12/27/10

WAS IT SOMETHING IN THE WATER?


The "Good old days" might mean different things to different people. The list of death and murder in a time so often envisioned as idyllic, is unsettling. The truth of the matter is that people have always been - good and bad - people. These 'clusters' or 'outbreaks' do give pause and make one wonder if it was something in the water that drove people to such violent lengths.
1901
• In November of 1901, the Wilcox family of Los Angeles was 'knifed horribly' while they slept. (“Horrible Crime”, Oklahoman, Nov. 29, 1901, pg. 1).



1904
• In Nov. 1904 the entire family of Julius Weber was shot and stabbed before the house was burned in Auburn, Ca (Oklahoman, Nov. 12, 1904, pg. 1).
• In March 1905, San Rafael, CA a man “Murdered His Entire Family”, Oklahoman, May 25, 105, pg. 7).


1909
• In October 1909, James McMahon confessed to killing the Van Royen family in Kansas City. (“I Killed Them” Yells Murderer”, Oklahoman, Oct. 27, 1909, pg.11).
• In November of 1909 in Bluebird, W. Va. a George Hood family was killed and the house burned down to try to cover the deed. (“Charred Bodies of Four found in Ruins of House.” Oklahoman, Nov.2, 1909, pg. 10).
• December 1909, Cleveland, OH woman Josephine Mangero and her two children fatally stabbed. (“Mother and two children Slain”. Oklahoman, Dec.5,1909, pg. 1.).


1910
• In March 1910, the New Orleans area saw the murders of numerous families.
• In December 1910, Savannah, Georgia a race war almost ensued after the deaths of Mrs. Elizabeth Gribble, Mrs. Carrie Ohlander, and Mrs. Maggie Hunter. The local police rounded up over a hundred local African Americans to be 'questioned'. (“Woman Slain by Fiendish Negro.” Oklahoman, Dec.12, 1909, pg. 18).


1911
• In January 1911, Rayne, LA a mother and her four children were killed.+
• In Spring 1911, Lafayette, LA the Norbett Randall family was killed.+
• In September 1911, Colorado Springs, Co. People in several neighboring houses were discovered dead with crushed heads while they slept. Victims were a H.C.Wayne, his wife and child; a Mrs. A. J. Burnham, two children (including a one year old).*
• In October 1911, in Monmouth, IL a William E. Dawson, his wife, and daughter were killed.
• In October 1911, in Ellsworth, Kansas a William Showman, wife, and three children were killed as they slept.* (“Showman Family of Five Murdered.” Ellsworth Reporter, Oct.11, 1911).


1912
• In February, 1912, in Beaumont, Texas a family was killed. +
• In 1912, Crowly, LA a family was killed as they slept. + (+=Some assume these LA and TX murders to be racially motivated as they are all African-American family units. Some included 'Mulatto' or mixed race children which further complicates and confuses the matter. The simple truth might also be that these families were convenient kills providing a prey separated from the major part of the society by racial prejudice thus making them targets of ease. Others suggest some obscure church of sacrifice was involved yet the evidence appears weak to non-existent for this line of reasoning.)
• In 1912, Lake Charles, LA, a family was killed as they slept.+
• In April 1912, San Antonio (Police suspected the man was using the Southern Pacific Railroad since November 1911. It was suggested if the theory of the killer using the rails was correct he would next hit there and he did).
• In June 1912, in Paola, Kansas a Rollin Hudson and wife were murdered. (“Murder Came in the Night”, Western Spirit, June 14,1912).
• In June 1912, in Vilasca, Iowa, eight were murdered as they slept. Victims: J.B. Moore and wife, four children, and two local girls, guests of his children. (“Recent Ax Murders”, Oklahoman, July, 14, 1912, pg. 1).
• In December 1912, two women were killed in Columbia, Missouri. (“Horrible Murder Committed”, Columbia Herald, Dec.20, 1912).


1913
• In 1913, in Muskogee, Oklahoma several lone people were murdered by an axe welding killer (“Second Hatchet Murder Mystery Stirs Muskogee”, Oklahoman, Nov. 29, 1913, pg. 1).


1914
• In July 6, 1914, Blue Island (Chicago), IL a family was butchered as they slept. Victims: Jacob Neslesla, wife, daughter, and an infant grandchild.* (“Axe of Assassin Deals Death to Sleeping Family,” Oklahoman, July 7, 1914.)


1919
• In 1919, New Orleans, more axe murders thought to be the work of gangs but also as likely a serial killer. Perhaps even the same killer?

1920-
• In 1920 in Turtle Lake, N.D. eight are killed on the Jacob Wolf farm. (“Police Seek Clues in Dakota Murder”, Oklahoman, April 25, 26, 1920, pg. 2, 33).

1922-29
• In January of 1922, a mother and son are killed in Chicago. (Oklahoman, Jan. 23, 1922, pg.12.)
• In November 1928, Omaha was stricken by a 'hatchet slayer' who killed at least three times. (Oklahoman, Nov. 21, 1928).

The Louisiana and Texas Axe Murders (1909-1912)



  • In January 1911 in Rayne, Louisiana a mother and her four children were hacked to death by an unknown killer as they slept.
  • In February in Crowley the Byers family was killed.
  • A few weeks later, in nearby Lafayette, LA the five members of the Andrus family were killed,
  • In April, five member of the Cassaway family were killed.
  • On Nov. 26, 1911 the 5 membes of the Norbett Randall family were similarily killed as they slept.
  • On Jan. 19, 1912, five members of the Warner family in Crowley were attacked and killed
  • On Jan. 21, at Lake Charles the 5 members of the Felix Broussard family were killed
  • The 6 members of the Wexford family were slaughtered.
  • Feb. 91, 1912, Beaumont more death in the Dove home.
  • March 27, more death in Glidden, Texas
  • April 11, 1912 in San Antonio, the five members of the William Burton family were killed
  • April 13, 1912 three were killed in a Hempstead, Texas home.
  • Aug. 6, 1912 the final murders occur in San Antonio.

After that, no more deaths in the region. Michael Newton in his Encyclopedia of Unsolved Crimes, notes the interesting fact that some 20 black women were killed in Atlanta, Georgia during this same time period. The killer there was labeled "Jack the Ripper." (pg. 263-264).


The New York Times in March 1912 indicated there was great fear in the black communities of the region, worried over the impact on grain crops (so compassionate), discussed the possibility of a "Sacrifice Cult" and then spent some time exploring the belief that a cult had not been the initial cause of the killings but was a factor now. ("Negro TerrorMay Shorten Rice Crops", New York Times, March 2, 1912, pg. 7). The ignorance of Voodoo, Hoodoo and alternate religious customs added to the problem. The crimes were not viewed as seriously as they might and were clearly only a danger to one segment of the population ("Religious Crank Killing Negroes," Oklahoman, Feb.20, 1912, pg. 1). In Februrary, in Beaumont, Texas Ethel Dove, her son Ernest, daughter Haitie, and daughter Jessie Quick were killed.

The killer next struck in San Antonio and for the last time in the region of Hempstead, Texas.
Some have attempted to make this part of a racial attack on Louisiana and Texas blacks. The truth may be it is simply part of a larger pattern of assaults on families through the country in the 1901 - 1930 time period. Numerous families, mothers, fathers, and young children, were brutally assaulted in Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Colorado, W. Virginia, and California. It may be that once more investigation occurs other yet to be discoverd events in numerous areas may provide even more links between all of these early crimes.
In almost every case found the target appeared to be the mother figure and the assaults on the woman the most severe.

12/26/10

The Mind of the Mob: Ugly Lessons We Should Never Forget

From the 1880's through the 1920's - literally thousands died at the hands of mobs in the United States. Most were racially motivated and many were examples of citizenry taking the law into their own hands. The victims included African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics Americans and European Americans.
These mob decided hangings, burnings, and murders were sometimes instigated by the racist reporting in local or regional newspapers, inflamed by shock or fear mongering tales from distant places, or ignored by local news all together.
Usually, these mobs rode the hot blood of recent death or some incident deemed inappropriate and fear fanned the flames of racisim. Sometimes, though, the intent was with willful planning and cold intent. Wearing masks or sheet these mobs had one purpose - social control at any price. They usually targeted blacks but were not above putting whites in their place (as they saw it). They were judge, jury and executioner with a callous disregard for the law, justice, or fairness.
Examining some of these old newspapers a trend can sometimes be found, especially in areas subject to influences from the south. The stories of "bad negroes" being burned at the stake or hung by a raging mob are recounted with a detectable note of glee. Predictions of probable lynchings someitmes had an almost hopeful tone (the inference almost seeming to be that a community would lynch if it were worth its salt). Then, when the horrid and despictable act was accomplished in an upclose and personal manner that underscored its basic beastial elements, the same writer or editor would step back, rachet down the tone, and then wonder how this thing had happened?
A common feature of those distant days when news was sparse and far between and todays' 24/7 news cycle is news sells. Those responsible for "whipping" up emotions, providing examples of actions with out thought of those who might copy the acts, and sending mixed signals as to the worthiness of an action cannot step back and wonder what happened. They cannot fall back on the blank faced assumption that they had no part in the act. The laid the groundwork, provided the examples and the sense of righteous motive, and then reported the 'worthy' act in their newspapers.
In researching several lychings, I saw this pattern repeated enough to lay partial blame at the feet of thoughtless and perhaps greedy editors and publishers. Some were more than thoughtless because the canker of ugly heartless racism was the engine driving their actions. Such a level of hatred for a fellow human being should never be allowed. Over and over I also saw these instigatin voices replaced by new journalists who asked probing questions, demanded fairness and laid blame on the mob mentality that robs a society if its virtue.

In our so civilized modern time we must guard against the same senseless motives and actions in their new modern guises: politics, gang and drug murders, recreational crime, and more.

12/25/10

AXE MURDERS OF AUSTIN


Did Jack the Ripper get his start in Texas? Some researchers have suggested just that. The crimes, called at the time the Servant Girl Annihilator or Austin Axe Murderer, was a serial killer or killers who terrorized Austin, Texas between 1884 and 1885. Who he was and why he killed (other simply being evil) are unknown. Author Alistair MacLean once opinioned that men were either mad or bad when they did some deeds. No confusion as to the sources of human depravity for him.
The motive of this killers operations differed greatly from "Jack": he raped, stabbed or axed his victims. Just months later, the killings begin in White Chapel in London City. Like, the later English killer the Austin killer disappears and the killings stop leaving many to ponder if a killer, once his blood lust has been aroused and given an outlet, can he really stop? Like the BTK murderer of more recent times in Kansas it may go underground - but is never too far buried it cannot be brought once more into the spotlight.

12/24/10

HAVE AXE - WILLING TO TRAVEL

From the soon to be released..."When Death Rode the Rails"(c) by Marilyn A. Hudson.

The Axe Man Cometh
There was a time when every home had one staple tool used to chop wood, kill a rooster for Sunday dinner, or several other tasks. The axe was so useful and used by every member of a household: men, women, and even children. That such an instrument might be used in murders was not a surprise - murders often use what is handy, weapons of opportunity or convenience. Husbands went after wives and wives attacked husbands with a emphasis on single victim attacks. In some cases youth went after parental figures. Sometimes, a stranger came to town and struck in the shadows of night leaving blood and tragedy behind them before leaving once more.

The Crimes
What is more noticeable was that between 1909 and 1919 there were numerous axe murders of families or groups. These occurred across the country. Some were solved, some were merely officially closed by finding a local scapegoat, whole some remain a mystery to this day. To further confuse the issue an ax could be welded as easily by a woman or youth as a grown man. All were family units, killed in their sleep, with a blunt object such as a hammer, axe, pick, etc. or a sharp object such as an axe or a knife.

Although these could all be unrelated, except as copycat style crimes, the possibility remains that there could have been more crimes of a serial nature going in early 20th century America than previously supposed.

If all these incidences were the work of one killer, the person obviously had issues with families and families where there was some potential or perceived problem as seen in the number of wives living apart from husbands, mothers living apart from fathers, etc. The killer may have seen, even in healthy families, some dysfunction he had to eradicate. He may have even seen himself as fulfilling some mission. In at least two cases, there is the hint that it was the woman who was the recipient of the most severe attack supporting the theory the killer may have been substituting someone else for his victim. Was he lashing out at a substitute for some woman in his life? Was he killing the children to ‘protect’ them in some perverted reasoning?

Note, that many of these just might be the work of one man. A serial killer might go one for decades, uncaught, as has been proved many times over around the globe. The crime scenes were so contaminated by sight seers and investigators that valuable clues linking a perpetrator were lost almost before the story hit the news wire.
It would be interesting to determine how many of these cases saw the woman as the primary, or first, victim? How many had items thrown over clocks, telephones, and windows? How many left notes or had letters sent to the town reciting scriptures? These may all be the signature calling cards of the person responsible for these ghastly murders.

• In November of 1901, the Wilcox family of Los Angeles was 'knifed horribly' while they slept. (“Horrible Crime”, Oklahoman, Nov. 29, 1901, pg. 1).
• In Nov. 1904 an entire family was shot and the house burned in Auburn, Ca (Oklahoman, Nov. 12, 1904, pg. 1).
• In March 1905, San Rafael, CA a man “Murdered His Entire Family”, Oklahoman, May 25, 105, pg. 7).
• In October 1909, James McMahon confessed to killing the Van Royen family in Kansas City. (“I Killed Them” Yells Murderer”, Oklahoman, Oct. 27, 1909, pg.11).
• In November of 1909 in Bluefield, W. Va. a family was killed and the house burned down to try to cover the deed. (“Charred Bodies of Four found in Ruins of House.” Oklahoman, Nov.2, 1909, pg. 10).
• December 1909, Cleveland, OH woman Josephine Mangero and her two children fatally stabbed. (“Mother and two children Slain”. Oklahoman, Dec.5,1909, pg. 1.).
• In 1909-1911, the New Orleans and Teas areas saw the murders of numerous families. It was assumed a sacrificial cult or sect was responsible and one young woman ‘confessed’ to such (“How the Cruel and Gruesome Murder of Africa’s Serpent Worship Have Been revived in Louisiana,” Oklahoman, Feb.18, 1912, pg. 38). Such stories were often printed to stir things up among the fearful whites and to create environments where mob rule could function without too much complaint. The scope of these stories, despite the attempts to marginalize the killings as a racial issue, indicate a killer was prowling the area and using the rails to move about.
• In December 1910, Savannah, Georgia a race war almost ensued after the deaths of Mrs. Elizabeth Gribble, Mrs. Carrie Ohlander, and Mrs. Maggie Hunter. The local police rounded up over a hundred local African Americans to be 'questioned'. (“Woman Slain by Fiendish Negro.” Oklahoman, Dec.12, 1909, pg. 18).
• In January 1911, Rayne, LA a mother and her four children were killed.+
• In Spring 1911, Lafayette, LA the Norbett Randall family was killed.+
• In September 1911, Colorado Springs, Co. People in several neighboring houses were discovered dead with crushed heads while they slept. Victims were a H.C.Wayne, his wife and child; a Mrs. A. J. Burnham, two children (including a one year old).*
• In October 1911, in Monmouth, IL a William E. Dawson, his wife, and daughter were killed.
• In October 1911, in Ellsworth, Kansas a William Showman, wife, and three children were killed as they slept.* (“Showman Family of Five Murdered.” Ellsworth Reporter, Oct.11, 1911).
• In 1912, Crowly, LA a family was killed as they slept. + (+=Some assume these LA and TX murders to be racially motivated as they are all African-American family units. Some included 'Mulatto' or mixed race children which further complicates and confuses the matter. The simple truth might also be that these families were convenient kills providing a prey separated from the major part of the society by racial prejudice thus making them targets of ease. Others suggest some obscure church of sacrifice was involved yet the evidence appears weak to non-existent for this line of reasoning.)
• In 1912, Lake Charles, LA, a family was killed as they slept.+
• In April 1912, San Antonio (Police suspected the man was using the Southern Pacific Railroad since November 1911. It was suggested if the theory of the killer using the rails was correct he would next hit there and he did).
• In February, 1912, in Beaumont, Texas a family was killed. +
• In June 1912, in Paola, Kansas a Rollin Hudson and wife were murdered. (“Murder Came in the Night”, Western Spirit, June 14,1912).
• In June 1912, in Vilasca, Iowa, eight were murdered as they slept. Victims: J.B. Moore and wife, four children, and two local girls, guests of his children.* (“Recent Ax Murders”, Oklahoman, July, 14, 1912, pg. 1). Many suspects .
• In December 1912, two women were killed in Columbia, Missouri. (“Horrible Murder Committed”, Columbia Herald, Dec.20, 1912).
• In 1913, in Muskogee, Oklahoma several lone people were murdered by an axe welding killer (“Second Hatchet Murder Mystery Stirs Muskogee”, Oklahoman, Nov. 29, 1913,pg. 1).
• In July 6, 1914, Blue Island (Chicago), IL a family was butchered as they slept. Victims: Jacob Neslesla, wife, daughter, and an infant grandchild.* (“Axe of Assassin Deals Death to Sleeping Family,” Oklahoman, July 7, 1914.)

-In Nov. 1917, Virginia, Minnesota, man, wife and boarder killed with ax and knife.
• In 1919, New Orleans, more axe murders thought to be the work of gangs but also as likely a serial killer. Perhaps even the same killer?
• In 1920 in Turtle Lake, N.D. eight are killed on the Jacob Wolf farm. (“Police Seek Clues in Dakota Murder”, Oklahoman, April 25, pg. 2, and April 26, 1920, pg. 33).
• In January of 1922, a mother and son are killed in Chicago. (Oklahoman, Jan. 23, 1922, pg.12.)
• In November 1928, Omaha was stricken by a 'hatchet slayer' kills three. (Oklahoman, Nov. 21, 1928).

As the Texas and Louisiana authorities noted, the killer(s) were never far from a railroad line in all of these murders. In fact, in several cases the trail died at a rail line indicating a killer might have hopped a train to escape. Several books, Serial Killers: The Methods and Madness of Monsters (Peter Vronksy) and Still at Large: A Case book of 20th Century Serial Killers (Michael Nicotan) mention these Louisiana and Texas slayings.

It should be remembered that all we know about serial killers and their conduct, motives, and methods is fairly recently learned. What was said to be ironclad just 10 years ago is already being tweaked based on new research showing that the hard and fast "rules" of criminal profiling have been extremely useful but they have to be subject to revisions based on new data.

12/22/10

HOLIDAYS BRINGS THOUGHTS OF HOME



Sometimes, home can be the most mysterious place of all. Searching for an address in my hometown, I followed a 'bunny trail' trying to remember the addresses of places where we had lived while I was growing up. This in turn led to the discovery that some addesses appeared to have disappeared. Others, had changed almost too much to even recognize. Some were near landmarks I had never known existed. Then, there was the awareness that little history seems to be available for my hometown. Then, most disturbing of all, is the level of detail on Goggle maps for Earth (requires a plug) reveals a disturbing pre- 9/11 level of up-to-details.

12/20/10

THE GOOD WIFE'S GUIDE

The Good Wife's Guide
see more Historic LOL



Although of questionable origin the 'guide' is reflective of attitudes by many in the time period. No accurate source has yet been found for the list of suggestions, but similar bits of advice could be found in smaller publications of thr 1950's and 1960's and even into the 1970's. I know, I read them. I remember reading one small booklet from a small publisher (it may have been Standard Publishing) with advice for husbands and wives. Some true gems of this genre can also be found in the books of advice for wives of pastors. The military also produced, I am told, a forminable book for officers wives and base living during the time period of the 1950-1970's

Although this "Good Wife Guide" is a no doubt a mock up done to press home a point - they may not have had to go far to glean the tidbits of advice. Who may have put this together? The list is endless.....

12/12/10

"I'M DREAMING OF AN ALUMINUM CHRISTMAS"


Once upon a time, in a land long ago, Christmas was celebrated with shiny aluminum trees. Oh, what modern marvels! How they glinted, glittered, and reflected the rotating colors angled upwards into those metallic branches. We were in the space age after all! After school, children were entertained by space men on the television, astronauts, and futuristic travlers.
In Kansas in the 1960's, "Major Astro" hosted the daily after school television program on KARD out of Wichita. The program of movies or cartoons, puppets, and characters was inspired by the Mercury astronauts, reflecting the new space age efforts of the Air Force and NASA, and the age-old dream of going "out there." It delighted and inspired children for many years. Everyday children would rush home to make sure they did not miss the smiling Major who always wished us "Happy orbits!" [ He was on the air from 1962 to 1973. Astro, played by Tom Leahy, died at age 87 in June. There is even a Facebook Fan Page honoring him.]


The shiny trees were just another part of this modern, futuristic, science fiction-turning-into-reality environment. We watched launches into history on small grainy pictured televisions, played with toy ray guns and flew into the 'wild blue yonder' of the imagination. Today, they are making a come back, as new versions and vintage finds. In Brevard, NC is the only museum devoted to preserving and sharing the history of these vintage delights. Stop by if you can and remember a tme when there were dreams, confidence, and local television personalties.
Merry Christmas!
(Click on the title above to link to their site).

12/11/10

The Thing Goes There


For shivers and suspense the 1951 Hawk's film, The Thing From Another World, aka The Thing, is hard to beat in movies of its day. It was based on a gripping 1930's science fiction short story by Joseph W. Campbell called "Who Goes There?" [read the story here]
As a young girl, I remember being wide eyed as the huge mysterious creature stalks the stranded scientists and soldiers in their snowy world.
Perched between the here-today-gone-tomorrow 1947 Roswell, NM UFO episode and the mysterious 1953 Washington D.C. UFO flyover, the almost mythic image and story hinted at many unknowns, possibilities, and just might be things yet to be discovered.
Did the image sear itself into cultural memory and emerge later as a smaller version?
Decades before the stereotypical big headed, big eyed alien, of the 1980's, the 1951 film showed a head strikingly similar. The Thing, as portrayed in the film was not small, but rather a large framed humanoid. More recent movies present more special effects and gore but that strange vision of such an unworldly head just becoming visible in the ice scene is interesting - and still able to provide more than one good shiver.

12/5/10

DEHORNING THE VIKINGS



It is the classic mythic image - Viking warriors tramping across the land in huge horned helmets. The only problem they did not wear them. This depiction was set in stone with the Wagnerian operas. Although, early Roman writers wrote of Northern tribes who wore helmets with various horns or antlers attached, there is cause to think these were the predecessor of the Vikings and most probably one of the groups fitting into the Celtic language and culture matrix. Celtic related images going back to the 8th century B.C, shows horned helmets. A horned god was part of their pantheon.
In the Thames in the 1860's a helmet with horns was found and it is thought they were symbolic offerings or used in some special ritual. The mistake arose from a time when archaeology was largely influenced by a simplistic and linear concept of human development. This thinking labeled everything as either 'primitive' or ' civilized'. People groups who did not adopt the trappings of 'civilization' (huge structures, complex roads, etc.) were labeled 'primitive' and no thought was given to the evidences of advanced societies within more simple social structures. That societies might develop without the need to build castles or houses in stone and might work with nature were not part of the accepted paradigm.

CHRISTMAS STORIES FROM ENID

In 1909, little Florence Bellmont insured Santa understood her letter by writing it in several languages: French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. Seems her father had been a translator in European - so he may have helped just a little bit. She was very polite and assurred Santa the "north window" would be open for easy access.
In the 1920's a white haired professor of nearby Philips University prepared to deliver his performance of 'The Christmas Carol'. He had been presenting it since about 1910.

11/22/10

THE GREAT FIRE OF 1973



Unlike poor Mrs. O'Leary's Chicago cow, there is apparently no one to blame for the great 1973 fire at the National Archives and Records Center's Missouri cite housing its miltiary records. The National Personnel Records Center in the St. Louis suburbs housed veterans records for millions of men and women who had served their country in numerous branches and government work.




Only 20% of the Army records spanning 1912 to 1960 remained and only about 30% of the Air Force records survived from 1947 to 1964. Millions of records were destroyed ruining the chances of family historians, veterans, and others to access crucial validating records of service.




The lack of a clear cause (it was suggested the files had spontaneously combusted) left the field open for conspiracies aplenty.




For example:




The less than stellar performance of the government in exposing soldiers and airman to radioactive fallout after WW2 was just breaking in the news. With the threat of thousands - if not millions - of veterans falling ill with potentially related diseases...and suing the government...a fire was carefully engineered to erase the evidence.




The full military records of alleged presidential assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald, were also destroyed in the fire. This has fueled the fire for some conspiracy buffs. If his record supported some versions of the story they would implicate government and/or other collusion in the event. This could not happen so a fire was set.






What is known is that millions of Americans had to struggle to piece meal together records to verify service. Countless others searching for some small tibit of knowledge about a hero of a conflict in order to learn something of where they come from and what their ancestors did, were unsuccessful.
The individuals who found, retrieved, cleanup, and researched an alien craft (ala Roswell, NM) were on the verge of being discovered and so a fire destroyed the public records of this service while maintaining the private and classified records housed elsewhere.




Destroying, and endangering the lives of many people nearby, one file would unlikely have been the target.

The Great File of 1973 was a blunt force blow to the history of the men and women who sacrificed, suffered, and sometimes died for their country.

11/21/10

GONE - BUT NOT FORGOTTEN



A man who helped make Oklahoma City was it became was Charles Colcord. His lovely residence, 421 NW 13th,was built after he 'made it' in Sooner Land was truly impressive. Today, if this mansion were still standing it would be a major tourist destination, Hollywood would rent it for blockbuster movies, and people would point with pride at the rich heritage of their community.
Sources conflict as to the date of the building. A 1939 article of the Oklahoman says the house was built in 1903 (and has a photograph of the house being built). Wikipedia and the OK digital library indicate 1901. The Jan. 8, 1965 article in the Oklahoman, which shows the mansion after being assaulted by a 800 lb. wrecking ball, says the 11 bedroom house was built in 1901. The article was laconically titled, "Victim of the Times."
When Colcord built his historic downtown office building he leveled some early historic "shacks." The historic and lovely house in 1965 was torn down for the most noble of purposes, and probably one Colcord would have gladly accepted, to build a modern office building.

NEW PLAN TO MOVE COLUMNS



The lovely and majestic columns on the old Phillips campus in Enid, Oklahoma will be moved according to a new plan to open a Smithsonian quality museum addition in Enid adjacent to the Chisholm Trail Conference Center.
The current location, beside a peaceful pond with arching trees is lovely and in there place would be a destination for tourists, students, and community. The current plans show them moved to the new downtown addition and named for donors. In the fading golden sun of a peaceful November afternoon the thought of these gracious and classic structures being surrounded by traffic seems too harsh and cruel. They are mythic art so at home in their natural setting. Times change, places are forgotten or torn down. Another page of history is turned and what will the result of this urban renewal ultimately reveal? Only the future can tell if this will be a good thing or if , like so many other victims of urban renewals have learned, the realization will be that sometimes, stories and things, should remain.

11/7/10

UFO's IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT


Many people assume that the Roswell event was the beginning of reported sightings of unexplained things in the skies. An image said to be the first photograph of a unexplained object (what we call a UFO) is said to have been taken in 1870 New Hampshire (see other cases at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFO ).
Up to WWII sightings were made of what many claimed were metallic like objects shooting through the skies. In WWII both axis and allied powers reported a mysterious light and objects that they termed "Foo Fighters". In 1946 "ghost rockets" were reported in the skies of northern Europe. In 1947 - a month before Roswell sightings were made in the Northwest by a private pilot and over Idaho by a commercial airliner. Some even claim that such objects may be in ancient images and medieval drawings.
If the "UFO Craze", as some have called it, was soled birthed in the heady post WWII period, it would be a more clear-cut case and much easier to dismiss as mass hysteria related to the fear of the atom bomb being lobbed into our back yards by the "Commies". Although rationale, scientific, and contradictory explanations may emerge one basic fact remains: The fact that unknown objects had been reported 60 sixty years before Roswell....is a little harder to dismiss. Remember...just because you haven't seen something, doesn't mean it is not there....

UFO'S, ROSWELL, AND MYSTERY

Several years ago doing research for a social history project I explored the subject of UFO's...
Anyone who has delved deeply into the whole Roswell saga, has come across several names: Jesse Marcel Sr., Philip Klass, Karl Pflock, and ubiquitous kudos to one "Robert G. Todd". Robert Todd was, according to the late Phil Klass, the Grand Master of UFO Debunks, a “believer in his younger days", a "sharp-eyed researcher" who pioneered using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to uncover information and who stated the USAF in its report data, possessed an "encyclopedic understanding of military records" (something hard enough for people with a strong military background - or, so military types tell me). Phil also said “Todd was the first – ahead of the Air Force and Karl Pflock – to discover the connection between Roswell and Project Mogul …Todd has since become so disgusted with UFOlogy, he has withdrawn from the field and discarded his files.” (--Gary Posner, email May 30, 2001)

Todd, along with Phill Klass and others, came to represent all the aspects of Roswell that caused people to say, “something doesn’t add up”. They symbolize the intuitive awareness felt by many that some things in the explanations simply did not add up.
The entire later half of the 20th century was comprised of a series of "preemptive hoaxes" apparently designed to undermine any possible valid information surfacing regarding UFOs or Roswell's famous crash. Consider for a moment, 1) Roswell begins to re-surface after several decades of being a faint rumor or totally forgotten and behold the MJ-12 documents surface and there is the haggling over its authenticity, 2) Roswell gains credibility through congressional investigations spearheaded by New Mexico politicians and the MOGUL explanation surfaces (aw, gee shucks, ma'am, I don't know how I forgot that top-secret project....), 3) yet Roswell continues to be considered seriously by too many people and the notorious "Alien Autopsy" film surfaces... even if this time line is off - search and you shall find the same "counter-moves" being made repeatedly to block potential credibility or serious investigation. Try it....you will find from the 1950's and the "Contactees", through the collapsing from within of major UFO groups (spurred by insiders for that very purpose some claim), to the whole smorgasbord of Roswell. A rise and fall of tide-like consistency, a dance of claim and counter claims serving to keep the whole subject the "fluff" of the evening news and the twinkle in every reporters eye ....

POSTER CHILD OF UFO DEBUNKERS

Philip J. Klass was the thorn in the side of just about everybody according to most reports. It is little wonder than that this poster child of debunkers, masquerading as skeptics, should have an FBI file.
In 65 pages of reports, memos, and photocopied articles are revealed a fascinating dark side to this man who was often not above personal, and very ugly, attacks on UFO researchers. The file, located at http://www.cufon.org/cufon/Klass_FBI.pdf, notes that by the early 1960's there was an official FBI file on Klass for a 1953 article that revealed classified information. The Air Force was quoted as saying that one article dealt with something so classified that it could not be declassified for purposes of a lawsuit!
In 1975, the FBI noted he had been twice investigated for publications of classified information and for his attacks on the character of Dr. J. Allen Hyneck. His books are notable for their ability to track down and eradicate a non-issue as if it were the main event. To ignore facts that did not conform to his views.
His lasting legacy is a warning to future researchers and a footnote on the willingness for those who claim to be skeptics but who are, at heart, agenda driven debunkers. A memo of that year (from the FBI's Mr. Kein to Mr. Moore) states: "In view of Klass' intemperate criticism and often irrational statements...we should be most careful in any further contacts." In another place, an agent in 1976 questioned if Klass was in "possession of all his faculties" regarding a 28 page rant that included terms such as "psychic time bomb", "Jewish subconscious transformation", and a device called a "cattle-prod prod" to be used against enemy aircraft.
This is the Klass who was a founding member of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation o Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). He was called by Michael Sokolove 'the voice of cool reason."
In 1983, he published his famous "UFO Curse" ..."you will never know any more about UFOs than you know today." Yes, now there sounds the bell-like voice of a mind that has closed its corridors to anything but what it firmly believes to be truth.
Klass, High Priest of Debunkers and Close-Minded Scientists, died in 2005.


[reprint 2008, Spellbound Stories]

10/15/10

EARLY BUNGALOWS AND A WOMAN REALTOR




Several advertisements for 'bungalows' appeared in early Oklahoma City newspapers. They appeared to be centered in the NE 8th and NE 9th areas. The ads found (to date) appeared in 1907-1910. Several ads in 1904-1906 are being explored as well.


A 1907 ad described a bungalow for sale somewhere "near Emerson School" (715 N Walker area). In 1908, the ads were numerous and located houses on West 2nd, West 9th, East 7th, East 10th, 18th and 20th Streets.
An interesting sidebar was several of these were offered by a "Miss Corder with the Cowthorne Co." An early female real estate agent?
In 1909, larger "modern" bungalows were being advertised, such as the large home on 18th near Shartel, a seven room at 410 Maple on two lots, 705 W. 25th, 1441 W. Main, and on 26th Street.


In a 1915 edition of the Oklahoman, an article stated "100 Homes Built Here During Year: Bungalows Predominate as Type of Construction in Buildings". The hugely popular style was slated to reach 400 in the coming year due to its style, attentions to detail, and its price range of $12,000 to $40,000.
There was in the bungalow, quite literally, a style for almost every pocket book. It was the emergence of the American middle class and the "home ownership" movement that merged individualism, modernity (freedom from the stuffy Victorian styles) and a decidedly American equalization of status in society that made these homes real estate winners. Add to that in the coming years the "kit" houses, from Aladdin and Sears, that were easy to deliver, easy to build, and easy to buy and the stage was set for wide spread home building. "On Capital Hill, throughout the precincts of University and Putnam and other additions...their tile, slate, or shingle roofs cover comfort and inviting elegance."


The ubiquitous bungalow, so carelessly cast aside and denuded of its many charming and unique features is worthy of salvation through restoration. The bungalow, and the larger arts and crafts movement styles, were all designed and carried out with charming attention to creating an "atmosphere" of harmony, of integration of nature and art, and a space to feed the inner soul as well as protect the outer being .


10/11/10

'THE HIGHWAY MAN": A GREAT POEM FOR THE SEASON


I remember sitting in seventh grade English one warm autumn day as the teacher picked up the dogeared old text, flipped a page or two and then began to read aloud. It was a hard audience, right before lunch, and the students were slumped in seats or holding pencils over paper in anticipation of note taking.
Yet, as he read...the heat of the day fell away. The sun drenched institutional classroom became a dark landscape with a moon riding overhead. Our breathing quickened in time with the horses steps as a lover sped to a meeting and anxiety built in time with the frantic praying for safety in a young maid's breast. As the words rolled off the teacher's tongue we were transported to a far away place of romance and mystery...
"And still of a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding—
Riding—riding—
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door."
The evocative cadence and mood of the poem coupled with the reading quality made the poem an instant favorite. Alfred Noyes "The Highway Man" stands as one of the most mystical and romantic of poems I have ever heard. There is a pulse that runs through it as strong as a lover's heart beat and an echo of horses hooves carrying fate to its destination.
To this moment, a moonlight landscape can still evoke that memory. Then I swear I can hear the sound of distant horses hooves...riding, riding...

10/10/10

URBAN LEGEND LINGERS


CAREY PLACE (OKC)


In the early 1990's accounts of a "Hatchet House" with accompanying awful murder and porch painted red to hide "all the blood", began to appear in local OKC newspapers.
An axe welding murderer chases down a school girl, chopping her up and disposing of the body. Every house were she had sought help but found silence was then painted red as a mark of their guilt in the girl's death.

Soon tales of swings moving in the moonlight.....and ghostly voices of children playing..... began to flesh out the vague and lurid premise. Now, every Halloween local haunters flock to the historic district of the Gatewood Neighborhood to find the notorious house with hatchet cutouts...or the red painted porch....or the driveway where 'they found the body.'


This seemed like an easy find....track down the dastardly crime....solve the mystery...provide some background for this legend. Most versions seem to date the crime in the 1950's. Several other common urban legends do begin in the late 1950's and can be tracked in the news.
.
So far...however, no such OKC crime has come to light. The area only dates back to the 1920's when it boomed along with various other areas of the city. An official history document even dates it only to the 1930's. Its classic hometown feel and its historic homes kept it a special place for many decades. There was tragedy as children, going to and coming from, the local elementary school were killed in accidents. Some crime....natural deaths, but no murders. Findng a grim and ghastly crime worthy of such a horrific legend....has so far drawn a blank.

It is similar to the tale in the Don Knotts comedy, "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken." The small town with a haunted house, ghostly organ music and blood stained keys. Here, substitute the "Hatchett House" and generally bad reputation.

Unless, and until, something definite is discovered this is no doubt another OKC Urban Legend. So, drive through the area and enjoy the neighborhood that is on the national historic registry.....but give the folks there a rest because there is really nothing else to see there.

(Originally published 2008; updated 2013)

10/2/10

AN EVENING OF STORYTELLING FOR ADULTS


Let me tell you about...."Tellabration" (R) - A global celebration of storytelling held each November.

Each November storytellers around the globe celebrate storytelling in evening concerts in homes, halls, fields, theaters, bookstores, schools, and any place they can share their love of the art form. In 1988, a storytelling guild in Connecticut decided to offer a special evening of storytelling. It proved so satisfying that they planned more and soon they were happening all over the country!


According to one source, Oklahoma's first "TELLABRATION! (R)" was in 1992 at the Sooner Theater in Norman and was produced by Letty Watt. Over the years some producers have included: Letty Watt, Bob Bjorkland, Lois Hartman, Fran stallings, Lynn Moroney, Rosemary Czarski, Marilyn Hudson....

Some of the Oklahomans who contributed their talent to sharing stories in the state's many "Tellabrations!" include: Ginger La Croix, Letty Watt, Theresa Black, Robert and Marie Harris, Barabra McBride-Smith, Patsy Packard, David Titus, Weckeach Bradley, Jared Aubrey, Bob Bjorklund, Lois Hartman, Kris Hunt, Peggy Kaney, Sam McMichael, Jo Etta Martneay Bryan, Whit Edwards, Debra Garnejkul, Connie Fisher, Vance Morrow, Sky Shivers, Steve and Pat Kardolff, Will Hill, Tina Saner, Emilea Moring, Kathryn Thurman, Marilyn A. Hudson, Chester Weems, Rosemary Czarski, Liz Parker, Bonnie Smith, Jeannette Harjo, Stella Long, Shaun Perkins, Molly Lemmons, Kim Green, and others.

In the Tulsa, Oklahoma area Connie Fisher and Darla L'Allier have produced them at various locale venues, such as Borders Book Store.
Some sources for news of Tellabration events: Territory Tellers website, Oklahoma Tellers news blog, and the national page for the event.

Note: If you kow of other names or details regarding these events - please send them to me. The poster is from the 2002 event hosted by the Pioneer Library System in Norman, Oklahoma. Featured tellers: Lynn Moroney, Jahruba Lembeth, Maureen McGovern and Marilyn A. Hudson.

9/24/10

IT'S ALL MYSTORICAL: Have A Homeric Halloween?


In one of the world's oldest writings, The Odyssey, attributed to Homer in the 8th century BCE, there is an interesting scene of Hades with dark blood and pale specters. Interestingly, the ghosts are described as, ".. spirit, like a dream, flits away, and hovers to and fro" and elsewhere as "pale and wavering"......


In the midst of his struggle to return home, the hero sacrifices rams and summons one particular shade, but others come as well. They are drawn by the sacrificial blood and the life it represents...spectral moths to a flame of mortality. It is very interesting that this - so old a tale - contains some of the same motifs so common to modern beliefs of ghosts. The ability of the death's shade to move in non-human ways, to appear opaque, and to be drawn to those who can see them. Numerous alleged mediums indicate that this is a danger whenever people play with games or relics designed to contact the dead....the door is opened and there are no guarantees as to what may tag along.....


Surely, the vampiric legends also see their roots in this older image as well....the glistening, dark, rich blood that brings the dead like famished, thirsting wanderers of the dark desert of death.


Stories have always helped humans to describe, define, and decode the mysteries of their existence. People have always loved to gather to hear and share tales of romance, daring, and mystery. So it should not be too unusual that some themes and symbols become common motifs (what folklorists call archetypes) shared by culturally and geographically diverse peoples.
So, as the next season of ghosts and goblins appears, give a nod of the pumpkin juice to one interesting,and very literary forebearer, and have a Homeric halloween.

9/15/10

'ONCE UPON A TIME': A SHORT HISTORY OF STORYTELLING IN OKLAHOMA

Early native inhabitants had strong storytelling traditions as integral parts of their ancient cultures. Various immigrants since then have continually added their own particular flavor to the pot of story brewing on the campfires of present day Oklahoma.
It was a homegrown, rural, culturally specific or fading art across the country until the folk movement of the 1960's began stirring things to life and people rediscovered the joy of a story told well.
In the early 1970's in OKC the local libraries (in The Metropolitian Library System) were dynamic supporters of storytelling. They hosted events, trained volunteers, and went out into the community to introduce Oklahoma City to the art of oral storytelling. Many of the first storytellers who charmed audiences emerged from the ranks of librarians and staff within the system.


They were ready when a formal event to celebrate story emerged with the OKC Arts Council's "Wintertales" in 1982. "Wintertales" proved a popular event and grew to become a significant part of the year for storytellers, educators, and listeners across the mid-central regions. It developed into workshops, family concerts, and event concerts with nationally known and local storytellers. Always supported and assisted by the Territory Telllers of Oklahoma who held an "Olio" (story concert) and hosted a reception for the tellers and audience. The momentum continued even as a national event was being born in the event to be known as "Tellabration!" (R).


This "global night of storytelling" only began in the mid 1980's but by 1992 the state organization, The Territory Tellers, was going strong hosting events across the wider metropolitan area of Oklahoma City and in metro Tulsa. It was originally conceived as an event to raise awareness that storytelling was not limited to children and the programs celebrated "adult" storytelling by returning to the complex, socially relevant, and thought provoking tales that once enthralled people of every culture. Subject matter was approporate to adults with adult concerns, experiences, and dreams. In 1992, the event was held in the St. Luke's UMC. Local tellers included: Ginger La Croix, Theresa Black, Robert and Marie Harris, Barbara McBride-Smith, Patsy Packard, David Titus, Weckeah Bradley and Jared Aubrey. However, by the late 20th century the event had evolved to include "family friendly" events and "youth Tellabrations."


In 2003, Rep. Danny Morgan, then state storytelling agency president, Garland McWatters, and storyteller Bonny Smith asked Gov. Brad Henry to designste the week of storytelling (Nov. 16-22, 2003) as "Oklahoma Tellabration Storytelling Week!" Storytelling," Morgan said, " is a valuable method of sharing American folklore and is an important means of contributing to Oklahoman's knowledge of the history of our state."

9/8/10

HEADLESS IN OKLAHOMA: THE WORST CRIME IN YEARS


As a notorious trial was dragging on in 1907 Oklahoma City, a small kernel of news was mentioned in passing. The death currently in the news, so the papers stated, was the most dastardly and mysterious since 1899 when a man living about fifteen miles outside the city was murdered.


The lifeless body of German immigrant John Nulk, was found in about two miles in the country on Reno where that thoroughfare was more road than street. Nulk had been a pioneer of the county and had come from Richardson County, Nebraska. The federal census lists several people of that name in several northern locations.

Just six months before the Nulk case, along the Canadian river, a headless body had been found by men fishing. The murder site was located to have been southwest of the city near the Wheeler Bridge along the banks of the river. After a further search, a head with a bullet hole was found in a pillow case and identified as a local man who repaired shoes in the City, an A.J. Eick.
These locations were the site of many apparent body dumps from just before and after statehood. Convenient to transportation hubs and numerous individuals able to move about without notice. The wild and bad old west was not too distant a memory despite the dawning of a new century.

Detective work had identified several individuals as the guilty party and they were all reported to be in a Kansas penitentiary, although one man was accused of being the actual killer he was never charged.

9/7/10

UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY: PENTECOSTAL HISTORY IN OKLAHOMA, KANSAS, AND TEXAS


Sometimes history is putting together two perspectives in order to gain true focus on the past. The larger histories of the areas of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas are well covered in myriad works. The larger histories of the Pentecostal Movement of the 20th century is well known and covered in numerous important works. What is lacking sometimes is the overlap that brings a spotlight on to what was happening in this place, at this time, in these areas.

As part of a larger research project, I began to piece together a timeline (something I had not seen in any of my research) and this has been very illuminating. It is not finished, it may never be finished, because other fragments of history may lay undiscovered in an attic or an archive. Someone looking for 'A' often overlooks the 'B' and 'C' which can provide better context, meaning, or examples of an event.


Pentecostal Timeline: An Annotated List of Instances in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas
Compiled by Marilyn A. Hudson
In progress since August 27, 2010

1890-
Deleware, Ohio Daniel Awrey receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaks in an unknown language (some sources question this).

1895 –
Reports of possible Pentecostal experiences in Iowa, Nebraska or Kansas.[ Martin, Larry. The Life and Ministry of William J. Seymour.” Joplin, MO: Christian Life Books, 1999.pg. 26]

1900-
Charles Parham speaks with a member of the FBHC discussing a spiritual baptism with tongues; this turns his attention to assigning his Bible College students to explore the scriptures over Christmas break.

1901-
Topeka, Kansas, Bethel Bible College, Agnes Ozman is the first of several students to speak in tongues in response to their study and prayer over the holiday break. [Synan, Old Time Religion, Advocate Press, 1973,pg. 92.; ]

1902-
Lamont, OK FBHC convened its General Council Meeting in the church at Lamont, Ok. This church was the one and only church in the FBHC work in Oklahoma. The conference, or state association as it was known, disbanded until Sept. 1909 when it was reorganized.
Fall – Galena, Ks evangelist Charles Parham arrived to preach the “Apostolic (now Pentecostal) teaching.” (Goss, pg. 11). A Mrs. Arthur was healed of blindness and people spoke in ‘tongues’.

1903-

1904-
“Saloon Was closed Up by An Order of Court”, The Oklahoman (Jan. 22, 1904):9. Charges by a grand jury investigating corruption in city government were served to the owner of the Blue front Saloon, Dick J. Cramer
“Jack du Bois choked a Boy”, The Oklahoman (Dec. 24, 1904): 5 About 8 p.m. one night local drunk Jack du Bois, was assaulting and choking a 12 year old boy, Joe Dishman, behind the Blue front Saloon and was arrested.
Parham holds a revival where people from ‘Carthage, Missouri to Miami, Ok’ accepted the ‘full gospel’ (Burke, pg. 17)

1905 –
Howard Goss holds a Pentecostal revival in Tahleqah, OK (Burke, pg.17 – who suggests it was OK’s first Pentecostal church)
Pentecostal revival at Billings, OK led by Harry P. Lott and an unnamed Free Methodist minister.
Summer, Parham takes 24 people to Houston, Tx to open a work. He left in charge of the Galena, KS Assembly Mrs. Mary Arthur and Mrs. Fannie Dobson.(Goss, pg. 29). In Houston, ‘called to the Lord’s work’ were Rosa Cadwalder. Hattie Allen, Millicen McCLendon.
African American Lucy Farrow, receives the baptism in Houston and feels called to go to LA; Parham provides the fare.(Goss, pg. 35).
The lady workers did not wear uniforms but the current fashions of the day “silks…satins…jewels or whatever they happened to possess.” (Goss, pg. 38)

1906-
 Jan. 18, Richard Beall and Oscar C. Wilkens appear in OKC to start a mission work, start with a Sunday School on S. Robinson ;
 An African-American restaurant, Haynes CafĂ©, is located at 7 West Grand Avenue. In May edition of the Oklahoman there is a small news report of a fire that broke out in the middle of the night from an overheated stove. “Last Night’s Fire”. Oklahoman (May 9, 1906):5.
 Beulah Holiness School, or Emmanuel Bible College, established (Clancy, Bryon. The history of Beckham County. Accessed at http://files.usgwarchives.org/ok/beckham/history/carter.txt; Burke pg. 18 says it was 1907). Established by a group of Holiness people called, ‘The Indian Creek Band’ settled a community they called Beulah and there established a Bible school to teach holiness. Reports were it was a three story brick structure near a Baptist Church and they mailed a newspaper, Apostolic Faith, out nearby Doxy, Oklahoma.
 Asuza Street revival starts in the spring in L.A. (Martin, pg.165).
 George G. Collins, one time farmhand for the 101 Ranch in Oklahoma is ordained at Azusa Street (date unclear) (Martin, pg.13).
 A Reverend Cook, who had been in California at Asuza street now comes back and goes to Lamont to conduct a Pentecostal revival.
 A ‘group of workers’ was sent to Wallis, Tx in 1906 (Feb) and they included Nora Byrd, Mabel Wise, Millicent McClendon and Hattie Allen (later Obermann) (Goss, pg. 41)
 Visiting ministers came to help the new work, including Fay Carrothers, Mable Smith-Hall, Mrs Annie Hall and others…

1907-
 Feb. 6 Harry Lott, Beall & Wilkins rent the Blue Front Saloon, 7 West Grand, for $40 a month [Muse papers; Campbell; Harold Paul]. The saloon was located on the edge of the wild center core of the city, known as OKC’s “Hell’s Half Acre”. Today the area between Santa Fe and Broadway and Sheridan to Reno is largely known as the area of the Cox Convention Center (the old Myriad Convention Center), a hotel, and the turn off into Bricktown. "Back in the day" this was the wildest place in the newly opened "Oklahoma Town" or "Oklahoma Station" ("City" did not come about formally till nearly forty years after the 1889 land run). It was so wild it earned - through blood, sweet, and tears - the nickname "Hell's Half Acre." If you stand on the platform of the Amtrack station and look west and slightly north that is where this wild town within in a town was located. If you walked west on Sheridan (called Grand back then), just past Santa Fe (called Front then) on the north would be "Bunco Street" with its gambling halls and con men. Look south and there would be "Hop Boulevard", perfect if you were thirsty. And just behind that, "Alabaster Row" was located on California, featuring brothels, gambling halls, and other businesses for the African-American population in those days.Walk up Santa Fe (Front) to Main and turn west and you would see a bit finer offerings with The Arlington and, in 1900, the Lee Hotel at the corner of Main and Broadway. Turn east and across the tracks and there were the depot and just beyond to the northeast "Old Zulu's" original brothell/saloon establishment in current Bricktown. Travel south to 312 E. Grand and you would have seen the spot of "Big Annie" Wynn's original land run tent brothel. It had grown into a two story building, and moved a few blocks east, by statehood. From at least 1902, a walk up Broadway (into the 100 to 300 blocks) would have found "fortune-tellers', "crystal ball gazers", "clairvoyants", "mediums", and "pyschics". All world traveled and well known, or so they said as they advertized their stay in the parlors of local hotels and boarding house along the street. [Hudson, M. Mystorical accessed at www.mystorical.blogspot.com]
 In this setting the work begins in Oklahoma City.
 Mary A. Sperry, a local woman, opens her home for ‘tarrying services” (Campbell, Pentecostal Holiness Church history)
 Irwin opens church in El Reno, OK (Welch, pg. 36]
 May 1907 JH King holds a FBHC revival in Lamont, Ok [King, Yet Speaketh, PHC, 1949, pg. 127, he had received his baptism just the previous February];
 Summer there is a revival at Beulah under once Nazarene and now Pentecostal minister Robinson. 1st person to receive baptism there was an elderly woman named McClung (Campbell 210-211). Daniel Awrey goes to Beulah this year also as the Emmanuel Holiness Bible College Bible instructor and then principal. That summer the Pentecostal experience is said to have arrived at the school. Dolly and Dan York go to Beulah where the “Pentecostal folk” were .[One nightclub]
 August, Beall, Lott and others are reported to have received ‘their baptism’ [Paul, pg. 12]
 As a result of these events, the FBHC reestablished its presence along with independent Pentecostals and churches were started in: Yukon, Billings, Drummond, Perry. Pawnee, Muskogee, Mazie, Witchita, McAllister. Quinton, Cowen. Hart. Stratford Paul’s Valley, Castle, Swan Lake, Manitou, Faxon, Tipton, and in KS<>
 Lott organizes the OKC Mission aka Blue Front Saloon Mission into the FBHC. Oldest organized church in the OK Conference and one of the oldest Pentecostal churches in the Midwest
 Nov. well known and colorful figure of “Old Zulu” aka Martha Fleming, a notorious OKC madam, prostitute, pick-pocket, and addict received salvation and was the next day baptized in the local river. Although, she appears to have later renounced her conversion, it is extremely interesting that in a day and age when Oklahoma and the nation was extremely racist, that an African American was welcomed into a mission service at the Blue Front Saloon Mission. This is extremely telling of how wide-spread the Azusa ethos might have been and the value racial and gender equity was esteemed in the early days of Pentecostalism. [McRill, A. Satan Came Also, 1955. pg. 4; Paul, p. 13]
1908 –
 Dan and Dollie York rec’d Pentecostal baptism summer at Foss under F.M. Brittain, FBHC
 JH King holds revival at Synder ;
 Harry Lott named ruling elder of the FBHC in Ok;  Beulah School becomes fully Pentecostal.
 “Blasphemy and Gun Play Enliven Church Service” The Oklahoman (Nov. 10, 1908):10. Services disrupted at the “Pentecostal mission, 7 West Grand Avenue”, pastored by Harry P. Lott
 Parham holds a revival in Tulsa, OK on the corner of 3rd & Cincinnati (Burke pg. 23) Out of that grew the oldest AOG congregation in OK<>
 Waurika has services led by Archie and Pearl Adams (Burke 24) 1909 –
 September F.M. Brittain comes to Oklahoma to reorganize the FBHC in the state. Agnes Ozmen LeBerge is one of several women listed as ministers
 Pentecostal revival breaks out in SW ok with Oscar Jones at Frederick
 Daniel Opperman preached in Tillman in Manitou (famed evangelist) (Burke pg 28)
 “Minister’s Wife Restrains Him”, The Oklahoman (Sept. 29, 1909):4, Lott’s wife Emma, filed a restraining order citing assault and lack of support. Lott, made $75 a month pastoring the German Holiness church (not sure if this is a typo or another congregation, cites rescue home at 300 Maple street His church is identified as located corner of Hudson and California, which would mesh with the 317 W. California address of the “First Church.”
 “Minister fined, sent to a Cell”. The Oklahoman (Oct. 3, 1909): 31. Harry P. Lott, supt. Of the Pentecostal Rescue Home for Fallen Women, 300 West Maple, OKC. Numerous newspaper accounts up to this time period underscored the challenges young women faced in the big city. In 1910, Shawnee, Oklahoma a 19 yr old Pierce Hammack, was jailed because his actions seemed consistent with "white slave traffickers". Hammack said he was employed by the Franklin Theatrical Company and either for them, or his own side line activity, he solicited girls through "mind reading" and "fortune telling". In an earlier incident from 1902, a Kansas father chased a "voodoo man" - a fortune-teller and/or magician - who he claimed had enticed his 15 year old daughter away in a similar fashion. Between 1903 and 1910 numerous incidents appeared in local Oklahoma City papers of girls met at the train depot and offered "jobs" as maids at local "hotels". The establishments, they soon learned, were staffed by working girls. Some were drugged, raped, and intimidated into staying. Some, because of previous abuse at home from family or friends, simply had no heart to move on. Others, were successfully "rescued" through various religious and social efforts. [Mystorical]
 October, Blue Front becomes the “First FBHC of OKC”
 Pentecostal services in Lee School , Muldrow, (Burke 29) 1910-
 Lott appointed ruling elder of the FBHC;
 Mary A. David appointed to a church in Manitou, reflects the role of women in the early days of the FBHC,
 “Divorces Given to Three Wives”, The Oklahoman Jan. 28, 1910): 12. Emma Lott granted divorce from Harry P., they had married in 1898 in Longmont, CO. He is described as being a pastor ‘’for the holy rollers.”
 Mary Bernice Ferguson, of Beluah headed to east oklahoma where she preached by wagon, horseback in places all around Stilwell (Burke, pg.29) 1911-
 FBHC and the PHC merge in Falcon, NC, January.
 August 30, the new Pentecostal Holiness Church convenes in sessions at the Capital Hill Park Camp under the oversight of Harry P. Lott (Paul, Harold. From Printer’s Devil to Bishop, Advocate Press, 1976, pg.16; Minutes of the Third Annual Session of the Oklahoma Pentecostal Holiness Church, pp.2-3]. Ministers listed included several women: Miss Mary K. Davis (later Shannon), Dolly York, Agnes La Berge, Pearl Burroughs. And Annie Aston (Campbell, pg. 214).
 The conference boosted 25 churches or mission stations, 17 pastors, and 12 evangelists. 1912- Arkansas evangelist Powell Youngblood invited to bring Pentecostal message to Turkey Ford, Delaware count 9Burk pg 29) 1913
 May 1, 1913, future bishop Dan Thomas Muse attends his first Pentecostal Holiness Church meeting, held on the street at the corner of Grand and Robinson in OKC. He subsequently attended ‘the mission’ and received his baptism [Paul, pg. 22]
 PHC Convention held at Delmar Gardens; W.D. York gains approval to start a school at Stratford (One nightclub)
 Ethel Musick preached her first sermon at age 17 at the Payne Schoolhouse, west of Duncan (long time AOG evangelist ) (Burke pg 28)
1915
 Wagoner Literary Bible School {one night club) 1916-
 General Overseer of the Church of God Roy Cotnam 1917
 Harry P. Lott founds the Capital Hill Full Gospel Church. It was first the Apostolic Faith Church and in 1924 it was the site of a conference of the wider Apostolic Faith Church. 1920
 -General Overseer of the Church of God John Burk
 -First PHC Sunday School Convention held in OKC [Paul, pg. 43] 1924
 Kings College, Checotah, Ok 1927
 Monte Ne, Ark Ozark Industrial College 1927
 Kings College, Kingfisher 1946
 Southwestern Pentecostal Holiness College, OKC


SOURCES:
Burke, Bob. Like a prairie fire: a history of the Assemblies of God in Oklahoma. OKC: OK Council of the AOG, 1994.
Campbell, J. The Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1898-1948. P.H.C. Publishing, 1948.
Conn, Charles W. Like A Might Army. Church of God Pub. House, Cleveland, TN, 1955.
Hudson, Marilyn. “Mystorical” accessed at www.mystorical.blogspot.com; When Death Rode the Rails with Tales from Hell’s Half Acre (2010).
King, J.H. Yet speaketh. P.H.C. 1949
One Nightclub and a Mule Barn: the first 60 years of Southwestern Christian University. Tate. 2006.
Paul, Harold. Dan T. Muse: From Printer’s Devil to Bishop. Advocate. 1976.
Synan, Vinson. The Old-Time Power: a history of the Pentecostal Holiness Church. Advocate Press, 1973.
Welch, Kristen Dayle. ‘Women with the Good News’: The rhetorical heritage of Pentecostal Holiness Women Preachers. CPT, 2010.


9/6/10

MY LIFE IN LIBRARIES, PART 1



MY LIFE IN LIBRARIES, PART ONE: THE EARLY YEARS
by Marilyn A. Hudson

Part 1 – The early years

The first library of my life was a simple mission style book case in the living room containing the only books in the house; the crimson bound set of the “World Book Encyclopedia.” I loved going through that set with its drawings, lithographs, and colorful overlays. There was an overlay of a frog showing it from skeleton to flesh and one of the human body; which I found to be very insightful. For years I imagined our insides stacked with clear sheets containing nice flat organs and bones.



I really loved those books and as I learned to read, they were an amazing source of explanation. I would watch an old movie on television and want to learn more about airplanes, the French Revolution, or atoms and head to the shelf. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, I’d start with the answer to my question but then find I had read whole other sections as well.



The first time I was in a public library I was in the third grade on a field trip. In our small town, the library was not for just anyone. It was an old Carnegie building with dark, moody oak and arts and crafts furnishings, ringed by tomes weighty and well endowed by time. A shrine to knowledge victorious over ignorance, and the elite to whom such mysteries were made available, it was a holy of holies accessed via a steep set of stairs. Climbing those stairs always brought images of entering a palace, climbing a scaffold, or ascending the steps of a Mayan temple as the next virgin sacrifice – depending on the mood of the reason for going that particular day. It was the product and hobby of local aristocracy, leading members of society, and their offspring. All others were well aware of the largess that allowed the plebian masses to also enjoy its benefits.



The children’s room was an added feature, not part of the original plans, and as far away from the library general as possible. It even had its own side entrance. I remember it was a dreary day and the yellow shelves could only brighten the room so much. There was a nice neutral and bland tan carpet, white walls, and some spots of warm wood in rocker and a desk. It was not a children’s area – but a restrained adult image of a suitable space for children engaged in appropriate activities to educate, but not stimulate, the young mind.



The next library of my life was in an elementary classroom in school. A long metal shelving unit, with sliding doors ran under the large windows. Inside were secured the drawing paper, glues, scissors, and in one section two shelves of books. They were old books, well worn, and somewhat abused. Cast off text books, literature, poetry, and novels they were available to just anyone who wanted to read them. I read the many amazing adventures of a boy and girl and their dog in short, easily managed sentences. Then I moved on to a story of a small Martian who arrived in an orchard and had adventures with the little boy who lived on the farm. I read of a horse that raced across cool meadows and ended up blinkered pulling a milk wagon. I read of faraway places and local history.



Then, however, came the library in Junior High. A large room on the third floor, northeast corner, of an old red multistoried school, the library was a magnet. Warm oak shelves, tables, chairs and wooden blinds as old as the school created a welcoming aura. I wandered those aisles, thumbed through the card catalog, and nibbled at every crumb dropped my way in class, in a book, or from the world around me. I was not a good student in those days. I was too unsure, insecure, and easily intimidated by those around me. In the library, though, I was reading Dumas, Virgil, and other classics in the sixth grade. I would take the later bus home and stay to finish my class assignments before checking out books to read on the bus: The Three Musketeers, Sherlock Holmes, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Shakespeare, Ivanhoe, The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire…



Strangely, I must confess, I do not remember if there was a librarian there or not. I think there was a woman of indeterminate age and shape who revealed to me the mysteries of the card catalog, the layout, and the borrowing process. Sometimes there was an older student who listlessly checked the books out to me, but usually my head was down, focused on the new treasure in my hands, and I did not notice such trifles.



It was enough that the priceless and endless bounty of the temple of the library had been opened to me.

(M.Hudson, 2010; Permission to reproduce is given, if credit line is included)

8/24/10

THE BLUE FRONT SALOON AND MISSION




The Blue Front Saloon was located at the corner of Grand Avenue and Santa Fe (7 Grand Avenue) in downtown Oklahoma City.
When it was established has yet to be discovered. It was mentioned as a wild locale in a newspaper account dated 1904. It was well known as a part of the rowdy "Hell's Half Acre" of Oklahoma City. Gunplay, gambling, prostitution and crime were rampent. The area had swiftly developed from its founding in 1889 and the town was filled with brick and morter structures within months of its birth. The saloon was described as being fronted by broad windows normally covered by blinds. The image shows an Oklahoma City street scene Easter of 1900 (linked from original source).
In 1904 a holiness school was opened called the Beaulah Holiness School in the area of Becham and Carter counties. 1905 a group called the Fire Baptized Holiness Church, under the direction of J.H. King held a revival in the Lamont area. In that year, a group in Billings held a service where several people were baptized in the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues, and frightened many of the people attending the service!
In 1906 a revival began in far off Los Angeles that would have a direct impact on the life of many in Oklahoma. An African American holiness minister would begin a series of services in an old warehouse that would cross denominational, gender, and race lines in promoting a spiritual experience bringing the Book of Acts alive to a new century. These people sought redemption and experienced signs and wonders akin to the Biblical examples. People from across the nation who had been ardently seeking deeper spiritual experiences when to California to see first hand what was happening there. Some were shocked and left and others were certain that as Amie Simple McPherson would later say, "This is that", this was the experience the prophets had foretold. Those believed spilled out across the land sharing the vital new message of renewal and renewed spirituality.
In 1907 the notorious but now closed saloon was leased by two Holiness ministers and became the Blue Front Saloon Mission. In August of that same year the two men, R.B. Beall and O.C. Wilkins received what was known as the 'baptism of the Holy Spirit' and spoke in other tongues. It then became one of the first pentecostal churches in the central United States. Although no known photo of the saloon has been found, it may have looked like the saloon in Carnegie dated at about 1900. Unidentified photo.
In about 1907-08 it was being pastored by Rev. H.P. Lott. He had been in a revival in Billings, Ok in 1905 when one of the earliest recorded instances of speaking in tongues and the classical Pentecostal experience occurred in Oklahoma. Under Lott's leadership the mission expanded to include a rescue home for 'wayward women'. This was a common outreach by churches and civic groups in a time when girls and women were often seduced and abandoned in a society that was often unforgiving of such falls from a moral high ground. The local prostitution business also sometimes used deceptive means to renew their 'stable' of workers. Young, naive girls coming to the city for the first time were often easy targets to lure into the trade or to assault and coerce into working in one of the houses or, as they were coyly called, 'resorts.'
Some Sources:
McGill, Albert. Satan Came Also. 1955
Paul, Harold. Dan T. Muse: From Printer's Devil to Bishop. 1975

8/22/10

THE AWFUL HORROR THAT WASN'T


Nearing 1910, there was great fear as a comet was set to pass by the planet in its 75 year journey around the sun. In the past, its passing had been magnificently fearsome, and prophets were sure this would be a terrible and awesome event as well: Halley's Comet.


It also allowed for warped humor to rise to the surface to sell newspapers. A newspaper writer in New York printed a story of horrible and savage ceremonies in a far and exotic location: in Colorado and eventually morphed to have occurred near Aline, Oklahoma.


The exotic drama included a beautiful maiden, human sacrifice, a daring adventuresome Sheriff riding to the rescue, and wild eyed fanatics under the spell of some ancient god as the time of the comet drew near.

I ALWAYS WONDERED ABOUT THAT


There are so many conveniences we take for granted most of the time. Things like walks. In areas where natural rock was sparse or non-existent, how did people create walkways through muddy yards or get from point "A" to point "B" without slogging through ankle deep mud. The answer was revealed from a photo simply identified as having been taken in Guthrie, Oklahoma ca. 1900. The "walk" up to the front porch and around the side of the house was created by lengths of lumber (from the size perhaps as long as 12 feet, 2 inches deep, and perhaps 8 to 12 inches wide in some places). Note the pride of place for the bicycle as well.

8/17/10

Daring Japanese Girl Spy - 1904


In 1904 a story came out of Japan about the 'daring exploits' of a Miss Ando Yoshi. In a dangerous move , and with great personal risk, she stole important war maps held by the Russians in Port Arthur and wearing a disguise stole across the vast Russian countryside to make it to "Peking". The maps outlined defensive positions and plans along the Manchurian boundaries where Russian forces would be moved in an offensive strike. Although a poor girl, she did not wish to become a geisha, so instead worked hard to earn a living making and selling rice cakes. News that a good living could be made in Manchuria - she went there. She sold first to Japanese residents, then to Chinese and then to the Russians. Many suspected after the fact that it had been her glossy black hair and "bright eyes" that "played havoc" with the Russians, who favored her in the selling of rice cakes. This boom in business provided her access, knowledge and opportunity once she learned of the maps and their intent. Source notes indicate the story originated from the "New York Sun".

MUM IS THE WORD

Several legends exist about the supposed mummified remains of John Wilkes Booth residing for long years in the attic of an Enid store and strange mummies found elsewhere with bizarre features or anomolous surroundings. Sometimes the stories are true underscoring the fact that truth can be the strangest of all.

Occasionally, one hears of strange things have been done to bodies. People preserved and kept in the company board room, or kept on display as a sample of how good the embalming job at XYZ frontier funeral parlor. bad men killed while robbing a bank were often put on display and as late as the 1930's the bodies of Bonnie and Clyde and their henchmen were displayed as stark lessons to any who contemplated fighting the law.
There is a story that one Elmer McCurdy, outlaw, alias Frank Curtis and Frank Davidson. It is said "he was killed during a robbery by a sheriff's posse near Pawhuska, Oklahoma, on October 7, 1911. 66 years later, his mummified body was found in a fun house attraction at the Long Beach, California Nu-Pike amusement park. It was during the filming of an episode of TV's "Six Million Dollar Man," that a technician rearranged what was thought to be a mannequin, only to have one of McCurdy's arms fall off. Elmer is now buried here in 1977, under 2-1/2 yards of concrete. May he rest in peace; even an outlaw deserves that respect.

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