The new year of 1907 brought hopes of prosperity and success for the city of Shawnee. They believed that indications pointed very strongly to the securing of the new state capital buildings. With this, it would also mean the addition of many other public buildings. The citizens believed that Shawnee possessed opportunities to greatly increase her wealth. Home and businesses were steadily being built throughout the city. The following various stories continue to show the progress for the “Proud Princess.”

The new year of 1907 brought hopes of prosperity and success for the city of Shawnee. They believed that indications pointed very strongly to the securing of the new state capital buildings. With this, it would also mean the addition of many other public buildings. The citizens believed that Shawnee possessed opportunities to greatly increase her wealth. Home and businesses were steadily being built throughout the city. The following various stories continue to show the progress for the “Proud Princess.”

TECUMSEH-SHAWNEE MAIL CONTRACT SIGNED

Mail contracts were let to the Interurban, providing a mail car that would deliver mail two times a day each way from Shawnee and Tecumseh. The service was provided every day except Sunday.

The service was set to begin on January 14. Citizens of both cities felt this service bound the cities, and was a great convenience for the people in their progress toward modern towns.

INGLEWOOD ADDITION OPENS

A beautiful plot of ground in the residential portion of Shawnee, known as the Inglewood Addition, was opened to the public, and several beautiful homes were erected. The 80 acres on the eastside was also well stocked with shade trees.

The land was formerly owned by the Kickapoos and after much legal work and bids, was bought by the Shawnee Townsite Company. By an act of Congress, the restrictions on the sale and encumbrances of all Indian lands were removed.

SHAWNEE BASEBALL TEAM JOINS LEAGUE

Baseball fans were interested in finding out that plans were underway to give Shawnee a team that would be successful in the entire state. At a recent meeting of teams composed of the old South Central League, held in El Reno, the name was changed to the Oklahoma State League, and would consist of eight teams.

Joe B. Roe, held the original franchise for Shawnee, and sold it to Norman Nelson. He then quickly disposed of it to Gus Carey. Detailed plans about the status of Oklahoma City in the league was not settled yet for the opening of the season in April.

COUNTY SEAT FIGHT WAS ON IN THE STATE CONVENTION

The County Boundary Commission brought in its report on the County Seat proposition just before adjournment on January 12, at the State Constitutional Convention in Guthrie. In the list, at the time, only two changes were made. The county seat of Moman County was left blank. The contest there was between Bristow and Sapulpa. The committee suggested Bristow, but that started a fight that led to putting off a final decision. The other change put Kenton as the county seat for Cimarron County in the panhandle. To the disappointment of Shawnee citizens, no change was made for Pottawatomie County, leaving Tecumseh as the seat.

CHAMBER HOLDS INAUGURAL BANQUET

The inaugural Chamber of Commerce banquet was held at the Norwood Hotel on the night of February 5, 1907. It was expected to be a magnificent affair, but exceeded expectations.

The arrangements for the event were done by a committee of men that were truly town leaders in the professional and business fields: Sidney J. Roy, H.M. Longmire, H.T. Douglas, J. Lloyd Ford, and E. Stone.

There were 150 guests seated at the tables, this included prominent people from Oklahoma and Indian territories. The total theme of the night was “The Greater Shawnee.”

 STREET CAR COMPANY MAKES IMPROVEMENTS

President Willis E. Fertig of the Shawnee-Tecumseh Street Car Company, later to be known as the Shawnee-Tecumseh Traction Company, stated on February 18, that they intended to build a large park between the two cities, which would contain a big theater, a restaurant, a skating rink, and other amusements, such as a Figure 8, and probably a race track.

On discussion of the loop situation, Fertig suggested that the local news needed to take a trip over the loop. The car was boarded just before noon at Broadway and the loop was taken in. During the ride, not one passenger was taken and Fertig stated that there was enough traffic over the loop to pay the conductor and motorman, not to mention the cost of operating.

Along the way, the houses were scattered and most of the people walked to town. One whole section was school land and consequently no traffic could be secured from that quarter. The company desired to go down north Louisa Street, where many more citizens would be served and better service obtained, as well as making the line more profitable.

The plan was for a line to be operated to the ball park when any attraction was on. The cars would pass a short block in front of the Catholic Church.

On the return trip, Fertig and the reporter got off at St. Benedict’s Street and walked leisurely down to Highland Street. They were there in plenty of time to catch the same car that they had traveled on the loop in earlier in the day.

ANOTHER PIONEER PASSES AWAY

With the passing of James Whittaker on February 21, 1907, the city lost one of its more substantial and progressive citizens. He was described as one of the strong men who came in the early days and helped develop Shawnee into the thriving city that it was by 1907. He passed peacefully in his sleep at his residence on north Broadway.

Whittaker was born in Ohio in 1826, and later lived for some time in Christian County, IL. From that state, he came to Oklahoma City, where he owned property.

Later, when eastern Oklahoma Territory opened, he came to Pottawatomie County in 1891. He acquired a considerable amount of land and was one of the promoters of the Whittaker Addition. The funeral was held at his residence and the Odd Fellows handled the services. He was taken to Oklahoma City for interment.

A NEW POSTMASTER IS APPOINTED

At a special session of the United States Senate, on March 2, Judge W.S. Cade was appointed as the new Postmaster at Shawnee, and confirmed by President Theodore Roosevelt. The present incumbent, George E. McKinnis was due to leave office in the coming week.

During the McKinnis administration the entire city free delivery and the rural routes had been added. He left office with the general feeling in the community of a job well done. McKinnis was a man with talents that had served Shawnee through the years.

(Look for these stories and many more in the upcoming publication of the history of Shawnee. It is due for publication in 2019.)