Table of Contents
The Beginning of Tulsa
(c) Karolyn Kay Garland (1997)
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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.
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.
AN EARLY MISTAKEJack 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.
JEFF ARCHER'S TRAGIC DEATH 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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