A committee of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce interviewed Alfred Hare, one of the leading stockholders in the Interurban Railway on July 26, concerning the proposition to construct an amusement park. The Board desired to learn the wishes of the interurban company before entering any proposition concerning the park.

THE PARK PROPOSITION

A committee of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce interviewed Alfred Hare, one of the leading stockholders in the Interurban Railway on July 26, concerning the proposition to construct an amusement park. The Board desired to learn the wishes of the interurban company before entering any proposition concerning the park.

Hare told the committee that his company certainly favored the park, but that the most successful amusement parks in the country were owned and controlled by private corporations, not by the railway lines. For that reason, the interurban company was not interested in any such enterprise, though its stockholders might individually aid with the park.

ST. BENEDICT’S PARISH

Father Felix De Grasse, later abbot of Sacred Heart Abbey, founded St. Benedict’s Parish in Shawnee in 1896. The first church was on north Park Street between 9th and 10th streets. With the cooperation of the Sisters of Mercy, a parochial school also got underway on September 15, 1896. Ninety-five pupils were enrolled that day.

Shortly after 1900, with Father Blaise Harit-Chabalet as pastor, the new beautiful site for the parish was obtained on north Kickapoo Street. There, with the able assistance of Father Maurus Fuerstenberg, Father Blaise built a two-story rectory in 1904. In 1906, the construction of St. Benedict’s Church began.

The cornerstone was laid on July 29. A substantial stone garage, attached to the old rectory, served for some years as an art studio for Father Gregory Gerrer. He returned from art studies in Europe in 1904.

Father Blaise continued as pastor of St. Benedict’s until 1915, when he took up his duties as the first president of St. Gregory’s College, which opened that year. Father Robert Maloney built the new St. Benedict’s school building in the early 1920s. For many years, the Sisters of Mercy taught classes at the school. It was an elementary and high school.

NEW FIRE STATION QUESTION

Among all the issues brought up at the regular Council meeting on September 4, two were considered the most interesting. The first was an ordinance, making it unlawful to spit on the sidewalks, in street cars, or churches, and other public places.

Also, it was made public that an offer had been made of $3,000 for the present fire station. It was moved that the Council should take the offer. It led then to a motion to advertise for bids from construction companies to build a new station on 9th Street, in the rear of the City Hall.

CHRISTIAN COLLEGE MEETING HELD

A special meeting of the Chamber of Commerce was held on September 11, in the City Hall auditorium to consider plans for the location of a Christian College in the city. It was an opportunity for the citizens to meet Rev. E.Z. Zahler, President of Hiram College, the largest educational institution of the Christian Church in America.

Rev. Zahler was chosen as chairman of a committee that was looking to choose a location for the college which the Christian Church would sponsor at some point in the Twin Territories.

The news brought great excitement to many citizens of Shawnee and the Chamber of Commerce. However, after a few months of intense promotion for this college by the Chamber and many others, Enid won the bid for the school. Yet another attempt by the fathers of the city to locate an institution of higher learning in Shawnee went by the wayside.

SHAWNEE MILLING RESUMES BUSINESS

The Shawnee Milling Company re-opened its mill on south Broadway September 20, 1906, after a summer of idleness. During the summer, the plant was being rebuilt and very greatly enlarged. The media described it as “equal with any mill in the southwest.”

It had been about five months since J. Lloyd Ford of Oklahoma City arrived in Shawnee and effected the purchase of the mill. After the new company had taken charge, a new machinery capable of handling a much great amount of wheat per day was ordered. As soon as it arrived it was installed in the building.

The building in effect was four stories high, and had a large basement, while grain conveyors ran to the nearby storehouse and big elevator. The elevator had a large capacity and the company used it for a general elevator and storing business.

Ford was personally involved in the business. He not only superintended the office and grain buying, but also occasionally looked over the whole mill.

SATTERFIELD OFFERS TO DONATE HALF OF THE PRICE FOR COLLEGE

A letter dated on September 27, from Dr. L.D. Satterfield of Nashville, TN, to William S. Search, President of the Bank of Commerce, had an interesting proposition.

“My price for the 80 acres is $25,000, one half of which I will donate to the trustees to be used in the interests of a new Bible College.”

Satterfield spent a considerable amount of time each year in Shawnee and owned extensive amounts of property. Search looked after the business for the doctor during the Satterfield’s absence.

His land was located practically in the city and was considered valuable. His offer to donate the $12,500 of the purchase price to the trustees for a Bible school was generally considered as magnanimous.

ROE ATTENDS MEETING FOR BASEBALL LEAGUE OF TERRITORY CITIES

Joe B. Roe, organized the baseball team in the city for 1906, and played it for several months against heavy odds. Those odds included lack of attendance and heavy railroad fare for big jumps to other towns in the league. But he was already preparing for next year’s team.

He was in correspondence with managers in Oklahoma City, Guthrie, El Reno, Enid, Chickasha, Lawton, Muskogee, South McAlester and Tulsa. They were talking about the new league and the schedule and location of games. Oklahoma City would enter the new league, and on her part, would give the visiting team half of the receipts each Sunday. This was expected to help materially on payday. The railway officials promised Sunday excursions throughout the season to Shawnee and other points.

Roe was also concerned about the location of the park for the coming season. He hoped that League Park on the loop would be maintained, but if not, maybe the Interurban Park would be the baseball ground.

(These stories, along with hundreds more, are part of the comprehensive history of Shawnee. Look for the 1,000, plus page volume in the future.)