Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Oklahoma advertised as great place to live, 1907

Sent to The Frederick Leader and The Frederick Press, November 16, 2010

Oklahoma promoted in 1907 ads
“Oklahoma is the richest, the most populous and the most highly civilized State ever added to the American Union.”
Those words opened a printed message from the Oklahoma Mutual Townsite Company that was delivered to potential property buyers and investors in a November 1907 publication that was distributed in Southern states. The company described life in the new state of Oklahoma as something barely short of heaven.
Oklahoma had become the 46th state (the 46th star on the American flag) on November 16, 1907.
The Oklahoma Mutual Townsite Company’s goal was to entice prospective residents or investors to come to southwest Oklahoma for a visit, with the hope of selling farmland or city lots to the visitors. The company provided a free trip to Frederick for inspection, departing from Birmingham, Alabama.
There is no doubt that the Oklahoma Mutual Townsite Company was successful in recruiting many new residents to southwest Oklahoma.
Following is an excerpt from their 1907 publication:
“As Minerva leaped full-armed from the brain of Jove, so Oklahoma comes into the Union a full grown State born of the best that all the other States might give.
“During the past ten years in the ‘Great Southwest’ there has been just one bright blazing star – ‘Oklahoma’ – which has attracted immigrants from all parts of the world. Oklahoma has, within a few years, been transformed from the broad, sweeping prairie plains into a most beautiful and thickly settled farming country, the homes of the progressive farmer and citizen. Cities and towns of great beauty, size and importance have been builded over the State as if by magic.
“There is no other country in all the world that equals Oklahoma in climate, soil and productiveness. There is no other place on the globe where the farmer can more successfully raise corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, kaffir corn and every other cereal known.”
“The new State of Oklahoma looks to a brilliant future, rich in agriculture, rich in mines and rich in blood; it promises to the people of America that the new star shall never lose its luster.
“Tillman County is situated in the southwestern part of Oklahoma and while it was just opened for settlement five years ago, its development has been marvelous, equaling that of old Oklahoma which has been under construction sixteen years.
“This county has the advantage of being situated in the great rich, Red river valley, and many farmers who came here only four years ago penniless, have today splendid bank accounts.”
“Come to Frederick. You will never regret it for no other town or city can offer you such opportunities, unsurpassed in climate, soil and productiveness – fine schools, all modern improvements, railroad facilities, cultured people; in fact, everything that goes to make an ideal prosperous community.”
“We offer lots 50x140 in the Benefiel Addition to the City of Frederick at the reasonable price of $65 each, payable either all cash or $15 cash and $10 per month until paid for, without interest.
“This Addition is situated one-half mile from the business part of town and is beautifully located in the northeastern part of the city. These are resident lots in the resident district. The adjacent property is being rapidly built up with beautiful new residences, and this Addition will be next to be improved.”
Next week – The Oklahoma Mutual Townsite Company’s 1907 description of life in Frederick.

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

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