Oakie & Duchess' SW Corner
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2005!
Since this is the last day of December, 2004, we thought perhaps we could catch many of you tonight before, after and/or at midnight to ring in the New Year for 2005. I guess you could say that this is a No frill or "vanilla" version of the OkieLegacy in Summary.
The Pilgrim Bard (Scott Cummins) says it best in his 1926 poem about New Years Eve & New Years:
"Another year its shuttle threads
We saw where last year at this time that our OkieLegacy visitor counter clocked a total of 200,000 visitors. I believe our counter today was something like 325,000 plus.
January 2004 -- Remember Fort Reno, Oklahoma? Fort Reno - fortreno.org - a military camp in 1874 -- was established as a military post in 1875 with construction of permanent buildings began in 1876. The Fort and Darlington Agency served the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians across the Canadian River. Together they preserved the peace and directed the orderly transition of that part of Indian Territory from reservation to individual farms and ranches. Troops from Fort Reno supervised the first Great Land Run of 1889 that opened the Unassigned lands for settlement. Buffalo Soldiers of Fort Reno (Companies of the 9th & 10th U.S. Cavalry) were made up of Six black regiments, two of cavalry and four of infantry, and were authorized by congress in 1866 and stationed at Fort Reno. The name was given by the Indians to the black regiments for the color and texture of hair between the horns of the buffalo. The Buffalo Soldiers had the reputation for effective, consistent fighting against the lawless whites, Mexicans and Indians.
Then later in mid January we experienced the Red Hat Ladies (Okie Dokies) in Alva (Oklahoma). It was their monthly group gathering for dinner at the Alva Bowl Cafe. The ladies included in this "Red Hat Club" are: Barbara Case, Liz Stanaway, Ginny Hubbert, Eleanor Ring, Rose Elmore, Verla Vogts, Viola Marquette, Betty Cushenbery, Joan Nelson, Agnes Pemberton, Doris Marcus, Phyllis Devery, Leona Corbin, Dottie Gatz, Emily Rathgeber, Jane Gaskell, Jean Rose.
Also, in January we learned of another NW Oklahoma mystery of an abandoned boy in Waynoka between 1939 or 1940. Nancy Eddy was wondering, "If anyone had ever heard any stories about a small boy being abandoned in Waynoka, Oklahoma? I now live in Topeka, Kansas and just started doing some Genealogy work. My step-father, Jack Beaman, is from Waynoka. He was adopted about 1939 or 1940. He was abandoned by his father with last name Ray when Jack was about 3-years-old. We know they came from California and stayed at an apartment in Waynoka for about 2-months. One morning little Jack Ray woke-up and his dad was gone. He never heard or saw his father again. The people who owned the apartment had the last name of Beaman which they gave to Jack at age 13 or 16 when they adopted him, thus he became Jack Ray Beaman. Maybe there might be old registers around somewhere? I know at some point Jack went into the airforce, his social security number comes from Kansas. Even his own children don't remember anything. To them that was in the past. I don't know if I told you he was a twin. He also remembered that they (he and his dad) came from California and his mother was a concert piano player. Now... how hard would it be to find a concert piano player who gave birth to twin boys." -- Nancy Eddy -- Email: email@example.com
January brought us a new connection via a descendant of Harry Short. Harry had played on the Austin Senators (South Texas League) baseball team at the same time as our grandfather (Wm J. "Bill" McGill) in 1906. The great-grandson of Harry Short was Andrew Short that had contacted us. This is what Andrew had written, "My name is Andrew Short. I believe my great-grandfather, Harry Short, was a teammate of Will McGill's on the 1906 Austin Senators. I wanted to send you a note to thank you for the wonderful website you have put up - oakielegacy.org - honoring among other things your grandfather, his life, and his baseball career. In trying to do some research on my family history, I found your website and with it a great deal of history about my great-grandfather as well. I was wondering if it would be okay for me to download a copy of the 1906 team photo (backside of photo with names of players) so that I might be able to add it to the documents I am collecting about our family history? There is a story in my family that, like Will, my great-grandfather at one time was called up to play with St. Louis in the Major Leagues. Although, for which St. Louis team I'm not sure. When he told his wife, she refused to move to St. Louis, thus ending Harry's Major League baseball career. He became a player/manager in the Texas leagues instead, in addition to other careers. I have at home some newspaper clippings and stories from various Texas newspapers in the early 1900s about Harry's baseball career. I will go back and review them to see if any of them mention Will McGill as well. If they do, I would be happy to copy them and send them along to you. In addition to playing baseball in Texas, I know that my great-grandfather and other relatives also lived for awhile in Oklahoma. Again, I simply wanted to thank you for all the hard work and effort you've put into your website. In doing so, you have allowed me to reclaim a piece of my family history. Best regards." -- Andrew H. Short
February 2004 -- We thought we had found the whereabouts of the old Woods County fountain that once graced the downtown courthouse square, but it was not the three-tiered big fountain after all. It turned out to be only the Dragon Head fountain that now resides in a prominent Albuquerque, New Mexico private courtyard. We found out from one of our readers, "It (Dragonhead fountain) was a drinking fountain that stood on the walk outside the west steps of the courthouse and adjacent to the goldfish pond. The fountain, pond and dragonhead drinking fountain were located on the westside of the old Woods County courthouse square in downtown Alva, Oklahoma. We do NOT know where the towering, three-tiered fountain that once graced our courthouse park is located today? Jim Barker sent us a picture of his brother and sister (Bill & Ruby) posing on the railing of the courthouse fountain.
The 75th Anniversary of the Great Race/Run of 1893 in Oklahoma Territory brought back memories when we shared tidbits from a local newspaper printed in Alva, September, 1968, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the "Great Race of 1893. -- okielegacy.net/75thanniversary-1968.html
Remember when one of our readers sent us a doc-file of his father's memories during WWII when he was stationed at the prisoner-of-war camp in Alva, Oklahoma from September 28, 1944 to September 17, 1945. Memories of Cpt. Miles W. Kelly's Year in Alva... "After service in North Africa and Italy during World War II, my father, Dr. Miles William Kelly, was stationed at the prisoner-of-war camp in Alva, Oklahoma from September 28, 1944 to September 17, 1945. He was one of the medical officers at the facility. For the most part, this account is based on the letters that he wrote home to my mother. At least one local history, newspaper articles, and a small amount of government documents also added much to this narrative. Before relating his story, however, a few words must be said on the history of the prison camp itself. The following paragraphs are largely a paraphrase of a section of the camp in Alva, Oklahoma: The First 100 Years, 1886-1986 (1987) by Seekers of Oklahoma Heritage Association augmented by some of the government documents mentioned above. -- Bruce - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org -- okielegacy.org/WWIIpowcamps/Alva Year.doc
Towards the end of February we learned from a 1939 news article in the Waynoka News, dated Thursday, June 15, 1939 about the biggest privately owned man-made lake in the state that was in the Dust Bowl of area of Oklahoma's Panhandle, on the 3200 acre farm of O. W. Tucker, in Cimarron County. It's dam was 45 feet high and would hold 900 acre feet of water and would irrigate 300 acres of alfalfa (started in 1937) through ditches running from both sides of the dam. The 1939 news article mentioned that C. T. Sturdevant was extension service engineer of Oklahoma A & M College back in 1939 and was assisted by someone called "Uncle Bill" Baker (Cimarron County agent) and Tucker's two sons when they made the original survey for the lake, dam.
Remember the link to the 1930's Dust Bowl Stories with excerpts from The Dust Bowl, Men, Dirt and Depression by Paul Bonnifield. The 1930's Dust Bowl was a term born in the hard times from the people who lived in the drought-stricken region during the great depression. The term was first used in a dispatch from Robert Geiger, an AP correspondent in Guymon, and within a few short hours the term was used all over the nation. The Dust Bowl Days, also known as the Dirty Thirties, took its toll on Cimarron County. The decade was full of extremes: blizzards, tornadoes, floods, droughts, and dirt storms. Early Thirties Economy -- In 1930 and 1931, the decade opened with unparalleled prosperity and growth. NATION'S BUSINESS magazine labeled the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas as the most prosperous region. The Panhandle was a marked contrast to the long soup lines of the Eastern United States. -- www.ptsi.net/user/museum/dustbowl.html
April 2004 -- Alva was in the process of beginning another mural (Castle on the Hill) at 5th & Oklahoma Blvd. with local artists, Jim Richey, Warren Little and Rod Dunkin. They began by outlining the design for the Castle on the Hill mural at the corner of Fifth Street and Oklahoma Boulevard.
It was in April 2004 when K101 Radio Early Morning Show, 20 April 2004, talked about the OkieLegacy and the Ann Reynolds Story mysterious fiery death in 1956. -- okielegacy.org/mystery/annreynolds/index.html
July 2004, Waynoka, Oklahoma celebrated seventy-five years (July 8, 1929) when transportation history was changed for travelers from the east and west coasts when a 2-day air and rail trip was established that would take them across America in 48 hours. Charles Lindbergh was an officer in Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT). TAT was the company that developed the service and selected Waynoka as the western terminus of the eastern division. It was a place where passengers would switch between trains and planes, morning and evening -- eating breakfast, dinner at the Harvey House. It began in June and continued into July when we made our move from Oklahoma to SW Colorado. This was one of those months that found us on the move between Oklahoma andColorado. Duchess' favorite spot outside was sitting, waiting by the pickup door for hints of our next journey.
September 2004, We received 1926, 1937 and 1938 Northwestern State Teachers College yearbooks that we began transcribing shortly afterwards (beginning with the 1926 yearbook). We are still transcribing on the '38 yearbook from Northwestern's College, in Alva. Check out our Old Albums -- OkieLegacy.net -- http://community.webshots.com/album/187403166kaVbcy
We did finish scanning the 1926 NSTC Ranger Album. We learned that 1926 was the first year of the Junior High School (7th, 8th, 9th grades) on the campus of Northwestern with Miss Ann K. Wilke as Director & Principal. The large room on the second floor of the Science Hall was formerly occupied by the library and had been assigned as a study hall for this department. October 2004 -- We started transcribing the 1937-38 Student Directory of Northwestern State Teachers' College and found our mother's name, address where she was living in '37 & '38 while going to College. We also recognize lots of other names listed in the student directory. We had started transcribing the 1937 Ranger album. By mid-October we were still transcribing the 1937 Ranger annual. -- okielegacy.net/NSTCRanger1937/index.html -- okielegacy.org/DOC files/StudentDirectory37-38.doc
We finished the transcribing of the 1937 Ranger yearbook, learning that the Northwestern Alumni Association was established in the spring of 1934? A banquet was held at the Presbyterian Church to organize an alumni organization to include the alumni back to 1921. In the spring of 1935 the alumni association enlarged the group to include the classes receiving degrees, diplomas each year from 1900 to 1937. In 1936 the alumni held its annual banquet in the Bell Hotel dining room, and included all the graduating classes from 1900 to the present day in the mid-1930s. They held their alumni banquets each spring and sponsored the biggest event of the year for Alva and Northwestern -- the annual Homecoming event.
Remember When Thelma DeGeer Lippincott celebrated her 100th year in June, 2004 and past away Oct. 28, 2004 as her family and friends gave celebration to her 100+ years.
November 2004 -- The latter part of November we were trying to find the descendants/families of the 1930s NSTC Students so we could return the original photos taken at Ellis Studio in Alva and Saunders Studio in Woodward, in NW Oklahoma during the 1930s. Most of them have a firstname signed on the photo while others might have a first and lastname. BUT there are two photos that had NO names on them - unknown male and unknown female. We hope someone out there can help us locate their descendants. We did find a couple of homes for a few of the photos. -- www.okielegacy.net/slideshow.htm
Also, in December we found out that the 1st graduating class of Northwestern High School (NWHS) was 1937? It was located in the NEW Horace Mann building on Northwestern's College Campus. We found this little tidbit in the 1937 Ranger Album when she was reading about the Training School they had on the Northwestern State Teachers' College campus to train future teachers. You can read more about the Demonstration School & Class History of NWHS over at our NW OkieLegacy website - 1937 Ranger Album.
We didn't get started transcribing the 1938 Ranger yearbook until around mid-December. We also put the 1926, 1937 & 1938 Ranger yearbooks into a pdf file for your Christmas present to share with you all. You can now view them over at pbpartnersllc.org by clicking on the "Old Albums" link. We are still in the process of scanning the 1938 Ranger yearbook. -- pbpartnersllc.org/OldAlbums.html -- pbpartnersllc.org/pdf-files/Ranger-1926.pdf -- pbpartnersllc.org/pdf-files/Ranger-1937.pdf -- pbpartnersllc.org/pdf-files/Ranger-1938.pdf
Duchess and The OkieLegacy family would like to wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2005. We thank you for sharing your Okie Legacies throughout the past year and hope to hear from you in 2005. See you next weekend and next year with our regular HTML format.
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