Monday, October 31, 2011

Underclassmen List in 1910 FHS Book

Sent to The Frederick Leader and The Frederick Press, November 1, 2011
The Class of 1911 (juniors of 1910) were pictured in the 1910 yearbook inside a giant "11". Although there are numbers by each photo for identification, the book contains no key that matches students with numbers. Members of the class are listed below.
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1910 FHS “Megaphone” listed underclassmen
The 1910 Frederick High School Megaphone likely was the school’s first yearbook.
Last week this column examined the senior class of 1910.
This week… the underclassmen.
Frederick High had eight 11th grade students in school year 1909-10. They were Edward Godfrey Miley (class president), Robert Baxter Plott (vice president), Retta Francis Bailey (secretary/treasurer), Augusta Corine Brown, Vernie May Reesink, Eula Florence Emanuel, Ethel Pate, and Hurston Bunkum Akin.
About their junior class, the Megaphone said, “What is school without Juniors? The Juniors who are neither too old and wise, nor too fresh and frivolous to study.”
“Though the class of 1911 is small, what we lack in size is made up in loyalty to our studies, our school, our faculty, and ourselves.
“The year’s work has been unusually good, and we hope in our next year’s work to raise the standard for we have set our motto high believing that not failure but low aim is crime. To be sure we will encounter some discouragements, but we hope to meet and overcome them, knowing ‘Our chief glory consists not in never failing but in rising every time we fall.’
The Class of 1912 -- FHS sophomores in 1910
There were 14 members of the 1909-10 sophomore class. They were Katie Hitt, Mary Roberts, Dora Dellis, Grace Dodson, Paul Hershey, Joe Rogers, Stanley Bryant, Edward Walker, Vera Smith, Lisle May, Alice Bryant, Winnie Newlin, Trever Longwell, Ray Bryant, and Lloyd Gilliland.
They wrote humorously about members of their class in “Things We Would Like to See”.
“Ray Bryant as an actor.”
“Stanley Bryant on time at history class.”
“Vera Smith without a green hair ribbon.”
“Lisle May without rats in her hair.”
“Trever Longwell with his mouth shut.”
“Lloyd Gilliland with a perfect Latin lesson.”
“Dora Dellis without interest in the Juniors.”
“Paul Hershey seven feet tall.”
“Alice Bryant in a bad humor.”
“Grace Dodson as a farm girl.”
“Winnie Newlin as a school teacher.”
“Mary Roberts without a smile.”
“Joe Rogers as a member of the Whitney Quartet.”
“Edward Walker as president of the Low Hollar debating society.”
The Class of 1913 -- "Freshies" in 1910.
In a section titled “The Freshies of 1910”, the ninth grade class roll was listed as follows: Agnes Showalter, Amos Norwood, Ampie W. Miller, Bonita Walker, Bernice George, Carrol George, Chas. E. Ryan, Charles D. Deupree, Cecil C. Cather, Clara Pyeatt, Early Parks, Elon Rhodes, Ellen Truesdale, Frield Anderson, Fahy Boyd, Guy E. Dean, Grace Bryant, Gertrude Jarvis, George Deaver, Georgia Morris, Herbert Caudill, Jesse W. Miley, Myrtle Kennedy, Minnie Potts, Mabel Barrett, Rosa Lee Kerr, and Tula H. Miller.
“The Freshman Class was organized September 8, 1909, with an enrollment of thirty-five. It is the largest class in the high school department.
“The Freshman Literary Society was organized November 1, 1909.
“The Pick-Wick Club of the Freshman Class was organized January 1, 1910.”
The Freshman class yell opened with names of early automobiles. It went as follows:
  “Mitchell, Maxwell, Ford and Ben –

  We’re the Freshies of 1910.
  Are we it? Well, I should guess –

  We’re the Freshies of F.H.S.”

Next week… More from the 1910 yearbook.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

First FHS Yearbook, 1910

The Frederick High Class of 1910 - Powell Hayes (4); Roxye Holloman (9); Robert Howard (10); Espar Watkins (5); Ethel Drumm (11); Rena Threlkeld (6); Ruth Gosnell (1); Mamie Lee Carter (7); Gilbert Caudill (2); Elnor Moorhead (3); Chas McMillan (8).

Sent to The Frederick Leader and The Frederick Press, October 25, 2011
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“Megaphone” was 1910 Frederick Yearbook

It is likely that Frederick High School’s first yearbook was “The Megaphone”, printed in 1910.
Roster, FHS Class of 1908
The 60-page book contained information about teachers and administrators; names and background of seniors, as well as a senior “humor” section; basic information from each of the ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade classes; a few photos of sports groups and other activities; and a large section of advertisements from Frederick businesses.

The 1910 yearbook opened with a two-page tribute to the six-member class of 1908 – Bernice Jackson, Lelah Nabors, Walter McPherson, Mildred Winsor, Clay Kerr, and Gladys Carter.
There was no Frederick High School graduating class of 1909 because school officials deemed that no students had completed work sufficiently to earn the high school diploma that year.
The senior class of 1910 included 11 students: Powell Hayes, Roxye Holloman, Robert Howard, Espar Watkins, Ethel Drumm, Rena Thelkeld, Ruth Gosnell, Mamie Lee Carter, Gilbert Caudill, Elnore Moorhead, and Chas McMillian.
Frederick Schools served more than 1,000 students in 1910, but the number of high school students was relatively few because most ended their education at grade 8.
W.T. Dodson was superintendent of Frederick City Schools in 1910. It was a position that he had held since 1906. Dodson was born in 1871 in Wright County, Missouri.
W.T. Dodson, Frederick superintendent, 1910
Prof. E.B. Nelms was principal of Frederick High School, a position that he had held for three years. He had been born in Pittsburg, Texas, in 1880, but raised in Greer County, Oklahoma. He had studied at Jeff Davis College and the Oklahoma University.
Teachers included Miss Lela Mitchell, instructor of Latin and German; Miss Loula Elder, mathematics; Miss Lee O. Plemmons, English; Miss Ruth Gamble, history.
Regarding members of the 1910, the book said the following: “The Senior Class of 1910 entered the Freshman year in 1906 with an enrollment of twenty-nine. The class now has an enrollment of eleven, seven of the original Freshmen class and two who entered in the Sophomore year, and two in the junior.”
The city of Frederick and Frederick City Schools were organized in 1902, so had existed for only eight years in 1910. All Frederick residents were recent settlers in the area.
Backgrounds of the eleven senior students were described, complete with comments intended to be humorous, as follows:
Gilbert Caudill, Class President, was born in 1892, in Kentucky. He came to Oklahoma in 1907, and entered the class in the Sophomore year, and has since spent most of his time keeping at the head of the Mathematics class.
Espar Watkins, Class secretary, was born February 21, 1892, in Kansas. She came to Oklahoma in 1901, when there was nothing of the beautiful little City of Frederick but a promising outlook. She is the High school pianist, and is the most dignified member of the class.
Robert Howard is a native of Texas. He was born in T.C.U. in 1893. He has been in the class since the Junior year. He is the “Class Baby.”
Roxye Holloman, born in Texas in 1892, has been an “elephant” on our hands for two years. Her early days were spent in growing good-naturedly fat.
Nora Moorhead, another Texan, came to Frederick in time to go through the miseries of being a Freshman on the simple diet of “pie.” She is the Captain of the Basket Ball Team.
Powell Hays is a native of Illinois, and came to Oklahoma in 1902. He is the Shakespeare of the Senior class and is also a football shark. He was one of the F.H.S. delegates to the High School meet at Norman this year.
Charles McMillan, the physicist of the class, is a Virginian. He has spent most of his life “grinning,” but we fear he will some day stop it, and startle the world into sitting up and taking notice, by the unraveling of some principle in physics which is now very vague.
Mamie Lee Carter is another fair representative of Texas. She was born in 1893, and is the smallest, but by no means the quietest, member of the class. She is properly called the “classflirt.”
Ethel Drumm “blew into” our midst from Iowa in the wake of an Oklahoma “norther,” during our Sophomore year. She is gradually loosing some of her Northern characteristics along with her “peaches and cream” complexion.
Next week… More from the 1910 Frederick High School “Megaphone”.
Frederick High faculty members, 1910
Prof. E.B. Nelms, Frederick High School principal, 1910
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Joe Wynn is a member of the Tillman County Historical Society’s board of directors. He can be contacted by e-mail at

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

School served Frederick community

Sent to The Frederick Press and The Frederick Leader, October 18, 2011

An enhanced postcard image from the 1920s shows the new Frederick High School and Convention Center on South 12th Street. Notice size of the young trees and style of automobiles.
Central Building Part of Fading History
In coming months, the building that most Frederick residents know as the old Central Grade School will be torn down, and that’s a good thing.
The years have not been kind, and the building as it stands today has long outlasted its structural integrity and its usefulness. It has become an eyesore and a target for vandals.
In its waning days, though, it is appropriate to remember that throughout much of Frederick’s history the old building at South 12th and Dahlia was an important part of life in the town.
The old Central Elementary School today (October 18, 2011)
The building was constructed in 1922 when the citizens of Frederick approved a bond issue for a building that would serve as Frederick High School, as well as a “convention hall and community house” (the auditorium and gymnasium).
A community auditorium had previously stood at the new school site. It had been a large wooden building with a dirt floor, and was removed to make way for the new school. 
Construction of the new building was completed by January 1923, in time for Frederick High School classes to start the 1922-23 school year’s second semester there. The Class of 1923 was the first to graduate in the new school.
In the ensuing decades, the auditorium was the site of many community programs, school assemblies and graduations, and the gymnasium was often packed for basketball games, particularly the annual Tillman County Tournament during which teams from all area schools competed.
When a new high school was constructed in 1950, the 1922 building became Central Grade School, consolidating upper elementary grades from the ward schools to one “central” location.
The front 12th Street side of the building was extensively damaged in the June 1973 tornado that swept through Frederick. Architects presented the Frederick Board of Education with several design options for repair, with restoration of the building to its previous design being the most expensive. The board chose a less-costly “modern” design for the repair.
The modern look probably seemed a good idea in 1973, but the new look never seemed right for the stately old building.
In the late 1980s, Central Grade School made state and national news for several days when a gasoline leak was discovered in the sewer line underneath the school. When the school was constructed in 1922, it had been placed directly atop one of the city’s main sewer lines – a practice that would never be allowed today. Gasoline from a gas station’s fuel tanks leaked into the sewer line and an old tap into the line below the school auditorium allowed gas fumes directly into the school, creating a dangerous situation.
Central students’ classes were moved to area churches for several days while community citizens and school personnel searched for the leak. They tore up part of the auditorium floor, dug a hole to the sewer line, and finally capped the leak.
A few years later, the old plaster ceiling in one of Central’s classrooms crashed to the floor. Not willing to take a chance with the safety of students or teachers, it was decided that all of the building’s plaster ceilings had to come out. Again, the old building made headlines when school officials and community volunteers spent several days tearing out plaster from ceilings, scooping the plaster pieces and 70 years of dust and dirt into wheelbarrows, and hauling it away. It was a huge job.
In April 1995 Frederick voters approved a bond for construction of a new Frederick Elementary School to be located on North 15th Street. The new building was completed in April 1997, and the old school was largely vacated.
The Student Adjustment Center, serving just a few students at a time, operated in the building for a few years, but the building’s many classrooms were mainly used for storage.
The old gymnasium is still used by Frederick Middle School students.
When city fathers were planning and constructing their new high school and convention center in 1922, they surely could not have imagined that the building would stand for 90 years! It has served the community well.
In coming months, while the old building still stands, I encourage everyone to drive by for a last nostalgic look, with an awareness that the sad old hulk of a building that stands today was once something much more.

An expansive photo of Frederick High School, likely taken in the 1930s from the middle of Dahlia Street shows the size and scope of the building’s west front.

Cohea Studio took this photo of Frederick High School in the 1940s.

This photo of the school, now Central Elementary School, was probably taken in the 1960s.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wide-A-Wake was early store

Sent to The Frederick Leader and The Frederick Press, October 11, 2011
Photo of Wide-A-Wake store front from Frederick Leader industrial edition, July 1916.

Tomlinson Store was Frederick Institution
Rows of great toy counters, the smell of fresh popcorn, and an awesome candy counter where purchases were scooped to order and filled in paper sacks.
Those are the things that I remember most about the Tomlinson store in downtown Frederick when I was a kid in the 1950s and ‘60s. I’ll bet that most folks “of a certain age” who were youngsters in the Frederick during a span of 70 years have similar memories.
Milton Tomlinson, who died on September 25 at age 96, was the third generation of the Tomlinson family who owned and operated the store that served Frederick shoppers for seven decades.
The Tomlinsons’ Frederick store actually dated back to 1911 when Milton’s grandfather, W.M. Tomlinson, traded a ranch in the Schofield Community northeast of Frederick to Josiah Goodin for a store in Frederick called The Wide-A-Wake. The Tomlinsons operated the Wide-a-Wake from 1911 until the store was renamed Tomlinson and Son in 1936.
Wide-A-Wake pre-1918
The family also operated a store in Grandfield, and in 1935 Milton’s dad R.E. Tomlinson would be one of the founders of the national TG&Y chain of stores – Tomlinson, Gosselin and Young.
An extensive article in The Frederick Leader’s Industrial Edition from July 21, 1916, described the Tomlinsons’ Wide-A-Wake. In 1916, the Wide-A-Wake was located at 202 West Grand, current location of the City of Frederick drive-through.

“A more appropriate name could not be given to a business institution than that of the Wide-A-Wake variety store. Owned by W.M. Tomlinson and Son and managed by Rawden E. Tomlinson, this store is the largest in its line in Tillman county and equaled by few in the great southwest. The stock of goods is equal to that carried by any of the large variety stores in the larger cities. Everything that could be expected to be found in a variety store is carried at the Wide-A-Wake.
“This store makes a specialty of 5, 10, and 25-cent goods and being a member of the National Five, Ten and Twenty-five Cent merchants, this firm is able to buy merchandise at prices denied the average merchant, which makes it possible to sell articles to the trade at a price far below that charged by the general store carrying the same line of goods as that found at the Wide-A-Wake.
“The present business was established in 1904 and was purchased by the present owners in 1911. The amount invested at the time the present owners took charge of the business has been doubled and today a stock is carried that would do credit to a store in a city four times the size of Frederick.
“Not only has the stock in this store been doubled in volume since the present owners took charge, but the volume of business has been doubled over receipts of 1911. This advance in business speaks well for the management and the courteous treatment accorded everyone who enters the store by the managers and the corps of clerks.
“W.M. Tomlinson and his son, R.E. Tomlinson, have resided in Tillman county since the county’s organization. They have shown an enthusiastic booster spirit ever since identifying themselves with the citizenship of Tillman county and Frederick. Mr. Tomlinson is a firm believer in the great future of Frederick and the great southwest.
“His son is a member of the younger class of business men and is an enthusiast about the future of Frederick. He is taking up the booster spirit which has predominated so pronouncedly in his father.
“The Tomlinsons came to Oklahoma from Kansas, realizing the vast opportunities to be offered in the great southwest, and have taken advantage of those opportunities, as have many others, and today their business house stands on a firm foundation, prepared to care for the needs of everyone in this line. It is a valuable asset to Frederick and Tillman county.
“This store employs five clerks to handle the trade, in addition to W.M. Tomlinson and his son. While all are efficient, this being the only kind of help the Wide-A-Wake employs, among the clerks are some extremely proficient in the mercantile business. Among them are Mrs. Mae Coupland, saleslady, and James Jones, a practical young man of sterling qualities, who has been connected with the store for three years.
“The Wide-A-Wake store is located at 202 West Grand Avenue, in a large building, 30 by 90 feet Every foot of floor space is utilized in the display of goods and the store is filled from the front door to the rear with bargains that can only be secured elsewhere in the stores in the larger cities.
“In addition to the 5, 10, and 25-cent departments, which are very extensive, this store also has an extensive line of variety goods and is the school book depository for Tillman county, where all school books are handled.
“Space will not permit the enumeration of all the lines of merchandise to be found at this store, but suffice it to say that if you need anything to be found in an up-to-date variety store or a 5, 10, and 25-cent store you cannot find a better place to trade than at the Wide-A-Wake.”
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According to Volume II of the Tillman County History (1978), when the Tomlinsons purchased the Wide-A-Wake in 1911, the store was located at Main and Grand in Frederick.
Soon after, the business was moved to 202 West Grand (the west part of the current Frederick City Hall).
For a brief time prior to 1918, the business was located in the Perkins-Timberlake building, current site of Sweet Magnolia Antique Mall.
In 1918 the Tomlinsons purchased a building from A.H. Krause on South 9th Street, across the street from the Ramona Theatre.
In 1935, Tomlinson and Son further expanded by purchasing the large building at 210 West Grand that had for many years housed the T.W. Jenkins Dry Goods Store, Nuf Sed Cleaners, and City Barber Shop. This is the building that most of us remember today as the Tomlinson store.
The store became Tomlinson’s TG&Y in 1966, and operated as a TG&Y until it closed in the early 1980s.
W.M. Tomlinson died in 1929.
R.E. Tomlinson died in 1948.
From Tillman County History Vol. II (1978), this 1927 photo shows inside of the Wide-A-Wake. Pictured are several members of the Tomlinson family and store clerks. Inset at bottom left are photos of the three generations of Tomlinsons who managed the Frederick store: W.M. Tomlinson, R.E. Tomlinson, and Milton Tomlinson.

The 1911 Wide-Awake was located at 202 West Grand, site of the current City Hall Drive-Through (left in above photo). In 1935 the Tomlinsons aquired the large building at 210 West Grand which would house the store for more than 50 years (right in photo). The Tomlinson building is empty today and in need of major restoration.
In 1918 the Tomlinsons purchased a building on South 9th from Frederick builder A.H. Krause. Today the building sits empty, in need of major repair.
Joe Wynn is a member of the Tillman County Historical Society’s board of directors.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Harmon recalled early phone lines

 Sent to The Frederick Leader and The Frederick Press, October 4, 2011
Early telephone switchboard operator   (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

Telephone was connection for farm families

Early telephones were an important connection for farm families, giving them a link to neighbors, as well as access to nearby towns and beyond.
Past “Tillman County Chronicles” have addressed the topic of early telephone lines that were built and maintained by farm families. In April 1992, the late Millie Jett Harmon wrote about her family’s early telephone in a column for the Kiowa County Democrat.
Mrs. Harmon, born in 1907, was raised on a farm in the North Deep Red community in northeast Tillman County. She was one of nine Jett children, all girls. 
Early crank telephone at Frederick
Piioneer Townsite Museum
As a young wife and mother, she lived in Manitou, but spent most of her life in the Snyder community where her husband Ray Harmon was a grocer.
She died in January 2000 at age 92.
In the late 1980s and early ‘90s, Mrs. Harmon wrote a weekly column for the Kiowa County Democrat, reflecting on many memories of her early life in southwest Oklahoma.
In the April 9, 1992 edition of the Snyder newspaper, she wrote the following:
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“I read in The Lawton Constitution and Morning Press that Indiahoma and a number of neighboring towns would have toll-free telephone service to Lawton after April 6, 1992.
“It put me to thinking of the day the rural telephone line reached the North Deep Red Community.
“The Emery Harpers owned and operated the Manitou telephone exchange which was eight miles from our home. The farmers formed an organization for Line #8; bought wire and little insulators that looked like white spools. They nailed 2x4s to fence posts to string the wire on and were responsible for the upkeep and service of the line. Mr. Harper’s wife and daughters Nellie and Myrtle operated the switchboard in their home and gave twenty-four hour service. I think the fee for our service was $1.00 per month – maybe $2.00.
“In dry weather we would have to pour water on the ground wire to keep it working and in the rainy season it would drown out.
“We were so proud of that little battery operated box that hung on the wall with a horn-like transmitter and two little bells and a receiver hanging on a long cord. We could turn the crank and be connected with kin or friend.
“If an electric storm blew up the contraption was disconnected til the weather cleared.
“It was learned that the telephone was not a toy or to be used foolishly. A few times on April 1, someone would give the general ring – a string of long rings – and when all the telephone receivers dropped they would call ‘April Fool’. Then on Christmas the general ring was given to wish everyone a ‘Merry Christmas’.
“I remember one time we kids got home from school and Mama was not in the house. We got bored pretty quick. We gave the general ring and all gathered around the telephone and sang in loud off-key voices “Go Tell Aunt Rhody”,“She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain”, and other songs. It didn’t take the neighbors long to learn where the noise was coming from and get the word to Papa who scared the voice out of us and we found other ways to entertain ourselves when Mama wasn’t around.
“The general ring was used when people needed help, or to report a fire, death, party, literary, singing or revival in the community. People used the telephone to make business calls. One time Al Summers called Papa and sold him our first Ford touring car.”
“Some of the patrons on line #8 were Omer Watson, Peck Wilson, Akes, Guthrie, Patterson, Dillingham, A. Thompson, Garner, Bill Thompson, Fant, Hayward Ranch, W.W. Dorsey, D.C. Fryer, Bauch, Pigler Hall, Jim Bynrm, E.A. Jett, W.J. Jett, Will Jett, Pink Ellis, Jim Brennen, A.L. Summers, W.H. Gepford and J.C. Brown.
“Our ring was two longs and the Akers’ was two shorts. When a conversation was finished, one rang off with one short. If both parties rang off it made two shorts. This was confusing for the Akes. Dorsey’s ring was four shorts. Gepford’s was one long, one short, one long, and two shorts.
“Mr. Brown who lived about two and a half miles west of us operated a switch board which connected with both the Manitou and Snyder telephone lines.
“One line ran out of Manitou east along the base line giving service to the Arnolds, Simons, Wm. Stoll, P.K. Stoll, Shusters, Wood, Alexander, Woodmore, Dick Thompson and others.
“Another line ran southeast of Manitou to the South Deep Red community with such patrons as Whorton, Phelps, Burba, Fisher, Butcher, Wilburn, Givens, Smith, Watson, Clinkenbeard and Moore.”