It’s Oklahoma’s 108th Birthday. Back at Statehood, the “original” Luther Register newspaper kept its readers informed of the news of the day – plus advertisements for some four CENT calicos and lots of remedies for stomach ailments.
A search through the newspaper’s archives from The Oklahoma Historical Society uncovered this gem from 107 years ago.
From The Luther Register, November 20, 1908:
Monday Oklahoma had its first statehood birthday. There were no outward signs of this around Luther, but down at the county seat they tore up the earth with a banquet and oratory. On this first natal day Oklahoma had 1,414;177 (sic) population which is more than 22 of the other states. At the banquet, the fellows were so proud of the year-old baby, that Bob Burdett of the daily Times touched his light guitar and sang:
O we’re one year old
and the new state bold
Doth challenge the world afar,
As we raise on high
With a cheery cry
The flag with another star.
On our first birthday
In majestic way
We walk with a giant’s stride;
And our mighty strength
With the length and breadth
Of the land we will divide.
Who else loves history? Especially when its from our town. Read on from the same Page One, November 20, 1908.
In this country winter time will do as well as any time to work the roads, and better as there is little work on the farm at that time of year. A good road saves 47 ways. A good road from your farm to Luther increases the value of your farm from $5 to $10 an acre, making 160 acres worth from $800 to $1600 more than if you had to run over stumps and pry yourself out of mud holes several times before you get to town. A good road makes a team and a wagon last several years long and saves the repair bill on broken wood work and harness. A good road gives you a reputation for being a good farmer and highly respected in the neighborhood. A good road brings more trade all through the week to Luther for a farmer only travels a bad road as few times as possible and then he selects Saturday, and the merchant has to hire more clerks to wait on the rush, therefore a good road saves clerk hire. A good road lets a young man with his girl drive with one hand and saves the new state an over -production of old bachelors. It saves all along the line and everybody – farmers, business men and young men should join hands and build up the roads leading from the farms to Luther town. Your work will bring you an hundred fold and you will be happier and prouder.
Any of this editorial content from so long ago resonate today? Or at least give you a smile – the line about saving the old bachelors is pretty sweet. I’ve talked to plenty of long-time Luther residents who remember the poor state of the roads just a generation or two ago. Come to think of it, I currently live on a road that could be reminiscent of statehood trails especially after a good rain or a long pause from the Logan County grader. Instead of fixing wood and harness, we buy new tires.
How about the part of the article calling on Luther town to “join hands … for our work to bring you an hundred fold?” What if we locked arms in unity to work on some of the town’s pressing issues at school and on main street – both the hopeful issues along with the difficult? A little transparency and patience. I bet there’s at least 47 Ways that would be good for all of us … and Luther town!