The building of a fair grounds in Shawnee was given impetus by the announcement that the Pottawatomie County Fair Association would build and equip the fair grounds. This was the statement of W.T.S. Barnes of Oklahoma City, who was in Shawnee on March 3, 1912. The association was capitalized at $40,000. It was owned by Shawnee and Oklahoma City.

RACE TRACK, FAIR GROUNDS TO BE BUILT

The building of a fair grounds in Shawnee was given impetus by the announcement that the Pottawatomie County Fair Association would build and equip the fair grounds. This was the statement of W.T.S. Barnes of Oklahoma City, who was in Shawnee on March 3, 1912. The association was capitalized at $40,000. It was owned by Shawnee and Oklahoma City.

It proposed building the fairgrounds in the Inglewood Addition in the southwest part of the city. A half-mile track was laid out and a grandstand capable of seating 5,000 people was also planned. All the buildings necessary for housing stock brought to the city for exhibition were also in the works. One other project was also in the plans. A pleasure park adjoining the site. The place was a natural one for the park, with hundreds of oak trees stretching over a beautiful tract of ground. There were natural ravines where it was planned to construct an artificial lake. Several deep-water wells and a water pump to supply the lake were mentioned.

Among the men who were associated with Barnes in the movement, was Judge Barton of Oklahoma City. He was a member of the American Trotting Association. This assured that the best and fastest horses in the southwest would race at Shawnee. The Judge said that he expected Shawnee to be the “winter headquarters” for more than 100 race horses.

The location for the proposed site was considered as one of the best in the area. It was located three-quarters of a mile from Main Street. The land was high and well drained. Horsemen who visited the place stated the soil insured the building of a fast track. While the proposed site was off from the street car line, it was understood that negotiations would start for construction of a spur line to the fairgrounds. It was suggested to build it down Bell Street and thence west to the grounds.

PERPETUAL VIOLATOR ARRESTED

Hawk Jones earned the distinction of being a perpetual violator. His latest escapade resulted in his arrest on a charge of grand larceny. Jones was locked up in the county jail, with Ed Colbert, who co-jointly were charged with stealing teams of horses and mules.

Jones was arrested late at night on March 2, 1912, by Detective Pony Moore of the Rock Island. Both were passengers on an incoming train from Oklahoma City. At first, Jones expressed surprise at his arrest, but later made a statement that he was aware officers were searching for him. A reward was offered for his capture, along with Colbert.

He staggered into the smoking department of a car just after leaving Oklahoma City. Moore spied him and immediately placed him under arrest. Colbert was taken into custody by Jerry Spann, assistant chief of police, the next night.

Moore was on his way back from Mangum. He was called there because of the serious illness of his mother. He stepped into the train, and a moment later, Jones entered. Colbert and Jones had been in Oklahoma City for a couple of days but became separated. Jones boarded a train for Shawnee. Colbert came to Shawnee on March 3, searching for Jones, and walked right into the arms of the officer.

Jones and Colbert were charged with stealing a team of horses and mules from Joe Johnson, father-in-law of Jones. He was a resident of Grady County. The animals were driven to Pauls Valley, where they were disposed of.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL TEAM CLAIMS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

The Shawnee High School Basketball team began practice early in December with only one member from the previous year’s team out for practice. The remaining members of the team were eligible, but for various reasons, did not report to the team.

The fellows that came out to try for a position on the team showed in the first practice they were of good basketball material. They were fast, handled the ball well, and above all, they took very good care of their bodies. It was easily seen in the initial practice that as soon as they became familiar with the game and each other, they were potentially championship caliber. The team did not have the chemistry that they needed early in the season, as some of the scores indicated.

They won all the games, but some by close margins. The team began to show better form about a week before they played the Normal School from Weatherford. They improved rapidly from that point on until the end of the season. Sports reporters said they had some of the best dribblers in the state.

There were other schools in the state that also claimed the championship of Oklahoma. None of these schools played Shawnee during the season. However, in comparison of scores, none had a better record than Shawnee.

Muskogee High School, touted as probably the second-best team, claimed that title. However, when comparing scores against teams that they both played, Shawnee clearly had the edge. Duncan and Wakita, the other two contenders, were not members of the State Athletic Association, and did not play many games of importance. If you were not a member, there were very few rules that restricted you on eligibility. Shawnee did everything possible to arrange games with the contenders. Muskogee refused to play the locals on any court.

The schedule played was: Shawnee 16, Tecumseh 14; Shawnee 29, Chickasha 28; Shawnee 34, Lindsay 17; Shawnee 36, Tecumseh 8; Shawnee 2, OBU 0; Shawnee 14, Calvin Athletics 12; Shawnee 31, Southwestern Normal College 15; Shawnee 31, Cleveland 12; Shawnee 27, Chickasha 12; Shawnee 59 and the powerful Norman team, 8.

(These stories and hundreds more will appear later this summer in Volume One of the history of Shawnee, entitled: “SHAWNEE, THE EARLY YEARS, 1870-1950.” It will be mostly available in digital form on a flash drive, but a traditional printed copy will be available if needed. However, the traditional copy will be more expensive because of printing costs. It looks to be at least 800 pages and will read on the computer just like a traditional book. It will contain thousands of names and places, fully indexed. It will also contain a glossary with many of the public office holders through the years. There will also be a Memorial-Tribute section, where you can buy a page to memorialize a family, person, or organization. The cost will be $100 per page. The later volume will consist of updates by decades as they are ready. Anyone who buys the first volume can obtain an update for a minimal price. The 1950s should be ready before the end of 2018.)