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Graphics by Rhio

 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 37

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W. E. Halsell's Ranch (con't)

cook and the coffee was served black. The hard-riding cowboys relished the meal. But supper made it up to the visitor. A large calf was killed and cooked.


       Mr. Halsell had a great deal of trouble with the farmers. Many of them tried to keep the cattle out of their growing crops with a two-wire fence, and it didn't work, The ranchman paid the farmers more for their crops than they were worth and this made them less careful about keeping up their fences. One day a big, trifling fellow came to town and became intoxicated. He was on the front porch of the Hall store letting out wild Indian whoops and telling everyone that he intended to whip Mr. Halsell the first time he saw him. The writer was standing in the store door watching the big crowd that had gathered. Mr. Halsell drove into town, stopping in front of the Archer store across the street. Archer told him of the threats and warned him to avoid the drunken man. Mr. Halsell heard the storekeeper's story, leaped into his buggy and ran his horses across the street. He dropped the lines to the dashboard, jumped from the buggy to the store porch, threw his hat to the floor, gave a mighty Texas whoop and slapped his astonished detractor on both sides of the face while those in the crowd gasped.
       The cattleman had two six-shooters in his belt but didn't touch them, nor did he ever have to that afternoon for his big foe sobered rapidly, ran to his horse. and sped home in the country, followed by the guffaws from the on-lookers. That was 45 years ago and Mr. Halsell probably couldn't go at that gait today, though he is still living in Kansas City and spending many of his winters in California.
       The early farmers retain a pleasant memory of him despite their minor differences. He was their great friend and almost their only market for the corn and hay grown each year. He bought thousands of bushels of corn and thousands of tons of hay each year. It was part of Bob Lynch's duties to measure the corn and the hay for the cattleman. When it has been estimated that more than 60,000 head of cattle were shipped from the stockyards east of Tulsa in a single year the magnitude of this early industry can be seen.
       At one time two cattlemen had each ordered a train a day for several days. The cattle would be driven to the outskirts of town and permitted to range there while waiting for the cars. One day two herds were near the yards and there was but one train. The two cattlemen claimed it. The one who was first to get his hand on his six-shooter won that train.

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Photo W O Woodley

        W. O. Woodley was one of the first men to ship cattle to Tulsa from Texas. He came from Waco in the Lone Star state and at one time had 15,000 head on the range in what are now Tulsa and Osage counties. One year he had 4,500 head near Red Fork. He had some trouble with agents of the Frisco railroad over shortage of cars and the high freight rate between Red Fork and Tulsa. The river was high but the cattleman's temper was higher. With his cowboys and helpers he swam the 4,600 cattle through the stream near where the wagon bridge now stands. He had volunteer helpers, among whom was Lon Stansbery. Mr. Woodley has retired from active business and now lives in Milwaukee, Wis.
       Bob and Dave Shipman were other early day cattle raisers. When Tulsa was young they rented a farm south of the town and became wheat growers. They made considerable money at this and went into the cattle business. Afterwards they moved to Tulsa where they own considerable business property.
       A. W. Hoots was an early day cattle man who indulged the ranchman's love for fine horses. He was an intermarried

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