The Century Chest Collection

Document of the Ladies Aid Society about the Century Chest

(Transcribed from the original)

Century Chest

The Ladies Aid Society, under the Leadership of Virginia Bland Tucker, wife of Mr. George G. Sohlberg, of the First English Lutheran Church, at Twelfth Street and Robinson Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on April 22, 1913, installed in the earth under the basement of the Church, a chest in which were preserved valuable documents, names of representative citizens and even the voices of the best singers of the city.

A plate in the floor marks the exact spot.

Over 900 names of leading men of the City, all State Officers, Members of the Legislature; over 200 histories of the city's business firms, clubs and families, also a forecast of Oklahoma in 2013 by leading professional men, together with daily papers, church papers, dress, hat, shoes, pictures, paintings, phonograph records, telephone, wheat, coffee, and at the last moment, several articles not listed. The chest was made of copper, and to make its preservation doubly sure, it was enclosed in double cement walls and placed about one foot under the ground.

At the burial of the chest, on April 22, 1913, Oklahoma's birthday, members of the church and their children took a vow to preserve the chest from all harm, and to pledge their children and their children's children to see that it was unearthed on the morning of April 22, 2013.

Their vow to be repeated on the same date, and every tenth year provisions be made that an account of its contents by published in the city papers, and at that time the ministers of the city churches be asked to read a similar account from their pulpits. And at the end of the century the chest disinterred in the presence of the governor, secretary of state, chief justice, mayor, pastor and elders of the church. The contents removed to a suitable building, and an exact reproduction of the ceremonies of its burial repeated by the persons in charge, that is, the governor of 2013 to read the governor's address of 1913, the mayor of 2013 to read the mayor's address of 1913, all the messages to be read, the same songs sung and the phonograph records given.

List of Articles to be found in Century Chest.
Indian Relics, Phamplets and Pictures.
(Indian Beaded Garter,
(Buffalo Horn Spoon,
(Indian Bois D'Arc Bow,
(Message.  Dan J. Folsom

Pottery made from Oklahoma soil by Mrs. M. Conlan, 1/4 Choctaw, 1/4 Chickasaw.

Sequoyah, the Cadmus of the Indians – The Cherokee Chief who invented the Cherokee alphabet.
By Mrs. M. Conlan

Plate with Seal of the Chickasaw Nation
By Mrs. J. C. Davenport, 1/4 Chickasaw

(Choctaw Testament
(Message Julius C. Folsom

Creek Second Reader, Mrs. A. E. Robertson

Message from Chas. H. Carter, U. S. Representative

Message from Chief Victor Locke, Chief of Choctaws

Message from Gov. William Guy, Chickasaw

(Choctaw Baptist Hymn Book
(The Indian Side by J. L. Murrow
"The Lines Written on Indian Face"
By Jessie Randolph Moore

History of Chief Journey Cake, Delaware Indian

Manuscript "To the Members of the Treaty Rights Association" of the Chickasaw and Choctaw nation.

Choctaw Definer, Harriett Dunn Bentley

Cherokee Advocate, Published by the Cherokee Nation. Papers printed on the old Cherokee Advocate Press. Lords Prayer in Cherokee
by J. L. Holden, Editor of Ft. Gibson Post

The Lure of the Indian Country and a Romance of the great Resort
by Oleta Littleheart

Picture of Geronemo, Apache Chief
Picture of Delaware Chief "Journey Cake"

Picture of Cheyenne and Arapahoe Delegates Counciling for the Cherokee Outlet, - In front of the Second Post Office, June 1889.

Picture of Chief Quanah Parker and his band of Indians.

Translation of the Lords Prayer from Osage dialect into English

Constitution, Treaties and Laws of the Chickasaw Nation and Choctaws Auditions Warrant, signed by Basil L. LaFlor

Historic Photographs

First Post Office in Oklahoma City

First Post Office added to in Okla. City.

Seal of the State of Oklahoma

Broadway, Oklahoma City, nine days after opening, May 1, 1889.

Old Scout Reunion, Oklahoma City, October 12, 1889.

Capt. David Payne

First Farm House in Oklahoma, located in Canadian Co.

Oklahoma City, three weeks growth, Main Street, Oklahoma City, June 1, 1889

Home Rush in the Strip, September 16, 1893.

Oklahoma City, April 22, 1889. One hour before the firing of the Opening Gun.

Early Day Kansas Settlement in Oklahoma City.

Thirteen Photographs of the University of Oklahoma.

Pictures of 89ers and view of City 1912

First Annual Road Race of Oklahoma Motor Cycle Club, July 4, 1912

The First Legislature of Oklahoma Territory, 1891

Site of Culbertson Building

Kansas Colony

View of Post Office

View of Carnegie Library

Main Street East from Robinson St.

Main Street West from Robinson St.

North on Broadway from Main Street

South on Broadway from Main Street

Grand Avenue from Broadway looking West

South on Robinson showing Colcord Building.

Photographs of the Members of Constitutional Convention.

First English Lutheran church of Oklahoma City.


View at the foot of West Second Street, by Patricio Gimeno, Prof. of Painting, University of Oklahoma.

View from the Dam at the Water Works by Nellie Shepherd

Northwest of Oklahoma City by Adah Robinson

Decorated Plate by Virginia Worley

Orchard Scene by Miss Martha Avey

Fashions of 1913

Dress Brock Dry Goods Co.

Hat  Kerr Dry Goods Co.

Shoes Mellon Dry Goods Co.

Boys Suit Chas. A. Finningar

Fashion Plate of 1913

Poems and Musical Compositions
by Composers of 1913

Poems by Miss Ida Gaynos

Poems by Mrs. R. R. Fuller

Poems by Miss Louisa Brooke

"O My Love's Like a Red Red Rose"
[by] Ethel Bornhill Owen

"The Lord is My Shepherd"
[by] Rowland D. Williams

"Prelude in D Minor"
[by] C. Barthold Macklein

"Ten Melodies from Long Land"
[by] Edwin Vale McIntyre

[by] Chas. J. Wallace

"Sicilian Dance"
[by] Alfred P. Quinn

"Prarie Lullaby"
[by] Elfrida Woods Shartel

[by] Mrs. R. Parks Bennett

[by] C. Francis Giard

"Violin Technic"
[by] J. Gerald Meaz

1913's Idea of Modern Invention

Kodak, smallest size – latest model, shipped direct to the Century Chest, through Westfall Drug Co.

Telephone of 1913, Pioneer Telephone and Telegraph Co.

Phonograph, Frederickson-Kroh Music Co.

Kodak, Westfall Drug Co.

Records of three voices chosen by Music Clubs of 1913 to represent them in 2013, as follows,

"With Virdure Clad" Creation Hayden
Mrs. Chars. B. Ames, soprano
Pres. Ladies Music Club

"O Rest in the Lord" Elijah Mendelsohn
Mrs. W. B. Moore, contralto

"Bedowin Love Song" Pinsuti
Mr. Merle Bennett, baritone

"Mothers Day Proclamation" written for the Governor by his 16 year old daughter, Lorena Jane Cruce who lost her mother at the age of 7 years.


Compiled Laws of Oklahoma in use at the time of the closing of the Chest.

Oklahoma Red Book, 2 volumes

Minutes of the meeting of the first Woman's Club ever held in America, at New Harmony, Indiana in 1859, Gift of Mrs. Hale.

Regular Biennial Message of Gov. Lee Cruce to the Legislature of 1913.

Charter and Revised ordinances of the City of Oklahoma, 1913

First Text Book Receiving State Adoption, written by an Oklahoma woman.

Paper containing life and death of Capt. John Payne
Gift of Mr. Fred Sutton

Century Chest Clippings

Poster advertising the first Fourth of July Celebration ever held in Oklahoma City.

Quarterly Bulletin of the University of Oklahoma, General Catalogue 1911-12 with announcements of 1912-13. Gift of Warden Printing Co.

Loaded Cane – Medal and Historical account of Geo. Thornton, U. S. Marshal of Indian Territory at the time of the Opening – Pen with which President McKinley signed the Free Homes Bill for Oklahoma. Gift of Mrs. Dennis Flynn, wife of Dennis T. Flynn, ten years our delegate to Congress during our Territorial days.

Map of City of Oklahoma 1913, Gift to the city of 2013 by Guy Blackwelder, Com. Of Public Works.

Flag made for the Century Chest by Mrs. W. R. Clement, originator and designer of the official Flag of the State of Oklahoma, Certificate of adoption of the flag and message of greeting from Mrs. Clement to the City of 2013.

Coins of 1913

Oklahoma City Newspapers

Forecast for 100 years


From the Blind of 1913 to the Blind of 2013

Religion, Rt. Rev. Bishop Francis K. Brooke

Law, A. P. Crockett

Medicine & Surgery, Dr. Lea A. Riely

Banking L. P. Johnson

Journalism, Roy E. Stafford

Contract with Savings Bank of Rutland, Vermont, with First English Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City, 1913.

Historic Quilt – Containing autographs of 720 City Builders. The same names with a few more which came in too late for the quilt are in the Book of the City Builders. In the Book of City Builders are to be found –
Address of Mayor Whit M. Grant delivered to the City of 1913 on April 22, to be reread to the City of 2013 on April 22, Page 285.
History of the First Week in Oklahoma by Angelo C. Scott.
Transcription by F. W. Williamson, Page 7.
Address, Gov. Lee Cruce delivered to City of 1913 on April 22, to be reread to the City of 2013 on April 22.
Dentist, Page 116
Rotary Club, Page 164
Oklahoma City Advertising Club, Page 172
89ers, Page 226
Women of '89, Page 240
Continued List of 89ers, Page 250

Program rendered on April 22, 1913 to be rerendered on April 22, 2013.

Fifty or more of The Daily Oklahoman in large envelopes to be sold on opening of the Chest. Proceeds to go to The First English Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City.

List of Organizations, Clubs and individuals leaving messages for posterity in the Century Chest

  1. Federated Missionary Society of Oklahoma City
  2. The Second Mile Club (Girls Club of Lutheran Church)
  3. The Council of First English Lutheran Church
  4. P. E. O. Organization
  5. The Royal Neighbors
  6. The Daughters of Confederacy
  7. The Daughters of the Revolution
  8. The Chiropractic Institution
  9. The Medical Association
  10. Sherman Machine & Iron Works
  11. The Chamber of Commerce
  12. Board of Education
  13. 5 O'clock Tea Club
  14. Music Club
  15. Modern Classics
  16. The Ad Club
  17. The Rotary Club
  18. F. F. O. Society
  19. The New Century
  20. Philomatheia
  21. Women of '89
  22. Mr. Anton Classen, President of City Railway
  23. Frederickson Tire Co.
  24. Mr. & Mrs. J. M. Owen
  25. Mr. & Mrs. Weston Atwood
  26. Mr. Oscar Gloyd
  27. Mrs. Henry Overholser
  28. Mrs. Charle B. Ames
  29. Dr. Charles White
  30. Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Huckins
  31. Mr. & Mrs. L. A. Heaney
  32. Mr. & Mrs. G. G. Sohlberg
  33. Mr. & Mrs. L. J. Myser
  34. Mr. & Mrs. John Shirk
  35. Dr. & Mrs. Rudolph Schaefer
  36. Mr. & Mrs. John Wetzel
  37. Mr. & Mrs. Charles Hoshour
  38. The Masons
  39. Mrs. T. G. Chambers
  40. Modern Woodman
  41. Mrs. Daugherty


Before God and in the presence of each other will you promise to perpetuate the idea incorporated and embodied in "The Century Chest," buried in the center of the basement of this building on the 22nd day of April 1913? Answer Yes.

Do you promise to protect that chest and use every means to the best of your ability to insure it against distruction (sic) so long as you live and remain members of this organization?

Do you promise to renew this obligation each succeeding year on a date approaching the anniversary of the burial of that chest, at a meeting when the members are assembled together and will you promise to have announced from the pulpits of the city the contents of that chest and ask the daily papers to print such list every ten years?

In the event that this site should ever be abandoned as a church, do you promise that a suitable place equally safe shall be selected for the depositary of said chest? and do you promise to perpetuate this knowledge from generation to generation and teach your children and urge them to request their children to keep these facts before the public and carry out the program on the 22nd of April 2013 as it was rendered one century before, if so answer "I will"

Names of Ladies who worked for the Century Chest

Mrs. Geo. G. Sohlberg, President of Ladies Aid Society and originator of the movement

Mrs. Newton F. Gates

Mrs. John Wetzel

Mrs. Newton H. Royer

Mrs. Andrew Goodholm

Mrs. John Forsberg

Mrs. John Shirk

Mrs. William Kelly

Mrs. Rudolph Schaefer

Mrs. Peter Monstrum

Council meeting held at First English Lutheran Church, March 6, 1904

On motion, Rev. Kelly, Mr. Wetzel and Mr. Hanson were constituted a committee to make arrangements for the installation of a system of lights in the church.

Motion made and carried that Rev. Kelly appoint a committee of ladies to look after and superintend the work of the sexton.

Motion made that Rev. Kelly be authorized to appoint the following committees viz, a Finance Com., a Sunday School Com. And a pew Com. – carried.

C. E. J. secy.

Council meeting at Church, April 3, 1904

Motion made and carried authorizing Miss Lacy to use the church house, one evening during the coming week for the purpose of a musical upon payment of the sum of $1.00 to defray expenses incidental, and $1.00 to the sexton.

Also upon motion duly made to the ladies of the church and other with them in forming of a club for the study of the bible, be permitted to use the church for place of meeting at time of organization.

C. E. J. secy.

Oklahoma City Nov. 2, 1905

Council of First Eng. Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City met at Johnson's Office at 7:30 P.M.

Brother Kelly opened with prayer after which the council proceeded with the business of meeting.

The Committee composed of Wm. Hanson and Mr. Seeger who had been appointed to procure stoves reported that stoves had been installed. Committee was continued to make settlement for costs of stoves and to dispose of the old stoves.

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