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Historic Okmulgee: How Oil Tycoons Created Considered one of Oklahoma’s Wealthiest Towns

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Historic Okmulgee: How Oil Tycoons Created one among Oklahoma’s Wealthiest Towns
Updated on October eleven, 2017 Eric Standridge moreContact Writer Okmulgee’s history is wealthy with each triumph and tragedy. From the rebirth of the Creek Indian and the numerous state changing choices made in Creek Counsel House, to the tragedies of the great Depression, this series will define the important thing events that introduced this small town nationwide prestige. Before you leave, be sure to take a look at the other pages within the Okmulgee History sequence.

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Okmulgee Historical past 1910-1919: Oil Tycoons, Vaudville Plays, and a Metropolis on the Rise
Throughout this time, Okmulgee grew into it’s own. Gone had been the times when Okmulgee was known as Indian Territory, but fairly, it was now a bustling town filled with opportunity. Because it was all across the United States, Okmulgee was nonetheless a mix of old and new. New cars and horse drawn popcorn stands lined the streets of downtown Okmulgee. Outlaws and bandits still roamed the countryside, while slick suited businessmen bustled round downtown.

Day by day Life in Okmulgee 1910-1919
The city streets were busy with delivery wagons – ice wagons, little goat drawn wagons the traveling photographer had to take footage of youngsters, farmer’s wagons, the jewel tea card which smelled of pungent spices, teamsters’ wagons with pipe to the oil fiends and grocery delivery wagons. Okmulgee even had a hurdy gurdy man. “He came fully geared up with a music field on a prop pole and just a little monkey on a series all dressed up in a red and gold swimsuit with just a little pink cap.

Picnics and outings have been the order of the day. One young “social set” took bag and baggage, “together with the choicest edibles of the season and a coloured cook to do the manual labor” and headed out for dripping springs for every week of rollicking in the country.

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

Many individuals grew to become Oil tycoons, hitting large payoffs from local wells. Oil had changed the complexion of the entire nation. Numerous fields had sprouted round Okmulgee. Okmulgee producers and Refining Firm was organized in 1916. In Okmulgee alone there have been 9 companies which repaired or manufactured oil discipline tools.

Okmulgee Timeline 1910-1919
Okmulgee and Coalton Railway (later generally known as Okmulgee Northern) started laying monitor to ferry coal between the 2 cities. Oil and Coal have been major sources of earnings throughout this time and times to come back.

First hospital established in Okmulgee
On April 12th, after a protracted politic battle, starting with first submission in 1907, the Okmulgee streetcar began operating. The vehicles between downtown ran and the Frisco depot. On July 4th, the cars carried over 4000 passengers, at a nickel a trip – to Lambert’s amusement park (Lake Park) on the south end of Ohio Avenue.

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

On February 18th, the primary Okmulgean to enlist in WWI was Lee Raymond Long. He landed in France and on may 28, he took half in the first American offensive of the warfare at Cantigny. Long was shot and killed by German snipers on May 30 – one in all the first casualties of the war.

William Howard Taft visits Okmulgee
Petroleum constructing accomplished

Okmulgee county courthouse completed.
Women’s suffrage approved

Dr J.E Bercaw and Doctors Berry, Mitchener and Gap founded the Okmulgee Clinic, a two story brick constructing at 319 West 5th.

Oil Manufacturing within the county from October to December was forty five,000 barrels a day. Oil refineries had turn into big enterprise within the county. In addition to oil and coal, there were four major glass factories in Okmulgee.

Stories of Okmulgee 1910-1919
In 1910, a new inexpensive solution to function a theater was launched in Okmulgee on June four. It was a form of forerunner of the drive-in theater, being roofless, however having four walls. The sort of theater was referred to as an “Air Dome”, and the one in Okmulgee was situated on the west side of Morton Avenue across from the Council Home. Evidently, showings have been held solely in the summer season, and in good, clear weather.

The Parkinson Lodge
The Parkinson Resort was the results of a joint effort of group leaders comparable to 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 purple, and boasted an Everett Grand Piano, whereas the upper rooms have been geared up with a bed, wardrobe, hot and chilly water, and a panoramic view of town.

Furnishings for the kitchen value $2,500.00, with chefs, bakers, and assistant cooks being introduced from Kansas City, and dining room women from St. Louis.

A giant Visitor
In 1913, William Howard Taft, twenty seventh president of the United States, got here to Henryetta to go to his buddy, W.B. Hudson, father of Jim Hudson. At that time, Hudson lived at the present site of the Dr. W.M. Haynes residence. Taft slept within the southeast bedroom. It took a sturdy bed, for Taft weighed 352 pounds on the time.

Ankle Watch Craze Reaches Okmulgee
The Ankle watch, the fashion craze among society girls of the east, has reached Okmulgee and has started a sensation. The first appearance of the ankle watch was on a streetcar yesterday, and was worn by a fairly Okmulgee girl.

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

Soon after she sat down the girl tilted her left foot ahead and glanced down on the watch. So did the opposite passengers. When the automobile stopped at the Frisco tracks she took a re-assessment at the watch – and so did the others.

The brand new ankle watch is designed to supplant the wrist watch, and the way far it will go in Okmulgee stays to be seen. Judging southern petrochemical industries corporation chennai from the experience of the girl yesterday the embarrassment of the style will probably be its biggest handicap.

Parkinson Provides Court docket Home Site
The court house matter was given an incredible increase immediately by the offer by Mr. Parkinson final evening of the positioning recognized because the Parkinson site to the county free of cost to be used as a site for the proposed new courtroom house. The offer was tendered immediately to the commissioners by agents of Mr. Parkinson. Of course the commissioners have not acted upon the supply as yet. It is claimed until some other supply is made which is preferable, which isn’t thought to be likely, there may be little doubt that the location will probably be accepted. The lot is at the nook of Seminole and Seventh Street and is 140X150. It is smaller than the Baker-Aleander lot, but it is said to be the precise measurement of the positioning on which the Tulsa court home stands. Whereas the Tulsa site is generally complained of as being too small, it’s but identified that our courtroom home can be not byconsiderable so massive a one as Tulsa’s. The site supply by Mr. Parkinson is regarded as simplifying the courtroom home bond proposition tremendously.

The first funding for the Okmulgee County Court House was furnished by an Indian woman – Katie Fixico. Initially, it was to have been a four story, white stone structure with a six-sided dome centered on the roof and four clocks dealing with every of the 4 directions. Plans had been changed, nevertheless, in favor of the current structure. The Courtroom House was devoted in 1918, two months after William Howard Taft visited Okmulgee.

The Orpheum Theater
The following information is from Special thanks to Symco for his great research.

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

“Construction started in 1919, which is the date on the cornerstone, however it really opened in 1920. It was built by L. H. D Cook, and its name initially was the Cook Theatre, which is in raised terra cotta at the highest of the facade. CT, for Cook Theatre, is repeated on small terra shields over poster frames in the lobby, and can be on an oval shield at the highest of the proscenium arch.

“Orpheum Vaudeville was featured, and within two months of opening, Mr. Cook was using each the Orpheum and Cook names in parallel, with the title ‘Cook’ in smaller print. In less than a yr, he officially changed the theatre’s name to the Orpheum, and put in an elaborate new double-sided electric sign with the name ‘Orpheum’ in shiny incandescent lights, beneath a crown of lights referred to as waterburst lighting. The waterburst impact was produced by a motorized electromechanical flasher housed in a steel cabinet inside the building.

“In line with a retired stagehand, the primary stage curtain opened each vertically, and facet-to-side, using a curtain motor that flew. Conversion from stage to display may very well be completed in forty five seconds.

“Possession of the theatre was separated from possession of the building, and Griffith Brothers Theatres, which evolved into Griffith Amusement Co. and then into Video Impartial Theatres, bought the theatre, ca. 1924. Keith/Albee/Orpheum never owned it. The constructing was offered in tiny fractional interests to Greek folks, many of whom lived in Greece, and didn’t pay their share of taxes or upkeep. It took several years, and the help of the Greek ambassador, to consolidate the fractured possession.

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

“Video Theatres enclosed the balcony and transformed it into two theatres in 1974.
“As to architectural options which can be covered, occasionally a brand new treasure is found. The latest discovery was two circular plaster embellishments within the plain portion of the ceiling that was over cheap seats in the higher balcony, and is now lined by a suspended ceiling.

“The remains of upper orchestra field seats were discovered behind false plaster partitions in conjunction with the stage. The false partitions have been removed, and destroyed decorative plaster was reconstructed by a retired Hollywood craftsman.”

Architect: Leon B. Senter
Model: Spanish Baroque Revival
Seats: Initially 1200; now 550.
Date of Opening: 1920
Screens: 2 – Its balcony was enclosed in 1974 for the second display screen.
Ownership: Independent
Function: In commercial operation, taking part in first-run films

Click on here to read all the data about the Orpheum Theater.
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sendingJoyce Godwin Grubbs 3 years ago
As Okmulgee is my hometown I all the time love studying more about it. I definitely loved the supplies of this article. Though I moved away after grade college, in my grownup life I selected to locate among the suspense novels I wrote in Morris and Okmulgee. You never forget your roots and so they certainly do affect your life’s path.

Jim 5 years in the past
Does anybody know which architect designed southern petrochemical industries corporation chennai the golf course at southern petrochemical industries corporation chennai the Okmulgee Nation Membership I know that Bobby Jones and Chick Evans performed an exhibition match at its opening in 1920. They wouldn’t have come to play just any course. Based mostly on the unique 9 hole structure, it looked like a Perry Maxwell however research doesn’t present this.

AuthorEric Standridge 6 years ago from Wister, Oklahoma

I did a short search by means of what I must see if I might find anything, however did not provide you with anything but.

To confirm, the proper spelling of the company is “Barnsdal” and never “Barnsdall” I was capable of finding references to each in Okmulgee, but I am not sure if it is a mis-spelling or not. In order to search out outdated photographs, I am going to must know more about the corporate. I discovered references to “Barnsdal Oil Company”, is this the right name of the company Additionally, you probably have any NILS(Nationwide Integrated Land System) knowledge then that would help.

I found a pair hyperlinks which will assist:… (Search the web page for “Barnsdal” (Search for identical – includes presidents names that supplied assistance to overseas oil wells. Many instances, by looking out the persons name for images you may come across pictures of places they visited/labored)

Those had been the one two strong leads I found on the “Barnsdal Oil Corp.”, however again, I’m unsure of the correct spelling.

A pair sources to strive:
First, as always, examine the Okmulgee Genealogical Society for info. Many occasions they have outdated records not discovered anywhere else.

Second, and that is the place I get a large majority of leads, search by way of Google Books ( for any associated information. There were a number of outdated Oil and Gas Journals from the early 1900’s that talked about Okmulgee oil fields/companies. Most of those old journals embody footage. If you will discover the precise date that the corporate was began in Okmulgee, then they should have a picture in that years journal.

Third, search the Google information archive ( This brings up old newspapers/articles/courtroom paperwork that were revealed beforehand. For example, go to that web page and kind in “Okmulgee”, then click on on “1900”, that may zoom in to the years 1900 to 1920. Click on again on one of many years and that may zoom in additional. Many occasions, these outdated archives hold the key to finding what you are on the lookout for.

Many occasions, especially in the early 1900’s, issues weren’t all the time as they appeared Point to be. While looking for info on totally different articles, I’ve needed to strive a hundred other ways until I found what I used to be on the lookout for.

Hopefully this helps, at the least somewhat. I’ll keep an eye out for any data I can discover – one never is aware of when a new, fascinating story can develop.

I wish you the most effective!
Janice (Kinser) DeRamus 6 years in the past

I was raised on the “Outdated Barnsdal Refinery Property” South of Okmulgee. I am trying to locate an image of this Refinery. Does anybody have a picture of it, or know of somebody who may need one. Thanks

AuthorEric Standridge 7 years ago from Wister, Oklahoma
Harmon, I did have slightly info, nevertheless it was all lost through the transfer. I ran throughout her title a number of occasions whereas at the Okmulgee geneological heart though. I’d recommend giving them a go to (or a name, if it’s too far away) they usually’d be capable to tell you greater than I could.

Good luck with it!
harmonfam4 7 years in the past

Do you could have any more info on Katie Fixico I did a google search and found she was additionally known as Freeman, however could not find any other background or historical past.


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