About 2 A.M. on October 22, a fire alarm called the central station to 414 east Main Street where a wooden two-story building occupied as a grocery store was blazing fiercely. The fire had gained such headway that the firemen were unable to get into the building until they had fought their way by inches.

EAST MAIN GROCERY ROBBED AND BURNED

About 2 A.M. on October 22, a fire alarm called the central station to 414 east Main Street where a wooden two-story building occupied as a grocery store was blazing fiercely. The fire had gained such headway that the firemen were unable to get into the building until they had fought their way by inches.

It then developed that two men were asleep on the second story, which was used as a rooming house. The stairway was cutoff and by the directions of Fire Chief L.A. Brown, the two men were taken by way of the awning, escaping death by a narrow margin. They had not awakened until the fire department began their work.

The building was owned by James Wellington and was badly damaged., though most of the fire was contained to the inside. The stock and groceries were owned by Harvey & McCune, and was a total loss. They carried $600 of insurance and the stock was worth $800. The building was valued at $2,000 and was damaged to the extinct of $1,200.

The rear doors of the store were unlocked when the firemen arrived. After the owners stated that the quantity of flour and other articles were missing, this led authorities to believe the store was robbed and then set on fire to cover up the crime.

SHAWNEE HOSPITAL TO ENLARGE

Application for a charter to the Shawnee Medical Association, composed of nearly all the physicians in good standing in the city, was finalized on October 22. It was capitalized at $25,000, with 5,000 shares at five dollars each.

The leaders of the Association were on their way to Guthrie for the charter and all the arrangements had been made to buy the current Shawnee Hospital, located on north Bell Street from Dr. J.H. Scott. The new Association was due to take charge of the hospital on November 5. The Association had plans for every physician in good standing in the county to be members of the new organization.

The present site would be used until a new site could be purchased and a structure of much greater size erected. The advertisement was that no man, woman or child in need of hospital attention would be turned away. This included those who did not have money to pay.

MURDERER CAUGHT IN SHAWNEE

A man claiming to be Henry Smith, was arrested on November 4, by Patrolman Marion Farrall and charged with murder that was committed in Louisiana. The day before, a man showed Farrall a letter purporting to be from the sheriff at Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, requesting officers to arrest Smith, whom the bearer of the letter would point out.

The matter was reported to Chief of Police William Sims, who ordered the arrest. Within a short time, the man with the letter pointed out Smith and he was taken to the Chief’s office, where he first insisted on his innocence. However, when he was confronted by the other man, he admitted that he had shot a man to death at Natchitoches on October 19, 1904. He claimed that since that time, he had been “scouting.”

He had been in Shawnee, working as a porter for only nine days. The sheriff in Louisiana was notified and the prisoner was removed to the other state when the authorities showed up for him. The citizens of Shawnee gave authorities praise for their work.

CONVENTION HALL PROPOSED

The “smoker” by the Chamber of Commerce on November 22, was described as one that many people would never forget. The rooms were crowded with people. The cigars were provided by Roy and R.J. McKay, and they freely passed them out.

When the meeting was called to order by President George Kerfoot, the major issue up for discussion was the matter of securing a Convention Hall for the city. The matter was discussed by several in attendance.

One said, “We have no home for large gatherings and among some of those we lost was the single-statehood convention. Also, the Irrigation Convention, and last week the Baptist Convention had difficulty accommodating their delegates.”

The general feeling was that Shawnee could do no better than to build a large meeting place for business and progress in the city. It also mentioned that the city’s chance of securing the state capital in the future would be greatly enhanced by such an edifice. The cost was estimated at a couple of million dollars to construct, but it would show that the people of Shawnee had the spirit to be the leader in the new state of Oklahoma.

The whole matter was referred to the Board, who were to suggest some plan of campaign in the future for this structure.

ROCK ISLAND TEAMS SECURE VICTORY

Much enthusiasm was displayed by a large crowd gathered at League Park on December 2, to witness a football game between the Rock Island team and the team from Purcell.

The local team was heavily outweighed, but broke up the streak of wins by the other team. Purcell showed they were very good on offense, but not so good on defense. Shawnee made two touchdowns in the first half, with the ball being carried over the goal line by C. Evans and D.P. Sparks. The latter’s run was for 55 yards and he had great blocking from Cleve Duggan and others.

The second half was pretty much a “wash” and no scores were made. The Rock Island team won the game, 11-0. Back then, a touchdown counted five points.

PIONEER CITIZEN GOES TO HIS REWARD

Dr. A.N. Willey passed to his heavenly reward on New Year’s Eve at about 9 P.M., after suffering a prolonged illness, at his family residence on north Union Avenue. He left a wife, two sons and one daughter.

With his death, Shawnee lost one of its most prominent and popular citizens. He was also regarded as one of the best physicians in the southwest.

He was born 45 years earlier in White Bluff, TN. From there he entered school at what later became known as Vanderbilt University. After graduating from medical school, he went to Texas. There he practiced and gained a reputation for his efficiency in medicine.

In 1897, he moved to Shawnee. He immediately took an active part in public affairs and was also a member of the school board, city council, and on occasions, was a city physician. He was connected with Dr. W.C. Bradford as partner at one time and later with Dr. J.M. Trigg in the practice of medicine.

Funeral services were conducted at his family residence, on January 2, with Rev. John L. Bray of the South Methodist Church officiating. He was interred at the Fairview Cemetery.

(These stories and many others will appear in the upcoming publication of the history of Shawnee, “Red Bud City,” in the future.)