Muskogee Co, OK

Turning Back The Clock

By: C. W. "Dub" West (c) 1985

Muskogee Publishing Company, Box 1331, Muskogee, OK 74402

Snippets # 8

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(Pg 48 & 49) Early Muskogee Athletics Muskogee residents have always been interested in athletics, both as participants and observers. The Creeks and Cherokees played stickball ... Boys and men played sandlot baseball before the advent of formal organized athletics in the schools.

The 1897 Baconian gives us information not only of the earliest inter-collegiate competition in Muskogee but also of the state. It indicates that Baptist Indian University (Bacone) and Henry Kendall College played two football games in the fall of 1895. Cherokee Male Seminary also played the Muskogee schools. The University of Oklahoma also introduced football into the curriculum that fall.

Football competition continued in 1896 and 1897. No record has been found of any games played in 1898, which can be explained by the fact that several members of the respective teams enlisted in the Spanish American War. Patterson Mercantile's baseball team of 1899 satisfied some of the need that year.

Henry Kendall College and Indian University continued their games in 1900, continuing until Henry Kendall was moved to Tulsa in 1908. Pat Hurley was captain of Indian University football team in 1904.

[Photo of "1904 Bacone football team. Hurley, the captain, is holding football]

Indian University introduced tennis and basketball in 1899, just seven years after basketball was 'invented" by Dr. James Naismith. A girls basketball team was organized in 1901. Indian University played Nazareth Institute, Cherokee Male Seminary, and Draughon's Business College in baseball in 1903.

Football was included in the Central High School program in 1909 with a good beginning, by winning four or five games played. Knight Douglas was the captain. Other letterman were William Moorer, Reid Whitaker. Frank Kelly. Herberb Towner, Henry Gilmore. Albert Smith, Damon Douglas, Fred Wilburn and Frank Newcomb.

Baseball and track were introduced in 1910. Baseball lettermen were Sam Pitts, Dwight Edmondson, Woodie Smith as captain, William Moorer, Damon Douglas, Lacy DeGraffenreid, Robert Olentine, Knight Douglas, and Ernest Eawards. Track lettermen were Robert Olentine, Holmer White, Will Murphy. Clyde Fish, Herbert Towner, Lacy DeGraffenreid, Ronald Rosebrough, Brown Rand Howard Morris, William Moorer, Damon Douglas and Wheeler Harris.

Football lettermen in 1910 who had lettered in 1909 were Woodie Smith captain, Fred Borum, Herbert Towner and Damon Douglas. Otto Hine was also letterman.

Basketball was introduced during the 1910-1911 season. Homer Montgomery made his entrance on the athletic scene along with other lettermen: Damon Douglas, Wheeler Harris, Jean Neil, Harold Pemberton, Bascom Smith, Lloyd Malone, Harold Francis and John McDonald.

Baseball lettermen in 1911 who had lettered previously were Woodie Smith as captain, Homer Montgomery, William Thrasher, Damon Douglas, Virgil Hine, Harry Gilmore, Otto Hine and Bascom Smith.

Track letterman in 1911 were Mosely DeGraffenreid, Homer Montgomery, Damon Douglas, Bert Vogel, Watson Edwards and Jean Neil.

Football lettermen in 1911 included Jean Neil as captain, William Thrasher, Damon Douglas, Otto Hine, Homer Montgomery, Fred Borum, Curt Buddruss and Walter Markham.

The following players lettered in basketball in the 1911-1912 season: Damon Douglas as captain, Homer Montgomery, Virgil Hine, Harold Pemberton, Clyde Fish and John Templeton.

Track lettermen in 1912 were William Tisdel, Ralph Mosier, Emmit Farris, Charles Adkins and Clyde Fish.

Baseball lettermen in 1912 were Homer Montgomery, Virgil Hine, Walter Markham and Otto Hine.

The following players lettered in football in 1912: Virgil Hine as captain, Harold Pemberton, Walter Markham, Mosely DeGraffenreid, Pleas Porter, Lacy DeGraffenreid, Curt Buddruss, Cy Wheeler and Francis Johns.

(PGs 50-52) Muscogee's First Fire Department. There are several versions of the date the Muscogee Fire Department was organized - varying from 1892 to 1895. ... A news article in the Muskogee Phoenix of Aug. 16, 1906, indicates that Chief Frank Swift was host at a banquet celebrating the 14th anniversary of the organization of the fire department, which would place the date at 1892. ... Charles Seeking was chief with Frank Swift and John G. Lieber acting as foremen of the two hose companies. The group consisted of a total of 20 volunteers, including James Locke.

The April 26, 1915, issue of the Muskogee Phoenix reported that "Pat Byrne," the famous team fire engine named for Mayor Pat Byrne, was bought in 1899. It was a horse-drawn vehicle, and according to city records, Mayor Byrne purchased it out of his own pocket." It was evidentally purchased after the Great Fire of Feb. 23, 1899. ... [Photo - Fireman of the 1890s are James Locke, left, and Charles Seekings, seated. The other two are unidentified.]

(Pgs 52 & 53) Vogel- Early Muscogee Builder. When Henry Vogel came to Muscogee in 1889, sleeping rooms were all taken as the result of the influx of lawyers to be present at the opening of the federal court. He spent the first night sleeping on hay in a livery stable.

... Five homes which he built are still standing. He built his first home in 1903 at 205 Eastside Blvd., ... followed by residences at 207 Eastside Blvd., 721 E Broadway, 2123W. Okmulgee Ave. His last home at 1518 West Okmulgee Ave is occupied by his last surviving child Elizabeth Vogel. ... Henry, a native of Switzerland, came to America in 1874 with his family at the age of 10. The family moved west in stages, seeking new opportunities. He married Idella M. Brown in 1886. After his marriage, Vogal worked for the Santa Fe Railroad, building structures along the line until the drought of 1887 when the railroad went into receivership.

[From his autobiography] ... He and his wife went to Siloam Springs where they lived with Mrs. Vogel's parents until they could get settled. Using Siloam Springs as a base, he walked first to Fort Smith, then Tahlequah, and finally Muscogee, working at the building trade. While in Tahlequah, he worked on the Cherokee Female Seminary, now a part of Northeastern State University. ... Upon arriving in Muscogee, he [secured a job] on the Adams Hotel. ... After working two weeks, he went to Siloam Springs to bring his wife and baby to Muscogee. Since they were unable to rent a house, they erected a tent north the present site of the First Christian Church. He recalled that the tent weathered more than one storm.

... built the Indianola Building for C.N. Haskell at Third Street and Broadway. He was proud of the fact that it was the first five-story building in Indian Territory

... Twins were born to Mr. and Mrs. Vogel in 1892, Albert and Martha Bell, the first in Muscogee. .... Elizabeth Vogel says that her father was the oldest telephone subscriber when a died in 1951. [Photo of Henry Vogel]

(Pgs 53 & 54) Sears Catalogue -The Nation's Wishbook ...Sometimes, one could do more than wish and an order was made to the wonderful storehouse of goodies and necessities.

Days of anticipation followed. If you lived in a town, you went to the post office daily to see if your package had arrived, If you were on a rural route, you met the mail hack every day, hoping he would have the treasured object. ... In due time a new catalogue arrived, and the old one was "promoted" to the outhouse where it was perused even more astidously until it served its final purpose.

... [From a] 1908 reprint of the Sears Catalogue [the author's birth year]

It consisted of 1,184 pages and was free to anyone requesting one.

... cream separator that had a 20-year guarantee, priced from $26.30 to $43.65.

... a sewing machine, a Homan for $7.56 and a Minnesota for $13.85.

... Seroco house paint, guaranteed to last 10 years, ... 85 cents a gallon ... a competition brand for 39 cents a gallon.

...Buggies could be bought for as low as $29.95 on up to $59.95 for "a surrey with a fringe on top" or an "automobile seat" surrey with lights for $77.45 and a 'solid comfort cabriolet for $104.95."

... A substantial farm wagon was priced at $46.75

... Stereoscopes were priced at 28 cents each with 50 steroscopic views for 38 cents.

... Musical instruments of all kinds were featured with a Beckwith 'special concert" Piano being priced at $145.

... This was before the dollar watch with one being offered for 59 cents. Railroad watches were priced from $18 to $68 and a "solid-silver" watch could be had for $4.35.

... A rose garland dinner set of dishes of "genuine Bavarian translucent china" was offered for $12.45 and a 100-piece Rose Spray Haviland dinner set was priced at $27.69.

Kitchen cabinets ... ranging from $2.95 to $18.45, and ice boxes were from $4.45 to -$1 7.95.

Oak dining room tables with extensions ... $3.65 to $6.65 and the best round center pillar tables were $15.35. The best oak china cabinet was ... $32.25 and the best sideboard $14.65.

Office desks of solid oak were priced from $5.95 to $29.95 and the later the famous roll top desk.

Couches and sofas, including love seats, were priced from S3.75 to $38.95. If prices seem ridiculous, remember that there was little cash money handled by a farmer in those days, and few laboring or office people received more than $50 a month. Those were the good old days" that some old-timers remember.

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