“Fat Men’s Club” Helped City Grow
The Bryan County Star, Caddo, OK 1972
These men represented some of the chief businesses of Caddo which was the center of a wide trade territory.
A. E. Rutherford had a clothing store. D. B. Williams was in the furniture business with Ed Walters as his partner. The firm was Walters and Williams and they also sold caskets.
Barlow Roberts was associated with the Choctaw National Bank. His wife is said to have been quite a musician.
Jim Hogan operated a grocery store with his brother John. Until statehood, Rappolee had a law office in Caddo, but when Durant became the county seat, he moved there and was elected county judge.
Harry Dunlap was a banker. He built the Cochran home in Caddo, but later moved to Arizona for his health.
Cattleman R. A. Riddle bought and sold cattle. He and his partners owned a big ranch, the 3-A, ten miles east and a mile and a half south of Caddo. There were big stockyards by the railroad, and cattle was shipped out by the trainload.
W. E. Theeden had a confectionary shop.
The general merchandise store operated by Bob Travis was owned by his brother-in-law, C. A. Bilbo, who at one time had a furniture store, a grocery store, livery stable, and opera house. Traveling theatrical companies were welcomed at the opera house and drew crowds form miles around.
Around the turn of the century the town of Caddo “went up in smoke”. Some years later Ira Smith and Amos Bass had an opera house at Bois D’arc and Hunter.
The Abney general store carried everything from axle grease through nails, flour, and groceries, to yard goods.
A real country-style store was operated by Billy Smith- his “general merchandise” included a bit of everything.
Bob Pace ran a general store where the Cowboy Building now stands. He came to Caddo from Caney, where he had been in business.
Dr. Bowman was not the only physician in Caddo, but one can tell from his spruce appearance that he had a good practice. He made his rounds on horseback before the automobile became popular. His wife sewed beautifully and is remembered as a “sweet woman”. During the first years here, Dr. Roy Cochran is said to have made his calls on horseback, too.
City marshal Joe House was the “law and order man”. At one time he was a butcher.
A.B. McCoy, a member of a well-known family, was in business here.
The photo caption reads: "The Men Who Built Caddo may be the title for this photograph, but some people refer to it as the Fat Men's Club, for every man weighed over 200 pounds. Photographed in 1904, first row from left: A.E. Rutherford, D. B. Williams, Barlow Roberts, Jim Hogan, Judge Rapploee; second row: Harry Dunlap, R. A. Riddle, W. E. Theeden, Bob Travis, Mr. Abney, Billy T. Smith, Bob Pace, Dr. Bowman, Joe House and A.B. McCoy.