1890 -During the month of December, 1890, John W. Beard and Dave Perriman took a hunting trip near what is now Shawnee. The territory so impressed them that Beard passed the knowledge of the land on to his father, Alfred B. Beard, and his older brother, Henry G. Beard. During the spring or early summer of the year 1891, his father, in company with Martin J. Bentley, explored the region. It was decided that we would assemble a bunch of friends and take homesteads there when this land became subject to settlement.

1890 -During the month of December, 1890, John W. Beard and Dave Perriman took a hunting trip near what is now Shawnee. The territory so impressed them that Beard passed the knowledge of the land on to his father, Alfred B. Beard, and his older brother, Henry G. Beard. During the spring or early summer of the year 1891, his father, in company with Martin J. Bentley, explored the region. It was decided that we would assemble a bunch of friends and take homesteads there when this land became subject to settlement.

1894 - At the December 3, 1894 meeting of the first City Council, the first laws and ordinances were developed. The Choctaw, Oklahoma & Gulf Railroad filed a map on December 1, 1894, in the office of the Secretary of the Interior, describing their route through Shawnee instead of Tecumseh, who became furious over the action.

1901 - Shawnee was the scene on December 28, 1901, of another tragedy, perhaps as horrible as any in the city’s history. In an instant two lives were snuffed out; one probably guilty of wrong, the other wholly innocent. As usual, the killing occurred over a woman, and in a gambling house.

Leonard Sims, who was from Arkansas, and who only recently purchased the Sliver King Saloon, and Charley McKnight, an employee of the club room in the rear of Betts’ Saloon, had a blood feud between themselves over a young woman.

Shortly after 11 P.M., while the club room was full of people, it was said that Sims came into the house in search of McKnight. His entrance and appearance was such as to cause a commotion in the crowd and warning was given to McKnight, who was sitting behind a faro table. Some witnesses said Sims advanced rapidly toward McKnight and attacked him with a knife, cutting furiously at him and slashing him across the arm.

Meanwhile, McKnight had drawn a revolver and was endeavoring to ward off Sims’ attack. A scuffle ensued and Sims seized the revolver just as McKnight fired. The ball passed through Sims’ hand and struck young James Hufstedler, who was standing nearby, in the heart, killing him instantly. As soon as McKnight could free his gun from Sims’ clasp he fired a second time. This shot took effect in Sims’ head, over the left eye, killing him.

The affair caused intense excitement among the frequenters of the various resorts, and all day Sunday crowds of men hung around Main Street discussing the tragedy.

100 Years ago – The City Council met on the evening of December 5, 1916, and by motion instructed the police of the city to take immediate steps to institute an active campaign to the end that every lewd woman be driven from Shawnee by the first of the year. They also said they were very encouraged by the authorities attempt to eliminate open gambling in the city. Although they believed that Shawnee was one of the “cleanest” cities in the state, they should remain vigilant in keeping the city as a “moral” city.

75 Years ago – The OBU Bison began their 1941-42 season in their new Clark Craig Fieldhouse with a 32-25 victory over the visiting Friends University. The Bison were led by the scoring of little “Arky” Boyd with 12 points and Cal Benson with nine. Big 6-7 Mike Taylor dominated the boards for the locals.

Shawnee and the United States were shocked to hear on December 7, 1941, that the Japanese had pulled off a surprise attack on the U.S. military forces at Pearl Harbor, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

50 Years ago – Jerrell Chesney, Shawnee Schools Athletic Director, basketball coach, and assistant Principal, became Shawnee’s “Citizen of the Year,” on Saturday December 3, 1966. His selection for the top honor, given annually by the Kiwanis Club, was made by a secret committee named by the immediate past president Elmo Phipps.

25 Years ago – STORE CLERK IS SHOT IN ARMED ROBBERY A 23-year-old clerk was shot on December 3, 1991, during a robbery at a local convenience store. Abraham Strean was taken by ambulance to Shawnee Medical Center Hospital, where he was treated for a superficial gunshot wound to his lower, left hip and released.

Strean, a clerk at the Kwick-Stop at Bryan & Highland, called 911 at 3:29 a.m. after being shot by a man who, along with a cohort, ordered the clerk to relinquish the contents of the cash register. The gunmen fired two shots before fleeing the store with his male companion. The gunman was described as a black male in his late teens or early 20s, of medium height and thin build.

The Shawnee Wolves began the 1991-92 basketball season with a win over the visiting Ada Cougars, 62-53. Steve Lynam, the 6-3 center, led the Wolves with 18 points. Also scoring in double figures were junior guard Chad Tramble with 16 points, followed by Marvin Phillips and Ray Daniels with 12 and 10 respectively.

10 Years ago – HEAVY SNOW CAUSES ROOFS TO COLLAPSE Several local businesses sustained damages from heavy snow that fell throughout the day on December 1, 2006. The canopy at Fred’s Tire & Battery on West Highland collapsed under the weight of several inches of snow. Another canopy collapsed at Bunk’s Wrecker Service on North Harrison. A section of the roof at Oldcastle Glass also caved in.

Five Years ago – SCAM ALERT Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputies issued an alert to area residents about the possibility of a traveling “gypsy” paving scam that could be in this area. Captain Travis Palmer said activities that occurred on December 13, 2011, prompted deputies to warn residents to be cautious about those offering paving work, especially from solicitors that go door-to-door willing to do asphalt or roofing jobs for a cheap price.

One Year Ago - TRAIN MAN’ RECREATES 1940s DOWNTOWN

Some refer to him as “The Train Man,” but he’s better known as Dawson Engle.

Almost two years earlier, Engle went to the Pottawatomie Historical Society to get some more information on a photo of his Shawnee native grandparents.

“While I was down here for that, I discovered this model train table, but it was in bad shape,” Engle said.

Since then, he has been restoring the table at the Santa Fe Depot Museum.

“I’m kind of a stickler for detail so I wanted the layout to look like where the streets and blocks were based on the ratio of 1:87,” Engle said. “So, I just basically cleaned everything off the top of the table. The streets they laid out, I tore off. I redesigned the layout of the table and started placing things back.”

(Clyde Wooldridge is a local historian and the author of a few other local histories. Look for this story and many others in the coming exhaustive history of the city of Shawnee, “The Redbud City,” in 2018.)