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Historic Okmulgee: How Oil Tycoons Created One in every of Oklahoma’s Wealthiest Towns

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Historic Okmulgee: How Oil Tycoons Created one of Oklahoma’s Wealthiest Towns
Up to date on October eleven, 2017 Eric Standridge moreContact Writer Okmulgee’s historical past is rich with each triumph and tragedy. From the rebirth of the Creek Indian and the many state altering decisions made in Creek Counsel House, to the tragedies of the nice Depression, this collection will define the important thing occasions that introduced this small city nationwide prestige. Before you leave, make certain to check out the other pages in the Okmulgee Historical past series.

Okmulgee History 1910-1919: Oil Tycoons, Vaudville Performs, and a Metropolis on the Rise
During this time, Okmulgee grew into it is own. Gone had been the days when Okmulgee was referred to as Indian Territory, but fairly, it was now a bustling city filled with alternative. As it was all across the United States, Okmulgee was still a mix of outdated and new. New cars and horse drawn popcorn stands lined the streets of downtown Okmulgee. Outlaws and bandits nonetheless roamed the countryside, while slick suited businessmen bustled around downtown.

Day by day Life in Okmulgee 1910-1919
The town streets had been busy with delivery wagons – ice wagons, little goat drawn wagons the touring photographer had to take pictures of kids, farmer’s wagons, the jewel tea card which smelled of pungent spices, teamsters’ wagons with pipe to the oil fiends and grocery supply wagons. Okmulgee even had a hurdy gurdy man. “He came fully geared up with a music field on a prop pole and somewhat monkey on a chain all dressed up in a crimson and gold go well with with a bit of red cap.

Picnics and outings were the order of the day. One young “social set” took bag and baggage, “together with the choicest edibles of the season and a colored cook to do the handbook labor” and headed out for dripping springs for per week of rollicking within the nation.

The Okmulgee County Courthouse was completed in 1918, with marble partitions and floors. The bonds for the court docket house had been bought to Katie Fixico, a rich Creek Indian, whose house has lengthy housed the restaurant referred to as “The Southern Mansion.”

Many people grew to become Oil tycoons, hitting huge payoffs from local wells. Oil had modified the complexion of the entire nation. Quite a few fields had sprouted around Okmulgee. Okmulgee producers and Refining Firm was organized in 1916. In Okmulgee alone there have been 9 corporations which repaired or manufactured oil area tools.

Okmulgee Timeline 1910-1919
Okmulgee and Coalton Railway (later known as Okmulgee Northern) started laying track to ferry coal between the two cities. Oil and Coal had been major sources of revenue throughout this time and times to come back.

First hospital established in Okmulgee
On April twelfth, after a protracted politic battle, starting with first submission in 1907, the Okmulgee streetcar started running. The automobiles between downtown ran and the Frisco depot. On July 4th, the cars carried over 4000 passengers, at a nickel a journey – to Lambert’s amusement park (Lake Park) at the south finish of Ohio Street.

Poe-Hart gang ended its profession in a shootout in the deep fork bottoms close to old Nuyaka mission.

On February 18th, the primary Okmulgean to enlist in WWI was Lee Raymond Long. He landed in France and on could 28, he took part in the primary American offensive of the battle at Cantigny. Long was shot and killed by German snipers on Could 30 – one of the first casualties of the conflict.

William Howard Taft visits Okmulgee
Petroleum building completed

Okmulgee county courthouse completed.
Women’s suffrage accredited

Dr J.E Bercaw and Docs Berry, Mitchener and Gap based the Okmulgee Clinic, a two story brick building at 319 West fifth.

Oil Production within the county from October to December was forty five,000 barrels a day. Oil refineries had turn out to be large business in the county. Along with oil and coal, there have been four major glass factories in Okmulgee.

Tales of Okmulgee 1910-1919
In 1910, a new inexpensive way to function a theater was introduced in Okmulgee on June four. It was a form of forerunner of the drive-in theater, being roofless, however having 4 partitions. This type of theater was known as an “Air Dome”, and the one in Okmulgee was situated on the west aspect of Morton Avenue across from the Council House. For sure, showings have been held only in the summer, and in good, clear weather.

The Parkinson Hotel
The Parkinson Resort was the results of a joint effort of neighborhood leaders reminiscent of Jim Parkinson, L.S. Skelton, Decide W. W. Witten, and banker David M. Smith.

The Second ground parlor was elaborately furnished in mahogany, carpeted in crimson, and boasted an Everett Grand Piano, while the higher rooms were geared up with a mattress, wardrobe, sizzling and cold water, and a panoramic view of town.

Furnishings for the kitchen price $2,500.00, with chefs, bakers, and assistant cooks being brought from Kansas City, and dining room girls from St. Louis.

A big Visitor
In 1913, William Howard Taft, 27th president of the United States, got here to Henryetta to visit his good friend, W.B. Hudson, father of Jim Hudson. At that time, Hudson lived at the present site of the Dr. W.M. Haynes home. Taft slept in the southeast bedroom. It took a sturdy bed, for Taft weighed 352 pounds at the time.

Ankle Watch Craze Reaches Okmulgee
The Ankle watch, the style craze amongst society ladies of the east, has reached Okmulgee and has started a sensation. The primary look of the ankle watch was on a streetcar yesterday, and was worn by a reasonably Okmulgee lady.

Sporting a new abbreviated skirt and a gold watch clasped about her left ankle, natural gas companies athens ga she boarded a automotive for lake Park yesterday to see the truthful. The automobile was nicely filled with other truthful visitors.

Quickly after she sat down the girl tilted her left foot forward and glanced down on the watch. So did the opposite passengers. When the automotive stopped on the Frisco tracks she took a second look at the watch – and so did the others.

The new ankle watch is designed to supplant the wrist watch, and how far it should go in Okmulgee stays to be seen. Judging from the experience of the girl yesterday the embarrassment of the model shall be its biggest handicap.

Parkinson Offers Courtroom Home Site
The courtroom home matter was given a terrific boost at the moment by the supply by Mr. Parkinson final night of the location identified as the Parkinson site to the county free of value to be used as a site for the proposed new court docket home. The offer was tendered as we speak to the commissioners by brokers of Mr. Parkinson. Of course the commissioners haven’t acted upon the provide as natural gas companies athens ga yet. It is said until some other offer is made which is preferable, which is not thought to be likely, there may be little doubt that the site will be accepted. The lot is on the corner of Seminole and Seventh Street and is 140X150. It’s smaller than the Baker-Aleander lot, however it is said to be the exact dimension of the location on which the Tulsa court house stands. Whereas the Tulsa site is generally complained of as being too small, it is but identified that our court docket house will probably be not byconsiderable so massive a one as Tulsa’s. The location provide by Mr. Parkinson is considered simplifying the court docket home bond proposition drastically.

The primary funding for the Okmulgee County Court docket House was furnished by an Indian lady – Katie Fixico. Initially, it was to have been a four story, white stone structure with a six-sided dome centered on the roof and 4 clocks going through each of the four instructions. Plans were changed, nonetheless, in favor of the present structure. The Court House was devoted in 1918, two months after William Howard Taft visited Okmulgee.

The Orpheum Theater
The next data is from Special thanks to Symco for his great analysis.

“The Orpheum opened Aug. 23, 1920. The opening picture, referred to as a photoplay at the moment, was “Eyes of Youth”, with Clara Kimball Younger. Also featured on the opening program was a pipe organ live performance, and a 12-unit stage present produced by the Vanderbilt College Glee Club of Nashville, TN.

“Development began in 1919, which is the date on the cornerstone, however it truly opened in 1920. It was constructed by L. H. D Cook, and its title initially was the Cook Theatre, which is in raised terra cotta at the top of the facade. CT, for Cook Theatre, is repeated on small terra shields over poster frames in the foyer, and can be on an oval shield at the top of the proscenium arch.

“Orpheum Vaudeville was featured, and inside two months of opening, Mr. Cook was using both the Orpheum and Cook names in parallel, with the title ‘Cook’ in smaller print. In lower than a 12 months, he formally changed the theatre’s name to the Orpheum, and put in an elaborate new double-sided electric signal with the name ‘Orpheum’ in brilliant incandescent lights, beneath a crown of lights often known as waterburst lighting. The waterburst impact was produced by a motorized electromechanical flasher housed in a steel cabinet contained in the constructing.

“According to a retired stagehand, the primary stage curtain opened both vertically, and facet-to-aspect, using a curtain motor that flew. Conversion from stage to display may very well be performed in 45 seconds.

“Possession of the theatre was separated from possession of the building, and Griffith Brothers Theatres, which advanced into Griffith Amusement Co. and then into Video Impartial Theatres, purchased the theatre, ca. 1924. Keith/Albee/Orpheum never owned it. The constructing was sold in tiny fractional pursuits to Greek people, many of whom lived in Greece, and did not pay their share of taxes or upkeep. It took several years, and the assistance of the Greek ambassador, to consolidate the fractured possession.

“Martin Theatres received it in 1982 by absorbing the Video Theatres circuit. Martin was quickly re-named Carmike Cinemas, who operated it into 1991. An unbiased operator bought the theatre from Carmike, after which purchased the constructing from the landlord.

“Video Theatres enclosed the balcony and converted it into two theatres in 1974.
“As to architectural options which might be coated, sometimes a new treasure is found. The most recent discovery was two circular plaster embellishments within the plain portion of the ceiling that was over low cost seats in the upper balcony, and is now covered by a suspended ceiling.

“The stays of higher orchestra box seats have been found behind false plaster partitions at the side of the stage. The false partitions have been eliminated, and destroyed decorative plaster was reconstructed by a retired Hollywood craftsman.”

Architect: Leon B. Senter
Style: Spanish Baroque Revival
Seats: Initially 1200; now 550.
Date of Opening: 1920
Screens: 2 – Its balcony was enclosed in 1974 for the second screen.
Ownership: Impartial
Function: In industrial operation, playing first-run motion pictures

Click here to learn all the information in regards to the Orpheum Theater.
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sendingJoyce Godwin Grubbs three years ago
As Okmulgee is my hometown I at all times love studying extra about it. I actually loved the supplies of this text. Though I moved away after grade faculty, in my adult life I selected to find some of the suspense novels I wrote in Morris and Okmulgee. You never forget your roots and so they actually do influence your life’s path.

Jim 5 years ago
Does anyone know which architect designed the golf course on the Okmulgee Country Club I do know that Bobby Jones and Chick Evans played an exhibition match at its opening in 1920. They wouldn’t have come to play just any course. Based on the unique 9 gap structure, it appeared like a Perry Maxwell but research does not show this.

AuthorEric Standridge 6 years ago from Wister, Oklahoma

I did a short search through what I need to see if I may discover something, however did not come up with anything but.

To verify, the right spelling of the corporate is “Barnsdal” and not “Barnsdall” I was able to find references to both in Okmulgee, but I am unsure if it’s a mis-spelling or not. So as to search out old pictures, I’ll must know more about the corporate. I discovered references to “Barnsdal Oil Corporation”, is that this the right identify of the company Additionally, you probably have any NILS(Nationwide Built-in Land System) information then that might assist.

I discovered a couple links that will assist:… (Search the page for “Barnsdal” (Search for identical – contains presidents names that offered help to overseas oil wells. Many instances, by looking out the persons title for photographs you can come across photos of places they visited/worked)

Those had been the only two stable leads I found on the “Barnsdal Oil Corp.”, but again, I am not sure of the right spelling.

A couple assets to try:
First, as all the time, test the Okmulgee Genealogical Society for information. Many occasions they have previous records not found wherever else.

Second, and this is where I get a large majority of leads, search by Google Books ( for any related information. There were a number of previous Oil and Gasoline Journals from the early 1900’s that mentioned Okmulgee oil fields/companies. Most of these old journals embrace photos. If you could find the precise date that the company was started in Okmulgee, then they need to have an image in that years journal.

Third, search the Google information archive ( This brings up outdated newspapers/articles/court paperwork that were revealed previously. For example, go to that page and sort in “Okmulgee”, then click on on “1900”, that will zoom in to the years 1900 to 1920. Click again on one of many years and that can zoom in additional. Many times, these previous archives hold the important thing to discovering what you are searching for.

Many times, especially in the early 1900’s, things weren’t all the time as they appeared to be. While looking for data on completely different articles, I’ve needed to try a hundred alternative ways until I found what I was on the lookout for.

Hopefully this helps, at the least natural gas companies athens ga somewhat. I will keep a watch out for any information I can discover – one never is aware of when a brand new, fascinating story can develop.

I want you the perfect!
Janice (Kinser) DeRamus 6 years ago

I used to be raised on the “Previous Barnsdal Refinery Property” South of Okmulgee. I’m attempting to locate an image of this Refinery. Does anybody have a picture of it, or know of someone who may need one. Thanks

AuthorEric Standridge 7 years ago from Wister, Oklahoma
Harmon, I did have slightly information, but it was all lost through the transfer. I ran across her name several instances whereas at the Okmulgee geneological center though. I would recommend giving them a visit (or a call, if it is too far away) and they’d be capable to inform you more than I may.

Good luck with it!
harmonfam4 7 years ago

Do you have any more data on Katie Fixico I did a google search and found she was additionally referred to as Freeman, but could not discover every other background or historical past.