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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 40

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U.S. Court at Muskogee (con't)

had to go to that city. Federal business was a bonanza for Muskogee.

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        Those were the days before automobiles and before a direct railroad line had been built between the two towns. A round trip could not be made in a single day. To go by train it was necessary to take the Frisco to Vinita and there transfer to the M. K and T which went to Muskogee.
       Later day abstractors had considerable trouble in making up court records. First they had to go to Muskogee. When court had been established at Vinita and Sapulpa they had to include those towns in their business visits in order to make up complete records.
        Many prominent white men in the Territory were compelled to serve on federal grand juries at Muskogee. They had to leave their businesses for weeks at a time. This work was put up to them as a patriotic duty. The judge would say that "bank robbers don't want the law against bank robbing enforced, neither does the cattle thief or the bootlegger want the laws enforced. I want you men as good citizens to see that all the laws are enforced."
       Two men, the writer remembers very well, were experts at indicting bootleggers. They would get drunk every night and when a whisky case would be brought up the next morning they would condemn "white mule" vigorously and one would make a motion that the jury vote a true bill. The next time the other would make the motion.


       The problems created by the presence of an increasing number of white men in the Indian Territory at one time resulted in a called meeting of white business and professional men at McAlester. They discussed sending a delegation to Washington to urge that the secretary of the interior give the Indian agent at Muskogee more power to pass on minor problems that arose from day to day. The delegation was named and it gathered in Muskogee before proceeding to the capital. Mayor Ed Calkins of Tulsa and the writer attended with a draft for $200 in their possession. That represented Tulsa's part of the expense. Mayor Calkins requested that the delegation also be instructed to see the proper authorities in Washington about the establishment of a federal court in Tulsa and this brought a flare-up from the Muskogee men. Their protest was so long and loud.
       For years there was intense rivalry between Muskogee and Tulsa. Now nearly all the men who were jealous of growing Tulsa are dead and many of Muskogee's best citizens have moved to the oil capital.

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       Robert Frye is a citizen of the Creek Nation and has lived near Tulsa all his life. At one time he was a clerk in the Hall store, later moving to his large farm about 16 miles southeast of Tulsa where he became a cattleman. He married many years ago and he and Mrs. Frye have reared two daughters and a son, all of whom are now married. Mr. Frye is one of the most reliable citizens of the Creek Nation. For many years now he has lived in Tulsa, from where he still looks after his farming and cattle interests.

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       Today we have the romantic adventurous air mail. In the yesterday of early Indian Territory and early Tulsa there was the overland mail, with its romance and thrills.
       About the year 1878 the post office department in Washington advertised for bids for carrying the mail westward from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to the Sac-and-Fox Indian agency in what is now Oklahoma

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