I can’t explain why I take such pleasure in reading old newspapers. I have a collection of newspapers that belonged to my mother. I read old newspapers at the museum. And of course I read them on microfilm at the genealogy library. Each time I enter the world of the past I make new discoveries about our little community. I find out tidbits about people that I pass on to their descendents. I find out about politics and crime and entertainment. And I realize that during each decade there is a group of hard-working people striving together for improvements.
So… I offer you a few notes from 1919-1921. Perhaps they will bring you some amusement and enlightenment. “Cut Your Weeds” is my favorite clip.
“The Royal Opens with Good Show- Last Friday night a large crowd greeted the opening of the new Royal Theatre. The bill was the “One Woman”, a play that has made millions think, a play that show the evils of socialism, a play that shows where the philosophy of socialism takes men and women. While it was a picture show, it was nevertheless effective and enjoyable. Charlie Chaplin also was there with his foolishness. He makes you laugh, whether you feel like it or not.
Manager Kuschke with the completion of the new large show house promises us some excellent pictures within the next few weeks. The new show house would do credit to a large city. There are 400 seats in the main auditorium and 200 more can be added if needed. The room is very large, and the ventilation is such that the air is changed every few minutes, so that from a sanitary standpoint there is less danger of contagion and unpleasantness.”
“Cole Brothers Shows and Big Trained Wild Animal Exhibition will exhibit in Caddo, Monday, April 7th, afternoon and night. (Photo shows a lion on a platform with its front paws on a man’s shoulders.)
“Caddo Sprucing Up- There is now and has been quite a bit of repairing, adding to, and painting of houses in Caddo. There are so many of these improvement that it is hard to tell about all of them. I. Schaffer, Ernest Bass, G.A. Crossett, Dr. Dale, Ed. F. Brown, W.T. Smith, and Henry Bass are among those who have had improvement made on their homes. Carpenters and painters are all busy, working from one job to another as fast as they can.Such indicates good times, plenty of work. It also indicates that people are taking a pride in the looks and conveniences of their homes.”
“The road to Caddo is in fine shape. It has been graded, and as soon as a good rain falls and it is dragged it will be as smooth as a pike.”
“For Sale-90 acres land 5 1/2 miles southeast of Caddo; 60 acres in cultivation and good improvements, 3 ½ miles from McCoy well and 1 mile from Lake Brewer location. There is no lease of any kind on this land. Price $60 per acre. Lat Lutes, Bokchito, Okla.” (note: I know from other records that Lake Brewer was a person, so this ad is referring to his farm.)
“New Barber Shop wants your business- Where they know to do it-the stand next to postoffice. Shorty Renfro, pro.” (This ad really reads just like this. I hope they meant “know how to do it”.)
“Manager McCoy announces that next Saturday that from 9:30 to 12 in the morning all the receipts from his show will be sent to the relief of the starving children of Europe. The admission will be 10c and 20c.”
“Mammoth Celebration!, July 14, 15, 16, Carnival Grounds, Caddo, Ok.
Presenting High Class Carnival Attractions, Merry-Go-Round, Ferris Wheel, 100 Fun Makers. 3 Big Days, 3 Big Nights- Fun, Frolic and Amusement for Everybody”
“Cut Your Weeds-The city has cut the weeds in the streets and alleys, up to the curb. Property owners must cut the remainder, else it will be charged against the property. People are further warned not to throw trash in the ditches or alleys. These measures are taken for the health and looks of the town. Those who do not comply with these regulations will be prosecuted. A.P. Braudrick, Mayor”
“The Grammar School began Monday morning with 300 pupils enrolled the first day. It is expected that fifty more will be enrolled in this department before the week is out. This number is without the beginners and fourth grades that will be in the High School building, and which will begin next Monday.”
Just a little real estate report this morning. One of our local residents has been busy remodeling the old laundromat into wonderful new office spaces. It has three offices and one has already been leased. The bricklayers have been busy putting up a new front to make the buidling fit in with its neighbors. I'll post more photos, inside and out, when it is completed.
There are also a couple of other business buildings for sale and one for rent. I saw two nice brick houses for rent. There are at least five houses for sale and another half dozen under construction. Things are changing in Caddo! Come take a look.
You’ll have to pardon me for a “re-run” blog today. I’ve been thinking about the businesses in Caddo and I realized that some new readers of my blog may not have read the earlier posts about them. My husband and I went to see The DaVinci Code last week, so I thought I’d start with the post I did last year about the REX II. But for those of you who have already read it, you can scroll down to an ad I found for the original REX in one of Mother’s newspaper clippings from 1944.
I remember going to the REX when I was a teenager. I’m not sure if we cared then about what was playing on the screen. We cared about being seen, about talking with friends, about hanging out. We needed a place to call our own. Teenagers today have the same need. Hal Nesbitt understands that. His compassion for the youth of Caddo is one of the reasons he and his wife lovingly restored the theater from a pile of rubble to a thriving hangout for the young and young at heart.
Everything about the theater, from the dozens of signatures and photos on the wall, to the smell of buttered popcorn, says “welcome”. The REX II is all about hospitality and relaxation. It’s more than a place to watch a movie. It’s a place to visit with family and friends and remember what it’s like to really enjoy an evening. The first time we visited Crystal took our picture and hung it up. We got to sign the wall and enter a drawing for a free T-shirt.
The theater has been reopened for five years. Hal sometimes thinks he was foolish to open a business in Caddo, “a small town off the beaten path”. But he enjoys being his own boss and he seems to understand that his business has been a positive influence in the community. He likes doing business in his home town and has dreams of opening the doors to at least 200 customers a week. The theater shows recent movies just a few weeks after their first showing. I always think it’s worth the wait just to see them in a relaxing atmosphere.
The REX II also has a first-rate snack bar. Hal says he makes the “best root beer float anywhere”. That’s something you’ll just have to judge for yourself! The snack bar also serves hot dogs, nachos, Frito chili pie, pizza, pretzels, popcorn, and candy. The snack bar schedule:
Sunday 2:00p.m. - 5:00p.m.
Wednesday 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Thursday 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Friday 5:00 p.m. - Midnight
Saturday 5:00 - Midnight
Movies and times are available at REX II or by calling 580-367-2000. Drive to Caddo for a night at the movies. You’ll be so glad you did!
(Caddo Herald, December 1, 1940)
Every Night in Comfort
Friday and Saturday
Charles Starrett in RIDING WEST
Saturday night, prevue
Sunday and Monday
Spencer Tracey, Irene Dunne in A GUY NAMED JOE
Our theme for this year's Heritage Day is the Roaring Twenties. I came across this yesterday and thought you might enjoy it. This is directly from the paper so if you know of any corrections or additions feel free to comment.
Caddo Class of 1920
(from Caddo Herald, April 23, 1920)
Ernest M. Black
Willie Edyth Booker
Georgia Marie Boydstun
Ola Ray Harmon
Clara M. Hauer
Lloyd O. Manning
Era Ethel Pherigo
Conseola Sophia Pearson
Wesley Le Roy Robertson
Velma Mae Shelby
Mary Colean Thompson
J. Roland Wright
Class Motto- “Build for Character, Not for Fame”
Class Flower- Pink Carnation
Class Colors- Green and Gold
Superintendent- E. O. Shaw
Principal- C. H. Hatfield
Friday, May 14, at 8 pm (graduation)
Invocation- Rev. Frank Naylor
Salutation- Miss Ola Harmon
Vocal Solo- “Sing Me to Sleep”, Miss Naylor
Instrumental Trio- Misses Moore, Maytubby, Manning
Valedictory- Ernest M. Black
Quartet- Mr. Franks, Mr. Grayson, Mr. Gross, Mr.Brauderick
Address & Presentation of Diplomas- Sen. J. T. McIntosh
Site selected and named 1842 by Gen. Zachary Taylor, later Pres. of U.S.Fort established 1842 by 2nd Dragoons, occupied by several rifle, infantry, cavalry, artillery companies. Built to protect the Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians from Plains Indians and wagon trains moving west. With the Mexican War and after gold was discovered in California, Fort Washita became center of activity. Occupied during Civil War by Confederate forces. Not occupied any time thereafter by U.S. troops.
It was acquired by the Oklahoma Historical Society in 1962. They have reconstructed the 1849 barracks and made many improvements to the site. There is also a museum, the preserved remains of several pre-Civil War military buildings, and a small cemetery. You can read more about it at Fort Washita, a virtual tour.
Earthworks 1.5 mi. S.E.
Constructed early in 1862 by Gen. Albert Pike, C.S.A as major Confederate stronghold in southern Indian Territory. Named for Gen. Ben McCulloch, who fell at Pea Ridge. Fort had 18 pieces of artillery; 3,000 soldiers garrisoned there. Pike shortly relieved of command and post abandoned. He then devoted years to Masonry.
Marker is on State Highway 22 (north side of road), west of Kenefic, Oklahoma, 2.3 miles west of the intersection of Highways 22 and 48.
I know a few of you are using this site for genealogy notes, so I will simply post a few findings from old mortgages and deeds tonight. I’ve been researching old businesses. I’m using the microfilmed mortgage records at the Bryan County Genealogy Library in Calera. I apologize ahead of time for any mistakes. However, I’ve tried to be very careful with the names.
Thursday I’ll post our photos from Ft. Washita.
Book 6, page 29
January 26, 1905
Chickasaw & Choctaw Nations to
James M. Rockwell & Alvin Rockwell
$200, lot 24, block 12
May 2, 1905
Chickasaw & Choctaw Nations to
Harry M. Dunlap, Barlow Roberts, James M. Rockwell
$456, lot 22, block 12
$156, lot 17, block 12
Amos K. Bass and wife Eugine C. to
Henry Edwards, and Henry T. Chiles
$600 for lots 28, 29, block 12
April 24, 1905
Campbell LeFlore and Kenturah (wife)
Warranty Deed to Amos K. Bass
$82.75 for lot 28 in block 12
Bill of Sale
October 7, 1901
Mrs. C.A. Bates to J.L. Honsinger
$500 for lot 12, block 12
March 25, 1905
J. Rector Bryant, wife Mattie E. to
Charles H. Rice
$600 for lot 13, block 12
With our annual Heritage Day in the final planning stages I thought it would be interesting to look up some facts about the great “Corn Carnival” of 1910. I read several issues of The Caddo Herald and was surprised by the magnitude of the project. I was also amazed by the number of people who were involved! I hope you enjoy the following bits of news from August 1910.
I found the initial announcement for the carnival fascinating. The directors met on July 20th and decided to have a “big W.O.W. picnic and Caddo Corn Carnival on the 24th, 25th, and 26th of August 1910”. It takes us nearly a year to plan Heritage Day and get all of the details worked out. They planned a three-day event in a month! The directors of the carnival were “P.W. Howe, chairman, D.B. Williams, J.A. Moore, Lake Brewer, I.S. Powell, John Schwartz, and J.L. Campbell”. John L. Boland is listed as secretary. They created committees for Finances, Barbecue, Baseball, Fiddlers Contest, Baby Show, Roping & Riding Tournament, Speaking, Advertising, Exhibits, and Decorations. Each committee had at least six members, mostly men. The article ends with “All members of the different committees will take notice and attend a meeting of the directors on next Monday night July 25, at 8 o’clock sharp at the town hall. All committees will work under the board of directors.”
Another issue of the paper gives the ambitious schedule of events. “The Caddo Corn Carnival and W.O.W. picnic, held under the auspices of the Bryan County Farmer’s Institute is the biggest thing of the kind ever attempted by any county in Oklahoma. All of the products of the farm will be displayed at this carnival, substantial prizes having been offered for almost everything raised or grown on the farm. It is the intention of the committee to take from the display of Bryan County products at this carnival and make up a display for the county exhibit at the State Fair at Oklahoma City. Following is the three days program and the premium list:
11:00am Speaking by county candidates.
2:00pm Sack race for boys under 14
3:00pm Baseball, Caddo vs. Durant
5:00pm, Goat roping contest
8:00pm, Speaking by Hon. Lee Cruce, Democratic nominee for governor
11:00am Speaking by J.T. Cumbie, Socialist nominee for governor
2:00pm Baseball, Caddo vs. Durant
4:00pm Cow roping contest
8:00pm Fiddlers contest
11:00am Speaking by J.H. Connell, president, State Board of Agriculture
1:00pm Speaking by Joe McNeal, Republican nominee for governor
2:00pm Baby show
3:00pm Baseball, Caddo vs. Durant
The premium list offered prizes for a variety of farm products. It’s interesting to note that the list is very, very specific. “White corn grown on upland” was in a different category from “yellow corn grown on upland” or “white corn grown on bottom land”. The premium for each was $10 for the best 12 ears. Premiums of different amounts were also offered for strawberries, watermelon, pumpkins, horses, mules, cotton, oats, alfalfa, peaches, canned apples, peach preserves, potatoes, cabbages, homemade catsup, molasses, and the best decorated vehicle. The winner of the prettiest baby contest took home a baby buggy by Walters & Williams. The 2nd place baby received at $5 gold piece donated by Mr. Pat Howe, and the 3rd place baby won a little red wagon donated by Jack Moore. Fiddlers could win $15, $10, or $5.
There is a sweet ad in the paper, placed by a reluctant queen contestant: “Owing to the fact that it would be impossible for me to serve as queen of the carnival were I elected, I desire to ask my friends who have signified their willingness to support me to cast their votes for someone else. I appreciate the honor, but it would be impossible for me to accept. Respectfully, Miss Florence Howe”
Many of the local businessmen saw the carnival as an opportunity to welcome visitors to Caddo and offer their services. The Bryan County State Bank ad says “All carnival visitors will find a hearty welcome here.” The Corner Drug Store offered carnival visitors “delicious ice cream and the best of cold drinks at our fountain. Fans to keep you cool.” The Bass Company invited carnival visitors to “make our store your headquarters. We will offer you every convenience from a trading standpoint , also a resting place”. H.W. Dempsey promoted the new “South Heights” addition to Caddo as “the most desirable property to be had in or near Caddo”. The Herald also took the opportunity to spread the word about Caddo’s virtues and enticed visitors to move to the wonderful community. Here are a few excerpts from a very lengthy article:
“Caddo, Oklahoma- The Coming City of Eastern Oklahoma Offers Splendid Inducements to the Home Seeker and the Investor”
“For twenty-five miles in every direction from Caddo extends a gently rolling prairie that for fertility and productiveness has no equal in Oklahoma.”
“Caddo has excellent drainage in every direction, and the health of the community is exceptionally good. The climate is ideal, the winters are short and mild, and the summers are pleasant. The rainfall is ample and timely and the country is well watered.”
“Caddo has a population of about eighteen hundred wide-awake, progressive people.”
“Caddo is a well-built town, having thirty-eight brick business houses and many handsome residences.”
“Caddo is a town of churches and Sunday schools…The religious and moral environments of the town and county are exceptionally good.”
“The men have their secret orders…The corresponding auxiliary orders are maintained for the benefit of the ladies.”
“These ladies clubs are now considered a necessity in all modern towns and cities. They not only add much to their social life and enjoyment, and raise the standard of intelligence, but nearly every plan for beautifying the city and for promoting the health and happiness of the community is originated by the women clubs.”
In another blog I’ll get back to some of the early virtues of the Caddo community. For now, start making plans to attend Heritage Day, October 7. Bring your friends and stay awhile. You’ll be welcome!