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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 61

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Difficult Bridge Building (con't)

excited. He hired an Indian living near by to haul the carcass to the depot from where he shipped it to Buffalo quite gleefully.
        Finally stone suitable for the job was found near Dawson and a quarry opened. A piling bridge was built in the spring of 1883 and then came higher water. Flat cars were run out on the bridge to weight it down but the current won and bridge, cars and all went into the river. It is a tradition that some of the cars were buried so deep in the sand they were never recovered.
        It was during this time that a steam boat actually pushed its way up the Arkansas river as far as Tulsa. The writer can attest to its truthfulness. Men in Fort Smith, Ark., sponsored the trip. The river was high enough to float it, but too high to permit it to go under the rail road bridge, so the boat was ordered back to Fort Smith. A proposed suit against the Frisco for blocking navigation was never brought.

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        It was in the latter part of 1883 or the spring of 1884 that the railroad was finally extended across the stream and Red Fork actually established. James Parkenson built a storehouse there and J. M. Hall & Co., obtained a license from the secretary of the interior to erect a store building next to the right-of-way. The railroad did not have an agent nor a depot there for several years and a room was built on the Hall store for handling all the freight, the railroad company paying the store owners five cents per hundred pounds on the shipments. The railroad also gave permission for the use of a small car over the tracks between Tulsa and Red Fork. It took about 10 minutes to make the trip.
        The Frisco was extended to Sapulpa within a few years, and Sapulpa was the end of the line until the opening of Oklahoma, when the rails were pushed on to Oklahoma City. Until the extension from Red Fork that town gave some promise, because of its large cattle shipments; afterward it had to divide this business first with Sapulpa and then with points west. But all through this period the Tulsa stores carried larger stocks of merchandise and their business was better.

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Photo Dan Patton

        After the treaty made with the Dawes Commission and a committee representing the Creek Nation came to an agreement. One of the provisions provided that the townsite should be surveyed. Gus and Dan Patton, brothers, were selected to survey the townsite of Tulsa in 1900.
        Dan was a young man not married at that time but later found a Georgia girl and brought her home as his wife to Tulsa in 1917.
        He was county engineer for many years and looked after the building of roads which was part of his work.
        He was elected Mayor of Tulsa in 1928. He made us a good mayor.
        Dan is a good citizen and has many friends in Tulsa. His home is 1606 South Quincy, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.


        Before the railroad was extended from Sapulpa, Tulsa could have had the division point if it could have furnished the water. The railroad company had one deep well dug north of the tracks near the river but no water was found. Another test north of Tulsa proved insufficient and the railroad turned to Sapulpa, where Rock creek was dammed.
        One year the creek went dry and the trains were watered from wells at West Tulsa.

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