The Chronicles of Oklahoma
Contents of Articles
Click the links below to go directly to a specific volume or year.
Volume 95, Number 4 (Winter 2017–18)“World War II and the Story of Douglas Aircraft Plants in Tulsa and Midwest City” by Thomas A. Wikle
During World War II, it was essential to keep the military supplied with the tools necessary for the war effort, including the various aircraft used to prosecute the war. Thomas A. Wikle describes the types of aircraft built in the Tulsa and Midwest City Douglas Aircraft plants and the impact these facilities had on the local communities.
“Nationhood Defined and Defended: A Slice of Miami History Revealed Through the Thomas F. Richardville Papers” by Brian Hosmer
Through its interactions with the US government, the Miami Nation developed strategies to ensure that it could survive. Brian Hosmer uses the papers of Thomas F. Richardville, a Miami leader, to illuminate the history of the tribe as it struggled to preserve its nationhood.
“Taking Care of Their Own: History of the Masonic Children’s Home in Guthrie, Oklahoma” by Pamela Webb
During territorial days, Masons began to discuss plans to create facilities to care for orphans, widows, and the elderly. By 1907 they had opened their first facility for children. Pamela Webb explains how the Masonic Children’s Home came to be, and portrays the life of the children who were nurtured in that environment.
“Will Rogers in South Africa, 1902–03” by Joseph H. Carter Sr. and Michelle Lefebvre-Carter
Early in his career as a cowboy showman, Will Rogers spent time in South Africa with a traveling Wild West Show. Joseph H. Carter Sr. and Michelle Lefebvre-Carter retraced the steps of Will Rogers as he made that formative trek through South Africa to better understand the impact it had on the vocation of Oklahoma’s Favorite Son.
“Mennonite Missionary S. S. Haury’s Account of the Running Buffalo Shooting, 1884” translated by Levi Wilkins and edited by John Truden
The relationships between Indigenous peoples, cowboys, missionaries, and the US Army can be seen through the lens of an 1884 shooting that was recorded in a German-language newspaper. John Truden annotates this newspaper story, translated by Levi Wilkins, and places the events in the context of pre-1892 Land Run western Oklahoma.
Volume 95, Number 3 (Fall 2017)“The Missiles of Oklahoma: Southwest Oklahoma’s Role in the American Cold War Nuclear Arsenal, 1960–65” by Landry Brewer
In the midst of the Cold War threat of nuclear conflict with the Soviet Union, the United States began a project to create intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the Soviet Union. Landry Brewer highlights southwestern Oklahoma’s role in the Atlas missile project and the Cold War program of nuclear deterrence.
“Seaborn Hill: Trader in the Creek Nation and Frontier Businessman, 1808–44” by John W. Siebold
On July 8, 1844, Creek Indian Agent James L. Dawson murdered trader Seaborn Hill. The interesting tale of the search for justice in the case has been told, but the story of the man who was killed and how both parties ended up in Indian Territory has not been told. John W. Siebold explores newspapers, letters, and other records of the time to create a profile of Seaborn Hill and the events surrounding his murder.
“Fort Blunt Civil War Fortifications” by Robert L. Cole
Recent field surveys and archaeological investigations at Fort Gibson have turned up physical evidence of Civil War fortifications at Fort Blunt. Robert L. Cole analyzed the terrain at Fort Gibson and compared his observations with the plans for fortifications at Fort Blunt to better understand the ways in which the US Army protected the fort.
“Cyrus Avery, the Ozark Trail, and the Birth of Route 66” by Jen Jones
While Route 66 is synonymous with automobile culture, it owes its origins to the Good Roads Associations created to make roads more suitable for bicycling. Cyrus Avery, along with leaders from other states, pushed for the national highway system, and Avery made certain its most famous byway passed through Oklahoma. Jen Jones describes the dramatic process by which Oklahoma obtained the iconic Mother Road.
Volume 95, Number 2 (Summer 2017)“Leon C. Phillips and the Drive to Balance Oklahoma’s Budget” by Eric E. Beu
Governor Leon C. Phillips campaigned on promises to make state agencies adhere to strict budgets. His ultimate goal was to pass an amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution mandating a balanced budget. Eric E. Beu describes the debate in the Oklahoma Legislature over this amendment, and the campaign for popular passage of the measure.
“Thomas Wildcat Alford” by Rebecca A. Kyes
The life of Thomas Wildcat Alford spanned a crucial time in the history of his people, the Absentee Shawnee Tribe. Trained by his father to be a leader and educated at Hampton Institute, Alford aspired to be a chief, but instead assisted in the process of allotment and assimilation. Rebecca A. Kyes portrays the life of this man trapped between two worlds, who not only sought advancement for the tribe in the white man’s world but also clung to tribal identity.
“When the Cherokee Nation was a Mormon Sanctuary” by Allen LeBaron
In the mid-1800s, Mormons from Texas made the long and arduous trek to their new homeland in Utah. On this journey, many of the migrants passed through the Cherokee Nation, and some stayed for a few years before continuing on their way. Allen LeBaron tells the story of their migration and the time they spent in the Cherokee Nation along the way.
“Oscar B. Jacobson: Early Life of an Oklahoma Artist, 1882–1916” by Chelsea Herrod
Oscar B. Jacobson was the director of the University of Oklahoma School of Art from 1915 until his retirement in 1954. Jacobson’s love of artistic depictions of the American West influenced both his position as a professor and his personal artistic pursuits. Chelsea Herrod explores the artists and landscapes that influenced Jacobson, and how he used his knowledge as a working artist to teach future generations of Western artists.
Volume 95, Number 1 (Spring 2017)“Sooner Doughboys: University of Oklahoma Students Describe Their Experiences in the Great War” by David W. Levy
Just before the end of World War I, University of Oklahoma President Stratton D. Brooks sent letters to students and alumni who were serving in the military. The responses he received describe the experiences of these men with humor and pathos. David W. Levy places these letters in the context of the war, allowing the reader to better understand the impact of the war on individual soldiers.
“‘That I Might Render Account of Myself and People’: Cherokees and World War I” by Jason Herbert
A large percentage of American Indian men joined the military to serve in World War I, including the nearly 50 percent of eligible Cherokee men who enlisted. Jason Herbert describes the contributions of Cherokees both overseas and on the home front, and analyzes the ways in which the war affected tribal members’ self-identity as Americans and Cherokees.
“‘Getting Our Equipment Soon—I Hope So Anyway’: Camp Doniphan, Fort Sill, and American Artillery in World War I” by Justin Prince
Camp Doniphan, located on the Fort Sill Reservation in southwestern Oklahoma, was not prepared for the soldiers who would descend upon it for training before crossing the Atlantic to join the fighting in World War I. Justin Prince depicts life for the new recruits at Camp Doniphan and explains how their training left them ill-prepared for modern warfare.
“Artifacts from American Indian World War I Soldiers” by Matt Reed
Matt Reed, curator of American Indian and military history collections at the Oklahoma History Center, describes artifacts in the Oklahoma Historical Society collections used by American Indian troops in World War I.
Volume 94, Number 4 (Winter 2016–17)
“A Will of Iron: Dr. M. L. Peter and the Oklahoma City-County Health Department” by Stephen B. Peter
M. L. Peter served for fifteen years as director of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department, bringing polio vaccination clinics and improved sanitation practices to the Oklahoma City area. Stephen B. Peter explores his career in public health and contributions to the community.
“‘They Could Tell What the Weather Was to be in Advance’: Native Oklahoma Weather and Climate Insights from the Archive” by Randy A. Peppler
Stories about the causes of weather phenomena are found in the oral histories of American Indian tribes. Randy A. Peppler mines the Doris Duke Collection of American Indian Oral History to share these insights about weather and climate as told by tribal elders.
“The Horseless Carriage Rolls into Oklahoma” by Gene Allen with Don Boulton and Ted R. Davis
Oklahomans began producing automobiles before statehood. In fact, by 1907 there were six companies building cars across the state. Gene Allen, Don Boulton, and Ted R. Davis describe the vibrant automobile manufacturing scene in Oklahoma during the first decades of the twentieth century and explain how that industry eventually died.
“Reverend Theodore Mannaseh Rights, His Sons, and the Cherokee National Male Seminary” by James G. McCullagh
The Cherokee Male Seminary allowed the sons of Moravian missionary Theodore M. Rights to enroll as students during his time in Indian Territory. James G. McCullagh investigates whether or not one of his sons was awarded a diploma, and how that affected the family.
“Spreading the Gospel in Indian Territory and Early Oklahoma: The Reverend F. F. Dobson and Anna (Truan) Dobson” by Greg Olds
F. F. Dobson arrived in Indian Territory in May 1893 as a Presbyterian missionary, and served in the area intermittently for the rest of his life. Greg Olds presents the story of F. F. Dobson to show the unusual daily life and the sacrifices made by missionaries in Indian Territory and early Oklahoma.
Volume 94, Number 3 (Fall 2016)
“The Historic Preservation Movement in Oklahoma” by LeRoy H. Fischer
Historic preservation began in Oklahoma as a result of public interest in historic and prehistoric sites. Systematic identification of historic sites in Oklahoma began in earnest in the 1920s and continues today. LeRoy H. Fischer describes the early days of historic preservation in Oklahoma, chronicling the time before the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and a few years after its passage. This article first appeared in The Chronicles of Oklahoma 57, no. 1 (Spring 1979).
“Development of the Historic Preservation Movement in Oklahoma, 1966–2016” by Melvena Thurman Heisch and Glen R. Roberson
To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, Melvena Thurman Heisch and Glen R. Roberson continue the story of historic preservation in Oklahoma. The authors discuss not only the programs administered by the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office to fulfill the mandates set forth in the act, but also the work of American Indian tribes and preservation organizations.
“The Legacy of Oklahoma Architecture” by Lynda Schwan Ozan
Oklahoma architecture reflects both the aesthetic tastes and pragmatism of Oklahomans. The environment, technology, and culture have influenced architectural design since the first shelters were built in present-day Oklahoma. Lynda Schwan Ozan illustrates the importance of Oklahoma’s architectural legacy through examples of buildings and structures saved for future generations, the impact of prominent architects, and cases of structures threatened or lost.
“The National Historic Preservation Act and its Impact on Oklahoma Archaeology After Fifty Years” by Robert L. Brooks
The idea of preserving and documenting archaeological sites was established long before the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as the destruction and looting of significant sites led interested parties to call for their protection. Robert L. Brooks assesses the impact of the 1966 act on the field of archaeology, noting both its successes and the dilemmas that have arisen from its passage.
“Cultural Diversity and Historic Preservation in Oklahoma” by Cynthia Savage and Susan Allen Kline
Historic preservation can play a large role in the creation and perpetuation of identity. As the population of Oklahoma becomes more diverse, the properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places reflect the cultures, ethnicities, and organizations represented in the state. Cynthia Savage and Susan Allen Kline show how the variety of properties associated with different groups of people intersect to showcase the unique cultural identity of the state of Oklahoma.
Volume 94, Number 2 (Summer 2016)
“Waynoka and the Birth of Transcontinental Air Service” by Thomas A. Wikle and Dale R. Lightfoot
When early aviators created a transcontinental airline, Waynoka became a stop on the line where passengers transferred from airplanes to railcars for night travel. Thomas A. Wikle and Dale R. Lightfoot discuss the creation of the TAT line and the impact of its successes and failures on the community and the future of coast-to-coast air travel.
“Oklahoma’s Cherokee Outlet and the Development of Cowboy Music and Poetry” by Shawn Holliday
Cowboys in the Cherokee Outlet used songs and poetry to calm nervous herds of cattle. By the 1920s and 1930s these songs were exploited to promote a romanticized version of cowboy life. Shawn Holliday gives examples of poetry and songs created by cowboys, and describes the Cherokee Outlet’s influence on cowboy music and poetry over time.
“Political Machinations, Texan Intimidations: The Choctaw Nation Enters the Civil War” by Zachery C. Cowsert
The Civil War deepened intratribal divides, particularly among the Five Tribes in Indian Territory. Missionaries in the Choctaw Nation recorded events surrounding the Confederate-Choctaw alliance in their correspondence. Zachery C. Cowsert analyzes Presbyterian missionary accounts to illustrate that many Choctaws desired neutrality but agreed to a Confederate alliance in the face of violence.
“4-H and the 1928 State Fair of Oklahoma: Making the Best Better” by Darin Nelson
At the 1928 State Fair of Oklahoma, the boys and girls of 4-H presented new demonstration booths with a focus on improving the lives of farm families. 4-H Clubs were essential to the rural education efforts in the 1920s. Darin Nelson illustrates the importance of these 4-H booths in preparing a generation for the hardships of the 1930s.
Volume 94, Number 1 (Spring 2016)
“‘Cyclone’ Jones: Dr. Herbert L. Jones and the Origins of Tornado Research in Oklahoma” by Nani Pybus
Because of its location in the heart of Tornado Alley, Oklahoma has been a leader in tornado research. Nani Pybus describes the early days of severe weather research in Oklahoma through the work of Dr. Herbert L. “Cyclone” Jones, a professor at Oklahoma State University, one of the first well-known storm chasers, and an advocate for early warning systems.
“‘I Can Come Into Your World But You Can’t Come Into Mine’: John Swanton and Southeastern Oral Narratives” by Brady DeSanti
Southeastern Native American societies passed their historical knowledge to the next generation through oral tradition. John Reed Swanton was an anthropologist in the early twentieth century who applied an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Native peoples, and included their stories in his research. Brady DeSanti compares Swanton’s methods with those of more recent anthropologists to show how innovative Swanton’s practices were in comparison to his contemporaries.
“The YWCA’s Y-Chapel of Song and the Central Plate” by Patrick H. Salkeld
In March 1941 the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) proposed the building of a chapel on the campus of Central State College, now the University of Central Oklahoma. Patrick H. Salkeld recounts the fundraising efforts undertaken and design decisions made during the process of constructing the Y-Chapel of Song.
“Don’t Knock It: The Holding Company, the Funeral of the Hammer, and the Transformation of Enid, Oklahoma, 1907–12” by Aaron Preston
In the early twentieth century the Enid Industrial & Holding Company, a committee of the Enid Chamber of Commerce, began a campaign to bring industrial business to the town. Aaron Preston explains the successes and failures of the Holding Company’s efforts.
Volume 93, Number 4 (Winter 2015–16)
“Turning to the Right: More Oil Patch Songs from Oklahoma” by Joe W. Specht
The rhythm of the Oklahoma oil patch has inspired songwriters from the earliest days of the industry. Songs about labor disputes, hard work in the field, and financial trouble brought attention to life in the oil field and made the everyday lives of oil patch workers relatable. In his article, Joe W. Specht analyzes the music of the oil patch and its impact on the oil industry and society as a whole.
“Mummers Theatre: Oklahoma City’s Tinker Toy Building” by Cynthia Savage
The Mummers Theatre group was founded in 1949 as a community theater, and by the 1960s began transitioning to a professional theater company with a new building. The building itself was made possible by Oklahoma City’s urban renewal, and would become an architectural landmark in the city until its 2014 demolition. In this article adapted from her Historic American Buildings Survey documentation, Cynthia Savage chronicles the life of the Mummers Theatre building.
“Promises of a Honey Pond and a Fritter Tree: Western Oklahoma Pioneers, 1900–10” by Cheryl Chesebrough-Caffee
The pioneers of western Oklahoma came to the territory seeking opportunities for economic advancement. By leaving mortgaged farms to relocate on free land, these settlers experienced hardships with the promise of prosperity in the future. Cheryl Chesebrough-Caffee details the experiences of homesteaders as they established new communities.
“‘All In’: The Rise of Tribal Gaming” by Kathy Dickson
The roots of tribal gaming reach back to traditional Native games of dexterity and chance. Today’s American Indian casinos generate funds that provide for the general welfare of tribal members. Kathy Dickson describes the struggle over jurisdiction that resulted in compacts to govern tribal gaming.
Volume 93, Number 3 (Fall 2015)
“Nede Wade ‘Ned’ Christie and the Outlaw Mystique” by Devon A. Mihesuah
The name Ned Christie is familiar in Indian Territory history. The last five years of Nede Wade “Ned” Christie’s life, however, are subject to various interpretations based on scurrilous claims included in newspapers. Devon A. Mihesuah examines court records, family stories, and outlaw literature to paint a portrait of Christie as a wrongly accused man whose reputation suffered long after his death.
“Carl Albert: Little Giant of Native America” by David W. Clark
Carl Albert represented Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District from 1947 until 1977, serving six years as Speaker of the US House of Representatives. During his career, he worked as an advocate for American Indians in his district, the state, and the nation by proposing and supporting legislation that would benefit tribes. David W. Clark describes Albert’s years of work on behalf of tribal members, including opposing the policy of tribal termination and embracing the idea of self-determination.
“The Twilight of Route 66: Transitioning from Highway to Freeway, 195684” by Frank Norris
To many people, the interstate highway system was seen as a harbinger of the demise of the iconic Route 66 and the towns and businesses on the highway. Frank Norris argues that the slow transition to the interstate system on Route 66 was not unique to that roadway, but a template for what took place along other highways at the time.
“Did Quanah Parker Lie?” by Tom Crum and Paul H. Carlson
The whereabouts of Quanah Parker, his father Peta Nocona, and his brother on the day of the battle of Pease River, and whether or not Peta Nocona survived the battle, have been debated for decades. By analyzing sources used for both sides of the argument, Tom Crum and Paul H. Carlson present evidence that none of these men were present for the fight, and therefore Peta Nocona could not have been killed in the battle.
Volume 93, Number 2 (Summer 2015)
“Civilized Captivity: Camp Gruber’s Prisoner of War Camp” by Trent Riley
In May 1943 the first German prisoners of war arrived at Camp Gruber, located near Braggs, Oklahoma. Despite their incarceration, life at the camp was an improvement over conditions in the German army for many of the PWs. Trent Riley describes life in the PW camp at Camp Gruber, as recorded in oral histories by the men who experienced it.
“The Early Chisholm Trail to Abilene, Kansas, 186771” by Gary and Margaret Kraisinger
The cattle drive from Texas to railheads in Kansas is an indelible part of the memory of the American West. The Chisholm Trail was an important route from southern Texas to Abilene, Kansas, but the route changed over time. Gary and Margaret Kraisinger demonstrate that what would be called the Chisholm Trail followed a more easterly route from 186771.
“‘This Faithfulness Destroyed Them’: The Failure of Grant’s Peace Policy Among the Kiowas and Comanches” by Wayne A. White
In his attempts to remove corruption from the Office of Indian Affairs, President Ulysses S. Grant involved Christian denominations, including the Society of Friends, in the execution of American Indian policy. Wayne A. White argues that the Quaker’s Peace Policy not only failed, but never had a chance of success among the Kiowas and Comanches.
“The Cherokee Male Seminary Baseball Team, 18761908” by James G. McCullagh
The first reported baseball game played by the men of the Cherokee Male Seminary occurred on June 24, 1876. The seminary fielded teams until 1908. James G. McCullagh traces the history of baseball at the Cherokee Male Seminary, chronicling the names of the men who played and the successes and failures of the teams.
Volume 93, Number 1 (Spring 2015)
“The ‘Rise and Fall’ of Indian Colleges in Indian Territory: Indian University, Henry Kendall College, and Other Colleges, 1880–1907” by Steven J. Crum
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, several colleges for American Indian students were created by missionary groups in the eastern half of Indian Territory. Steven Crum chronicles the rise of these institutions and their decline with the coming of statehood in 1907.
“Rooted in the Plains: Oklahoma Women, Community, and the Dust Bowl” by Shelly Lemons and Steven Knoche Kite
To cope with the hard times brought on by the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, women in the Oklahoma Panhandle fostered a sense of community that bonded them for life. As a part of the Dust Bowl Oral History Project at Oklahoma State University, Shelly Lemons and Steven Knoche Kite investigate the lives of ordinary women in extraordinarily difficult circumstances, and explain why these women remained in this harsh environment.
“Short Tenures on the Supreme Court of Oklahoma” by Von Russell Creel
Until after the elections of 1966, justices of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma were elected in partisan elections. For various reasons during this time period, some justices served abnormally short tenures on the supreme court. Von Russell Creel describes these justices and their contributions to the legal history of Oklahoma.
“Did Oklahoma African Americans Vote Between 1910 and 1943?” by R. Darcy
African Americans in Oklahoma in the early twentieth century had to overcome institutional racism in their attempts to be heard at the ballot box. In his analysis of election results, Robert Darcy posits that African Americans voted at a higher rate than could be surmised from the legal obstacles placed before them by the Oklahoma Legislature.
Volume 92, Number 4 (Winter 2014–15)
“Mary Alice Hearrell Murray: A Chickasaw Girl in Indian Territory” by Linda Williams Reese
The influence of wives of notable men is often underestimated. Mary Alice Hearrell Murray was an educated, well-connected young woman when she married attorney and future Oklahoma Governor William “Alfalfa Bill” Murray. As part of an ongoing study, Linda Williams Reese examines the early life of Alice Hearrell Murray and her impact on the beginning of her husband’s career.
“John Aaron: Oklahoma’s Legendary Steely-Eyed Missile Man” by Andrew L. Warren
Since the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Oklahomans have played a significant role in the agency’s exploration of space. John Aaron was a mainstay in Mission Control for many years, securing his legacy as a “steely-eyed missile man” during the Apollo XIII crisis. In his article, Andrew L. Warren describes how the hardscrabble boy from southwestern Oklahoma became a NASA legend.
“Hamlin Garland’s Oklahoma, 190005” by Lonnie E. Underhill
Pulitzer Prize-winning author and social reformer Hamlin Garland spent much time visiting the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Reservation under the guidance of John Seger. During his visits, Garland gathered anecdotes about the American Indians to include in his collections of stories. Lonnie E. Underhill relates the ways in which Garland’s travels in the area that would become Oklahoma influenced his view of American Indians and changed his ideas about farming and ranching.
“‘One Who Was Trusted’: E. L. Mitchell of Western Oklahoma, Part Two” by Paul F. Lambert
Elza Leon “E. L.” Mitchell was a newspaper editor and publisher in western Oklahoma who became a fixture in the political life of that region. In part two of his work, Paul F. Lambert discusses Mitchell’s political career and legacy as a staunch Democrat.
Volume 92, Number 3 (Fall 2014)
“Rodeo in Oklahoma is Women’s Business: How Lucille Mulhall’s Fame Created Opportunity in Rodeo” by Tracey Hanshew
Today rodeo accounts for a significant portion of Oklahoma’s equine industry. The transformation of rodeo into a business can, in part, be traced to the career of Lucille Mulhall, the “Cowpuncher Queen of Oklahoma Territory.” In her article, Tracey Hanshew describes Mulhall’s contributions to the business of rodeo in Oklahoma and beyond.
“Our Place: The One-Hundred-Year-Old Family Farm” by Tanya Finchum and Juliana Nykolaiszyn
The Centennial Farm and Ranch Program began in 1989 to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the Land Run of 1889. The librarians of the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program at Oklahoma State University began interviewing these families in 2008 to preserve their stories. Tanya Finchum and Juliana Nykolaiszyn analyze their interviews of the owners of Centennial Farms and Ranches to understand the bond between these places and the families who continue to hold on to the land.
“Gridiron Pioneers at the Cherokee National Male Seminary, 18961909” by James G. McCullagh and Stephanie Schmidt
Football became an integral part of the experience at the Cherokee National Male Seminary when the first team was formed in 1896. James G. McCullagh and Stephanie Schmidt tell the story of the school’s football teams and the players who shaped the legacy of those teams and the future of the Cherokee Nation.
“‘One Who Was Trusted’: E. L. Mitchell of Western Oklahoma, Part One” by Paul F. Lambert
Elza Leon “E. L.” Mitchell was a Democratic newspaper editor and publisher in western Oklahoma who became a fixture in the political life of that region. In part one of his two-part work, Paul F. Lambert begins a thorough biography of Mitchell and relates his significance in western Oklahoma politics and journalism.
Volume 92, Number 2 (Summer 2014)
“Oklahoma in James Bryce’s The American Commonwealth” by Quentin Taylor
European intellectuals, such as Alexis de Tocqueville, have commented on life and politics in the United States since the country’s beginning. Victorian jurist, historian, and politician James Bryce wrote extensively about the political system in the United States. Quentin Taylor’s analysis of Bryce’s discussion of the Oklahoma Constitution provides a new perspective on the political climate of the statehood era.
“Camp Fire Girls versus Boy Scouts: A Friendly Game of Urban Forest-Building” by Darin Nelson
From the early days of Oklahoma City city planners and private citizens understood the need for parks. Efforts to plant trees in local parks were supported by civic organizations, including youth groups. Darin Nelson explains the friendly rivalry between the Camp Fire Girls and the Boy Scouts as the groups worked to improve the urban landscape.
“Dean A. McGee: Genius with Guts” by JA Pryse
Dean A. McGee made a name for himself as a skilled geologist and partner in the Kerr-McGee Corporation. He was also known for his civic pride and desire to give back to his community. JA Pryse’s examination of McGee’s contributions to Oklahoma City and Oklahoma in general shows the legacy of McGee’s philanthropic efforts.
“Harnessing Nature: Flood Control in Oklahoma” by D. Chongo Mundende
Oklahoma is a national leader in the development of small watershed dams. Before the construction of these dams began in 1948, destructive floods were common across the state. D. Chongo Mundende describes how the development of flood control structures in Oklahoma has positively impacted the citizens of Oklahoma.
Volume 92, Number 1 (Spring 2014)
“The Dust Bowl: The Blame Game, the Facts, the Problem that Remains” by Alvin O. Turner
In 2012 Ken Burns’s The Dust Bowl espoused the view that farming practices led to the creation of Dust Bowl conditions. In his article, Alvin O. Turner disagrees with Burns and asserts that there is no evidence to support a direct connection between agricultural practices and the Dust Bowl.
“‘A Romantic Modernist’: William Wayne Caudill and the Work of Caudill Rowlett Scott in Oklahoma” by Susan Allen Kline and Cynthia Savage
Oklahoma-born architect William Wayne Caudill and his firm, Texas-based Caudill Rowlett Scott (CRS), had a reputation as a leader in the utilitarian design of schools in the post-World War II era. Susan Allen Kline and Cynthia Savage describe Caudill’s career and his contributions to architecture in Oklahoma.
“‘The Golden Days’: Taylor and Mary Ealy, Citizenship, and the Freedmen of Chickasaw Indian Territory, 187477” by Ellen Cain
In fall 1874 Presbyterian missionaries Taylor and Mary Ealy moved to Indian Territory to teach Chickasaw freedmen at Fort Arbuckle. By studying Ealy and the context of the period, Ellen Cain explores the freedmen’s struggle for identity in Indian Territory during Reconstruction through the impressions and observations of the Ealys.
“Building and Promoting Their Place: The Clegerns of ‘89” by Wayne M. Clegern
William Clegern and his son, Harry, were entrepreneurs who found opportunity in the 1889 Land Run. In addition to Oklahoma City, they influenced the development of Edmond and Henryetta. In discussing the history of one family, Wayne M. Clegern sheds light on a crucial time in the growth of three different Oklahoma cities.
Volume 91, Number 4 (Winter 201314)
“D. R. Miller: A Man Who Brought the Circus to Town” by Juliana Nykolaiszyn and Tanya Finchum
D. R. Miller was a colorful character in the history of the circus world and of Hugo, Oklahoma. Through their oral history project “Big Top” Show Goes On: An Oral History of Occupations Inside and Outside the Canvas Circus Tent, Juliana Nykolaiszyn and Tanya Finchum pieced together the life of this influential showman.
“Governor Lee Cruce and the Creation of the Office of County Assessor: A Hundred Year Retrospective” by Jeff Spelman
Shortly after the 1889 Land Run, the territorial legislature set up a system of township assessors to determine ad valorem tax rates. As the population of Oklahoma grew, this system gave way to a more efficient system of county assessors. Jeff Spelman describes the history of ad valorem taxation in Oklahoma and the legislative fight for the change to the county assessor system.
“‘Bold Adventures, Fraught with Many Interesting Incidents’: The Scouting Career of Black Beaver” by Mike Tower
Black Beaver was a Delaware scout who accompanied white explorers, such as Captain Randolph B. Marcy, on their journeys through what would become Indian Territory. He also served as an interpreter for his tribe and a representative to Washington, DC. Mike Tower depicts Black Beaver’s life and explains the importance of his role in American Indian and white society.
“The Legacy of US Army Flight Training in Oklahoma, 194145” by Thomas A. Wikle
The entry of the United States into World War II prompted an increase in the need for trained pilots. Because of its relatively flat terrain and favorable weather, Oklahoma became a prime location for the training of these pilots. Thomas A. Wikle investigates Oklahoma’s role in the surge of pilot training programs, and how those programs led to the development of aviation facilities in the state.
Volume 91, Number 3 (Fall 2013)
“Shipwrecked in Oklahoma: The Last Voyage of the Steamboat Heroine, 1838” by Kevin Crisman, Nina Chick, and John Davis
The steamboat Heroine was shipwrecked on the Red River while on a voyage to deliver supplies to Fort Towson in Indian Territory. Kevin Crisman, Nina Chick, and John Davis explore the history of that voyage based on the archaeological evidence left behind.
“‘The Indian Character’: Cross-cultural Relations in Indian Territory after the Civil War” by K. D. Motes
After the Civil War, the white settlers moving into Indian Territory had various motivations. While hostility between white settlers and American Indian residents has been emphasized in the past, Kevin D. Motes uses the Indian-Pioneer Papers to show a more congenial relationship between the groups.
“Building 3001: Home of the ‘Gooney Bird’” by Lawrence Carroll Allin
During World War II, Building 3001 at Tinker Air Force Base produced more than five thousand C-47 aircraft in its Douglas Aircraft Company manufacturing facility. Lawrence Allin describes how the building was utilized for the war effort, the workers who were hired to build the planes, and what happened to some of the planes that were produced.
“Red Panic: The Drumright Telephone Operators’ Strike of 1919” by Michael Molina
In the wake of World War I, the United States plunged into a period of fear and suspicion known as the Red Scare. This nationwide paranoia infiltrated the small Oklahoma town of Drumright in 1919, when a telephone operators’ strike turned into a sensational story of Bolshevik influence and Communist treachery. Michael Molina relates the story of the strike and how it was portrayed in media across the nation.
Volume 91, Number 2 (Summer 2013)
“Same Traditions, New Reasons: Experiences of American Indian Women in Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Shows” by Alyce Vigil
Wild West shows, such as the ones organized by G. W. “Pawnee Bill” Lillie, featured acts that entertained audiences and showed white Americans a version of life in the West. Alyce Vigil describes how American Indian women in the cast worked to maintain their traditions in this new context.
“The Life and Times of the First Applicants to Platt National Park, 190610” by J. Justin Castro and Lindsay Compton
The applications for employment at Platt National Park are an interesting and previously underutilized source of information on early Oklahoma. By exploring these applications J. Justin Castro and Lindsay Compton paint a picture of the first years of Platt National Park and show how politics and personality affected federal hiring practices.
“A Brief History of the Oklahoma Poets Laureate” by Shawn Holliday
Oklahoma was the fifth state to appoint a poet laureate, a position created to celebrate Oklahoma’s traditions and values, promote tourism, and provide cultural outreach to the people of the state. Shawn Holliday explains the importance of the position of poet laureate and evaluates the contributions of the individuals who held that post in Oklahoma.
“Rex Brinlee: The Man and His Escape” by Jack Anthony Reavis
Rex Brinlee was a hardened criminal who described himself as a “rattlesnake.” He is notable, however, for his multiple escapes from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. Jack A. Reavis tells Brinlee’s story, interweaving the details of his crimes with larger state events, including the McAlester Prison Riot.
Volume 91, No. 1 (Spring 2013)
“The Enigma of Mike Monroney” by Richard Lowitt
Almer Stillwell “Mike” Monroney served the people of Oklahoma in the US House of Representatives and US Senate from 1939 until 1966. In this overview of Monroney’s political career, Richard Lowitt characterizes the politician as a level-headed moderate attempting to continue his tenure in office amidst a shift to the conservative right in Oklahoma politics.
“One Succeeded, One Did Not: Bacone College and the Oklahoma Presbyterian College, 1910–80” by Steven J. Crum
Two of the colleges existing in Oklahoma in the early twentieth century were Bacone College and Oklahoma Presbyterian College. While Bacone still serves students in the twenty-first century, Oklahoma Presbyterian College closed in the 1960s. Steven J. Crum explores the success and failure of these two American Indian institutions of higher education.
“Park Hill’s Ross Cemetery” by Lois E. Wilson Albert
The Ross Cemetery at Park Hill contains the mortal remains of members of one of the most prominent Cherokee families of the nineteenth century. In fall 2000 and spring 2001, Lois E. Wilson Albert and members of the Oklahoma Anthropological Society thoroughly documented the cemetery for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. This article relates the results of that survey.
“48 Hours in Atoka” by Cindy Donovan-Wallis
48 Hours in Atoka in 1975 was Oklahoma’s answer to Woodstock and other music festivals across the country. Many music historians consider the concert in Atoka to be the beginning of outlaw country music movement popularized by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. In her article, Cindy Donovan-Wallis describes the concert and the impact this concert had on the local Atoka community.
Volume 90, No. 4 (Winter 2012–13)
“A Separate People: A History of the Oklahoma Amish” by Marvin E. Kroeker
The Oklahoma Amish are the direct heirs of the Anabaptist religious tradition that began during the Protestant Reformation. Marvin E. Kroeker describes how these resilient people have maintained their lifestyle in Oklahoma through 120 years of environmental and technological change.
“Unforgotten Trailblazer: Nancy O. Randolph Davis” by Gloria J. Pollard
In her roles as a student, a teacher, and a NAACP Youth Council sponsor, Nancy O. Randolph Davis fought for equality for African American young people. Her behind-the-scenes work made possible the advancement of Oklahoma’s civil rights movement. Based on conversations with Davis, Gloria J. Pollard has written an insightful biography of this icon of equal education and civil rights.
“Custer’s Last Campaign of Sheridan’s 1868–69 Winter Offensive” by Rod Beemer
In winter 1868–69 George Armstrong Custer was under the command of General Philip Sheridan in what would become western Oklahoma. The route followed by Custer and his men in search of Cheyenne camps on the headwaters of the Red River has remained a mystery to this day. Rod Beemer explores the written accounts of this campaign and provides prospective answers to this nearly 150-year-old question.
“Oklahoma City’s McKinley Park: The Little Park that Raised a Ruckus” by Darin Nelson
The site of McKinley Park in Oklahoma City began as an environmental eyesore, but was transformed over several years into a haven in a sprawling metropolis. Darin Nelson recounts how the relationship between the public and private sectors, while not always harmonious, led to the creation of a recreational area to benefit the surrounding community.
Volume 90, No. 3 (Fall 2012)
“Murder in Custer County: A Case Study and Legal Analysis of Herd Law versus Free Range in Oklahoma Territory” by W. Edward Rolison
In the early years of Oklahoma, the cattlemen and farmers of western Oklahoma battled over the laws that allowed stock to run free over the land. By examining the case of the 1900 murder of Julius Roesch, W. Edward Rolison describes the attitudes of the time toward the debate over herd law versus free range.
“‘It Would Break Our Hearts Not to Have Our Kiowas’: War Dancing, Tourism, and the Rise of Powwows in the Early Twentieth Century” by Benjamin R. Kracht
From 1883 to 1933 federal policies prohibited the practice of certain American Indian rituals and dances. Benjamin R. Kracht discusses the evolution of these dances from prohibited practices to tourist attractions.
“Boomers and Boomtowns: Oil Patch Songs from Oklahoma” by Joe W. Specht
The oil industry is inexorably linked with the state of Oklahoma. An outgrowth of the industry is a rich history of petroleum-related songs. These songs describe life in boomtowns and after busts. Joe W. Specht gives an overview of the oilfield songs written and performed by Oklahoma songwriters and singers from the 1920s to today.
“Okie Folkies: The Singer, the Song, and the Coffeehouse” by Rodger Harris and Baxter Taylor III
Folk music has been a part of the Oklahoma landscape since before statehood. From cowboy songs to string bands, these musical expressions helped to shape a sense of pride in the traditions of Oklahoma people. By the 1950s and 1960s this folk music was embodied in the coffeehouse movement. Rodger Harris and Baxter Taylor III describe the people and places involved in this continuation of the folk tradition.
Volume 90, No. 2 (Summer 2012)
“Quanah Parker’s Star House: A Comanche Home Along the White Man’s Road” by Larry C. Floyd
Completed in 1890, Star House was the stately home of Comanche legend Quanah Parker. He entertained politicians, generals, and wealthy cattlemen at Star House. Larry C. Floyd explains the importance of this landmark to the Parker family and to southwestern history.
“Communists, Poetry, and Oklahoma History: The Life of Zoe Agnes Stratton Tilghman” by Mallory Newell
Zoe Tilghman possessed a passion for writing about Oklahoma and for encouraging budding writers. Mallory Newel describes Tilghman’s career and works, giving particular attention to the difficulties she encountered during her time with the Federal Writers Project.
“Republican Justices of the Oklahoma Supreme Court and Republican Judges of the Oklahoma Criminal Court of Appeals, 1907–66” by Von Russell Creel
Early Oklahoma politics were characterized by strict partisan voting. Von Russell Creel creates an election reference guide as he explores the election of Republican justices and judges at a time when Oklahoma was dominated by the Democratic Party.
“Penn Square: The Shopping Center Bank that Shook the World, Part 2 Bust” by Michael J. Hightower
After exponential growth, the irresponsible practices of Penn Square Bank came to light, leading to the bank’s failure. In part two of his study, Michael J. Hightower explores the reasons for Penn Square Bank’s fall and describes the reactions of the banking community and the oil industry.
Volume 90, No. 1 (Spring 2012)
“From Bard to Speculator: Alexander Lawrence Posey and the Muscogee Nation, 1902–08” by Jeffrey M. Widener
Muscogee Indian Alexander Posey is well known for his literary career, but he also spent time as a speculator and a member of one of the Dawes Commission enrollment parties. Jeffrey M. Widener explores these less recognized and somewhat unflattering aspects of Posey’s character.
“‘A Joyful Privileged Burden’: The Life of Father Stanley Rother” by Ariana Quezada
The Catholic Church in Oklahoma led the way in providing relief to victims of the political unrest in Central America in the 1980s and 1990s. Father Stanley Rother exemplified this relief movement. Ariana Quezada describes Father Rother’s work in Guatemala and analyzes the effect of his brutal murder on the Catholic Ministry to Hispanics in Oklahoma.
“Vilona P. Cutler: Humanitarian, Activist, and Educator” by Gregory N. Pierson
When Vilona P. Cutler was young, she thought she would become a renowned scientist. Instead, Cutler became a driving force in the movement to stop racism and sexism in Oklahoma. As a leader in the Young Women’s Christian Association, Cutler fought injustice by providing opportunities for young women. Gregory N. Pierson tells the story of Cutler’s achievements as executive secretary of the YWCA in Oklahoma City.
“Penn Square: The Shopping Center Bank that Shook the World, Part 1Boom” by Michael J. Hightower
The repercussions of the rise and failure of Penn Square Bank still can be felt in the banking and oil industries today. In Part 1, Michael J. Hightower chronicles the rise of Penn Square Bank and explains how a small bank in Oklahoma City became a powerhouse in the oil banking community, which foreshadowed its demise.
Volume 89, No. 4 (Winter 2011–12)Return to Top
“Early Cinema and Oklahoma” by Gary D. Rhodes
Oklahoma became the backdrop for many films during the early era of cinema. The films focused on the wild west aspects of the new state, including stories starring real life outlaws and lawmen. Gary D. Rhodes illuminates the early, largely unknown history of cinema in Oklahoma.
“Frank Vlasak and the Beginnings of Prague, Oklahoma” by Philip D. Smith
Across Oklahoma, ethnic communities grew as immigrants settled in the territory. These communities strove to maintain their identity while becoming active in the majority native-born society. Philip D. Smith explores the relationship between ethnicity and political power through the person of Frank Vlasak, a Bohemian-born farmer and businessman in early Prague, Oklahoma.
“Bringing Nature into Focus: The Travertine Nature Center at Platt National Park” by Cynthia Savage
Incorporated into the National Park Service in the early twentieth century, Platt National Park was a popular destination for visitors from the surrounding region. Because of its popularity, the National Park Service added the Travertine Nature Center to the park in the 1960s. Cynthia Savage describes the process undertaken to bring the center to Platt National Park.
“Farm Crisis in Oklahoma, Part 2” by Richard Lowitt
During the 1970s and 1980s cattlemen and grain producers felt great financial hardship because of falling prices for their products and rising costs for needed equipment and supplies. In part two of a two-part article Richard Lowitt continues his examination of the effect that economic distress and political policies had on Oklahoma farmers and ranchers.
Volume 89, No. 3 (Fall 2011)
“James Cash Penney: The Impact of a Main Street Merchant on Oklahoma” by David D. Kruger
Although not from the Sooner State, J. C. Penney made his mark on Oklahoma and its people through his retail empire based on his golden rule principles. By visiting his store locations in the state, Penney influenced a new generation of company leadership to grow from the small towns in Oklahoma. David D. Kruger explains the impact of Penney the man and J.C. Penney the company on the culture of retail shopping in Oklahoma.
“A. J. Smitherman: Pen Warrior” by Barbara A. Seals Nevergold
Newspaper publisher A. J. Smitherman is best known for his role in the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. But before that he used the power of the press to fight social injustice against African Americans, first in Muskogee and then in Tulsa. Barbara A. Seals Nevergold traces Smitherman’s tumultuous career in the Oklahoma press defending African American causes.
“‘Educate or We Perish’: The Armstrong Academy’s History as Part of the Choctaw Educational System” by Dennis Miles
Armstrong Academy near Bokchito in the Choctaw Nation was a boarding school for American Indian boys. Students were instructed in traditional school subjects as well as in agricultural and vocational training. Dennis Miles explores the evolution of the school under various superintendents from its opening in 1845 to its untimely closing in 1920.
“Farm Crisis in Oklahoma, Part 1” by Richard Lowitt
During the 1970s and 1980s cattlemen and grain producers felt great financial hardship because of falling prices for their products and rising costs for needed equipment and supplies. In part one of a two-part article Richard Lowitt examines the effect that economic distress and political policies had on Oklahoma farmers and ranchers.
Vol 89, No. 2 (Summer 2011)
“Class, Race, and Jack Walton’s Mayoralty of Oklahoma City” by Quincy R. Lehr
Before his turbulent time as Oklahoma’s governor, John C. “Jack” Walton served as the mayor of Oklahoma City. Quincy R. Lehr describes the politics surrounding Walton’s election and how he gathered a base of support as mayor among African Americans and labor leaders despite the racial and labor unrest during his one term in office.
“Oklahoma’s African American Rodeo Performers” by Roger D. Hardaway
The cattle industry became a booming business in the nineteenth century. Many African Americans took advantage of this growth and became ranch hands and cowboys. Cowboys became performers on various ranches and then in rodeos, and Roger D. Hardaway shows how African American cowboys were a vital part of this transition.
“The Riverboat Frontier: Early-Day Commerce in the Arkansas and Red River Valleys” by Michael J. Hightower
From the French trade of the Chouteaus to the military forts of the frontier, commerce on the rivers of Oklahoma has driven settlement. People traveled on riverboats for business or pleasure, and Michael J. Hightower argues that those travels left indelible marks on the landscape of Indian Territory.
“Tubbee and His Nieces: Choctaw-White Intermarriage and ‘Indianness’ in the Choctaw Intelligencer” by Richard Mize
Views on intermarriage between American Indians and white settlers were numerous in Indian Territory. Through letters to the editor, Richard Mize presents one story of intermarriage and identity in the Choctaw Nation.
Volume 89, No. 1 (Spring 2011)
“Doctor Forrest Pitt Baker and the History of the Eastern Oklahoma Tuberculosis Sanatorium” by Glen R. Roberson
At one time the diagnosis of tuberculosis was a terrifying prospect. The advances made at the Eastern Oklahoma Tuberculosis Sanatorium under the direction of Dr. Forrest Pitt Baker improved the lives of Oklahomans afflicted with this dreaded disease. Glen Roberson shows how the sanatorium in Talihina became a haven for people who not only needed a specific type of care but also needed a home away from home.
“The Latino Impress in Oklahoma City” by Jeffrey M. Widener
From the earliest days of Oklahoma City following the Land Run of 1889, immigrants
from Latin American countries have settled in the area. They created communities within Oklahoma City that thrive today. Jeffrey Widener explores the history of Latino influence in Oklahoma City as well as the continuing growth of the vibrant Hispanic cultural landscape.
“Judge Royce H. Savage” by William Kellough
Royce Savage’s contemporaries included Alfred P. Murrah, Josh Lee, and Carl Albert. When he was seated on the federal bench in 1940, he was known for his logic and administrative efficiency. William Kellough asserts that despite the controversy surrounding Judge Savage’s retirement from the Northern District court the judge’s reputation for case management and dedication to pretrial conferences remains intact.
“Jesse “Cab” Renick: In Search of an Indian Identity” by Paul Putz
Only three American Indian athletes have earned gold medals at Olympic Games between 1896 and 2010. One of those athletes was Jesse “Cab” Renick, a basketball player with the 1948 U.S. Olympic team. Although he was Choctaw and Chickasaw, he did not grow up with a prominent American Indian identity and did not identify himself as such. Author Paul Putz argues that Renick’s Indian identity and his contribution to sports should be reexamined.
Volume 88, No. 4 (Winter 2010–11)Return to Top
“Brother Bankers: Frank P. and Hugh M. Johnson, Founders of the First National Bank and Trust Company of Oklahoma City” by Michael J. Hightower
Brothers F. P. and H. M. Johnson came from Mississippi to Oklahoma looking for opportunity. They made names for themselves in their own banking ventures across the state before teaming up to create the First National Bank and Trust Company in Oklahoma City. Michael Hightower explores their parallel paths in Oklahoma banking history.
“Planting the ‘Long-Rooted Grass’: The Eufaula Boarding School for Girls, 1910–1962” by Linda Ford Wendel
While most tales of American Indian boarding schools recount abuse and loss of identity, the story of the Eufaula Boarding School for Girls includes times of celebration of Creek culture and care for the students. As Linda Ford Wendel shows, hard work was a part of daily life, but music, family visits, and Creek cultural activities were also encouraged.
“Friends of the Osages: John Joseph Mathews’s Wah’Kon-Tah and Osage-Quaker Cross-Cultural Collaboration” by Michael Snyder
John Joseph Mathews described the relationship between Quaker Indian agents, like Laban J. Miles, and Osage tribal members in Wah’Kon-Tah, his first book. Michael Snyder analyzes this text to demonstrate its historical and biographical value as well as to show its relevance to understanding the Quaker influence that still exists in the Osage community.
“The 1969 Oklahoma City Garbage Strike” by Richard Lowitt
What appeared to the Oklahoma City authorities as a city workers’ strike quickly became a hotbed of racial tension in 1969 when the sanitation workers, most African Americans, went on strike for higher wages and better working conditions. Richard Lowitt expounds on the reasons for the strike, the attention it received locally and nationally from African American politicians and organizations, and the results of the resolve of the strikers and their supporters.
Volume 88, No. 3 (Fall 2010)
“Bringing Back the Big Game: The Reintroduction of Elk to the Wichita Mountains” by Matthew Allen Pearce
In 1911 starving Rocky Mountain elk were transferred from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to the Wichita Mountains National Forest and Game Preserve in southwestern Oklahoma. Matthew Allen Pearce explores the circumstances surrounding the decision to move the elk to Oklahoma and the Progressive conservation ideals behind bringing the elk to Oklahoma.
“The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall of Edwin (“Daddy”) DeBarr” by David W. Levy
Edwin DeBarr was one of the founding faculty members of the University of Oklahoma and made lasting contributions to the school. DeBarr also possessed some objectionable traits that would lead to two distinct falls, one of his careers at the university and one of his legacies at the university. David Levy uses DeBarr’s life to show the change in social, political, and racial attitudes over time at the university, ultimately leading to the removal of DeBarr’s name from the Chemistry Building.
“Preaching in the ‘'Open Air’: The Ministries of Early Pentecostal Women Preachers in Oklahoma” by Kristen D. Welch
Women may not have been able to hold official positions in the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC), but the four women described by Kristen D. Welch had a great amount of influence over the people to whom they preached. Welch profiles Dollie York, Lucy Hargis, Grace Curtis, and Ruth Moore, all itinerate preachers for the IPHC who used the outdoors as their pulpit for saving souls.
“Restoring the Ravages of Time: The Knox Building of Enid, OK” by Jennifer Jones
The Knox Building in Enid was built to house the Masons of Garfield County. Although it was created for their specific needs, it had the potential to be converted into an acoustically-pleasing concert hall. Jennifer Jones relates the story of the Knox Building from its origins to the rift that led to years of disrepair, ultimately leading to a restoration project that was truly a community effort.
Volume 88, No. 2 (Summer 2010)
“Transcontinental Crossroads: Oklahoma’s Lighted Airways in the 1930s” by Thomas A. Wikle
After World War I, the Post Office Department of the United States felt the need to reduce mail delivery times. This desire led to experiments with daytime and nighttime airmail routes. Thomas A. Wikle describes how Oklahoma became a crossroads in the coast-to-coast lighted airmail delivery system and the social, technological, and cultural developments that accompanied this advancement.
“Forgotten Hero: Oklahoma Naval Commander Ernest E. Evans’s Gallant Sacrifice at Leyte Gulf” by Larry Floyd
Commander Ernest E. Evans, an Oklahoma native, bravely fought and died in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in World War II, earning multiple honors for his heroism. Larry Floyd explores the question of why Evans’s memory is virtually forgotten in his native state while so honored by the U.S. Navy.
“Chitto Harjo and the Snake Rebellion” by Leslie Jones
Chitto Harjo, a full-blooded Muscogee Indian opposed to the allotment of tribal lands, led a group of like-minded Indians in rebellions against the authorities in the early 1900s. These rebellions, however, were portrayed differently by newspapers across the country and were remembered uniquely by the people who witnessed them. Leslie Jones compares newspapers in Oklahoma to newspapers nationwide to discover the impact of the Snake Rebellion.
“Fred Harris’s New Populism and the Demise of Heartland Liberalism” by Jeff Bloodworth
Oklahoma Democrat Fred Harris attempted in the 1970s to revive the memory of the Populist movement of the late nineteenth century. Jeff Bloodworth uses the failure of Harris’s New Populism to show twentieth century liberalism’s accommodation of corporate power as well as the racial climate of the 1970s.
Vol 88, No. 1 (Spring 2010)
“Boom and Bust in the Cultural Psychology of Oklahoma: An Interpretive Essay” by Howard F. Stein, 4–23
Since the mid-nineteenth century cycles of boom and bust have characterized Oklahoma history. Howard Stein proposes that after a century or more both the causes and the results of “boom and bust” have become ingrained in Oklahomans’ attitudes and beliefs about themselves and about life. His research adds an anthropological layer of “metadata” to the now-standard story of the Sooner State.
“‘A Few Hundred People Can’t Do Anything with 75 Million!’ The Cherokee Advocate and the Inevitability of Allotment” by Robert D. Miller, 24–47
Allotment was coming despite the tribe’s opposition. The Cherokee Advocate struggled to inform readers about the benefits and perils of assigning land to individuals. Robert D. Miller chronicles the newspaper’s effort to help Cherokees understand that allotment could save their Nation from annihilation.
“Witness on Trial: Bishop W. Angie Smith at the Church Trial of James J. Stewart” by A. W. Martin, Jr., 48–75
In the third of a three-part article, A. W. Martin, Jr., adds a new perspective to his ongoing study of Bishop W. Angie Smith of The Methodist Church. Martin evaluates the bishop’s testimony in his own behalf during the trial of James J. Stewart, the minister who accused him of wrongdoing.
“Antisuffragist. Antifeminist! Pro-women? The Anomalous Alice Mary Robertson” by Deah Caldwell, 76–99
Like most youngsters, Alice Mary Robertson, Oklahoma’s first woman representative in the United States Congress, learned much from her mother’s example. Robertson’s formative years and her beliefs about “woman’s place” have been neglected by historians. Deah Caldwell examines Robertson’s attitudes toward suffrage, feminism, and women at home and in politics.
Vol 87, No. 4 (Winter 2009–2010)
“From the Tennessee River to Tahlequah: A Brief History of Cherokee Fiddling” by J. Justin Castro, 388407
The Cherokee adopted the fiddle as their primary musical instrument early in the nineteenth century. They brought it to the Cherokee Nation of Indian Territory on the Trail of Tears and made it an important part of their culture. J. Justin Castro traces the history of fiddle playing among the Cherokee and illustrates the importance of that musical genre for the people.
“Willard Johnston, Homesteader and Frontier Banker, 18811904” by Michael J. Hightower, 408431
The Oklahoma land rushes brought thousands of settlers to central Oklahoma. Among them, Willard Johnston took his place as both homesteader and business promoter. Michael J. Hightower studies the development of frontier banking as exemplified in Johnston’s interests, which began in Shawnee and expanded to include numerous financial institutions in communities around the state.
“‘A Nomad in White Man’s Jungle’: An Introduction to the Works of Louis Oliver” by Carsten Schmidtke, 432459
Louis Oliver’s literary talents remained hidden for most of his life. Inspired by other American Indian writers and poets, in the 1980s he began to compose essays and verse to express his personal philosophy. Carsten Schmidtke analyzes Oliver’s work and finds it to be a jewel within the American Indian literature of the late twentieth century.
“Enigma and Battleground: The Development of Oklahoma’s Public Two-Year Colleges” by Michael W. Simpson, 460483
Oklahoma’s public two-year colleges began to impact the state’s educational system in the 1920s. By the 1930s many cities and towns offered postsecondary education in municipal or state-supported junior colleges. While the junior college movement’s chronology is well known, Michael W. Simpson details the effects of philosophical and political issues on the course of its history.
Vol 87, No. 3 (Fall 2009)
“Power for the People: Developing the Grand River Dam Authority, Part 2, 1945–1964” by Richard Lowitt, 260–293
Continuing his study of the Grand River Dam Authority, Richard Lowitt analyzes the state agency’s history after World War II. Only one-third complete in 1945, the GRDA operated only Pensacola Dam. Over the next three decades Senators Elmer Thomas and Robert S. Kerr guided the federal legislation that would allow the Authority to complete its flood control dams and power generation/distribution facilities in the watershed of the Grand River.
“Jake Hamon: ‘The Man Who Made Harding President’” by Larry C. Floyd, 294–319
Jacob “Jake” Hamon, legendary Oklahoma oilman and politician, had his heyday in the years after World War I. An ambitious, opportunistic man in search of a presidential cabinet appointment, Hamon used money and influence to manipulate the selection of Warren G. Harding as the Republican Party’s nominee in 1920. At the height of his career, Hamon lost his life when he was shot and killed by his long-time mistress three weeks after the election.
“Shortchanged: Uncovering the Value of Pre-Removal Cherokee Property” by Matthew T. Gregg, 320–335
In 1838 Cherokee Chief John Ross estimated the value of the Cherokees’ land and other property that was lost due to the tribe’s removal to Indian Territory. Economist Matthew Gregg has performed a detailed mathematical analysis of land sale records in Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia around the time of removal. He arrives at an assessment that is consonant with Ross’s 1838 figure.
“‘Forget the Cowboys—We’ll Take the Indians’: The Red Earth Festival Movement, 1985–1987” by Felicia Barker Harrison, 336–359
Since its inception in 1987 the Red Earth Festival has been a staple of Oklahoma City’s tourism scene. The festival owes its genesis to the dedication of a small cadre of local civic, arts, and political leaders who envisioned a multi-tribal exposition of American Indian dance, arts, and crafts.
Vol 87, No. 2 (Summer 2009)
“Water and Power: Developing the Grand River Dam Authority, Part 1, 1935–1944” by Richard Lowitt, 132–165
The Grand River Dam Authority, created in 1935 by the Oklahoma Legislature, facilitated the development of the Pensacola Dam, a federal project to harness the Grand River for electric power and flood control. In Part 1 of a two-part article Richard Lowitt outlines the eight-year campaign by Representative Wesley Disney and Senator Elmer Thomas to make the GRDA a reality.
“Writ Large and Small: State and Local Race Relations and the Meridian ‘Race Riot’ of 1926” by James E. Klein, 166–185
In 1925 and 1926 two incidents in Meridian, Oklahoma, between black citizens and white law enforcement authorities led to an investigation by the Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General. James E. Klein examines the events leading to the designation of the encounters as a “race riot” and evaluates the episode’s meaning within the context of statewide race relations.
“Latinos in Oklahoma: A History of Four and a Half Centuries” by Michael M. Smith, 186–223
From the sixteenth-century expedition led by Spanish explorer Coronado, to the twenty-first century immigration of Central and South Americans, Latinos have always been present in Oklahoma’s history. Providing extensive research data, Michael Smith analyzes the impact of Latino groups and individuals on the state’s development.
“Eliza Jane Ross: A Pioneer Cherokee Educator” by James G. McCullagh, 224–243
In the Cherokee Nation of the nineteenth century, education offered an avenue of personal improvement and self-realization. For almost half of that century, Eliza Jane Ross, niece of Cherokee Chief John Ross, served as a teacher in the nation’s schools. James McCullagh provides a biography of Jane Ross and her career as a pioneer educator.
Volume 87, No. 1 (Spring 2009)
“‘An’ the west jes’ smiled’: Oklahoma Banking and the Panic of 1907,” by Loren C. Gatch, 4–33
Oklahoma’s banking institutions remained generally unaffected as the Panic of 1907 struck Wall Street and the nation’s other financial centers. Loren Gatch relates the ways in which the Oklahoma Bankers Association and each community’s banks responded to the crisis. They calmed public fears of bank insolvency and developed ingenious ways to make currency flow in the economy. As a result, Oklahoma created a bank deposit guaranty law, the nation‘s first.
“Ragtown: Wirt, Oklahoma, and the Healdton Boom,” by Elizabeth E. Freeman, 34–55
The untamed Oklahoma oil-boom towns of the 1920s included Wirt, also called Ragtown, in Carter County. Emerging overnight in the center of the Healdton Field, Ragtown provided shelter and work for hundreds of assorted oil-field characters. Elizabeth Freeman describes the community’s growth and the problems of fire and police protection created by the lifestyles of people attracted to labor and play in the oil field.
“Bad Water and Epidemics: The Wages of Neglect at the Seneca Indian School,” by Christina Bieloh, 56–75
Measles and typhoid killed dozens at Seneca Indian School in 1927. Founded in 1872 for Seneca, Wyandot, and Quapaw children, by the 1920s Seneca School served as a boarding facility for Cherokee youths. Christina Bieloh analyzes the issues of bad federal management and general neglect of health and sanitation that put Indian students’ lives in jeopardy at Seneca and at the nation’s other Indian schools in the early twentieth century.
“Frontier Freedom: Seeking the Underground Railroad in Indian Territory,” by Diane Miller, 76–93
As an avenue of escape for slaves, the Underground Railway was not limited to the actions of whites in the Southern and Northern states. Diane Miller summarizes the ways in which the nations of Indian Territory offered safe harbor for runaway slaves and other African Americans seeking freedom.
Volume 86, No. 4 (Winter, 2008–09)Return to Top
“Sustaining the Cherokees’ Lamp of Enlightenment: The Establishment of Northeastern State Normal School,” by Brad Agnew, 388–409
The Cherokee Nation considered education to be very important, and this belief was exemplified in the Cherokee Female Seminary in Tahlequah. The region’s education tradition continued, reflected in the political and social process of convincing the legislature to place one of the state’s normal schools, or teachers’ colleges, in Tahlequah. Brad Agnew describes the process by which local citizens secured Northeastern State Normal School for their town.
“A Modern Response to the Cold War: Paul Harris and the Lawton National Guard Armory,” by Cynthia Savage, 410–427
Challenged to design a new home for the Lawton-based contingent of the Forty-fifth Infantry Division of the Oklahoma National Guard, architect Paul Harris stepped outside the 1930s tradition of militaristic armory buildings. Cynthia Savage delineates the conceptualization and design of a Modern architectural masterpiece to serve Lawton’s local citizen soldiers.
“Broken Thread: The Choctaw Spinning Association, 1937–1943,” by Christina Petty, 428–445
Out of the Great Depression of the 1930s came a movement led by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Two dedicated employees of the IACB came to southeastern Oklahoma to carry out an ambitious project to increase the income of Choctaw women through traditional native craft. Christina Petty details the process of reinstituting the art of spinning wool among the Choctaw and analyzes the program’s unfortunate demise.
“Amazing Grace: The Influence of Christianity in Nineteenth-Century Oklahoma Ozark Music and Society,” by J. Justin Castro, 446–468
Music and religion have commonly been inseparable for Indian and white Oklahomans living on the fringe of the Ozarks in eastern Oklahoma. J. Justin Castro analyzes the effect of religious culture on the development of that region’s music, as expressed in hymn singing, temperance songs, instruments, and play-parties.
Volume 86, No. 3 (Fall, 2008)
“Constructing Segregation: Race Politics in the Territorial Legislature, 1890–1907,” by R. Darcy, 260–289
During the territorial era the Legislative Assembly dealt with many matters relating to the lives and livelihoods of their constituents, some of whom were African Americans. Republican solons supported civil rights and racial equality, but Democrats favored separation of the races. R. Darcy relates the story of the gradual construction of segregation through the medium of separate-school legislation and ballot manipulation.
“Unfinished Choctaw Justice: The Murder of Charles Wilson and the Execution of Jackson Crow,” by Devon Abbott Mihesuah, 290–315
In August 1884 Choctaw politician and U.S. Deputy Marshal Charles Wilson was murdered on election day. Devon Mihesuah relates the events surrounding the arrest, trial, and acquittal of Wilson’s political rival, Robert Benton, and Benton’s friends, in Choctaw court. Jackson Crow, a non-Choctaw also accused of the crime, was convicted in federal court and executed in 1888.
“William Meredith Cunningham: An Oklahoma Proletarian Novelist,” by Larry O’Dell, 316–327
In the 1920s and 1930s a new social and political atmosphere fostered literary creativity throughout the nation as well as in Oklahoma. Within that stimulating milieu emerged William Cunningham. Larry O’Dell offers Cunningham’s biography and reveals the ways in which his novels, poetry, and other writings championed the industrial-agricultural working class of his native state.
“Stereotypes, Lies, and Crass Humor: When Men Write About Women Homesteaders in Oklahoma Land Runs,” by Douglas Werden, 328–348
During the opening of Oklahoma Territory to settlement, thousands of individuals took part in a series of land runs from 1889 through 1895. Women, as well as men, participated in them. Examining the literature of and about the era, Douglas Werden shows that men who wrote about women land seekers often satirized and belittled them in order to discourage them from competing.
Volume 86, No. 2 (Summer, 2008)
“Oklahoma’s Air Ace: William T. Ponder and World War I,” by Bill Moore, 132–157
William T. Ponder revealed his World War I aviation exploits to his mother in a series of letters that were printed in the Mangum Star. This little-known hero served with the French Aviation Service as part of the Lafayette Flying Corps. After transferring to the U.S. Air Service, he shot down six enemy planes and became Oklahoma’s first air ace. Against the backdrop of World War I aviation history, Bill Moore chronicles Ponder’s training and his testing in battle.
“Fifteen Men in Ermine: Judges of the United States Court for the Indian Territory, 1889–1907,” by Von Russell Creel, 158–185
The fifteen men who dispensed justice to the residents of Indian Territory had varied backgrounds, social beliefs, and careers. In this collective biography Von Russell Creel examines each judge’s family history, education, politics, appointment to the bench, pattern of judicial decision making, and postjudicial professional life.
“Counting Sioux: American Indian Journalism and the Proposed Lakota Removal to Indian Territory,” by Richard Mize, 186–211
In 1876, as the Indian Wars ended, the United States Army mourned the death of George Armstrong Custer and planned to control the Lakota Sioux by placing them within a reservation. Richard Mize chronicles the reaction of American Indian newspaper editors of Indian Territory to plans to relocate the Sioux to a portion of the Creek Nation’s lands.
“‘An American Tragedy’: Oklahomans React to Martin Luther King’s Assassination,” by Kerri A. Shadid, 212–232
When Martin Luther King, Jr., met an untimely end on April 4, 1968, Americans mourned. Newspaper reporters talked to hundreds of Oklahomans during that week, gauging their grief, their fears, and their hopes for the future. Kerri Shadid uses these newspaper interviews to analyze the reactions of black and white Oklahoma citizens to the death of the noted civil rights leader.
Volume 86, No. 1 (Spring, 2008)
“The Businessman’s Frontier: C. C. Hightower, Commerce, and Old Greer County, 1891–1903,” by Michael J. Hightower, 4–
C. C. Hightower, a native Georgian, brought his considerable entrepreneurial skills to the frontier in 1890. He was instrumental in the founding of Altus, in Old Greer County, at a time when its ownership was still disputed by Texas. Michael J. Hightower delineates C. C. Hightower’s role in a changing economy and chronicles his rise to prominence in business and civic affairs in prestatehood Oklahoma.
“From Termination to Self-Determination: Indian Health in Oklahoma, 1954–1980, Part 2,” by Richard Lowitt, 32–63
For American Indians in Oklahoma, the health care problem after 1970 was linked to a new federal policy of tribal self-determination. In the second of a two-part article Richard Lowitt continues his evaluation of the problems of Indian health care and the campaign led by Senators Fred Harris and Dewey Bartlett to correct a record of neglect.
“Thrice Purchased: Acquisition and Allotment of the Citizen Potawatomi Reservation,” by Lisa Kraft, 64–87
As the Citizen Potawatomi people emerged as a separate group in the middle nineteenth century, they were pushed out of their communally held Kansas reserve and into the Indian Territory. Lisa Kraft explores the arrival of the Potawatomi in central Oklahoma, the acquisition of a new reservation, and the means used to force them to own land as individuals.
“‘Touch the Bottom and Lift’: Black Women Home Extension Agents in Oklahoma, 1912–1935,” by Cecelia Brooks, 88–108
Self-help and education, the two pillars of advancement for African Americans in the post–Civil War era, led to the founding of agricultural and mechanical schools and the building of a cadre of black women extension agents. Traveling the back roads of Oklahoma, they brought home economics education to thousands of rural African American women and their families.
Volume 85, No. 4 (Winter, 2007–08)Return to Top
“Will Rogers High School: The Public Works Administration, Progressive Education, and a Modern School,” by Cathy Ambler, 388–411
The Public Works Administration, a New Deal program of the 1930s, provided funds for the construction of Tulsa’s Will Rogers High School. Modern in every way, the building and its experimental curriculum implemented the ideals of the progressive education movement. Cathy Ambler details the pedagogical planning and architectural design of one of Tulsa’s educational and Art Deco showplaces.
“‘Civilization May Be a Hoax’: Oklahomans in the Old World, 1907–1939,” by K. Dirk Voss, 412–435
Between the two world wars middle-class Oklahomans toured Europe and examined that continent’s claim as the cradle of “civilization” and culture. Their observations of Old World customs and living conditions, coupled with the ravages of World War I, convinced many that the New World—America and Oklahoma—were superior in all respects.
“From Termination to Self-Determination: Indian Health in Oklahoma, 1954–1980, Part 1,” by Richard Lowitt, 436–467
For American Indians in Oklahoma and elsewhere, obtaining adequate health care in the second half of the twentieth century has been a pressing problem, one aggravated by the federal policy of tribal termination. In this two-part article Richard Lowitt evaluates the problems of Indian health care and the campaign led by Senator Fred Harris and others to correct a record of neglect.
“‘With Great Difficulty and Labour’: The Emigration of the McIntosh Party of Creek Indians, 1827–1828,” by Christopher Haveman, 468–490
Fleeing from the Southeastern United States, parties of Creek Indians, adherents of William McIntosh and his family, made their way over land and water after selecting new homes in part of the trans-Mississippi region that is now Oklahoma. Christopher Haveman carefully outlines the travails of these first Creek emigrants, whose journey preceded removal of the Creek Nation.
Volume 85, No. 3 (Fall, 2007)
“A Reluctant Heir: Carl Albert, Watergate, and the American Presidency,” by A. Heath Anderson. 260–279
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Carl Bert Albert of Oklahoma stood on the brink of assuming the office of vice president of the United States after Spiro T. Agnew resigned in disgrace in 1973. Heath Anderson details Speaker Albert’s decision to eschew the ultimate leadership role and to recommend Rep. Gerald R. Ford as Agnew’s successor.
“Setbacks and Successes: Cameron University’s Library, 1909–2000,” by Sheridan Eleanor Young, 280–307
Cameron’s Library began in 1909 as a few shelves of books. Over a century, by efforts of administrators and librarians, the library played a singular role in the school’s quest for accreditation. Sheridan Young examines the library’s policies for collections development and materials access and constant improvement of buildings that helped this important regional institution reach full university status.
“‘We Complacently Drink the Fruit of the Lotus Bow’: Deciding on the Oklahoma City Floodway, 1946–1953,” by Adam A. Payne, 308–323
In the first half of the twentieth century North Canadian River floods devastated parts of Oklahoma City. Two inundations in 1923 engendered a thirty-year struggle for federal funds to straighten and safely channel the river through the growing urban area. Designed and planned from 1946 to 1953, the Oklahoma City Floodway was dedicated on March 31, 1958.
“So That a Nation May Live: The Pawnee Ghost Dance and Cultural Renaissance,” by Todd E. Leahy, 324–341
When the Pawnee people were forced into Indian Territory in the mid-1870s, they had already begun to lose aspects of their culture. In 1891 and 1892 the Ghost Dance, a regeneration ceremony devised by Paiute “prophet” Wovoka in Nevada, gave the Pawnees a unifying experience. Todd Leahy describes the early development of the Ghost Dance among the Pawnees and traces the ceremony’s continuance into the twenty-first century.
Volume 85, No. 2 (Summer, 2007)
“An Exercise in Pride: Celebrating the Oklahoma Semi-centennial,” by Bill Mullins, 132–157
The year of Oklahoma’s Semi-centennial of Statehood, 1957, promised the opportunity to commemorate the state’s colorful history and to promote travel and tourism. The Semi-centennial Commission planned in advance, but the year’s events proved more spectacular than educational. Major expositions in Oklahoma City and Tulsa were mirrored in events in many communities.
“Hoorah for Integration!’ The Adoption of the 1955 Better Schools Amendment” by D. Keith Lough, 158–175
Since 1907, and until the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Oklahoma’s African American children had to attend segregated schools. After a lengthy campaign led by Governor Raymond D. Gary, Oklahomans adopted a constitutional amendment ending the time-honored special tax for separate schools, and the process of integration became reality.
“Dark Spot on the Sunbelt: Economic Stagnation and Political Corruption in 1950s Oklahoma,” by Matthew G. McCoy, 176–197
In the 1950s Oklahoma’s economic health was failing. The state lagged behind Texas, New Mexico, and the rest of the “Sunbelt,” where rapid industrialization and population growth came from federal defense spending. Searching for the reasons for sluggish performance, Matthew McCoy examines the roles of negative self-image and political corruption in retarding progress.
“‘Little Buzz Buggies’: Midget Auto Racing in Oklahoma City, 1946–1964,” by Galen Kurth, 198–220
In the first decade after World War II the entertainment industry rapidly expanded in the United States and also in Oklahoma. Midget auto racing, held in Oklahoma City’s Taft Stadium, drew huge crowds and gave several race-car drivers the experiences that took them onward to the Indianapolis 500 and other major races.
Volume 85, No. 1 (Spring, 2007)
“Sooner State Civil Liberties in Perilous Times, 1940–1941, Part 2: Oklahoma’s Little Dies Committee,” by Wayne A. Wiegand and Shirley A. Wiegand, 4–33
As the Communist scare spread in the pre–World War II years, both houses of the Oklahoma Legislature set up “Un-American activities” committees. In Part 2 of the Civil Liberties story, the Oklahoma Senate Committee on Elections and Privileges turns its attention to a legislatively mandated investigation of alleged Communist activity in Oklahoma colleges and universities.
“Education for Successful Living: University School at the University of Oklahoma, 1917–1973,” by Steven Wade Mackie, 34–51
The Progressive Era and its educational leaders, such as John Dewey and William H. Kilpatrick, inspired the creation of schools designed to focus on the child, on socialization, on practical subjects, and on problem solving. At the University of Oklahoma in 1917 Ellsworth Collings founded University School, a junior high and later high school. For fifty-six years it was to be a nexus of experimentation, observation, and practice exemplifying the ideals of Progressive Education.
“A Meeting of Conquerors: Art Goebel and Charles Lindbergh in Tulsa, 1927,” by Thomas L. Hedglen, 52–71
Aviator and Phillips Petroleum pilot Art Goebel of Oklahoma, “The Conqueror of the Pacific,” met his counterpart, Charles A. Lindbergh, popular idol and “The Conqueror of the Atlantic,” in Tulsa in September 1927. Their meeting and their behavior toward Oklahomans revealed much about each man’s character and personality and about the American practice of hero making.
“Twixt Scylla and Charybdis: Environmental Pressure on the Choctaw to Ally with the Confederacy,” by Kevin Sweeney, 72–93
A mid-nineteenth-century drought suffered by residents of the Choctaw Nation imperiled the ability of families to survive. Pressed by the need for cash to buy supplies, the Choctaw struggled to make the United States government live up to its treaty promises. Failing that, the nation’s leaders made the fateful decision to ally with the Confederate States of America, which promised aid.
Volume 84, No. 4 (Winter, 2006–07)Return to Top
“Forty Feet Under: Kaw City and the Kaw Project on the Arkansas River, 1957–1976,” by Richard Lowitt, 388–426
From the mid-1950s the inhabitants of Kaw City, founded in 1902 in Kay County, anticipated the construction of Kaw Dam and Reservoir on the Arkansas River. As the bureaucratic process dragged on for decades, the project divided the community. Ultimately, the residents rebuilt on a new site, and by 1977 “Old” Kaw City lay forty feet under Kaw Lake.
“A Few Unreasonable Proposals: Some Rejected Ideas from the Cherokee Allotment Negotiations,” by Andrew Denson, 426–443
Facing allotment of their tribal land in severalty, the Cherokee Nation strove to preserve several important elements of their political culture. Their proposals for land ownership, judicial administration, and representation in the United States Congress were summarily rejected by the members of the Dawes Commission during the 1898–99 talks.
“Sooner State Civil Liberties in Perilous Times, 1940–1941, Part 1: The Oklahoma Federation for Constitutional Rights,” by Wayne A. Wiegand and Shirley A. Wiegand, 444–463
The rise of Communism in Europe alarmed many Americans in the pre–World War II era, and the FBI investigated Oklahomans, including university professors and religious leaders, for suspected subversive activities. Determined to preserve and defend freedom of speech, a group of concerned citizens formed the Oklahoma Federation for Constitutional Rights and later faced investigation by the legislature.
“J. A. Webb, Early-Day Cotton Breeder from Union City, Oklahoma,” by M. Reneé Albers Nelson and Laval M. Verhalen, 464–492
In 1928 a cotton farmer discovered strange cotton plants growing in his field near Union City in Canadian County. The leaves were purple, and the bolls were set in clusters. A talented amateur agronomist, J. A. Webb diligently worked for the next three decades to perfect a better variety, and he marketed the seed as Webb’s Purple cot ton.
Volume 84, No. 3 (Fall, 2006)
“Money Matters: The Stamp Scrip Movement in Depression–Era Oklahoma,” by Loren Gatch, 260–287
Expanding his 2004 article on Oklahoma’s reaction to the Depression-era banking crisis of early 1933, Loren Gatch ties the origin of the scrip movement to the writings of Yale University’s Professor Irving Fisher, traces the implementation of scrip schemes in nearly three dozen Oklahoma towns, and explains the reasons for scrip’s early successes and rapid demise.
“Sobering News: Choctaw Temperance Reporting and Civic Journalism,” by Richard Mize, 288–307
Comparing modern “civic journalism” with its nineteenth-century counterpart, Richard Mize examines editorial positions on the temperance movement, as printed in the pages of the Choctaw Telegraph and the Choctaw Intelligencer. The two journals campaigned against alcohol in the Choctaw Nation.
“A Reading Room of Their Own: Library Services for African Americans in Oklahoma, 1907–1946,” by R. O. Joe Cassity, Jr., 308–321
Despite Jim Crow Laws and a Supreme Court–mandated doctrine of “separate but equal,” African American Oklahomans struggled for access to public library services. The first forty years of statehood brought few successes, and by mid-century only eleven communities provided a public library facility for the state’s black citizens.
“‘Revolution for the Hell of It’: Abbie Hoffman Visits Oklahoma State University in 1971,” by Erica John son, 322–335
In 1970 and 1971 a group of OSU student activists demanded to be allowed to engage Abbie Hoffman, Yippie leader and would-be revolutionary, to lecture on the Stillwater campus. Conservative students, faculty, university administrators, and even legislators attempted, unsuccessfully, to thwart the prospect of radical action, fearing that a Kent State–like incident might erupt.
Volume 84, No. 2 (Summer, 2006)
“‘Practically a Military School’: The University of Oklahoma and World War I,” by David W. Levy, 132–161
When the United States entered the First World War in April 1917, the University of Oklahoma’s administration, faculty, and students sprang into action to support the war effort. The revamped campus now included barracks and military training facilities. A Student Army Training Corps, precursor to ROTC, was born, and numerous students and faculty entered the armed services.
“On the Gallows’ Edge: Capital Punishment, Appeals, and Presidential Clemency in Indian Territory, 1896–1907,” by Von Russell Creel, 162–187
Continuing his study of the administration of justice in Indian Territory courts, and expanding upon the application of capital punishment, Von Creel details the cases of nine individuals who were convicted of capital crimes but who escaped hanging. Their stories involve the complicated legal processes of appeal, application for presidential clemency, commutation of sentence, and postverdict motions.
“Earning Their Spurs in the Oil Patch: The Cinematic FBI, the Osage Murders, and the Test of the American West,” by Andrew L. Warren, 188–209
In the early 1920s a lengthy series of murders occurred in Osage County. The victims, members of the Osage tribe, all held headrights that entitled them to oil royalties. After some bumbling, the Federal Bureau of Investigation eventually solved the murders, but for years afterward FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover used the story to promote his agency’s efficiency as crime fighters. In the 1950s the crimes were featured in a book and a movie, both titled The FBI Story.
“A New Frontier in Science: Robert S. Kerr, James E. Webb, and Oklahoma in the Space Age,” by Bill Moore, 210–232
Oklahoma’s U.S. Senator Robert S. Kerr and Frontiers of Science Foundation Director James E. Webb collaborated in bringing the space age to Oklahoma in the 1950s and 1960s. In concert with other state leaders they promoted a National Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Space, encouraged science education in public schools, and brought to the state nationally prominent space-race advocates such as Werner von Braun and Edward R. Murrow.
Volume 84, No. 1 (Spring, 2006)
“‘Any Woman That Could Ride a Horse Could Fly’: Dorothy K. Pressler Morgan, 1930s Oklahoma Aviatrix,” by Tally D. Fugate, 4–21
In 1930 Dorothy Pressler Morgan became the second woman pilot licensed in Oklahoma by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The intrepid Pressler Morgan was a stunt pilot, a barn stormer, and an altitude-record setter as well as the nation’s first woman airport manager.
“Building the Grady County Courthouse: The Public Works Administration Amidst Local Politics,” by Cynthia Savage, 22–43
Designed by the prestigious architectural firm of Layton, Hicks and Forsyth and completed in 1935 using monies provided by the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, or PWA, the Grady County Court house stands as a classic example of 1930s Art Deco architecture.
“Capital Versus Labor in Tulsa: The Mid-Continent Refinery Strike of 1938–1940,” by Diane M. Rubey,” 44–63
On December 22, 1938, members of the Oil Worker’s International Union, representing labor in the petroleum industry at Tulsa’s Mid-Continent Refinery, shut down the plant and walked off the job. The bitter, protracted, and occasionally violent fight involved two years of investigations and negotiations.
“Looking for Adventure: Ponca Warriors of the Forty-fifth Infantry Division in the Korean War,” by Mark van de Logt, 64–77
In the summer of 1950, at the Poncas’ annual pow wow, sixteen young Ponca men signed up to serve in the Oklahoma National Guard. Their thirst for adventure led them to Louisiana and Japan before their unit, the 279th Infantry Regiment of the Forty-fifth Infantry Division, fought in Korea.
“Heaven to Hell: Samuel Robert Cassius and Black Life in Oklahoma, 1891–1923,” by Edward J. Robinson, 78–99
In 1891 teacher and preacher Samuel Robert Cassius came to Oklahoma Territory, believing it to be a haven of freedom and opportunity for black people. Like his hero, Booker T. Washington, he established a school. Nature and human nature conspired against Cassius, and, beset by tragedy and betrayal, he left Oklahoma in disgust in 1923.
Volume 83, No. 4 (Winter, 2005–06)Return to Top
“Fort Sill Enters the Missile Age,” by Rich ard Lowitt, 388–431
In the 1950s Fort Sill was designated the nation’s Artillery and Guided Missile Center as the army expanded its arsenal to include nuclear warheads and weapons of long-range accuracy. Richard Lowitt explores all sides of the controversy that developed when Fort Sill announced its plans to expand into the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge and into thousands of acres under private ownership in Comanche County.
“Jess Willard and Carl Morris: Heavyweight Boxing in Oklahoma,” by Arly Allen, 432–451
A segregated America was outraged in 1910 when black boxer Jack Johnson defeated Jim Jeffries to capture the heavy weight championship. Promoters across the country and internationally began looking for the “Great White Hope” who would return the crown to the white race. Arly Allen focuses on the efforts of Carl Morris and Jess Willard, Oklahomans who seemingly came out of nowhere to try to “make the world right again.”
“Missionary and Mother: Jerusha Swain’s Transformation in the Cherokee Nation, 1852–1861,” by Meg Devlin O’Sullivan, 452–465
In the early 1850s Jerusha Swain left her New Eng land home to serve as missionary teacher and surrogate mother at Dwight Mission in the Cherokee Nation, a tenure marked by isolation and challenge. Meg Devlin O’Sullivan examines Swain’s life at Dwight to show that she not only found new opportunities for independence but also trans formation in her conceptions of race.
“Businessman or Rogue?: C. C. Julian in the Oklahoma Oil Fields,” by William H. Mullins, 466–489
After a measure of success as an oil promoter in California, C. C. Julian moved his operation to Oklahoma in 1929 shortly after the booming Oklahoma City field opened. William Mullins follows the trail of a flamboyant man who soon be came embroiled in the pro-ration controversy and more serious charges of reloading, mail and investor fraud, bankruptcy, and flight from justice.
“‘Beef Instead of Bayonets’: Cultural Mores and the Failure of Assimilation on the Kiowa-Comanche Reservation,” by Todd Leahy, 490–499
The federal government attempted many programs to assimilate American Indians but met resistance on most fronts because Indian culture was not easily subsumed. Todd Leahy describes the efforts of agents and army officials to establish Indian-operated cattle ranching among the Kiowas and Comanches, who proved unwilling to give up certain aspects of their culture.
Volume 83, No. 3 (Fall, 2005)
“Remembering an Exceptional Team: Jerome Tiger and Nettie Wheeler,” by Peggy Tiger, 260–283
Creek artist Jerome Tiger electrified the art world in the 1960s with his colorful, emotional paintings. Discovered by art collector Nettie Wheeler of Muskogee, Tiger grew to rely on Wheeler to guide his career before his untimely death at twenty-six. Tiger’s widow Peggy Tiger recounts the unique relationship that nurtured and preserved the work of this important artist.
“From Menagerie to Modern Zoo: Nature, Society, and the Beginning of the Oklahoma City Zoo,” by S. Matthew Despain, 284–307
The Oklahoma City Zoo had its beginning at Wheeler Park in the southwest section of the city in 1903. In its early years, it evolved with the growing city as part of the back-to-nature movement. Matthew Despain explores the zoo’s first decades, its place in Oklahoma City and the region, the events that forced its relocation, and how zoos in general reflect the societies that create them.
“‘We Bind Our selves Together’: A History of the Oklahoma Student Librarians Association,” by Jeffrey M. Wilhite, 308–325
Over a period of about forty years in mid-twentieth century, student library clubs flourished across the United States. Jeffrey Wilhite pro vides a thorough discussion of the Oklahoma Student Librarians Association, as it brought recognition to students and libraries, provided training in the workings of a library, and promoted interest in the field of librarianship.
“The Land Is Al ways With Us”: Removal, Allotment, and Industrial Development and Their Effects on Ponca Tribalism,” by Mark van de Logt, 326–341
Over centuries the Ponca Indians identified closely with the land; it sustained them physically and spiritually. However, three major developments threatened the very essence of Ponca life and tribalism. Mark van de Logt examines the effects of removal in 1877, allotment in the 1890s, and the development of the oil and gas industry on Ponca land in the twentieth century.
“Lela L. Barnett: An Oklahoma WAC in World War II Italy,” by Ralph Gregory Beil, 342-361
Lela Barnett grew up in north western Oklahoma and in Oklahoma City, but the most remarkable chapter of her life took place in Italy as one of the first members of the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. Drawing from the more than 300 letters she wrote to her mother, Barnett’s nephew Ralph Gregory Beil reconstructs the adventures of an Oklahoma girl in service to her country and the free world.
Volume 83, No. 2 (Summer, 2005)
“Change the Stars: The Story of the Youngblood Hotel of Enid, Oklahoma,” by Jennifer Jones, 132–143
For several decades the Youngblood Hotel was a beacon for travelers to and through Enid, as its stylish decor and amenities provided luxurious comforts to guests. Jennifer Jones relates the story of the hotel’s builders, Lawrence S. Youngblood and his partners, the lavish interiors, and the causes of its decline and eventual rehabilitation as an office building.
“Origins and Development of State Politics: The Oklahoma Territorial Legislature, 1890–1905,” by R. Darcy, 144–177
Operating for a period of seventeen years, the Oklahoma territorial legislatures created the framework for much of the legal and administrative structure inherited by the state in 1907. Recognizing the lack of a comprehensive, accurate account of the legislators and their politics, R. Darcy provides a meticulous documentation of the complex makeup of the assembles.
“The ‘Come-As-You-Are’ War: Fort Sill and the Persian Gulf Crisis of 1990–1991,” by Boyd L. Dastrup, 178–193
Fort Sill played a key role in the large mobilization of American military forces in 1990–1991 during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Post historian Boyd Dastrup explains how army officials and soldiers at all levels had to adjust rapidly and effectively to constantly changing circumstances and demands, while meeting daily operational requirements at the same time.
“‘The Indian Home is Undone’: Anglo Intrusion, Colonization, and the Creek Nation, 1867–1907,” by Douglas A. Hurt, 194–217
In the nineteenth century Native Americans in the Indian Territory faced dispossession, forced re-settlement, and interference in tribal customs and politics. Douglas Hurt explores the case of the Creek Nation as its members dealt with Anglo intrusion and colonization through resistance, modification, and development of a sense of place centered on community and ceremonies.
“A Strong and Sturdy Vessel: A History of Bristow Junior College,” by Letha Caudle, 218–231
Between 1928 and 1951 Bristow Junior College operated within the Bristow Public Schools System through the efforts of a dedicated and well-educated faculty and a supportive community. Letha Caudle examines the founding of the institution, its leaders and teachers, and a curriculum that provided career development for hundreds of students.
Volume 83, No. 1 (Spring, 2005)
“National Liberal, Hometown Radical, and New Populist Politician: The Life of Fred Harris,” by Amy L. Scott, 4–33
Growing up on a dry-land farm in southwestern Oklahoma, young Fred Harris determined early on to escape and to make something of himself. That he has done in three successive careers—lawyer, politician, and professor. Amy Scott explores Harris’s life and the personal and professional journey that transformed him from a liberal to a New Populist politician.
“An Indian Shall Not Spill an Indian’s Blood;’: The Confederate-Indian Conference at Camp Napoleon, 1865,” by Brad R. Clampitt, 34–53
As the Civil War drew to a close, the Five Civilized Tribes, most of them allies of the Confederacy, realized that as a matter of self-preservation they had to negotiate separate surrender agreements and make peace with the several Plains tribes. Brad Clampitt provides a thorough discussion of their efforts undertaken during one of the largest intertribal gatherings in Indian Territory.
“Alex Howat versus John Wilkinson: Power, Personality, and Ideological Battles in the United Mine Workers,” by Steven L. Sewell, 54–67
As the United Mine Workers prepared to strike in 1922, Oklahoma became a stage for the factional in-fighting that tore apart the union’s solidarity. Steven Sewell examines the ideological battle that pitted craft unionists against socialists, a struggle in Oklahoma that starred John Wilkinson and “renegade radical” Alex Howat and featured an appearance by Oscar Ameringer.
“Researching Tom Joad: John Steinbeck, Journalist, 1936,” by Paul Bailey, 68–83
Tom Joad, dispossessed Okies, and The Grapes of Wrath are forever etched in the canon of American literature and in the hearts and minds of Oklahomans. John Steinbeck compiled material for his fictional portrayal of migrant farm workers during an assignment for a California newspaper. Paul Bailey travels back in time to accompany the journalist as he created public awareness of a real crisis and found inspiration for his greatest literary work.
Volume 82, No. 4 (Winter, 2004–05)Return to Top
“Socialism from the Bottom Up: Local Activists and the Socialist Party of Oklahoma, 1900–1920,” by Jim Bissett, 388–411
A century ago, the Socialist Party of Oklahoma ranked among the top three in the nation. Most studies of the party have focused on generalizations and state-level organization, but it was the local activists who gave the party its strength and changed the balance of power in Oklahoma politics through two difficult decades. Using information found in socialist newspapers and the manuscript census, Jim Bissett uncovers the lives and experiences of local party members with a focus on Marshall and Roger Mills Counties.
“In Defense of Sovereignty: Cherokee Soldiers, White Officers, and Discipline in the Third Indian Home Guard,” by Trevor Jones, 412–427
During the Civil War, Cherokees loyal to Chief John Ross joined the Union army to reconquer the Cherokee Nation from the Confederate forces of Stand Watie and reestablish what they saw as the legitimate Cherokee government. Although white officers filled the highest ranks of command, Cherokee officers and soldiers modified the military system to fit their own needs. Trevor Jones explores the ways in which Cherokees managed discipline in the Third Indian Home Guard to achieve their ultimate goal of sovereignty.
“Dr. Anna Lewis: Historian at the Oklahoma College for Women,” by Linda Reese, 428–449
Angie Debo and Muriel Wright stand as the two most recognizable women historians in the state of Oklahoma. However, neither of them held a long-term association with an institution of higher learning. That distinction belongs to Dr. Anna Lewis, who enjoyed a long and stellar career at the Oklahoma College for Women but whose accomplishments have been overlooked. Linda Reese corrects the record with an account of Lewis’s life as she struggled to obtain the terminal degree in history, build a sound academic program at the college, and teach and write about Oklahoma history.
“The Sexual Color Line in Red and Black: Antimiscegenation and the Sooner State,” by Charles F. Robinson II, 450–475
Throughout much of its history, the state of Oklahoma enacted legislation that mandated some form of sexual separateness between the races. However, interracial couples openly defied the law and officials spent little effort in enforcement. After providing an overview of antimiscegenation laws dating from the time of slavery into the statehood period, Charles Robinson examines the eleven cases that reached the highest state or the federal courts, most of them civil cases involving blacks and Indians.
“Jack C. Montgomery: A Little Big Man,” by Christopher B. Bean, 476–495
American Indians served with distinction during World War II and in greater proportion to their numbers than the general population. Among them, two Oklahomans, Jack C. Montgomery and Ernest Childers, received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the war. Realizing that many Oklahomans have overlooked or are unaware of their important contributions, Christopher Bean documents Jack Montgomery’s life before and after the war and recalls his service with the Forty-fifth Infantry Division and the campaigns in which he took part.
Volume 82, No. 3 (Fall, 2004)
“‘A Model Fruit Ranch’: The Housholder Fruit Farm of Guthrie, Oklahoma,” by Joe G. Bax, 260–299
Thousands of land seekers arrived in Guthrie on April 22, 1889, among them Frank Housholder and his four-year-old son, Glen Dana. Their efforts to find a homestead and make a living in the new land eventually resulted in the Housholder Fruit Farm, one of the largest fruit-growing businesses in the state. Joe Bax, Glen Housholder’s grandson, provides a loving portrait and a poignant tale of the family’s tremendous successes amid struggles against railroads, commission merchants, and Oklahoma’s sometime fickle weather.
“‘Stand Fast’: The Story of Surry Eaton ‘White Sut’ Beck,” by Pamela White, 300–325
White Sut Beck’s place in history has been defined by what came to be known as the Going Snake massacre, a shoot-out during the 1872 trail of Zeke Proctor for the murder of Beck’s sister. In truth, White Sut lived a full life of adventure and service to his family, his community, and the Cherokee Nation. Beck’s great-granddaughter, Pamela White, examines Beck’s life as soldier, husband and father, deputy sheriff and solicitor of Delaware District, and defender of Cherokee sovereignty and traditions during particularly troublesome times in the Cherokee Nation.
“‘Your Enemies May Attract Unwanted Friends’: Gerald L. K. Smith, Patrick Hurley, and the 1948 New Mexico Senate Race,” by Russell D. Buhite, 326–341
In the mid-twentieth century, several individuals rose to prominence on the fringes of American political life through demagogic behavior or force of personality. Gerald L. K. Smith became one of the best known, for the viciousness of his views, his bigotry, and his extremism. Russell Buhite explores Smith’s intrusion into the 1948 United States Senate race in New Mexico, in which native Oklahoman Patrick J. Hurley was the Republican candidate. At the same time, he illuminated Hurley’s post-World War II behavior and anti-Zionism.
“The National Register of Historic Places and St. Paul Baptist Church and Cemetery: The 1,000th Listing in Oklahoma,” by Cynthia Savage, 342–351
In the fall of 2002, the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office achieved the goal of listing the 1,000th Oklahoma property on the National Register of Historic Places—St. Paul Baptist Church and Cemetery in Lincoln County. Cynthia Savage explains the process of listing properties on the Register, then describes the history of an African-American community in Oklahoma as it established and exercised control over the one area of its life unaffected by segregation, the practice of religion.
“Tulsa (1949) as an Oil Field Film: A Study in Ecological Ambivalence,” by Peter C. Rollins, 352–368
Americans have always displayed a degree of ambivalence about technological development, believing in progress on the one hand and exhibiting deep anxiety about despoiling “nature’s garden” on the other. American writers, artists, historians, and others have all warned about the dangers of industrial growth at the expense of nature. Using the 1949 oil field film, Tulsa, as an example, Peter C. Rollins reveals Hollywood’s take on that dynamic—celebrating the oil industry’s rewards while chastising those driven by market forces alone.
Volume 82, No. 2 (Summer, 2004)
“‘No Home on the Range’: The Miller Family’s Great Swindle of Indian Lands,” by Jo L. Wetherilt Behrens, 132–167
Following the Civil War, the grasslands of the Cherokee Outlet provided a lush pasture for longhorns driven north from Texas to Kansas railheads. When the government later moved smaller tribes to the Outlet and provided for the leasing of their land, greedy entrepreneurs found ways to acquire the land to the detriment of the Indians. In a convincing indictment of the owners of the 101 Ranch and a government that ignore the Indians’ welfare, Jo Behrens follows a shadowy paper trail through evidence of fraud and manipulation.
“‘This is Not United States Currency’: Oklahoma’s Emergency Scrip Issues during the Banking Crisis of 1933,” by Loren Gatch, 168–199
During the Great Depression, enterprising communities and business leaders experimented with various kinds of local currency to meet the demands for solvency. In the state of Oklahoma during the banking holiday of 1933, issues of emergency scrip helped residents, retailers, and governmental entities meet the payroll, feed the family, and regain confidence. Loren Gatch details the arrangements established in seven Oklahoma communities and places them with the broader setting of the state’s response to the crisis.
“Where Angels Belong: The Oklahoma Antisuffrage Movement,” by Tally Fugate, 200–221
The women’s suffrage issue reached Oklahoma in 1907 when delegates met to write a constitution for the new state. Following arduous debate, antisuffragists and others successfully defeated an amendment to extend the vote to women, and “antis” continued the fight when the national women’s suffrage movement gained momentum after World War I. Recognizing that most scholarly attention has focused on those who favored women’s suffrage, Tally Fugate offers a thoughtful study of the Oklahoma antisuffrage movement and the key players who worked to keep women “in the place.”
“Black, White, and Read: The Muskogee Daily Phoenix’s Coverage of the Sequoyah Statehood Convention of 1905,” by Richard Mize, 222–239
In 1905 leaders of the Five Civilized Tribes convened to write a constitution for the proposed State of Sequoyah, a single state separate from Oklahoma Territory. The Sequoyah Statehood Convention garnered national attention, but historians generally have provided no detailed study of its work. Richard Mize combs the pages of the Muskogee Daily Phoenix to reconstruct the historic convention and to shed light on the interpretation the newspaper’s white editor gave to the proceedings.
Volume 82, No. 1 (Spring, 2004)
“Saving the Land: Soil and Water Conservation in Oklahoma,” by D. Chongo Mundende, 4–31
Over many years, Oklahoma has experienced a wide variety of climate-related problems—bare soils and dust storms, uncontrolled runoff, soil erosion, and floods. From those harsh lessons of history, the federal and state governments, working in cooperation with the farmers and ranchers of Oklahoma, have instituted a number of practices designed to save the precious resources of soil and water. Chongo Mundende describes the history and establishment of those programs in the context of their times and explains why Oklahoma’s story is the story of conservation in the nation.
“Oklahoma’s ‘First Black Governor’: Dr. Isaac William Young,” by Cecelia Brooks, 32–63
In 1911 a prominent and wealthy African-American physician from Louisiana, Dr. Isaac William Young, moved to Oklahoma to begin a new life. After making numerous progressive contributions to the small all-black town of Boley, Young moved to Oklahoma City and eventually entered politics working the mayoral and gubernatorial campaigns of Democrat John C. Walton. Cecelia Brooks explores Young’s appointment to the presidency of the Colored Agricultural and Normal University at Langston and how he used his powerful position to become the state’s “first black governor.”
“Moses or Aaron?: William Jennings Bryan and Oklahoma Politics,” by Danny M. Adkison, 64–81
As Oklahoma prepared for statehood in the early twentieth century, it seemed to adopt Nebraska politician William Jennings Bryan as one of its own, and historians have generally accepted that Bryan had a strong and direct influence on the state constitution. In exploring the relationship between the two, Danny Adkison asks if Bryan served as Moses to lead Oklahoma to accept his favorite policies, or if Oklahoma used the eloquent Bryan as an Aaron to give voice to its own agenda.
“The Tale of Sergeant Webber: Nativism in Northern Oklahoma in 1923,” by Jim Showalter, 82–99
In the early 1920s the Ku Klux Klan enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in Oklahoma. Nowhere was that more evident than in Payne County, where the Klan appeared parades, held grand initiations, and boasted a membership of 1,800. Jim Showalter examines Klan activity and the career of one Sergeant Webber to conclude that the Klan was popular because its ideas were recognizable and already wide held, there was a general “joining frenzy” in the area, and the Klan produced great spectacles.
“A Final Historical Footnote to the Life of Territorial Secretary Robert Martin,” by Robert L. Chada, 102–105
Volume 81, No. 4 (Winter, 2003–04)Return to Top
“Tea Kettle on a Raft: A History of Navigation on the Upper Red River,” by Keith Tolman, 388–435
Few people appreciate the significant role of riverine navigation in the development of the state of Oklahoma. Keith Tolman provides a comprehensive account of steamboating on the Upper Red River, a sometimes temperamental stream that was closed for decades by the Great Raft, but that nonetheless bound together diverse peoples, cultures, and economies.
“‘And The Skies Are Not Cloudy All Day’: Drought and the Cherokee Outlet Land Run,” by Kevin Z. Sweeney, 436–457
For many home seekers, the late-season date for the opening of the Cherokee Outlet in 1893 coincided with a major drought on the Southern Plains. Moreover, other environmental and economic factors contributed to their success or failure. Kevin Sweeney focuses on the difficulties settlers faced and how they coped with adverse conditions in the various sections of the Outlet.
“‘United With Use to Rescue the Kiowas’: The Five Civilized Tribes and Warfare on the Southern Plains,” by Andrew Denson, 458–479
In the early 1870s a delegation from the Five Civilized Tribes met with representatives of Southern Plains tribes in an attempt to ease longstanding tensions between the tribes and the United States government. Andrew Denson reconstructs the efforts of the Indian Peace Commission to find an alternative Indian affairs in a semi-independent, multi-tribal confederation.
“Mehan Memories: A Croquet Diamond was the Social Center,” by D. Earl Newsom, 480–491
Founded near the turn of the twentieth century, Mehan remained a small, quiet village until an oil boom brought an influx of people to Payne County in the 1920s. Prosperity lasted only until the 1950s, however, when population loss, a devastating flood, and the loss of the railroad initiated Mehan’s decline. Earl Newsom describes the town’s history, its founding families and businesses, and the town’s unique social center—a croquet field.
“The Choctaw Chief’s House: Oral Tradition and Historical Inaccuracies,” by Louis Coleman, 492–501
For decades, the “Choctaw Chief’s House” near Swink has been touted as the home built for Chief Thomas LeFlore under an 1830 treaty. Louis Coleman introduces credible witness reports and documentary evidence, including construction specifications, to support his conclusion that LeFlore’s house near Wheelock Mission was the structure built according to the treaty.
Volume 81, No. 3 (Fall, 2003)
“George Catlin and Archaeology: Data Drawn from the Canvas,” by Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, 260–273
Archaeologists traditionally use a variety of artifacts and documents to interpret historic occupations. However, non-textual and non-artifactual materials also may contribute to the analysis. Comparing the paintings of George Catlin to objects recovered from several sites, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko seeks answers to questions regarding gender and acculturation among American Indians during the removal period.
“The Trials of Will Johnson: Race-blind Justice in the First Year of Oklahoma Statehood,” by Thomas Hedglen, 274–297
In 1907 race relations in Oklahoma were in a state of flux from the nearly equal status of African Americans during the territorial period to the more rigidly defined era of Jim Crow after statehood. In the benchmark case of Will Johnson, a black man executed in 1908 for the murder of a white woman, Thomas Hedglen explores how well justice and the highest ideals of society were served.
“The Poor Red Man and the Great Father: Choctaw Rhetoric, 1540–1860,” by Stephen P. Van Hoak, 298–315
Some historians have asserted that, in the years after contact, Choctaws became increasingly dependent upon Euro-Americans. Stephen Van Hoak closely examines the speeches of Choctaw leaders in the post-contact era to show that the Choctaws used a diplomatic language that was rhetorical rather than reflective of their actual condition.
“From Tramp Reporting to Pulitzer Prize: Enid’s Own Marquis James,” by Paul S. Vickery, 316–333
Marquis James grew up in and around Enid, moved out into the world as a tramp reporter, and eventually found his calling writing historical biographies. Paul Vickery provides a fascinating account of a man who found his muse in the Cherokee Strip and produced a body of work that garnered him worldwide acclaim and two Pulitzer Prizes.
“‘She Would Raise Hens to Aid War’: The Contributions of Oklahoma Women during World War I,” by Melanie Rich, 334–355
When historians write about great wars, they often record only the actions of men, leaving women completely out of the picture. However, women’s contributions and achievements have often equaled those of men. Melanie Rich recounts the activities of Oklahoma women, often outside the domestic sphere, and the sacrifices they made to win a world war.
Volume 81, No. 2 (Summer, 2003)
“Did They Really Sing Opera in the Opera Houses?: Public Entertainment in Oklahoma and Indian Territories, 1895–1907,” by Susan Booker, 132–153
In the territorial period in cities and towns across Oklahoma and Indian Territories, citizens constructed spaces large and small as venues for public entertainment. Some were specially designed grand “opera houses,” while others were simply upper-floor spaces above retail establishments. Susan Booker examines a variety of historical records to discover the types of structures Oklahomans built, the kinds of entertainment they enjoyed, and how these activities help spread popular culture to the hinterland.
“‘The Lost Shepherds’: Methodist Missionaries among the Ponca Indian Tribe of Oklahoma, 1888–1940,” by Mark van de Logt, 154–171
The agents to the Ponca Indians of Oklahoma believed their “heathenish” moral state prevented them from fully realizing the “advantages” of the white man’s road. To induce the Indians to give up practices such as the Sun Dance and polygamy, the agents asked for help from the missionary field. Mark van deLogt focuses on the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church on the Ponca Agency, the methods the missionaries used, and the reasons for their ultimate failure in transforming the Poncas.
“Capital Punishment and the United States Court for the Indian Territory,” by Von Russell Creel, 172–205
Throughout much of the nineteenth century, the Indian Territory was attached to Arkansas Territory for judicial purposes, including capital cases notably under the jurisdiction of Judge Isaac C. Parker. That changed in 1889 with the creation of a “resident court” in Indian Territory. Von Creel traces the evolution of the United States Court for the Indian Territory and its several districts, details the capital cases of the nine men and one woman who came before it, and provided biographical information about the presiding judges.
“Building a New Life: The Polish Settlers of Harrah, Oklahoma,” by Agnieszka Kemerley, 206–227
The history of Polish settlers in Oklahoma reveals a struggle to build a new life and a determination to preserve their heritage. Harrah became the oldest and largest Polish settlement in the state when Poles began moving to the area following the land opening of 1891; most of them came to the United States in the 1870s and moved to Harrah from other states. Agnieszka Kemerley explores the political and economic hardships that forced many Poles to leave their native land, the hardships they faced in their new homes, and their efforts to preserve their heritage and culture for future generations.
“The Killing of George Birdwell: A Reconsideration,” by William W. Savage, Jr., 231–237
Volume 81, No. 1 (Spring, 2003)
“L. L. Culver: A Naked Warrior in the Second World War,” by Brad Agnew, 4–33
After reaching Algeria in 1943, Ens. L. L. Culver of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, joined the Scouts and Raiders, a joint army-navy unit whose members were trained to direct amphibious assaults. In the second section of a two-part article, Brad Agnew follows Culver’s service in World War II to its conclusion, including his meritorious actions in the invasions of Sicily, Anzio, and southern France before being transferred to the Pacific Theater at war’s end.
“Inside the Store, Inside the Past: A Cultural Analysis of McAlester’s General Store,” by Linda C. English, 34–53
James J. McAlester carved out a prominent niche for himself in the Choctaw Nation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as a successful captain of commerce. To learn more about the society in which he lived and worked, Linda English delves into the records of his general store, an invaluable resource for historians of the Indian Territory frontier.
“A Faithful Public Servant: J. George Wright and the Five Civilized Tribes,” by Kent Carter, 54–79
As Indian inspector, J. George Wright was a key figure in implementing controversial federal policies relating to the Five Civilized Tribes during the allotment era, but his career has received scant scholarly attention. Kent Carter remedies that oversight with a careful study of one of the few men to emerge from that turbulent period with his reputation intact.
“The Lingering Shadow: The Grapes of Wrath and Oklahoma Leaders in the Post-Depression Era,” by Jennifer J. Collins, 80–103
The publication of the 1939 novel, The Grapes of Wrath, contributed to a long-standing, widely-held negative stereotype of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Jennifer Collins examines the several efforts of government officials and civic and business leaders to change the way Oklahomans were perceived nationally and the way Oklahomans viewed themselves.
“President Hayes and the Poncas,” by Quentin Taylor, 104–111
When he took office in 1877, Pres. Rutherford B. Hayes knew little about the forced relocation of the Indian tribes in the United States, but with new knowledge gained from the plight of the Poncas, Hayes ended the policy of removal before leaving office. Prefacing the full text of Hayes’s message to Congress, Quentin Taylor briefly describes the Poncas’ removal to Indian Territory and their efforts to obtain compensation and a degree of self-determination.
Volume 80, No. 4 (Winter, 2002–03)Return to Top
“Ensign L. L. Culver: ‘You can call me salty now,’” by Brad Agnew, 388–409
From Tahlequah undertaker to navy ensign in the early years of World War II, Oklahoman L. L. Culver made a transition that required all the physical and intellectual stamina he could muster. In part one of a two-part story, Brad Agnew recounts Culver’s transformation, tracing the undercurrents and crests of his training experience, which led to an important decision when he reached the Algerian port of Arzew in April 1943.
“‘Yakni Achukma, The School with a Soul’: A History of the Goodland Indian Orphanage,” by Ruby Wile, 410–435
The Presbyterian sponsors of Goodland Indian Orphanage challenged common practice of mid-nineteenth century Indian schools by promoting assimilation through respect for Native culture and affection for children. In Ruby Wile’s study of “Yakni Achukma,” proof abounds that their philosophy produced citizens of distinction who honor both their Indian and Goodland heritages.
“Joseph Pierre Foucart: Man of Art and Mystery,” by Louis Cozby, 436–445
During seventeen years as an architect in Guthrie, Oklahoma, Joseph Foucart had unprecedented influence on the city’s streetscape with fanciful architecture combining elements of many styles. He then seemed to disappear, much to the frustration of state historians. Louis Cozby reports on the efforts of two Guthrie historians to trace Foucart’s subsequent career and, more important, the date and place of his death.
“Bygone Spas: The Rise and Decay of Oklahoma’s Radium Water,” by Marjorie Malley, 446–466
For many years radium water baths and bottled radium water provided the major economic base for several towns in northeastern Oklahoma. In tracing the history of the industry through a variety of historical and scientific sources, Marjorie Malley focuses both on the myth and the physical reality of the water’s properties to determine if it was “magic elixir” or “poisonous apple.”
“‘Klanspiracy’ or Despotism?: The Rise and Fall of Governor Jack Walton, featuring W. D. McBee,” by Brad L. Duren, 468–485
The meteoric rise and downfall of Oklahoma governor John C. “Jack” Walton in 1923 captivated political experts and ordinary citizens alike. Brad Duren provides a fascinating accounts of a man who was controversial from the start and whose despotic nature and clashes with the Ku Klux Klan led Duncan legislator W. D. McBee to fight for Walton’s impeachment.
“Pepper Martin: The Wild Horse of the Osage,” by Joe D. Haines, Jr., 486–485
In the 1930s and early 1940s John Leonard Roosevelt “Pepper” Martin thrilled baseball fans the world over with his aggressive style of play and his antics on and off the field. The Oklahoman’s .500 batting average in the 1931 World Series remains one of baseball’s most remarkable achievements. Joe D. Haines explores the career of the Wild Horse of the Osage during and beyond his years with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Volume 80, No. 3 (Fall, 2002)
“From Petroleum to Pigs: The Oklahoma Panhandle in the Last Half of the Twentieth Century,” by Richard Lowitt, 260–283
The Oklahoma Panhandle and its people made a strong recovery from the dust, drought, and depression of the 1930s through diversification of its economic base. Richard Lowitt continues the panhandle’s story over the last fifty years with a study of the rise of the oil and gas industry, improvements in agriculture and ranching, and the development of pork production facilities.
“Canvas and Caissons: Early Aviation at Fort Sill, 1914–1939,” by Stacy Webb Reaves, 284–301
In the early twentieth century Fort Sill, Oklahoma became the site of experimentation and training for the new United States Aeronautics Corps as a division of the Army Signal Corps. As a result, Henry Post Field played a key role in the early development of army aviation. Stacy Reaves recounts the history of the men and the machines that were critical components of the aviation section working in conjunction with the field artillery.
“Protecting His Race: A. J. Smitherman and the Tulsa Star,” by Larry O’Dell, 302–313
In addition to leaving numerous deaths and widespread physical destruction in its wake, the Tulsa race riot ended the Oklahoma career of one of the black community’s strongest voices. Larry O’Dell focuses on the efforts of A. J. Smitherman, publisher of the Tulsa Star, to educate members of his race about their responsibility to protect themselves from lynchings and mob violence—advice that would have dire consequences in May, 1921.
“Cherokee Emigration: Reconstructing Reality,” by Lathel F. Duffield, 314–347
The story of the forced removal of the Cherokees from the southeastern United States is widely known, but details of the ordeal are still unfolding. The removal itself and the intervening years have produced a plethora of documents and histories. Lathel Duffield looks at the interpretations of several historians and authors, questionable “eyewitness” accounts, early newspaper reports, and original documents to provide a clearer picture of that dark period.
“‘The Best Our Country Has To Offer’: Peace Corps Training at the University of Oklahoma,” by Richard H. Hancock, 348–369
Between 1963 and the mid-1980s, the University of Oklahoma provided language, technical, and cultural training for 1,500 Peace Corps volunteers for overseas duty. Richard Hancock directed the international training program at OU and now recalls the memorable stories associated with the training of men and women he considered “the best our country has to offer.”
Volume 80, No. 2 (Summer, 2002)
“Oklahoma’s Rising Star: The Election of Mike Monroney to the United States Senate,” by Philip A. Grant, Jr., 132–141
By 1950 Americans looked forward to economic prosperity after decades of hard times and world war. In that vein, voters began to elect an increasing number of younger, progressive men to national office. Philip Grant analyzes and describes the 1950 U. S. Senate race in Oklahoma, in which a young rising star, Mike Monroney, unseated veteran Senator Elmer Thomas.
“Judge John Martin: His Origins, His Paternity,” by Patricia W. Lockwood, 142–157
The facts about the origin and paternity of John Martin, the first chief justice of the first supreme court of the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory, have been distorted or lost over the years. Patricia Lockwood, a descendant of John Martin, clears the record through discovery and investigation of centuries-old records that shed light on his ancestry and early life in the Cherokee Nation East.
“Profile of a Prairie Radical: Judge Orville Enfield of Ellis County,” by R. O. Joe Cassity, Jr., 158–175
Most assessments of Oklahoma radicalism are cast in a statistical framework of vote tallies and membership totals. However, after the party’s decline, most Oklahoma Socialists remained in the state and lived their lives much as before. Joe Cassity traces the historical development and shifting sands of Oklahoma radicalism through the life and career of Orville Enfield of Ellis County.
“Oklahoma College for Women: Oklahoma’s Only State-Supported Women’s School,” by Cynthia Savage, 176–203
The Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha opened in 1911 as one of only eight schools in the nation founded as a state-supported women’s college. Although the educational focus changed over the years, Cynthia Savage shows, the physical growth of the campus over the next fifty years reflected the aspirations of the college and the growth of women’s education in the state.
“Oklahoma’s ‘Greatest’ Hero?: A Review of the Military Record of Joseph Oklahombi, by Louis Coleman, 204–215
Joseph Oklahombi has been cited as the state’s “greatest hero of World War I” and recipient of numerous medals and awards, including the Medal of Honor, for his exploits in France. Louis Coleman acknowledges that Oklahombi may have been a hero, but military records on two continents show that the soldier received only the Silver Star Citation and the French croix de guerre.
Volume 80, No. 1 (Spring, 2002)
“The Northern Cheyenne Exodus and the 1878 Battle of Turkey Springs,” by Stan Hoig, 4–19
The battle of Turkey Springs, a decisive Indian victory over U.S. troops as part of the Northern Cheyenne exodus from Indian Territory in 1878, has received little scholarly attention. Stan Hoig remedies that oversight with a description of the harsh conditions that precipitated the exodus and of the military’s response, one that was ill-planned and led and one that ultimately failed.
“‘If It Rains’: Life in the Oklahoma Panhandle in the 1930s and 1940s,” by Richard Lowitt, 20–43
The Oklahoma Panhandle enjoyed a degree of prosperity in the 1920s that disappeared as the Southern Great Plains suffered depression, drought, and dust storms throughout the 1930s. Richard Lowitt explores how panhandle residents coped with the crises, how they used available resources, and what they learned about land use in the effort to restore a profitable economy.
“Forgotten Founder: Charles G. “Gristmill” Jones and the Growth of Oklahoma City, 1889–1911,” by Aaron Bachhofer II, 44–61
Charles Gasham“Gristmill” Jones was one of the most important men in the first two decades of Oklahoma City’s development, but he has remained an enigmatic figure and a forgotten founder. Aaron Bachhofer focuses on the myriad ways in which Jones left his mark on the struggling community through political and civic activity and industrial development.
“Main Street, Stillwater OK, Growing Up with Hollywood CA: An Oklahoma Town’s Movie Theaters,” by Deborah Carmichael, 62–83
The history of movie theaters in small communities often reflects many of the characteristics, problems, and growing pains of the film industry in Hollywood. Using Stillwater, Oklahoma, as a case study, Deborah Carmichael provides a careful analysis of the local theater businesses and how they grew from small beginnings and large dreams to corporate mergers and takeovers.
“Galela Leona Walkingstick: A Life of Service as an Indian School Social Worker,” by James G. McCullagh, 84–101
Galela Walkingstick, one of the first Indian social workers employed by the Indian Service in the 1930s, has lived her entire life among the state’s non-Indian majority society while upholding her Cherokee heritage. James McCullagh shows that through education and career choice Walkingstick dedicated herself to helping Indian families and children, her community, and her church.
Volume 79, No. 4 (Winter, 2001–02)Return to Top
“Reminiscences of a Redleg: An Oklahoma Artilleryman in the Korean War,” by Denzil D. Garrison, 388–407
In 1950 a young Oklahoman found himself bound for Korea with the Forty-fifth Infantry Division. When Denzil Garrison returned home two years later, he had amassed a sobering collection of memories of a conflict with an implacable enemy on unforgiving terrain. Garrison recalls those poignant experiences, albeit some of them humorous, and the valiant men with whom he served.
“‘America, Love It or Leave It’: Some Native American Initiatives to Move to Mexico, 1890–1940,” by Steven Crum, 408–429
Between 1890 and 1940 some members of several Oklahoma Indian tribes explored the possibility of moving to Mexico in response to the federal government’s reduction of their traditional land bases and eventually their sovereignty. Steven Crum discusses their efforts within the context of a phrase from the 1960s, “America, Love It or Leave It.”
“‘She Has Surely Done Her Share’: Miss Bessie Huff and the Muskogee Junior College,” by Dana Eversole, 430–439
After graduating from Muskogee’s Central High School in 1911, Bessie Huff left Oklahoma to study and teach in Kansas. Her hometown drew her back, however, and she began a long career as instructor of English and journalism and dean of Muskogee Junior College. Using tributes from former students, Dana Eversole salutes a dedicated teacher who always put them first.
The Life of Littleton Horace Davis: Pistol Packin’ Preacher and Railroad Man,” by Frank W. Davis, 440–453
In 1901 L. H. Davis moved his family to Francis, Oklahoma, to take a job with the railroad. Combining that sometimes dangerous assignment, especially during the strikes of 1922, with his work as a minister and farmer, Davis became a leader in the community and a man seemingly afraid of nothing. Frank Davis explores the life of his grandfather, the pistol packin’ preacher.
“Celebrating the Library Spirit: A Look Back at the Carnegie Libraries in Oklahoma,” by Tanya D. Finchum and G. Allen Finchum, 454–475
In the early twentieth century, Andrew Carnegie funded the construction of twenty-four libraries in Oklahoma, providing places for residents to learn, to read, and to be entertained. Tanya Finchum and Allen Finchum invite readers to celebrate 100 years of Carnegie’s presence in Oklahoma and to honor the communities’ commitment to the library spirit.
Volume 79, No. 3 (Fall, 2001)
“From Lee to Reba and Beyond: Oklahoma Women in American Popular Music,” by George O. Carney, 260–277
Music is one of Oklahoma’s most important cultural resources, and the state has produced a number of talented performers, composers, institutions, and songs. However, the contributions of Oklahoma-born women in American popular music have often been overlooked. George Carney rectifies that in an interesting demographic profile of twenty-four Oklahoma women artists.
“Cultural Conservation and Revival: The Caddo and Hasinai Post-Removal Era, 1860–1902,” by Howard Meredith, 278–287
The Caddos and Hasinais faced a watershed in their history during the removal crisis in 1859, but the period following removal has received little scholarly attention. In a time of great change, Howard Meredith shows, the people and their leaders conserved and revived the best elements of their culture through tribal tradition and solidarity.
“Bisque Dolls in the Archaeological Record: A Collection from the Town of Ingersoll,” by Robert L. Brooks, 288–297
Archeologists frequently find and study artifacts that reveal hunting and farming practices, household work, and economic activities, but the record provides few studies relating to recreational and leisure activities. Robert Brooks analyzed a collection of bisque dolls from the abandoned town of Ingersoll and provides insight into their use in the early statehood period.
“Anatomy of an Oklahoma Lynching: Bryan County, August 12–13, 1911,” by Lowell L. Blaisdell, 298–313
In August, 1911, a black man named John Lee attacked and killed a woman alone with her children on their farm north of Durant. A large crowd tracked down and shot Lee, then burned his body. Lowell Blaisdell describes the events of August 12–13 within the context of the area’s social and cultural milieu and how they compare with patterns of lynching behaviors nationwide.
“Cherokee Treaty Party Moves West: The Bell-Deas Overland Journey, 1838–1839,” by Wayne Dell Gibson, 314–335
In 1838 the Cherokees were preparing for the trek to a new home in what is now Oklahoma. Most detachments were led by men of John Ross’s anti-treaty party. Amid much controversy, John Adair Bell and the Treaty Party also won the right to conduct their own emigration. Wayne Gibson reconstructs their journey using the records o the disbursing officer, Lt. Edward Deas.
“The Green Corn Rebellion, Oklahoma, August, 1917: A Descriptive Bibliography of Secondary Sources,” by Daniel Hanne, 343–357
Volume 79, No. 2 (Summer, 2001)
“Emperor Haile Selassie in Stillwater: The First Visit to Oklahoma by a Reigning Foreign Head of State,” by Theodore M. Vestal, 132–157
Oklahoma A&M College in 1954 hosted the first visit to Oklahoma by a foreign head of state, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. The biggest social event in the college’s history marked the school’s top standing in technical assistance and education and an international connection that continues today. Theodore Vestal provides a fascinating study of the times, the visit, and the man.
“History Underfoot: The Search for Physical Evidence of the 1868 Attack on Black Kettle’s Village,” by William B. Lees, Douglas D. Scott, and C. Vance Haynes, 158–181
For more than a century, scholars, Native Americans, and an interested public have both studied and commemorated events that took place on the Washita River on a fateful day in 1868. As William Lees, Douglas Scott, and Vance Haynes show, archaeological/ geological surveys in 1995 and 1997 exposed new evidence and added much to an understanding of place and event.
“The Creek Draft Rebellion of 1918: Wartime Hysteria and Indian-Baiting in WWI Oklahoma,” by Thomas A. Britten, 200–215
A national outcry arose in the spring of 1918 after the public read reports of an Indian “uprising” in eastern Oklahoma. At the heart of the story was an unlikely revolutionary, a Creek woman called Ellen Perryman. Thomas Britten explores the prevailing stereotypes and the wartime hysteria that precipitated a nationwide investigation into a seemingly benign protest.
“There is No Place like The Home: A Brief History of the Tulsa Boy’s Home,” by Michael Lail, 216–227
Like other cities in the late teens, Tulsa had many homeless or neglected boys living in its streets. The Tulsa Rotary Club and the First Presbyterian Church intervened in behalf of many of them when they founded the Tulsa Boys’ Home in 1918. Michael Lail details The Home’s long tradition of providing opportunity and hope for wayward youth.
Volume 79, No. 1 (Spring, 2001)
“Will Rogers Field: The Life and Death of a World War II Airbase,” by Keith Tolman, 4–17
Because of its climate and geographic location, the state of Oklahoma was well situated to be the site of primary and basic flight training during World War II. The Oklahoma City municipal airport that became Will Rogers Field in the 1940s also eventually provided a base to train aircrews in advance aerial bombardment and photographic reconnaissance. Keith Tolman examines the efforts of local and military officials to develop and operate the base.
“Major Andrew Drumm: Cowman, Businessman, and Visionary,” by Bonnie Haas and Joyce J. Bender, 18–35
In the late nineteenth century, Andrew Drumm, the founder and owner of the U Ranch in the Cherokee Outlet, had become one of the nation’s most successful businessmen. Over his lifetime, his experiences and interests ranged from mining and ranching to slaughter houses and banking. However, as Bonnie Haas and Joyce Bender show, his most enduring legacy is the Drumm Institute in Missouri, a home for indigent and orphaned youth.
“‘Almost Hopeless in the Wake of the Storm’: The 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic in Oklahoma,” by Nigel Anthony Sellars, 36–61
In the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918–1919, more than 550,000 Americans, including 7,350 Oklahomans, died from the disease. Communities and health professionals battled a contagion against which normal public health measures proved futile. Nigel Sellars provides a fascinating study, in human terms, of an outbreak that left everyone “almost hopeless in the wake of the storm.”
“Humanitarian Rhetoric and Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Policy,” by Henry E. Fritz, 62–91
The effort to remove the Five Tribes from the southeastern United States in the early nineteenth century provided a great deal of discussion on both sides of the issue. Henry Fritz reviews the rhetoric of President Andrew Jackson’s policy to argue that Jackson was neither an Indian hater nor a statesman whose foremost concerns were justice and fair treatment for the Indians.
“Oklahoma Republican: Dennis Thomas Flynn and His Letters to William Howard Taft,” by Leonard C. Schlup, 92–107
During a political career in which he served as delegate to Congress from Oklahoma Territory, Dennis T. Flynn established a close friendship with William Howard Taft both before and after his presidency. Drawing the sources in Taft’s papers, Leonard Schlup reconstructs the career of the Oklahoma Republican to reveal his characteristics as an individual and as a politician.
“Into the West: Oklahoma Remembered,” by Walter Nugent, 112–121
Volume 78, No. 4 (Winter, 2000–01)Return to Top
“For Society’s Sake: The Wichita Mountains, Wildlife, and Identity in Oklahoma’s Early Environmental History,” by S. Matthew DeSpain, 388–411
The creation of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Oklahoma reflected society’s expectation that it could revive its spirit through nature. Matthew S. DeSpain provides a fascinating account of the American mindset in the early twentieth century and how human interests, not wilderness preservation per se, dictated the state’s early environmental history.
“Tams Bixby: Doing Government Business in the Gilded Age,” by Kent Carter, 412–443
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the Dawes Commission had the almost impossible task of enrolling and allotting land to members of the Five Civilized Tribes, a process marked by controversy and charges of corruption. Kent Carter takes a close look at the troubled tenure of commissioner Tams Bixby, who apparently found nothing wrong with making money while doing the government’s business.
“A Place of Coming Together: The Historic Jacobson House,” by Carol Whitney, 444–467
Oscar Jacobson arrived at the University of Oklahoma in 1915 as director of the School of Art. By the time of his death in 1966, he had sparked a revolution in art education and a renaissance in Indian painting on the Southern Plains. Carol Whitney reviews Jacobson’s life and work in the context of a group of passionate individuals determined to preserve and restore his house as a Native American Arts Center.
“H. L. Mencken and the ‘Oklahoma Style’ of Literature,” by Lawrence R. Rodgers, 468–483
In the 1930s two popular novels, Cimarron and The Grapes of Wrath, came to be recognized as dominant literary portraits of the state. But nearly a decade earlier, national audiences had received an introduction to an “Oklahoma Style” of literature through the works of several writers of serious poetry. Lawrence Rodgers focuses on the young Oklahoma authors who received almost unprecedented promotion by the Sage of Baltimore, H. L. Mencken.
“Inside the School Yard Gate: ‘Alfalfa Bill’ Murray and Education in Oklahoma,” by Karen McKellips, 484–499
Throughout his long career, William H. Murray wielded great influence in public and political spheres. Nowhere was that more evident than in the field of education. Through an examination of the state constitution, early statutes, and his own policies and practice, Karen McKellips explores Murray’s legacy in the characteristics of public education that bear his imprint.
Volume 78, No. 3 (Fall, 2000)
“Brothers of Influence: Auguste and Pierre Chouteau and the Osages before 1804,” by Douglas A. Hurt, 260–277
In the late eighteenth century, the Osages used their geographical position to become one of the most influential tribes of the Southern Plains, but their success had its price as European influences radically altered Osage social structure. In this issue’s lead article, Douglas A. Hurt explores the pivotal role of Auguste and Pierre Chouteau in that transformation.
“Tinker’s Twin Twisters of 1948 and the Birth of Tornado Forecasting,” by James L. Crowder, 278–295
On March 20 and March 25, 19948, tornadoes struck Tinker Air Force Base causing millions of dollars in damage. Two base weathermen successfully predicted the second twister. After describing the destructive path of the storms, James L. Crowder pays tribute to Robert C. Miller and Earnest J. Fawbush, who forever changed the field of weather forecasting.
“Consorting with Blood and Violence: The Decline of the Oklahoma Ku Klux Klan,” by Michael M. Jessup, 296–315
The Oklahoma Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s was one of the state’s most powerful political and social organizations, numbering almost 100,000 members, but its downfall was as dramatic at its growth. In dramatic fashion, Michael M. Jessup shows how excessive violence, external opposition, and internal factionalism led to the Klan’s decline.
“‘An anxiety to do right’: The Life of Judge John Hazelton Cotteral, 1864–1933,” by Kevin C. Leitch, 316–345
John H. Cotteral came to Guthrie, Oklahoma, in 1899 to make his mark in the new country. His hopes were fulfilled as he became the first federal judge for the Western District of Oklahoma and the first Oklahoman to occupy the bench of the circuit court of appeals. Kevin C. Leitch provides a fascinating portrait of both the man and the legal opinions he wrote during a forty-year career.
The Removal of the Southeastern Indians: Historians Respond to the 1960s and the Trail of Tears,” by Michael Kelleher, 346–353
The politics and culture of the 1960s and 1970s played a role in shaping popular conceptions of Indian America as scholars increasingly began to re-investigate Indian history. Michael Kelleher looks at the work of several historian to analyze how that turbulent time affected their interpretations of a seminal event in Indian-white relations, the removal of the southeastern Indians.
“Development and Use of the Oklahoma Landmarks Inventory,” by Melvena Thurman Heisch, 358–363
Volume 78, No. 2 (Summer, 2000)
“Love Gifts for the Bishop: James J. Stewart v. Bishop W. Angie Smith, Part II,” by A. W. Martin, Jr., 132–159
In the 1950s an Albuquerque minister in an unprecedented move filed charges against Methodist bishop W. Angie Smith for what he considered abuse of episcopal power. In the second installment of a well-annotated, two-part study, A. W. Martin, Jr., discusses the procedures followed by the church investigating committee and analyses each of the charges a maverick Methodist minister filed against a powerful bishop.
“Kate Barnard: The Story of a Woman Politician,” by Linda Edmondson and Margaret Larason, 160–181
In 1907 Kate Barnard won election as the state’s first commissioner of charities and corrections as a champion of working women, children, labor unions, prisoners, and the handicapped and mentally ill. Her downfall, however, came as a result of her investigation of Indian estate and guardianship fraud cases. Linda Edmondson and Margaret Larason provide a fascinating account of a skillful but little-known “woman politician” whose dedication to social causes has not been equaled.
“‘You Have the Land. I Have the Cattle’: Intermarried Whites and the Chickasaw Range Lands,” by Wendy St. Jean, 182–195
In the late nineteenth century the Chickasaw Nation, along with much of the region, experienced a tremendous boom in the cattle industry. Although the tribal government strengthened laws to protect is public domain, intermarried whites easily transgressed them. Wendy St. Jean explores the methods by which cattlemen amassed large grazing pastures and describes how the Chickasaw government responded.
“Western Oklahoma’s Regiment: The 179th Infantry,” by Penn V. Rabb, Jr., 196–215
In the early years of the new century, communities and individuals across the nation will commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Korean War. Many of the unites engaged in the conflict were federalized state national guards. Penn V. Rabb, Jr., looks back at the organization and history of western Oklahoma’s regiment, the 179th Infantry, and at the men who proudly and honorably served the people of the state, the nation, and the world in times of peace and times of war.
“The Park Hill Mission: Letters from a Missionary Family,” by Kristina L. Southwell, 216–229
The Reverend Joseph Leiper, his wife, Fanny Leiper, and his aunt, Margaret McCarrell, moved to the Park Hill Mission near Tahlequah in 1889 to served as Presbyterian missionaries among the Cherokees. Using letters found nearly 100 years later by Joseph Leiper’s granddaughter, which are supplemented by photographs the Leipers took in Indian Territory, Kristina L. Southwell reconstructs their experiences during the first year of missionary work.
Volume 78, No. 1 (Spring, 2000)
“Love Gifts for the Bishop: James J. Stewart v. Bishop W. Angie Smith, Part I,” by A. W. Martin, Jr., 4–27
In the 1950s an Albuquerque minister in an unprecedented move filed charges against Methodist bishop W. Angie Smith for what he considered abuse of episcopal power. In the first part of a well-annotated, two-part study, A. W. Martin, Jr., discusses the events leading up to one of three judicial climaxes–a meeting of the church investigating committee, then details the proceedings of the meeting itself.
“Fort Sill, the Chiricahua Apaches, and the Government’s Promise of Permanent Residence,” by Brenda L. Haes, 28–43
The Chiricahua Apaches spent nineteen years (1894–1913) as prisoners of war at Fort Sill in southwestern Oklahoma believing they had been promised permanent residency there. Before addressing the rationale behind the government’s decision to remove the Apaches from the post, Brenda Haes explores the record to show why the Apaches and others held that view.
“The Fear of ‘Negro Domination’: The Rise of Segregation and Disfranchisement in Oklahoma,” by Murray R. Wickett, 44–65
Although historians have analyzed the rise of disfranchisement and segregation in the South after the Civil War, they have paid little attention to those processes in the West. Murray Wickett looks closely at the sociopolitical climate in Oklahoma to answer important questions about the opportunity blacks found in the state and how white politicians became emboldened by the fear of “Negro domination.”
“The Milton Co-Operative Colony: From Utopia to Ghost town, 1913–1916,” by Norma Jane Bumgarner, 66–83
Civil War and intertribal factionalism in the Cherokee Nation left one0third of women as widows and one-fourth of the children as orphans by 1863. The conflict also strained conventional definitions of gender. In a careful examination of the lives of many Cherokee women, Carolyn Johnston concludes that while the crisis may have empowered women, it also led to a crisis of identity for elite women.
Volume 77, No. 4 (Winter, 1999–2000)Return to Top
“‘Dear Miss Deco’: The Correspondence of E. E. Dale and Angie Debo,” by Richard Lowitt, 372–405
Beginning in 1925 and continuing over the course of nearly fifty years, historians Edward Everett Dale and Angie Debo produced a voluminous correspondence that details the relationship between an established professor of history and one of his students. Through letters that illuminate the character and talents of both individuals, Richard Lowitt reconstructs both the academic world and the professional development of an independent and confident scholar who in the end became the better historian.
“Moral Reform for the ‘Magic City’: Temperance in Guthrie, Oklahoma, 1889–1907,” by Jay R. Dew, 406–427
Throughout the territorial period Guthrie, Oklahoma, remained a divided city, especially as it concerned the city’s alcohol policies. While some factions viewed the saloons and breweries as a great economic benefit, reform factions framed the debate in the simple terms of good and evil. Jay R. Dew sorts through the rhetoric of the various anti-liquor groups to show that, despite their lack of unity in the great case of providing moral direction for a growing community, the will of the minority eventually prevailed.
“Baffles, Bridges, and Bermuda: Oklahoma Indians and the Civilian Conservation Corps-Indian Division,” by Carolyn G. Hanneman, 428–449
In the midst of the Great Depression, the federal government instituted a number of programs aimed at recovery and relief. The Civilian Conservation Corps proved to be one of the most enduring as it provided thousands of jobs in conservation work on the American landscape. Carolyn G. Hanneman explores the work of the CCC-Indian Division in Oklahoma in its effort to relieve the poverty of Indian tribes, advance educational reforms, and improve conservation of natural resources on Indian land.
“A Special Kind of Man: The Autobiography of Dr. Lindsey L. Long,” by Ben Blackstock, 450–461
In 1898 Dr. Lindsey L. Long, a new graduate of the University Medical College in Kansas City, Missouri, moved to northwestern Oklahoma to establish his practice. The young physician tended patients for several years in Alva before moving his office and family to Beaver in the Oklahoma panhandle. Drawing from the reminiscences Long penned many years later, Ben Blackstock describes some of the experiences Long faced in providing medical care to a rural community.
Volume 77, No. 3 (Fall, 1999)
“Strange Bedfellows: Progressivism, Radicalism, and the Oklahoma Constitutional in Historical Perspective,” by Aaron Bachhofer II, 244–271
Over the years, a number of historians have described the Oklahoma constitution as a “radical” and “progressive” document. In an insightful examination, Aaron Bachhofer takes a fresh look at contemporary accounts and reactions, and the constitution itself, to conclude that it was neither; preservation of the existing order motivated the “politicians” who wrote it.
“‘The Most Ferocious of Monsters’: The Story of Outlaw Crawford Goldsby, alias ‘Cherokee Bill,’” by Jon D. May, 272–289
Crawford Goldsby grew up a “good kid” in the small community of Fort Gibson, but before he reached the age of twenty, he was known as “Cherokee Bill,” one of the most wanted men in Indian Territory. Jon May provides a fascinating and vivid portrait of an outlaw who terrorized the citizens of the territory for several years before his death on the gallows at Fort Smith in 1896.
“The Daughter of Dawn: An Original Silent Film with an Oklahoma Indian Cast,” by Leo Kelley, 290–299
One of the earliest silent motion pictures filmed within the state, The Daughter of Dawn also featured an entire cast of Native American actors and actresses, including a son and daughter of Quanah Parker. Although the 1920 film itself has apparently been lost to time, Leo Kelley reconstructs the motion picture using a collection of still photographs and the director’s script.
“Laying Groundwork for the Future: The Oklahoma Territorial Superintendency and Superintendents of Public Instruction,” by A. Kenneth Stern, 300–321
The system of education in Oklahoma Territory changed dramatically as the government organized school districts, established standards and qualifications for teachers, and created a means of funding schools. As Kenneth Stern shows in this biographical study, the seven men who served as superintendents of public instruction laid the groundwork for the future.
“William P. ‘Bill’ Atkinson: The Father of Midwest City, Oklahoma,” by Susan M. Lee, 322–341
Although he failed to win the state’s highest office, W. P. Atkinson achieved a legacy of another sort as the father of Midwest City, a planned community he constructed near the installation that became Tinker Air Force Base. Susan Lee examines the colorful life of a man who taught journalism, started a newspaper, and built the nation’s first city founded on the aviation industry.
Volume 77, No. 2 (Summer, 1999)
“Recounting the Removal: Recent Native American Literary Reconstructions of the Trail of Tears,” by Frederick Hale, 132–149
Until 1972 very few Native American authors had described the period of Five Tribes’ history that encompassed the Trail of Tears, and even that merited little scholarly attention. Frederick Hale remedies that oversight with an analysis of four novels about the Cherokee removal written between 1972 and 1996 by native writers.
“With Folded Arms? or With Squirrel Guns?: The IWW and the Green Corn Rebellion,” by Nigel Sellars, 150–169
In 1917 resistance to a new federal conscription law and the formation of a radical tenant farmers’ organization, the Working Class Union, resulted in Oklahoma in what became known as the Green Corn Rebellion. Nigel Sellars explores conditions that led to the uprising and how little it had to do with the Industrial Workers of the World.
“‘For our sake do all you can’: The Indian Captivity and Death of Clara and Willie Blinn,” by Joe D. Haines, Jr., 170–183
Among the many tragedies that occurred on the Washita River in 1868 when the Seventh Cavalry attacked Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle’s village was the death of captives Clara Blinn and her two-year-old son Willie. Joe Haines, Jr., describes the events leading to their capture, the efforts to secure their release, and the inquiry into their deaths.
“Gleanings from the Coulter School Memoirs: Recollections of Pioneering in Logan County,” by Leslie Hewes, 184–195
The pioneering experience has remained a popular field of study for professional historians and genealogists who often find treasures in unexpected places. In tracing his own roots, the late Dr. Leslie Hewes found the Coulter School Memoirs from which he reconstructed life in a small rural community in Logan County using its residents’ fondest memories.
“Mrs. Oliver O. ‘Mamie’ Hammonds: The ‘She-svengali’ of Oklahoma,” by Janel A. Mattingly, 196–207
In the late 1920s news and rumors coming out of the governor’s office rocked state government after Governor Henry S. Johnston hired Mamie Hammonds as confidential secretary. Janel Mattingly examines the two eccentric personalities and a relationship that eventually led to the “ewe lamb rebellion” and to Johnston’s removal from office.
Volume 77, No. 1 (Spring, 1999)
“The Julius Rosenwald Fund: Northern Philanthropy in Oklahoma’s Separate Schools,” by Cynthia J. Savage, 4–21
After statehood, educational opportunities for African American schoolchildren were stifled by racism, a shortage of money, and inadequate facilities. That changed to some degree with assistance from the Julius Rosenwald Fund. Cynthia J. Savage recounts the condition of Oklahoma’s separate schools in the first half of the twentieth century and how northern philanthropy aided the construction of nearly 200 buildings.
“William Penn Adair: Cherokee Slaveholder and Indian Freedom Advocate,” by Paul Kelton 22–53
In his time, the mixed-blood Cherokee William Penn Adair was the most passionate defender of American Indian freedom by lobbying against efforts to create an Indian territory. Paul Kelton provides a fascinating portrait of a man whose life as a slaveholder before the Civil War suited him especially well to lead native peoples in their fight to retain control over their own destiny.
“In the Midst of Adversity: The City, the Governor, and the FERA, Part II,” by William H. Mullins, 54–73
As a predominantly rural state, Oklahoma, and especially Oklahoma City, exhibited a strong individualistic approach in its response to the Great Depression. That ethic was manifested in the personage of Governor William H. Murray, a “fierce apostle of agrarianism.” In the second of a two-part essay, William H. Mullins details the ways in which the city and the governor attempted to meet the challenges of providing relief.
“John G. Chapin and the Struggle for Dover,” by John L. Lillibridge, 74–101
Today, the town of Dover struggles to survive with only a few businesses, boarded-up storefronts, and declining population. A century ago, its residents also faced an uncertain future, when earliest resident John G. Chapin, a townsite company, and others struggled to develop the site. Using case records from the U. S. Land Office, John L. Lillibridge describes the complex birth of a small Oklahoma community.
Volume 76, No. 4 (Winter, 1998–1999)Return to Top
“William Box Hancock: Trail Driver and Cattleman,” by Richard H. Hancock, 356–373
Between 1879 and 1884, a young Texas cowboy, William Box Hancock, helped move several herds of cattle to the “feeding grounds of the Northwest.” His journeys took him along the Great Western Trail through western Indian Territory. Using his grandfather’s reminiscences dictated fifty years later, Richard H. Hancock provides a fascinating annotated account of that era and the man who was a small actor in a great drama.
“In the Midst of Adversity: The City, the Governor, and the FERA, Part I,” by William H. Mullins, 374–391
As a predominantly rural state, Oklahoma, and especially Oklahoma City, exhibited a strong individualistic approach in its response to the Great Depression. That ethic was manifested in the personage of Governor William H. Murray, a “fierce apostle of agrarianism.” In the first of a two-part essay, William H. Mullins details the ways in which the city and the governor attempted to meet the challenges of providing relief.
“An Experiment in Education: The Osage Manual Training School, Views from Letters,” by Barbara Speas Havira, 392–415
In the mid-1840s the Osages formally petitioned for a school of their own near their villages in Kansas. Over the next twenty-five years, the Osage Manual Training School struggled to provide instruction for their children. Drawing from the letters of Jesuits and Sisters of Loretto who staffed the school, Barbara Speas Havira reconstructs life at the school and the problems inherent in “an experiment in education.”
“The Repeal of Prohibition: The End of Oklahoma’s Noble Experiment,” by Vincent T. Lyon, 416–435
Oklahoma is the only state to have entered the union with prohibition of alcohol written into its constitution, but those who dared found ways to circumvent the laws. Vincent T. Lyon recounts the efforts by politicians, interest groups, and voters to deal with the repeal issue over a fifty-year period before a new young governor finally brought an end to the “Noble Experiment” in 1959 through stringent enforcement.
“Remembering Stonewall, Pontotoc County, Chickasaw Nation,” by Bill Tinsley, 436–449
Following the Civil War, the Chickasaw Nation gradually rebuilt its devastated landscape, including towns and schools. Out of that regeneration, the town of Stonewall came into existence on Clear Boggy Creek near the Cochran Trading Post. Mining old records, maps, gazetteers, and the memories of former and longtime residents, Bill Tinsley recaptures the glory days of a thriving community and its prosperous residents.
Volume 76, No. 3 (Fall, 1998)
“The Washita Trail: The Seventh U.S. Cavalry’s Route of March to and from the Battle of the Washita,” by Bob Rea, 244–261
The Seventh U.S. Cavalry’s 1868 campaign against tribes of the Southern Plains included an attack on Black Kettle’s sleeping Cheyenne village on the Washita River. Today, that military action continues to draw attention from scholars and history buffs alike. Using primary source materials, physical reconnaissance, and modern USGS maps, Bob Rea retraces the Seventh’s approximate route for the interested modern traveler.
“‘Wholly Occupied with my Special Work’: Reverend William Graham’s Stay at Fort Coffee and New Hope, 1845–1847,” by Donald L. Parman, 262–281
Reverend William Graham, a Methodist minister sent to take God’s word to the frontier, spent two years as a missionary-teacher at Fort Coffee and New Hope schools in the Choctaw Nation in the mid-nineteenth century. He considered those years one of the highlights of his career. Donald L. Parman brings that episode, and Graham, to life in a carefully annotated excerpt from Graham’s autobiography.
“The Undesirable Oklahomans: Black Immigration to Western Canada,” by D. Chongo Mundende, 282–297
Lured by the promise of economic opportunities they believed they could not receive in the states, many black Oklahomans immigrated to Canada before and after the turn of the twentieth century. From a thorough study of her immigration policies, D. Chongo Mundende illustrates how Canada vigorously sought new settlers, but came to consider blacks as undesirable and instituted restrictive measures to keep them out.
“‘Standing Out for Their Rights’: Industrial Strikes in Oklahoma in the 1930s,” by James Paul Bailey, 298–317
The United States suffered an unprecedented number of industrial strikes in the already hard times of the 1930s. Organized labor enjoyed a revitalized position of influence and made significant inroads in labor relations in Oklahoma. Focusing on major strikes in the mining, textile, meatpacking, and oil industries, James Paul Bailey details the intense and sometimes violent attempts to empower workers.
“Edward W. Sweeney, ‘89er: ’A Legend in his Time,’” by Pamela G. Jordan, 318–335
Edward W. Sweeney came to Oklahoma Territory at the time of the land run of 1889 and stayed to carve out a distinguished career as a public servant and friend of the Kickapoos. In the process he helped establish Oklahoma City and the town of Harrah. Pamela G. Jordan recognizes a little-known figure in Oklahoma history, a man who never sought notoriety, but who nonetheless became a “legend in his time.”
Volume 76, No. 2 (Summer, 1998)
“‘The Best City in the Best County’: Enid’s Golden Era, 1916–1941,” by Alvin O. Turner and Vicky L. Gailey, 116–139
Following the 1893 land run, the city of Enid emerged as the largest town in the former Cherokee Outlet, and the people who stayed helped shape the modern character of the region. Alvin Turner and Vicky Gailey explore the many cultural and economic opportunities between 1916 and World War II that allowed Enid to enjoy almost unprecedented prosperity and economic diversity.
“‘Peculiarly situated between rebellion and loyalty’: Civilized Tribes, Savagery, and the American Civil War,” by Tom L. Franzmann, 140–159
Scholars increasingly have focused on how different cultures perceive and interpret “savagism.” In this insightful essay focusing on the Five Civilized Tribes in the Civil War, Tom Franzmann discusses the major interpretations dominating historiography, what the term meant to Americans in the 1860s, why certain perspectives are worthy of reassessment, and the limitations of such studies.
“‘I Should Have Been a Mule’: Cotton Pickin’ Blues in Southwestern Oklahoma,” by Leo Kelley, 160–172
Within a few years of its settlement, cotton became the most important agricultural product in southwestern Oklahoma. The industry especially dominated the economy of Jackson County. Leo Kelley describes the vagaries of cotton farming from “plantin’ to pickin’,” the growth and decline of the industry in Jackson County, and how the cotton farmer kept an eye on the bottom line, but not without a sense of humor.
“Architecture and Hospitality: Ceremonial Ground Camps and Foodways of the Yuchi Indians,” by Jason Baird Jackson, 172–189
Although the Yuchi tribe was politically incorporated into the larger Muscogee Nation after removal, the people maintain an autonomous existence as a socially encompassed community in three ceremonial grounds south and west of Tulsa. Jason Jackson explores the community organizations and ritual practices of the Yuchis as they continue to preserve their culture, history, and values in ground camps and foodways.
“Fred Tecumseh Waite: The Outlaw Statesman,” by Michael Tower, 190–217
Fred Tecumseh Waite grew up as a mixed-blood Chickasaw in southern Indian Territory near present Pauls Valley. But as a young man, he left the territory for points west and became involved in the Lincoln County War in New Mexico Territory. Michael Tower recounts Waite’s actions in the most lawless range war ever recorded, and how he turned his life around when he returned home to become active in Chickasaw politics.
Volume 76, No. 1 (Spring, 1998)
“‘Softened as into a Dream’: The Letters of Robert B. Huston, Oklahoma Rough Rider,” by Joe L. Todd, 4–19
Robert Bell Huston left his wife and young son behind when he answered the call to arms after the United States declared war on Spain in 1898. The Guthrie attorney fought in Cuba and the Philippines as captain of Troop D of the First United States Volunteers. Using excerpts from the poignant letters Huston and his family exchanged, Joe Todd describes the wartime experience of the Oklahoma Rough Rider.
“The Closing of Cordell Christian College: A Microcosm of American Intolerance during World War I,” by Michael W. Casey, 20–37
During World War I Oklahoma was the scene for numerous attacks on those who opposed the war. Nowhere was that more evident than in Cordell, where the Washita County Council of Defense targeted the Cordell Christian College for closure because of perceived dissension and pacifist teachings. Michael Casey explores the events that in effect produced a “microcosm of American intolerance.”
“‘We are making history’: The Execution of William Going,” by Louis Coleman, 38–47
Previous scholarship holds that the last Choctaw execution took place in 1894. That distinction, however, goes instead to that of William Going on July 13, 1899, a case adjudicated in the waning days of Choctaw sovereignty. Louis Coleman explains the issues involved in the dispute between confident Choctaw officials and the United States government which attempted to intervene.
“Occupying the Middle Ground: African Creeks in the First Indian Home Guard, 1862–1865,” by Gary Zellar, 48–71
Free blacks and former slaves from the Creek and Seminole nations in the Indian Territory were the first African Americans mustered into the United States Army during the Civil War. They served as soldiers, interpreters, negotiators, clerks, orderlies, and scouts. Gary Zellar focuses on the brave men who were essential elements and cultural bridges in the tri-racial First Indian Home Guard Regiment.
“Learning from Oklahoma: Who We Are and Where We Are,” by Fred Wiemer, 72–86
In the early 1990s Fred Wiemer returned to his native state to “discover the nineteenth century” in Oklahoma. Drawing on lessons learned from two important books on architecture, Wiemer studied and photographed the state’s built environment. In this thoughtful essay Wiemer explains why Oklahoma’s architectural future must celebrate its earthly setting and be linked to the best of the past.
Volume 75, No. 4 (Winter, 1997–1998)Return to Top
“Otto Gray and his Oklahoma Cowboys: The Country’s First Commercial Western Band,” by Carla Chlouber, 356–383
Today the cowboy image is firmly established as a part of country and western music. The roots of its popularity can be found in the success and recognition enjoyed by Otto Gray and his Oklahoma Cowboys in the 1920s and 1930s. Carla Chlouber traces the evolution of the first band to wear western clothing, perform on the radio, and tour the country, one that set the stage for all that followed.
“Snakes and Scribes: The Dawes Commission and the Enrollment of the Creeks,” by Kent Carter, 384–413
In 1893 the United States government appointed three commissioners to negotiate with the Five Civilized Tribes to bring about the allotment of their land. The so-called Dawes Commission spent more than a decade in the Creek Nation trying to develop a correct role of members eligible for allotment. Kent Carter describes the almost impossible task facing a large bureaucracy and a resistant Indian people.
“Helen Churchill Candee: Author of An Oklahoma Romance,” by Linda D. Wilson, 414–425
Helen Churchill Candee came to Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory, in 1895 to obtain a divorce from her husband. While resident in Guthrie, Candee cast a discerning eye on the new territory and its people and later reported her observations in four magazine articles and a novel. Linda Wilson paints a lively portrait of the privileged woman who became the young territory’s most important woman writer.
“The Politics of History: Tinker Air Force Base and the Enola Gay,” by James L. Crowder, 426–439
For decades former civilian and military personnel at Tinker Air Force Base have proudly and steadfastly claimed they helped modify the famous plane known as the Enola Gay for its historic bombing mission over Hiroshima in 1945. Believing that the politics of history often create intriguing myths, James Crowder takes a new and closer look at the official records to separate fact from fiction.
“William Fremont Harn: Maverick or Mystery?” by Trina Medley, 440–456
The manner in which the Unassigned Lands were opened to settlement in 1889 resulted in years of litigation over land claims. William Harn joined the mix of settlers, speculators, and sooners as a special agent to sort out the legal tangles. Trina Medley explores those and subsequent endeavors of an enigmatic man who made Oklahoma City his home, but never became quite the mover and shaker he wanted to be.
Volume 75, No. 3 (Fall, 1997)
“River Rock Resort: Medicine Park’s Landscape and Wichita Mountain Vernacular Architecture,” by Peter J. McCormick, 244–261
A thriving summer resort in the early twentieth century, Medicine Park today resembles little of its former self. Peter McCormick describes the area’s landscape, its unique cobblestone architecture, and the resort’s history in the context of a nationwide health spa/resort movement. He concludes by relating past and current efforts to restore Medicine Park and revitalize the community.
“A Taxing Matter: The Dispute over the Estate of Tom Slick, 1930–1932,” by Ray Miles, 262–279
When oil man Thomas B. Slick died in the summer of 1930, he left an estate estimated at $35–100 million. Oklahoma hoped to cash in on its share of inheritance taxes by proving Slick was an Oklahoma resident. As Ray Miles points out, the ensuing two-year battle pitted the state’s governor against other state officials and the estate’s trustees for what in the end was a mere pittance.
“‘Stars in a Dark Night’: The Education of Indian Youth at Choctaw Academy,” by Marjorie Hall Young, 280–305
Between 1825 and the mid-1840s, many of the brightest and most promising leaders of the Choctaw Nation and other Indian tribes received their education at the Choctaw Academy established by Richard Mentor Johnson on his Kentucky farm. Marjorie Hall Young recounts the history of the enterprise that was a potent force in advancing the welfare and prosperity of many young American Indians.
“Altus Air Force Base: Sentinel of Southwest Oklahoma,” by Leo Kelley, 306–319
When the United States entered World War II, the Army Air Corps clearly faced a critical shortage of aircraft and trained pilots. Altus officials successfully lobbied for a training facility which opened as Altus Army Air Field in 1943. Leo Kelley provides a brief history of the installation, its continuing importance to the city of Altus, and its role today in the nation’s overall defense mission.
“William Shorey Coodey: The Cherokee Statesman,” by Tiffany Coodey, 320–331
W.S. Coodey came of age during the immediate pre-removal period, and under the tutelage of his uncle, Cherokee chief John Ross, he served as delegate to Washington on several occasions in an attempt to forestall removal. Tiffany Coodey provides a telling portrait of an ancestor who devoted his life to his people, including writing the 1839 Cherokee Constitution and serving as first president of the National Committee.
Volume 75, No. 2 (Summer, 1997)
“New Deal Building Programs: The FERA, the WPA, and the Mangum Community Building,” by Cynthia J. Savage, 116–127
As the nationwide depression deepened in the 1930s, the Roosevelt administration initiated a number of agencies to stimulate the economy and assist citizens. Cynthia Savage provides an account of the depression’s effect on southwestern Oklahoma and how two federal programs combined with local and state workers to provide relief and jobs in the construction of the Mangum Community Building.
“Forgotten Challengers to Severalty: The National Indian Defense Association and Council Fire,” by Jo Lea Wetherilt Behrens, 128–159
In the 1880s the issue of immediate allotment in severalty for Native Americans found fervent support among many reform groups. The National Indian Defense Association alone took a more conservative approach by calling for gradual assimilation and retention of tribal government. Jo Behrens explores the NIDA’s philosophy and strategy as expressed by Thomas Bland and others in the pages of Council Fire.
“Painted Red: The Coal Strike of 1919,” by Steven L. Sewell, 160–181
In the fall of 1919 coal miners in Oklahoma joined a nationwide strike that coincided with collective paranoia about perceived radicals and foreigners taking over government and industry. Steven Sewell recounts events as they played out in Oklahoma, a scenario that included a sometimes confrontational governor, deployment of the National Guard, martial law, and volunteer “green men” working in the mines.
“From Rackets to Ranches: Al Capone and the 101 Ranch,” by Glen A. Phillips, Jr., 182–195
In late summer, 1932, Oklahomans learned the imprisoned Chicago gangster Al Capone and his brothers had expressed interest in buying the world-famous Miller Brothers 101 Ranch near Ponca City. Glen Phillips describes efforts by showman Zack Miller to court the Capones’ favor and the actions of an opportunistic go-between who undoubtedly ruined Miller’s opportunity to revitalize his family’s operation.
“Mary Rice Greenfield: Pioneer Educator of Oklahoma Territory,” by Joyce Waggoner, 196–217
Mary Rice Greenfield began her teaching career in 1893 in a small community near Watonga, Oklahoma, then served on the faculty at Southwestern State Normal School in Weatherford during its infancy before moving on to a long career at Friends University in Kansas. Joyce Waggoner summarizes the life and times of a pioneer Oklahoman whose legacy lives well beyond her lifetime.
Volume 75, No. 1 (Spring, 1997)
“Past and Future: The Life of the Oklahoma Jewish Community,” by Amy Hill Shevitz, 4–19
Very little has been written about the Jews who settled in and contributed to Oklahoma communities. Amy Shevitz candidly explores the development of the Oklahoma Jewish community in the context of national trends and the state’s history of boom-and-bust economy, and concludes with important questions about the future of Oklahoma Jewry.
“‘I Want You All to Come’: John C. Walton and America’s Greatest Barbecue,” by William Warren Rogers, 20–31
One of the most unique gubernatorial inaugurations in the nation occurred in Oklahoma in 1923. Governor-elect John C. Walton invited all Oklahomans to a large barbecue and an old-fashioned square dance at the state fairgrounds. William Rogers, an admitted barbecue devotee, describes a culinary event of historic proportions when thousands of Oklahomans enjoyed “the barbecue of all barbecues.”
“Lowell Mason, Samuel A. Worcester, and The Cherokee Singing Book,” by William R. Lee, 32–51
As early as 1829 Reverend Samuel Worcester and others developed a text-only hymn book for the Cherokees printed in the Sequoyan syllabary, but they lacked the means of providing fundamental musical instruction. William Lee provides a fascinating account of efforts by Worcester and New England evangelical Lowell Mason to compile The Cherokee Singing Book (1846) which included musical notation.
“‘Fortunate Enough and Plucky Enough’: The Unattached Women of the Cherokee Outlet,” by Debbie Kindt Michalke, 52–69
Among the thousands of would-be settlers who rushed for land during the opening of the Cherokee Outlet in 1893 were a number of unattached women determined to match their mettle with others making the run. Debbie Michalke relates the experiences of single women such as Laura Crews who successfully staked claims and stayed to make significant contributions to the development of present-day Oklahoma.
“‘Oklahomy Folks Says ’em Different’: Axes of Linguistic Variation in Oklahoma,” by Thomas Wikle and Guy Bailey, 70–81
A character in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath remarked that “Ever’body says words different.” Non-Oklahomans, especially, recognize that the speech of Oklahomans is distinctive. Tom Wikle and Guy Bailey explain why in an interesting and thought-provoking study of various linguistic differences based on factors such as age, education, ethnicity, and residence location and size.
Volume 74, No. 4 (Winter, 1996–1997)Return to Top
“Organizing Wide-awake Farmers: John A. Simpson and the Oklahoma Farmers’ Union,” by James C. Milligan and L. David Norris, 356–383
In 1907 the Oklahoma Farmers’ Union was one of only a few public voices for the state’s farmers, but it became almost defunct after statehood because of poor leadership. James Milligan and David Norris chronicle the efforts of state president John A. Simpson to revitalize the union between 1916 and 1934 into a viable cooperative and educational organization.
“Toll Roads and Railroads: A Case of Economic Conflict in the Choctaw Nation, 1870–1876,” by David Bowden, 384–397
The Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad received authorization to construct a line through eastern Indian Territory in the early 1870s. The Five Tribes, however, received little benefit from the intrusion of an impersonal, often greedy corporation. David Bowden recounts the problems one Choctaw citizen-by-marriage encountered when he sought compensation for damage the railroad caused to his toll road and bridge.
“Oklahoma’s Exiles: William H. Murray and Friends in the Bolivian Chaco, 1924–1929,” by Aaron Bachhofer II, 398–425
After World War I many Americans became disillusioned with the processes that were turning the nation into an increasingly urbanized giant. As a result, many of them, including Oklahoma’s own William H. Murray, sought better fortune in Europe and elsewhere. Aaron Bachhofer describes the experiences of Murray and his followers at Murray’s Bolivian colony in the 1920s and the causes of its ultimate failure.
“‘Not An Upright Stick Remained’: Oklahoma, Home of the Real Twisters,” by Leo Kelley, 426–435
Movie audiences across the nation experienced Hollywood’s version of a “twister” in 1996 in a film loaded with special effects. For Oklahomans who live in tornado alley, however, the reality of the deadly storms has been death and destruction. Leo Kelley focuses on the 1897 Chandler tornado and the 1905 Snyder storm to demonstrate the potential fury residents face almost daily during tornado season.
“‘Until the Mothers are Reached’: Field Matrons on the Cheyenne and Arapaho Reservation,” by Joel J. Schmidt, 436–445
The Office of Indian Affairs in the late nineteenth century created several programs designed to dismantle traditional Indian culture. Among them was the field matron who would “Americanize” the tribe by educating the Indian women. Joel Schmidt explores the experiences of a dozen matrons on the Cheyenne-Arapaho Reservation in western Oklahoma and how their attitudes and Indian resistance doomed the program.
Volume 74, No. 3 (Fall, 1996)
“Gaudy, Swift, and Reckless: The Victory Flying Circus Comes to Oklahoma,” by Lawrence Carroll Allin, 244–263
In 1919 the Army Air Service’s Victory Flying Circus appeared in Oklahoma to raise revenues to pay off war debts from the first world war. Onlookers also witnessed exciting aerial maneuvers by some of the nation’s best pilots. Lawrence Carroll Allin provides a fascinating account of the circus’s performances and discusses Oklahomans’ contributions to the Victory Loan Drive.
“A Reexamination of WPA Excavations at Novotny Site: Adaptations by Early Removal Chickasaws,” by Robert L. Brooks, 264–283
The removal of southeastern Indian tribes to the Indian Territory represents an excellent research opportunity for archaeologists, but unfortunately little study of the immediate postremoval period has been conducted. Robert L. Brooks reopens the investigation of one of four Chickasaw sites begun by WPA workers in the 1930s to analyze the tribe’s adaptive responses to removal.
“Chinese Exclusion in Oklahoma: A Case of Overt Discrimination,” by Jay R. Dew, 284–291
Oklahoma never had a large Chinese population or suffered anti-Chinese riots, but the state used the same legal measures as the rest of the nation to exclude and deport Chinese residents. Jay R. Dew briefly explains how those laws worked against all Chinese, then describes the several cases of Chinese exclusion in Oklahoma in the late territorial period.
“Woodward’s William E. ‘Billy’ Bolton: Good Citizen, Hard Worker, Deep Thinker,” by William D. Welge, 292–301
William E. “Billy” Bolton moved to Woodward, Oklahoma, in 1894, a year after the opening of the Cherokee Outlet, to establish a newspaper. He became one of the town’s leading citizens and expanded his involvement to prominent state organizations. William D. Welge explores the life and times of a man who helped build one of the premier towns of northwest Oklahoma.
“Oklahoma and the Medal of Honor,” by John C. Powell, 302–331
Oklahomans have always had a strong presence in the nation’s armed services and among them are nineteen Medal of Honor recipients, more than any other state with comparable population. Following a brief history of the nation’s highest military award, John C. Powell chronicles Oklahoma’s Roll of Honor along with the military situation and text of each citation.
Volume 74, No. 2 (Summer, 1996)
“‘Let’s Make It Happen’: W.W. Keeler and Cherokee Renewal,” by Marjorie J. Lowe, 116–129
Between 1949 and 1975 William Wayne Keeler served both as appointed and elected chief of the Cherokee Nation and as chief executive officer of Phillips Petroleum Company. During that time the tribe instituted a number of social and cultural projects. Marjorie Lowe, herself a Cherokee, details Keeler’s personal and professional leadership, which enabled the Cherokees to achieve unprecedented reconstruction and renewal.
“The Search for Fountain Camp: Locating Washington Irving’s October 20, 1832, Encampment in Oklahoma,” by Carla Chlouber, 130–145
In 1832 writer Washington Irving joined the first official United States expedition through the central part of Indian Territory. Historians have identified several of the places where the party camped, but not the location of the encampment for October 20 in what is now Payne County. Carla Chlouber reviews the primary documents and the landscape to determine the probable site of the famous author’s encampment.
“A Saloon on Every Corner: Whiskey Towns of Oklahoma Territory, 1889–1907,” by Blake Gumprecht, 146–173
Prior to statehood, dozens of towns sprang up in Oklahoma Territory along the border with Indian Territory to provide services to residents of both areas. Many owed their existence and livelihood to one commodity, liquor, which was legal in Oklahoma Territory but not in Indian Territory. Blake Gumprecht provides a graphic account of the whiskey towns, their colorful, ingenious, sometimes dangerous inhabitants, and their eventual demise.
“Heyday in the Texas League: Oklahoma City-Tulsa Baseball, 1933–1957,” by Max J. Nichols, 174–197
The Tulsa Oilers and the Oklahoma City Indians baseball teams dominated the Texas League from 1933 to 1957. Both established reputations as highly competitive organizations which provided thrilling games for fans and training for major league stars. Max Nichols describes the history of the two teams, the differences in baseball then and now, and the players and managers who comprised the golden age of the Texas League.
“Milton W. Reynolds (Kicking Bird): The Man Who Named Oklahoma ’Land of the Fair God,’” by D. Earl Newsom, 198–217
Shortly before his death in 1890, newspaper editor Milton W. Reynolds, who used the pen name Kicking Bird, described Oklahoma as “a goodly land . . . the Land of the Fair God.” Earl Newsom explores Reynolds’ career, his early and strong interest in the Indian Territory, his efforts to see the area opened to non-Indian settlement decades before the boomer movement, and his contributions to a nascent Oklahoma Territory.
Volume 74, No. 1 (Spring, 1996)
“Hoxie and Acord: ‘Reel’ Oklahoma Cowboys,” by Leo Kelley, 4–15
Jack Hoxie and Art Acord, two Oklahoma boys born about the time of the land run of 1889, gained early experience in the West working as cowhands and competing on the rodeo circuit. Their skills soon led to starring roles in silent western films and Wild West shows. Leo Kelley briefly describes the early motion picture industry, then follows Hoxie’s and Acord’s successes and failures, both on and off the set.
“‘Now Let Him Enforce It’: Exploring the Myth of Andrew Jackson’s Response to Worcester v. Georgia (1832),” by Mark R. Scherer, 16–29
Most historians traditionally have accepted Andrew Jackson’s famous remark, “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it,” as proof the president defied and ignored the U.S. Supreme Court in the famous case involving the Cherokee Nation and the state of Georgia. Mark Scherer takes a new look at Jackson’s response by analyzing the motivations and legal issues that affected his attitude and the outcome of the controversy.
“From Ponies to Planes: Marc Andrew ‘Oklahoma Pete’ Mitscher,” by Paolo E. Coletta, 50–75
In 1904 Marc Mitscher left Oklahoma Territory to accept an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he had trouble with academics and discipline. Nevertheless, his obsession with aviation led eventually to his becoming one of the twentieth century’s greatest naval strategists and tacticians. Paolo Coletta provides a fascinating life portrait of “Oklahoma Pete” Mitscher, WWII’s “preeminent fast carrier task force commander.”
“A Lettered Portrait of William McIntosh: Leader of the Creek Nation,” by Warrick Lane Jones, 76–95
Related by blood or marriage to several prominent Creek, Cherokee, and white families in the southeastern United States, William McIntosh tried throughout his life to attain high positions in the Creek Nation. In a review of the several facets of McIntosh’s life, Warrick Jones argues that his fierce determination to attain wealth and power led McIntosh to manipulate events and people, and eventually to his own death.
Volume 73, No. 4 (Winter, 1995–1996)Return to Top
“The Rare Woman, Indeed: Jerrie Cobb, An Aviation Pioneer,” by Debbie Michalke, 372–385
In the early 1960s Oklahoma pilot Jerrie Cobb became the first woman accepted by NASA to undergo astronaut testing and training. Debbie Michalke traces the Oklahoma roots and early career of a determined and record-setting aviator who now flies humanitarian missions to the jungles of Amazonia.
The Last Choctaw Execution: A Case of Law and Disorder,” by James C. Milligan and L. David Norris, 386–403
The Choctaw election of 1892 turned violent when Silon Lewis and a band of men belonging to the National Party killed a county sheriff, resulting in the last Choctaw execution. James Milligan and David Norris examine Lewis’s case as well as the broader aspects of law enforcement in the Choctaw Nation.
“The Case of the Wandering Wobblie: The State of Oklahoma v. Arthur Berg,” by Von Russell Creel, 404–423
Arthur Berg’s involvement with the Industrial Workers of the World in the early 1920s led to his arrest and trial under Oklahoma’s criminal syndicalism statutes. Von Creel provides a fascinating account of Berg’s trial which exemplified the public’s “growing fear of domestic radicalism.”
“Butternut and Blue: Confederate Uniforms in the Trans-Mississippi,” by Whit Edwards, 424–437
Although the Confederate government issued regulations for proper uniforms for its army, it had great difficulty supplying rank-and-file soldiers in the field. Using a variety of personal accounts, Whit Edwards describes efforts to clothe Southern fighting men in the Trans-Mississippi West.
“The Selling of America in Oklahoma: The First and Second Liberty Bond Drives,” by Charles W. Smith, 438–453
In 1917 the government asked Oklahomans, like Americans everywhere, to contribute their share to finance U.S. participation in World War I. Charles Smith analyzes the Liberty Bond program and the Councils of Defense whose methods sometimes promoted intolerance and violated personal liberties.
Volume 73, No. 3 (Fall, 1995)
“‘Proud of What It Means’: Route 66, Oklahoma’s Mother Road,” by Jim Ross, 260–277
Like no other highway before or since, Route 66 has captured the imagination of the American public, those who traveled it in good times and bad and those who work today for its revival. Jim Ross takes a sentimental journey down a “remarkable ribbon of road,” providing an evocative overview of the highway’s history and the connections that make Oklahoma a premier Route 66 state.
“‘Let the People Rule’: William Jennings Bryan and the Oklahoma Constitution,” by Robert D. Lewallen, 278–307
Many sections of the Oklahoma Constitution, widely recognized as one of the lengthiest of all state constitutions, were drawn from the ideals of William Jennings Bryan, the common man’s most vocal supporter. Robert D. Lewallen explores the philosophy of the Great Commoner, his influence on Oklahomans, and the document that most exemplified the reform era in the early twentieth century.
“Politics and Greed?: Allotments and Town Building Schemes in the Cherokee Outlet,” Karen Dye, 308–321
Prior to the land run of 1893, the government awarded allotments to seventy Cherokee citizens in the Cherokee Outlet and designated sites as the seats of government for future counties. Almost immediately, speculators began town building schemes that undermined officials’ best intentions. Karen Dye describes the men and methods by which towns in “K” County came into existence and the effect on their development.
“The Site of Camp Comanche: Dragoon Expedition of 1834,” by Gillett Griswold, 322–339
In 1834 the U.S. Dragoons traveled to what is now southwest Oklahoma to make contact with the Comanches and other tribes, but the sites of their camps and exact routes have long been a source of confusion for historians and the general public. Gillett Griswold reviews the participants’ accounts and other published literature and reports on his own investigation to set the record straight about these important sites.
“Sallie Rogers McSpadden: A Take-Charge Cherokee in Lace and Pearls,” by Reba Neighbors Collins, 340–357
Sallie McSpadden may have been Will Rogers’s “big sister,” but she did not rely on his fame to define her life. Rather she was a sophisticated lady from Chelsea, Oklahoma, who became the family matriarch. Reba Neighbors Collins paints a lovely portrait of a take-charge woman who rose above personal tragedies to impart her knowledge, determination, and philosophy to several generations of Rogers and McSpadden families.
Volume 73, No. 2 (Summer, 1995)
“Mollie Shepherd: Indian Columnist,” by Carol J. Woitchek, 132–149
During the 1960s Mollie Shepherd, a Kingfisher, Oklahoma, newspaper columnist of Cheyenne descent, chronicled the events of the Native American community. Sometimes flavored with Indian legends, social commentary, and personal observation, her column reached a wide and appreciative audience. Carol Woitchek discusses Mollie’s life and her place in contemporary Native American writing.
“Regionalism at the University of Oklahoma,” by Richard Lowitt, 150–171
Many of America’s intellectuals fled to Europe during the 1920s, but other artists and scholars established themselves on college campuses across the nation to foster a new appreciation of regional heritage, history, and literature. Richard Lowitt spotlights the University of Oklahoma’s role in the development of a Southwest regionalism during the tenure of President William Bennett Bizzell.
“Homesteading in Roger Mills County: The Wilcox Family,” by Margaret E. Brown, 172–191
The George Wilcox family believed they understood the perils of pioneering when they homesteaded in the Snakey Bend of the South Canadian River in western Oklahoma’s Roger Mills County in 1902. Margaret Brown records their personal tragedies, then views the family in a historical context as she considers the effect of undercapitalization on the early settlers as well as their reliance on the production of primary crops.
“The Osage Plea for Freedom Revisited,” by James D. White, 192–225
In the nineteenth century, with their traditional tribal life in disarray, the Osages felt themselves disconnected from the spiritual forces so helpful in the past. That sense of loss deepened when they moved to Indian Territory away from their Catholic priests. Father James White sorts out the tangled conversion attempts among the Osages by various denominations, often at the whim of ill-conceived and vacillating government policies.
“Influences on Commercial Architecture: Stillwater, O.T., 1889–1907,” by Carol Bormann, 226–239
Following the dramatic run of 1889, the people of Stillwater, Oklahoma Territory, quickly converted their community of tents and wagons to a town of permanent structures. Architecture followed then-popular trends modified by the availability of materials and the cultural preferences of residents. Carol Bormann reflects on Stillwater’s first two decades and describes the changes in its commercial buildings, both inside and out.
Volume 73, No. 1 (Spring, 1995)
“Super Chief, Humble Man: The Life of Allie P. Reynolds,” by Max J. Nichols, 4–31
His pitching prowess propelled the late Allie Reynolds to national prominence as a star pitcher for the New York Yankees, but Oklahomans also will remember him for his business acumen, civic outreach, and devotion to family. Max Nichols reviews Reynolds’ brilliant baseball career and traces his growing awareness and appreciation of his Native American heritage, including his work with Oklahoma City’s Red Earth Festival.
“Herman F.C. Ten Kate, Jr.: An Adventurous Dutch Ethnologist in Indian Territory, 1883,” by Augustus J. Veenendaal, Jr., 32–51
Among the ethnologists who studied the Indians of the American Southwest in the 1880s was an educated and adventurous young Dutchman, Herman Ten Kate, Jr., who visited Indian Territory in 1883 collecting artifacts and recording his impressions of rapidly changing cultures. Augustus Veenendaal, Jr., distills from Ten Kate’s journals his personal commentary on cross-country travel, tribal interaction, personalities both historical and obscure, and the forces destined to affect the region.
“‘No Sound I Will Ever Forget’: The Antlers Tornado of 1945,” by Make Males, 52–65
The devastating Antlers tornado of April 12, 1945, still resonates in the memories of those who survived, but received little notice outside Oklahoma. Fifty years later, Mike Males graphically recreates the disaster from the recollections of those involved and then places this tornado in a historical and scientific context. His comprehensive assessment raises questions about the vulnerability of Oklahomans to such powerful storms and discusses what is being done to lessen the risks.
“Cimarron Territory: Comedy and Tragedy,” by Joy Schnabel, 66–79
What is now the Oklahoma Panhandle seemed for a time the land everyone disclaimed either by design or oversight. But the implacable demands of settlers eventually brought the area to the attention of a diverse group of individuals with differing agendas. Joy Schnabel details the history of the area and along the way strives to balance seemingly outrageous activities in a lawless land with historical development patterns prevalent throughout the period of western expansion.
“Deadly Currents: John Ross’s Decision of 1861,” by Ari Kelman, 80–103
Throughout his long tenure as principal chief of the Cherokees, John Ross faced complex challenges from factions within the tribe and the federal government. In 1861 the approaching Civil War added “deadly currents” to the difficulty of maintaining tribal unity and sovereignty. Ari Kelman considers Ross’s options as he initially aligned the Cherokees with the Confederacy and later shifted their support to the Union.
Volume 72, No. 4 (Winter, 1994–1995)Return to Top
“Camille Nixdorf Phelan: Oklahoma Quiltmaker,” by Dorothy Cozart, 356–367
Nearly sixty years ago Camille Nixdorf Phelan presented to the Oklahoma Historical Society a quilt that portrayed events and personalities of Oklahoma history in embroidered pictures. Since then little has been written about Phelan or other needlework she created. After several years of research, during which she also located another important Phelan quilt, Dorothy Cozart details the life and work of an artist who painted with needle and thread.
“A Lasting New Deal Legacy: The Civilian Conservation Corps, the National Park Service, and the Development of the Oklahoma State Park System,” by Suzanne H. Schrems, 368–395
One of President Franklin Roosevelt’s solutions to economic and humanitarian distress in the 1930s was the Civilian Conservation Corps. Designed to furnish employment and training for young men, as well as to revitalize overworked agricultural and forest land, the CCC played a significant role in the development of outdoor recreational facilities. Suzanne Schrems describes the CCC’s legacy in Oklahoma—seven state parks still enjoyed by millions of visitors annually.
“Dusty Apocalypse and Socialist Salvation: A Study of Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Imagery,” by Brad Lookingbill, 396–413
In the late 1930s Woody Guthrie emerged as a visionary folk musician with a message of socialist salvation for working Americans. He saw their struggle with dust and depression as the abject failure of capitalism to cure the nation’s ills. In this fascinating portrait of the Dust Bowl balladeer, Brad Lookingbill analyzes Guthrie’s background and music and the spiritual and intellectual journey that led the entertainer to social criticism.
“‘There Are So Many Things Needed’: Establishing the Rainy Mountain Boarding School, 1891–1900,” by Clyde Ellis, 414–439
Reformers and policymakers in the late nineteenth century envisioned that schools would mold Indian youths into a new race that more closely reflected white society. The Kiowas in southwestern Oklahoma received their school in the 1890s. With particular emphasis on Cora Dunn, the school’s principal for sixteen years, Clyde Ellis explores Rainy Mountain Boarding School’s early history in a revealing study of frustrations, limitations, and too often, neglect.
“Hanging Judge Parker and the Gunfight at Alexander’s Store: Opportunities for Research in the Records of the U.S. Court at Fort Smith,” by Kent Carter, 440–455
From 1875 to 1896 Isaac Parker, the “Hanging Judge,” worked to maintain law and order in the Indian Territory. Until recently, historians and genealogists interested in studying Parker’s court confronted massive volumes of paper with seemingly little organization. Kent Carter describes the types of records the court created, the large database and cross-reference index recently produced by volunteers, and, in two case studies, the problems associated with using the official records.
Volume 72, No. 3 (Fall, 1994)
“Comanche Captives: People Between Two Worlds,” by Michael L. Tate, 228–263
For 150 years the trade in human captives played a major role in the economic and social lives of Southern Plains Indians, particularly the Comanches. Using a wide variety of primary sources, including the accounts of the captives themselves, Michael Tate provides a fascinating and evocative narrative that explores the rise and fall of this activity.
“Alice Lee Elliott Memorial Academy: A School for Choctaw Freedmen,” by Joy McDougal Smith, 264–279
Oak Hill Industrial Academy or Elliott Memorial Academy as it came to be called provided educational and vocational opportunities for Choctaw freedmen and their descendants and other black children in the Valliant vicinity for nearly fifty years. Joy Smith describes the history of a unique boarding school that was the only institution of its kind in the Choctaw Nation
“From Corn Field to Corporation: A Short History of St. Anthony Hospital,” by Leslie R. Tucker, 280–291
Founded in 1898 by the Sisters of St. Francis, St. Anthony Hospital today is one of Oklahoma City’s largest and most progressive health care institutions. Leslie Tucker traces its development from rather humble beginning in a corn field to leading health care corporation with particular emphasis on the growth of the physical plant and the hospital’s many firsts.
“Struggle in the Choctaw Nation: The Coal Miners Strike of 1894,” by Don F. Badinelli, 292–311
When Choctaw Nation coal companies announced a wage reduction in 1894, area coal miners saw the action as a threat to their very survival. They found strength and a means of resistance in their union, but their efforts brought little relief and much suffering. Don Badinelli explores the origin, evolution, and result of the first major labor confrontation in Indian Territory.
“Goin’ West: Kate May’s Trip to Old Greer County,” by Henry Kilian Goetz, 312–331
After the death of her husband, Kate May found herself head of a family and responsible for its livelihood. To improve her family’s lot in life, she participated in a land run, ran a restaurant, and moved to a new country for her child’s health. Henry Goetz provides a loving portrait of his indomitable grandmother and the May family’s journey to Old Greer County.
Volume 72, No. 2 (Summer, 1994)
“Agriculture in the Oklahoma Panhandle, 1898–1942,” by W. David Baird, 116–137
Agricultural activity in the Oklahoma Panhandle dates back several centuries and today represents its most important industry. W. David Baird describes the history of settlement patterns and agriculture in the three-county area with particular emphasis on the types of buildings associated with farming and ranching between 1885 and 1942.
“Oklahoma City’s First Mass Transit System: Who Brought the Streetcars for People to Ride?” by Kim K. Bender, 138–159
The development of Oklahoma City’s electric railway system at the turn of the century coincided with the city’s phenomenal expansion. Kim K. Bender explores the corporate records of city land developers and the railway and construction companies to show how leading businessmen often controlled the direction and rate of growth to favor their own holdings.
“On Our Way to the Promised Land: Black Migration from Arkansas to Oklahoma, 1889–1893,” by Lori Bogle, 160–177
Until the late 1880s, blacks in Arkansas found conditions favorable for their active participation in state government. When that began to change, black leaders looked to opportunities in Oklahoma. Lori Bogle analyses the political, social, and cultural ramifications of the migration from Arkansas and gives special attention to James A. Rouce who settled near Hitchcock.
“First Sooner Senator: Ernest W. McFarland’s Oklahoma Years, 1894–1919,” by James E. McMillan, 178–199
During his long career in public service, Ernest W. McFarland served in the U.S. Senate and as governor, supreme court justice, and attorney and businessman in Arizona. He also held the distinction of being the first native-born Sooner senator. James E. McMillan provides a fascinating account of McFarland’s early life in Oklahoma and his rise to political prominence.
“Lu tsa ka Le Ah ke ho ‘Can’t Go Beyond’: Allotting the Osage Reservation, 1906–1909,” by Louis F. Burns, 200–211
By 1893 the Osage Nation found itself surrounded by intruders anxious to claim their “surplus” land. Fearing the fraud associated with the Cherokee allotment, the Osages wrote their own allotment act and gained a measure of control of the dissolution of their reserve. Louis F. Burns describes the provisions that made it unique among tribal allotments in Indian Territory.
Volume 72, No. 1 (Spring, 1994)
“Oklahoma Jazz: Deep Second to 52nd Street,” by George O. Carney, 4–21
Oklahomans are justly proud of the state’s country music stars and the varied music of ethnic groups. But an often overlooked aspect of Oklahoma’s heritage is the contribution of jazz artists who hailed from Oklahoma. Most left the state to find fame and fortune elsewhere. Using a wide variety of statistical information, George O. Carney provides a fascinating profile of the origins and development of Oklahoma jazz artists, a vital component of the state’s musical mosaic.
“Printing Ink and Flyingwires: Oklahoma Journalism and the Promotion of Aviation,” by Keith Tolman, 22–35
Like many people around the world after the turn of the century, Oklahomans held little confidence in man’s ability to fly in heavier-than-air machines. The fledgling aviation industry clearly required help in selling the potential benefits of flight. In an unexpected turn of events, newspapermen jumped in the planes and onto the proverbial bandwagon. Keith Tolman explores the efforts of some of the state’s leading journalists to promote aviation to the general public.
“Deadly Games: The Struggle for a Quarter-section of Land,” by Carol H. Welsh, 36–51
The land run that opened the Unassigned Lands of Indian Territory in 1889 to non-Indian settlement produced a series of claims contests in what became downtown Oklahoma City. Some lasted well into the twentieth century. On one quarter-section of land, seven individuals and a nearly 600-member townsite organization vied for ownership. Carol H. Welsh investigates the original land office townsite cases to recreate the struggle that cost one individual his life.
“Black Brush of Hatred: The KKK on Trial in Altus,” by Leo Kelley, 52–65
After World War I many Americans, including Oklahomans, found their world turned upside down in the revolt against the mores of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. To many, society seemed headed for “moralistic degradation.” Clandestine organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan sprang up to counter the hedonism they believed would lead to the downfall of society. Leo Kelley describes one incident in Altus that illuminates the KKK’s abuse of individual civil rights.
Volume 71, No. 4 (Winter, 1993–1994)Return to Top
“Sorey Hill and Sorey: Architects with a Civic Conscience,” by Tom Sorey, Jr., 356–375
Some of the state’s most striking buildings, especially in Oklahoma City, Stillwater, and Norman, were designed by one firm whose practice incorporated three distinct styles in commercial and residential designs. Drawing on his lifelong association with the firm, Tom Sorey, Jr., describes Sorey Hill and Sorey’s major work and the partners’ individual contributions to their community and profession.
“A Jurisdictional Imbroglio: The Case of E.C. Boudinot’s Hotel,” by Thomas Burnell Colbert, 376–391
The complex status of jurisdiction and authority in the Indian nations of Indian Territory disturbed E.C. Boudinot, an influential mixed-blood Cherokee. Circumstances led him to advocate for dividing tribal lands into personal holdings and making Indians U.S. citizens subject to federal law. Thomas Burnell Colbert focuses on one of Boudinot’s own convoluted business deals that tested the very issue of tribal sovereignty.
“Miss Mallory’s Children: The Oklahoma Orphanage and the Founding of Bethany,” by Charles Edwin Jones, 392–422
Mattie Mallory, a holiness worker and astute businesswoman, came to Oklahoma in the 1890s to care for neglected and orphaned children. The foundation she laid remains today as the City of Bethany, the Children’s Center, and Southern Nazarene University. Charles Edwin Jones provides a fascinating study of Mallory’s work, her association with other groups, and her use of land speculation as an adjunct to ministry.
“The Carl Albert Collection: Resources Relating to Indian Policy, 1963–1968,” by W. Dale Mason, 422–437
Indian policy during Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency, according to most observers, was one of transition from termination to self-determination. W. Dale Mason inventories and describes the papers of Oklahoma’s Third District congressman, Carl Albert, who served in important House leadership positions during those years. Albert’s papers reflect not only administrative policy but his own efforts on behalf of Oklahoma Indians.
“The Oklahoma Rural News: Roots of an Electric Cooperative Newspaper,” by Stephen F. Lalli, 438–449
Rural electrification was a major issue for Oklahoma farmers in the 1930s and 1940s. It gained even greater importance and validity with the creation of a newspaper by the network of Oklahoma rural electric cooperatives. Stephen F. Lalli analyses the ability of the Oklahoma Rural News to rally voters and describes the political clout it came to wield by 1950 in the struggle between private and public power companies.
Volume 71, No. 3 (Fall, 1993)
“All That Glitters . . .: Assaying S.H. Logan’s ’Trip to the Gold Fields,’” by Stephen H. Dew, 244–275
In 1941 S.H. Logan published a series of articles in the Arkansas Gazette which purported to be a transcription of the journal kept by an emigrant in the caravan of goldseekers Captain R.B. Marcy escorted across Indian Territory in 1849. In this lively article, Stephen H. Dew analyses Logan’s “Trip to the Gold Fields,” compares it to other primary sources, and separates the “gold” from the “glitter.”
“The First Lady of Education: Oklahoman Kate Galt Zaneis,” by James C. Milligan and L. David Norris, 276–301
Political interference in administrative and academic affairs at Oklahoma’s colleges was commonplace in the state’s early years. James C. Milligan and L. David Norris explore how the practice affected Southeastern State Teachers College in Durant and the dramatic changes instituted in the late 1930s by Kate Galt Zaneis, the first woman in the state and nation to head a state institution of higher learning
“Lights, Camera, Action!: Newsreel Cameramen of Oklahoma, 1910–1940,” by Bill Moore, 302–321
Oklahoma’s status as a young state has had certain advantages for those destined to document its history. This is especially true in regard to motion picture filming, developed shortly before Oklahoma entered the union. Bill Moore provides a fascinating glimpse at the principal newsreel photographers to capture Oklahoma’s history as it happened. He gives special attention to the man who added sound, Arthur B. Ramsey.
“Friendly Persuasions: Gifts and Reciprocity in Comanche-Euroamerican Relations,” by David LaVere, 322–337
Throughout centuries of contact, Comanche-Euroamerican relations have been marked by both conflict and friendship. The foundation of either, and particularly for Euroamericans, often lay in their understanding or perception of Comanche society. David L. LaVere describes Comanche kinship bonds as they relate to gift giving and their crucial role in facilitating alliances on the Southern Plains.
Volume 71, No. 2 (Summer, 1993)
“The Opening of the Cherokee Outlet,” Introductory Essay by Mary Ann Blochowiak, 116–117
“Cherokee Sovereignty in the Gilded Age: The Outlet Question,” by H. Craig Miner, 118–137
The story of the Cherokee Outlet must begin from the perspective of the Cherokee Nation whose land it was. Assaulted on all sides by powerful corporate interests, the Cherokees struggled to maintain the last vestiges of tribal integrity that the Outlet seemed to signify. H. Craig Miner discusses these Gilded Age issues and formulates important analogies about their meaning for twentieth-century Oklahomans.
“Of Cattle and Corporations: The Rise, Progress, and Termination of the Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association,” by William W. Savage, Jr., 138–153
Of all the groups expressing interest in the largely unoccupied lands of the Cherokee Outlet, the cattlemen of the 1870s and 1880s formed the fairest and strongest relationship with the Cherokees. The partnership resulted in the formation of the Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association. William W. Savage, Jr., traces the association’s brief history and the factors affecting its success and eventual demise.
“Order and Disorder: The Opening of the Cherokee Outlet,” by Alvin O. Turner, 154–173
Maintaining law and order in the 6-million-acre Cherokee Outlet prior to and during the land run of 1893 proved a formidable task for officials in charge—something they had not achieved in three previous land runs. Alvin O. Turner discusses the unique circumstances existent in the Outlet and how the government measured up in terms of providing order and safety in this biggest race of all.
“Building a Life: Culture, Society, and Leisure in the Cherokee Outlet,” by Kenny L. Brown, 174–201
Staking claim to a quarter-section of land or a town lot was only the first step for the homesteader in the Outlet. His struggle to build a home and community and then to enjoy the fruits of his labor remains the strongest legacy of that historic event. Focusing on the diverse elements that define a culture, Kenny L. Brown describes life in the Outlet immediately following the run and its evolution and growth over time.
“Economic Beginnings: Making a Living in the Cherokee Outlet,” by Norbert R. Mahnken, 202–223
The opening of the Cherokee Outlet coincided with a national economic depression and a regional drought. Homesteaders and city dwellers not only faced the immediate challenges of making a living but those of erecting permanent institutions for economic growth. Norbert R. Mahnken explores the problems associated with economic beginnings in agriculture, banking and credit, and transportation.
Articles in this issue of The Chronicles of Oklahoma were originally presented in a lecture series sponsored by the Oklahoma Historical Society, the Sons and Daughters of the Cherokee Strip Pioneers, Enid, and Phillips University, Enid. The lecture series was funded in part by the Oklahoma Foundation for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Volume 71, No. 1 (Spring, 1993)
“Destined for Duty: The Life and Diary of Bishop Theophile Meerschaert,” by James D. White, 4–41
The appointment of Theophile Meerschaert as bishop in 1891 signified a benchmark for the Catholic Church in the Twin Territories. Meerschaert went on to serve Oklahoma for thirty-two years, a period that witnessed remarkable growth in number of priests, churches and schools, and laity. In this well-annotated article, Rev. James D. White explores the life and diary of the Belgian priest “destined” for duty in Oklahoma.
“‘No Oklahoman Lost a Penny’: Oklahoma’s State Bank Guarantee Law, 1907–1923,” by Norbert R. Mahnken, 42–63
After statehood in 1907 Oklahoma’s Progressive legislators established the Bank Guarantee Fund in an attempt to bring some order to the chaotic and irregular banking practices then in place. The measure even served as a model for laws in several other states. In this fast-paced article Norbert R. Mahnken reviews the fund’s colorful history—its innovation and successes along with its weaknesses and ultimate failure.
“‘Now the Wolf Has Come’: The Civilian Civil War in the Indian Territory,” by Mary Jane Warde, 64–87
Most studies of the Civil War in Indian Territory deal exclusively with military strategy, political issues, or tribal factionalism, with little attention to its effect on ordinary citizens. Using diaries, letters, and interviews of those who witnessed this “white man’s war,” Mary Jane Warde describes the shattering, immediate, and indiscriminate nature of a conflict that forever changed the men, women, and children of the territory.
“Where is Main Street?: The Commercial Landscape of Four Oklahoma Small Towns,” by Brian L. Schulz, 88–103
Since the 1920s improved highways, the impact of the automobile, and the decline of the railroads, among other reasons, have led to a decline in the types and distribution of retail and service activities in rural towns. Asking “Where is Main Street?,” Brian L. Schulz investigates four Oklahoma small towns to determine their change over time and describes a program that may offer hope for restructuring these rural trade centers.
Volume 70, No. 4 (Winter, 1992–1993)Return to Top
“Battle Cry for History: The First Century of the Oklahoma Historical Society,” by Bob L. Blackburn, 356–390
For 100 years the Oklahoma Historical Society has led the battle cry for preserving and perpetuating the state’s history. Drawing from a variety of institutional and statutory sources, Bob L. Blackburn provides a critical look at how well the society has met the challenges of growth and describes the processes that will give it direction into the second century.
“The Reception of The Grapes of Wrath in Oklahoma: A Reappraisal,” by Marsha L. Weisiger, 394–415
More than fifty years after John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath was released, the debate continues over its treatment of and reception by the people of Oklahoma. In this fast-paced but thoughtful essay Marsha L. Weisiger examines both the historical record and contemporary reaction for an analysis of Steinbeck’s work and its meaning for Oklahomans.
“Searching for the Hearth: Culture Areas of Oklahoma Territory,” by Michael Roark, 416–431
What is an Oklahoman? Scholars and citizens alike have tried to answer this question about Oklahoma’s culture in the 100-plus years since the first permanent non-Indian settlement of the state began. Geographer Michael Roark analyses 1900 federal census data and other published material on migrants to Oklahoma in search of Oklahoma’s cultural hearth.
“Culture Mixing: Everyday Life on Missions among the Choctaws,” by Christopher J. Huggard, 432–449
For all that has been written about Native Americans’ acceptance of certain aspects of the dominant white culture in the nineteenth century, surprisingly little literature describes the reciprocal relationship that existed among the two peoples. Using the missions to the Choctaws as a basis for study, Christopher J. Huggard explores the impact of Indian culture on whites.
“The African Lion: George Napier Perkins, Lawyer, Politician, Editor,” by Nudie E. Williams, 450–465
Blacks migrating to Oklahoma Territory before and after the turn of the century found not the land of opportunity for which they hoped, but one replete with social and political barriers. Nudie E. Williams examines the life of the “African Lion,” George Napier Perkins, who through example and newspaper editorials became the champion of black civil rights.
Volume 70, No. 3 (Fall, 1992)
“‘More Valuable than Oil’: The Establishment and Development of Tinker Air Force Base, 1940–1949,” by James L. Crowder, Jr., 228–257
In early 1940 as the United States geared up for world war, leaders of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce worked behind the scenes to obtain a military air depot for their city. James L. Crowder describes the military and civilian efforts that led to the formation of the giant complex now known as Tinker Air Force Base and highlights the first ten years of its history.
“Socialists in the House: The Oklahoma Experience, Part II,” by Von Russell Creel, 258–301
The first serious challenge to Democratic supremacy in the Oklahoma House of Representatives occurred in 1914 when voters elected five Socialists from western Oklahoma. In the second of a two-part series, Von Russell Creel continues the discussion of the Socialists’ response to legislation introduced by their colleagues, their reelection campaigns, and their activities after leaving the legislature.
“Alice’s Restaurant: Expanding a Woman’s Sphere,” by Maitreyi Mazumdar, 302–325
In 1920 Oklahoma sent Alice Mary Robertson, its first and only congresswoman, to Washington. Robertson’s entire personal and political life was a contradiction to the era’s traditional women’s roles. Maitreyi Mazumdar analyzes the life of a unique woman forced by circumstances beyond her control to live a “man’s life,” but nonetheless believing she was protecting a “woman’s sphere” by entering politics.
“‘Our Rights, Our Country, Our Race’: W.P. Ross and the Cherokee Advocate, 1844–1848,” by Doug Tattershall, 326–338
After their forced removal from the southeastern United States, the Cherokees began the difficult task of rebuilding their nation, including publication of a new tribal newspaper, the Cherokee Advocate. Doug Tattershall focuses on the efforts of the paper’s first editor, William P. Ross, to uplift his people through a uniquely Cherokee publication, a tradition maintained long after his tenure.
“The Braden Site: An Update,” by Robert L. Brooks, 338–339
In the Summer, 1992, issue of The Chronicles of Oklahoma, Brooks reported on WPA excavations at the Braden Site, a Southern Plains Village settlement in south-central Oklahoma. One point emphasized was the unfortunate loss of a substantial portion of the collections. In this update, Brooks summarizes the nature and extent of two boxes of material and the original catalog sheets returned to the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History after being lost for twenty-five years.
Volume 70, No. 2 (Summer, 1992)
“Journey to Sainthood: David Pendleton Oakerhater’s Better Way,” by Alvin O. Turner, 116–143
David Pendleton Oakerhater’s path along the white man’s road led him from the plains of western Oklahoma to imprisonment at Fort Marion and back to the land of his childhood to begin a fifty-year ministry among his people. In 1986 his name was added to the Episcopal Church’s calendar of saints. Alvin O. Turner describes the journey that took a Cheyenne Indian to sainthood.
“Socialists in the House: The Oklahoma Experience, Part I,” by Von Russell Creel, 144–183
The first serious challenge to Democratic supremacy in the Oklahoma House of Representatives occurred in 1914 when voters elected five Socialists from western Oklahoma. In the first of a two-part series, Von Russell Creel focuses on the men, the campaigns, and the political and social agenda they hoped would bring a “proletarian perspective to the rural movement” in Oklahoma.
“The Braden Site: WPA Excavations at a Plains Village,” by Robert L. Brooks, 184–193
For hundreds of years the village of an ancient people lay buried along the Washita River in southern Oklahoma. During the worst years of the Great Depression, archaeologists and WPA workers carefully removed and cataloged the remains of that Southern Plains Village now called the Braden Site. Robert L. Brooks reports on the lessons learned from the physical remains of Oklahoma’s last prehistoric people.
“Oklahoma’s Art in the 1930s: A Remembrance,” by Leonard Good, 194–209
By 1930 Oklahoma’s cultural scene enjoyed a degree of maturity that belied the state’s late transition from frontier to settled land. Prominent artists and art centers flourished in both the public and private sectors texn the larger art world. Artist Leonard Good looks back fondly across a career of seventy years to remember Oklahoma’s art in the 1930s and offer a kindly critique of its best and brightest.
Volume 70, No. 1 (Spring, 1992)
“‘Cathedrals of the Plains’: The Grain Elevators of Western Oklahoma,” by W. David Baird, 4–25
Grain elevators, from simple wooden structures to mammoth concrete giants, are enduring symbols of agricultural development in the American West. David Baird describes the history and inner workings of these “Cathedrals of the Plains” and explains why these giants have become such an important part of the Oklahoma landscape.
“Crisis of Command: The Hindman/Pike Controversy over the Defense of the Trans-Mississippi District,” by Thomas W. Kremm and Diane Neal, 26–45
Confederate General Thomas C. Hindman’s assignment to the Trans-Mississippi District during the Civil War included oversight and protection of the Indian Territory. Thomas Kremm and Diane Neal document his bitter conflict with General Albert Pike, an old political foe who considered the Indian Territory his special command.
“Minor Leagues, Major Dreams: Professional Baseball in Oklahoma,” by Leo Kelley, 46–65
Baseball—that great American sport—was played in Indian Territory before the land openings and grew in popularity after statehood. Some of the nation’s greatest players have hailed from Oklahoma. Leo Kelley focuses on some of the early teams and players who were “minor leaguers, major dreamers.”
“Amongst the Damp: The Dangerous Profession of Coal Mining in Oklahoma, 18701935,” by Steve Sewell, 66–83
The coal mines of southeastern Oklahoma were among the most dangerous in the world before and after the turn of the century. Steve Sewell describes the working conditions that cost thousands of lives and the measures eventually taken to provide safety “amongst the damp.“