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 The Beginning of Tulsa
By J. M. Hall (1927)

(c) Karolyn Kay Garland (1997)

Nothing here is free for the taking. This book is reproduced here with the permission of the copyright holder - see copyright statement.

 Page 17

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First Water Well (con't)

days, then returning and completing his task. Good water was found in the black shale and the well never went dry.
    North of the present Third Street line good water was found in the shale while south of this designation there was plenty of water in the sand. Before the first wells were completed water was hauled from Noah's spring which, were it running today, would be at Boulder avenue and Twelfth Street.
    Shanks was long on the technique of digging water wells and short on history knowledge. In the winter of 1883 H. C. Hall, J. C. Perryman, L. C. Perryman and the negro, with a wagon, team and a camping outfit, drove to a spot near Keystone, where the Perrymans thought there was some mineral deposits. Arriving at their camping site they pitched the tent and had supper. Afterward they lighted their coal oil lanterns and Shanks went to bed. The white men had been talking for some time and thought Shanks was asleep Their conversation drifted to the assassination of President Lincoln. Shanks raised in bed and inquired innocently: "Is Lincoln dead?"

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    When Tulsa was located you could stand on what is now known as Standpipe hill, now covered by residences, and not see any sign of civilization except the railroad men grading to the east.
    Noah Partridge, a Creek Indian, lived in the timber about Tenth and Main Sts. A spring on what is Boston avenue was called Noah's Spring. A Mrs. Bruner lived along the river in the timber north of where the railroad bridge was built. Bill Burgess built his log house out by Standpipe Hill - at that time in the Cherokee Nation - in 1883.
    From what is Boulder avenue to the Arkansas river, the territory was covered with timber and underbrush. East and north of Tulsa was all prairie country. Every foot of it was a splendid place from which to shoot prairie chickens.

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    Jack Kelton, one of the railroad engineers, was employed to survey a line running south from the Frisco right of way on the west side of Main street. The line was to be run about three blocks. It was agreed to make the Street 80 feet wide. The Pioneers are all sorry now that the was not made 100 feet wide for there was plenty of land, and it could have been 100 feet as well as 80.
    No one at this time had laid any claim to any portion of the townsite of Tulsa. The townsite, as well as all land in the Indian Territory, was held in common by the Indians. An Indian was allowed to farm all the land he wished.
    Mr. Chauncey A. Owen read the portion of this history relating to the absence of any houses in Tulsa at the period referred to and made this statement.
    "This statement in regard to any house being in Tulsa is true. Noah Partridge's house in the timber was the only one." (Signed) C. A. Owen, May 20, 1927.

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    T. J. (Jeff) Archer was the first person to engage in any kind of business in Tulsa. He came here as a young man, with small capital but plenty of spirit.
    As soon as the town was definitely located he bought some native lumber from a saw mill and built a 12 by 14 foot structure, stretching a tent over it for cover. The tent store was located on the south line of the Frisco right-of-way, fronting Main street on the west. Mr. Archer had a little stock of tobacco, cigars, soft drinks and edibles in the beginning.
    That was as good a business in Tulsa then as now and his trade soon increased

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