NW OK - Alva Pioneers
A. Connet -- He was born in Green County, Pennsylvania, Oct.
17, 1834. He was ordained in Southern Indiana, Oct. 20, 1861. He
came from near Dwight, Morris county, Kansas, to Alva and preached
his first sermon, Sept. 24 (1893), the second Sunday after the opening,
in C. W. Hobbie's new store building. He assisted in the collection
of funds for the Union church, and with his own hands assisted in
its erection. In it he conducted thanksgiving services on Thanksgiving
day, 1893. The church was commenced on Monday and the services were
held in it on Thursday of the same week. Mr. Connet married at his
home one block south of the center of the square, the first couple,
Mr. and Mrs. E. G. McIntire, that were married in the county, on
Christmas day, 1903. W. F. Hatfield and wife witnessed the ceremony.
Rev. S. J. Malone -- The pastor of the Congregational church was a native of Peoria, Illinois. He was of Scotch Irish parentage. In 1904 he was 38 years of age and had been publicly connected with religious work since 19 years of age. He had been engaged in City Missionary and young Men's Christian Associations work in Peoria and Chicago, and in Evangelistic work in Illinois and Iowa. He had been in the regular Pastoral work of 12 years. He was a graduate of the high school and had taken two years special studies in Eureka College, and had also had special work from Moody Bible Institute, Chicago. Rev. Malone had only been in Alva a short time, but his energy and earnestness in church work was already recognized.
A. C. Grimes -- Grimes was a native of Tennessee. He came west around 1888 and made the run into the strip from the Kansas line north of Pond Creek. He and Gilbert Nearson were the first men into that town with a team and buggy. Mr. Grimes came to Alva, Oct. 15, 1893, and selected his farm four miles north of town, which is one of the best watered and finest fruit farms in Woods county. In Sept. 1894, he wrote out the heading for the first "Free Homes" petition ever started in Oklahoma. The Pioneer printed the heading on long sheets of paper and they were placed in the hands of all postmasters and many other people in the county. Thousands signed them and they were later sent to Washington, D.C. Mr. Grimes held several public offices, the last being county commissioner from September 1, 1894 to January 10, 1895.
E. C. Stone & W. T. Peoples -- Messrs Stone and Peoples were carpenters. They built the Presbyterian church and several of the splendid residences of Alva. They came to the Woods county area around 1900.
M. G. Emmert -- Emmert was the manager of the Gloyd Lumber yard, one of the first started in the city of Alva. Mr. Emmert arrived in Woods county around 1902.
Hugh Donnan -- The Photographer - native of South Carolina. He came to Alva in April, 1901. He was an excellent workman and had built up a nice picture business in Alva. His photos were always strictly up-to-date and were unexcelled by photos made anywhere. At least three-fifths of the photos in the Alva Pioneer souvenir edition were made by him. His big Studio was on the southwest corner of the square was fitted up in the latest style, with all the modern fixtures, machinery and apparatus. The Donnan Studio boasted that you could not leave an order for anything photographic at their studio that will not be filled on short notice, and guaranteed satisfactory.
Lute Weld -- Weld was a student of Normal, who had been out working in the harvest field during vacation. He was caught in town and run in by other students who wanted a picture of a"seed," and photographed by Hugh Donnan. Lute was a jolly good fellow. He graduated at the N.T. N. with the class of 1903, and was a guard at the World's Fair, St. Louis, Mo.
R. S. Smedley & Mrs. R. S. Smedley -- Evangelists for the Christian Church in Western Oklahoma. They had done a great deal of good, lasting work in woods and adjoining counties. During the first three months of 1901, they organized congregations at Cleo, Aline and near Ingersoll. During July, 1901, Elder Smedley preached for the membership in Alva. Since that time he had been the prime factor in building church houses in this county at Aline, Ingersoll, Cherokee, Ringwood, Prarie Chapel four miles north of Carmen, and Ashley. They worked in the counties south and west of Woods, building churches at Mutual, Lenora, Seiling, Taloga and Oleta. Mr. Smedley preached and Mrs. Smedley lead the singing.
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