Governor Charles N. Haskell signed the Shawnee Commission Charter on the afternoon of February 15, 1910. He then filed it with the Secretary of State.


Governor Charles N. Haskell signed the Shawnee Commission Charter on the afternoon of February 15, 1910. He then filed it with the Secretary of State.

The action was long expected and was known to be the result of a long-laid scheme. The first consideration was to discredit the present administration before an election could be held. Under the terms of the charter it would become effective immediately.


Preparations were being made to forbid the calling of a city election under the new charter. The charter was just approved by the Governor and was on file with the Secretary of State. The charges of fraud in the earlier charter plebiscite were in a petition for an injunction.

Under the terms of the charter, primaries must be held within 40 days of the time the charter was signed by the Governor. The election also must be called in not less than 10 days, nor more than 15 days, after the primaries. According to the charter, the new officers are to take office “not later than April 7,” 1910.”


The Shawnee News reported on March 3, 1910, that the sale of lots in the Armourdale Addition were selling like hot cakes. They said “the boom is on, and nothing can hold the people back.”

By the press time of the paper, more than $100,000 worth of lots were sold and dozens were being passed out every few minutes. The auctioneer, O.W. Allen, failed to arrive in time to open the sale at 10 A.M., but the crowds became so impatient that the services of a local auctioneer were secured, and the sale began. More than 400 lots were sold before noon, and as soon as the sale opened in dead earnest after lunch, there was no holding the people back.

The city was flooded with visitors, who were vying with local people in their efforts to secure choice locations. The result was that many of the lots were bought at extravagant prices. All the stores in town closed, and everybody turned out for the big sale.

The crowds were so dense at the sale that the ladies had great difficulties making bids. For this reason, the hour between 10 and 11 A.M., the next morning was set aside for ladies’ only. It was believed with the packing plant and the stockyards in that area, people could turn huge profits with the lots.


The bonus of $225,000 for the Big Four Packing Company that would cost a million dollars to build, and three million to operate, were raised by March 5. The word was that this would mean the immediate construction of buildings.

The main building was planned as a four-storied structure. It was described to be as large as a full city block. It would employ from 1,000 to 1,500 people when completed. It would be operated by one of the largest and best-known packing plants in the country. The Union Stockyards would cover 60 acres that reportedly had already been purchased by the Big Four Company. It was planned for location immediately north of the packing plant.

The talk in town was that this would make Shawnee the greatest central stock market of the Southwest. The plant would be the second largest of its kind ever built.


On March 13, local police uncovered a counterfeiting plant on east Farrall Street. In their actions, they secured five molds, some spurious dollar and half-dollars pieces, and some metal. Jake Robinson and Felix Byars, who kept the batch at the place were arrested. The “plant” was found beneath the floor of the kitchen.

The discovery of the plant followed an investigation that covered several weeks. Some time earlier, the fact that spurious dollars were being circulated in the city were made known to the United States officials. Secret Service men came to Shawnee and took possession of about 18 of them. Since that time a major investigation was carried on by the local officers.

On the 13th, complaint was made by a south Broadway restaurant man that Byars had passed a bum coin on him. Detectives Cole and T.J. Darden then arrested Byars. As soon as Chief Hawk learned of the arrest, he decided at once to make the move that had been contemplated; raiding of the place.

Chief Hawk, Assistant Chief Jerry Spann, and Detectives Cole and Darden went to the place where they found Robinson asleep. He was placed under arrest and a search instituted for their plant. It was finally found under the kitchen floor, which was torn up. There were four whole molds and several pieces and some poorly made coins. There was also a quantity of metal.

Robinson and Byars were turned over to Deputy United States Marshal Johnny Jones. The investigation showed they were making the money for 18 months, confirmed by their confessions.


A telegram was received on March 15, 1910, by James M. Aydelotte that all of Shawnee was happy to hear. It meant that immediately, trainloads of material would be delivered at the packing house site and an army of men would be employed. They would begin to construct the mammoth building within the course of a very few days.

It meant that the existence of the street car line through the Armourdale Addition would be completed before the end of the month. The material for that event was already available and the letting of the contracts to do this were ready.

It also meant that every person who purchased Armourdale lots was glad that they bought them. Many of them wanted more acreage, if they could raise the money. It was expected that houses would spring up in the area like magic. The citizens felt it would lead to the city’s greatest boom in its short history.


The contract between the Benedictine Order and the Shawnee Development Company was signed and delivered on March 24, 1910. The plan called for work to begin on the buildings within 30 days. They hoped to have the two main buildings completed by the next spring. Five structures were to be erected in the completed plan.

The largest building would be 196x96 feet, and five stories high and including a basement. It was estimated that about a half-million dollars would be expended for the five buildings, which included a girls’ school and a big Catholic hospital.

The set up was to have the school directed from the home of the Benedictines in France. The location of the school was to be in the northwest part of the city, though at the time the exact site was not announced.

The winning of the Catholic University for Shawnee was considered as a great victory. There was strenuous opposition on the part of a strong rival. Word came that the work and influence of Martin C. Fleming, and other members in the church made the difference.

The Benedictine Order already had a college at Sacred Heart in the county. It was originally established for training of priests and mission work among the Indians. The school would be retained for the purposes for which it was originally intended. Strictly educational departments would be removed to Shawnee.

The Sacred Heart College had a large force of instructors. The new college would also have a large group of professors.