On the morning of June 20, 1906, a party composed of J.C. Chrisney, W.M. Longmire, Harry Meade, C.J. Benson, W.P. Dix, S.T. Pierson, Charles F. Barrett, and Lou S. Allard drove to the Chrisney property, a mile and one-half south of the city. The purpose was to inspect the property as to its adaptability as a site for the new County Club and Golf Park.

THE COUNTRY CLUB AMUSEMENT PARK

On the morning of June 20, 1906, a party composed of J.C. Chrisney, W.M. Longmire, Harry Meade, C.J. Benson, W.P. Dix, S.T. Pierson, Charles F. Barrett, and Lou S. Allard drove to the Chrisney property, a mile and one-half south of the city. The purpose was to inspect the property as to its adaptability as a site for the new County Club and Golf Park.

The site was near the Rock Island and Santa Fe railroads and the interurban line, and was on high ground, making as a fine location for such a park. While in that vicinity, the gentlemen inspected the interurban and the new amusement park which was being constructed on that line.

On the interurban, the pile driver was at work on the North Canadian bridge, and the steel and poles were being placed in position along the line. In the park, a midway was being constructed, along with other amusements, a ball park, and race track. The deal was made on July 2, closing the purchase of the land. The gentlemen commented about the beautiful scenery along the way to the proposed Country Club.

INTERUBRAN LINE OPENS ON THE FOURTH

The first interurban line in Oklahoma Territory was opened to service on July 4, 1906, between Shawnee and the new amusement park two and on- half miles south of the city. The park was not yet finished, and the company was forced to put together the best amusement possible for the opening. A large crowd of citizens visited that evening.

Work on the interurban south of the park to Tecumseh was being pushed and would be ready in a few days, opening the entire route to traffic. The city lines did a tremendous amount of business on the Fourth, carrying over 10,000 people during the day.

BIG CELEBRATION WAS GREAT SUCCESS

The Fourth of July statehood ratification opened with a popping of firecrackers and torpedoes, which continued with greater or less volume until after midnight. The day was warm with a few clouds overhanging the sky, making it an ideal day for such a celebration.

The M.W.A. Band, in their fine uniforms, began the program with a parade in the morning to the trains, which brought large numbers of people into the city. Wagons and other vehicles from the surrounding country also brought over crowds until the city was filled with the throngs.

After the parade formed, they marched through the streets of downtown, and finally arrived at Woodland Park. The parade was led by Chief of Police William Sims on a fine white steed, followed by a detail of policemen. Then came the city officials and speakers in carriages, followed by the band.

The 46 young ladies in white on a fine float, representing the 46 states, were followed by an elegant float, “Home Industry,” on which several finely costumed girls rode. Many other floats followed. After the parade, the address of welcome was delivered by B.B. Blakeney to a great throng of Woodland Park. He also introduced Judge B.F. Burwell of Oklahoma City, who delivered a most interesting speech to end the celebration.

NORWOOD HOTEL OPENS FOR BUSINESS

The new Norwood Hotel, the five-story structure completed by W.F. Callahan on Broadway, opened for business on July 7, 1906. A ceremony was observed opening the hotel up to the people, with a program and the first offer in the dining room on the first floor.

O.A. McClintock, manager of the Metrople at St. Joseph, MO, and the Treadgill at Oklahoma City, had a long lease on the Norwood and had furnished it in the most approved style.

The structure had 64 rooms, all either equipped with private bath, or convenient access to baths. A telephone was installed in every room, and an elevator carried patrons to every floor.

W.E. Bayfield became the resident manager and was devoting every energy to its success. Ike Garrison was the general manager of the buffet and offered a catering service. A force of six bell boys in uniforms readied the service to customers.

FLOODS CAUSE RAILROAD DAMAGE

On the early morning of July 10, the sky grew dark and gloomy and rain began to fall. All night, almost without cessation, it fell in torrents, and the streets of the city took on the appearance of small rivers. Many places where proper drainage was not good, water was standing several inches deep. Many of the basements in the business section, including that of the new Norwood Hotel, had a large amount of water in them.

Out of town reports were to the effect that rain, almost amounting to a flood, had fallen throughout the county. On the Rock Island between Shawnee and McLoud, several hundred feet of track was washed out, causing a delay of several hours in the train service over that road. It was stated that the track was washed away entirely, leaving nothing but a level place, where the roadbed formerly stood.

The train due out of the city at 4:40 A.M., was held in the yards for almost six hours. When it left, it went to the wash out and passengers were transferred to a train on the other side. Passengers for the east were transferred in like manner.

The Katy did not miss its share of the disaster, which followed in the path of the heavy downpour. Their service was delayed by several hours also.

The rain caused great damage to the railroads, but had not yet caused any significant damage to the local crops. However, the lowlands around the North Canadian River were drenched and the fear was that it would slow up the crops, if it continued.

(These stories and many others are part of the publication of the comprehensive history of the city of Shawnee, coming in 2019. The story covers from the creation of Indian Territory to the 21st century.)