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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 18

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Jeff Archer's Tragic Death (con't)

so that he erected a larger building and put in more stock. Still later he put up a good building on Main street and in stalled a fine stock of hardware, furniture, groceries and other articles. He became one of the village's leading merchants. Meanwhile he had married Miss Anna Mowbray, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. George W. Mowbray and they had begun a happy family life.
       One day a young Creek Indian came to town and after drinking heavily, began to "shoot up' Main street. At one juncture he went into Mr. Archer's store and asked the storekeeper to reload his gun. Mr. Archer complied and the Indian stepped behind the Counter to get the piece. As soon as he had it in his hands he pulled the trigger and shot into a keg of blasting powder. Mr. Archer was badly wounded by the explosion, but he lived almost 30 days. The Indian was blown over the railing in the store and into the office. He died within a few hours.
       It was a regretable accident and cast a pall over early Tulsa. Mrs. Archer has always kept her home in Tulsa and is living now at 738 N. Denver avenue.

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       H. C. Hall began the erection of the first store building in Tulsa. The building fronted east on Main street, on what are, now known as lots 1, 2 and 3, block 71, just 200 feet removed from the Frisco tracks. The 200 feet comprised the Frisco right-of-way. From the point where the property was nearest the tracks it extended 120 feet south to First street and then west toward Boulder avenue, 300 feet away. This building was of one-story frame construction, 25 feet wide by 80 feet long, with a 12-foot lean-to on the south and a 16-foot lean-to on the north. Later the building was raised to two stories. This ground was all enclosed with a fence.
       The trade territory of Tulsa extended many miles even in these days. It ran 60 miles west, to the Sac-and-Fox agency. On the north it extended to Coffeyville, Kansas. It went to Okmulgee on the south and to Vinita and Muskogee on the east and southeast.
       However the prospects were not the brightest in the world as work on the first store commenced. Very few white people lived near Tulsa except poor farmers. Some of them had taken leases from the Indians and cultivated small places.
       The cow ranch trade gave promise of being very good, but the principal trade was sure to be from the Indians, for this was real Indian country beyond dispute. The Indian came first, the negro second and the white people third. The white men were here only by permission of the Indians.

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       Many of the Indians were good hunters and trappers. Deer, turkey and prairie chicken were here by the thousands and later the merchants shipped many thousands of chickens annually to St. Louis, Chicago and New York in the winter time. The chickens fed upon acorns from the oak trees, then roosted in the grass and were easy to slaughter.
       Although the store building was finished about December 1, 1882, it was not possible to open for business until March, 1883, on account of what was known as the Esparhecher war.
       During the time the railroad was being laid from Vinita to the Arkansas river Esparhecher, a Creek brave, became dissatisfied with the manner in which Samuel Checotah, chief of the Creek nation, was governing the Creek people. Esparhecher wanted to be chief, and, being a full-blood, he had a large following of full-bloods. During the summer and fall of 1882 his following amounted to what may be called a small army.
       Chief Checotah had the best law-abiding element back of him. Among these were such men as Honorable Pleasant Porter and Chief Perryman.
       Esparhecher struck cautiously, however, and was outwitted, for the better Creeks carried their trouble to the government and soon the soldiers from Fort Gibson were in the field, supporting Chief Checotah.

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       Unable then to strike a decisive blow, Esparhecher decided to retreat west with his forces and to induce the wild tribes in what is now western Oklahoma to join him. That would have made his force superior in number to the loyal Creeks and the white soldiers. But the soldiers didn't cease the chase for a moment. Under orders from Washington the white commander marched after Esparhecher and overtook him after several days. Eparhecher's full-bloods formed in line for battle and the soldiers formed

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