Ever wonder how a town gets started? Here are some clues from Caddo's earliest newspapers:
The Caddo Oklahoma Star
May 27, 1875
If the next council fails to incorporate our town, so as to give us a municipal government, then the only thing left will be for our citizens to form a compact to protect themselves.
September 3, 1875
If the Council will appropriate $200 towards building a jail at this place, the citizens of Caddo will contribute $300 and this amount will be amply sufficient to erect a building that will answer for a National jail for some time to come. We hope the Council will not hesitate to accept this liberal proposition. We want a jail and a city government and there is no reason why we should not have them. The money it has cost to guard prisoners in Blue County within the last few years would have built a good jail.
July 13, 1876
We have appealed in vain to the Choctaw Council for a city government and as a last resort we now suggest that petition be gotten up for this purpose and sent to Mr. Marston, the Agent. There is no question to our mind, but that he possesses the power to assist us in this respect and if applied to in the proper way we think he would promptly respond to our call. Mr. Marston is a law and order man, and we confidently believe would gladly do all in his power to produce this much needed state of affairs in Caddo, or any other town in the territory.
The Caddo Herald
May 5, 1899
…(part of article unreadable) Mark Kirkpatrick was enroute to Cale where he goes looking over the situation preparatory to beginning work there in about two weeks. Cale is the first town in the Choctaw nation that will be platted by the Townsite Commission for that Nation.
June 16, 1899
The citizens of Caddo are acting rightly in making a move to obtain lots on which to erect school buildings. The lots should be selected by the time the Townsite Commission arrives. While it is not expected that we can have free schools just now, yet the time is rapidly approaching when they will be demanded. All realize the importance of good schools; they attract good citizens, build up good towns, and good communities.
June 23, 1899
At the last meeting of the town council the following committee was appointed towit: Mayor- C.A. Manning; Councilmen- Campbell LeFlore, William Richie, whose duty is, will be, to first select two citizens of town to cooperate with the committee in performing their duties. The committee appointed W.P. Wood and F.R. Grayson.
They will set sites for public school buildings, parks, and cemetery, and to decide upon the width of streets and alleys, and to determine the size of lots and blocks. They will meet the Townsite Commission when it arrives and present to them the claims and wishes of the citizens of Caddo.
July 21, 1899
Ruling As to the Size of Town Lots
The Interior Department at Washington has issued final instructions to the Choctaw Townsite Commissioner and the following in regard to the size of town lots.
Sterrett (formerly Cale)
Z.W. Rains, L.H. Harrel, G.T. Black, and T.J. Vaughn, Committee
Gentlemen, I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your communication addressed to the Townsite Commissioners for the Choctaw Nation, in which you recite a resolution adopted at a mass meeting of the citizens of Sterrett to the effect that the town should embrace one and one half sections of land to be laid off at right angles with the main street, in such manner as to take in all the bona fide resident of the town, placing as much land as possible on the west and north sides of the town, and in such a manner as to give the town as much high ground as possible that the commission is requested to make the business lots 25 feet front, running back to the center of the block or alley and the residence lots 150x300 feet or one half block.
With regard to the extent of the town you will be governed by the Choctaw and Chickasaw agreement and the instructions heretofore given in the premises, that is, to lay out the town according to its actual limits as nearly as possible.
In reference to the matter of the size of lots, the commission is advised that “opportunity was allowed the inhabitants of the town to express their views in the matter. This privilege was granted merely with a view of aiding the government in the matter. The purpose of this course was to give the people of the town an opportunity to submit their ideas, with the view to assisting the commissioners, but not to leave them the right to decide the size of lots to be laid out in the town.”
After full consideration the department instructs the commission that the size of lots in the town of Sterret should be, for business purposes, 25x150 feet, and for residential purposes 100x150 feet, as nearly as practicable, so as not to disturb any vested interests further than may be necessary to properly adjust the lines of the parties, having regard to all the interests of the parties residing in the town, and that due regard shall be had to the convenience of the parties in the establishment of alleys and streets. J.A. Sterrett, Chairman, Townsite Committee
December 29, 1899
At the council meeting Wednesday night the committees on sidewalks and on Buffalo Street reported. Sidewalks were ordered built within 30 days from January 1st as follows: on the south side of Buffalo Street form Main to Arkansas, of smooth stone, brick or concrete, not less than 8 feet wide. On Buffalo Street from W.T. Smith’s corner to Wood's foundation, not less than 8 feet wide, of stone, brick, concrete or gravel. From thence to Manning Street of same material, not less than 6 foot wide. From Manning Street to limits, not less than 4 feet wide and may be built of boards. On south Main Street from Buffalo to Blue County Courthouse, a walk not less than 4 feet all the way on west side of street. Four foot walks were ordered also on north side of Harlan Street and both sides of Henderson Street and east side of Arkansas Avenue. All fences on Buffalo Street as laid out by the committee are to be removed with 30 days form January 1st.
April 13, 1900
Monday the Choctaw Townsite Commission received instructions form the Secretary of the Interior to notify citizens of all towns in the Choctaw Nation to prepare their town plats and surveys and file them with the Commissioners. The survey and plats must be made, of course, under the supervision of the Townsite Commissioners, and must be approved by them and appraisements of property must be made by them. As soon as the outside boundaries of the towns are obtained and the citizenship rolls of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations are completed, the Dawes Commission will be ready to allot lands.
November 16, 1900
Caddo is on the beginning of a prosperous building period. Everyone has confidence in the future of the town and consider money invested in Caddo dirt and improvements is money well spent. If you want to settle down in a growing town that has a bright future, Caddo is the place you are looking for. It is building steadily, and being surrounded as it is by the rich black lands, there is no reason why it should not soon rank as one of the finest towns of the Indian Territory.
November 23, 1900
The Townsite surveying corps, of which Mr. H.M. Tinker is the head surveyor, has been here this week surveying the outside boundaries of the town. A Herald reporter went to see Mr. Tinker to find out if possible just how much land would be within the town limits, but Mr. Tinker stated that at that time he had not surveyed at all on two sides of the town and could make no estimate of the area of the town limits. He told the reporter, however, that all the residences, with possibly one or two exceptions, would be included and that the town would be given all the land that they could consistently allow it. The park in the west part of town will be taken in by the survey, as this Saturday he would know how much land would be included in the limits. Asked as to what effect the Townsite limits would have on the incorporation limits, he said that they would have no effect whatever and that the corporate limits would remain the same unless changed by the same power that created these limits. The cooperate limits of Caddo embrace something over 800 acres, but from Mr. Tinker’s conversation we are of the opinion that this will be cut down some.
November 30, 1900
A deal has been consummated by which the block of wooden buildings, west of Arnold & Attaway on the north side of Buffalo Street will be moved back on a line with the bank building and the street made 100 feet wide throughout its entire length, with exception of the corner of Main and Buffalo. It would be impossible to move the house occupied by Arnold & Attaway back with the other buildings, as D. McCoy’s building would be in the way. It is probable, however, that this building will be moved east of Dr. Green’s office. When this street is made 100 feet wide its entire length, Buffalo Street will be an extremely pretty street.
The Townsite surveyors have come and gone. While here they surveyed and platted what they deemed a sufficient quantity of land for our town site. They took a slice off on each side of the Incorporated Town site, reducing it to 400 acres, out of which comes 40 acres for the claim of the railway company and ten acres for the park, leaving a pitiful patch of 350 acres for residences, business houses, streets, and alleys. To say that the citizens of Caddo are disappointed with the survey is putting it mildly and they do not propose to submit to it if they can help themselves. They will appeal to the Secretary of the Interior.