Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Area TV stations launched

Sent to The Frederick Leader and The Frederick Press, September 27, 2011
Family watches TV in the 1950s (Source: National Archives and Records Administration, via Wikipedia Commons)
Television was new in 1953
In early 1953, the world of entertainment changed permanently for the people of Tillman County when area TV stations started broadcasting. Television had arrived.
Channel 6 in Wichita Falls, KWFT-TV, took to the air on March 1, 1953, carrying CBS and DuMont programming. Channel 7, KSWO-TV in Lawton, started broadcasting one week later on March 8, 1953, and KFDX Channel 3 in Wichita Falls went on-air April 12, 1953.
TV from the early 1950s
Each station’s programming was a mixture of network shows and shows that originated at the local station. Many of the national and local shows were broadcast live.
Tillman County residents who owned a TV and a good antennae had access to the three new area channels, although reception varied by location.
One Oklahoma City station, WKY, had been on the air as early as 1949, and some residents had been able to pick up weak fuzzy reception from the WKY broadcasts.
The first issue of TV Guide Magazine was printed on April 3, 1953, with Lucille Ball and baby Desi Arnaz, Jr. on the cover.
Within a few years, many people had purchased television sets – a significant investment for the time.
Crosley TV set ad, 1953
Nationally, the average annual income in 1953 was $4,011. Base-model table-top TVs started at about $200, but most sets were more. Zenith advertised its 27-inch black-and-white Canterbury cabinet model for $750.
By 1954, The Frederick Leader printed weekly listings of programming for area stations Channels 3, 6, and 7.
Those listings were quite popular but did not take a large amount of newspaper space because in 1954 TV stations broadcast only part of each day. On weekdays each station went on-air in the early-to-mid afternoon and signed off by 10:30 p.m. at night. On Saturdays the stations went on-air mid-to-late morning with programming for children. Saturday shows included “Howdy Doody”, “Superman”, “Winky-Dink and You”, and “Bobo the Hobo”.
Sundays were reserved primarily for TV church services, sermons and devotionals.
What was on during the rest of the week? The Frederick Leader’s TV Listings from May 1954 showed a variety of programs.
Channel 3’s NBC daily weekday programming  began at 1:00 p.m. and included “The Kate Smith Hour” and “The Pinky Lee Show”.
Afternoon programs that originated at Channel 3’s station included “The Nat Fleming Show” and “Horse Opery Matinee”.
Admiral TV, 1953
Channel 7 signed on at 3:00 p.m. on weekdays with a matinee movie, followed by “Kids’ Corner” and “Tales of the West”.
Channel 6 afternoon programs featured soap operas such as “Woman With a Past”, “Sands of Time” and “The Secret Storm”.
News and weather reports were brief. Channel 3 featured “News of the Day”, a five-minute newscast at 6:00 p.m., followed by “Warren and the Weather” (with longtime Channel 3 personality Warren Silver) which was a five-minute weather forecast.
News and weather on Channel 6 occupied a 15-minute block from 5:45-6:00 p.m. At Channel 7 a 30-minute period from 6:30-7:00 p.m. was devoted in equal parts to news, weather and sports.
As today, most featured programming was in the evening. Some of the shows that aired in spring 1954 were the following: “Milton Berle” (NBC); “The Red Buttons Show” (CBS); “Liberace” (ABC); “You are There” (CBS); “Life With Father” (CBS); “The Loretta Young Show” (CBS); and “The Cisco Kid” (ABC).
The "Off-Air" test pattern was a common site in the 1950s.
Other shows were “The Dennis Day Show” (NBC); “Name That Tune” (NBC); “Mr. Wizard” (NBC); “Joe Palooka” (CBS); “Blue Ribbon Fights” (CBS); “Life of Riley” (NBC); “Amos & Andy” (CBS); “Your Hit Parade” (NBC); “The Paul Winchell Show” (NBC); “Burns and Allen” (CBS); and “I Love Lucy” (CBS).
All of the stations had a 15-20 minute block for news and weather updates at 10:00 p.m. before signing off for the night.

Zenith magazine ad, 1953

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Newland was civic leader and poet

Sent to The Frederick Leader and The Frederick Press, September 20, 2011

Newland poems promoted work
ethic and Frederick business
Imagine writing a poem for publication every day, year after year, while also running a demanding, fast-paced business. That’s exactly what John Lynn Newland did for more than 30 years.
Frederick Leader Building, circa 1920
Newland purchased half interest in the Frederick Daily Leader in 1910, then bought full interest in the newspaper in 1917.
Until his death in 1941, Newland served as editor and publisher of the Leader. In addition to writing, managing a full staff of employees, and overseeing all details of printing and distributing two daily editions of the newspaper (morning and afternoon), Newland wrote a daily poem that was printed in each issue of the Leader as “Poem for the Day”.
The poems were in varying lengths, meters and styles. Some rhymed while others were more free verse. Some were light in tone. Others were serious.
Newland’s poetry topics were diverse. His subjects included special occasions and holidays, celebrations, the inspirational and devotional, as well as his thoughts on life, death, and grief.
Newland was a strong civic leader in Frederick who believed in shopping at home and supporting the local economy. He also believed in the virtue of hard work.
Following his death in 1941, the Leader reprinted a J.L. Newland poem in each issue of the newspaper until the Newland family sold the publication in 1964.
Following are several Newland poems which were reprinted in the Frederick Daily Leader in May 1954.
Today, 70 years after Newland’s death, his poems are still wonderful and the message of these particular poems is still true.

May 5, 1954

I knew he would succeed because
His interest in his job no pause
Was ever known to manifest.
He always gave his work his best,
It was the object of his thought,
Improvement was the goal he sought;
To do things better day by day
Gave him more joy than higher pay.

And so while others watched the clock
For fear their nerves might get a shock
If they should give the boss too much
This boy whose interest was such
Quite naturally was boosted fast
Until he came to be at last,
By toil, which duty never shirks,
The manager of all of the works.

And drones who’ve watched his sure advance
Complain if they had had “his chance”
They would have gained the same success.
But in his climbing chance and guess
Had no part – they never do.
The reason he went sailing through
Was that whate’er the job in hand
He smiled and worked to beat the band.

May 4, 1954

The dollar that at home you spend
Will cheer the ardor of a friend,
Who rushes out to pay a bill
And decorates a neighbor’s till.
The neighbor hands it to a clerk,
With others, for his weekly work,
The clerk forks it over to his wife
Who spends it for the needs of life.

The grocer sticks it in his bag
And makes deposit of his swag,
The banker lets a farmer make
A note, and then the dollar take
As part of funds to make a crop,
To plow and plant and weed and chop;
The farmer pays it to a hand
Who spends his cash to “beat the band.”

And thus the dollar does its part
To keep the life blood in the heart
Of business bounding in your town,
And soon it’s made the trip around
And back it comes to you again
All smiling like a long lost friend.
For home spent dollars are first aid
In keeping business on parade.

May 21, 1954

The cash I spend in thee, home town,
Is like a string of pearls to me,
As I go up the streets and down,
On every hand its work I see;
Each dollar seems to do its stuff
In keeping business on the move,
Each dime keeps trying, hard enough,
Its usefulness at home to prove.

From store to store, from hand to hand
They move in joyous, quick exchange,
A mighty cheerful booster band
Which keep prosperity in range.
When to the house that trades by mail
We send our cash, then it’s a loss;
But spent at home ‘twill never fail
To come across, to come across.

May 3, 1954

Together we have bucked the line,
Full many years, dear friends of mine,
In rain and drought, as seasons go,
With prices high and prices low,
With money flush and money tight,
We’ve pulled together, day and night,
The lean we’ve taken with the fat
And, sure, we’ve done right well at that.

O, we have had our ups and downs,
And with the smiles have come the frowns,
Sometimes, I’m sure, with patience sore
You’ve vowed we would be friends no more
For we have had our ins and outs,
Some brisk campaigns and likely bouts,
But that’s all part of life’s great game,
And here we are – friends just the same.

May 6, 1954

Perhaps of jobs you’ve had a bunch,
The kind you like and those you hate;
And sometimes you have had a hunch
The future held a better fate
If you could only find the task
That suited your fancy’s turn –
A job with all that heart could ask
Of pleasant work – with cash to burn.

What’er the job for which you yearn,
I hope it may be yours, my friend;
That soon the pathways you may learn
Which yield you treasure without end.
No matter where your talent lies,
What be the changes time may bring,
May you think well of one who tries
To teach a typewriter to sing.

Joe Wynn is a member of the Tillman County Historical Society’s board of directors. He can be contacted by e-mail at tillmanokhistory@gmail.com.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Decades of city records show events

Sent to The Frederick Leader and The Frederick Press, September 13, 2011
A tourist court was available in the 1920s and '30s near North 8th and Gladstone, the site that is now part ofPioneer Townsite Museum. Cost for staying there was 50-cents per night. The two small buildings were moved from the site in the 1970s, but both are still located in the Frederick area.

Historical records show events timeline, 1907-1976
When Vol. II of The Tillman County History was published in 1978, Eldon Boyd had served for more than 27 years as Frederick’s city clerk, a civic responsibility that he assumed in 1951. Boyd, who died in 1993, was a Frederick native and longtime Frederick businessman in automobile sales and automotive parts.
For the 1978 book, Boyd read through all Frederick City Council meeting minutes dating back to the city’s official incorporation in 1907, and prepared a general timeline of events in the city’s history. NOTE: The city was organized in 1902, but minutes prior to 1907 apparently do not exist.
Screening of more than 70 years of city council minutes was a monumental task, and the timeline compiled by Boyd makes for fascinating reading.
Historical Timeline, 1907-1976
1907 – The City of Frederick, Comanche County, Oklahoma Territory, was incorporated on April 10, 1907. This was seven months before Oklahoma statehood, November 16, 1907.
The first city officials were: mayor, J.E. McConnell; Councilmen, G.R. Harris, C.W. Boyd, A.A. Estes, J.T. Godard, A.N. Hargrove, W.F. Fuller, W.A. Stinson, M.A. Dean; city judge, O.D. Pace; city attorney, C.E. Richardson; city clerk, Sam Kelly; city treasurer, J.B. Beard, Jr.; city physician, Dr. J.D. Osborn, Jr.; school trustees, A.L. Hershey and M.R. Decker.
The first item of business at the first council meeting was to find a place to locate a city hall.
R.J. Edwards Company handled the first bond issues on water and sewer in the amount of $35,000 at 6% interest. All Frederick businesses were assessed to obtain operating revenues for the city before other means of revenue (water, sewer, electricity) were established. Mayor and council deeded Block 21, Original Town of Frederick, O.T., to the school trustees for the purpose of building a school on it.
An ordinance was passed that required all city men between the ages of 21 and 50 to work four eight-hour days per year on the streets and alleys, or pay $4 per year for their upkeep.
1908Lee Carter was appointed city tax assessor, and the first city council committees were appointed.
1909 – The city advertised for bids on the building of a new city hall (not to exceed $14,000). Land at the corner of South 10th and Dahlia was donated by Dr. Gillis.
1910 – The cornerstone for the new city hall was laid on March 31, 1910. The building was completed later that year.
Postcard showed rough drawing of the new 1910 City Hall.
The first city paving was laid on Grand Avenue from 6th Street to 11th Street.
1913 – The first ordinance book for the City of Frederick was compiled.
1916 – A new motor-driven fire truck (a 1917 American LaFrance) was purchased for the city, and J.A. Carr was allowed to dispose of the old fire horses.
1917 – A $100,000 bond issue was voted on for a new waterworks system, storm sewer, and electrical system.
1918 – The mayor and council began paving district projects. (This took a lot of work and was continued even as late as 1951. People had to pay for their paving, and many were unable to do so. Each paving district had a protest time; property was assessed in order that payments would be made.).
In June a resolution was adopted which said that all men between the ages of 18 and 45 not engaged in essential employment had to join the U.S. Army or be prosecuted as vagrants.
The city council adopted a budget of $57,419.
1919 – The first natural gas was brought into the city. (Previous to this, all heat was produced by oil or coal).
1921 – A new light plant was discussed and plans were made for a building on North 8th Street.
1922 – A group of citizens met with the council and county commissioners to discuss a city-county hospital. (A contract was signed whereby the city and county agreed to go 50/50 on the cost of remodeling the upper floor of city hall for a hospital, but something interfered and the whole plan was dropped. At one time Draughan’s Business College occupied the upper story of city hall, but it had to move because of inability to pay rent).
A $50,000 bond issue was voted on to build a convention hall and community house at South 12th and Dahlia (this building served for many years as Frederick High School and later as Central Grade School).
1924 – An ordinance was passed that prohibited bowling alleys, pool halls, billiard halls, and domino parlors.
1925Mayor E.U. Gamblin appointed the first city planning and zoning commission.
Three theatre owners met with the council asking that it pass an ordinance imposing stricter regulations on carnivals and tent shows coming to Frederick.
The city passed a resolution to sell a block of land to the Farmers Co-op Grain and Cotton Company (where the co-op is now located) for $2,000.
1926 – The city had a bandstand for city band concerts.
A “pest house” which stood near the Frisco railroad depot was maintained by the city during the 1920s. People who had contagious disease stayed there until they were well.
Also during the ‘20s, the park south of the water plant was called a “tourist park”. It cost fifty cents to stay there overnight. (This site was located where part of the Pioneer Townsite Museum is located today).
A racetrack located in the vicinity of present-day Bomber Bowl was owned by the city and leased to operators.
Traveling dentists, doctors, and chiropractors were charged a $10 per day fee to work in Frederick.
Foster-Harris Gin in Frederick
The eight or nine cotton gins operating within the city limits, always a problem during ginning season, were discussed often at council meetings. The city wanted the gin operators to comply with city ordinances, particularly the one prohibiting the burning of burrs.
1927 – The light plant building at 8th Street and Gladstone was completed.
A Mr. Goodall was granted permission by the city to operate a popcorn machine in front of the Candyland Shop in the 100 block of North Main.
The Women’s Chamber of Commerce, directed by Mrs. J.L. Newland, had as its aims beautifying the city by landscaping the parks and grounds of city buildings – library, city hall, and water plant.
Movie theatres were not permitted to open on Sunday.
1929 – Traffic lights were first installed.
1930 – A municipal airport southwest of Frederick was constructed.
The Great Depression was underway. Salaries of all appointed and elected city employees were reduced 10 percent. Some persons had to work out their water and light bills at $2 a day. Scrip money was issued to pay the water and light bills.
1931 – The Great Depression continued. City employees’ salaries were cut another 10%.
Cockfights were permitted at the fairgrounds.
1932 – A federal narcotics agent was in Frederick on March 8 investigating the sale of marijuana.
During July and August several cases of typhoid fever were reported.
1934 – Bomber Bowl was built with the help of the government’s W.P.A.
Frederick's Municipal Pool
1935 – The municipal swimming pool on South 17th Street was built by the W.P.A., which also maintained a sewing room for women. Other W.P.A. projects included construction of tennis courts, park improvements, and the curbing and guttering of cemetery streets.
1937 – The city allowed one day of swimming pool receipts to go toward the purchase of uniforms for the school’s drum and bugle corps.
1943 – Eighty acres west of town were purchased by the city for additional water wells.
1943-44-45 – The city dealt with the federal government at the Frederick Army Air Field, particularly on the construction of housing. This was when the many houses called ‘government bricks’ and Balsom Courts were built.
1945 – Four square blocks north of the swimming pool were acquired for a memorial park.
1946 – A memorial chapel (now called the Civic Center) designated Post War Project #1 was built in Memorial Park. Engineers were city employees D.E. Powell and J.J. Zumwalt.
1951 – The last paving district, #30, was started. Circle Drive (Legion Heights), Sunnybrook Drive, and other properties being developed for housing were brought into the city’s limits.
1953Mr. and Mrs. S.F. Bennett donated $10,000 for the construction of a chimes tower at the cemetery.
1954 – Pritchard’s First Addition was annexed to the city.
1955N.O. Brantly leased a part of the airport for a helicopter factory.
Bus service was discontinued to Frederick.
Centra Leather Goods leased buildings at the airport.
1957 – The first civil defense director was appointed and a unit was formed.
1958 – The city participated in the construction of a drive-in mailbox at the post office.
Century Granite leased buildings at the airport.
1959T.J. Burns and Jim Walker were granted permission to construct a building for a cafeteria at the airport.
Beginning in the late 1950s, the parking meters downtown became a constant source of discussion at council meetings. There were numerous petitions to put them in and take them out.
Several properties (Wade Watson Second Addition, R.W. Jones Addition, and Holloman Addition) were annexed to the city.
1960 – Coake & Quam Feed Lot brought more industry to Frederick.
1961 – A resolution was adopted to start a 701 Master Plan for the city, and a grant was applied for with the federal government for same. City entered into a 99-year contract with Centra Leather Goods for property at the airport. Also, the city entered into the Mountain Park Water Reclamation Project.
1962 – A new ordinance was adopted for the city planning commission.
1963 – Betsy Bra made a contract for operating at the airport.
An airport advisory committee was appointed.
Frederick Industrial Development Authority, a public trust, was organized with the following members: C.M. Crawford, Homer Loftis, W.K. Hicks, W.O. Blankenship, and Eldon Boyd. Its purpose was to construct a building at the airport.
1964 – A $50,000 bond issue to construct a pilot’s lounge and hangars at the airport was passed. More land for the cemetery was purchased form George Brown by condemnation. The first study on the Manitou lake was made by Lee M. Bush Company.
1965 – A job classification and pay schedule for city employees was adopted by the mayor and council.
R.J. Edwards Company and Settle Dougal Engineering Firm were employed to study the proposed Manitou lake bond issue. The lake issue was voted on the first time and failed.
A policemen’s pension was adopted.
1966 – An ordinance was passed for a city employees’ pension and retirement system.
Dallas Airmotive leased buildings at the airport.
1968 – The parking meters were taken out by a vote of the people.
1969 – Urban housing property (Lakeview Apartments on South 1st Street) was annexed to the city.
Hudgins, Tompson, and Ball Engineering Firm was employed to make a comprehensive study on the city’s water resources.
Frederick became a member of ASCOG (Association of South Central Governments), eight counties which participate in revenue-sharing funding.
The City gave its 1917 American LaFrance Pumper fire truck to the newly established Firefighters’ Museum in Oklahoma City. The unit was a chain-driven, triple combination (carrying water, hose and pump) rotary gear type pumper. It served the city from 1916 until 1945 and was restored by the Frederick Fire Department. NOTE: It remains on display at the Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum, 2716 NE 50th Street, Oklahoma City.
The mayor signed a petition forming the Mountain Park Master Water Conservatory District for municipal water purposes. This cemented the city's involvement in the Lake Tom Steed Project.
The second bond election on the Manitou lake passed, clearing the way for construction of Lake Frederick.
Permission was given for the Boyd High School gymnasium to be used for a Ward 3 community building.
1970 – The Jaycee Park land was purchased for use as an additional city park.
1971 – an ordinance was signed that created an airport commission which would act in an advisory capacity.
1972 – New ward boundaries were drawn for the city. The building at South 8th Street and Dahlia Avenue, a former auto dealership, was purchased for a new fire department location.
1973 – The new lake was completed east of Manitou and named Lake Frederick.
A tornado struck Frederick in June and the town was declared a disaster area. Money was received from government agencies for the purpose of rebuilding streets and repairing electrical damage. Recreational facilities were planned at the new lake.
1974 – A one-cent sales tax ordinance for the city was adopted.
A new water tower was built at the airport.
1975 – The former First National Bank building at South 9th and Grand Avenue was purchased for the city’s water and light office.
A cablevision company owned by Chris Marcom was given permission to operate within Frederick.
A tract of land in the cemetery was deeded to the George Burkhardt Trust for construction of the Burkhardt Chapel.
1976 – Frederick city budget for the year was $572,000.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Postcard Scenes

Sent to The Frederick Leader and The Frederick Press, September 6, 2011
Postcards showed early places and events
In the early years of the area’s settlement, it was very common for photos, drawings, or paintings of the city scenes, the countryside, or special events and activities to be produced on postcards. The cards, which could be mailed for one cent, were a popular and effective means of communication with family and friends in other parts of the country.
This week’s “Tillman County Chronicles” takes a look at four postcards from the early days of Frederick.
Click on photos to see larger.
First Baptist Church, 11th and Grand, photo circa 1910
11th and Grand Avenue
This scene of the First Baptist Church at 11th and Grand, looking northward on 11th Street, was actually used on several postcards in the early days of Frederick. This particular card was mailed from Frederick in 1911. The First Baptist Church that is pictured here was destroyed by fire in 1931. The present First Baptist Church was built at the same site after the fire.
Frederick Community Band, 1909
Frederick Community Band
During Frederick’s first decades a community band was an important part of civic entertainment. This postcard, mailed in 1912, pictures Frederick’s community band marching in a parade, July 1909. The band is marching eastward in the 100 block of West Grand.
Early automobile race
Early Frederick Racetrack
In Frederick’s early days a popular racetrack was situated near the area where Bomber Bowl is now located. Horse races and early automobile races were held at the track. This undated postcard shows a racing automobile with a large crowd of spectators. Bomber Bowl was built at or near the old racetrack site in 1934.
Up, up, and Away. Frederick 4th of July.
Hot Air Balloon
This photo pictures a hot air balloon that was an attraction during an early Fourth of July celebration in Frederick. The year is unknown.

Joe Wynn is a member of the Tillman County Historical Society’s board of directors.