone that one time and we will know we were at the right place at the right time. Be open to the new place and the new time. It is there waiting for you. The dreams you have in your heart are not just for you. It will include others and that makes the path so much sweeter. No matter what you hold in your heart…whether it is for you, your family or this city…people watch and see the growth and the depth and we all benefit when someone’s biggest dreams come true. Four. Inspire to Inspire. When you do the work to inspire yourself daily as to what you want to do with your life and dreams…it allows you to walk around on a different ground. You have a radiance about you that draws others to you and it inspires them. Your smile makes more smiles. Good words create more good words. Hope brings about more hope. An inspired person inspires people and don’t forget to treasure those who treasure you.
Be looking for the sign: Big Dreams Happen Here. Free pinwheel with purchase!
Pawhuska Business Has a Story Behind the Nameby Kelly Hurd
There’s a new F-word on the lips of Pawhuskans these days! This F-word has a story behind it though, that just might surprise you.
Now, businesses usually begin with a business plan, but the newest business in Pawhuska was birthed from the heart of the brother-sister team of Tim and Chandra Hough almost 13 years ago and they’ve intentionally put a little twist on its name.
It wasn’t due to Pawhuska’s position in the state as a top tourism destination, but it makes sense to have it here all the same, considering that fact when you do the math on the foot traffic of tourists daily coming to experience The Pioneer Woman Mercantile. However, this venture started with an encounter and a seed.
Back in 2010, Tim Hough and wife, Jenni, received a word of encouragement in a small church service in Perry, Oklahoma pertaining to entrepreneurship. Tim felt like the word had something to do with having a coffee shop, but this dream would be met with a storm on the horizon.
In 2015 Tim was diagnosed with Multiple-Myeloma, a form of blood cancer. Faced with a dream-stealing, hope-crippling disease many would be tempted to throw in the towel before the battle. Tim however, boldly declared to his physician, “My God will have this in remission in two months.”
Two months later, to the doctor’s surprise, Tim was indeed in remission. And, following the weathering of the COVID pandemic, Tim and his sister, Chandra Hough felt like the time was right to step out in faith and launch a coffee shop in Pawhuska.
Frikn Coffee on Main Street is located just east of the Tim Hough State Farm office. You can enjoy the ease of a Frikn drive-thru window, or enjoy their Frikn indoor and outdoor seating. Bring your laptop and even get a little work done while you’re there with complimentary Frikn free wi-fi. And their Frikn wait staff will greet you with a genuine smile!
In addition to gourmet coffee, Frikn Coffee also has Frikn breakfast burritos, Frikn quiche, Frikn pastries and a grab-and-go selection of healthy options such as fruits and veggies with salads and sandwiches coming soon.
Co- owner Chandra Hough said, “We want folks to know this is a safe place to just come and be. This is a place that has been prayed over and a place of peace.”
When asked about the story behind the Frikn name, Hough said, “The 7 in the F represents perfection and completeness of Christ and the line that makes that seven an F represents the blood of Christ.” She went on to say the name points to the love of Jesus over our own Frikn lives. Well, who would have Frikn imagined that? Talk about making a statement!
From blood cancer to overcoming by the blood of the Lamb, Tim Hough and sister, Chandra, are passionate about their project.
“We love coffee, and we love people,” Chandra shared during our visit. She added, Frikn Coffee isn’t about reaching the Church, it’s about reaching the un-churched.
Just imagine, coffee, pastries, and peace over the Frikn mess life can sometimes bring – it’s all on the menu and in the atmosphere at Frikn Coffee in Pawhuska. Consider yourself Frikn invited to check them out!
Thanks for going “On the Road” with me this month!
Lessons from Betty Turk
Remembering a Friend Who Taught Lifelong Lessonsby
Rita Thurman Barnes
When I lay my head upon my pillow at night, I don’t fall straight asleep. I either start singing a favorite old song to myself or I see an old familiar face that I still hold dear today. Many of you will remember that I’ve written a ton of stories in the last 25 years about various people who have impacted me over the course of my life. They were about family, friends, neighbors, classmates, famous people I’ve been lucky enough to interview and one of my favorite groups – teachers.
One of my favorite stories I’ve written was about a relative I never even met – my uncle George Thurman. I felt as though I knew him because my father would tell me about him. He died young and was engaged to be married. I’ve written about many of my classmates who died too early as well. Other stories were about neighbors who came to be like family and people like Patti Page, Dorothy Glynn Adams, Ray Price, and Larry Hagman who starred on the hit TV show called Dallas. But, more often than not, before I start counting sheep a teacher from my past will come to mind. Most recently it was Betty Dawson Turk who taught English Literature at College High School which I attended.
Mrs. Turk wasn’t my English Lit teacher, however. Some of you know that one of my favorite teachers was Della Craighead who also taught English Lit at Col-Hi. Della was like a mother to me till the day she died just a few years ago. Betty Turk was a member of the same church as my husband and I and for a time the Sunday School class we attended was the same class Betty attended. I was blessed to be seated next to her and we were always chatting before, during and after class. And it was through these conversations that I learned you don’t have to be enrolled in a class in school to learn lessons you’ll carry with you forever.
I admired Betty from hearing my classmates talk about her and who could ever forget that smiling face others like me saw as we passed her classroom door. I’ll always be grateful for the time I spent under her tutelage at that First Christian Sunday School class and I’m so happy I was lucky to know two of the best teachers to ever teacher literature anywhere. I came to love the written word due to Della Craighead who helped me appreciate Shakespeare, Wordsworth and others. But I learned a lot about life from them many years after they retired from teaching public school. Once a teacher – always a teacher is something I learned from Betty and Della and Jack Grace and Dale Smith and Ann Cleary who taught me in 7th grade at Central Junior High. We were only a few years apart in age
because Ann, who was so brilliant, graduated college at such a young age.
I’m lucky enough to have two of my very favorite teachers with me, Ann Cleary and Dale Smith and at age 76 I can still pick the phone up and talk to them about the subjects they taught but more importantly about what they’re still learning from life and how wonderfully and freely they continue to share their knowledge and love of life with everyone around them.
I’ll wager these teachers I’ve mentioned today would all approve of these well-known words, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Composed by every child’s favorite teacher, Dr. Seuss.
Thank you, Betty. I still miss you.
Banking On Innovation
Stride Bank Embraces Change and Innovation
Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “When you are finished changing, you are finished.” With that in mind, it is obvious the good folks at Stride Bank are not finished changing, even after 110 years.
From humble beginnings in 1913, the Enid-based bank has grown rapidly in recent years. It currently holds 2.7 billion in assets, employs over 300 people, and has branches in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Blackwell, Woodward, Moreland, and at 1415 SE Washington Blvd. in Bartlesville. There is also a Stride Bank branch in Salt Lake City, Utah.
A long-time innovator, Stride Bank offers a full range of financial services such as consumer and commercial banking, mortgage, wealth management, and treasury management.
R.S. “Brud” Baker has been with Stride Bank (formerly Central National Bank and Trust Company of Enid) since 1969. Currently serving as chairman and CEO, Baker has seen and experienced a lot of change over the last 54 years, but he has always been one to embrace it.
“Change is inevitable,” he says. “Change is fun.”
Indeed. Since changing the name to Stride Bank in 2019, the financial institution has grown exponentially. However, the bank’s success was not due to a different moniker. It was due to Baker and his chief operating officer, Dennis Gerhard, sensing that big changes lie ahead. Back in the late 1990s, the two men felt the emerging prevalence of the internet would redefine traditional banking. Technology provided interconnectivity would allow banks to stretch far beyond their geographic limits. As Stride gradually grew its existing banking operations, it was able to transform into a “platform bank” by offering highly specialized payment solutions for a number of industries including health care, insurance, fintech, commercial real estate, and agriculture among many others.
“Even though we were a small bank, we supported a lot of industries, so we evolved by offering services a lot of large banks do,” Gerhard said in a 2020 issue of Bank Director magazine.
Having worked with a wide variety of clients that ranged from large retailers to Native American tribes, Stride began using Chime debit accounts in December 2019. Everyone remembers what happened just three months later in March of 2020. With bank lobbies closed due to the pandemic, people turned to Chime to access their funds. Not only could customers get their funds via Chime, but they could get them faster than from other banks. The number of Stride users exploded. Managing such rapid growth while the country was shutdown presented a number of operational challenges. But the bank took everything in stride and just rolled with the changes.
However, much remains the same. The bank continues to offer traditional loans such as commercial, real estate, and lines of credit. The bank continues to offer savings and deposit accounts, mortgage lending, secure credit cards, 24-hour ATM, and trust and investment services. And, of course, personalized customer service.
“It is an exciting time to be a part of a dynamic bank and to be able to bring innovative banking products to the wonderful Bartlesville Community,” said Stride’s Bartlesville Market President Charles Allcott. “We have a great team of employees here to serve and would love to assist Bartlesville area residents with their banking needs. We are glad to be a part of the community and hope to play a major role in Bartlesville’s future.”
BiB! New Season Set
Broadway in Bartlesville! & Sizzlin’ Summer Series Return
The Center for Arts, Events, and Community recently revealed the 21st season of Broadway in Bartlesville! shows and the 4th season of Sizzlin’ Summer Series concert dates. Run, don’t walk, to The Center and Unity Square, in the heart of the Tower Center Arts District, for all of your theatrical and live outdoor experiences!
The Sizzlin’ Summer Series returns for another season, and kicks off at 7 p.m. on June 2 with Peace, Love, & Music featuring The Get Down Band. The series resumes July 7 with Red, White, Blue & BBQ featuring King Cabbage Brass, and finishes strong on August 4 with Beat the Heat featuring Weston Horn & The Hush. All Sizzlin’ Summer Series events begin at 7 p.m. and are free to the public!
Nestled between these exciting outdoor experiences is Broadway in Bartlesville’s 2022-2023 season finale, MADAGASCAR THE MUSICAL on Thursday, June 15 at 7:30pm. Based on the smash hit DreamWorks’ animated motion picture, this show follows all your favorite cracka-lackin’ friends (Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo, and a colony of hilarious, clever penguins) as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar. Filled with outlandish characters, adventures galore and an upbeat score, you’ll have no choice but to “Move It, Move It!” MADAGASCAR THE MUSICAL is the perfect family outing, with vibrancy and pace for audiences of all ages!
COME FROM AWAY is scheduled for October 1, 2023, and is an award-winning musical about the true story of the small town that welcomed the world. Broadway’s COME FROM AWAY has won Best Musical all across North America! The story takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Don’t miss this breathtaking new musical written by Tony® nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and helmed by this year’s Tony-winning Best Director, Christopher Ashley. Newsweek cheers, “It takes you to a place you never want to leave!” On 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved us all. The show is rated PG-13.
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR hits The Center on November 5, 2023. It is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ, as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes, I Don’t Know How to Love Him, Gethsemane and Superstar. The show is rated PG.
MEAN GIRLS comes to town on February 1, 2024, and has garnered accolades from publications across the country! “BROADWAY HAS WAITED A LONG TIME FOR TINA FEY’S TALENT. AT LAST SHE’S HERE” (The New York Times). Directed by Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon), MEAN GIRLS features a book by Fey (30 Rock), music by Jeff Richmond
(Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), and lyrics by Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde). Entertainment Weekly calls it “A MARVEL: dazzling and hilarious!” and New York Magazine cheers, “MEAN GIRLS delivers with immense energy, a wicked sense of humor and joyful inside-jokery.” The story of a naïve newbie who falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies, this new musical is “fresh, fun and infectious.” (People). USA Today says, “We’ll let you in on a little secret, because we’re such good friends: GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!” The performance is rated PG-13.
HAIRSPRAY will hit the stage in Spring 2024. Broadway’s Tony Award® winning musical comedy phenomenon is back! It’s 1962 Baltimore and 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad is out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular show, to change the world, and win the hearts of America once again. This mega-hit musical, piled bouffant-high with laughter and romance — and all of the deliriously tuneful songs you love — hit the road in 2024. And you don’t want to miss this party! Welcome back to the ‘60s — You can’t stop the beat! The show is Rated: PG
THE CHER SHOW makes a stop in Bartlesville on April 9, 2024. Superstars come and go. Cher is forever. For six straight decades, only one unstoppable force has flat-out dominated popular culture—breaking down barriers, pushing boundaries, and letting nothing and no one stand in her way. THE CHER SHOW is the Tony Award-winning musical of her story, and it’s packed with so much Cher that it takes three women to play her: the kid starting out, the glam pop star, and the icon.
Tickets for MADAGASCAR or season subscriptions for the 2023-2024 season are available by phone at 918-3372787 and in person at The Center box office, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. You can also visit their website at bartlesvillecenter.com for 24/7 ticket sales.
Special thanks to The National Endowment for the Arts, the Oklahoma Arts Council, and these local sponsors who make the Broadway in Bartlesville! 2022-2023 series possible: Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Adams
• American Heritage Bank
• Arvest Wealth Management • bmonthly Magazine • ConocoPhillips • Copper Cup Images
• Cortney McClure Design • Mr. and Mrs. Paul Crawford • Diversified Systems Resources • Examiner-Enterprise
• Green Country Village • Image First Hospitality • Keleher Architects • KGGF-AM KGGF-FM KUSN KQQR • KRIG KYFM
KWON KPGM • Nowata Road Liquor • Phillips 66 • Price Tower Arts Center • Robinett/King • Dr. and Mrs. Richard Rutledge • Dr. and Mrs. William D. Smith • Sparklight • Stumpff Funeral Home & Crematory • Truity Credit Union • Visit Bartlesville.
• Restaurant-style dining or you can have meals delivered directly to your apartment
• Planned activities; to include regularly scheduled happy hour
• Scheduled transportation for shopping
Unsung Heroes of D-Day
Three Bartian Soldiers Fought on Beaches of Normandyby Joe Todd
The 146th Combat Engineers was a unit in World War II made up of men mainly from Oklahoma and Texas. Walt Sires was born in Bartlesville 14 June 1923. He was drafted 28 January 1943 and sent to Fort Sill for Basic Training. He was then sent to Camp Swift, Texas and joined other guys that had been sent there for the 146th Combat Engineers. There he met John Blue and Leroy Olson, both from Bartlesville.
Walt and John said they were trained to build pill boxes as the Nazis built them in Europe and the infantry would blow them up. Then they made barbed wire entanglements which the Infantry also attacked and blew up. They were told they were training for the invasion but no one knew where or when the invasion would take place. The 146th was sent to Camp Myles Standish near Boston. They boarded the British ship, RMS Mauritania, and in Liverpool October 1943 were sent to the village of Saunton Sands and trained on the beach.
They were training for the invasion and trained running 300 yards with 80 pounds on their back and carrying the M-1 Rifle. They were sent to Ilfracombe Beach near Barnstaple and trained on the sand beaches and climbing the cliffs. John Blue said they began training with Navy demolition teams using explosives and how to handle them. All three said as the training became more intense, they knew the invasion was soon and they talked among themselves about what to expect. The one thing they all knew but never mentioned was that not everybody would survive the invasion.
Mr. Blue said they trained constantly from the end of October1943 until the first of June 1944. Mr. Sires said the first of June, they were all put in an area surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards. No one could leave or come in. They were informed the invasion was to be the 5th of June at Normandy and given specific instructions what
to do. The Nazis had put up hedgehogs along all the beaches in France.
They were also informed that telephone poles had been put at an angle on the beach with a land mine on top of each pole and the hedgehogs and poles had to be blown up before the invasion.
They were instructed that there would be 13 men in each team and told where they were to land and blow the obstacles before the first wave. Each man would be carrying 80 pounds of plastic explosive. A small piece of the plastic explosive would be put in Army socks with a primer and detonator cord then tied to the obstacles with a 20-second fuse. They loaded on the British Ship HMS Princess Maud but the weather turned bad and the invasion was put off until 6 June. They sailed at midnight and arrived off Omaha Beach at 2 o’clock in the morning.
The 13-man teams loaded in the landing barges. Mr. Sires said they were to land at Dog Red on Omaha Beach but the sea was so rough and when they landed no one knew where they were on Omaha Beach. They jumped out of the barges and he said he had a queasy feeling heading toward the beach, but when the bullets began whizzing over his head, the queasy feeling left. They began tying the socks with explosives to the hedgehogs and poles. Mr. Sires said the first wave began coming behind them and they were hiding behind the hedgehogs and said we were killing our own men with the explosives and they cut the fuses to five seconds.
They cleared enough of the beach so the ships could come in and the whole time, the Germans were shooting at them. These men were the first ones on beaches in Normandy on D-Day and helped secure the success of the invasion. The training they gave the Infantry on the pillboxes and barbed wire entanglements also aided in the success of D-Day. Mr. Sires said there were teams that landed on every beach on Normandy to blow the explosives. These men from Bartlesville are the unsung heroes of D-Day.WALT SIRESJOHN BLUELEROY OLSON
The Abernathy Brothers Remembering the Adventures of the Oklahoma Brothersby Jay Hastings
John Reeves Abernathy spent most of his younger years catching wolves to display in traveling circuses across the country. The shows soon caught the eye of President Theodore Roosevelt who invited John to hunt with him on his colleagues’ ranches in Oklahoma. The two became good friends and in 1906, at the age of 28, John was appointed by President Roosevelt as the U.S. Marshal over the Oklahoma Territory. John became the youngest U.S. Marshal in history and soon took on the name of “Catch-’em-alive Jack.” In 1907, John’s wife passed away, leaving him to raise his children on his own.
Louis Van “Bud” and Temple Reeves “Temp” Abernathy were the sons of John Abernathy and, like their father, became quite adventurous at very young ages. In 1909, the Abernathy brothers reportedly traveled — by themselves — from their home in Fredrick, Oklahoma, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, a roundtrip distance of over 1,000 miles, on horseback. You might ask what was so spectacular about their stated adventure. To begin with, in 1909, modes of travel and roads were not yet wellestablished. The more intriguing part, however, was the fact that when they made the trek, Bud was only nine years old and Temple was only five!
The next year, the brothers focused their sites on an even bigger trip — Oklahoma to New York City! That trip would take them over a month of hard riding to complete. John is said to have allowed the kids to ride but under the condition they “say their prayers each night, do not travel on Sunday, or ride no more than 50 miles per day.” John also told them, “If you get hungry outside of a town, look for the nearest farm and ask for the woman of the house and explain your situation.”
During the trip, the brothers began to catch the attention of several world-wide newspapers, which wrote about their adventures, and President Taft gave the brothers a warm welcome to the White House along their travels East. The brothers actually rode alongside Teddy Roosevelt in a victory parade through the streets of New York. For their return trip, the brothers managed to purchase a “Brush” automobile and drove it home to Oklahoma. They left New York on July 6 and
arrived in Oklahoma City on July 29, 1910. Louis, at nine years old, did almost all the driving home because Temple, age six, couldn’t reach the foot pedal!
In the summer of 1911, the brothers stepped up their adventures when they accepted a challenge to ride horseback from New York City to San Francisco in 60 days or less. They further agreed not to eat or sleep indoors at any point in the journey. If successful, they would collect a $10,000 prize. They arrived in San Francisco in 62 days, thereby losing the prize but setting a new record for time elapsed for the trip.
In 1913, the boys decided to take another trip from Oklahoma to New York City. This time, at ages 13 and nine, they rode an Indian motorcycle and traveled with their stepbrother, Anton. It was their last documented trip. Bud later graduated from the University of Oklahoma Law School and became a lawyer in Wichita Falls, Texas. He died in Austin, Texas in 1979. Temple worked in the oil and gas industry, and died in Teague, Texas in 1986.
Although they were noted celebrities at the time of their travels, they have almost disappeared from history. Frederick, Oklahoma celebrates their Santa Fe ride each year and has erected a statue of the boys and dedicated part of the Chamber of Commerce website to promoting the boys’ memory. The Abernathy brothers were the subjects of the 1910 film Abernathy Kids to the Rescue. Temple Abernathy’s widow, Alta Abernathy, wrote Bud and Me, a book about the brothers’ adventures.