The 16th annual commencement of the Shawnee High School was held on June 2, 1914. The school auditorium was the scene of what was described as one of the most brilliant ever held. A total of 65 young men and women were awarded diplomas showing that they had completed the prescribed courses and had conducted themselves in a proper manner during their four years in the “people’s college.”

COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES HELD

The 16th annual commencement of the Shawnee High School was held on June 2, 1914. The school auditorium was the scene of what was described as one of the most brilliant ever held. A total of 65 young men and women were awarded diplomas showing that they had completed the prescribed courses and had conducted themselves in a proper manner during their four years in the “people’s college.”

Long before the hour for the opening of the exercises, the large auditorium was filled, and the adjacent halls followed suit. Rev. S.H. Babcock, pastor of the M.E. Church South, opened by invoking the Divine blessing. This was followed by a few musical selections from students.

The main address was delivered by Dr. Lloyd C. Douglas of the University of Illinois. The diplomas were then presented by Principal B.L. Pilcher. Scott Glen was the superintendent.

DROWNED IN EFFORT TO SAVE CHILD

Francis A. Wooten, age 48, living on east Whittaker Street, was drowned on June 29, 1914, in the North Canadian River, just below the Santa Fe Bridge. He was trying to rescue his 18-year-old daughter, Inez Wooten, from the stream. His body disappeared and though Night Chief Jerry Spann dynamited the deep hole that night, the remains were not found until the next morning. They were located about 100 yards below the Interurban bridge in shallow water.

The dead man was in the company of his two daughters and young son, along with John Koch and a Mr. Miller and their daughters. They visited the river during the afternoon to teach the girls how to swim. Four of them headed by Inez Wooten, the oldest, walked into the water together. They were led into water over their depth. They began to struggle, and the men tried to rescue them.

Mr. Wooten swam out to where his oldest daughter was drowning and was seized by the frantic girl. Both sank from sight and Mr. Wooten did not reappear. Inez and Leone Wooten, and Irene Koch were rescued by John Koch. The Miller girls were saved by their father.

FOOTBALL SEASON FINISHES FOR 1914

Despite many disappointments, the football season was a glorious success for Shawnee High School during the 1914 season. They played some of the best teams in the state and finished with only one loss on the campaign. The feats were arguably never equaled in Shawnee history. In addition, four of the players were honored by selection to the All-State teams picked by the best football critics of the state.

Probably the biggest factor contributing to the lone defeat was the loss of several players to injury. Burt Pace and Harold Conway headed the list, when they were hurt in practice the week before the Chickasha game. Bryan Pace went down early in the Chickasha game with a broken arm. Elmer Kanatser broke his collar bone a few days after Chickasha during practice. Other injuries caused a few other good players to be unable to practice for a few days.

Despite all that, the season was a big success. Things started off with an easy 34-0 drubbing of Seminole. The next week the contest with Chandler was not contest at all, 95-0. The next scheduled game was with Enid, but the opposition cancelled the game. This was followed with what was thought at first to be a tough game with Guthrie, but the predictions were false, with the locals blasting the Blue Jays, 102-0. A trip after that to Chickasha proved successful despite all the injuries, 20-7. This game started the amazing play of King Faucette, who replaced Bryan Pace at halfback. The next game with McAlester was called off. The team went to Norman the next week and battled to a 13-13 tie on November 13. This left only one game on the schedule, this was with Oklahoma City at home.

The first half ended 7-6 in favor of Oklahoma City. Things went against the locals and the championship was lost to the bigger school, 22-6. This was the first defeat Shawnee suffered on Glen Field, but they put up a great fight. The season ended at (4-1-1) and raised the all-time record to (24-23-5) This was Coach Ward Goble’s second and final season, finishing his career at Shawnee with a (10-2-2) record. Up to that time, this was the best coaching record in school history.

OBU OFFERS PRESIDENCY TO DR. MASTERS

Rev. F.M. Masters of Ardmore was elected president of OBU at Oklahoma City on December 2, 1914. He spent the next day in Shawnee looking over the administration building and the opportunities of the college in the city. If he accepted the presidency, he would return the first part of January and take an active part in the coming educational campaign in preparation for their opening in September of 1915.

The election was unanimous and was characterized by much enthusiasm on the part of the trustees and the board of directors of the General Convention. They all met in the Lee-Harkins Hotel in Oklahoma City.

Masters was the pastor of the Broadway Baptist Church in Ardmore. His tenure there was four years. He was a graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Since that time, he was an active pastor with much executive ability. Before going to Ardmore, he was pastor for five years at College Avenue Church in Fort Worth, TX. Prior to that, he served as pastor at San Angelo and Weatherford, TX. He did accept the position. He moved to Shawnee the day after Christmas and went to work.

(These stories and many more appear in the first volume of the comprehensive history of Shawnee, entitled: “REDBUD CITY: SHAWNEE IN THE EARLY YEARS, VOLUME ONE, 1830-1929.” It is now available and can be purchased at the Pottawatomie County Historical Society, or by contacting Clyde Wooldridge at (918) 470-3728. The second book, “REDBUD CITY: SHAWNEE IN THE EARLY YEARS, VOLUME TWO, 1930-1949,” should be ready in October. However, it could possibly be delayed if sales are slow on the first volume. The price is currently $55 for the traditional book and $35 for a digital copy. The digital copy for Volume Two is almost complete and may be ready next week, but the traditional book date for publication is based on the sales of the first edition. Help us complete this task by purchasing your first volume so we can continue with the five volumes series over the next three to four years.)