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APRIL 2011

Magazine of the Oklahoma Heritage Association

Hall of Fame Spotlight: Jordan J. N. Tang Senator Robert S. Kerr’s Oklahoma Waterway Ruby Darby: The Toast of the Oil Field Workers Curriculum Change Because of the Cold War: How Did Oklahoma Answer the Call? Fort Ferdinandina The Last Hanging Professional Baseball in Ardmore OHA’s Story Through Its People


You know Love’s from our stores, but do you know Love’s as a company? Tom and Judy Love founded what is now Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores in 1964. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, today Love’s is still 100 percent family owned and operated. With a national footprint of more than 265 locations in over 35 states, Love’s current growth rate is approximately 15 stores per year. We are currently ranked No. 18 on the Forbes annual list of America’s largest private companies. But, we’re not a stereotypical nameless, faceless corporation. The Love family and the company is very active in the Oklahoma City community, donating more mo than 2 percent of the company’s net proots each year to non-proots here in our home city and across the nation where we operate stores. And, Love family members personally visit each and every store across the country several times a year. From the rst lling station in Watonga, Okla., the Love’s committment has remained the same: “Clean Places, Friendly Faces.” So next time you stop at Love’s, you’ll know more about the Love’s difference.

www.loves.com

1-800-OKLOVES

facebook.com/lovestravelstops

twitter.com/lovestravelstop


APRIL 2011 V OLU M E 16 • N U M B ER 1 PRESIDENT

Shannon L. Rich DIRECTOR, PUBLICATIONS AND EDUCATION

Gini Moore Campbell CHAIRMAN, PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE

Magazine of the Oklahoma Heritage Association

Bob Burke DESIGN

Kris Vculek kv graphic design • WAUKOMIS, OK

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MEMBERSHIPS

Magazine of the Oklahoma Heritage Association

Student ..................................... $15 Subscription ............................ $35 Individualism .......................... $50 Perseverance ........................ $100 Pioneer Spirit ......................... $250 Optimism ................................ $500 Generosity ........................... $1,000 Legacy Circle ...................... $2,000 Honor Circle ....................... $2,500 Executive Circle ................. $3,500 President’s Circle ............... $5,000 Chairman’s Circle ............. $10,000

From the Chairman Calvin Anthony

From the President Shannon L. Rich

Hall of Fame Spotlight: Jordan J. N. Tang Millie Craddick

Senator Robert S. Kerr’s Oklahoma Waterway Bill Moore

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Ruby Darby: The Toast of the Oil Field Workers Glenda Carlile

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20 Curriculum Change Because of the Cold War: How Did Oklahoma Answer the Call? Rick J. Moore

For additional information contact the Oklahoma Heritage Association 1400 Classen Drive Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106 Telephone 405.235.4458 or Toll Free 888.501.2059

26 Fort Ferdinandina Gale Morgan Kane Book Review

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E-mail oha@oklahomaheritage.com Visit the Association’s website at

www.oklahomaheritage.com Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by return postage.

40 The Last Hanging Terry Riggs

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Library Distribution made possible THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF MAGAZINE SPONSORS STATEWIDE.

Mission Partners

American Fidelity Foundation Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma ConocoPhillips Duke R. Ligon Oklahoma Publishing Company Simmons Foundation

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Professional Baseball in Ardmore Peter G. Pierce OHA’s Story Through Its People ON THE COVER:

“Thunderstorm Over Edmond” by Jordan J. N. Tang. Originally created as a stereopair--a pair of photographs of the same area taken from slightly different positions so as to give a stereoscopic effect when properly mounted and viewed.


FROM THE

FROM THE

CHAIRMAN...

During last month’s Board of Directors meeting I was elected chairman of the Oklahoma Heritage Association and I look forward to meeting many of you as we travel the state with our second annual membership campaign. First, however, I want to recognize my predecessor, Tom J. McDaniel. The passion he has for this organization is contagious and I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve alongside him. Although his involvement with the Association will continue, I wish him great success in his new endeavor. Last month we kicked of the 2011 Membership Campaign in the Bennett-McClendon Great Hall of the Gaylord-Pickens Museum. During the evening we honored Bill Thrash with the Lee Allan Smith Oklahoma Legacy Award and the Oklahoma Humanities Council with the Oklahoma Heritage Distinguished Editorial Award. Membership events are scheduled for Ponca City on April 21st and in Stillwater on April 28th. At our Duncan membership event in May we will present the Stafford

Air & Space Museum with the Gaylord Award for Preservation of State and Local History. Diane Walker of Muskogee, the recipient of the Gaylord Award for Excellence in Teaching Oklahoma History, and Charlie Ford of Tulsa, the Oklahoma Heritage Distinguished Service Award winner, will be recognized in the fall during membership events in Muskogee and Tulsa respectively. As a member, we want to thank you in person for your support and make sure you are aware of the many benefits available to you. If we are hosting a membership event in your area please plan to attend. You are encouraged to bring friends, co-workers, and family members who you believe would be interested in our mission—telling Oklahoma’s story through its people. You are invited to join us at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum on May 7 to celebrate the Museum’s fourth anniversary with FREE admission, activities, and Museum store specials. Again, I look forward to meeting you and serving as your chairman.

Calvin Anthony, Chairman

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

CHAIRMAN

Calvin Anthony CHAIRMAN ELECT

Stillwater

Kathy Taylor Tulsa

Tulsa

CHAIRMEN’S CIRCLE

John Massey

Pat Henry

Durant

Lawton

Stan Clark

Roxana Lorton Tulsa

Stillwater

J.W. McLean

Oklahoma City PRESIDENT

Clayton I. Bennett

Tom J. McDaniel

Shannon L. Rich

Oklahoma City

VICE CHAIRMEN

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City

Bill Anoatubby Ada

Bill Burgess Lawton

Ike Glass Newkirk

Jane Jayroe Gamble Oklahoma City

Fred Harlan Okmulgee

It’s hard to believe we have just completed the first quarter of 2011 and already the Oklahoma Heritage Association and Gaylord-Pickens Museum have been busy. Since the first of the year we have hosted students from school districts statewide, senior groups, and several special interest groups, including the Sooner Model A Ford Club. More than 400 people joined us to participate in our Teen Board’s 4th Annual Battle of the Bands fundraiser for education. I am so proud of this outstanding group of young Oklahomans who have been working since the summer to ensure the event’s success. Oklahomans pulled out all the stops in nominating individuals to be honored with induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame as the 2011 Class. Those selected will be inducted on the evening of November 17 during the 84th annual Oklahoma Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony in Oklahoma City. The father of MAPS, former Oklahoma City Mayor Ron Norick and Tom J. McDaniel, chairman of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee to oversee the MAPS 3 projects, hosted a member-

David Kyle

At Large Executive Committee Members

CHAIRMAN EMERITUS

PRESIDENT...

Dallas, TX

Lee Allan Smith Oklahoma City

G. Lee Stidham Checotah

Bond Payne

DIRECTORS

Glen D. Johnson

Tulsa

CORPORATE SECRETARY

Tulsa

Alison Anthony

Oklahoma City

Mark A. Stansberry Edmond

TREASURER

Nevyle Cable Okmulgee

Robert Henry

Sharon Shoulders

Rebecca Dixon

Duke R. Ligon

Tulsa

Oklahoma City

Stan Stamper

Ford Drummond

Vicki Miles-LaGrange Clayton Taylor Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City

Patti Evans

Joe Moran

Steve Taylor

Melvin Moran

Chuck Thompson

Frederick

Bartlesville Ponca City

Christy Everest Oklahoma City

Vaughndean Fuller Tulsa

Gilbert “Gib” Gibson Lawton

Dan Gilliam Bartlesville

Barbara Braught

Tulsa

Joe Cappy

Lawton

Tulsa

Michael A. Cawley Ardmore

Paul Cornell

Jim Halsey

Oklahoma City

Tulsa

Seminole

Bristow

Norman

Ty Tyler

Gary D. Parker

Hardy Watkins

Gregory E. Pyle

Ron White

Ponca City Muskogee Durant

Frank C. Robson

Norman

McAlester

C.D. Northcutt

V. Burns Hargis George Henderson

Hugo

Steve Turnbo

Oklahoma City

Carl Renfro

Stillwater

Henryetta

Fred Morgan

Jean Harbison

www.oklahomaheritage.com 2

Shannon L. Rich, President

Carol Crawford

Howard Barnett Duncan

only event at the Devon Boathouse for our Second Century members. We are looking forward to more events planned for the summer. Last month the Tulsa World Gallery opened our new Living Legacy exhibit featuring the works of Oklahoma Hall of Famer Willard Stone and his son Jason Stone. The exhibit will run through midJune and will be followed by Pure Color by the Oklahoma Society of Impressionists. High school seniors from across the state have been nominated for the 2011 John W. & Mary D. Nichols Oklahoma Heritage Scholarship and the winner will be announced later this month. Earlier this month the Oklahoma Heritage Scholarship Competition was held at 16 test sites statewide and students competed for more than $500,000 in cash scholarships and tuition grants. I want to thank the volunteer proctors who make this opportunity possible. Included with this issue you will find upcoming events and programs, as well as coupons for admission and purchases in the Museum Store. Thank you for your continued support of the Oklahoma Heritage Association and the Gaylord-Pickens Museum.

Ponca City Claremore

Richard N. Ryerson Alva

Tulsa

Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Oklahoma City


Jordan J.N. Tang

Both in the laboratory and the classroom, Jordan J. N. Tang is dedicated to arming his students with the knowledge and skills to excel.

By Millie J. Craddick

Tang was born in Fuchow, a coastal city in southern

China, which was the capital of the Fukien province just across the sea from Taiwan. His father was an official at the Education Ministry of the provincial government in the Fuchow province. When Tang was just a toddler, Japan invaded China. In fear of the invasion and bombing, his parents sent him and his younger sister back to their hometown, Putien, which was about 40 miles away, to be with their grandmother and aunts.

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After a couple of years, his father returned

for the children. During World War II the Tangs moved quite frequently from town to town in Fukien. Tang attended many elementary schools during the war and went to junior high school in his home town of Putien. In 1946, Tang’s father received a job in Taiwan as principal of a Teacher’s College. Tang attended high school and college in Taiwan where he majored in Agricultural Chemistry.

He finished military service, which was

compulsory, and was assigned to work in the Fertilizer Ministry, a provincial agency of Taiwan. Someone in the agency found out that he could draw and paint. He was then assigned to design posters which taught farmers the benefits of modern fertilizers. He knew that artists of his Jordan J. N. Tang, standing second from left, with his parents and siblings. Jordan J. N. Tang arrived on the Oklahoma State University Campus in 1955 to attend graduate school. Jordan J. N. Tang left his family and homeland of Taiwan for graduate school in 1955 with $200. The money had been provided by his father and other families from his village.

generation starved just like those before them. He soon applied to several graduate schools in the United States and chose Oklahoma State University because it was the only one that offered him a scholarship in the form of a tuition discount.

In 1955, the standard transportation from

Taipei to America was still by ship. He flew for the first time in his life when going to Tokyo to make his way to Yokosuka Harbor. He boarded a Taiwan ship named Yu-San, which was primarily a cargo ship. By then, going to the United States to study was becoming the thing to do,

Jordan J. N. Tang joined the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in the fall of 1958.

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so beds were outfitted into the cabins of the ships to accommodate pas-

as Biochemistry was a fast moving, dynamic field of biological science.

sengers. There were twenty-two passengers aboard the ship, thirteen boys

The graduate school training forged the foundation of the field that would

and nine girls in separate cabins, all students. It took thirteen days from

become his research in years to come. He received a M.S. in Biochemistry

Yokosuka to reach Vancouver, Canada. The students celebrated Chinese

in 1958 and became a graduate student in Biochemistry in 1959 at the

New Year on board the ship with a dinner that included traditional northern

University of Oklahoma, receiving his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1961.

Chinese dumplings.

the same high school in Taipei but did not know each other. After his first

When finally reaching land, they soon discovered another challenge

He and his wife Kuen have been married 52 years. They went to

—speaking English. Before going their separate ways, twelve of the

year at Oklahoma State University, he went to Chicago, Illinois during the

students decided to have lunch together. After looking around they spied

summer recess to work. When returning to campus, a fellow student told

a place to eat which they later learned was a drugstore. There was a long

him that there was a new Chinese girl in the Biochemistry department.

row of unoccupied stools where they sat in a row, all twelve of them. The

Tang went to the lab where Kuen was standing in the middle of the room

waitress had a bewildered look on her face as she apparently was not

and introduced himself. At the beginning of their relationship he drove her

expecting a cultural exchange that day. She asked “what do you want?”

to places she needed to go in his 1949 Ford which needed “fixing” quite

They all looked at each other and then for some reason looked at Tang. He

frequently, thus consuming much of his meager budget. Toward the end of

heard himself say “sandwich.” She asked “what kind of sandwich?” Tang

the month Kuen would share her meal tickets from the dorm with him.

asked “what kind do you have?” He was still proud of his answer when the waitress started to recite a list of sandwiches which to him sounded as fast as a machine gun firing. He heard a word he understood—“cheese”. Quickly he repeated “cheese”. The waitress asked the whole group. They had twelve cheese sandwiches and somehow each one ordered a Coke too.

It took almost two days and nights to get to Oklahoma City from Van-

couver, Canada via Los Angeles, California. The bus station in Oklahoma City was in the same location then as it is today.

When Tang arrived in Oklahoma from Taiwan in 1955, he had $200

in his pocket. The money would go to pay his tuition and expenses at Oklahoma State University. His father had scraped together some of the funds working at a teacher’s college, and the rest came from his village’s “money pool club” – a dozen families that combined a portion of their wages, then used those funds to help the family that needed it the most.

While at Oklahoma State University, Jordan J. N. Tang met his true love, Kuen. They were married in the chapel at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in 1958.

Tang understood the huge sacrifice the money in his pockets repre-

sented. Taiwan was in the midst of an economic depression, and money was extremely tight. The money was the fruits of many people’s hard labor. It represented the dreams of an entire village, a village that chose to invest its collective hope in him. Yet not even the most far seeing among them could have imagined all that Tang would achieve.

Tang arrived on the campus of Oklahoma State University to

study soil chemistry. The buildings were unbelievably beautiful and the American kids unbelievably rich to him. He was taken to see the dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Robert MacVicar. Dr. MacVicar saw from Tang’s transcript that he had several undergraduate courses in Biochemistry and told him he could have a major in Biochemistry. Dr. MacVicar told him to go home and think about whether he wanted to make the switch. When Tang walked out of the dean’s office he already knew that he was going to study Biochemistry. He later learned Dr. MacVicar was the chairman of the Biochemistry Department and was recruiting for his department that day. Looking back, Tang is glad of the opportunity opened up by Dr. Mac Vicar

Jordan J. N. Tang with his wife Kuen and sons Albert and Joseph.

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After he received his Masters degree they started making plans.

Spotl to the wedding, so Dr. Trucco gave Kuen away and Tang’s brother Donald

Tang moved to Oklahoma City and found a technician job at the Oklahoma

and his sister Shelley attended the wedding. They have two sons, Albert

Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) in the fall of 1958. The plan was

and Joseph. The Tangs also brought Kuen’s niece, Helen, from China

for Kuen to finish her Masters degree before they transferred schools to

when she was eleven years old to live with them and earn her education.

continue their studies. Tang was hired with a salary of $275 a month and

Helen has become a daughter to them.

if OMRF was happy with him they would raise him to $300 a month after

three months. He “did” receive his raise.

school in Taipei. He said, “I was only five feet, six inches tall but most other

He worked at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation for

Tang has liked sports since childhood. He played basketball in high

kids were my height too.” Tang played ping pong as a child and took up

a year. Tang became a graduate student in Biochemistry in 1959 and

tennis when moving to Oklahoma City. He later started playing golf with a

received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Oklahoma Health

friend while in graduate school. They had a private rule that if they missed

Sciences Center in 1961. He completed post-doctoral training at the Labo-

the ball three times they could pick it up and throw it. A few years ago

ratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.

while playing tennis with some people from the lab, he chased a short

ball and fell on his face which required 8 stitches to fix. Two days later,

During his first month at the Oklahoma Medical Research Founda-

tion, and before he was thirty years old, Tang discovered a new enzyme

Tang was giving a keynote speech on their research at the Northwestern

in the human stomach which he named gastricsin and wrote a paper on. This later led to a screening test for stomach cancer, a test that has saved many lives. Because his work was going so well his boss Dr. Raul Trucco asked him to stay on at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and they also would give Kuen a job.

Tang and Kuen married in June, 1959. Their parents could not come

BELOW: With talents not

limited to the lab, Jordan J. N. Tang also is an accomplished artist and musician.

ABOVE: In 2008 Jordan J. N. Tang celebrated 50 years with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. His successes include a screening test for stomach cancer, enormous strides in the fight against AIDS, and possibly the real first weapon against Alzheimer’s disease.

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light Medical School in Chicago. He told some of the

people “It was the work of a jealous husband.”

a career development award from the National Institutes of Health, Tang became one of the world’s

Taking up golf again later, he has since stopped

leading experts on protease proteins that chop up other proteins in the body. This work led him to

using the private rule, but somehow he swears,

offer important insights on potential methods of controlling blood pressure by inhibiting protease

the sticks have become longer, the ball smaller,

action. And when AIDS emerged, Tang quickly recognized that proteases also played a key role in

the hole smaller, and the course infinitely longer.

this new disease. He spent the next decade laying the scientific groundwork for inhibitors that would

stop the virus from replicating. The inhibitors that incorporated Tang’s discoveries proved to be a

Tang has enjoyed art throughout his adult

In the process of unmasking the structure of the new stomach enzyme, a feat that earned him

life. He sculpted for a few years in the 1960s

crucial ingredient in HIV cocktails, the potent AIDS-fighting therapeutics that have added years to the

and in the 1990s painted with oil. He has had

lives of those suffering from the disease. His research also has led to an experimental drug to treat

two exhibits and several commissioned works

cystic fibrosis. Tang has discovered what, most likely, will be the most significant breakthrough in his

for charities. He also played piano in the 1980s

career. In 1999, he identified a protease that he believes is the offender in Alzheimer’s disease. He

and 1990s, mostly classical. In 2010, he tried

performed a series of experiments that provided strong support for his theory, and then he and his

musical composition and wrote a string quartet

research team designed a chemical inhibitor that stopped the newly discovered protease. The impli-

piece called “Scientist.”

cations of his work were profound. If scientists could transform Tang’s chemical inhibitor into a drug that was safe for humans, it could offer the first real weapon against a disease that steals the minds, and eventually the lives, of more than 4.5 million Americans. To accomplish this, a company was founded in 2004, now called CoMentis, that has taken a drug candidate to clinical trials. Hopefully, this will lead to the first treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

When Tang published his research findings in a pair of the nation’s leading scientific journals,

it sent shockwaves throughout the biomedical research world and in 2001, earned him the National Alzheimer’s Association’s highest honor—the Pioneer Award and a $1 million research grant. He is the first and only Oklahoman ever to be so recognized. It also unleashed a flood of press coverage, with major stories running everywhere from The Oklahoman and KWTV to The Los Angeles Times and CNN. Tang even appeared on The Early Show on CBS.

As an accomplished painter, he is a director of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and previ-

ously was a director for the Oklahoma Arts Institute. He has actively served the Chinese Association of Greater Oklahoma City for 40 years, including a term as president. For two decades, he has been a devoted member of the Asian Society of Oklahoma, which has recognized him with both its Chairman’s Award and its top honor, the Outstanding Asian of Oklahoma. He is also a member of the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2008.

The Puterbaugh Foundation funded the first Chair of Medical Research in the history of the

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and Tang has held the Puterbaugh Chair for more than twenty years.

Tang’s work has earned him national and international recognition. As a faculty member for

36 years in the University of Oklahoma’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, he has delivered lectures and taught at more than 50 universities on five continents. He has published more than 200 articles in the world’s leading scientific journals and has been an invited speaker at scores of national and international symposia and conferences. His research has been recognized and honored by the United Nations, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In his half century in Oklahoma as a researcher at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Tang has enjoyed a scientific career unrivaled by any in our state’s history.

Tang is a true Oklahoma success story. He came here from a foreign land, barely able to speak

the language, with little more than hope in his pockets. He embraced this state, and it embraced him. And both are much richer for it.

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The lock system works through gravity’s natural pull on water. Here, three barges enter the Robert S. Kerr Lock from the lake side. The towboat will maneuver the barges into place within the lock. Photo courtesy Waterways Division, ODOT.

Senator Robert S. Kerr’s

Oklahoma Waterway by Bill Moore 8


On December 30, 1970

the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System

(MKARNS) opened for river traffic. Since that day, an average of 13-million tons of cargo has been transported by barge on the system every year. With ports at Tulsa and Muskogee, Oklahoma, and Fort Smith, Little Rock, and Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and a total of 18 locks and dams, the MKARNS provides not only navigation, but also flood control, recreation, and hydroelectric power generation.

However, this was just a dream in Oklahoma’s not too dis-

tant past. Steamboats navigated the Arkansas River in the 1800s with some difficulty because of low water levels most of the year. After the turn of the century, Tulsa business leader Newt Graham began promoting work on the Arkansas River to turn it into a navigable river.

Construction would not begin on the Arkansas River navi-

gation project until the passage of the River and Harbor Act in 1946. Lake construction came first along the system. It was on again, off again during the 1950s as money and support ebbed and flowed. By 1960, however, Oklahoma’s United States Senator, Robert S. Kerr, had begun a big push to get the full project funded with a 1970 completion date. The completed project would stretch from Tulsa’s Port of Catoosa down the Verdigris River to the Arkansas River, following it through the Robert S. Kerr Lake, on into the state of Arkansas, through Dardanelle Lake, finally reaching the Mississippi River on the eastern edge of Arkansas. From there, it was a journey down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico and out into the oceans of the world.

When finished, the system would stretch 445 miles, rising

from 420 feet in elevation from the Mississippi to Tulsa. The total cost for the system came in at $1.2 billion. It had been a

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favorite project for Senator Kerr, author of a book titled Land, Wood and Water. From 1960 until his death in 1963, Kerr pushed and prodded from his position of power in the United States Senate to get funding for the project. Joining him in this push were Arkansas Senator John McClellan and Oklahoma Congressmen, including Carl Albert and Ed Edmondson.

After Kerr died in 1963, Oklahoma’s other senator,

Mike Monroney, took up the cause as did Kerr’s replacement in the Senate, J. Howard Edmondson. In fact, it took all of the Oklahoma delegation at one time or another to keep the project afloat. Once the towboat is safely inside the lock, the upstream gates are closed and water is let out downstream until the level within the lock reaches that of the lower downstream level. Photo courtesy Waterways Division, ODOT.

U.S. Senator Robert S. Kerr of Oklahoma fought long and hard for his beloved Arkansas River Navigation System. He died in 1963 and was unable to see the completion of the project, but it bears his name today. Photo courtesy Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society.

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The Tulsa Port of Catoosa has grown dramatically since the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System opened for business in 1971. The industrial park covers an area of about 2,000 acres where water meets highway and rail. The Verdigris River provides the channel for the navigation from Tulsa to Muskogee. Photo courtesy Waterways Division, ODOT.

The lake reservoirs on the system were finished first

These locks are built large enough to hold the barges

and then the money was delivered for the work on the

hauling goods up and down the river. The greatest

river channel and the 18 locks and dams. Because the

benefit of river travel is the fact that one barge carries the

waterway would drop 420 feet in elevation from Tulsa to

equivalent capacity of 15 railcars or 60 semi-trucks.

the Mississippi, there had to be the needed steps along the

way to raise and lower the water traffic up or down.

for more than six months, the official dedication was

The locks themselves are operated on natural water

planned for June 5, 1971 at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa.

flow. If a boat is going downstream, then the lock gates

The President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon

are closed around the boat and the water is released

would be there to help dedicate it. He arrived at the site

downstream lowering the boat to the lower level. If

by helicopter while other officials came by train and by

the boat is going upstream, then water is let in from the

boat to demonstrate the various forms of transit available

uphill side until the boat is level with the higher water.

at the Port.

Even though the MKARN System had been open

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When the lower downstream level has been reached, the lower gates are opened and the towboat continues its trip. The opposite happens when the river traffic is headed upstream, in that water is let in from the higher level and raises the load to the upstream level. Photo courtesy Waterways Division, ODOT.

The newspaper headline the next day read, “25,000 Cheer Nixon at Tulsa Port.” In attendance were Oklahoma

United States Senators Henry Bellmon and Fred Harris, Governor David Hall, United States Speaker of the House Carl Albert and Congressmen Ed Edmondson, Page Belcher, and John “Happy” Camp. Also in attendance, representing his father, was Robert S. Kerr, Jr. along with Kerr’s partner on the project, Arkansas United States Senator John McClellan.

President Nixon pointed out in his speech that day that the authorization for the Arkansas River Navigation Project

began the same year that he and Carl Albert first came to Congress in 1946. He went on to say,

“When I think of all the events that have taken place in the world and the quarter century since Speaker Albert

and I were first elected to that 80th Congress, I realize what a momentous time in history this has been. And that doubles my pride in sharing the dedication of this magnificent project – a project which was only a bold dream when we came to the Congress but is now a grand reality and for generations to come will be a living monument to what man and nature together can accomplish.”

It was a special moment for Oklahoma. A state known for aviation and famous highway transportation like Route

66, Interstates 35, 40 and 44, was connected to the water ports of the world thanks to an Oklahoma Senator with a dream and the willpower to achieve it.

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President Richard Nixon flew into Tulsa for the ceremony on Air Force One. He was the keynote speaker as the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System was formally opened on June 5, 1971. Photo courtesy Tulsa Port of Catoosa Arkansas River Historical Society Museum.

U.S. Senator John McClellan of Arkansas was Robert S. Kerr’s partner in getting the two states connected to the Mississippi for shipping needs. McClellan carried on the fight for the waterway after Kerr died and watched it’s successful completion. Photo courtesy Tulsa Port of Catoosa Arkansas River Historical Society Museum.

On June 5, 1971, President Richard Nixon formally dedicated the MKARN System at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. Seated on the first row of the platform are U.S. Speaker Carl Albert, second from the right, and Governor David Hall, fourth from the right, with Henry Bellmon and Fred Harris seated behind Hall. Photo courtesy Tulsa Port of Catoosa Arkansas River Historical Society Museum.

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By Glenda Carlile

Ruby Darby added a new word

to the English language.

In oil rush days

when a rig brought in a gusher someone might yell, “It’s a Ruby Darby.” Through time, the term was shortened to “It’s a Darb” meaning it is something special.

Webster’s dictionary defines “darb as

something superlative, with the origin from the astounding reputation of Ruby Darby, or as she was billed in theaters throughout the Southwest, ‘The Girl with the Blues.’”

A legend around

the Oklahoma oil fields, Ruby Darby was indeed something special!

During a two-week engagement at the Wonderland Theater, The Tulsa World promoted Darby in the December 29, 1918 issue. Photos courtesy Frederick Graves.

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The speeding red car came down the dusty main street of the crowded oil boomtown of Drumright at forty miles per hour. As expected, the already alerted local police stopped the speeder. From the back of the chauffeur-driven car stepped a beautiful girl in a fur coat. Immediately, the news spread all over town. “Ruby Darby was in town and she wasn’t wearing nothing under that fur coat.” The same scene was played out in all the major oil field towns across the state. By evening, more rumors would have circulated, most started by Ruby’s own press agent, such as the local ladies society had protested the show and wanted it stopped. By curtain time, Ruby would have been bailed out of jail and the theater would be packed to the rafters. And what a show it would be! As an entertainer On January 2, 1921 an advertisement for the “The Ruby Darby Show” appeared in The Tulsa World.

The one and only, Ruby Darby.

Ruby Darby’s 1919 chorus girls, the Golden Gate Girls.

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nobody could top her. She was a beautiful girl and her husky voice could bring tears to the eyes of the toughest oil field worker. Ruby was said to be one of the first and possibly one of the greatest of the blues singers. Her trademark song, which would always bring down the house, was “Memphis Blues.” Not only did her sultry voice captivate the audience, but Ruby knew how to move her eyes, hips, and torso until she had every man in the audience under her spell. Everyone waited for the grand finale, which would often be a strip tease. Ruby was a popular adventurer and the legends of Ruby Darby traveled from oil field to oil field. It was said that Ruby “stripped at the drop of a driller’s hat,” that she had “danced bare skinned on a tool shack roof as men tossed silver dollars at her feet,” and that she had “ridden a hoss completely nekkid down the mud and oil splashed streets of Kiefer.” During one of her performances at a stag party in an oil-camp mess hall, Ruby created such a stir that a lamp was knocked over and the building went up in flames. A popular saying of the day warned: If you’ve got a good man keep him home tonight, for Ruby Darby’s in town and she’s your daddy’s delight. It’s difficult to know how many of the outrageous stories were true, or just rumors started by Ruby herself,

who knew the wilder the stories the more packed the house would be for her performance. But Ruby had definitely found her niche, at a time when “Anything Goes” was the slogan for the wild oil field towns. Oklahoma oil boom towns were noisy and crowded, wild and wooly, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Drilling crews were mostly young men who worked hard and received very good wages. Without the stabilizing influence of family responsibilities, and with youthful exuberance, these young men sought recreation and entertainment when not on duty. Saloons, brothels, dance halls, and gambling dens soon filled the towns. Towns quickly developed reputations and lived up to the notoriety: Cromwell became known as “the wickedest city in the United States.” Kiefer was called “the toughest town east of Cripple Creek, Colorado.” Whiz Bang was said to have gotten its name because it “whizzed all day and banged all night.” The United States Post office, however, considered the name undignified and renamed the town DeNoya. Seminole had an area known as Bishop’s Alley and nearby Bowlegs was home to scores of dance hall girls, bootleggers, gamblers, and assorted criminals. Like a breath of fresh air, Ruby Darby would suddenly appear in these towns and the most hardened of the oil field workers would turn soft at just the mention of

The Jazz 5 Beaux during Ruby Darby’s 1921 show at Tulsa’s Broadway Theater. Left to right, Emmett Lynn, Ray Mayer, Boozy Weathers, Larry Conley, and Dewey Davis.

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her name. Ruby was their darling. She was a cut above the other entertainers. Not only did she put on an excellent vaudeville show, but also, it was obvious that she loved the workers as much as they loved her. Although many of the “Ruby Darby” stories were exaggerated, there were enough true stories to know that she was unpredictable, a gifted comedian, a truly great blues singer, and a free spirit with a great love for life. It was said that she was as “free as the Oklahoma breeze.” Ruby was a pioneer of the strip tease, her fame preceding and rivaling Sally Rand. Burlesque shows at the turn of the century were not like the strip shows of today. If a woman just showed her ankle or shoulders during a dance, it was considered daring and risqué. The shows were mostly a combination of several acts by singers, chorus girls, and comedians. The

Ruby Darby, ca. 1915-1916, in chorus of the Follies Theater.

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best of the traveling shows was the Ruby Darby Show. Not only was this true in the boom towns, but also in the more sophisticated cities of Tulsa, Memphis, Tennessee, and Dallas, Texas, where Ruby’s shows would play for more extended engagements at the better known theaters. The half-Cherokee entertainer was born in Alva, Oklahoma, shortly before the turn of the century. Her father was a former railroad detective and a local policeman. Ruby’s show business career began about 1912 as a singer with a blues band in Memphis. This in itself was quite unusual for a woman of the times. By 1913, she was appearing at the Candy Land Theater in Dallas in the pony chorus, which was a chorus line of girls who were all the same size. Her big break came when Ed Gardiner, the theater owner’s son, plucked her from the chorus line. He not only promoted her shows, but also subsequently married her. Ruby was only fifteen years old. Ruby’s show, “The Gal with the Blues” and her “Twelve Golden Gate Girls” hit the road about 1915, playing oil towns around north Texas and Oklahoma. Many of the other members of the troupe became her lifelong friends, including comedian and piano player, Hank Patterson and his showgirl wife Daisy. Patterson later had many major television and motion picture roles, including Fred Ziffel, the owner of “Arnold the Pig” on television’s Green Acres. The success of the Ruby Darby show could be judged by the size of the show and the many elaborate costumes. Most similar shows boasted a maximum of eight

chorus girls. The Darby show had sixteen. The Darby Girls had the most beautiful of costumes with several costume changes each show, and they always wore silk stockings. A July 14, 1911, article from the Tulsa Daily World read: The Golden Gate Girls continue to make the biggest kind of hit and the fact the program changes every day, presenting musical farce comedy of widely varying theme at each change and with attractive and distinctive wardrobe, gives the intending patron assurance of something different each time. Ruby Darby sings different topical songs each show but the crowds insist on the “Blues” time and time again. A July 12, 1915, article from the Tulsa Democrat reported: The Golden Gate Girls commenced a week engagement at the Wonderland yesterday and packed the house at every performance. The singing of Ruby Darby, “The Gal With The Blues,” is a revelation. She practically stopped the show, for the audience insisted on repeat encores. With indescribable smoothness and an irresistible personality, Miss Darby scores a tremendous hit. It is safe to assert that no other tabloid musical comedy ever appearing at a local playhouse has ever met with such enthusiastic approval.” On August 12, 1914, the Tulsa Daily World reported: Just three more days and the Ruby Darby show would leave for Atlanta, Georgia, and a tour of fortytwo weeks over the entire southern vaudeville circuit.” Ruby was a modern day gypsy who refused to stay in one town too long. She would frequently leave one city in the middle of a successful run, simply because she wanted to move on to another place. In the midst of her successful perfor-


mance in Tulsa, a New York agent caught her show at the Broadway Theater. He talked her into coming to New York and auditioning at the Palace Theater, the Mecca of big time vaudeville. She auditioned before 200 of Broadway’s toughest agents representing top vaudeville circuits. Their skeptical silence soon turned into cheering, similar to that of the oil field roustabouts. “The Gal With The Blues” walked form the stage into a longtime contract on the Keith-Able circuit, with a starting salary of $750 per week that would have increased to $7,500 per week within two years. Her first playing date was to be Baltimore, Maryland, but she never arrived. Evidently, her independence and free spirit would not allow her to be tied down, and she returned to her beloved boomtowns, where she could sing and dance and do what she wanted, with nobody telling her what to do. Ruby had the talent to become a big time star, but she could not stand the confinement. Shortly after that, Ruby was divorced from Gardiner, who probably could not understand her rejection of the “big-time.” She married an

In Los Angeles, California, with her son, Marvin Eugene Harrison, who was born October 18, 1923.

Oklahoma City banker, Luther Jones, but that marriage only lasted a year. Ruby seemed to disappear for a while but later turned up in Los Angeles, California. She had married her third husband, a comedian named Bud Harrison, and had given birth to two children, Eugene and “Little” Ruby. The couple separated when the children were five and three respectively. The children lived with their father but spent a great deal of time with their mother.

In 1977, a musical, Girl With The Blues, based on the career of Ruby Darby, was written and produced for the University of Tulsa by theater professor Frederick Graves. Ruby’s daughter, Ruby McEnery, attended the premier in Tulsa. In an interview with the Tulsa Tribune, “Little” Ruby described her mother as “a dear daredevil” and “ a free spirit.” She said even while she was growing up, her mother was highly unpredictable. She might go to the store for a loaf of bread, and end up in Mexico. But her warmth and love of life gave her family some wonderful memories. In 1936, at the early age of 38 to 40, Ruby died of pneumonia. The disease was probably aggravated by alcoholism. She was still a popular entertainer, and just a few years prior to her death, had enjoyed a reunion with her old friends from the oil field days, Hank and Daisy Patterson. They had sat at the piano, sung some old songs, cried together, and relived memories of days gone by. Even today, old-timers’ eyes will light up with excitement at the mention of Ruby Darby’s name. She was a legend, she was a star, she was a free spirit, but most of all, she was a DARB!

As published in Petticoats, Politics, and Pirouettes: Oklahoma Women, 1900-1950

Ruby Darby, left, and Harriett Wetmore promoting her show and the Jazz 5 Beaux. It was during this time Darby was married to Oklahoma City banker, Luther Jones.

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Created as an assignment in Moore’s Curriculum History course as part of his doctoral program at Oklahoma State University.

Sputnik—

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W

hen World War II ended in 1945, the United States found itself in an enviable position as arguably the strongest Superpower in the world. After defeating Germany and Japan, the United States seemed to be on the top of the pile, in reference to its place in world power. But there arose a new power in the world, the Soviet Union, who in 1949 detonated their first atomic bomb and so began a new era known as “The Cold War”. This era was marked by the struggle between these two countries in many ways, including a competition involving the buildup of arms through scientific development and even space exploration. On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launched into orbit an artificial satellite called Sputnik, followed in a month with the launch of Sputnik II which carried a dog named Laika into orbit. This sent a signal to the United States that the Soviets had passed it by in technology and must be training its children in math and science in far superior ways. On November 13, 1957, in a speech in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, President Dwight D. Eisenhower said the following: We should, among other things, have a system of nationwide testing of high school students; a system of incentive for high-aptitude students to pursue scientific or professional studies; a program to stimulate good quality teaching of mathematics and science; provision of more laboratory facilities; and measures, including fellowships to increase the output of qualified teachers…. When a Russian graduates from high school, he has had five years of science, four years of physics, four years of chemistry, one year of astronomy, five years of biology, ten years of mathematics through trigonometry, and five years of foreign language. Young people now in college must be equipped to live in the age of intercontinental missiles. In 1958, Congress responded to Sputnik by passing the National Defense Education Act, which among other things would try to make sure that American schools would be turning out students who could compete with Soviet

students in the area of science and technology-related endeavors by improving the science and math curriculum in our schools. In August of 1955, E.K. Gaylord, editor of The Daily Oklahoman, was speaking to a meeting of the members of the Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma City Advertising Club, and a number of civic leaders about a plan he was endorsing to put Oklahoma in the national spotlight called “Boost Oklahoma”, which was basically an outof-state advertising campaign about Oklahoma. In his speech, according to The Daily Oklahoman, Gaylord said that Oklahoma has more than 700 high schools, and yet only 125 of them are teaching any kind of science, and that only about 11% of all high school students are studying mathematics. He added: Oklahoma’s schools must encourage more boys and girls to study science, that science teachers must be paid more money and encouraged to seek out those who are qualified if Oklahoma is to keep step or get ahead of the country. In October of 1955, a group of civic leaders and educators formed the corporate existence of a group to be known as “Frontiers of Science Foundation of Oklahoma”. They had a series of meetings and came up with articles of incorporation, funding for the first five years, and some big names—Dean A. McGee, Kerr-McGee Corporation, as chairman of the board; E.K. Gaylord, Oklahoma Publishing Company, as vice chairman; Stanley C. Draper, Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, as vice president; and Dr. Robert H. MacVicar, vice president of Oklahoma State University, as executive vice president—as leaders of this new foundation. Their articles of incorporation included stated purposes for its existence which included “Improve and expand the teaching of science in all of its phases in our schools at all levels.” The year of 1956 was big for this newly-formed group, as they literally hit the ground running, by furnishing the money and enabling Oklahoma City area high school students to be able to view telecourses in math and physics.

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Next, one of its initial activities was to work with Scientific Research Associates of Chicago to give 60,000 ninth through twelfth graders the Iowa Tests of Educational Development, which would tell test administrators who had scientific ability. According to the document Two Decades: Unbounded Explorations and Achievements published in 1975 by the Foundation, this was the first testing program of any state in the United States to identify young science students and to encourage them to develop their talents fully, and the results were outstanding. Oklahoma students, according to this document, had a higher than average percentage of its students’ scores rated in the top 20% nationally in both math and science tests. In the spring of 1956, several representatives of the Foundation went to Washington, D.C. and met with the Atomic Energy Commission about the possibility of bringing the exhibit “Atoms for Peace”, which was currently in Geneva, Switzerland, to Oklahoma City under the sponsorship of the Frontiers of Science Foundation of Oklahoma so they could be the first showing in this country of this scientific exhibit of peace time uses of nuclear energy. At the Oklahoma City location, more than 350,000 people saw the exhibit in its eight-day run. From May 10, 1956 through May 12, 1956, the Seventh Annual National Science Fair was held in Oklahoma City, hosted by the Frontiers of Science Foundation of Oklahoma. During the fair, 213 young science students from 110 local fairs participated in the competition.

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Dean A. McGee served as chairman of the board for the newly-created Frontiers of Science Foundation.

Frontiers of Science 1956 Annual Report.

Serving as vice chairman of the Frontiers of Science Foundation board was publisher E. K. Gaylord.

BELOW: Frontiers of Science Foundation Executive Director Dr. Robert MacVicar.

LEFT: James

W. Webb was named president of the Frontiers of Science Foundation.

In 1957, the Frontiers of Science Foundation of Oklahoma sponsored an international symposium on science, industry, and education which included a major national speech on science and security given by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, which the November 6, 1957 Fort Worth Telegram article titled “Appropriate Setting” said that the efforts of the Frontiers of Science Foundation of Oklahoma to make Oklahoma school kids more science-conscious was the reason that Oklahoma City was the logical choice for a speech about the


President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Oklahoma City in 1957 for an international symposium on science, industry, and education. Stanley Draper and Dean McGee, activists in the Frontiers of Science Foundation.

dependence of our national security upon scientific advances. On May 1, 1958, the Frontiers of Science Foundation of Oklahoma sponsored a Frontiers of the Space Age Conference in which 6,000 students from 400 Oklahoma high schools gathered to learn about science and engineering. There also have been many areas of recurring activities sponsored by the Frontiers of Science Foundation of Oklahoma that have benefited students in Oklahoma and helped answer the call of better educating our youth in the areas of math and science. From 1956 through 1976, the Foundation had co-sponsored the Sir Alexander Fleming Scholarship Award to 122 Oklahoma students interested in medical and biological research who earned two-month internships with Foundation scientists plus a $500 sti-

pend. They also have sponsored $600 Frontiers Engineering Scholarships annually since 1963 to encourage students to pursue a career in engineering. From 1959 through 1976, the Foundation had sponsored a spring symposium for the most outstanding secondary school science students in Oklahoma. In fact, in the 1976 event, there were more than 3,000 students from all 77 counties in Oklahoma that participated, showing the widespread coverage of this symposium. For the second time in its 20-year existence, the Foundation was able to bring the International Science and Engineering Fair back to Oklahoma City in 1975, where almost 400 students from all 50 states participated, and more than 300 science professors from Oklahoma universities and colleges were judges in the competition. This was a remarkable feat achieved

by this group. It should be noted that in the 1975 fair, Oklahoma ranked second as a state in sending the most contestants to the competition. Other measurable ways to determine whether or not the Frontiers of Science Foundation of Oklahoma answered its country’s call can also be identified. For example, the Foundation was active in the Greater Tulsa Science Fair which would annually have more than 200 junior high students in the areas of math, biology, earth science, and physical science, and sponsored awards and an awards banquet for the students each year. Along with an organization called the Oklahoma Curriculum Improvement Commission and the Oklahoma State Department of Education, the Frontiers of Science Foundation of Oklahoma has sponsored workshops and other conferences and meetings

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Frontiers of Science Foundation Chairman Dean McGee in a Science Lab.

to look at improving the teaching of science and math by giving classroom teachers the latest data and work in the fields. In fact, in 1957 the Foundation, working with the other two entities noted, held a four-week workshop dealing with math education on the Stillwater campus of Oklahoma State University. It turned out an entirely new outline of curriculum for public schools in Oklahoma which was labeled “Improvement of the Teaching of Mathematics.” The workshop also made a huge improvement in Oklahoma secondary schools’ math programs. Additionally, in 1960, Dr. Robert Wiesner who served as the executive secretary of the Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics of the Mathematics Association of America, revealed that the State of Oklahoma led the nation that year in its adoption of the newly revised secondary schools math curricula. This was quite an achievement for a state that had just five years previously noted how little math was being studied in its schools. By the decade of the seventies, there had been substantial change in the number of students studying science and math, with an increase of enrollment in math classes increasing 100% and science classes increasing 125% since that 1955 speech by Mr. Gaylord.

Robert S. Kerr, left, and James Webb at an Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce meeting discussing the Frontiers of Science Foundation.

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In the speech President Dwight D. Eisenhower made in Oklahoma City in November 1957, he told Oklahoma and the world his feelings about this new organization: Right here in Oklahoma you have established a superb mechanism for the mobilization of needed resources to strengthen our pursuit of basic scientific knowledge. It is the Frontiers of Science Foundation. You have reason to be proud of it. I hope other states follow your example.


BE ST WISHE S for a successful 2011

from Mekusukey Oil Company, LLC

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Gale Morgan Kane, M.A.

In Kay County, Oklahoma, the area where Deer Creek

empties into the Arkansas River was settled at the time of the Land Run

in September of 1893. Like most homesteaders, Michial Miller set about building a shelter for his family and breaking out fields from the virgin prairie. Deer Creek wound through a thicket of elm, sycamore, and oak in the section immediately to the north. A limestone bluff on the northwest bank of the creek was topped with a little clutch of sumac. A clear, cold spring gushed from the bluff into the creek. At the horizon a sea of chest high grass gently rolled, waving cupreous gold. A few miles further to the northeast a rock-capped hill rose abruptly from the bluestem, a lonely The William J. King Memorial Bridge crosses Deer Creek west of Tonkawa on US-60.

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memoir of a sea bottom three hundred million years ago. Surely this was a place never before touched by human habitation - a new place.


Like many farm boys in those days, Miller’s sons

In 1926, Ponca City oil man E. W. Marland funded the

watched for curiosities as they followed the plow through

Marland Archaeological Expedition to investigate the site, head-

the fields or clambered along the creek bank. Soon enough,

ed by Dr. Thoburn. In his 1930 unpublished report, Thoburn

interesting artifacts began to accumulate among the boys’

wrote:

treasures. By the time of statehood it was generally known in

Discoveries made were not only significant in the ar-

the area that there must have been a large Indian site around

chaeological field, in the excavation of a number of

Deer Creek, five miles east and one and one half miles

mounds on an old Indian village site, but in the histori-

north of Newkirk. To those with a more practiced eye many

cal field as well in bringing to light the location of

mounds lay scattered around Mrs. Jennie Seltzer’s neighbor-

an early trading post shown on old maps of more than

ing farm, and many items of European origin were found

one hundred years ago as “Ferdinandina” (sometimes

among the artifacts.

spelled Ferdinandino) in the valley of the Arkansas

River in what is now Kay County. Ferdinandina is

the University of Oklahoma, showed his collection to his

thought to have been established by the French nearly

professor, Dr. Joseph B. Thoburn. In the summer of 1917, Dr.

two hundred years ago and therefore the site could be

Thoburn and Dr. Fred Stearns of Harvard University briefly

pointed to as the first white settlement in Oklahoma...

In 1914, Wilson Fischer of Newkirk, then a student at

Joseph B. Thoburn, left, briefly investigated the Deer Creek site during the summer of 1917 with Dr. Fred Stearns of Harvard University.

investigated the Deer Creek site. Of particular interest among the flint artifacts were iron hoes and short iron rods ... “also a small chunk of bituminous coal which had evidently been transported from some outcropping coal vein near the river bank ... thus seemingly warranting the inference that a blacksmith shop had actually been in operation in this village.”

Dr. Thoburn enthusiastically concluded that this was the

site described by Claude Charles du Tisne in his 1719 contact in Oklahoma. He promptly located what appeared to be the second village described by du Tisne, two miles north, also

Thought to have been established more than 200 years ago by the French, Ponca City oil man E. W. Marland funded the Marland Archaeological Expedition to investigate the Fort Ferdinandina site.

on the west side of the river. He called this the Buffalo Cliff Site because of great quantities of turtle-backed hide dressing scrapers and huge middens of buffalo bones. Blades made from native stone discovered at the site were used for cleaning hides, in preparing food, and as weapons.

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The site continued to be leased by the Miller family into

The French conducted many explorations west of the Mississippi River in the 1600s and 1700s. It was during Claude Charles du Tisne’s exploration route into Oklahoma in 1719 that he visited the village complex that later became a French fort named Fort Ferdinandina.

the 1960s. A site of romantic interest, it was well known in the area. It was purchased in 1971 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. My own father, who grew up in Arkansas City, hunted artifacts there. But professional historians and archaeologists could not quite fit together the pieces of Dr. Thoburn’s story,

Louis XIV, the Sun King of France, hoped to locate a harbor for France in the Gulf of Mexico.

that this was the village complex visited by du Tisne in 1719 and later a French trading fort named Ft. Ferdinandina. The untangling of these complex history threads is a tale of its own in the more recent history of North Central and Eastern Oklahoma, and also a wonderful saga of boiling, global and cultural dynamics of the eighteenth century, part of which occurred right here, in our part of Oklahoma, two hundred and fifty years ago.

The Wichita

It is generally agreed that the people who inhabited the

Deer Creek site were of the Amerindian cultural group we

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now refer to as Wichita. “It appears probable that the southern

prairie-plains were dominated by the Indian tribes that repre-

a practice of extensive tattooing. There were early references

sent members of the Wichita confederacy. By 1700 to 1760

to cannibalism. “The Taovayas chief apologized for having

the occupations of the Deer Creek and Bryson-Paddock sites

no slaves to present, saying that if La Harpe had come only a

represent one division of this group—the Taovayas.”

month sooner he would have given him seventeen war pris-

oners, but that they had since been eaten at a public feast.”

The very name of this tribe is confusing. The Wichita were

One of their French names was Panipiquet, referring to

of the Caddoan language group. Probably a couple of hundred

Harper believes this practice was probably abandoned soon

years prior to European contact, the Wichita and their Pawnee

afterwards because the captives were more valuable in the

cousins separated from the Caddo of Louisiana and traveled

slave trade.

north. The Wichita later drifted back farther southward. Both

Pawnee and Wichita traditions indicate that they separated

tribes or bands. Though they recognized that they were relat-

somewhere in the region of the Platte. At least after the coming

ed, villages or adjacent groups of villages had different tribal

of the horse, they were semi-sedentary people, farming from

names. They were not a numerous people. It appears that,

March to October, and hunting for the rest of the year.

under pressure from the Osage, the various groups began to

Their villages were distinguished by their large dome-

merge, ultimately leaving the Wichita, who were originally a

shaped houses covered with grass thatch; large arbors

minor band, the final name-group.

and drying platforms near the houses were shaded with

grass-thatched roofs. The Wichita were primarily agri-

sh. The Spanish, inexactly, called them Jumano, and the

culturalists, their well-cultivated fields in which they

French, Pani. The Taovaya, Waco, Tawakonis, Wichita, and

raised corn, melons, squash, pumpkins, and tobacco

Iscanis were names of some tribes. In a footnote, Harper lists

extending out from their villages. They were also

Tabas, Tabayas, Taboyages, Taguas, and thirty-three other

known as good hunters, depending largely on the buf-

variations of the name Taovaya.The French refer to the same

falo for meat, tallow, and robes.

group as Pani, Panipiquet, Paneassa, Pana, Pancassa, etc. In

The Wichita were actually a confederacy of several

These people we call Wichita, called themselves Kitikití


1967 Robert E. Bell wrote a paper, in part addressing the

ing hostilities with the Iroquois. In Europe the 1697 Treaty

subject of the various names. It is generally agreed that the

of Ryswick ended war between France and England. The

Panipiquet or Taovaya were the occupants of Ferdinandina.

American phase of this war is call King William’s War.

The Frontiers of New Spain and Louisiana

Hernando De Soto’s entrada between 1539 and 1543,

and Francisco Vásquez de Coronado’s expedition to Quivira in 1542, claimed the southern plains for the Spanish crown. Their reports were disappointing and El Norte was judged practically worthless. For nearly a century and a half, European colonial expansion largely ignored the territory. Spain’s attentions were in the mining districts of northern Mexico. France began developing her new colony in Canada early in the seventeenth century.

Louis XIV decided to move to protect his interests in the Mississippi Valley as he was alarmed by reports that William II intended to seize the mouth of the Mississippi and by intrusions by English Indian allies. In 1699 the Minister of Marine, Louis de Ponchartrain instructed Pierre LeMoyne, Sieur d’Iberville to occupy the mouth of the Mississippi. D’Iberville established a post at Biloxi. Mission posts at Kaskaskia and Cahokia in the Illinois country soon became important agricultural settlements and way stations in the route from Canada to Louisiana.

Spain’s claim of the Mississippi by right of explora-

tion was now superseded by France’s actual occupancy. The

Late in the seventeenth century The Sun King sat on the

throne of France. One of the most brilliant imperial players in European history, Louis XIV hoped to locate a harbor

Francisco Vasquez de Corondo’s expedition to Quivira in 1542, with Hernando de Soto’s, claimed the southern plains for the Spanish.

for France in Spain’s private lake, the Gulf of Mexico. To this end, in 1683, Réne Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle, explorer of the Mississippi River from Canada to the Gulf, proposed to the king a post that could serve as a springboard for invasion of northern New Spain. He envisioned a small garrison assisted by 15,000 Indian allies. Coincidentally, a Peruvian political refugee named Diego de Peñalosa, who had once been Governor of New Mexico, had been urging Louis for several years to invade El Norte with his guidance. Peñalosa described Quivira as a remarkably fertile area, fabricating an account of an expedition that he supposedly led to Quivira and Mischipi. As a result, La Salle sailed in 1684 under Louis’ instructions to establish his Texas post. Unfortunately the war with Spain ended only weeks after LaSalle sailed, focusing the King’s attention elsewhere, and leaving La Salle on his own recognizance. He was murdered in 1687 and the colony failed, but now El Norte had attracted the imperial attentions of the aggressive French.

By the end of the century France and Spain were hear-

ing reports of English traders from the Carolinas and New York intruding into their territories. Posts were established

Hernando de Soto had led a 622-man Spanish army ashore at Tampa Bay, Florida in 1539 in search of riches and by 1541-1542 was spending the winter near the junction of the Arkansas and Canadian rivers in eastern Oklahoma.

in the Illinois territory to supply Indian allies in the ensu-

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30

Spanish succession was in question and Louis’ moves in the

and civilian, made this voyage between Quebec and the

Mississippi had two purposes: “the trade of the Indes and the

Gulf of Mexico and thought nothing of it was astonish-

wealth they produce.” If a Hapsburg succeeded, he could use

ing to visitors from France.

these bases as a staging ground for the invasion of Northern

These forts and waterways were the means by which

Mexico and the Southwest; if a Bourbon ascended, then they

France gained sovereignty over such a huge part of the conti-

would serve to protect the colonies from English attentions.

nent.

The rationale was both imperial and political.

could not afford development in Louisiana. In 1712 Louis

In November of 1700, Carlos II, the last of the Span-

France was financially distressed after the war and

ish Hapsburgs, died childless, naming Phillipe d’Anjou,

XIV attempted to infuse prosperity into the colony by

grandson of Louis XIV, as his heir. The European balance of

granting Antoine Crozat a fifteen year monopoly on trade.

power was rocked, and war ensued. England, Holland, and

Crozat’s policies nearly bled the settlers dry. “In 1719 M. de

Austria were allied against Spain and France. Lasting until

Crozat put Louisiana into the hands of the West India Com-

1713, American colonists knew it as Queen Anne’s War.

pany, who sent a thousand men to people it.” John Law’s

Along the Gulf coast, the new Spanish king refused to con-

scheme to breathe new life into the French economy led to a

cede Spain’s right to Louisiana, but took no further action.

spectacular series of financial legerdemain. The Mississippi

Bubble soon burst, but Law had succeeded in making land

Thus, the French colony on the Gulf had an opportunity

to take root in a period of relative harmony between France

grants and bringing in settlers.

and Spain. Nevertheless, Louisiana was unable to attract

colonists and amounted to little more that a center for Indian

pointed the new governor of Louisiana. Hoping for prosper-

trade. The residents were dependent on the Indians for bear

ity through Spanish trade, he saw his hopes dashed when

grease, tallow, and food products. Spain was stagnating after

Spain closed her ports to her former ally in 1713. Unde-

a century of economic decline, population shrinkage and

terred, in 1713 Cadillac sent Louis Juchereau de Saint-Denis

financial overextension. She was too thinly spread to occupy

to Mexico to contact Franciscan, Francisco Hidalgo, about

El Norte. Now France was nearly bankrupt after the War

establishing French missions in Texas. The route was up the

of Spanish Succession; a decade of war waged on a global

Red River to the Great Raft, a massive log jam on the river,

scale. Louisiana had never been a profitable venture, but had

then overland through Natchitoches. Saint- Denis was taken

served to protect French imperial interests.

captive by the Spanish, but continued to send intelligence

to Cadillac. Meanwhile, after the 1715 death of Louis XIV,

As furs became increasingly scarce in the east, traders

In 1710 Antoine de la Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac was ap-

pushed farther west. Coincidentally, Europe was enjoying

relations with Spain gradually deteriorated. In 1719, war

a vogue for expansion of knowledge. “The regent, the duc

was declared, known as the War of the Quadruple Alli-

d’Orleans, was much interested in the discovery of a route to

ances. A major contention was Louisiana which the Spanish

the western ocean, and the fur trade was used as a means to

now wished to regard as part of their empire. Anticipating

this end.”

a squeeze between Spanish and English interests, Cadillac

From Michilimackinac, at the entrance to Lake Michi-

ordered at fort built at Natchitoches. “Pursuing his private

gan ... canoes voyaged to the posts on Lake Superior

interests, Saint-Denis, like Father Hidalgo, had brought the

and Mer de l’ouest or south down Green Bay to the

Spanish and French empires together in North America - a

most profitable of the trading regions. La Baye, in

remarkable exception to the general rule that the frontier’s

present-day Wisconsin, or down the length of Lake

political boundaries expanded and contracted with decisions

Michigan, then over the height of land to the Illinois

made by diplomats in Europe.” In Louisiana the French now

and south to Cahokia, Kaskaskia, and New Orleans.

conspired to expand westward, believing the area to be rich

The frequency with which the Canadians, both military

in silver near San Juan Bautista.


The War of the Quadruple Alliance had implication in

New Mexico and for the plains trade. For many years the Indians had brought the Spanish increasingly numerous reports of white men on the plains, visits of French traders along the Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Red rivers. The Spanish had long feared the French would try to seize New Mexico. New Mexico had failed to expand during the war and Spain had not driven the French or English from Louisiana or the Carolinas. “Spain’s imperial rivals used their North American bases ever more effectively to weaken Spain’s commercial system, lure Indians out of the Spanish orbit, and challenge Spain for more territory.” The prolonged economic troubles in Spain weakened the economies in the colonies which stagnated, exacerbated by a feudal mercantilism. Inflation was out of control. Spanish colonies could not compete with quantity or quality of goods flowing from the English and French traders. “Perhaps two-thirds of all the commerce throughout the Spanish Empire consisted of illegal trade, much of it with foreigners. The Bourbon Kings of Spain and France eventually entered into a series of Family Compacts in 1733, 1743, and 1761, avoiding new confrontation in North America. Spain settled for a policy of quiet containment. The focus of contention in North America shifted to the control and economic exploitation of Indians.

In the course of the development of these European

policies the geographic locations, cultural patterns, and the balance of power of many Indian groups were radically changed. In turn, the Indians fundamentally affected the course of white empires. It is at this point the French contact with the Wichita begins to bring the dynamic of global politics to Northern Oklahoma. Father Jacques Marquette made a map, based in information gathered by the Wichitas during the 1600s, that identified the Arkansas River.

French Contact with the Wichita

The first European contact with Wichita people was the

Coronado Expedition of 1541 which located six or seven settlements near Lyons, Kansas. While there, Coronado heard about approximately twenty-five towns. The Indians told him about Tabas, near Lindsborg, Kansas, which was the remotest and most important part of Quivira. Disappointed that the thatched huts of the Quivira were not the storied cities of gold, Coronado concluded that El Norte was a worthless land. There was also an expedition by Bonilla and Humaña about 1593. Juan de Oñate probably reached Cowley County, Kansas in 1601 before being turned back by confrontation with the Wichita. Of interest is that at these early contact dates there were no stockaded Wichita villages reported by the Spanish. Oñate’s contact indicates that movement back to the south had begun by this date. In this period there was a general isolation from European influence. The Kansas and Osage who lived west of the Mississippi did not want French traders to trade guns with their western neighbors and threatened those who wished to make contact with them. Nevertheless, there was knowledge of the Wichita through Indian informants and from slaves belonging to Frenchmen.

Father Jacques Marquette made a map which included

information gathered from Indians in 1673. Panissa is one of the names on the map, along a stream that can be identified as the Arkansas. Louis Jolliet’s original map was ruined in a canoe accident, but he made a copy, and copies of the copy survive, also showing Paniassa. LaSalle was given a Pana slave who described many villages of Pana and Pancassa. A Paneassa woman who also belonged to La Salle described ten Paneassa villages. These villages are on the 1688 map of Jean-Baptiste Louis Franquelin, where the three groups of Wichita first appear.

Around 1700 maps began to reflect data that presum-

ably were received from coureurs de bois or voyageurs

who were heading westward overland from Illinois

country or up the Missouri and perhaps the Arkansas

Rivers to seek unknown Indian peoples for trading pur-

31


poses or simply to allay curiosity. One such map dates

about 1699 on the basis of internal evidence and is

in the handwriting of Father Marc Bergier, S.J., who

was then serving at the Mission of the Holy Family

among the Cahokia and Tamaroa Indians in Illinois. It

may be observed that again three groups of Wichita

identified by Siouan names are shown in diagrammatic

fashion. All are associated with tributaries on the left

side of the Arkansas. First above the Siouan Quapaw

living at the mouth of the river were the Mentos, then

upstream the “paniassas two large villages”, and farthest

west panis, described as gros, partagé, e.g. large, divided.

would catch them for slaves. The Panis were accountably

Among the five or so other maps of this period the

suspicious of du Tisne, but eventually they were swayed

Wichita are always represented on the southwest side of the

to a trade alliance. To the shock of the Panis, du Tisne then

Arkansas River. Francois Le Maire drew his map while in in

traveled on to the Padouca, returning convinced that if the

Mobile. He shows the usual three settlements, and a fourth

French could conciliate the Panis and Padouca they could

unidentified group across the river, all about 39 degrees

gain a route to New Mexico.

which is too far north for Deer Creek. Delisle’s map of 1718

has significantly improvement in geographical rendition.

crossed three small tributaries of the Osage River, flow-

Little by little information was accumulating. One must be

ing north. On the fourth day they came to the “river of the

careful not to read too much into these maps as the Wichita

Quapaw.” The two villages were twelve leagues beyond

were still far inland from contact.

this. Many enthusiasts have believed that this was the Deer

32

To date, more than 18,000 archaeological sites have been reported in Oklahoma.

Actual trade with the Wichita was initiated in 1719.

du Tisne described his route in detail. On foot his party

Creek Site, but Wedel has strong argument that the villages

Unknown to each other other Jean-Baptiste Bernard de la

were near Neodesha, Kansas on the Verdigris River. Mis-

Harpe and Lieutenant Claude Charles du Tisne journeyed to

understanding has grown up around La Harpe’s discoveries

Wichita villages in September 1719.

too. Wedel believes that ever since Thoburn, historians and

anthropologists have copied each other in a misreading of

La Harpe traveled overland north from Natchitoches,

through the Ouchita Mountains, Osage and Apache hunt-

the information which concludes that La Harpe arrived at

ing grounds, finally locating nine Wichita villages together

the Canadian River. Wedel’s reading of the unaltered journal

above the forks of the river in Eastern Oklahoma. He offered

of La Harpe led to Wealake Ridge in Tulsa County, between

a trade alliance which was debated in council and accepted

Haskell and Tulsa. Though poorly preserved because of de-

on September 4, 1719. La Harpe asked about the way to

velopment, this site still has evidence of Indian inhabitation.

New Mexico and was told the Arkansas was navigable

La Harpe produced a map in 1720, showing his discoveries.

through the winter but the Wichita feared the Padouca Co-

He did not explore above the Tawakonis village but recorded

manche.

information from Indian informants on the map. Confusion

arises when the information from La Harpe and du Tisne is

At the same time du Tisne voyaged from Illinois,

finding Wichita villages north of La Harpe. du Tisne first

used to try to pinpoint the people living at the Deer Creek

encountered Osage who tried to dissuade him from visiting

Site. Over the next twenty years after the La Harpe and du

the Panis because they didn’t want their enemies to get guns.

Tisne visits, Wichita bands drifted west and south, probably

Failing, they went to the Panis with the tale that the French

under pressure from the invading Osage.


As Osage hostility toward the Wichita increased in

post du Tisne times, it seems probable that those visited

by him may have been forced westward even before the

Tawakonis migration south. The two villages of Panis

near the Verdigris, who I propose were Taovayas, may

have set up two villages at Deer Creek and Bryson Pad

dock in the 1720s or early 1730s, or may have joined

other Wichita already living there. The consolidation of

Wichita peoples for purpose of safety was apparently

taking place.

The Deer Creek Site

The Deer Creek Site was purchased by the United

States Army Corps of Engineers as part of the Kaw Reservoir land acquisition in 1971. In 1963 and 1964 archaeological survey was made of the area in preparation. Salvage excavation were performed in the area in 1967 and continued through successive phases through 1974. Bastian concluded that “there appears to be a cultural and chronological hiatus between the late Early Village complexes in the Kaw Reservoir region and the earliest contact sites.�

The western one-quarter of Deer Creek or Ferdinan-

dina has been under cultivation for many years. Most of the rest of the site was unplowed and largely undisturbed except for some Thoburn work and potholing done over the years. One large feature in the north-central part of the site is a horseshoe-shaped rampart and accompanying ditch. Wyckoff believes this is a fortified Wichita village. The Bryson Paddock and Deer Creek sites indicate they were involved in the French trade prior to 1730 or 40. BrysonPaddock may have been active as early as the 20s. In the lithic inventories huge quantities of scrapers indicate the economic importance of hide processing in the villages, giving supportive evidence to the French trade activity in the village. Wyckoff believes Deer Creek is a site of utmost importance for the information it yields about ethnological effects at the earliest dates of contact and acculturation of plains people.

Sudbury and McRill give extensive catalogs of the ar-

tifacts in their studies. They report very large accumulations of habitational debris of both native and European origin. Animal bones and cultivated plant remains give a picture of diet and trade in hides. Bones of buffalo, deer, antelope, black bear, raccoon, jack rabbit, cottontail, bobcat, opossum, gray squirrel, mouse, gopher, turtles, small birds, turkey, gar, catfish, and mussel shells were among the animal remains. Plant remains were corn, beans, squash, acorns, pecans, and coffeebean seeds. Projectile points, hunting equipment, and gardening equipment attest to expected hunting and gardening activities.

33


The rock-capped hill at Hardy, a few miles northeast,

was a source of Kay County flint for millennia. Mining activities at this site have been conducted since the Archaic Period and the flint nodules used as trade goods since that time. Items of this very high quality flint have been collected as far afield as Yellowstone, South Texas, and Ohio. The University of Kansas was conducting salvage excavations near Cedar Vale, Kansas in the summer of 1997. The archaeologist on site told me it appeared to be a Late Archaic processing site for flint nodules carried from Hardy, cleaned of their limestone shells and field dressed, then carried elsewhere. Deer Creek and Bryson-Paddock appear to have been participating in this flint trade with evidence of mining and workshops.

Pieces of earthenware and pottery have been found at the Deer Creek site.

A variety of native tools and implements have been

found. Stone tools include milling stones, abraders, pendants, pipes, scrapers, projectile points, knives, drills, gun flints, preforms, cores and flakes. Arrowpoints are of the Fresno type which is typical of the Contact Period. Scrapers are by far the most common stone artifact, reflecting the hide processing industry at this site. Scrapers from earlier period sites in the area are fire-treated, small, and carefully crafted. But, the Deer Creek and Bryson-Paddock scrapers are untreated flint that is coarsely crafted to be used and quickly discarded in assembly line processing. Bone tools include scapula hoes, scapula knives, awls, knife handles, pendants, hide grainers,

34

At the Bryson-Paddock site many archaeological remnants have been discovered, including flintlock gun parts.


antler flakers, beads, and rib rasps. Flint flakers and tapping

(gunflints, gunflint patch, lead bullets, shot, touch hole

tools of antler, and a few shell beads, pendants, and scrapers

cleaner). European trade materials were primarily of French

were found. Clay pottery, pipes, and figurines were plentiful.

origin from the period 1700 to 1760.

Aboriginal trade items, mostly lithic, reflect widespread trade

contact.

pits, burials, post holes, and middens. The distinguishing fea-

Items of European origin reflect the importance of

ture of the village, mentioned previously, was a large circular

French trade in the village economy as well as work-saving

earthwork and ditch. Radiocarbon dating from four Bryson-

technological advances. Large quantities of glass beads were

Paddock samples are not determinate. Two are modern and

found. Household items were knives, copper kettles, axe

two show a period prior to 1700. This is a period of fluc-

blades, hoes, wedges, scissors, punches, awls, handles from

tuation for radiocarbon; therefore the best dating evidence

spoons and forks, copper wire, and metal projectile points.

remains the trade goods.

Glass mirrors, tinklers, brass rings, chain, buttons, small

bells, rivets, and some fabric fragments were personal items

existence of some trade with New Mexico. Two obsidian

found. Glass pieces and glass projectile points were found.

flakes at Deer Creek may have come from the Southwest. Six

Excavation has located house sites, storage and refuse

A few items of Southwestern origin may attest to the

shards of Southwest trade pottery are of that origin. Finally, a Artifacts from the Bryson-Paddock site include beads, flint artifacts, and tools. University of Oklahoma graduate students are analyzing European glass trade beads found at the site. Their conclusions might possibly help define more precisely the activity and occupation of the site.

number of ceramic sherds of local origin have Southwestern design motifs, an indication of contact.

The French Trade

By 1714 the French and Wichita seem to have already

been engaged in sporadic trade. It was learned in Santa Fe that year that Jumanos in alliance with Frenchmen had attacked the Apache at El Cuartelejo on the western border of Wichita lands. The Wichita quickly saw the advantage of Among the many artifacts found at the Deer Creek site were iron hoes.

French guns. The alliances agreed to by du Tisne and La Harpe in 1719 was supposed to lead to regular trade. The French hoped to establish a route to the Spanish settlements by way of friendly Indian tribes.

Sudbury did extensive cataloging of the large number

Despite the formal alliance proposed by du Tisne and

La Harpe, contact with the Wichita remained sporadic over

of gun parts and their origins. It is believed that in excess

the next twenty years. The French colony was in need of

of 200,000 muskets were traded to the Indians before the

horses and slaves and the Caddo, Quapaw, and Osage acted

contraction of France’s political power in 1759. The major

as middlemen. A few disappointing attempts were made to

part of the Indian trade seems to have been a light weight

bypass them. La Harpe attempted to take a party of French

fusil class flintlock. The gun part inventory at Deer Creek

troops up the Arkansas in 1721 in pirogues, but had a near

and Bryson-Paddock includes gun barrels, gunlock parts

mutiny, and turned back. There were no other attempts until

(sear spring, tumbler bridle, upper vise jaw), trigger as-

around 1740. During that period the Arkansas Post at the

sembly parts (trigger floor plate, triggers), furniture (butts,

mouth of the Arkansas River dwindled to only a few men at

side plates, trigger guards, ramrod guides), and related items

the garrison who supported themselves with trade in hides

35


36

and meat.

and middlemen in the Indian trade on the Red River. In 1742,

During the 1730s, French and English rivalry for

Fabray reported that a war party of thirty-five Osage visited

control of the Indians in the Old Southwest and attempts to

his camp on the Canadian, looking for the Mentos who had

staunch English advances down the Ohio, resulted in a series

recently moved south. Fabray encountered Tawakonis and

of Indian Wars in the area. Plans for overland trade to New

Kichais on the Red River at that time.

Mexico languished because of the wars and because of Span-

ish prohibitions against commerce with the French. Reports

Spanish interrogation of French deserters is one of the best

that came out of the plains during that time reveal the tribes

sources of information about the dynamics of trade on the

were on the move. The Comanche were now northeast of the

plains. Beginning with the Mallet brothers in 1740, Spanish

Wichita. The Wichita settlements along the Verdigris were

records contain significant information, including locations

abandoned. It is possible that the Deer Creek and Bryson

of Indians, trade items, and trade routes. A great deal can be

Paddock sites were the new location of those people, pos-

inferred. It appears that French trade flourished after the end

sibly to distance themselves from Osage predators.

of the war. “The French hunters go up to these pueblos of Ju-

manes on the Arkansas River in canoes, in which they return

The economic fortunes of Louisiana began to pick up in

During this period of the 1740s and 50s, the records of

the 1740s. In 1744 Governor Vaudreuil established Fort de

with peltry, fat and lard of bison, bears, and deer, their access

Cavagnial on the Missouri River near Leavenworth. Wedel

being facilitated by their friendship with the Jumanes.” In

points out that there is a significant amount of documentation

1750 Satren told the Spanish he was a hunter because “of the

of this outpost and contrasts it with the void of information

profit resulting from the tallow and hides, sent to Europe by

on Deer Creek. She thinks the obvious implication is that

the merchants who buy them.” Records from the Arkansas

Deer Creek was an “unofficial operation based on coopera-

Post show that about 65 voyageurs were on the river in 1749.

tion between the Indians and French hunter-voyageurs.”

The same source has a similar listing of trade items, and also

The War of the Austrian Succession 1744 to 1748 so severely

salted meat and buffalo tongues. The trade down the Missis-

interrupted shipping because of English raids, that French

sippi from the Illinois had increased from two to four or five

trade goods for the frontier became extremely short. About

boats because of the goods from other posts along the way.

that time New Mexico cut off trade with the Comanche.

It develops that the Deer Creek and Bryson-Paddock Sites

It was during this European war period of the 1740s,

were not trading posts in the sense that we usually think of

according to the three French deserters who were inter-

them, such as the Arkansas Post or Ft. Cavagnial.

viewed in 1749 in Santa Fe that an alliance was made

The French were hunting with the Indians and were

with the panipiques of the Deer Creek vicinity and the

evidently aiding in the processing of the game. The

Comanche living west of them. Luis Febro said it had

Wichita were receiving European trade items in return

taken place two years earlier; his companions said “a

for help in certain aspects of the business, such as pro-

little more” than two years. It seems likely that this did

viding horses for hunting and transporting large por-

occur about 1746-1747.

tions of the game to the villages and in preparing the

The New Mexicans believed that the French had been

hides and other meat products for shipment. The associ-

instrumental in arranging this agreement at a time when the

ation with the Wichita would have been a great advan-

Comanche had been cut off from Spanish sources. It was

tage to those hunters who had worked out this coopera-

possibly a horses-for-guns deal. The French traders had

tive venture and would have greatly increased their

already enticed the Tawakonis south, away from Osage raids,

returns.

to become part of the Indian barrier to Spanish expansion

The Spaniard, Sandoval, reported that in 1750, when he


visited the Wichita village that was probably Deer Creek, the

French commander had given the Indians vermillion, beads,

impacted trade. In 1757 no ships came to New Orleans,

knives, guns, ammunition, hats, cloth, and the like, and a

and consequently, there was a shortage of trade goods. The

French flag. The hunting-processing operation at the Deer

Taovayas moved at that time to the Longest Site on the Red

Creek and Bryson-Paddock sites were a phenomenon with

River. The only source of information concerning their move

roots in the domestic trade of Louisiana.

comes from the statement of a prisoner who they released in

1765. They built a fortified village with a large horseshoe-

During this period of the flowering of the Deer Creek/

Predictably, the French and Indian War severely

Bryson-Paddock Sites, the Osage were continuously harass-

shaped or circular, palisaded earthwork and ditch reminiscent

ing. It has already been mentioned that this raiding was

of Deer Creek, probably an idea gleaned from their French

probably part of the reason other Wichita bands had already

associates. Here they quickly reestablished their commercial

removed to the Red River and possibly the reason the Ver-

preeminence, now aligned with Natchitoches instead of the

digris villages may have moved to Deer Creek. In 1751 the

Arkansas Fort.

governor-general of New France wrote the Osage “have been

making war continually on the Panis noirs and picques and

warriors engaged in a full-scale offensive. In 1758 the Tawa-

have achieved the destruction of an entire village which had

konis, Taovayas, Yscanis, Kitsai, and other Wichita people,

commenced with the measles and smallpox�

along with the Tejas, Bidais, Tonkawas, Comanche, and oth-

The Taovaya emerged on the scene in Spanish Texas as

Listed as National Historic Landmarks, in addition to the Deer Creek site, Kay County boasts the Marland Mansion and the 101 Ranch Historic District.

37


er tribes attacked the mission at San Sába de la Santa Cruz for the purpose of exterminating the Lipan Apache there, detested enemies of the Comanche. In 1759 Don Diego Ortiz Parilla led a punitive expedition from San Antonio. This episode is a tale from the Indian wars that almost rivals the old European epics. Parilla attacked a Tonkawa village, taking sixty captives whom he used as guides to the Wichita stronghold. The Comanche were camped with the Taovaya at San Bernardino at the time. As the Spanish marched through the forest, they were attacked by a large party of mounted Indians who fled when the Spanish charged. The Spanish followed closely and “emerged abruptly onto a clear plain, just in time to see the Indians disappear into a fort on the bank of a large river.” Parilla observed that the formidable defensive position of the fort was stockaded, with a moat, a stockaded path to the river, and a corral for their livestock within the fortifications. Garrisoned with a sizable force of Indians, the fleur-de-lis fluttered overhead, and their Comanche allies were camped just beyond. The Indians took the initiative, making repeated sallies from the fort, led by a daring Taovaya chief who was eventually killed. They kept the Spanish under constant fire for about four hours while reinforcements constantly arrived. That night they held a “great firelight celebration” inside the fort.

Parilla’s recruits and the Apache were so frightened that

they fled the battlefield. The Spanish were unable to take the Indian fortress; and with their reinforcements, the Indians crushed the Spanish forces. The Taovaya captured the two cannon that the Spanish had dragged all the way from San Antonio, a dangerous trophy that the Spanish did not recover for twenty years. Parilla blamed his disgrace on the French. After all, the Taovaya were well supplied with French weapons and ammunition, they flaunted a French flag within their stockade, and some said they were sure they heard a fife and drum. No Indians ever fought such a disciplined military action, he reasoned. Thus the Wichita spectacularly ascended briefly to dominate the balance of power in the Southern Plains, a real life story that eclipses the imagination of Hollywood.

The Deer Creek site lay abandoned. Possibly a few voya-

geurs worked there from time to time. But, as the years went by the usefulness of the site slowly sapped away, and it was covered over by time.

38

Well, What About Ft. Ferdinandina?

In 1926 Otto Miller who was the field assistant of Dr.

Thoburn wrote that Paul Miller of Winfield, Kansas had an old map, dated 1864 that showed Camp Ferdinandino. His interpretation of the position of the Camp placed it somewhere east of Ponca City. The map was later misplaced, but photographs were taken of it.

In examining the old photos, Wedel believes the map

was “Loyd’s Topographical Railway Map of North America or the United States Continent,” published by J.T. Lloyd of New York and London in 1868. Some other maps of the 1850s have a Ferdinandina in Kansas, none near the Deer Creek area. Meanwhile extensive search for eighteenth century maps, mentioning Ferdinandina has been made in the Library of Congress, the National Archives, Mexico City, Paris, etc. without finding any use of that term at all. The name simply appears to be a nineteenth century place name, perhaps a railroad water stop, now long gone.

The episode is a curiosity in early Oklahoma state

history, a time when we, like adolescents, were searching for our identity. The story of the Deer Creek Site or Ft. Ferdinandina is still unfolding. It is much richer now than the forest fort McRill postulated in the 1960s. It tells of the ascendancy of a relatively small Indian tribe to a place of commercial dominance and their subsequent precipitous decline; it tells of cultural change and adaptation among an Indian people; it tells of the development of resources, as it were, the earliest threshold of empire as New France reached west in the eighteenth century; it tells of power and wealth and violence and politics, and diplomacy in a lost and distant world. There is still more to be learned there. The site is now a National Historical Landmark. The University of Oklahoma plans to excavate and it is also planned that an appropriate public display will eventually be there.


Review

BOOK T

he combined talents of Frates and Fitzgerald have created a unique perspective of the physical structure of Oklahoma’s seventy-seven county and four federal courthouses and the historic and unusual events that have occurred inside their walls. Recognizable names such as Bill Tilghman, Belle Starr, and Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd are scattered among those lesser-known, but equally interesting, individuals whose lives have been shaped or changed through their fate in the courtroom. The stories range from funny and unbelievable to heartbreaking and justifiable. The Marshall County Courthouse was the scene of the trial of Sheriff Edd Long who had shot and killed County Attorney Franz Kim over a $52 claim for travel expenses. The Texas County Courthouse was featured by Ripley’s Believe It or Not for a trial presided over by the “Will Rogers of the Oklahoma Panhandle” F. Hiner Dale in 1938. In 1921 the Carter County Courthouse was

Oklahoma Courthouse Legends Essays by Kent F. Frates Photography by David Fitzgerald

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the scene of the trial of Clara Hamon. Reading like a movie, Jake Hamon, before dying, accused his mistress Clara of shooting him. Why the same last name? Jake had paid his nephew to marry her to conceal the affair. Clara claimed self defense, was found not guilty, and went on to, interestingly enough, marry the Hollywood director who had been in town filming her life story and became an actress. Historic cases also are featured, including the trial of former Oklahoma Governor David Hall, Roger Dale Stafford who was convicted of the Sirloin Stockade murders, and bombing conspirators Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. This large-format, heavily illustrated look at the courthouses and characters will not only appeal to those associated with the legal system in Oklahoma, but to anyone interested in the history and characters of those who have contributed to our rich heritage. —Gini Moore Campbell

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IT COULDN’T BE DONE

DALE COOK was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. After one year in college at the University of Oklahoma (OU), he served in the United States Army Air Corps and became a fighter pilot instructor during World War II. At the end of the War, he completed his undergraduate degree and earned his law degree at OU. Shortly after entering private legal practice, he was elected County Attorney of Logan County. Thereafter, he became an Assistant United States Attorney in Oklahoma City, and after several years went into private practice in a trial law firm, eventually becoming a partner. His career path took a new turn when he was persuaded by governor elect Henry Bellmon to assume the responsibility of serving as counsel to the first Republican governor of Oklahoma. After Governor Bellmon’s second legislative session, Dale left to form his own law firm and serve as president of a bank. Duty called again when he agreed to serve as Director of the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals in Washington, D.C. Shortly before leaving that position, he was appointed by President Gerald Ford and confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma in Tulsa. The Honorable H. Dale Cook served for more than 33 years.

COVER AND BOOK INTERIOR DESIGNED BY

Kris Vculek

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done, There are thousands to prophesy failure; There are thousands to point out to you, one by one, The dangers that wait to assail you. But just buckle in with a bit of a grin, Just take off your coat and go to it; Just start to sing as you tackle the thing That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it. —EDGAR A. GUEST

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KRIS COOK continues to live in the home she and Dale shared on Lake Fort Gibson. Kris was a corporate attorney for Sun Oil Company, MAPCO Inc., and The Williams Companies. She now limits her legal activities to doing pro bono work on projects and causes that interest her.

SERIES EDITOR

Gini Moore Campbell

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that; At least no one ever has done it”; But he took off his coat and he took off his hat, And the first thing we knew he’d begun it. With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin, Without any doubting or quiddit, He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

BORN TO SERVE HONORABLY

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done, But he with a chuckle replied That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried. So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin On his face. If he worried he hid it. He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Oklahoma’s favori te son, Will Rogers, wore many hats. As great celebrities of one of the world’s the 1920s and 1930s , he was a cowboy, humorist, vaudeville comedian, entertainer, actor, social commentato r, and journalist. Will was a syndicated columnist from 1922 his daily column, “Will to his death in 1935. With Rogers Says,” he had ridiculous side of curren a knack for showing the t events. He exagg amusement of 40 erated the facts each million readers—o week to the ne third 4,000 articles includ ed topics of big busine of the nation’s people. His saved his greatest ss, the wealthy, and jabs for politicians. the poor. He Among his most famou s witticisms are— “Well, all I know is the papers” and “I never met a man I what I read in didn’t like.”

BORN TO SERVE HONORABLY Dale Cook made an adventure out of all of life from transporting a block of ice in his wagon across a highway at age five to leading the high school band, flying P-51 Mustangs, trying lawsuits, advising the first Oklahoma Republican governor, running a Washington bureaucracy, and dispensing justice as a federal judge. His sense of integrity, duty, honor, and love of country guides his approach to the many challenges he faces. His quiet, unassuming story telling, sprinkled with humor and joy, teaches life lessons he invites us to share. After his death, the following quote was discovered in one of his computer files:

THE EDITOR:

BORN TO SERVE HONORABLY

BOB BURKE, born in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, has writte n more historical non-fiction books than anyone else in history. With a journa lism the University of Oklah degree from oma and a law degree from Oklah oma City University, Burke’s 102 books have won many awards, including three Pulitzer Prize nominations. He was state agency in the director of a large administration of Governor David Boren Boren’s first campa and managed ign for the U.S. Senat e in 1978. Burke is a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the Oklah Hall of Fame, and oma Journalism the Oklahoma Histor ians Hall of Fame. Robert, Amy, and He is father to Cody, and grandfather to Nathan, Jon, Ridge Greyson. He and his wife, Chimene, live , Fallon, and in Oklahoma City where law and writes books . he practices ISBN 978-0-9830295-

0-2

9

EPILOGUE BY KRIS COOK EPILOGUE BY KRIS COOK

7 8 0 9 8 3 0 2 9 5 0 2

K DUST JACKET.indd 1

5 2 4 9 5

When Ben Franklin was trying to decide whether to publish his memoirs from early years, he submitted his writing to several friends. Benjamin Vaughan wrote back:

The little private incidents which you will also have to relate will have considerable use, as we want above all things rules of prudence in ordinary affairs; and it will be curious to see how you have acted in these. It will be so far a sort of key to life and explain many things that all men ought to have once explained to them to give them a chance of becoming wise by foresight. The nearest things to having experience of one’s own is to have other people’s affairs brought before us in a shape that is interesting; this is sure to happen from your pen; your affairs and management will have an air of simplicity or importance that will not fail to strike; and I am convinced you have conducted them with as much originality as if you had been conducting discussions in politics or philosophy; REW and what more worthy of experiments andFO system (its OR D importance and its errors considered) than human life?

BY GO VER NO R

GE OR GE NIG H

2/15/11 2:47 PM

Miracle at Guthrie: The Founding of Oklahoma $19.95

H. Dale Cook: Born to Serve Honorably $29.95

Will Rogers: American Wordsmith $24.95

All publications are available at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum Store, bookstores statewide, Amazon.com, and www.oklahomaheritage.com.

39


The recount of a story told to Riggs many times as a child. His grandfather, Sam Ward, witnessed the hanging as a youngster.

I

By Terry Riggs

40

t was late in June of 1896 and was rumored to be the last legal hanging in Judge Isaac C. Parker’s federal court of the Western District of Arkansas, having jurisdiction over a part of the Indian Territory at Fort Smith, Arkansas. The Rufus Buck gang had been duly sentenced to “hang by the neck until dead” by Judge Parker. The mass execution, the only one in Parker’s 21 years on the bench for the crime of rape, was to take place at “The Gates of Hell,” the Fort Smith gallows, on July 1, 1896. Speculation seemed to support the rumor that these outlaws might be the last of Judge Parker’s condemned to hang. Judge Parker’s legal jurisdiction had been reduced to a fraction of its former area and the old judge himself was in very poor health and looked as though he had one foot in the grave. The Buck Gang had terrorized the old Indian Nation with murder, rape, and pillage. Now they would pay the ultimate payment. Parker’s chief executioner George Maledon would see to that. He was an expert in the art of hanging.


It was his duty; he had received an official invitation. Unbeknownst to him, he was to be the last judge of Skullyville County, Choctaw Nation of Indian Territory. Joseph Robert Hall Ward received his invitation in the mail to the hanging. It was not the first hanging he had attended, nor did he think it would be his last. He himself had passed judgment including capital punishment on Indian law breakers for years. But, in the back of his mind, Joe Ward felt this hanging would be special. Joe Ward was born on September 16, 1855 at Oak Lodge near Skullyville, northeast of present day Spiro, Oklahoma. He was the eldest son of Judge Jeremiah, better known as Judge Jerry, and Eliza LeFlore Ward. Both Jerry and Eliza had been born in Mississippi. Jerry Ward was not only a judge in the Choctaw Nation but was a well known blacksmith. Being a jurist in the Indian court system was not a full-time job. Eliza, the daughter of Choctaw Chief Greenwood LeFlore, was one of the first people off the boat at Fort Coffee in 1831. Being their oldest child, Joe was educated and nurtured in Choctaw society. He was well versed in the Choctaw, English, and French languages. Although the family had been split by the politics of the Civil War, they managed to put aside some

The Rufus Buck Gang shortly after their capture. Left to right, Maoma July, Sam Sampson, Rufus Buck, Luckey Davis, and Lewis Davis. In 1896, Judge Isaac Parker said “I have ever had the single aim of justice in view... ‘Do equal and exact justice,’ is my motto, and I have often said to the grand jury, ‘Permit no innocent man to be punished, but let no guilty man escape.’”

animosities after the fighting. Judge Jerry supported the Union and had even relocated the family to Fort Smith, Arkansas in1863 soon after it fell to Union troops. Eliza, who was a staunch Confederate named her second son, who was born in 1863, Jefferson Davis Ward. Jeff Ward grew up and became the first mayor of Spiro, incorporated in 1898. Young Joe was caught in the middle of the conflicts at home. He stated that it added to his character and made him much more open minded. He later married a full blood Mississippi Cajun named Lula Mae Batennse at Skullyville on March 7, 1877. Lula Mae Ward was also a staunch Confederate and named her oldest son John Wilkes Booth Ward after the man who shot President Abraham Lincoln. John W. B. Ward better known as “Smoot” was born at Murry Spur, Choctaw Nation in 1880 and died from typhoid fever at home in 1899.

41


Judge Isaac Parker arrived in Fort Smith on May 4, 1875 and held court for the first time six days later. At the age of 36, he was the youngest federal judge in the West.

With hangings a social function, Joe Ward had attended the 1895 execution of Crawford “Cherokee Bill” Goldsby. Goldsby was not yet 20 when he died on the Fort Smith gallows.

42

On June 30, 1896, Joe Ward hitched up his team of horses and loaded his entire family into the wagon to make the twenty-mile trip from the Murry Spur community in the Choctaw Nation where they resided to Fort Smith. The family treated this trip as a pleasure outing, much the same as a wedding or other social event. There was Joe, Lula, their children Eliza, John, Rebecca, Laura, Sampson, and Willis. It took them two days to make the journey as the Poteau River was in flood. Although Joe’s full-time position was ferry operator on the Poteau River crossing on the Old Pocola Highway between present day Spiro and Pocola, his experience gave them no advantage in the crossing. Once they arrived in Fort Smith, they found that every hotel was full. Rumor had it this could be Parker’s last hanging and people were gathering from all over the area. Joe Ward was lucky as he had testified in Judge Parker’s court many times and knew the Choctaw Nation always kept a room available at the LeFlore Hotel. This hotel had been built in 1870, and was located facing Garrison Avenue on the west side of Adelaide Hall, the present Varsity Grill building and two blocks from the new Fort Smith Courthouse located on South Sixth Street. They checked in at the hotel and all eight slept in the same room. Joe Ward was familiar with Fort Smith. He knew the ins and outs of the border town and also knew where to procure whiskey, or “Wolf ”. Whiskey was illegal in the Indian Territory, but Joe would manage to take home enough to last for a while if it was used for “medicinal purposes.” If he were caught with the contraband, he could lose his position with the Choctaw Nation, but his love of the ambercolored liquid was worth the risk. It is not common knowledge, but Judge Isaac C. Parker never attended a hanging he ordered. He was quoted as saying: “I’ve never hanged a man, it was the law.” The judge did not believe in capital punishment and would schedule the executions for Friday afternoon. Parker would then simply leave town for the weekend. Joe Ward did attend hangings. In the years before political correctness, hangings were as much a social function as sporting events are today. He had attended the 1895 execution of Crawford Goldsby, also known as Cherokee


Bill. There were remarks about how the West was changing, becoming more civilized as each outlaw was brought to frontier justice. Joe Ward would agree. His own judicial workload was shrinking each time the Choctaw court held session at Skullyville, held every three months. There were fewer and fewer prisoners held in the Choctaw jail located between Trahern Station and Red Town, presentday Panama. The morning of July 1 arrived, and the crowd was gathering. Behind the tall, white wooden fence those with passes were inside waiting for the condemned to be led to “The Gates of Hell.” One by one, Maoma July, Sam Sampson, Rufus Buck, and brothers Luckey and Lewis Davis were led up the steps of the gallows. There was singing by the throng of people there and a minister was attempting to soothe their fears and save their souls. George Maledon, who was known as “The Prince of the Hangmen,” adjusted the well-oiled Kentucky hemp rope nooses. Maledon was an expert at his trade. He left them a little loose and just behind the right ear. Eight-year-old Sam Ward had snuck in and was hidden partially behind his father. The men were asked if they had any last words…no one spoke. Maledon pulled the lever, the huge trap door opened and five necks snapped. It was over. The family hurried to start their journey back home. It was life back to normal and they all had chores to do. Later in the day while cleaning the cell that Rufus Buck had occupied, they would discover a poem composed by Buck on the morning of the execution. He had penned it on the back of a photograph of his mother. The Buck Gang hanging was one of the last hangings held in Fort Smith. Judge Isaac C. Parker died on November 17, 1896. He was buried in the United States National Cemetery in Fort Smith. The gallows dubbed “The Gates of Hell” were burned to the ground shortly after the death of Judge Parker.

While cleaning out the jail cell that housed Rufus Buck prior to his hanging, a photo of his mother was found. On the back of the photograph was a poem written by Buck.

After passing the bar at the age of 21, Judge Isaac Parker traveled to St. Joseph, Missouri and went to work for his uncle, a partner in a local law firm. Within two years he was working on his own in the municipal and county criminal courts.

43


Professional Baseball

Before

Excerpt taken from Territorians to Boomers: Professional Baseball in Ardmore 1904-1926.

World War II, Ardmore had and lost professional baseball three times. The first was the ten days of the Territorians in 1904; only one game was played in Ardmore that season, so the loss wasn’t much noticed. The semi-pro tradition was strong. The Texas-Oklahoma League played from 1911 until early June, 1914. The demise of the Ardmore club coincided with the development boom in the Healdton Field. Every able-bodied man headed for the oil patch including ball players. Baseball returned in 1921 following the opening of the Hewitt Field in 1919. When the price of oil dropped in the mid-1920s, professional baseball in Ardmore fell with it. The story of those times in the first quarter of the past century follows in From Territorians to Boomers. In January 1904, William Miller, a twenty-five year old typesetter from Kentucky, and Guy Rall, a twentythree year-old macaroni salesman, both of Ft. Worth, managed to secure the fourth franchise in the 1904 Texas League along with Corsicana, Ft. Worth, and Dallas for $2,500.

Paris, Texas, was a backwater town until the railroad arrived. As a cotton center, it was a rival of Ardmore.

Big Mike O’Connor was legendary in the early Texas League. Between the league’s first season in 1888 and 1904, he played on or managed nine different ball clubs. He finished the 1904 season as an umpire. He died in a state hospital in 1906.

44

Their “business plan” was to locate their club in Ardmore, the booming rail and cotton center in the Indian Territory that had good connections with the other league cities. When they could not come to terms with the Ardmore Park and Fairground Association, the ball park’s owner, they were sent scrambling to find a home for their not insubstantial investment. They landed on Paris, Texas, another cotton and rail center with a fairly new ball park that had hosted Texas League clubs in 1902 and 1903. It being late in the spring, the other owners reluctantly agreed. A schedule was drawn, Mike O’Connor, who had managed the 1896 Paris club, was hired again as manager and assembled a ragged cast of locals and minor league castaways as the “Red Ravens.” Quickly and universally they became known as the Paris “Parasites.” The Ardmore Park and Fairground Association, whose 1904 president was confectioner Julius Kahn, sponsored the local semi-pro Territorians in the Indian Territory League. When Walker and Rall came looking for a home for their franchise, they were told that the baseball ground was already spoken for. Called Chickasaw Park, the field was located between Fourth and Fifth Streets on South Washington and housed a wooden grandstand with the fans protected from stray balls by chicken wire. The left field fence was so short (less than 250 feet) that balls popped over it were ground rule doubles; the City Commission apparently had not yet closed A St. S.W. that ran through the property. All games, of course, were played during the day; lighted athletic fields were a quarter century in the future. The first Territorian nine took the field on April 10, 1904, in an exhibition against Mill Creek, a town club loaded with ringers from the disbanded Denton team;


in Ardmore in fact no player was from Mill Creek. In old heavy flannels that would be replaced six weeks later, the lineups were, for Ardmore hometown players, Clyde Nichols at shortstop, Heather, Miller and Bibbs in the outfield, and Hendrix on the mound. From Durant, Jones was behind the plate and Taylor at third, while Ft. Worth’s Hale and Wilson stood at first and second. The visitors that Sunday afternoon had only three players from the Twin Territories: pitcher Matlock from Durant, Long from Chickasha at the hot corner, and first baseman Simmons from Mangum, O.T. The Mill Creek outfielders were veterans of the north Texas semi-pro Denton Athletics: Bennett, Morgan, and Leach as well as the shortstop Taylor. The catcher, Waters, was from Memphis while the second baseman Masters hailed from Kansas City. In what looked like an upset, the Ardmore club took the out-of-towners fourteen to two.

by Peter G. Pierce

NS A I R O T I R TER ERS TO BOOM PROF

EB AL BAS ESSION

ARDMO ALL IN

4-1 RE 190

926

by Peter G. Pierce FOreWOrD by bUrKe MOrDy

Territorians to Boomers: Professional Baseball in Ardmore 1904-1926, along with Indians, Cardinals & Rosebuds: Professional Baseball in Ardmore 1947-1961, by Peter G. Pierce are 2011 releases of the Oklahoma Heritage Association.

Ardmore in 1904 from a photograph belonging to the Daube family.

45


Through it sPeople Nicole Harvey and Reece Van Horn restock some of the food products in the Museum Store following a visit from Duncan’s Chickasaw Senior Center.

Corie Baker, left, and Erin Page inventory the raffle items for the 2011 Battle of the Bands. Teen Boarders Hannah Hutchison and Britton Stowell helping bands get ready for their auditions for Battle of the Bands.

Bob Barry, Sr. signed copies of Voice of Bedlam: The Life of Bob Barry and memorabilia for fans following his last home basketball game as the voices of the Sooners. BELOW: Judging auditions for the 2011 Battle of the Bands were, standing, left to right, Britton Stowell, Bree Brooks, and Jenny Zou. Seated: Devin Pinaroc, Francie Trimble, Ashton Slatev, Kendall Morgan and Reid Gaines.

46

! r e e t n u l o V Volunteer Mary Flynn works on crafts with a visitor during Downtown in December.

Mary Flynn was in the first orientation class of volunteers helping to get the Heritage Keeper Volunteer Program off the ground. As a life-long Oklahoma resident, Mary joined the volunteer program with her daughter Lauren, a student at Harding Charter Preparatory High School. She was driven to volunteer from both a love of her state’s history and to set an example of volunteerism and involvement for her daughter. Since beginning her volunteer work at the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, Mary has helped with numerous events and projects, from Downtown in December to database entry. Museum Volunteer Coordinator Nicole Harvey says of Mary, “it is so nice to see a mother not only taking time out of her busy life to come and help out at our organization, but that she instills that same charitable spirit in her daughter Lauren is an incredible thing to see.” When Mary is not volunteering her time at the Museum or being a mom, she is working at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation as an executive assistant. For information on becoming a volunteer, contact Nicole Harvey, volunteer and museum service coordinator at 405/523-3231 or nh@oklahomaheritage.com.


Join the Oklahoma Heritage Association M E M B E R S H I P

A P P L I C A T I O N

Mr./Mrs./Dr./Ms. Daytime Telephone (

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)

Address e-mail City State Zip o Check payable to: Oklahoma Heritage Association o Bill my o VISA o MasterCard o Discover

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Memberships in the Oklahoma Heritage Association make excellent gifts. Please complete the form above and recipient information at right.

Expiration Date

/

Check membership desired. o Student ........................... $15 o Subscription ................... $35 o Individualism ................. $50 o Perseverance ................ $100 o Pioneer Spirit ................ $250 o Optimism ...................... $500 o Generosity .................. $1,000 o Legacy Circle ............ $2,000 o Honor Circle .............. $2,500 o Executive Circle ........ $3,500 o President’s Circle ....... $5,000 o Chairman’s Circle .... $10,000

GIFT RECIPIENT Mr./Mrs./Dr./Ms. GIFT RECIPIENT’S ADDRESS CITY STATE ZIP

MAIL APPLICATION TO: OKLAHOMA HERITAGE ASSOCIATION • 1400 CLASSEN DRIVE • OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73106

www.oklahomaheritage.com Subscription $35 • Subscription to Oklahoma: Magazine of the Oklahoma Heritage Association, Legacy newsletter and Heritage Headlines e-update

Pioneer Spirit: $250 All Perseverance benefits plus: • Four single-use guest passes to the GaylordPickens Museum

Executive Circle: $3,500 All Generosity benefits plus: • Customized facility use package* • Recognition in Legacy newsletter

Standard Membership Benefits • Subscription to Oklahoma: Magazine of the Oklahoma Heritage Association, Legacy newsletter and Heritage Headlines e-update • 10% discount at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum Store • Invitations to Association and Museum events • Membership discounts on programs and events

Optimism: $500 All Pioneer Spirit benefits plus: • 25% discount on one-time rental of the Devon Classroom

President’s Circle: $5,000 All Generosity benefits plus: • Customized facility use package* • Recognition in Legacy newsletter • Recognition in The Oklahoman and Tulsa World Oklahoma Hall of Fame Sunday Supplement

Student $15 All Standard benefits plus: • Annual admission pass to the Gaylord-Pickens Museum for student (must present valid student ID; kindergarten through college eligible)

Generosity: $1,000 All Optimism benefits plus: • One complimentary weekday use of the Edith Kinney Gaylord Garden or Bennett-McClendon Great Hall • Advance opportunity to purchase Oklahoma Hall of Fame tickets • Recognition in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame program

Individualism: $50 All Standard benefits plus: • Annual admission pass to the Gaylord-Pickens Museum

Legacy Circle: $2,000 All Generosity benefits plus: • Customized facility use package* • Recognition in Legacy newsletter

Perseverance: $100 All Standard benefits plus: • Annual admission passes to the Gaylord-Pickens Museum for 2 adults and household children under 18

Honor Circle: $2,500 All Generosity benefits plus: • Customized facility use package* • Recognition in Legacy newsletter

Chairman’s Circle: $10,000 All Generosity benefits plus: • Customized facility use package* • Recognition in Legacy newsletter • Recognition in The Oklahoman and Tulsa World Oklahoma Hall of Fame Sunday Supplement

For more information about any of our membership levels or to customize your membership package at the $1,000 level and above, call Alexis Lux at 405/523-3207. *Facility use is subject to availability, and restrictions may apply.

47


MAGAZINE DONORS

* Denotes Charter Sponsor

Robert D. Allen* Oklahoma City

Sharlene S. Branham* Oklahoma City

Nancy Payne Ellis Oklahoma City

Lona A. Barrick Ada

Phyllis & Russal Brawley Oklahoma City

Ken & Mary Ann Fergeson* Altus

Sam Barrick Ardmore

Mary Sue & Gordon Brown Oklahoma City

Gerald & Jane Fiedler Ponca City

Bob Barry, Sr. Norman

Arthur W. Buswell Kingfisher

Sen. & Mrs. Charles Ford Tulsa

Baker Group, LLC Edmond

Michael A. Cawley Ardmore

John & Linda Gibbs Holdenville

Carlton Bass McAlester

Vida S. Chenoweth, Ph.D. Oklahoma City

Curtis S. Green Tulsa

William M. Bell Oklahoma City

Bill Conger Oklahoma City

Martha Griffin* Muskogee

Barbara Bass Berry* Sapulpa

Kaye & Edward H. Cook Oklahoma City

Mrs. James G. Grissom Edmond

Howard K. Berry, Jr. Oklahoma City

Jackie Cooper Oklahoma City

Herron Industries Idabel

Mr. & Mrs. Donald S. Bentley/The Lawton Constitution Newspaper Lawton

Bill Gumerson & Associates Oklahoma City

Mr. & Mrs. Glenn A. Cox Bartlesville

Mary Sue Hill Oklahoma City

Elaine & Harrison Levy* Oklahoma City

Gary & Pat Bintz Ponca City

Betsy Amis Daugherty* Oklahoma City

Nadine Norton Holloway Oklahoma City

Hilda L. Lewis Oklahoma City

Bobby C. Blair Shawnee

Frederick Drummond* Pawhuska

Bill J. Horne, Sr. Ada

Marge MacKinnon Okmulgee

Mr. & Mrs. George W. James Oklahoma City

Edmund O. Martin Edmond

Mr. & Mrs. G. T. Blankenship* Mr. & Mrs. Arthur B. Eckroat Jones Oklahoma City

Kent G. “Gib” & Jennifer James Oklahoma City Lou C. Kerr/The Kerr Foundation, Inc., Oklahoma City Juanita Kidd* Edmond Ward Petroleum Corporation* Enid Robert J. LaFortune Tulsa LASSO Corp. Oklahoma City

Janice & Pat Martin Okemah

Kent & Mary Patton Oklahoma City

Mrs. Hazel E. Roberts Edmond

Gary & Sheila Tredway Oklahoma City

Paul & Judy Kaye Massad* Norman

Homer & Ramona Paul Edmond

Robert L. Rorschach Tulsa

Forrest J. “Frosty” Troy Midwest City

Charles H. & Caroline Mayfield Oklahoma City

Ruby C. Petty Oklahoma City

Dr. Marvin & Loree Schlichting Corn

Frosty & Gayla Turpen Owasso

Donna McSpadden Chelsea Herman & LaDonna Meinders Oklahoma City Peter Meinig Tulsa Larry & Joan Minks Durant P. B. Odom, III Oklahoma City Louise Painter Oklahoma City Fieldon Parham Duncan Mr. & Mrs. Richard Parker Oklahoma City Robert L. Parker, Sr. Tulsa

Roma Lee Porter Lawton

Kris Vculek Waukomis

Pete & Theo Silas* Bartlesville

Presbyterian Health Foundation Oklahoma City

Walter & Associates, Inc. Tulsa

Ann S. Alspaugh* Oklahoma City

Norris & Betty Price Oklahoma City

John F. Snodgrass Ardmore

Bill & Niki Puffinbarger Oklahoma City

Raegan Chewning Edmond

The Puterbaugh Foundation McAlester

Roger & Amy Spring Oklahoma City

Mr. & Mrs. Penn V. Rabb, Jr. Lawton

Standley Systems Chickasha

Gene Rainbolt Oklahoma City

Dean & Carol Stringer* Oklahoma City

Berta Faye Rex Oklahoma City

Robert E. Thomas* Tulsa

Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis Oklahoma City

Judge & Mrs. Ralph G. Thompson* Oklahoma City

Mr. & Mrs. W. K. Warren, Jr. Tulsa Linda C. Weaver Nichols Hills Stanley & Ruth Youngheim El Reno Dr. & Mrs. Nazih Zuhdi Nichols Hills CONNECTICUT M. Bruce Shields Hamden MARYLAND Mr. & Mrs. W. DeVier Pierson Chevy Chase NEW YORK Alan C. “Ace” Greenberg New York City TEXAS Mr. & Mrs. Cy Wagner

Members & Donors

To more accurately thank those who have made contributions to the Association and Museum, this section is comprised of both members Midland and donors at the $2,500 level and above. As we are funded primarily through private donations and memberships, we are extremely grateful for the support of our donors. Listed below are the donors and members at the $2,500 level and above, current as of March 1, 2011.

Mission Partners

Mrs. Josephine Freede Oklahoma City

Lew and Myra Ward Enid

Mr. and Mrs. R.Z. Naifeh Oklahoma City

Mrs. Karen Childs Edmond

Mr. and Mrs. Thane Swisher Oklahoma City

McAfee & Taft Oklahoma City

GHK Exploration LP Oklahoma City

Dr. and Mrs. Nazih Zuhdi Oklahoma City

Oklahoma Blood Institute Oklahoma City

Mr. Matthew C. Coleman Cordova, TN

T.D. Williamson, Inc. Tulsa

Mr. John W. Norman Oklahoma City

President’s Circle

Mr. and Mrs. William Stuart Price Tulsa

Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Cummings Oklahoma City

Ms. Kay Thomas Edmond

Puterbaugh Foundation McAlester

Downtown OKC, Inc. Oklahoma City

Ms. Misun Tisdale Woodward

Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation Oklahoma City

Mr. H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt Oklahoma City

First National Bank of Oklahoma Oklahoma City

Mr. Quincy Williams Las Vegas, NV

RAM Energy, Inc. Tulsa

Frates Family, LLC Oklahoma City

Mr. and Mrs. Dahl Windham Oklahoma City

Raymond A. Young Trust Dallas, TX

Dr. Arthur Hagan Stillwater

Zarrow Families Foundation Tulsa

Richard and Johnece Ryerson Alva

Helmerich & Payne Inc. Tulsa

Ms. Kathryn M. Zynda Oklahoma City

Smith & Pickel Construction Oklahoma City

Ms. Karen Hudgens Edmond

Frosty and Gayla Turpen Owasso

Governor and Mrs. Frank Keating McLean, VA

$2,500-$3,499

Penn Presentation, LLC New York, NY

University of Oklahoma Foundation Norman

Kerr Foundation Oklahoma City

Dr. Don and Tina Bonner Duncan

Mr. Michael T. Peyton Tulsa

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City

Mr. James Kraham Edmond

Mr. and Mrs. Nevyle Cable Okmulgee

Mr. and Mrs. W. DeVier Pierson Chevy Chase, MD

Mr. and Mrs. Mike D. Case Tulsa

Mr. and Mrs. Ford C. Price Oklahoma City

Mr. Jerry Clack Tulsa

Renaissance Oklahoma City Hotel Oklahoma City

Cole & Reed Oklahoma City

Rolling RRR Ranch Edmond

Cordillera Energy Partners III, LLC Greenwood Village, CO

RSM Investments, LLC Oklahoma City

Judge and Dr. Robert Henry Oklahoma City

Mr. and Mrs. William F. Shdeed Oklahoma City

Heritage Hills Associate Board Oklahoma City

Simons Petroleum Oklahoma City

Mr. and Mrs. David L. Kyle Tulsa

University Of Tulsa College of Law Tulsa

Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Leichter Edmond

Mr. John D. Williams Sr. Claremore

Main Street Parking, LLC Oklahoma City

Winegardner & Hammons, Inc. Cincinatti, OH

American Fidelity Foundation Oklahoma City Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Durant

Mr. C. Hubert Gragg Newcastle

Conoco Phillips Houston, TX

Heritage Trust Co. Oklahoma City

Mr. and Mrs. Duke R. Ligon Oklahoma City

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Oklahoma City

Oklahoma Publishing Company Oklahoma City

Mr. and Mrs. Aubrey K. McClendon Oklahoma City

Simmons Foundation Oklahoma City

Mr. and Mrs. Herman Meinders Oklahoma City

Chairman’s Circle

$10,000 +

Mr. and Mrs. Joe Moran III Tulsa

Ms. Ann S. Alspaugh Oklahoma City

Mrs. Mary Nichols Oklahoma City

Baseball in the Cross Timbers LLC Norman

Oklahoma City Community Foundation, Inc. Oklahoma City

Mr. Bill Burgess Lawton

Oklahoma City Thunder Oklahoma City

Mr. and Mrs. Bob Burke Oklahoma City

Oklahoma Gas & Electric Foundation Oklahoma City

Chesapeake Energy Corporation Oklahoma City

Oklahoma State University Foundation Stillwater, OK

Chickasaw Nation Ada

ONEOK Foundation Tulsa

Ms. Kristin Cook Wagoner

T. Boone Pickens Dallas, TX

Devon Energy Corporation Oklahoma City

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. Ada

Diva Living Trust Woodland Hills, CA E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation Oklahoma City Express Employment Professionals Oklahoma City Fred Jones Family Foundation Oklahoma City

48

Mr. and Mrs. Carl R. Renfro Ponca City Mr. Frank C. Robson Claremore Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Ardmore Judge and Mrs. Ralph G. Thompson Oklahoma City

$5,000-$9,999

Bank of Oklahoma Tulsa Charles and Peggy Stephenson Family Foundation Tulsa Mr. and Mrs. Jeremy Davis Houston, TX Dell Foundation Oklahoma City Drew and Linda Edmondson Oklahoma City First United Durant Mr. and Mrs. Ike Glass Newkirk Ms. Marilee Hopkins Chicago, IL Mr. James F. Howell Midwest City IBC Bank Oklahoma City James C. & Teresa K. Day Foundation Sugar Land, TX

Walton Family Foundation Bentonville, AR William T. Payne Fund Oklahoma City

Executive Circle

Mr. Griff Jones Cypress, TX

$3,500-$4,999

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Tulsa

American Board of Trial Advocates Tulsa

Chancellor and Mrs. Tom J. McDaniel Oklahoma City

Anthony Flooring Systems, Inc. Edmond

Mustang Fuel Corporation Oklahoma City

AT&T Oklahoma City

Mutual of Omaha Bank Omaha, NE

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Brown Edmond

Mr. and Mrs. Jason Landkamer Dallas, TX Dr. Norm Levine Edmond Ms. Calley McGehee Oklahoma City Mekusukey Oil Company, LLC Wewoka Mr. and Mrs. Victor Munding Oklahoma City Mr. and Mrs. Gary Parker Muskogee Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis Oklahoma City Mrs. Sue Moss Sullivan Oklahoma City

Honor Circle

Oklahoma City University Oklahoma City Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs Oklahoma City Oklahoma Gas & Electric Services Oklahoma City OMRF Oklahoma City OSU-Tulsa Tulsa

We want to accurately thank our supporters. If you notice an error, please contact Alexis Lux 405.523.3207 or alux@oklahomaheritage.com


HALL OF FAME SPOTLIGHT: JORDAN J. N. TANG

THE LAST HANGING

SENATOR ROBERT S. KERR’S OKLAHOMA WATERWAY

PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL IN ARDMORE

$3.95

RUBY DARBY: THE TOAST OF THE OIL FIELD WORKERS

OHA’S STORY THROUGH ITS PEOPLE

FORT FERDINANDINA

CURRICULUM CHANGE BECAUSE OF THE COLD WAR: HOW DID OKLAHOMA ANSWER THE CALL?

Oklahoma: The Magazine of the Oklahoma Heritage Association - April 2011  

Designed to preserve and promote all aspects of Oklahoma history and heritage.