Oklahoma Genealogical Society


(The First)



August 22, 1889


From Oklahoma Genealogical Society Quarterly Vol. 16 (Year 1971)—No. 1, January 1971; No 2, June 1971; No. 3, September 1971; No. 4, December 1971; Vol. 17 (Year 1972)—No. 1. January 1972; No. 2, June 1972; No. 3, September 1972; No. 4, December 1972

Transcribed to Electronic form by Jo White

(NOTE: Several of the names listed are NOT in exact alphabetical order.)





The compilers of the first city directory of Oklahoma City present the fruit of their labor to the business men of the city, hoping that it will be of practical use as a book of reference, as well as a faithful index of the growth and importance of the town to the outside world.  That this book is perfect, we do not claim.  Errors in the census were unavoidable, although we believe not frequent.  Our census takers, Mr. S.C. Smith, Jr. and H.E. Foster, did their work slowly, carefully, and in the most accurate manner possible.  If the names of some bona fide residents are omitted, we dare say it is not the fault of the census takers.  When occupants of houses were not in, and every effort to obtain their names failed, printed blanks were posted conspicuously upon their doors to be filled in by them and collected by the census takers after a reasonable time had elapsed.  Four months from the platting of the city, the census shows 5,027 actual residents.  That several hundred people are absent from the city in the states, setting up their affairs preparatory to moving here with their new families, everybody knows.  It is safe to say that the population of Oklahoma City is 7,000, were the families of many male residents here.  The census includes Oklahoma City proper and South Oklahoma.  The names, initials, occupation, block, lot, street and number in family were given in every case where possible to obtain the desired information.  Street numbers could not be given as a system of numbering has not yet been completed.  We can but regret that a fair business representation is not shown on our advertising pages.  It is not because our merchants were not thoroughly and earnestly solicited.  To those of our business men whose patronage enabled us (to) produce this work, we extend our sincere thanks.  We believe you will consider your money well spent.


Oklahoma City, I.T., Aug. 22, 1889


                                                                             R.W. McAdam

                                                                             S.E. Levi



The Rush of April 22


The rise and progress of Oklahoma City is remarkable, although natural.  Here the enterprise and town-building spirit of the western people shows a striking example. On the morning of April 22nd, 1889, the town site of Oklahoma City contained a log government store house, supply store, post-office, section house and railway station.  On the afternoon of that historical day, thousands of excited men rushed wildly over the site and staked it off in town lots.  Hundreds of tents quickly transformed a solitude to a vast, bustling encampment, and that night the stars looked down upon countless flaring camp-fires.  Since then, the sights and sounds of a rapidly building, bustling, ambitious western city have transformed the scene “as by a stroke of the enchanter’s wand,” and made it the subject of wide-spread comment on the part of the American press, awakening an interest in the wonderful young city throughout the entire Union.


Location of Oklahoma City


The rapid, never-failing waters of the North Canadian River, in their windings through the agricultural heart of Oklahoma, form a horse-shoe, half enclosing the finest natural town site in the “Beautiful Land.”  Here was platted Oklahoma City, and here is destined to be the metropolis of the Indian Territory, if not the great southwest.  The business portion of the city lies on the broad, high flats of the valley, and the residence portion mainly on gently rolling uplands to the north.


Natural Advantages


No town in the new territory can show as convincing reasons for future growth and prosperity as Oklahoma City.  Situated in the very heart of an extensive, rich, agricultural belt, the natural supply point of the fertile inter-Canadian country and adjacent Indian Reservations, she is bound to make an important city.  The U shaped river bend around town will be utilized to great advantage by cutting a straight canal through the city, thus deflecting the channel of the river, and thereby obtaining a fall of 30 feet, insuring excellent water power.  A company has already been organized for this purpose.  Manufacturing industries have already begun to locate here, and it will eventually be a manufacturing center.  Oklahoma City will be a railroad center.  It will be a great wholesale point for the Indian Territory and the Texas Panhandle.  It will be the capital of the coming State of Oklahoma, as its commercial importance and geographical convenience will outweigh the alleged advantages of ambitious capital aspirants.




Oklahoma City is situated on the line of the great Santa Fe system, nearly midway between Kansa City and Galveston. Here the Santa Fe has over three miles of side tracks, which are constantly crowded with cars.  Two new railroads, the Choctaw and the Denison and Washita, are building rapidly toward Oklahoma City from the inexhaustible coal fields to the east, and both roads will undoubtedly be in the city by January 1st.  The A.T. & S.F., it is said, will remove its division to this point, and in conjunction with these other roads will establish here mammoth machine shops.  The survey of the great transcontinental Frisco route runs through Oklahoma City, and that road will be a reality within another year.  Several more roads are surveyed to this place, but are not yet assured facts.  The Rock Island will run a branch from Kingfisher to Oklahoma City.


Business Houses and Enterprises


From an off-hand count, taken for the directory, Oklahoma City has eight churches, four public and private schools, five public halls, two theaters, a board of trade, five miles of graded streets, three miles of sidewalk, ten feet wide, a $50,000 ice factory, a planning (sic) mill, three bottling works, three daily and three weekly newspapers, four banks with $300,000 capital, twenty-seven lumber yards, four coal yards, one wholesale line, stucco and building material yard, forty-two groceries, (four wholesale) twenty-three drug stores, twenty-eight dry goods and clothing stores, twenty-four hardware stores, seventeen flour, feed and commission houses, thirteen hotels, thirty-three restaurants, twelve bakeries, sixteen barber shops, twenty-four fruit, vegetable and confectionery stores, seventeen meat markets, nine pump, hose and well-boring establishments, fifteen blacksmith shops, two stone-cutting and seven brick yards, ten paint shops, eleven tin shops, seven furniture stores, three book and news stores, two paint manufacturers’ branch houses, seventeen laundries, (one steam), four gun shops, nine billiard halls, eighteen club houses, five photograph galleries, two undertaking establishments, drays, buses and express wagons by  the score, twenty-seven surveyors and engineers, forty-nine lawyers and forty-five doctors.  Few towns in the United States can make a better business showing than Oklahoma City, both in the number and substantiality of her firms.


Projected Enterprises


The franchises for a fine system of water works, electric lights and a street railway have been granted a company of local capitalists by the city government.  Two fine hotels, one brick, costing $50,000, and the other stone, costing $70,000, will be begun this fall.  A $100,000 cotton mill is promised within the next year, and our citizens have pledged $25,000 of the stock.  An elegant brick public school building is an assured fact of the near future.  Several brick blocks are under construction and contracted, with dozens to follow at once.  The age of brick has dawned upon the lively young metropolis of Oklahoma.


Future Prospects


Looking at the Oklahoma City of to-day, just four months after the opening of the Oklahoma country to settlement, we see a live growing town of 5,027 souls, well built and complete in its commercial branches.  It has attained in four months what many towns of like population have taken a decade, a quarter or a half century to reach.  None see Oklahoma City but prophesy a bright future for her.  Today the little city in the broad, rich valley of the Canadian is but a hamlet compared with the Oklahoma City that is to be.


City Official Directory


Oklahoma City


Mayor—W.L. Couch

Recorder—J.A. Blackburn

Treasurer—M.C. Quinton

Attorney—Ledru Guthrie

Engineer—C. Chamberlain

Police Judge—O.H. Violet

Marshal—J.B. Koonce




Sidney Clarke; Jno. Wallace; E.C. Hudson; M.C. Wells; W.E. Scott; J.E. Jones


South Oklahoma


Mayor—T.J. Fagan

Recorder—W.T. Bodine

Treasurer—W.P. Wallace

Attorney—L.P. Ross

Engineer—C.P. Wager

Police Judge—T.J. Fagan

Marshal—Dan McKay




J.P. McKinnis; S.E. Steele; S. Sweeny; E.S. Hughes; B.T. Mills


Board of Trade


President—H. Overholser

Vice-President—James Geary

Second Vice-President—J.P. McKinnis

Secretary—W.H. Ebey

Treasurer—T.M. Richardson





Executive Committee—J.A. Blackburn; W.L. Couch; O.H. Violet; C.W. Price; B.N. Woodson; M.C. Wells


On Railroads—J.B. Weaver; J.A. Blackburn; Gen. J.E. Jones; C.W. Price; W.H. Ebey; W.L. Couch; T.M. Richardson; H. Overholser; Jas. Geary


On Manufacturing—C.P. Walker; W.L. Harvey; Jno. Ward; E.W. Sweeny; W.L. Killebew; F.L. Bond


On Transportation and Freights—J.P. McKinnis; Jno. Brogan; A.T. Woodford; A.L. Frick; J.P. Darling; W.J. Pettee


On Advertising—O.H. Violet; W.H. Ebey; R.Q. Blakeney; H.R. Winn; F.W. Beard


On Legislation—Gen. J.B. Weaver; Sidney Clarke; O.H. Violet; W.L. Couch; A.B. Hammer; A.C. Scott; Ledru Guthrie; B.N. Woodson; D.A. Harvey


On Finances—Jas. Geary; Ledru Guthrie; W.C. Wells; T.M. Richardson; W.A. Monroe


On Education—A.C. Scott; C.A. Galbraith; R.R. Connella; G.A. Beidler; W.W. Witten


On Emigration—Victor Sherman; W.H. Darrough; G.W. Massey; G.W. Adams; H.W. Sawyer



Postoffice—G.A. Beidler, P.M.

A.   T. & S. F. Depot—A.W. Dunham, S.A.



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