OkieLegacy Centennial Moment
It will have been 100 years, November 16, 1907, 9:00 o'clock Central and 10:00 o'clock Eastern Time. On November 16, 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt, with an eagle quill pen, signed the statehood proclamation that merged Indian and Oklahoma Territories as the 46th state of the United States. The signing of the proclamtion put into motion the machinery of the state government at Guthrie, Oklahoma. The pen was then turned over to the historical society of the new state of Oklahoma. It was flashed over the wires that there was a new star in America's constellation.
The announcement in Oklahoma was greeted by the booming of cannons, the ringing of bells and the blowing of whistles. Oklahoma City, the geographical center of the new commonwealth, had given way to Guthrie, the state capital, where the inaugural ceremonies took place.
Thousands attended the celebration as Oklahoma passed from carpetbag rule into the sisterhood of states. It was a simple scratch of a pen on that day which obliterated the dividing line between Oklahoma and Indian Territory and the territorial form of government was annulled. It was a day that those who held office by virtue of federal favoritism were retired and succeeded by officials chosen by the whole people.
The celebration followed at 11:00 a.m., the same day at the Carnegie library, where the oaths of office to all officials, excepting Col. J. J. McAlester, railroad commissioner, and William Cross, secretary of state, was administered by Leslie J. Niblack, editor of the Guthrie Daily Leader. It seems that both McAlester and Cross were too ill to attend the ceremonies that day in November, 1907.
Governor Haskell's inaugural address consumed about 40 minutes, and was followed by the wedding of the two persons representing Oklahoma and Indian Territory as they merged into the state of Oklahoma.
In the absence of congressman McGuire from the state, Oklahoma was represented by C. G. Jones of Oklahoma City, and the bride was a full blooded Choctaw Indian girl.
The inaugural parade to Island Park followed in the following order of formation starting with a platoon of mounted police; Whittaker Orphan Band, 16 pieces; Muskogee Light Horse Cavalry Troop; State University Band; First carriage with Governor C. N. Haskell, Lieutenant Governor George Bellamy, Judge Frank Dale (chairman inaugural executive committee), Major Lesie G. Niblack (member inaugural executive committee).
Second carriage - three Justices of the Supreme Court; Hon. C. M. Barnes, mayor of Guthrie and ex-governor of Oklahoma Territory.
Fourth carriage - Bill Cross, secretary of State; M. E. Trapp, State Auditor; James A. Menefee, State Treasurer; Hon. J. B. Thompson, Chairman, Democrat State committee.
The fourth carriages was followed by the Nowata Band.
The Fifth carriage - C. D. Cameron, Superintendent Public Instruction; Charles A. Taylor, State Examiner and Inspector; Pete Hanraty, Chief Mine Inspector; Hon. E. O. Cassidy, Chairman Democratic State Executive committee.
Sixth carriage - Charles L. Daugherty, Commissioner of Labor; Kate Barhard, Commissioner of Charities and Corrections; T. J. McComb, Commissioner of Insurance; Orville T. Smith, Secretary Inaugural Executive Commiittee.
Seventh carriage - J. E. Love, J. J. McAlester and A. P. Watson, Corporation Commissioners.
Eighth carriage - Hon. R. L. Owen, Hon. T. P. Gore, Rev. W. H. Dodson. The Crescent City band followed the eighth carriage.
The Ninth carriage, carried Hon. C. D. Carter Hon. Scott Ferris, Hon. James H. Davenport.
Tenth carriage - Governor McCurtain of the Choctaw Nation, Governor of the Chickasaw Nation and Principal Chief Moty Tiger of the Creek Nation.
Eleventh carriage - Chief Rogers of the Cherokee Nation, Governor Brown of the Seminole Nation and Miss Indian Territory.
Twelfth carriage - Hon. R. S. McGuire, Hon. D. C. McCurtain, Hon. C. G. Jones.
The Thirteenth carriage carried the Hon. W. N. Redwine, Hon. J. Luther Langston, Hon. Harper S. Cunningham. Next to come along was the Stroud band.
Fourteenth carriage - Hon. J. P. Conner, Hon. William Murray, Hon. John Threadgill.
The Fifteenth carriage carried the Hon. William H. Hornaday, Hon. S. O. Dawes and Hon. William Garrison.
Next in line were the Tonkawa Cadets; Old soldiers, Union and Confederate, side by side; Band; Spanish War Veterans; Military band; Militia; and Civil, fraternal and other organizations, with music assigned positions by the officer in command on the day of the parade. A barbecue feast was served afterwards.
Governor Haskell named Robert Lowen and Thomas P. Gore as United States Senators from Oklahoma and announced a number of state appointees. The inaugural ball that evening closed the day's ceremonies.
Oklahoma was the first state to enter the union with the majority of people expressing sentiment against the legalized sale of liquor. At ten minutes before midnight, every saloon in Oklahoma City had closed its doors forever.
A special train carried more than 500 persons and left Oklahoma City after the news was received that Oklahoma had become the 46th state. Peterson's State Band of 25 pieces accompanied the delegation as banners decorated the cars and every delegate wore a badge showing that he was from Oklahoma City. It was reported that nearly 400 tickets were sold by the Chamber of Commerce and a mass meeting of inaugural delegates were held in front of the Chamber of Commerce building on North Robinson Street at 8 o'clock that evening. The special train returned from Guthrie the next morning after the inaugural ball.
[The above information was taken from "The Oklahoman", dated November 16, 1907, frontpage headlines and page 3.]
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Comments: Have you heard the story about Governor C. N. Haskell, under the cover of darkness that night, moved the state papers to Oklahoma City and declared that city the capital on the next day. We understand it was a great surprise to the people of Guthrie, the territorial capital, but there was nothing they could do about it.
If you have more information about the stealing of the capital away from Guthrie to Oklahoma City, we would love to hear more. ~NW Okie 2007-04-21 23:15:55
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