1896 to 1907

Bob Cooper

Dividing Line

Postal records indicate the first United States Post Office located in the Turley area was in 1897. It was established and maintained in a General Store owned and operated by a man named William F. Daum. Post Office records report William as being the first Postmaster of Turley. He was an Irishman married to a Cherokee woman. The General Store was located approximately at what is now known as 71st Street and North Victor. William Daum died in 1903, so the chances are that the store closed at that time.

There is a story that a man by the name of James W. (Jim) Turley bought the store and was the postmaster for a few years... however ... postal records do not list him as such.

Further research into postal records indicates that there was a post office established in a community in Sully County, South Dakota. The name of the community was "Turley Ridge". A post office existed there from 1884 and closed in 1895, showing a James L. Turley & John W. Turley as Postmasters from 25 Jan to 17 Nov 1886 ... almost a year. It could be that some people have seen this and assumed it was Turley, Indian Territory (Oklahoma). It does seem interesting that the Turley family in Oklahoma would have the same names ... ie ... John the father, and James the son. However, the middle initials are not the same.

Postal records show H. L. Buck as being the second postmaster in Turley, IT, in 1904, so if James or John Turley ever served as a postmaster in Turley IT or OK, it was not in an official capacity. (More on the H.L.Buck Store further down).

1901 was the year the Blacksmith shop arrived on the scene, owned by the Herman Bussman Family. The first location of the Blacksmith Shop was close to Daum's General Store and Post Office. (There are to be two moves of this business and family within the Turley Area). The photo below was taken at the second and final move.

Photo of blacksmith shop

Next we see a small one-room brick school house, which was probably built between 1895 and 1900, was in the approximate vicinity of what is now 76th Street and North Peoria Avenue. The photo below was donated by Pete Busman, who said he first attended the school in 1901, (also year photo was taken). As you can see, there were several children in attendance.

Photo of first school

In 1906, rumor had it that the Midland-Valley were going to lay tracks from Tulsa to the north. So, in that same year, H. L. Buck, the Mayor of Sperry (town just north of Turley), and John Prichard, (connected with the Midland-Valley railroad), went together to construct a two-story frame building in Turley on the corner of 65th and North Peoria. It was a new General Store with living quarters upstairs and the Post Office was moved to that location. Postal records bear out that H. L. Buck was the second postmaster of Turley. In that same year, Bussman's Blacksmith shop was moved to the new location, 66th street and North Peoria (which was it's first move).

Taking you back to November 26, 1892, the General Land Office in Washington, DC, had approved the compiled laws of the Cherokee Nations. The compiled laws of the Cherokee Nations alloted land to all the Cherokee Indians, and for the purpose of following Turley History, there were two names that came into play. Seenie (Sarah) Brewer, and David Lewis (both full blood Cherokee Indians).

Early in 1906, Mr. Hulette F. Aby and Manuel Hirsh formed a corporation known as "Turley Improvement Company".

On April 10, 1906, the Turley Improvement Company bought 30 acres from Seenie Brewer for $1,050.00 and then on January 28, 1911 purchased another 20 acres from David Lewis for $1,100.00.

Manuel Hirsh was a field superintendent for the Savoy Oil Company and was the one that laid out the new town of Turley. (See layout below).



This 50 acres was in a new location, (basically 8 blocks south), from where the few businesses were located. So now the campaign was on to get those few established businesses to move to the new location.

Herman Bussman bought the first two lots in 1907 (in block 1 facing on Tulsa Ave in above), and moved his Blacksmith shop. Then H. L. Buck soon followed (in block 3, corner of Main and Midland in above).

Below is a photo, (approximately 1907), showing the H.L. Buck General store with the little lean-to building on the side which served as the Post Office. Photo seems to be taken from about where the Blacksmith Shop was located .. facing toward the southwest.

Photo of two buildings

And below is a much better view of the same buildings


Below is the H. L Buck Store in 1922. Somewhere along the line the store was sold to two of the Bussman Brothers. It was known as the "Bussman Brothers Grocery".

Photo Bussman Store

Dividing Line

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Linda Haas Davenport