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.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to learn more about the Sewing Room that was included in the Municipal Swimming Pool Building, built by the WPA in 1935. I understand that it was outfitted with 4 or 5 treadle sewing machines, and ladies of the community were urged to use the facility to make clothing for their families. Any photos? Any additional information?