The long looked for drinking fountain, which was presented to Shawnee by the National Humane Alliance, arrived in the city on the morning of May 6, 1907.
THE HUMANE FOUNTAIN ARRIVES
The long looked for drinking fountain, which was presented to Shawnee by the National Humane Alliance, arrived in the city on the morning of May 6, 1907. It arrived on the Rock Island Line and was erected immediately after the City Council okayed it. The only stipulation was that in lieu of their $1,500 gift, that it be erected on Bell Street, between Main and 9th streets, and it be supplied with water constantly.
The President of the National Humane Alliance, A.J. Vance, sent a letter to the Shawnee Humane Society, giving the stipulations on how to install the fountain. He said this was the only one of its kind in the southwest and was entirely of marble and bronze.
IMPROVEMENTS OF CITY PARKS PLANNED
Many improvements were planned by the Park Board for the public parks in the city. Woodland Park was to have more lights, and Farrall Park, in the southern portion of the city, was to receive the attention of the Board in the way of beautification.
A sunken garden, or a hanging garden, was planned in the natural depression just south of the Library in Woodland Park. Action was also considered toward making the high school more of an adornment to the place than at the present.
Numerous complaints were made against the boys of the city, who were in the habit of killing the squirrels around the public parks. Also, the action of jumping on the benches and breaking or bending them out of shape. The authorities said that the nuisance would stop and the violators would be punished.
There were very few squirrels in the park at the time, and plans were made to have some shipped into the city. There were also plans to landscape much of the area as money was procured for the project.
Another complaint had to do with many who were riding their horses over the parks and allowing them to destroy things of beauty. One of the big problems was the eating of the bark off the trees and mutilating whatever else it pleased the horse to select.
ST. BENEDICT’S CHURCH DEDICATED
St. Benedict’s Catholic Church of Shawnee was formally dedicated on Sunday, May 12, 1907, at a Pontifical High Mass, celebrated by the Right Rev. Bishop Meerschaert. He was assisted by 10 priests of the Benedictine Order. The services were crowded to the doors on both the main floor and the choir. In addition, many stood outside. There were near 2,000 spectators at the event.
A special train from Oklahoma City brought in 300 visitors and many others came from Guthrie, El Reno, and other neighboring cities. Impressive church rites were carried out during the dedication. To accommodate the large crowd of visitors, dinner and supper were served in the school house, which was arranged for the dedication.
The Knights of Columbus from all parts of the new state were present, and from 2 P.M. until 10, they were in session in their quarters at Woodmen Hall, where all the degrees were put on.
Many who witnessed the event said it marked an epoch in both the history of the parish and the city of Shawnee. It was a grand and solemn occasion of the dedication of a home to God in the city of Shawnee.
GOOD DETECTIVE WORK DONE BY SHERIFF AND CITY DEPUTY
Clever detective work by Sheriff William Grace and City Deputy Will Carr was responsible for the arrest on May 25, 1907, of a man who was implicit in the robbery of the Seminole National Bank on the night of March 28. A marked $20 bill was partly responsible for the arrest. However, other circumstances strengthen the suspicions that the man under arrest was one of the guilty party.
It appeared that after the robbers looted the bank, they proceeded to enjoy “high living” for some time. They got away with $1,100 in cash, which they quickly proceeded to blow. Faro became their favorite pastime, dropping $800 in one night. Some of the money was silver, and some was paper. One of the bills had pasted to it a bit of yellow paper, a mark which bank officials put on some of their money. Some of the silver coins were cupped to a considerable extent, showing the result of a violent explosion that had wrecked the safe at the bank.
The man in question was suspected and watched with the hope that other members of the gang might be captured. Grace and Carr began to fear that their man might escape them, and so they picked him up at the Katy Bar. They at once boarded the interurban and took him to Tecumseh, where they landed him in jail. He was “closed-mouth” about his complicity in the robbery.
The robbery in question was committed after the town had been shot up and the citizens intimidated. The robbers were very leisurely about their work and took several hours for the job. The $1,100 were never totally recovered.
1907 COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES AT BECKER THEATRE
The invocation for the ninth annual commencement exercises of Shawnee High School were held at the Becker Theatre on the evening of May 31, 1907. Carrie McManus followed with a solo entitled “Good Night, Little Girl, Good Night.” She was accompanied by Floy Ware Rowe.
The presentation of the diplomas was made by F.W. Christner, President of the School Board. The 1907 graduates were: Ella Mansfield, Francis Jeannette McKay, Stella Irene Willey, Mayme Johnson, Mary Ella Stone, Wilma B. Crossan, Lydia Pearl Nicholson, Clydie Corwin Arbuckle, Mande Louella Wingfield, Edith Lewis Young, Adah Ruth Kitchen, Lallah Jane Brown, Margaret Spooner, John Andrew Williams, Robert Harrison Wood, Burton Harris Witherspoon, Morris Thurman Myers and William Frederick Brill.
Edwin Erie Sparks, professor of history at the University of Chicago was the keynote speaker. He stated that all the world loved a hero, but the world does not know the heroes. Because their names are not written in the annals of war and battle. His talk focused on the victories of peace and the part the industries have played in maintaining the peace.
(These stories, and many others will appear in the comprehensive history of the city of Shawnee, coming in 2019. People will also have opportunity to purchases pages in the book, memorializing their family members. Look for more details on this in the future.)