Newspaper Archive of
The Perkins Journal
Perkins, Oklahoma
January 30, 2014     The Perkins Journal
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January 30, 2014

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A4. THE PERKINS JOURNAL, Thursday, January 30, 2014 Connnuni00v HISTORY :Continued from Page A1 ipiling were delivered and iwork was started under 'the direction of Tom 'Coverdale and A. G. Wil- liams during the summer ignd the usual low water period. Mickey Cochran, ill Dillon, Gene McNutt, and Charles French fur- rushed the teams to haul the lumber and drive the piling. The whole male tiopulation went to work merchants, doctors, teamsters, and farmers. All worked side by side in organized team work. 'Some of those helping with construction were J. A. Hockett, Frank Bice, ;William A. Hoagland, ,1. L. Hudiburg, John :leaves, Frank Lockett, W. O. Annis, John Hudiburg, Charlie Stewart, Sam R. Stumbo, Carl Coverdale, James Westlake, Jim :Vandever, Fred Cline, George Johnson, Alvin Hudiburg, D. L. "Bird" Porter, J. W. Teter,'and Enos Teter. On September 1, 1891, three weeks before the run to open the Iowa and Sac and Fox the bridge was completed and Perkins truly was the "Gateway" to the new country. The single lane bridge was 740 feet long with hand rails on either side. A dedication celebration was held at the bridge prior to the opning. Two queens wer%,chosen, one white and one Indian, syrii-bol- izing"the joining of the lands of the white man on the nh side of the river with the Indian country on the South side. Miss Nellie Stumbo (Mote), of Anglo- Saxoh'decent, the daughter of S. R. Stumbo, and Miss Mellie Tohee (Dole), of Indian decent, the daugh- ter of Chief David Tohee, met in the middle of the bridge and each chris- tened the structure with a bottle of wine. Then Miss Stumbo spoke these words, "We anoint this bridge as a token of peace and good- will toward all men. May the friendly intercourse of these two races be forever sealed by the mingling of this wine." Then the crowd of about 1000 people listened to such orators as Hen. Horace Speed, Colonel Ross, William T. Little, E. G. Guthrie, F. H. Green, F. B. Lilly, and Captain Bain. Heavy Spring rains in 1897 washed away the bridge at Perkins, the first wagon bridge to be built across the Cimarron River in Oklahoma. During the night of Sunday, April 25, 1897, two spans of the bridge collapsed near the center. The last person believed to have crossed the doomed structure was Rev. Buckner of Guthrje, crossing with horse and buggy about 6:00 p.m. Tuesday morning a crew of men went to work using ropes and poles to remove drift lodged against the remaining part of the bridge, but were ham- pered by heavy rain which began falling at noon. By Wednesday morning the entire south half of the bridge had been washed away and two sections near the north approach had collapsed. There was no hope of saving the remaining part of the bridge and the river con- tinued to rise and flood the lowland areas. Perkins city officials, realizing the inconve- nience the washout would cause the traveling public and possible negative effects on the business community, held a special meeting and appropriated money to build a boat, which was placed on the river. John K. Linder and George McNair, two old Missouri River boatmen were hired to operate the boat. They had been stranded here on account of the flood. The Kansas City Star published the following article about the Perkins bridge in January 1898. "This is the greatest bridge building town in Oklahoma. When the flood which inundated West Oklahoma last spring poured into the Cimarron from the Cottonwood, the sea of water, with its currents of tons of debris, swept away the long bridge across the Cimarron at this place as if its only made of cobwebs. Its loss was a blow to the business interests of the town, and public-spirited citizens began at once to replace the bridge. "The bed of the Cimarron is wide and its sands are deep at this place, and the work was difficult. The bridge was completed last month and the event celebrated by the citizens from towns and country for miles around. W.A. Knipe of Perkins made the address of the day and Miss Maude DeVault, a daughter of one of the founders of Perkins, drove the last spike. "The bridge is 900 feet in length, the longest truss bridge in all Oklahoma, and the only truss bridge for wagons across the Cimarron River. No one will be permitted to put signs or advertisements on it. The most notewor- thy point is that the bridge is on a thoroughfare strait from Arkansas City to Per- kins and is much traveled by home seekers who cross the river into Southern Oklahoma. It is the big- gest thing of the kind in this part of Oklahoma and free to all travelers. "The first bridge was built by the citizens of Perkins in the Summer of 1891, and opened in September of that year for the run into the Sac and Fox and Iowa reser- vations. It was the great road inducement which built up Perkins." The Payne County Board of Commissioners awarded a contract for a new steel bridge across the Cimarron River at Perkins to Midland Bridge Company of Kansas City, Missouri, on September 8, 1903. Construction was to be completed within six months. In 1902, the road and bridge tax for the Per- kins Township was eight mills, and even with the new five-mill levy for the bridge, the township road and bridge tax for 1903 was only seven and one half mills. The new bridge became part of a legal battle, and a temporary injunction was issued against its construction. On January 18, 1904, Chief Justice Burford of the Territorial Supreme Court dissolved the injunction and sus- tained all contracts which insured erection of the bridge. The Perkins Journal reported on June 30, This leaflet was printed showing a plat of Perkins and Oklahoma and stated that Perkins was the "gateway" to the Iowa and Sac and Fox lands to be opened by land run. These were mailed to chambers of commerce, public officials, and any citizens whose manes were available in Kansas, Missouri, eastern Nebraska, southern Iowa, and parts of Illinois and Indiana. The bridge built in 1897 was 900 feet in length, the longest truss bridge, in all Oklahoma, and the only truss bridge for wagons across the Cimarron River. //i Cimarron river bridge at Perkins, spring 1903. A contract for a new steel bridge was awarded by the Payne County Commissioners in September 1903, but due to a legal chal- lenge, construction was not completed until September 1905.. 1905, "E. E. Board and J. H. Siple, of Nevada, Mis- souri, who have charge of the building of the Perkins bridge arrived in the city Friday and begun the arranging of the preliminary work for the erection of the steel bridge over the Cimarron south of Perkins. On July 5 the work will begin and will be completed in six weeks." See HISTORY, Page A5 TO SUBSCRIBE BY MAIL, fill out this form and mail with remittance to: The Perkins Journal, P.O. Box 667, Perkins, OK 74059-0667 Name Address City State  Zip Rates: One year in Oklahoma.. $30 :: One year out of state ...... $35 iiiill BE A FRIEND, BUY A FRIEND a subscription and deduct $4 ,i off ofthe rates listed above if you are a current paid subscriber. Use the form above for your "friend" and list your name here: '!i!ii!iii!il iiiiiii! i:iiiiiiiii!i!i i!ii!iliiiiii iiiiii!iiiii!iii iiiiiii!iiiii!i Don't miss your: oppoduni00- the deadline is Oklahoma Territorial Plaza Veteran's Memorial Order Form VETERAN'S NAME FIRST: MIDDLE INITIAL' LST: CIRCLE ONE* PEACE TIME REVOLUTIONARY WAR MEXICAN WAR CIVIL WAR SPANISH AMERICAN WAR WORLD WAR I WORLD WAR II KOREA VIETNAM GRENADA PANAMA PERSIAN GULF AFGHANISTAN OTHER (LIST): * If active in multiple conflicts circle preferred listing [] Yes, I would like to be listed ,n the memorial as a sponsor at the following level [] BRONZE ($1001 [] SILVER ($2501 [] GOLD ($5001 [] PLATINUM ($1000) [] CORPORATE ($25001 NAME TO BE LISTEP, up to 30 characters): Mail to: Perkins Community Foundation, PO Box 667, Perkins, OK 74059-0667 COST: $100 Per Name I Listing