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The Broken Arrow Ledger
Broken Arrow, Indian Territory. (Tulsa Co, OK)
Vol 3 No 41
January 25, 1906 (Part 1)
Abstracted / Transcribed by Linda Haas Davenport
I only have the front page of this issue.
When the print is so faded that it cannot be read <.....> will be used . All transcription will be as found in the paper, misspellings and all
Page 1, columns 1 & 2
JUST A LITTLE INFORMATION About Indian Territory and the Creek Nation, and Especially Broken Arrow- Her Business and Residence Houses, Her People and Her Great Opportunities for Future Advancement and Prosperity.
Indian Territory has been aptly and properly named "The Coming Country." Throughout the northern and eastern states the superior advantages of Indian Territory are daily becoming better known and understood. People are learning that "the coming country" is populated with civilized, intelligent, educated and industrious people instead of with blanket Indians, carrying the tomahawk and scalping knife.
The natives of Indian Territory are principally Cherokees, Creeks, Seminoles, Choctaws and Chickasawa, and these constitute the five civilized tribes of which mention is so often made. Each of these five tribes has long maintained a legislative, executive and judicial department of government very similar to our national or state governments, but, according to treaties made between the United States and the various five civilized tribes each of these five tribal governments will expire March 4, 1906, and at that time all members of these tribes will become citizens of the United States
As is well known to every careful reader of the newspapers, one of the dominate issues before Congress today is the admission of Indian Territory to statehood in some manner, and there is truly much reason to hope for a favorable action by Congress along this line.
In Indian Territory are two classes of native citizens. One, and by far the larger class, is the Indians. The other is known as "freedmen." This latter class is composed of the negroes and their descendents who were brought into the Territory as slaves by Indians when the latter were moved here from the southern states. Until recent years all lands in Indian Territory were held in common, but in order to satisfactorily settle up their affairs, arrangements were made for the allotting, or deeding, to each Indian and freedman, man, woman and child, a certain amount of land. In the Creek nation the amount each receives is one hundred and sixty acres. In the allotting of this land it was provided that it could not be sold during a specified time. This is what is known as "the restrictions.' At this time Congressman Curtis of Kansas, has a measure before congress providing for the removal of these restrictions on Indian lands, under certain provisions, and he confidently asserts that the bill will become a law in time to permit the Indians to give warranty title to their lands by the time their tribal governments shall expire on March 4, 1906. Already such a measure has been passed by Congress regarding the freedmen, and these lands to which warranty title can be given are selling at prices ranging from $10 to $50 per acre, according to improvements, distance from town, etc.
Owing to the fact that the Creeks have had their lands divided among themselves longer than the other tribes as well as to the remarkable fertility of the soil and the healthfulness and mildness of the climate, this nation is better cultivated and populated than any of the others. Ever since their lands were allotted to them they have been permitted to lease or rent them, consequently this nation is in a good state of cultivation, and today a very large majority of the population is white.
Throughout this "coming country" during the past few years many new towns have sprung up almost as if by magic, and, among all these, not one has grown more rapidly or substantially than Broken Arrow. It is located on the Tulsa division of the Katy railroad,
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thirty-seven miles northwest of Muskogee. It is in the center of vast area of the best agricultural lands in Indian Territory. Its trade area covering a large scope of both the Arkansas and Verdigris river valleys. It is healthfully and picturesquely located near the foot of a gigantic mound which stands, sentinel like, as if watching over her destinies. From the top of this mound one can look in any direction for miles over as attractive and promising a country as ever the dews of heaven dampened or the sun of ages brightened.
<Center of the page photo: Main Street, Broken Arrow, Oct 16, 1905 on date of her Third Anniversary. By courtesy of Strum's Statehood Magazine, Tulsa, I.T.>
Broken Arrow was plotted in the autumn of 1902, by the Arkansas Valley Townsite Company, and at a later date the members of this company proved their interest in the town by opening the Arkansas Valley National Bank of this city. The first building ever erected in Broken Arrow was begun October 16, 1902, and from the very first the town has grown with a rapidity far exceeding the expectations of anyone. It stands today a beautiful and compact little city of fully two thousand human souls. Most of the business houses are brick and at this time numerous brick business houses are under- construction. In Broken Arrow there are more handsome and attractive residences than in any other town of its age in the Creek nation. The illustrations contained herein will give the reader a hint, if not an idea, of the kind of buildings which have been erected here.
In the conclusion of this article we wish to urge every person who desires to seek a more equable climate, whether from the heat or the cold, a healthful climate, a country in which crop failures are unknown, a country where northern and southern crops are grown with equal certainty, a country where fuel is so cheap as to be a secondary consideration, a. country where fruits and vegetables and flowers, and in fact everything, grows in a profusion and abundance unsurpassed anywhere, come to Broken Arrow before locating and investigate for yourself whether the statements contained herein are true. We invite you to come and visit us and sincerely hope this invitation may be accepted.
OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS. The Pride of Our Town and the Wonder of All Strangers Who Visit Us.
In every age and in every clime other things being equal or even nearly so, the education intellect is the one which has superiority over its more unfortunate competitor. This is a proposition amounting almost to an axiom, and the truth of which few indeed will attempt to even dispute. Since we must admit the truth of this expression, how vitally important it should be to every parent, to every brother or sister, yes, to every person endowed with an intellect, to do every reasonable thing within his power for the development of the human intellect, and particularly for the advancement of those unfortunate young people whose only crime is a poverty into which they were thrust at birth, without any choice or volition of their own. And what a blessing it is for the sympathetic soul to be surrounded with a class of humanity in whom this thought is everywhere predominant.
The first free public school ever conducted in Broken Arrow was under tutilage of P. J. Staggs as principal and Mrs. M. H. Wertz as assistant. Mr. Staggs occupied the Methodist church and Mrs. Wertz another building. The funds for conducting this school were provided by voluntary contributions to a public school fund and the ladies school aid society provided seats, for which they paid by giving public entertainments.
The first public school was held during the winter of 1903 and the people began at once began to consider various plans for relieving this condition of affairs. The first plan was that when
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<Photo spanning columns 4 & 5: Broken Arrow's Public School Building>
the tax levy was made for 1904 it was made as heavy as the law would permit, and practically all the amount thus raised was placed in the public school fund and with this fund in the treasury a contract was let for the erection of a two-story, four-room brick school building, the contract price being $4,343. In order to meet operating and other expenses it was necessary to have about $1,500 additional, and this amount the public-spirited citizens of the town who had he means loaned to the district until the condition of its finances would improve.
About this time our little city was especially fortunate in securing for principal Prof. G. W. Horton, about who a few words dropped in parenthentically at this time would be entirely appropriate. Prof. Horton was graduated some years since from Doane College with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Since that time he has taken special work in sciences in the biological laboratory under the direction of the University of Illinois. He has been teaching nineteen years during which time he was in the public schools of Kansas and Illinois and for a time held the chair of languages in the Salisburg, Mo., Academy. With his natural ability and acquired talent Prof. Horton was exactly the proper man for our emergency.
Our second free public school was supported by taxation and Prof. Horton was assisted at first by Misses Talbot, Sullivan and Burch, and later Miss Lacy was added to the faculty, and still later Miss Dalton was employed in order to relieve the congestion.
During this term of school Prof. Horton saw the necessity of something being done to furnish more room for the next school and in
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searching for a way out of the difficulty he discovered a statue which provided that towns under 2,000 population could vote bonds for school purposes with the approval of the secretary of the interior. As the general statutes do not permit towns of less than 2,000 to vote bonds, this discovery was indeed a great relief to our people and at the spring election of 1905 the proposition for $7,500 bonded indebtedness was submitted to our people and carried, this being the only indebtedness now outstanding.
At the present time our faculty consists of Prof. Horton, Mr. Esslinger, and Misses Sullivan, Dalton, Spurr, Lacy and Talbot, and a more competent complement of teachers it would be difficult to procure.
THE CHURCHES. Two Splendid Church Edifices, and Several Organizations Will Soon Build.
The refinement and<tear & crease in paper covers about 3 lines of type> religious organizations. Secret societies and social clubs each perform a very important part in the social fabric of a community, lending color, as it were, to it, but the warp and the woof of the fabric are made up of the religious societies. Remove the religious organizations and free public schools from a community and that community has absolutely no foundation on which to build a desirable society.
Broken Arrow is singularly fortunate in this respect. Though but thirty-six short months have scarcely passed she has today seven religious organizations and nearly if not quite all of them have their attendant church societies. The seven churches now organized are the Methodist Episcopal, the Methodist Episcopal South, the Christian, the Presbyterian, the Baptist, the Adventist and the Catholic. The two former each have attractive and commodious edifices, and most of the others have purchased sites but do not feel quite strong enough to yet incur the expense of erecting suitable buildings. It is with much pride and gratification that we are enabled to give our readers a half-toned view of each of the two houses of worship now being occupied.
<Photo on the right: Methodist Episcopal Church, on the left - Methodist Episcopal Church South>
This Issue Complete
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