An Oklahoma History
This week's lesson in an Oklahoma History takes us back to a particular Saturday, September 16th, 1893, in the Great Race for Homes. We found this sketch, which was drawn by Geo. V. Cummins, of Winchester, Oklahoma (17 miles northwest of Alva), in the Alva Pioneer, dated January 1, 1904. The Alva Pioneer wrote that Cummins made the race and still lived in that vicinity.
The Great Race For Homes (Saturday, 16 Sept. 1893)
The "Alva Pioneer" reported on January 1, 1904 that the first thing that happened was the Great Race for homes, saturday, September 16th, 1893. The Pioneer goes on to state, "The line-up was 168 miles long on the north line of the Cherokee strip, (and south line of Kansas) extending from the Arkansas river near Arkansas City, Kansas, west to the west line of what is now Woodward County, Okla., and 159 miles along the south line of the strip, from the east line of Logan county, Okla., west to the Texas line. It has been variously estimated that 300,000 to 500,000 people made the race on that day; and the thrilling incidents and accidents of the day and for a few weeks thereafter, would make a larger book than has ever yet been published. The progress
of the people in developing the country and building of towns and cities since the opening is more strange than even Aladin would have been capable of dreaming."
The Souvenir Edition of "The Alva Pioneer" dated Friday, January 1, 1904 was published
by W. F. Hatfield, Alva, Woods County, Oklahoma. It gives historical facts leading up to the opening to settlement and a brief sketch of the agitation during the years 1879 to 1889, mentioning the chief and pioneer agitator -- Captain David L. Payne.
Over at our website, OkieLegacy.org - Alva Pioneer 1904, it shows information of the pioneers that settled in Northwest Oklahoma with some pictures depicting the birth of this fast growing community in northwest Oklahoma Territory and the people who pushed and pulled it along back in 1904.
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