Tulsa Times A Pictorial History:
The Early Years

If you arrived here via a search engine - PLEASE go to Section One and read the introduction

Photographs From the Beryl D. Ford Collection
Text by Susan Everly-Douze
Edited by Terrell Lester
(c) 1986 by: World Publishing company
318 S. Main Mall
P.O. Box 1770
Tulsa, Ok 74102

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Section 9

At Play

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Description of the photos. My comments are between the [ ] Author's captions are in black.


[Photo of the steam boat "Tulsa" with several people onboard.] The steam boat "Tulsa", was built by Tulsans, providing excursions on the Arkansas River. In 1906, the under-powered packet took passengers to the grand opening of Jenks town-site lots, but couldn't make it back to Tulsa because of the current. The stranded day-trippers had to return by railroad.


At Play: [a short narrative]

Pioneer Tulsans made their own fun. .....Baseball games brought the town to a halt. Stores closed and the stands were jammed. ... Tulsa had its own Grand Opera House. By 1911, a roller coaster rumbled on the shores of Orcutt Park Lake, now Swan Lake. Not many years before, the lake had been a watering hole for cattle. Most of all, however, town founders loved a celebration. Tulsa, old-timers say, was a parade town in all season and for all reasons, be it a teetotaler's crusade or a Wild West show. ... The first Fourth fete in 1884 was held in the timber on West Second Street. .... bands ... were hoisted onto carts pulled by yokes of oxen. The same ox carts, flower-bedecked one Fourth, carried a parlor organ and a bevy of local bells costumed to represent neighboring states and "The Goddess of Liberty."


[Top photo: Very fuzzy photo of a team of 10 oxen and a cart crowded with a band and other people]. "Oxen were used to haul the local band to the celebration site. Most often, the teams belonged to Jack Wimberly, who is believed to have first brought oxen into Indian Territory. [Bottom photo: Two men and two oxen] The beasts pictured here are John and Barney, photographed on an outing to Sand Springs. [Although the oxen are identified - the men aren't]


Long before the roads were paved, parades were a pioneer recipe for a good time. Carriages were colorfully bedecked with flowers and women broke out their Sunday best. This is Sapulpa in 1909.


A 1905 parade down Tulsa's Main Street is led by C W Robinson on his palomino Joe and Col. Lee Lindsey in the white suit.


In l906, Lillian Stevens, nation president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (fourth from left) came to Tulsa. Local teetotaling ladies, led by civic leader Lilah Lindsey (second from left), feted her with a reception, then a parade.


Another fancy-dress parade on Main Street, Tulsa, IT. The raised planks across the street served as makeshift crosswalks.

[A billboard in the background almost hidden says "Innes" with a photo of a man]


What's a celebration without a band? At least, that's what early Tulsans assumed. Not Tulsey Town's official first band but just as enthusiastic, this ragtag musical group was organized by Ernest Roop (fourth from right) and known as Roop's Band. This is the Fourth of July, 1899.

[Band is standing in front of Lewis and Brobeck Hardware


July 4, 1902: This was Tulsa's official first band. Organized by Clarence G. Eaton in 1902, it later became the Tulsa City Band and later the Tulsa Commercial Club Band. The group became a fixture on the Commercial Club's booster trains that traveled east to promote Tulsa.


Eton's Band as it grew. [Band on pg 174 had 9 men, this band has 25 men and one tiny little girl]


Tulsa wasn't a one-band town. This is Young's Band July 3rd, 1909.


Tulsa's band entertains at the first Republican State Convention in 1907. [Group photo of the band. Drum reads: Tulsa Indian Territory]


The Sapulpa Sporting Club in 1894. Wild turkeys were so plentiful that the fowl often went begging for 50 cents each at the Menifee Mercantile Co, in Sapulpa.


Josiah Choteau Perryman (left) Tulsa's earliest postmaster, fishing. [Photo of a creek with some men fishing using old cane poles]


[Photo of a group of young people (men and women) showing off the possums they shot - 1895, West First Street]


[Top left photo: Tulsa's racetrack at the Fairgrounds. Race is a buggy race - handwritten note on photo says: Fastest Race every run in the southwest, Tulsa, 5/25/09. Lower left photo: 4 teenagers and an older lady - caption: Concharty Mountain, actually a prominent hill just south of Bixby, provided a natural recreation area for sportsmen as well as the chaperoned teen-agers pictured here. Photo on right: Lillie Winberly on her horse. Caption: Like other proper ladies in Indian Territory, Lillie Wimberly road sidesaddle on an outing to Euchee Creek in Osage County about 1902.


[Baseball game at Tulsa Athletic Park on East First Street near Frankfort Ave]


Ball was big time, but still a fun time in Tulsey Town. This particularly frivolous encounter about 1904 pitted the town's "leans" against the "fats." Some prominent pioneer players included Lon Stansbery, Lora L Hall, E A Bradshaw and Sam McBirney

[Photo of the baseball teams posed in front of the grandstands. A drum is sitting in a washtub. Printed on the tub: "Five Drinks perun for every (can't see) reaching home"


[ top: Photo of the Grand Opera House at 2nd and Boston in 1906. The place where the first permanent moving-picture machine was install in 1906. Bottom: A photo of the actors in a play Called Trilly - 1899 Laun Hall is center, Frank Seaman and his wife Mary on the far right]


[top photo] Some Tulsa ladies weren't above a friendly hand of poker. [Bottom photo: Tulsa Christian Temperance Union - 1893. 5 ladies including Lilah Lindsey (standing left) and Mrs. George (Hannah) Mowbray (standing right)]

186 & 187

Maj Gordon W. Lillie, better known as Pawnee Bill, brought his internationally renowned Wild West show to pioneer Tulsa. He liked what he saw, and in 1908, he settled on his ranch at Pawnee where he amassed one of the largest buffalo herds in the world.

[This photo stretches across both pages - Stagecoaches, covered wagons, cowboys and lots of buffalo]


Bird Creek Falls was a popular picnic site north of Tulsa. Tulsans took the railroad to Sperry where hired wagons transported them two miles to the falls. This is Bynum family.


The most important recreation center for early Tulsans was Orcutt Park, today Swan Lake at 17th Street and Utica Ave. This first in-town playground was opened in 1907 by Samuel A. Orcutt. It included facilities for swimming, boating, picnicking and dancing and rated a trolley car stop at it's arched, electrically-lighted front gate.

[Photo of the front gate of Orcutt Park with some people standing on the wooden walk-way]


[Top photo: The roller coaster at Orcutt Park. Bottom Photo: Orcutt Park Lake in 1904 before the park was developed]


[People on the lake in row boats which were rented for 10 cents an hour]

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