1913 - Now and Then - 2013


Volume 4, April 1, 1913, No. 2
By William Parker Campbell

The Ladies Aid of the First English Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City, at Twelfth and Robinson, of which Rev N.H. is pastor, are preparing for a practical demonstration of interest in history-keeping, through a unique ceremonial April 22, of the current year-1913. It will consist in the burial of photos, autographs, manuscripts, etc., connected with Oklahoma citizenship. Mrs. Virginia Bland Tuck (George) Sohlberg is president of the Aid; Mrs. Anna O. (George C.) Smith, secretary; Mrs. Elizabeth (John) Forsberg, treasurer. The Women of the ‘89er club have secured space and will also make an appropriate placement of articles touching the opening of Oklahoma, April 22, 1889. Mrs. Jennie (Fred E.) Sutton is chairman of the ‘89er committee; Mrs. Merta S. (Oscar A.) Mitscher being president of the club; Mrs. Alice V. (Adelbert S.) Heaney, secretary; Mrs. Maud C. (James M.) Owen, treasurer. Through the courtesy of the Ladies’ Aid, the Oklahoma Historical Society will have a niche in the sacred vault, its deposit to include a copy of this issue of Historia, constitution and by-laws and other items allied to the Society. The ceremonial at the church and the vault will be in the basement. April 22, 2013 the vault will be opened and the contents presented to the Historical Society.

The custodian will not likely be there in his present specific existence. In fact, should he remain the allotted time his tenure can be but brief, to say nothing of the exigencies of politics that may close it in a twinkle. Indeed, the sad reflection is that not a single soul now living upon this earth today will be at that opening; not a vestige, save deeds, remaining of those who mingled solemnity with festive mirth at the planting ceremonies, every pulse of today in throbless death, and lips forever closed. That vault will be opened in a new world, obliteration, defacement and only scattered fragments on every hand. What will that opening be?  In the humor of today, scarcely mindful of the deft hands placed these articles for their century’s sleep?  A reflection back to the noble and considerate spirit prompting today’s ceremonies for awakening memories a century hence?  Perhaps these lines may stimulate some reverence, start some appreciation in those of the distant day. Withal, this custodian expects somehow to be there in spirit-view; and personally hand on behalf of those closely allied with the Historical Society, whose names appear on the first page of Historia, and on behalf of Miss Edith Rose Kneen, in charge of newspaper files and who for six years has rendered faithful and valued assistance in this work, a pledge is made for the future; that the contents will be turned over to the Society with due ceremony. So far as his present tenure is concerned, could this custodian invoke insurance infallible it would be only that he live to see the Historical Society in a home of its own, such as nearly all states are providing, except perhaps a trifle simple and spaced for convenience rather than useless filigree; if he can but catch a glimpse of the greatest mecca here for research that any State can boast, he will count it well, rounding out a most humble career; and go with a gratifying thought that he leaves a legacy to his people timeless in its lasting and immeasureable in its value.

After all, when reading over old tomes, a hundred years seems but a few strokes of time. The fleeting of the past three-quarters of a century seems but the awakening from a dream, fancy following the little films that gather in space and romp in saltant merriment, chasing as children at innocent sport, now collaborating, contentious humor, now in the fury of floating strife; some vain film ravisant on its conquered cloud; now engulfed; the mass dismembers, salute in parting reconciliation, scatter in fragmentary disorder and resolve again to monotonous blue and the martial hosts of heaven oblivious to mortal vision. And this is ephemeral life, its fleeting strife, its play, its finale.