Tulsa Times A Pictorial History:
The Early Years

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

Dividing Line

This book is the story of Tulsa told in photos. Many of the photos found in this book are also found in "The Beginning of Tulsa" by J.M. Hall.

I don't know if this book is still available through inter-library loan or not but for a family researcher some of the photos may be a valuable addition to their family's history. Below is an complete listing of the photos found in this book. Although a lot of the photos in this book contain people very few of them are named unless they are portraits.

The book itself does not contain either a full listing of the photos nor an index.

Good Luck!

Dividing Line

Section 1

Main Street Indian Territory

Page #

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

Fly page

Tulsa, 1889 looking south on Main Street from the Frisco Railroad tracks


Downtown Tulsa 1893 [horses hitched to posts and lots of MUD]


Main Street, Indian Territory [a sort narrative]

The foundation of Main Street, Tulsa, I.T. was hammered down with railroad spikes. In 1882, the Frisco Railroad extended through Indian Territory from Vinita south to the Arkansas River. The new terminus was called Tulsa for the Creeks who had first settled on the river banks. ... In the beginning there wasn't much to see except prairie. .... Tulsa was a tent city. Still, it was on Main Street that many of Tulsa's most prominent early citizens got their starts as merchants. ....


Drawing of Tulsa 1882 - Tent City

[TBT-Tent City]


"Bird's-eye" views of Tulsa in 1888, above and 1892. The First Methodist Episcopal Church is at right, below.

[taken from a nearby hill these two photos are wide views. Top photo is blurry and not much can be made out. Lower photo is very clear and shows farms, barns and houses of what is today downtown]


Thomas Jefferson Archer's store on Main Street - 1883. Archer is pictured in the center [on front porch]. When this store burned he built another, below

[Top photo has no sign on the building. Several people on the porch. In lower photo the signs on the building reads: (On top of the building) T J Archer Hardwares & Stoves (on the building front) (Left) Furniture & Undertaker D.P. (Right) Wagons Implements Etc].


Thomas Jefferson Archer and his store before it was destroyed.

[Interior shot of the store. Portrait of T J Archer]


[Portraits of:] H.C. Hall and J.M. Hall. The Hall Store [no date]

Lots of people on the porch - no sign on store]


J.M. Hall & Co [store] in 1896, right, and in 1887, above, with a new marketing approach

[The Lowest' Cash Price is printed on a banner hanging from the porch - also a banner "J.M. Hall & Co". The top story has a painted sign "J.M. Hall & Co. General Merchants". A smaller photo of the same store without the banners in on the right of the page]


A surrey with fringe on top stands in front of Tate Brady's general merchandise store built in 1890 on Main Street. Brady's motto was "A Dollar's worth of Honest Goods for a Dollar in Money".

[A lovely old surrey and one horse (maybe a mule). Several well dressed people in the photo]


The Main Street storefront of Brady's Shoe co., built in 1892, is bedecked with boots and work pants.

[Photo has several people shown including women and children. A Barn and barnyard are on the left edge of the photo and a team & wagon are shown on the right side of the building. Sign on the building reads: Bradys Shoe Co. With a boot painted on the left before Bradys and a shoe painted on the right after Co. Boards running from the roof to the fence have boots and shoes hanging from them]


Looking south on Main Street, 1892

[I can count 7 buildings in the photo. Streets are dry but are only dirt and some prairie grass]


An 1893 plat of downtown Tulsa. [Original sketch made by Lon Stansbery and Fred S. Clinton]


Looking south on Boston Ave 1894. Sam Davis, a well-to-do Indian, right.

[Street is actually mostly grass. House on right of photo has an almost round roof and it is striped with the strips running around the roof. The house belongs to Sam Davis. Photo of Sam with his horse]


Early-day Main Street and a "bird's-eye" view of Sapulpa about 1896

[5 buildings and a farm house. The main street is dirt and grass. The wide shot shows farms]


Col. C.B. Lynch's store on the southeast corner of First and Main Streets. Ice Cream parlor is next door

[Crowd of people on the porch and on the road in front of the store. Sign on the front of the store: "C B Lynch Groceries Meats". Sign on side of store: "C B Lynch Staple and Fancy Groceries Queensware Boots & Shoes" the sign on the Ice Cream Parlor is too faint to read]


Robert E. Lynch left. Tulsa's first masonry building 1894 built by Robert E. Lynch the brother of Col C.B. Lynch at First and Main Streets. Stone was quarried in Dawson [a part of North Tulsa now]


Inside shot of Robert E Lynch's general store


Interior of the store that Robert E Lynch later opened across the street


Early advertising poster features Main Street in 1895


Arthur F Antle (right). His Livery Barn in 1894 on the north side of 2nd street between Main and Boulder Ave. Antle was an early-day cowboy

Sign on building reads: Arthur F Antle Livery Barn]


Looking North on Main Street toward 1st Street 1896


Sapulpa in 1896 - Main and Dewey Streets

[Sign on store front reads "H C Hall & Co]


East side of Main Street between 1st & 2nd Streets. The Frisco meat Market (Tulsa's first).

[other store pictured is F P Goyne Drugs/Tulsa Drug Store]


Frisco Meat Market owner Bud Wallace took great delight in festooning his storefront with plentiful local game including deer, raccoon, rabbits, quail and prairie chicken. Christmas Day 1896

[Front on view of the Frisco Meat market - lots of people standing in front of the store and lots of carcasses hanging from the rafters]


In 1897, fire destroyed half of downtown Tulsa six weeks before the city was incorporated. Jan 18, 1898.

[Photo of the fire]


The aftermath of the 1897 fire: the gaping cavity was all that was left of the Price-Gillette building and the Tulsa Banking Co. The fire consumed Tulsa's first three masonry buildings and 12 wooden structures.

[close up view of the burned out buildings]


The Rev George Mowbray, who pastored the First Methodist Episcopal Church and preached in the countryside to the Indians, took a course in embalming in 1890 and became the town undertaker on East 2nd Street. Mowbray (2nd from left), also was Tulsa's mayor from 1902 to 1904 and took the city's first census.

[Portrait of George Mowbray (right). Photo of a building with a sign: "Undertaker" and one the window "Geo W Mowbray Undertaker" and "Geo W Mowbray, Funeral (2nd word is obscured by a person standing in front of the sign). Horse and buggy in the photo also.


The Brady-Martin Red Front Store on Front Street advertised "dry goods, groceries, hats, caps, boots and shoes". Front Street was the informal name given to the Frisco Railroad right-of-way between Main Street and Boston Avenue.

[Photo of a two story building. Sign on top of building: "Brady-Martin's" and on the 2nd story of the building "Red Front Store". There is a two story house to the right of the store and several children in the photo.]


(Upper Photo) Looking north on the west side of Main Street from Second to First streets in 1903. (Lower Photo) Looking north on the east side of Main Street from Second to First Streets in 1903.

[Upper Photo: Sign on buildings: "Redmons-Studio, Photographs Enlargements Pictures & Frames", "Dentist" and on the side of one building a partial sign can be seen, "Price (2 words too blurry to read) --nner Party, Flour". In the Lower Photo: "Scott's Cash Store", "Willits Harness Saddles (rest can't be read)"


Looking south from Standpipe Hill about 1904

[This photo looks to have been taken from the same hill as the lower photo on page 11. Lots of houses and buildings, large open areas are gone]


(Upper Photo) According to Tulsa father J M Hall, the first newspaper was The Indian chief, an irregular publication that began when Tulsa still was a tent city. It evolved into the Indian Republican. A sampling from its columns at the century's turn included: "Ed Egan, our city Marshal, is off his regular post of duty this week on account of being run over at the corner of First and Main streets by Cliff Drew's team of bay horses and buggy. Cliff left town before being arrested." (Lower Photo) The Tulsa World traces its lineage to the first newspaper in Tulsa. The Indian Chief, and The Indian Republican. This is the Tulsa World building, located just west of Main Street on Third Street about 1907.


Skinner's Grocer Store, Second Street and Fankfort Avenue, about 1908


Tulsa Banking Co was organized July 29, 1895, as Tulsa's first bank at 107 S. Main St. Jay Forsythe was the chief organizer. (Photo on left) Original bank was destroyed in the fire of 1897, but the vault was saved. (Photo on right) Interior of the Tulsa Banking co in 1903 after it was rebuilt on the same site. (Lower right) portrait of Jay Forsythe


The interior of Reeder's Pharmacy, Second and Main streets. An early druggist and doctor, Charles L Reeder got his store in trade for a claim to his wife's homestead in Comanche county.

[Old soda fountain are advertising Steffens Ice Cream in is the front of the store.]


In 1905, Main Street still had a wild and woolly look, but a sign on the right boasts oysters for sale.

[Main street is still dirt, horses & wagons still on the street, but telephone polls now line both sides of Main street. One sign says "New State Hotel and Cafe" - although Oklahoma was not yet a "new state"]


Looking south on Main Street from the Frisco Railroad tracks about 1907. The street car was running, but the streets were still dirt.

[Signs that can be read: "Oil Well Supply Co", "The New State Hotel and Cafe", "Theater", "(looks to be Neal) Realty" , "Alamo Restaurant",. The street car tracks and overhead wires are shown in the photo with the streetcar at the far back of the photo]


Looking west on First Street from Boston Avenue in 1906.

[Street still dirt. Lots of horses and wagons, only two signs can be read - Hardware and across the street Bradys Clothing Store]


Looking north from the roof of the original Tulsa High School at Fourth Street and Boston Ave in 1906. The Grand Opera House with the arched entry is at center right.

[This photo shows how much Tulsa had grown. Many two story buildings, several of them brick. The Grand Opera House is still in use today and is known to as "The Old Lady of Brady" (located on Brady Street)]

46 & 47

A panoramic view of Tulsa in 1909. Second Street and Main are in the center.

[Hand written on the photo: "Photo by C Jack, Tulsa copyrighted 1909". This photo spans the two pages with 3 photo sections making up the whole. This photo show autos for the first time. Most of the signs are too small to be read except for "A.Y. Boswell Leading Jewelers" and G R McCullough Has Money To Loan". Street Car is shown in the photo on page 47. On the lower left of page 47 is a shot of Main Street in 1908 showing the streets were finally paved. This photo has a notation in the lower left "Osage Indian Curio Co" so it appears as if this photo was a post card.


Tulsa's first hospital, Fifth Street and Lawson Ave, was originally built as a 19-room private home but opened as a hospital in 1906 by Dr. Fred S. Clinton. The first patient admitted had smallpox. With would-be patients' comfort in mind, the horse-drawn ambulance in front had rubber tires.

[Lovely large two story home. A woman in a white Nurse's cap and apron is on the porch. A wagon labeled "Ambulance" with a two horse team is in front of the house.]


The no-frills operating room of Tulsa's first hospital, in 1911.


Built in 1906, Tulsa's first Fire Station, 211 W. 2nd Street, also served as city hall and police station, complete with a jail in the basement. Fire-Wagon horses were stabled and kept ready to go on the ground floor. The floor was constructed of cedar blocks, but the whole building still frequently smelled like a stable.

[Hand lettered on the photo: "South Side Fire Station". This is a photo of the building. Faint outlines of people in the two large doorways.]


The Tulsa Fire Department in 1910.

[Firemen in uniform and equipment are on display in front of the building. Identification is hand lettered on the photo: From left to right: Horse & buggy with one driver, labeled "John"; a early motorized fire truck with a large bell, ladder and fire hose with several men on it, labeled" Webb Pumper"; fire wagon with a two horse team and several men on it, labeled "No 2", Another fire wagon with a two horse team and several men, labeled "No 1"


Portrait of Chauncey Owen on the left. On right: The discovery of oil meant thousands of would-be oilmen who flooded into Tulsa needed a roof over their heads. The construction of hotels, at first primitive, boomed. Chauncey Owen's Tulsa House was one of the city's first inns.

[The photo is a bit blurry but shows a two story building with a balcony on the front and a picket fence running the length of the street. A wooden sidewalk is between the picket fence and the street.]


Just after the century's turn, The Club Hotel was located on the second floor of Holland's Store on the southeast corner of First Street and Boston Avenue.

[Two story building. Teams and wagons are in front of the store. Several people are on the porch. Young girls dresses were half-way between the ankles and the knees. Older women's dresses were still floor length.]


(Upper photo) The Kallam Livery Stable, 101 E. First St., was remodeled into the Alcorn Hotel by W N Robinson, a Kansan who came to Tulsa in 1902. The hotel had no "sanitary facilities" but boasted one luxury, private brick paving in front. More commonly, loads of corncobs were thrown on the streets as makeshift pavement. (Lower Photo) In 1905 Robinson built a more up-to-date Robinson Hotel on the southwest corner of Third and Main Streets with "sanitary facilities" although initially the sewage ran only into a ravine on North Main near the railroad tracks.


W. Tate Brady played dueling hotels with W N Robinson to accommodate the influx of oilmen. The Hotel Brady (left) was built in 1904. When Robinson built his new facility in 1905, Brady responded a few years later with a towering annex (right). Old-timers said more oil deals were struck in hotel lobbies than in oil fields.


Downtown Tulsa immediately took on a spiffer look when Main Street was finally paved in 1907.


Looking east on Third Street in 1911. The streetcar is on the way to Owen Park.


Main Street looking North in 1911.


Tulsa Firsts. Photo of Milo T. Reed, Tulsa's first door-to-door mailman, in 1908. Photo of Edward Calkins, Tulsa's first mayor; elected in 1898.

[In the center of the page is a lists of "Firsts". Complete version is found in The Beginning of Tulsa]


Dr. H.P. Newlon came to Indian Territory and opened Tulsa's first drug store on Main Street.

[Photo of several people in front of what looks like a house]

Tulsa's first telephone Equipment

[Photo of an old switchboard with a woman sitting in front of it and a man standing beside her]

A stalk of bananas added appeal to Tulsa's first bakery, the Bon Ton, on the west side of Main Street between First and Second streets, in the late 1890's.

[Interior shot of a grocery store. Several men in the photo]


James Dixon Hughes, Tulsa's first photographer, began business in the early 1890's. Prior to this, town photos were taken by itinerant camermen traveling by covered wagons.

F.C. Alder, Tulsa's first fire chief

Before the arrival of Tulsa's first dentist, Frank Seaman, local doctor pulled teeth.

Troop No 1: Tulsa's first Boy Scouts. Organized in 1910.

[Group photo. Most of the boys had on suits and ties]


 Dividing Line

Sec 1

Sec 2

Sec 3

Sec 4

Sec 5

Sec 6

Sec 7

Sec 8

Sec 9

Sec 10


Dividing Line

Return to Photo Gallery Index

Return to Main Page

Webmaster: Linda Haas Davenport