Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Abernathy Day Set for June 7, 2015

In 1913 Bud and Temple Abernathy, ages 9 and 13, rode an Indian Motorcycle from Oklahoma to New York City. It was just one of the remarkable undertakings of the two famous Tillman County boys.

Abernathy Day to be Celebrated with Oklahoma FreeWheel

Every year the Tillman County Historical Society celebrates Abernathy Day during the first weekend of June. For 2015, the Abernathy observance will be held on Sunday, June 7, and will coincide with a visit to Frederick by riders in the Oklahoma FreeWheel's annual border-to-border bike ride.

Approximately 500 bike riders are expected to arrive in Frederick by mid-day on Sunday, June 7 for their first overnight layover. Their ride will begin that morning in Hollis, 70 miles west of Frederick. The cross-state ride will conclude June 13 in Fort Smith, Arkansas, after overnight stops at Elgin, Lindsay, Ada, McAlester, and Poteau.

Frederick last hosted Oklahoma FreeWheel riders in 2012. That year Frederick was the starting point of the ride.

This year on June 7 Freewheel riders, Tillman County residents, and all others are invited visit Frederick venues that include the Pioneer Townsite Museum, the Historical Ramona Theatre in downtown Frederick, and the Crawford family's amazing trophy mount animals at The Crawford Collection.

Abernathy Day Events

Special events during the day are designed to celebrate the Abernathy story in fun ways.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Indian Motorcycles of Oklahoma, the brand's OKC dealership, will exhibit their new products in an extensive display that will be located on Floral Avenue, southeast of the Tillman County Courthouse. In 1913, Bud and Temple Abernathy (then ages 9 and 13), travelled from Frederick to New York City on a 1913 Indian Motorcycle.

An Abernathy Parade is planned for downtown Frederick at 3:30 p.m. The parade begin at 8th and Grand, traveling eastward through downtown, and will include vintage automobiles, floats, kids with decorated bikes, a children's stick-horse delegation, and much more.

The Lawton Antique Auto Club and other owners of vintage automobiles have been invited to participate in the parade and to exhibit their cars before and after the parade in an area at North 9th and Floral Avenue.

The Comanche Youth Native American dancers will participate in the parade and will then perform at the Pioneer Townsite Museum at 4:30 p.m. The dancers represent Comanche Chief Quanah Parker's participation in the 1905 wolf hunt east of Frederick with President Theodore Roosevelt and Jack "Catch 'em Alive" Abernathy.

The Tillman County Historical Society will host its traditional Abernathy Dinner on the museum grounds at 5:15 p.m. The meal will be pulled pork. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children 10-and-under. The number of available tickets is limited. They will be available on Sunday at the museum's general store and at the event unless they have sold out earlier. Proceeds will be used for operation of the historical society's Pioneer Townsite Museum.

Diners should bring their lawn chairs for the meal and entertainment.

Following the dinner, Tipi Storytellers Jaye McLaughlin and Fred Peters of Fort Worth will perform as Jack "Catch 'em Alive" Abernathy and Jessie Pearl Abernathy, parents of Bud and Temple. McLaughlin and Peters will tell the story of Bud and Temple's trip in 1910 (at ages 6 and 10) alone on horseback from Frederick to New York City.

The day's special events are planned to conclude by 7 p.m., allowing plenty of time for the FreeWheel riders to prepare for the next day's early morning ride.

Information about the Abernathy Day events and the visit of Oklahoma FreeWheel to Frederick are available from the Frederick Chamber of Commerce at, or by calling the Frederick Chamber at 580-335-2126.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dort Agency, 1916

Dort Automobiles were displayed in front of the Frederick dealership on November 4, 1916.

Dort Agency in Frederick, 1916

For a Tillman County resident who was in the market for an automobile in 1916, one of the choices was a Dort. The Dort Agency in Frederick was located in the 300 block of West Grand Avenue.

The Dort was a motor car that was manufactured by the Dort Motor Company in Flint, Michigan from 1915 until 1924. Principle owner of the company was Josiah Dallas Dort.

Josiah Dort and his partner William Durant had founded the Flint Road Cart Company in 1884 and became the nation's biggest wagon-maker. By 1900 the company made 50,000 wagons, carts and carriages each year. Its name was changed that year to the Durant-Dort Carriage Company.

With advent of the automobile, both Dort and Durant went into the automobile business and are recognized today as automotive pioneers.

In 1904 Durant purchased the fledgling Buick and later went into business making cars with Louis Chevrolet. Durant was a principle founder of the company that would become General Motors.

Josiah Dort was a director and vice president of Chevrolet in 1912, but stepped down in 1913 and eventually cut business ties with Durant.

His Dort Motor Car Company brought the Dort automobile to consumers in 1915.

By 1917 the Dort was offered in four models: a closed sedan at $1,065; a convertible sedan at $815; a five-place open tourer at $695; and a Fleur-de-Lys roadster at $695. These were relatively expensive cars when one considers that in 1915 Model T Fords were selling for $440.

Josiah Dort died in 1923. Dort Motor Company manufactured its final car in 1924.

Dort advertisement for 1915's Chicago Auto Show.