Claremore – May 16, 1919

Third Street, aka Will Rogers Boulevard, and Cherokee Avenue, Looking West. Claremore, Oklahoma. Postcard.


“The following eulogy of Claremore was issued from the printing plant of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce booster train last Saturday on its visit to this place:

“Claremore, one of the thriving most progressive cities in this part of Oklahoma, is located almost in the center of Rogers County, of which it is the county seat. Being located in a broad valley it is circuited in by one of the best agricultural sections of the state, and this accounts, in a measure, for Claremore’s exceptional prosperity. In addition to her agricultural regions, Claremore lies adjacent to one of the largest oil and gas fields west of the Mississippi river.

“One of the things for which Claremore is best known is her wonderful Radium (so-called) water which, we are informed is one of the best panaceas for a great many of the ills to which the human family seems to be heir. Claremore is visited every year by thousands of sufferers from stomach troubles, rheumatism, etc., and we are informed continued use of this water results in better health for those using it.

“Headed by her famous Military Academy, Claremore has one of the best and most thoroughly organized public school systems of any city of like size to be found in the State of Oklahoma. Her citizens being progressive and up-to-date, public improvements have not been neglected and we understand many extensive additions to her public improvements are being planned and we are informed will soon be under way.

“We congratulate Claremore not only on her prosperity, but on the fact that her high standard of citizenship and her fortunate location presages a wonderful commercial growth and development for the future.”. [1]

[1] Claremore Messenger (Claremore, Okla.), Vol. 24, No. 22, Ed. 1 Friday, May 16, 1919. ( The Gateway to Oklahoma History,; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.


Simon Speaks Dies at the City Jail

1916 – “Sentence of Two Years Passed and Then Suspended. District Judge W.J. Campbell sentenced James McKinney and Simon Speaks, Tuesday to serve two years in the state penitentiary at McAlester for the robbery of the Own Drug Store recently. The boys entered a plea of guilty, but as they were both under 21 years of age their sentences were suspended until the first day of the next term of court, pending good behavior.”[1]

1917 – “Charley Starr and Simon Speaks drove some cattle to Claremore Saturday.”[2]

“Simon Speaks, arrested Wednesday night on a charge of intoxication, died at the city jail Thursday morning. An autopsy was held and the stomach and heart removed and sent to Oklahoma City for an analysis to determine the cause of his death.

1919 – “Speaks was a single man about 20 years of age and for some time made his home with the Rollen family.”[3]

“Coroner’s Jury Hears Report. The coroner’s jury, having under consideration the death of Simon Speaks, met Monday morning and received the report of the state chemist regarding a chemical analysis of Speaks’ heart and stomach. The report showed nothing suspicious found and the jury was dismissed. Justice J.H. Braden presided over the jury.

“Speaks, it will be remembered, died in the city jail Wednesday night, May 14, after having been put in on account of intoxication. Fearing foul play and autopsy was held and the heart and stomach of the deceased removed and sent to the state Bacteriological Society for examination.”[4]

Source: Oklahoma newspapers are sourced through  The Gateway to Oklahoma History,; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.

[1] Kates, W. C. Claremore Progress. And Rogers County Democrat (Claremore, Okla.), Vol. 24, No. 15, Ed. 1 Thursday, May 18, 1916.( 

[2] Kates, W. C. The Claremore Progress (Claremore, Okla.), Vol. 25, No. 19, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 7, 1917. (

[3] Kates, W. C. The Claremore Progress (Claremore, Okla.), Vol. 27, No. 18, Ed. 1 Thursday, May 22, 1919.(

[4]Kates, W. C. The Claremore Progress (Claremore, Okla.), Vol. 27, No. 19, Ed. 1 Thursday, May 29, 1919.(

The Passing of the Highly-Esteemed Francis Catherine Vincent – May 10, 1900

“Mrs. Francis Catherine Vincent, relict of Geo. W. Vincent, died at the residence of her son, Houston, near here Thursday morning, at 4:30 o’clock, of a cancerous tumor in the stomach. The deceased was born in Monroe county Tennessee, and was in her 70th year, having been a faithful member of the Lutheran Church for fifty-five years. She emigrated to this country with eight of her children three years ago this June, leaving one son in Tennessee. She was held in high esteem by a large circle of friends, and the family has the sincere sympathy of all. Funeral services took place yesterday morning at the Baptist Church, and interment was made at the city cemetery.”[i]

[i] The Claremore Progress. (Claremore, Indian Terr.), Vol. 8, No. 4, Ed. 1 Saturday, May 12, 1900.( The Gateway to Oklahoma History,; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.

Perhaps Emily Catherine Cook Vincent. Birth 25 Oct 1830. Death 10 May 1900 (aged 69). Burial Woodlawn Cemetery, Claremore, Rogers County, Oklahoma. Spouse George Washington Vincent (1822 – 1892) m. 1846. Children: 9 listed including …. Ida Florence Vincent Gray (1870 – 1904).

Remembering Mrs. P.T. Rummage – May 4, 1935

“Mrs. P.T. Rummage Dies Very Suddenly – One of Good Mothers of City; Was Thought To be On the Road To Recovery.

“Mrs. P.T. Rummage passed away at Mayo Brothers’ hospital, Rochester, Minn., at 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon (May 4, 1935). Funeral services will be held at the Christian church Wednesday afternoon at 2 o’clock, conducted by Rev. James Miller. Interment will be made in Woodlawn.

“Mrs. Rummage’s death was very sudden, coming at a time when it was believed she was improving and might be able to return home shortly, at least for a time.

“She was one of the good mothers of this city, an active worker in the Christian church, which she joined 47 years ago. In fact, when her health failed, she formed a Sunday school class at her home and each Sunday morning, faithfully taught the word of God. She will be missed in Claremore.

“She leaves to mourn her loss, a husband; mother, Mrs. Oscar Yates; five children, Mrs. Pauline Miller, Perry, Jr., Ted, Don, and Margie, all of Claremore; three brothers, Lem, Joe, and Leyton Yates, city; four sisters, Mrs. Rena Truett, of Kansas City, Mo.; Mrs. Pearl Coney, and Mrs. Mary Tiller, of Los Angeles, Cal., and Mrs. Tom Graves, of Claremore.”[i]

Rhoda Yates Rummage. Birth 1885. Death 1935 (aged 49-50). Burial Woodlawn Cemetery, Claremore, Rogers County, Oklahoma. Plot CP1-A.-L4.4E.

[i] The Claremore Daily Progress (Claremore, Oklahoma). Monday, May 6, 1935. P.1.

“Claremore” by D.C. Gideon, written 1901

“This city practically occupies its second location, the first being almost three miles east of the celebrated battle ground where Chief Claremore was killed in one of the numerous battles fought between the Osage and Cherokee Indians. John Bullett first built a store near the farm of Judge Starr, in a settlement composed mainly of mixed bloods, among whom were Major D.W. Lipe, Watt Starr, John Cobb and A.H. Norwood. Cobb and Norwood also started stores, and Major Lipe built a blacksmith shop. The stage route from Vinita to Albuquerque, New Mexico, passed the store of A.H. Norwood, and in his store a post office was established, with himself the postmaster.

“In 1880, Major Lipe moved his goods nearer his farm, and two years later and exodus from old Claremore began, as the railroad pushing westward offered superior advantages to the merchant. After several locations had been made inside the present limits of the city, the Cherokee nation caused the town to be surveyed, named and platted.

“The first resident was A.H Norwood, who built a home on the site now occupied by Nancy Chambers’ residence. Joe Chambers and his son Teece erected the first store, on a lot fronting the Frisco depot, on the east side of the railroad. Walter Evans put up a drug store. Dr. C.P. Linn and Dr. George A. McBride, both fresh from medical colleges, hung out their sign, and Mrs. Mary Creighton built and opened a hotel. Joseph L. Gibbs, Sr., built a blacksmith shop. John M. Beard started a livery stable, with two horses and a hack, and the same year George Eaton erected the large livery barn that still stands on Main street. John Bullett built a store where the First National Bank now stands, and also moved his original residence from old Claremore to the new town. It is still habitable after its long journey, and stands across the street from Mr. Bullett’s present palatial home. The first religious services were held on the platform of the Frisco depot, and the first church erected was called the Union Church and School, but the Presbyterians later secured possession and took charge of the school

“The first brick store was built by George Eaton, now known as the Foley building.

“Claremore was first incorporated under the Cherokee law: A.H. Norwood, mayor; under the reincorporation, 1898. John M. Beard was the first city marshal. At the first election only sixteen votes were polled for mayor. John M. Taylor, Jr., was the first appointed Indian in the Territory as United States civil commissioner, with notary power for the western district of Arkansas and the Indian Territory. His jurisdiction extended over five hundred square miles! He was one of Claremore’s early postmasters, and is yet a resident attorney.

“The first newspaper established in Claremore was The Progress, whose editor and manager was the noted Joe Kline, now one of the star attractions with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. The paper was later purchased by A.L. Kates, who made it a paying venture from the start. The Claremore Progress is now in its eighth year, and its editor and manager in October 1900 purchased the plant and good will of the Claremore Courier, its opponent, and no town in the nation of the size of Claremore has a better paper, or one more ably edited than the Progress since the consolidation.

“Claremore has some of the most wealthy citizens of the nation as residents, and has ever been noted as one of the most hospitable places in the Cherokee country. It is delightfully located on two great trunk lines of railroad, the St. Louis & San Francisco and the Missouri Pacific, with outlet to all the great markets of the world.

“Among the residents of Claremore are several members of the Territorial bar who have won honors in the profession of law. We mention from personal knowledge E.S. Bessey, the present postmaster; William M. Hall, of Kansas; Joe M. LaHay, the present mayor and a Cherokee by blood; A.M. Calloway, of Missouri; John M. Taylor Jr., a former postmaster, a native of North Carolina; C.B. Todd, of Arkansas; W.H. Edmunson, formerly the editor of the Courier, who is a native-born Ohioan; and Judge Harry Jennings, of London, England.”

SOURCE: Indian Territory Descriptive Biographical and Genealogical Including the Landed Estates, County Seats, etc. etc. With a General History of the Territory. by D.C. Gideon. The Lewis Publishing Co., New York. 1901. p. 166-168.

Remembering John A. Bell – 1886 – 1952

“Services For John A. Bell Wednesday – One of Claremore’s pioneer businessmen, John A. Bell, who opened a popcorn stand in Claremore over 40 years ago and later became one of the city’s largest real estate holders died in a local hospital Sunday afternoon following a lengthy illness.

“Mr. Bell, who was 76, came to Claremore in 1909 to open a sidewalk popcorn stand on the corner of Third street and Missouri avenue. He later opened a larger stand, then operated a billiard parlor, a café and a confectionery before buying the building at the corner of Third street and Cherokee avenue where he has operated Bell’s confectionery since that time.

“His first venture into real estate was the purchase of the Belvedere [sic] apartments, the largest apartment building in the city. About eight years ago he built the first of four new apartment buildings in the same block as the Belvedere [sic].

“Before coming to Claremore, Mr. Bell worked in a bank in Manhattan, Kans.: operated a laundry in Neosho, Mo.; and had popcorn stands in Joplin, Mo., and Miami, Okla.

“Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning in the Musgrove funeral chapel. Rev. Davis Cecil will conduct the services and burial will be in Woodlawn cemetery.

“Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Anna W. Bell of the home; two sons, Ferris H. Bell, Oklahoma City, and Wayne Bell, Los Angeles, Calif.; three daughters: Mrs. Raymond Robertson, Oklahoma City, Mrs. Roy Wagstaff, Claremore, and Miss Mary Ann Bell, Claremore: and three sisters, Mrs. Pearl Ambrose, Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Mrs. Harry Tanner, Denver, Colo.

“He is survived by nine grandchildren.”[i] [ii]

By Christa Rice, Claremore History Explorer

[i] Rogers County News (Claremore, Oklahoma). Tuesday, August 26, 1952. P. 1

[ii] John A. Bell, Sr. Birth 28 Apr 1886. Death 24 Aug 1952 (aged 66). Burial Woodlawn Cemetery, Claremore, Rogers County, Oklahoma. Plot CP2-26-L4.-3E.

Happy Birthday Albert Linwood Kates Claremore Progress Editor in Chief

Sudden Heart Attack – Publisher of Claremore Progress Came to Claremore in 1893 – Death Came Following a Party.

“Albert Linnwood Kates, 76, publisher of the Claremore Progress died at his home on East Second Street, at 2:30 o’clock Wednesday morning, a victim of heart failure.

“Mr. Kates had attended the Tuesday Evening pitch club, and was in fine spirits all evening. Returning to his home, he felt ill and called Dr. F.A. Anderson. Death was due to heart failure.

“Kates came to Claremore during the month of June in 1893. Claremore at that time was nothing more than a wide place in the road.

“Duing the next thirty-five years he saw Claremore grow from a small village to its present size.

“Mr. Kates took an interest in the special and political life of this co. However, a few years ago he retired from active business, and turned the management of his newspaper over to his two sons, Bill and Harry.

“Funeral services will be held from the Kates home, on Second street, Friday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock, with the A.L. Musgrove funeral home in charge, Rev. James Miller, pastor of the Christian church at Skiatook will say the words of consolation.

“Interment will be made in Wooslawn cemetery, beside his wife and eldest son.

“Caremore Retail Merchants association have asked that all business houses close during the time that the funeral is being held.

“Born Salem County, New Jersey, April 27, 1861.

“Married to Nellie C. Moore at Swedesboro, N.J., December 23, 1886.

“Mrs. Kates died May 7, 1933, at Claremore, Okla.

“Five children were born: Wm. M. Kates, Nov. 6, 1887; John M. Kates, June 17, 1890; Wm. C. Kates, January 20, 1892; Harry Kates, October 6, 1897; Helen Kates, October 6, 1897, (twins). Of these but two are now living, Wm. C. and Harry.

“Mr. Kates was the son of a tenant farmer, forced to quit school at the age of 15, to take charge of the farm ‘because of failing health of his father.’ However, early in life he had formed a desire to own and operate a newspaper. He started working for the Woodstown Register, January 1, 1882, and the following year was employed by the Swedesboro, (N.J.) News. During the summer of 1883 he worked for the Cape May, N.Y. Paper. September 1, 1883, Mr. Kates accepted the management of a general store at Elmer, N.J., which he conducted for one year, but he could not forget his first love – the newspaper.

“On September 6, 1883, he and Lewis Taylor purchased the Woodstown, N.J., Register. Later, on January 1, 1887, this partnership purchased the Swedesboro, N.J. News. Mr. Taylor during 1887 purchased the Register and Mr. Kates the News.

“On January 1, 1888, this partnership was dissolved, Mr. Kates taking the Register, which he continued to publish until January 1, 1890, when he sold it to Wm. Taylor, moving to Bridgetown, N.J., where he was employed as a job printer on a daily for a short time; later becoming foreman of The Weekly Chronicle, a position he held until June 1893, when he moved to his present location – Claremore, firm in the belief that the west offered the best opportunities.

“Mr. and Mrs. Kates with two children, John and Will, arrived in Claremore, June 28, 1893.

“The day he bought the Progress there was little more than a shirt-tail full of type, an army press and a hand-lever and jobber.

“Mr. Kates has been honored during his life on many occasions with many positions. He was chairman of the Democratic Committee, constitutional delegate election; Democratic county chairman, postmaster at Claremore; vice president N.E. A. for Oklahoma; President Indian Territory association year of Omaha Exposition; President Oklahoma Press Association, 1913; President elector, 1924; special officer of National Democratic convention, Chicago, 1896; President chamber of commerce. He was not a member of any fraternal orders; carried no life insurance, and was not a member of any church.”[1]

Friends of A.L. Kates Gather At His Home For Final Rites – Business In City Pauses In Respect For Publisher Whose Career In The Newspaper Business Paced Claremore’s Development.

“The high and the lowly, all friends of one man, acquired in a lifetime of honest service and human understanding, paid tribute to Albert L. Kates, Friday afternoon, as final rites were observed for the veteran publisher of the Progress.

“United by a common loss, the assembled mourners filled every available foot of space in the Kates home on East Second street and many others, unable to find room inside, stood humbly in the cold outdoors while the Rev. James Miller, of Skiatook, delivered a recital of the life which was so closely identified with the development of Claremore.

“The service was held at the home in compliance with wishes expressed by Mr. Kates before his death.

“‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.’

“With this fourth verse from the 21st Chapter of Revelations and selections from the 22nd Chapter of the same book and from the fifth Chapter of Second Corinthians, the Rev. Mr. Miller interspersed his sermon in which he recalled numerous highlights in the life of Mr. Kates.

“County and city offices and many places of business in Claremore closed their doors Friday afternoon during the hours in which the service was in progress in honor of Mr. Kates who would have completed his fiftieth year as a publisher this spring.

“Before the opening of the service, Jack Kates, grandson of the deceased, sang ‘The Rosary.’ Later a quartet composed of Raymond Bassman, J.P. Rosson, Wynn York and C.M. Durham sang, ‘Abide With Me’ and Dr. Claude Chambers of Seminole, rendered a vocal solo, ‘Home On the Range.’ Miss Gwen Phillips and Earl Fry were the accompanists.

“As the procession made its way to the Woodlawn cemetery following the service, state highway patrolmen and city police were stationed along the route to prevent cross traffic from interrupting the proceedure.

“When relatives and friends had gathered at the grave, banked high with floral offerings, the Rev. Mr. Miller repeated the words of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s ‘Crossing the Bar.’

“Mr. Kates died in the early hours of Wednesday morning of a heart attack after enjoying a vigorous health up until late the preceeding evening.

“His death followed by less than five years that of his wife, Nellie Moore Kates, who died May 7th, 1933.

“Mr. Kates is survived by two sons, Will and Harry, two brothers, Harry, of Doylestown, Pa., and Ewalt, of Wilmington, Del., nine grandchildren, and three great grandbhildren.

“The following members of the Tuesday Night Pitch Club, of which Mr. Kates was a charter member, served as pall bearers: J.L. Bowman, Leo A. Moore, A.V. Robinson, Dr. H.H. Kaho, G.O. Bayless and S.C. Vinson.

Honorary pall bearers were Jack Temple, H. Tom Brown, W.P. Johnston, J.W. Bishop, Steve Karrant, C.B. Holtzendorff, G.D. Davis, F.V. Askew, W.E. Sanders, E.L. Smart, Bert Sprangel, Tom J. Dean, A.A. Dennison, G.B. Cogswell, C.F. Godbey, Bert M. Draper, M. Haas, Fred Parsley, Sgt. F.H. Funk, Cord Hall, R.A. Patton, Walter Marshall, J.M. Davis, R.L. Tschauner, C.S. Fry, L.S. Robson, W.M. Hall, E.A. Church, Delmer Tanner, John Thurman, all of Claremore; Judge James S. Davenport, J. Berry King, Wm. P. Thompson, Charles N. Barrett, all of Oklahoma City; J. Fuge Flippin, El Dorado, Ark; Dr. Blue Starr, of Drumright; J.W. Hallford, of Foyil; J.B. Milam, of Chelsea; A. Ross Moore, of West Fork, Ark.

“The Musgrove Funeral Home was in charge of services.” [2]

Hotels of Claremore As I Have Known Them

A.L. Kates, Publisher of the Progress For Period of 37 Years, Tells of the Early Days in Claremore, Indian Territory. – Hogs Came Into Dining Room While The Pioneers Ate.

“He Inspected One Hotel and Decided to Stop at the Other One – First Hostelry Was a Far Cry From the Modern Hotel Will Rogers, by A.L. Kates.

“As the Hotel Will Rogers is opened to the public, offering as it does the very latest in hotel facilities, and expressing in a delightful measure modern day architecture we permit our mind to wander in contrast to other days to other hotels, to the day when Claremore was young and hardly more than a whistling station on the Frisco. In fact, at the time we had our first knowledge of Claremore’s hotel facilities, the future of Claremore was more optimistic than that of Tulsa and neither was much to brag about.

“My experience with hotels in Claremore dates back to 1893 upon my arrival in Claremore in the latter days of June of that year. Previous to that time I had never been farther west than the battle field at Gettysburg, Pa., and wild west life was entirely new to me – and life was plenty wild in the old Indian Territory at that time. My brother-in-law, W.L. Moore, had preceded my family and myself to Claremore some three years previous to our arrival.

“I shall never forget my wife’s first observation when we stepped from a Frisco train at the Claremore station and looked at the place, we had chosen to cast our life lot. She said: ‘Oh, Linn, let’s go back home,’ and way down in my stomach I seconded the motion. It was a far different Claremore then than the present modern town of today. But we look another hitch in our belt, closed our eyes, and pegged our home stake.

“We shall ever remember the day we arrived in Claremore. It was a hot dusty one, and having worried the fifteen hundred miles from our old home in New Jersey, the latter 40miles from Vinita to Claremore on a local freight which consumed three hours of time to make the distance, we were glad to arrive at our journey’s end and more than pleased to know that the kind invitation of F.A. Neilson would take us into his pleasant home for our first night’s stay in Claremore. The late Mr. Neilson’s home was the nicest in the community. It is the present Frank O’Bannon home.

“Soon after breakfast the next morning Mrs. Kates insisted that I hunt up a suitable hotel accommodation until the home to be built for us had been erected. So, we set out to find a good hotel. Mr. Moore had assured us that Claremore contained two very good ones – The Claremore and the McDaniel House.

“We struck the Claremore Hotel first. It was located just about where Walker Department Store now stands. We wandered into the hotel office but failed to locate anyone and on our way out a gentleman who had been taking his morning siesta in one of the comfortable porch chairs, tilted against the wall, came to life and upon inquiry he informed us that he was the proprietor, and upon making my wants known he offered to show us over the hotel.

“Be it remembered, dear readers, that I was from the effete East, where a hotel was supposed to be a model of comfort, and when we had viewed the carpet less floor and scanty furniture, which was the custom of the early days in the Indian Territory, we informed the proprietor that we would let him know later about a reservation. We then went home.

“‘Why I am surprised Linn, that you got back so soon,’ Mrs. Kates said. ‘You made a quick inspection of both hotels.’

“‘No, I didn’t go to both. I went to one and we will try the other.’

“Later we learned that we would have been very fortunate to have stopped at either.  They were run by Alex McDaniel and his good wife – and their hotel was not a hotel in every sense of the world; it was just a plain home.

“We shall never forget our first night at the McDaniel House. We retired early and Mrs. Kates and I slept like a top in our new western home. But the next morning my family had a good laugh at my expense. I had slept on a cot which happened to be located under a stove pipe in the roof. A storm came up that night. I had gone to bed a white man and arose in the morning and Ethiopian. The soot from the pipe had completely covered my face.

“But in spite of the discomforts they were happy days and will long be remembered, especially some of the incidents of our stay there and the many kindnesses showered upon us by Mr. McDaniel and his wife. One incident of their kindness to us we wish to publicly acknowledge right here. Our son, Will, the present editor of the Progress, was terribly sick that summer and he cried most of the time, which proved a great source of annoyance to many of the boarders – for the walls of the McDaniel House were not sound proof like the new Hotel Will Rogers. A show troupe was here and stopping at the McDaniel House. Finally, one of the members of the troupe, unable to stand the baby’s crying any more, in high rage appeared before Mr. McDaniels.

“‘You’ll have to get shut of that squalling kid, if we stay longer at your hotel,’ he said.

“Mr. McDaniel looked the man over from head to foot and then said, and the words shall ever be remembered by the child’s mother; ‘Say stranger, this woman don’t neglect her child. He’s sick. They are citizens here and if anybody is going to move, it will be you and your show troupe. These folks stay and that’s final – you can move on whenever you want to.’

“Those were the days when friendship meant something.

“And again, readers, permit me to tell you that Alex McDaniel took this stand despite the fact that I was only paying $30 per month board for my wife, two small children and myself, and most of that was traded out in printing and advertising. Without exaggeration, I believe during that first four months we spent in Claremore Alex McDaniel ordered more writing paper for his hotel than the whole citizenship of Claremore at that time would have used in a year.

“During the meal hour many times the hogs would appear in the dining room, for those were the days when hungry razor-backs roamed the streets of Claremore. Screens were not used at that time and the flies were frightened away from the food, that is something they were and other times not, by swinging papers which worked back and forth over the table, manipulated by a string at the end of the festive board.

“Alex McDaniel was a character and two or three true stories will illustrate his trains. And there was another character here just as good. His name was Granville Torbett and he operated a butcher shop where the Hayes Motor Co. is now located. Granville boarded with Mr. McDaniel and furnished meat for the hotel. One month, Mr. McDaniel killed hogs twice during the month, but on the first of the month his bill at the meat market was just about the same, for it did not vary much from month to month no matter what business conditions were. But this time Alex remembering he had killed hogs twice, entered a mild protest.

“‘Why Granville, my bill is too big. I killed hogs twice last month.’

“‘Well’ Granville replied, ‘the meat was here for you and if you didn’t come and get it that was your hard luck.’

“Mr. McDaniel made no further comment. He merely deducted one month’s board from the bill and paid the balance.

“But a short time afterwards Torbett spent the month in Arkansas and when McDaniel started to deduct Granville’s month’s board bill from the meat bill, Granville protested.

“‘Well,’ McDaniel replied, ‘it was there for you, and if you did not come and get it that was your hard luck.’

“Granville gave one of his hearty ‘haw-haws’ and said he guessed Alex was right. And that’s the way they settled.

“That is just one instance of how business was done in Claremore, Indian Territory. The management of the New Hotel Will Rogers will doubtless keep a better and more efficient accounting system in the operation of the new hotel.

“Dr. J.C. Busyhead and Fred McDaniel also boarded at the McDaniel House at this time and as they rose in their careers to star boarders, they were moved from the first floor until they finally lit on the third and top floor of the hotel. Then one day in their rush to get down three flights of stairs to the table after the dinner bell had sounded, as it was first come, first served, they got into a jam with a traveling men, who later complained to Mr. McDaniels of his rough treatment at the hands of the local star boarders. And the complaint brought Dr. Bushyhead and Fred on the carpet before Alex.

“‘Now I don’t mind entertaining you young folks as star boarders, but I do wish when I have a cash customer in the hotel that you boys would give him a chance.’

“When we started living at the McDaniel House a new three-story hotel was being build – to be known as the Hotel DeVann, and we were given the first room finished in it. The DeVann was later destroyed by fire. We had been out to a party that night and the alarm was given just as we arrived home, hence like all good newspaper men, we were first at the fire. One incident of the fire we will never forget. A well-known traveling man, a guest in the hotel, marched down the stairs of the flaming building in his night shirt, his clothes hung over his arm, carefully holding aloft in his right hand the ‘thunder mug’ from under the bed, so as not to break it. He rushed across the street to the Frisco railroad and in his excitement sat it down on one of the rails and broke it into a hundred pieces. That was like stumping your toes on the way to the house on a cold winter’s night and spilling the milk.

“Soon after our arrival in Claremore and our assumption of the management of The Progress, we commenced advocating the erection of a brick school house in Claremore and that dream came true in little over a year, due to the strip payment here. No tax could be levied as there was no incorporated town in the Indian Territory but at that time everybody had plenty of money and M.D. Woodson and myself appointed ourselves a soliciting committee and in less than two weeks we had secured by public subscription enough funds to let the contract for a one-story brick school house with two rooms. It is still a part of the present-day Hiawatha building, the front two rooms on the ground floor.

“This success led us to make a campaign for a brick hotel and for the next seven years, we do not think that a month passed but that what we had a plea for a brick hotel in The Progress. We fear that the early day settlers might have thought it was not so much a brick hotel that Claremore needed so badly as it was a missing brick in the dome-piece of the editor of The Progress. But our faith in Claremore and the need of such a hotel was finally realized by that far sighted town builder, John M. Bayless, who commenced the erection of the present Hotel Sequoyah in 1901 and completed it in 1902.  The idea was catching and soon thereafter the old First National Bank building, located on the present site of the H.G. Hayes Motor Co. at the west end of Their street, was remodeled and another brick hotel was added to Claremore’s growing greatness. This was known as The Maine Hotel. The soon followed the present Mason Hotel, which was erected by the Rucker brothers. Since that time many brick rooming houses have been erected and now with the completion of the ultra-modern Hotel Will Rogers, Claremore, for its size, is one of the best equipped cities of like size in the United States for the accommodation of the stranger within its gates.

“It is a far cry from the 1930 Will Rogers to the Claremore hotels of 1893, yet each hotel in its time served its purpose like the sturdy pioneers in everything that pave the way for better things. That is civilization and greater comfort for mankind is achieved through enlightenment and through progress. Claremore is but keeping pace with the march of time in hotel building just as she is keeping pace in everything else. Hogs no longer come into the dining room. Can you imagine that in Hotel Will Rogers? Nor do we trade our board out with advertising and printing but despite everything those early days were happy days and their passing is even yet tinged with sadness as the old makes way for the new.” [3]

Albert Linwood Kates. Birth 27 April 1861, New Jersey. Death 5 Jan 1938 (aged 76) Oklahoma. Burial Woodlawn Cemetery, Claremore, Rogers County, Oklahoma. Plot CP2-11-L8.-6E. [4]

by Christa Rice, Claremore History Explorer

[1] Rogers County News (Claremore, Oklahoma). Thursday, January 6, 1938. p. 1.

[2] Claremore Daily Progress (Claremore, Oklahoma). Monday, January 10, 1938. p. 1.

[3]Claremore Daily Progress  (Claremore, Oklahoma), Friday, February 7, 1930.


The Passing of Cora Talbert Crittenden – April 1901

“Mrs. Abe Crittenden died at the home of her husband near Collinsville last Friday morning early, after a lingering illness of consumption. The deceased was thirty years of age, and leaves a husband and five children to mourn her loss. She was a consistent member of the Baptist Church, and funeral services were held in the Baptist Church here Saturday, interment taking place at the city cemetery. She was the daughter of G.W. Talbert near this city.”[i]

“ Mrs. Cora Crittenden, wife of Abe Crittenden, a farmer living ten miles west of Claremore, died yesterday after suffering patiently for a number of years with consumption.”[ii]

[i] The Claremore Progress. (Claremore, Indian Terr.), Vol. 9, No. 11, Ed. 1 Saturday, April 27, 1901. ( The Gateway to Oklahoma History,; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.

[ii]Marrs, D. M. The Indian Chieftain. (Vinita, Indian Terr.), Vol. 19, No. 35, Ed. 1, Thursday, April 25, 1901.  ( The Gateway to Oklahoma History,; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.

Cora Talbert Crittenden. Birth 1866. Death 1901 (aged 34-35). Burial Woodlawn Cemetery. Claremore, Rogers County, Oklahoma. , Location: CP2-14-L2.-1W

“Ed Galloway and His Art Gallery Amazes Visitors,” by Mrs. Walter Wood

Nathan Edward Galloway

“Ed Galloway and His Art Gallery Amazes Visitors” written by Mrs. Walter Wood, was printed in The Sand Springs Leader, July 1954, nearly 70 years ago.

“Nearly everybody has already seen Ed Galloway and his non-profit, one-man art gallery, his gigantic totem pole, Oklahoma’s most puzzling structure and his violins made of wood from all over the world, and his carved pictures and ornamentally carved furniture. Now Walter and I, always next to last, have seen them.

“Our good neighbors and the Galloway’s relatives, the M.M. Hales, took us to see this curious blending of art and fortitude a Sunday or two ago.

“The whole combination is intriguing. The totem pole alone stands a monument to patience, skill, ingenuity, stick-to-it-iveness and genius. And the one of you who may not yet have seen this phenomenon will find it by driving 3.7 miles N.E. of Foyil over a graveled road that was ‘more like a pig trail,’ Mrs. Galloway told us, ‘when Ed and I moved out here from Sand Springs 17 years ago.’ Sightseers however predict this road will one day become a paved highway leading to ‘the world’s largest totem pole,’ which in its entirety measures 18 feet across its base and stands 90 feet high. More than 200 tons of cement, sand and crushed rock have been used in this structure. Primitive Indian life is depicted upon it.

“Colorful indeed are the stern old chiefs and the gay huntsmen the topmost of these holding a great menacing bow drawn arrow, wild life, animals, birds, snakes and fish abound beneath the chieftains and mingle among them so ingenuously as to appear unintentionally haphazard.

“Why did Ed Galloway spend 11 years at hard labor building this, that to the ordinary normal mind is a freak, was it simply to please his fancy? Did he have an uncontrollable urge to put into semi-permanent form his own conception of Indian life, Indian environment, Indian activities, before the white man came?

“And sometime in the far future if Ed Galloway has become a legendary figure instead of remaining an established fact, will archeologists want to dig beneath the structure hoping to unearth the secret to its existence, or perhaps to find the bones of the chiefs whose faces look out from the surface of the totem pole?

“I had always wondered what a natural genius looked like, minus any frills, then I saw one!

“Ed Galloway, genius, living with his hobby or could it be nearer an obsession, loving his labors and their resultant achievement, not remotely linking any public acclaims with accomplishment of his loved projects.

“A party of us stood at the comparatively big turtle-shaped base and gazed up, attempting to count the colors in the life-sized objects seemingly scattered at random over the colossal, cone-like totem pole. We gave up and that’s when I discovered Ed Galloway appreciates people’s interest in his work even the casual stranger’s interest. He told us he’d used ‘all the primary colors, and mixed them to create 50 different shades, tints and new colors.’ Then he patiently explained minor details, meanwhile importing to his listeners some of his own quiet enthusiasm. For after all these years spent in making the strange totem pole this artist maintains fresh eagerness, as if his creations were only in their beginnings.

“Genius shines on the face of this delicate featured non-aging Spanish American war veteran. A simple hearted, pleasing personality is his. His very gracious wife told us ‘Ed didn’t know, when we moved out here in the woods that the world, you might say, would come along and find him’ and truly, Ed Galloway is known of over the nation. Life magazine, the New York News, Chicago Tribune, Brooklyn Carrier, and Little Rock Gazette all have had ‘write-ups and pictures,’ he told us, ‘some of them repeating the story more than once, giving full page write-ups and pictures.’

“Other newspapers have given recognition to Ed Galloway as an artist, and paid homage to his genius. Among these listed, Los Angeles, Omaha, Seattle, and Abilene dailies, also newspapers in Oregon. Tulsa newspapers and Oklahoma City ones have featured articles about this man and his hobby. Also, the Sand Springs Leader, newspaper of his once home town, has already had one article about him.

“Ed Galloway was vocational instructor in woodwork at the Sand Springs Home for 22 years. To this day, children at the Home like to point out to visitors the living room table containing 9,999 odd-shaped pieces of various woods and the small carved totem pole in the corner of the room, with the great snake wound about it.

“Both Mr. and Mrs. Galloway, tender in sentiment toward children, love a reunion with the ‘boys and girls of the Home,’ some of whom are now ‘scattered about, everywhere.’

“Mrs. Galloway, who obviously enjoys talking upon the subject of her husband’s accomplishments, disclosed that an early ambition of his had been to create for the Sand Springs Home children a permanent representation of all geographical locations by carving, painting and molding animals, fishes and other forms of wild life found in all the countries, and to build for them a collection of all woods from everywhere, such as he used in making violins, carved pictures and furniture.

“Then he whimsically changed his course, built their livable rock house and moved into apparent isolation!

“Ed Galloway trusts his fellow man. The door to the rotunda-like concrete room where his great cache of violins hangs, was left invitingly open. People were constantly coming and going, viewing the unguarded conglomeration of violins and numerous other carvings.

“Ed Galloway sat quietly in his shaded yard, enjoying a few visitors, and when one of our party ventured to ask, ‘aren’t you afraid to leave all that out there, unwatched?’ the man answered simply ‘no, I’m not afraid.’

“A dozen guest books have been filled with signatures of those who have come to see ‘Ed Galloway’s curios.’ The utter lack of formal arrangement is part of the charm out there, depicting easy going naturalness of the man who made them.

“To date, three hundred seventy violins have been formed by Ed Galloway’s trained and loving fingers. Wood from ‘every major country and most of the smaller countries and islands have been put into them’ Ed Galloway told us. I noted black ebony from Africa and India (and incidentally, did you ever try lifting a sizeable slice of ebony? It’s heavy!), lace wood from Australia, stripped ‘zebra wood’ from Africa, circassion [Circassian] walnut from Russia, and many from China, Siberia, Panama, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, British-Guiana, and over the earth where hard woods and soft woods grow. The thought comes to me that if each of the violins made from trees that had once grown in these far off places could sing the native songs that have blown in the breezes through these trees, what a melody of native songs that would be!

“A panorama of scenes in 40 hanging pictures that have been carved from a myriad of woods make one wonder at the versatility within the scope of one man’s fingers.

“One picture, more than a yard square, frame and all, Obenhauf castle on Lake Thun, Switzerland, uses 3,000 delicately carved pieces from 400 different kinds of wood! Other scenes are of children at play, of small animals, fish, birds and polar bears in their natural habitats, and some are of Indians in canoes on peaceful waters.

“Diversely, one outstanding scene is of the aged Samuel anointing the young Saul, who had come inquiring the whereabouts of his father’s work animals and was to go away anointed to be the people’s leader.

“Mr. Galloway has used many imported woods in making chests, chairs, tables and other furniture with deftly carved adornings. Continental travelogue pictures recently took two whole days to make pictures of Mr. Galloway as he made a violin ‘from scratch to finish.’ This will be shown on TV.

“A little sidelight of her husband’s work was given us by Mrs. Galloway. ‘A few weeks ago,’ she said, ‘he touched up with fresh paint the entire surface of the totem pole. He scarcely ate or slept until the job was completed. Sitting high on the huge scaffold, 12 hours a day or more, with brush in hand, his wrists tied to a scaffold rung for safety’s sake, he sometimes dozed for a few minutes up there in the sunshine, then patiently continued paint mixing and daubing.

“Another little side glimpse, Mrs. Paul Galloway of 1001 Washington, this city, who is daughter-in-law of the Galloways, says her little son, Gary, who will be two this July, ‘just loves to go to ‘Dan Dad’s’ and see his po-po (totem pole).’ He also likes to eat at ‘Dom Bas’ (grandma’s) and the young Mrs. Galloway adds, ‘his grandma is an especially good cook.’

“The Galloways’ home is a cheerful place to go and the woodsy hominess of the surrounding country make it a little ludicrous that one should come suddenly upon so bizarre a thing as the totem pole.”[i]

[i] The Sand Springs Leader (Sand Springs, Oklahoma). Thursday, July 22, 1954. P. 4.

Davis-Davis Wedding March 28, 1930

“Mary Ella Davis To Wed Tulsan – An announcement party for Mary Ella Davis was given at the home of her mother, Mrs. G.D. Davis on East Fourth street, Friday night. Miss Davis is to marry Evan L. Davis March 28. The party was for 8 o’clock and three tables of bridge were played. Covers were then lain for refreshments and the guests were presented with ‘bountenieres.’ Inside these were small cards with the words, ‘Mary Ella and Evan, March 28.’ The refreshments were heart shaped ice cream with pink Cupids atop and individual cakes… The bride-elect is one of Claremore’s popular girls. The only child of Mr. and Mrs. G.D. Davis, one of the pioneer families of this city. Miss Davis received her early education in the local schools, later getting her higher education at the best schools of the country. For some time she has been connected in a responsibility way with the First National Bank at Tulsa and in this capacity gave the very best of service. Mr. Davis is employed with the Exchange National Bank, one of the largest in the entire state. The young folks will make their future home in the oil city.”[i]

“Attended Wedding in Claremore. Mr. and Mrs. Harold Boyd motored to Claremore Friday evening to attend the wedding of Miss Mary Ella Davis of Claremore and Tulsa, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George D. Davis of Claremore, to Mr. Evan Lewis Davis of Tulsa. The wedding took place in the home of the bride’s parents and the ceremony was read by Rev. A.D. Meuse, pastor of the First Baptist Church. Following the wedding, a reception for 350 guests was held at the Hotel Will Rogers.”[ii]


“One of the outstanding social events for the City of Claremore was the wedding of Mary Ella, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Decatur Davis, president of the National Bank of Claremore and Mr. Evan Lewis Davis of Tulsa, which was solemnized at the Davis residence on East Fourth Street Friday evening at 8:00 o’clock.

“The ceremony was read by Rev. A.D. Muse, pastor of the First Baptist Church of this city and took place in the Music Room beneath a bower of southern smilax and surrounded by large baskets of various colored snapdragons. The floor covering of this alter was of white satin.

“During the ceremony Miss Margaret Brainard softly sang ‘Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life’ by Goodman. Her accompaniment was played by Dr. Howard Kaho, Jr. who also played ‘Mendelssohn Wedding March.’ The bride entered on the arm of her father Mr. Davis and at the alter met her attendant, Mrs. Foreman Moore of Tulsa and the groom, Mr. Davis, attended by his best man, Lieut. Joe Williams of Fort Oglesthorpe, Ga. Of the Sixth Cavalry.

“Miss Davis’ dress was of pink crepe marguerite, made with the princess style, with crape sleeves and full circular skirt, very long. Her bouquet was of butterfly roses and lilies of the valley. Mrs. Moore’s frock was also fashioned in the princess style with a long full skirt, made of flesh tinted chiffon. Her bouquet was made of talisman roses and snapdragon, both of the pink color. Miss Brainard’s dress was made of pink taffeta tulle.

“The ceremony was attended by only immediate relatives and a group of intimate friends which numbered about sixty.

“A brilliant reception followed the ceremony. The reception was given at the Hotel Will Rogers and was attended by about two hundred guests. The mezzanine floor and Silver Ball Room of the Hotel were beautifully decorated with the wedding colors of green and white.

“At the conclusion of the reception, Mrs. Davis instead of carrying out the old custom of throwing her bouquet, presented her mother with her bouquet.

“A large wedding cake made in five tiers was first cut by the bride with Lieut. Williams’ saber after which Mrs. Moore assisted in slicing the cake which was served with brick ice cream with red hearts to the guests.

“Assisting Mrs. Davis during the ceremony were Mrs. Chas. F. Parker of Ponca City, Mrs. Ted Terry of Okmulgee, Mrs. Fred Gordon of Columbia, Mo.,  Mrs. Floyd Board, Miss Patricia Mills, Miss Mozelle Pollard and Miss Margaret Brainard.

“The bride’s traveling suit was made of English Tweed and was fashioned of brown and yellow. Her French blouse in maise colored satin and Bankok Hat and gloves were of the same harmonizing shade.

“The bride and groom motored South to Dallas, New Orleans and Florida where their honeymoon will be spent.

“Upon returning to Tulsa they will reside at an apartment that has been furnished at the Del Ray Apartments, 417 West Seventh Street.”[iii]

“Popular Claremore Girl is Married

“The wedding of Miss Mary Ella Davis, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G.D. Davis, and Evan Lewis Davis of Tulsa was one of much interest to Claremore folks and Tulsa. The ceremony that made Miss Davis the bride of Mr. Davis was read in the home of her parents at 8 o’clock Friday evening by the Rev. A.D. Muse, pastor of the First Baptist Church here.

“Featuring the color note of green and white, palms, spring flowers and ferns were arranged to form an altar in the music room of the Davis home and to decorate the home. At each side of the altar were floor vases filled with lovely white snap-dragons and other spring flowers. The altar was lighted by tall white tapers in silver candelabra.

“The Mendelssohn wedding music was played by Dr. Howard Kaho, jr., as the small bridal party advanced to the altar. Miss Margaret Brainard softly sang ‘Mystery of Life’ during the marriage service, accompanied on the piano by Dr. Kaho.

“The bride was accompanied to the altar by her father and attended by Mrs. J. Foreman Moore, of Tulsa, as matron of honor. Mr. Davis’s best man was Lieut. J.M. Williams of the Sixth Cavalry of Fort Ogelthorpe, Ga.

“The bride was smartly gowned in a princess frock of pink French chiffon made with crape sleeves and full circular skirt very long. She carried a shower bouquet of Butterfly roses and lilies of the valley.

“Mrs. Moore’s modish frock of fresh tinted chiffon was also fashioned in princess style with long, full skirt, and she carried an arm bouquet of Talisman roses and snap-dragons.

“The ceremony attended only by the immediate relatives and a group of close friends was followed by a reception of three hundred and fifty guests in the Hotel Will Rogers. The decorations of the mezzanine floor and the silver ballroom where the reception was held also carried out the wedding colors of green and white.

“Assisting Mrs. Davis during the reception were Mrs. Theodore Terry of Okmulgee; Mrs. Charles R. Parker of Ponca City; Mrs. Floyd Board, Miss Patricia Mills, Miss Mozelle Pollard and Miss Margaret Brainard.

“Mr. and Mrs. Davis left after the reception by motor for a 10-days honeymoon trip through the south. After their honeymoon they will reside for the present in the Del Ray apartments at 417 West Seventh street, Tulsa.

“For traveling the bride was attired in an English tweed suit in a color combination of brown and yellow. Her blouse was of maize yellow and her Bangkok hat was of the same shade of brown as her suit.

“The bride is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G.D. Davis of Claremore and has many friends in the city of her girlhood home. For several years she has been a resident of Tulsa where she, together with her husband, hold responsible positions with the First National Bank. Claremore friends extend congratulations and very best wishes for a long and happy married life.” [iv]

Mary Ella Davis Davis. Birth 7 August 1904, Claremore, Rogers County, Oklahoma. Death 27 March 1987 (aged 82), Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma. Burial Woodlawn Cemetery. Claremore, Rogers County, Oklahoma. Plot CP2-11-L9.-6W. [v]

Evan Lewis Davis, Sr. Birth 12 June 1896, Bonair, Howard County, Iowa. Death 17 March 1982 (aged 85), Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma. Burial Woodlawn Cemetery, Claremore, Rogers County, Oklahoma. Plot CP2-11-A3.-1. [vi]

Christa Rice, Claremore History Explorer

[i] Claremore Progress (Claremore, OklahomaI). Thursday, March 20, 1930. P. 8.

[ii] Nowata Daily Star (Nowata, Oklahoma). Sunday, March 30, 1930. P. 3.

[iii] Claremore Messenger (Claremore, Oklahoma). Thursday, April 3, 1930. P. 1.

[iv] Claremore Progress (Claremore, Oklahoma). Thursday, April 30, 1930. P. 9.



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