Even though pastor J.G. Gilmore was asked for his resignation, the burly pastor of the black church, proposed to preach in the church on the night of February 17, 1913. The request was made by a conference in which Rev. G.W. McCall of the First Baptist Church, and other ministers, asked for assistance from the police to prevent a riot.

CHURCH TROUBLE RESULTS IN FREE FOR ALL RIOT

Even though pastor J.G. Gilmore was asked for his resignation, the burly pastor of the black church, proposed to preach in the church on the night of February 17, 1913. The request was made by a conference in which Rev. G.W. McCall of the First Baptist Church, and other ministers, asked for assistance from the police to prevent a riot.

Chief of Police Charlie Hawk and Detective T.J. “Tully” Darden responded. Sheriff T.J. McColgan happened to be in the city and accompanied the chief to the scene. Chief Hawk took charge of the meeting and after admitting all who wanted inside, dispersed the crowd outside and sent them home.

Everything was quiet then until the meeting was over. Gilmore emerged from the church with a bodyguard armed with hatchets, hammers and like instruments of warfare. Members of the opposite faction were in the vicinity and a passage of words were quickly followed by a passage of arms, clubs, knives, hatchets, hammers, and brickbats. They were used freely, and at the height of the melee, two shots were fired.

Officers hurried to the scene, and when the smoke of battle cleared away, Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Bigelow, aged citizens, were found injured, both having been hit in the head. Dan Hayes, also of the anti-Gilmore faction, was also hurt, being cut in the hand with a knife. Al Scales of the Gilmore faction was considerably beaten up.

Several arrests were made, and hostilities were suspended. The next morning, a member of the pastor’s flock attacked him with a baseball bat as he passed along the street. The pastor was in hiding after the attack but was not believed to be seriously injured.

It was 2 P.M. before the officers got that section of the city quieted down. Then only after the opposing parties had called out their attorney. The Gilmores employed W.T. Williams. The other faction acquired the firm of Wood, Stanard, Wahl & Ennis.

SHAWNEE MAKES OFFER FOR STATE CAPITOL

Representative Hyman Tener, of Pottawatomie County, presented to the House of Representatives an offer on the morning of March 11, 1913. The offer consisted of the city park for a state capitol, and free quarters for all state officers, while the capitol was being built. The resolution of the city council of Shawnee was read, and Rep. Tener spoke upon the proposal, emphasizing Shawnee’s sincerity in making the offer. He guaranteed that if accepted, it would be good. The resolution was presented when capital legislation came up in the House. No action was taken on the issue. Members of the legislature said they were very favorably impressed by the offer. The capital question was still before the House, but no action of any kind was taken.

The resolution of the Shawnee City Council was as follows:

Resolution adopted by the Mayor and City Council on March 4, 1913.

WHEREAS, the capitol of the State of Oklahoma has not yet been permanently located, and

WHEREAS, the city of Oklahoma City has failed and neglected to keep and fulfill its promise and contract to and with the people of the state, to furnish grounds and erect a capitol building for the state to cost not less than one million dollars free of cost to the taxpayers of the state, and

WHEREAS, the city of Oklahoma City is now engaged in a scheme to palm off on the citizens and taxpayers of the state $100,000 and 640 acres of land, worth about $64,000, instead of the free one-million-dollar capitol building, which they promised the taxpayers of the state, and

WHEREAS, the taxpayers of the state are now paying to Oklahoma City and its citizens the sum of about $53,000 annually, for rent for the offices and housing for the various departments of the state government, and

WHEREAS, the environments in and about Oklahoma City, with its extravagant pretense, extravagantly inflated and over-boomed values seem to have had a very bad effect upon most of the state officers both high and low, as revealed by the many legislative investigations made and still in progress, and

WHEREAS, it is manifest to all observing citizens that so long as the state capital remains at Oklahoma City, the various departments and officers and employees, will be more or less affected by the spiral extravagance, pretense, and show manifest in every move and effort put forth, or offered by Oklahoma City.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:

1. That the city of Shawnee, through its Mayor and City Council, offer to the State of Oklahoma, Woodland Park, a plat of ground in the heart of the city containing 13 acres of ground, free as a site for the capitol building.

2. That the city of Shawnee hereby tenders the state, quarters for all the various departments, officers and employees, together with quarters for the legislature when in session, free of expense to the state until the capitol building is built and completed.

3. That in the event the legislature desires to inspect the capitol site offered, we will furnish a train to bring them here and return.

4. That the city of Shawnee and its citizens are ready to enter into the necessary arrangements to make this offer good on the basis that the capital of the state be permanently located at and in the city of Shawnee.

SHAWNEE ENTERTAINS MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE

A total of 48 members of the lower house of the Oklahoma Legislature accepted Shawnee’s invitation to visit the city on March 14, 1913. They were also accompanied by local Representatives Hyman O. Tener, Harvey H. Smith, and James Farrall, who constituted a part of the Pottawatomie County delegation. They arrived at the Rock Island station at 2:30 P.M. on a special train. Members from the Muskogee delegations were unable to attend. Speaker of the House, J.H. Maxey, Jr., was also unable to leave the capital and did not attend.

The train was met by about 40 automobiles. As the train came in sight, whistles blew, horns tooted, the band played, and the great crowd cheered. The members of the delegation were hurried into the autos and the trip of sightseeing began.

Woodland Park was first visited, but because of the high cold wind blowing, no stop was made. The visitors were then carried out to the Baptist University, then back down Kickapoo and Beard streets to Main. Then on to Park Street, where they were shown the Maxey Mansion, offered to the state for the Governor’s Mansion. From there, they toured through the residential sections of the city and on to convention hall.

The Convention Hall was well-filled by 4 o’clock, when the meeting was scheduled to begin. The chief address was made by Sargent P. Freeling, county attorney. An hour later, the legislators were served dinner at the Norwood Hotel. After that, they traveled to the train station and left the city.

(These stories and hundreds more appear in “Redbud City: Shawnee in the Early Days, Volume One, 1830-1929,” that is now available for purchase. At the time of this writing, it is still at the printers, but will be ready for distribution any moment. There will be only 500 copies published in this first round, so be sure and get you name on the reserve list. Pre-paid price is $50, plus tax, with a five-dollar discount from the $55 when the book is available. You may purchase by contacting Clyde Wooldridge at (918)470-3728, or by calling the Pottawatomie County Historical Society at (405)275-8412, or by going on to their website and purchasing. The book is also available on a flash drive for $30 or $35, if you prefer, and is available now .A portion of the proceeds will go to the Society.)