Athletics at Shawnee High School during the 1914-15 school term again proved to be on a high note during the season for the basketball team. The word was that many of the schools in the state attempted to “pad their records” for state recognition by playing poor teams. This was not the case for the locals. They took special attention to schedule the best the state had to offer and was still successful.

SHAWNEE COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL BASKETBALL SEASON

Athletics at Shawnee High School during the 1914-15 school term again proved to be on a high note during the season for the basketball team. The word was that many of the schools in the state attempted to “pad their records” for state recognition by playing poor teams. This was not the case for the locals. They took special attention to schedule the best the state had to offer and was still successful.

Their first victim was Holdenville by a score of 34-10. The next contests were against the Elk City Y.M.C.A. They were considered one of the top teams in the state. Shawnee secured a split on the road, winning 28-20, and losing the second game in a close battle, 21-20. Next was Atoka, considered to be of championship caliber. However, they were no match for Shawnee, losing 28-1 and 36-4. Atoka had 14 straight victories coming into the game but failed to make a field goal in either game.

The next matchup was with undefeated Oklahoma City. Again, against a tough opponent, the two teams split, Shawnee winning the opener 23-22, before falling in the second 20-12. However, returned games at Shawnee were cancelled by Oklahoma City.

Next was Tecumseh, which was too small for the Shawnee team, losing 46-18. Marlow was the next victim. They came into the game with nine straight wins and considered as the “powerhouse” of southern Oklahoma. In a close contest, Shawnee again was victorious, 32-28.

The Muskogee aggregation involved Shawnee with the best team they encountered, but the locals proved superior. In two close games, Shawnee defeated the juggernaut from the east by scores of 31-27 and 28-25. However, when they traveled to Muskogee, the favor was returned with two losses.

Those games ended the season, leaving Shawnee, Muskogee, Blackwell and Oklahoma City still in the running for state honors. Shawnee, Muskogee and Oklahoma City refused to attend a tournament to decide the champ. This left Blackwell as the champs, as they easily defeated Lone Wolf for the championship. There were two games scheduled early in the season with Blackwell, but they cancelled them.

The high school annual (Caldron) described the season and the team this way: “As to the team, they combined speed, and accuracy in shooting with good team work. Every man was fully capable of filling his position, and if we were to pick an All-State team, all five of them would be S.H.S. men.”

The team was coached by George T. Liddell. He took charge of the team after the Christmas vacation and made them arguably the best team in Shawnee history.

JIMMIE BURKE VICTIM OF HOLDUP MAN

Jimmie Burke, chief clerk to the master mechanic of the Rock Island, was held up while on his way home on the night of March 12, 1915, by a lone “highwayman” with a big gun. Burke was made to “stand and deliver” the sum of $1.60, and then made to march alongside the holdup man with a muzzle of a gun poking him in the ribs, until at a convenient point, he was turned loose. The robber made the threat that if he “squealed to the police,” he would kill him.

The police received due notice, and one W.C. Horn, of Louisiana and Galveston, TX, was arrested by Night Chief Jerry Spann at the Rock Island depot. Burke identified him as the man who held him up, and he was taken to the county jail. Horn pled not guilty. He said he just recently came to Shawnee from Galveston, having gone to that part from his Louisianan home and that he was a Moose.

The police expressed the belief that Horn was a “dope fiend.” While he was “holding up” Burke, he made repeated threats to kill him.

“Oh,” he exclaimed at one time, “I’ll just kill you now and keep you from squealing.”

“Don’t do it,” said Burke, “I won’t say a word.”

When arrested, he had on him his gun and a towel with which he had concealed his face.

TWO FORMER OFFICIALS OF CITY PASS ON

With the death of William F. Sims and Felix A. Hill of Shawnee, the city lost two old residents and former chiefs of police in a space of 12 hours. Sims died on the afternoon of March 17, 1915, at 2:30 P.M., and Hill breathed his last at 11:45 that night.

Sims came to Shawnee in the early days from Webbers Falls, to which place he had gone from Arkansas. He was closely identified with the early history of Shawnee, and was known as a big-hearted man, who always took the lead in the early days in raising money for the poor and for worthy enterprises. He served the city as chief of police from April of 1904, until August of 1907, and again from November 1907, until April of 1909.

Since his retirement from office, he had been in very poor health, having several years earlier undergone an operation for appendicitis, from which he nearly died. From the effects of this, he never fully recovered. He left his wife and two daughters, Rose and Laura, and one son, Frank. He had three brothers, Dock, Henry and Ira.

Hill was from Virginia but lived in Illinois and Mississippi before coming to Shawnee in January of 1900. He followed the carpenter’s trade until 1902, when he was elected chief of police, serving for one term. He was always reputed as an upright and honorable man. He led an active life until about three years earlier, when he suffered a stroke of apoplexy and never fully recovered.

Many of the present and past city officials, old residents of Shawnee, and other friends attended the funerals on March 19, for the fallen chiefs. Hill’s funeral was held at his residence, with Rev. E.L Compere of the First Baptist Church in charge. Interment was at the Fairview Cemetery.

Just 30 minutes later, services for Sims were held at his residence on north Aydelotte Street, with the A.O.U.W., of which he was an honored member. Interment was also at the Fairview Cemetery.

(These stories and hundreds more appear in the comprehensive history of the city of Shawnee. Volume One, covering from 1830 through 1929. It is now available for purchase at the Pottawatomie County Historical Society. The cost is $55, but you can obtain a coupon, saving $10 on your purchase from Clyde Wooldridg., He may be contacted at (918) 470-3728. The second volume, covering the 1930s and 1940s can now be purchased at the Society in digital form. The traditional printed copies will be available after the sales of the first volume prove successful.)