The cornerstone of the administration building at OBU was laid on the afternoon of February 22, 1911. There was a great throng of interested spectators. Among them were prominent Baptist from all over the state and Texas.
The program began promptly and despite the cold weather, was carried through. Shortly after 2 P.M., the Masons organized as a grand lodge, headed by a deputy sent by the grand master, went to the university site in a special street car.

CORNERSTONE LAID AT OBU; LOTS SOLD AT CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY

The cornerstone of the administration building at OBU was laid on the afternoon of February 22, 1911. There was a great throng of interested spectators. Among them were prominent Baptist from all over the state and Texas.

The program began promptly and despite the cold weather, was carried through. Shortly after 2 P.M., the Masons organized as a grand lodge, headed by a deputy sent by the grand master, went to the university site in a special street car.

The introduction of the speakers was handled by E.D. Cameron. The two keynote speakers were Dr. B.H. Carroll of Fort Worth and Dr. J.F. Love of Dallas. Another ceremony was held later in the evening at the First Baptist Church. Several more speakers dominated the proceedings.

The interurban line was already graded to the grounds. The city car line was planned for extension out Broadway to the site of the cotton mills. From there, it would turn westward to the Catholic University grounds, thence, southward to the city again.

J.G. Hausch, of the West End Land Company, just returned from an out of state trip, attempting to sell lots near the new Catholic school. He was presenting the College Heights Addition to the people of those states and met with gratifying success. Interest in the “Notre Dame of the Southwest,” he found to be keen. Hundreds of lots had already been sold.

When actual construction work began, there was every indication that there would be a grand rush for desirable property nearby. The word was that many realized that and were getting in on the ground floor.

BAPTIST CHOOSE TO SPEND MORE

At their meeting in Shawnee during the final week of February, the Board of Oklahoma Baptist University appropriated $90,000 for the construction of two dormitories on the university grounds. They were to be located south and west of the administration building. The Board also decided upon a dining hall that would be erected between the dormitories.

TILGHMAN WAYLAYS MEEKS IN DOWNTOWN

The peace of a usual Sunday afternoon was disturbed, and the city threw into a fever of excitement by a tragedy on March 19, 1911. At about 3 P.M. on south Broadway Avenue, Deputy Sheriff “Dock” Tilghman shot and killed Hank Meeks, whom he had just previously searched for liquor.

Three shots were fired, and all took effect in the left side, one passing through his heart. His death was instantaneous. The shooting was witnessed by perhaps a dozen persons. One shot went wild, four being fired.

Tilghman, per witnesses, had accused Meeks of bootlegging. Meeks had permitted himself to be searched. Words were exchanged, and a bystander protested. This occurred in front of Sparks’ Restaurant. The deputy thereupon, it was said, threatened to arrest Meeks, and the latter asked to see his warrant. The officer had none and then started to leave, with the remark that he would go get one. He also remarked to the boy who had interfered that he would get one for him too for interfering.

As Tilghman left the scene, Meeks started to enter the LeGrace Rooming House, applying an opprobrious epithet to the deputy and telling him to “Go ahead and get his warrant.” The deputy then wheeled around and fired three shots into Meeks’ body. The latter fell dying and soon expired. A crowd rapidly collected and there was considerable excitement. It was perhaps 15 minutes before the body was removed.

Tilghman was arrested by two policemen and taken to the police station. Meeks’ body was removed to the Fleming & Brown Morgue. Tilghman was later taken to the county jail in Tecumseh.

Soon after the shooting, Justice of the Peace A.F. Streight empaneled a coroner’s jury. The jury viewed the remains and was adjourned until the next afternoon. Several eyewitnesses of the tragedy were examined.

Tilghman had been deputy sheriff, deputy constable and state enforcement officer at different times. He was recommissioned as deputy sheriff only a week earlier. He was conducting a vigorous campaign against liquor selling and had practically closed the city up in that respect. Only a couple of days earlier, he fired in the air when a man whom he had attempted to arrest started to run. He was generally thought of as a fearless officer.

The dead man was also known as a courageous man in a fight but had not recently figured in any serious affray. He was a man of generous impulses, which fact caused him to possess many friends. His reputation as a law-abiding citizen was not good and he had been arrested a number of times on charges of infractions of the law.

Meeks left a wife and one child. He also left his mother and four brothers. He also owned two local farms.

NEW POSTMASTER TAKES CHARGE

C.M. Cade Jr., assumed the duties of postmaster on April 2, 1911. He succeeded W.S. Cade, who retired to take the United States Marshal’s post of the district. Rufus E. Powers would be the assistant postmaster.

In honor of the retiring postmaster, the new postmaster and the new assistant, along with the members of the force, gave a banquet in his honor the evening before at the Norwood Hotel.

DEMOCRATS DOMINATE AGAIN IN CITY ELECTION

Whipped into line by the fear that the election of a Republican mayor under the charter would enable him to build such a machine as could never be broken down, convinced the Democrats of the city to “get out and vote.” It led to a solid Democrat victory overall in the election on the first Tuesday of April, 1911.

The election was very quiet though the Democratic organization used every effort to poll the full Democratic strength. It was said the Republicans were not organized at all.

For Mayor: A.D. Martin won with 848 votes, incumbent Frank Stearns, the Republican, had 577, and Charles Myers 179.

For Treasurer: Fredrick W. Mohrbacker had 803, Reed 589, and Mitchell 123.

Councilmen: First Ward went to William Hickey; Second to Jess Pelphrey; Third to Joe Farris; Fourth to Tom Potts; Fifth to Edgar Harris; and the Sixth to James Graham.

(These stories and hundreds more will appear in the comprehensive history of Shawnee. The first edition, covering from the creation of Indian Territory up to 1960, will be ready for publication in late 2018. It will be approximately 850 pages and will be available in the traditional book form, or digital.)