February 1, 1918
A Defense Council in Each District
Oklahoma City, Jan. 30- A council of defense for every school district in the entire state, a loyalty pledge signed by every man and woman in the state, the utilization of all our resources and energy in the prosecution of the war, proof that Oklahoma is 100 percent patriotic- these are the objects sought by the State Council of Defense, which has called meeting for this purpose Feb. 1st in every county seat in Oklahoma. The Loyalty Pledge is as follows:
My Loyalty Pledge- I hereby pledge renewed allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stand. I pledge myself as a true, loyal American to be active in the support of my government in all its plans and efforts. I recognize the danger that arises from the slacker who opposes the country. I realize that every breeder of sedition is as great a menace to our homes and freedom as our enemies across the seas. I therefore pledge my self to report to the Chairman of my School District of Defense or to my County Defense Council or to my County Defense Chairman any disloyal act or utterance that I may know of. I will help stamp out the enemies at home, whose every act or word means more American graves in France.
The organization meetings for February 1st will be under the general auspices of the State Council of Defense and under the immediate direction of the County council.
Any patriotic resident of any district in the state may become a member of the district organization by signing the pledge card with the loyalty pledge given above.
June 21, 1918
Defense Council is Doing Splendid Work
The County and School District Defense Councils this week and last have done work that fully justifies their existence.
In the matter of registering laborers they have saved the oat and cotton crops. In addition to providing autos for taking out and bringing back some two hundred cotton choppers and oat harvesters each day, they hit upon the plan suggested by W.W. Boone of going out at night and shocking oats that had been cut. Friday night 67 men went out and took care of 200 acres in two hours. Thursday night they did the same thing only a smaller amount. Saturday night likewise they surprised some farmers who did not know where they were to get help. Monday night again they went out. These were men who had worked in stores or offices all day- bankers, preachers, everybody. They kept this up all week, sometimes going ten miles out. There were plenty of men who were glad to furnish cars for the purpose. Another thing: they made no charge for the work. Of course the farmers felt like paying for the work so where they did, they made a check to the Red Cross for what the work was wroth.
Besides being a big factor in saving the oat crop this act has been one of the means of cementing the friendships between town man and farmer. The town man was brought to realize the need of the farmer in rush season; the farmer realizes now that the town man is really his friend and that each has an important work to do, and they must serve and help each other.
In the vicinity of Caddo there were several crops that are worked by widows and their children. Monday a large number of Odd Fellows went out to Mrs. Gray Nickles’ place twelve miles east of town, and cleaned her cotton crop, and did not even wait for dinner. It will be remembered that Gray Nickles died last Wednesday after a long illness, and naturally the crop got behind. Many merchants and clerks who had other incomes gave their work freely to those who were really in need of the work. Such acts gave these women and children new heart; gave them courage to continue the battle against odds. And besides this it helps to win the war. This spirit of service one for another is one of the good things we are getting out of the war, and we hope it will continue even after peace reigns again- for we have found out that we each are necessary to the other- that none can live to themselves alone, and that there is a community of interest that makes us all one brotherhood.
The Herald commends this spirit. And in the end when the crops are gathered it means bigger and better business for the town, the big crops will have been made and gathered, and we shall have done a large part in helping to win the war.
Preacher Whipped by Council of Defense
Tuesday afternoon a committee of the Choctaw (county) Council of Defense went to Caddo where they got Rev. Chas. F. Reese, a minister of the Christian Church, and brought him back to Soper about 11 o’clock, where the local council of defense, assisted by the Hugo bunch with their tried leather strap, gave him a hearing, followed by a whipping he will remember the rest of his days.
It came to the council of defense that the preacher had been writing letters detrimental to the Red Cross and to the war generally. The council had the letters in its possession as evidence and read them to him and he acknowledged writing them. In a letter written the latter part of last December he made remarks against the Red Cross. And when faced with the accusation, said that he wrote the letter before the espionage act went into effect.
In another letter he stated that he would die before he would go to war, which he did not deny.
There was evidence produced showing that he had wrecked the home of one of the best families, and after a hearing he was stretched across a barrel, and given a good whipping with the leather strap, and given a coat of yellow paint and ordered to leave Choctaw County and to quit preaching. He started out afoot with his suit cases and the crowd decided to get his clean clothes out of the suit cases so that he would have to wear the yellow clothes and upon opening one of the cases found a 38-calibre pistol wrapped up in a shirt. The pistol was taken and will be auctioned off for the Red Cross.
Reese is well known here, having preached at the Christian Church for a number of years.
The council of defense is determined to stop disloyalty in Choctaw County. If a man will not support his government they have a very effective way of converting him. – Soper Democrat.