Miss Beals has Second Choice in Lawton District
- Is Preceded by James R. Woods of Weatherford, Oklahoma - In El Reno District Number One and Two, Respectively
are Stephen C. Holcomb of Pauls Valley, I.T. and Leonard Lamb of Augusta, O. T. These two may select the choicest
claims in the district. The capital prize winners, however, proved to be James R. Wood of Weatherford, O.T., whose
name was the first to come out of the Lawton district wheel and Miss Mattie H. Beals of Wichita, Kansas, who drew
the second number in that district. They will have the privilege of making the first filings in the Lawton district
and will undoubtedly choose the two quarter sections adjoining that town. These are considered the most valuable
in the territory and are, it is estimated worth from $20,000 to $40,000 each.
The day has been one of keen excitement, replete
with interesting scenes. It is estimated that fully 25,000 witnessed the drawing. The immense throng was wrought
up to the highest pitch. The drawing of the first few names were followed by a mighty shout that reverberated between
the hills and must have been heard for miles over the prairies.
Each succeeding winning for a time was met with
shouts of applause and merriment. All was pleasantry. Everyman though he did not draw a prize from the wheels today,
had steadfast faith that tomorrow or the next day would surely see him the possessor of a slip reading him a title
clear to 160 acres of Oklahoma's land. So in the success of friends or relatives, unfortunate ones today instead
of bewailing their fate, cheered lustily as familiar names were called out from the commissioner's platform. The
crowds fairly exhausted themselves and when the close of the drawing for the day was announced at 5 o'clock hundreds
who neither eat nor drank during the day, sank to the ground where they stood from their fatigue or dragged themselves
to better place of rest or refreshments booths up town. The day was remarkably free from quarrels and general satisfaction
with the government's method of disposing of the land was felt. It has been found that many hundred applicants
have "repeated" and that others have applications which are so illegible that they will be thrown out.
Over this much discord has resulted and the outcome may be an appeal to the courts. The drawing has been set for
9 o'clock but the transferring of the bundles of envelopes holding the applications from the general receptacle
to the wheels which was by lot, was so slow, that it was 10:50 o'clock before the first name was drawn.
Twenty-five names were drawn from the El Reno district
and then an equal number from the Lawton district. When all was ready, Ben Heyler placed his hand in an aperature
in the El Reno wheel and withdrawing an envelope, handed it to Colonel Dyer. It was passed to Chief Clerk Macey,
stamped and handed back to Colonel Dyer. The commissioner walked to the front of the platform, raised his hand
for order and in a loud tone, exclaimed: "Stephen A. Holcomb" of Pauls Valley, I. T., draws the first
number." The crowd yelled for three minutes, apparently as much delighted as if every man had drawn a prize.
Envelope number two was quickly drawn and as each
of the names were announced each one was greeted with a volley of cheers. The first ten winners in the El Reno
3 - Frank Brown, Ponca City, Oklahoma, born in
4 - Calvin Churchill, Chickaha, I. T.
5 - Charles D. Williams, Norman, Oklahoma
6 - Ollie M. Rogers, Cordell, Oklahoma
7 - Edward C. Prince, Watonga, O. T.
8 - Andrew J. Phillsower, Sheldon, Mo.
9 - John L. Brown, Caldwell, Kansas
10 - John S. Helder, Weatherford, O. T.
When twenty-five names had been taken from the
El Reno district wheel attention was turned to that representing the Lawton district. The first name brought out
for this district was that of James R. Woods of Weatherford, O. T., and the crowd again went wild. This meant that
woods would be able to claim the quarter section adjoining Lawton town, one of the choicest in the entire country.
The second ticket was drawn and Colonel Dyer cried
out: "I have the pleasure to announce the name of the first woman to draw a prize. Mattie H. Beals of Wichita,
Then Colonel Dyer gave her description as 23 years
old and 5 feet 3 inches in height: just the height of Woods.
Instantly the crowd caught the humor of the situation and thousands of throats sent up the shout: "They must
The other first names drawn in the Lawton district
3 - Winfield S. Laws, Langton, Oklahoma
4 - Falcon Woodhouse, Eldon, Iowa
5 - Marvin Hawkins, Wayland, Texas
6 - William C. Laid, Fort Worth, Texas
7 - Harry T. Foster, agent for Harry E. Harrison, El Reno, O. T.
8 - Lee A. Stubblefield, Dunbar, O. T.
9 - Richard H. Wyatt, Henrietta, Texas
10 - Charles C. Doss, Shawnee, O. T.
The eighteenth winner in the Lawton district was
Minerva McClintock aged 25 years of Oklahoma City. She was married yesterday and by this act forfeits her right
to file for a claim. She might have chosen a claim near a county seat town worth several thousand dollars. The
drawing will be resumed tomorrow morning and continued until all of the 13,000 claims have been awarded. It is
believed that this will have been accomplished by Thursday evening.
El Reno, O. T., July 29, Long before the time announced for the drawing, hundreds of people surrounded the stand
erected for the important event. By 8:20 o'clock 50,000 people had congregated on the ground. All preparations
for the drawing had not been completed and carpenters and clerks were at work up to the time announced for operations
The stand prepared for the event was a large covered
platform, covered with canvas substantially made. At the north of the stand proper was the booth for the clerks
making the official records on typewriters. The apparatus for the drawing is at the south part of the stand. The
apparatus for each district has three openings and arranged so the envelopes could be well shaken up.
People surrounded the place on every side. The
man with the highest point of view was the favorite and made announcements to the people on the ground beside him.
Cheer after cheer went up as the preparations progressed and at times it was impossible to hear the conversation
of the clerks and officials on the platform. The wind was from the south. It was a strong gale and dust blew in
every direction. After an hour in the dust and wind it was hard to distinguish a white man from a colored.
At 9 o'clock a wagon in charge of government clerks,
loaded with the registration papers and envelopes arrived, and were carried to the stand. A few minutes later,
the three canvassers, Richards, Dyer and Dale arrived. These men began to arrange things on the platform for the
drawing. As soon as the crowd caught sight of the commissioners, a mighty shout went up from the multitude around
There never will be another such a gathering as
congregated this morning to witness the drawing in connection with the opening of public lands. People were packed
like sardines around the stand. The man with an umbrella was called down for people wanted to see the proceedings.
United States Marshal C. H. Thompson and his deputies,
Ned Sission and a large force of men were on the platform and surrounded it to keep order. The crowd was good natured,
but the man who made a false move was promptly taken care of. The clerks appointed to do the drawing were from
El Reno and Guthrie. Their names are Carl Humphrey, Myron Humphrey, Roy Winton, Ben Hegler, Bruno Hegler, Arthur
Patterson, Ment Setzer, Rudolph Forrest, Alex Jones and Burt Newell.
The men to turn the boxes which held the envelopes
were: Fred A. Gillette, El Reno; Howard K. Bane, Washington, D. C.; Frank Cummings, Guthrie; Hall A. Mason, Blackwell.
The envelopes were taken into the stand in boxes
containing 400 each marked on the outside El Reno and Lawton, respectively.
At 9:40 o'clock, Governor Richards announced to
the crowd that col. D. P. Dyer of St. Louis, one of the commissioners would read the part of the proclamation appertaining
to the drawing. The crowd was very quiet during the reading, evidently wishing to give the officials every possible
opportunity to proceed with the drawing. It took several minutes to read the proclamation and at its conclusion
the cheer of the crowd was deafening in its intensity.
During this time the clerks were arranging for
the drawing. Everything was hurried along under the direction of the commissioners. At the close of the reading
of the proclamation, Governor Richards announced that the envelope bearing the identification slips would be placed
in the boxes. There were 218 boxes of envelopes for the Lawton district and 191 boxes for the El Reno district.
This gives the largest number of applicants to the Lawton district. Slips were drawn from boxes with numbers on
them and the boxes were taken with a number corresponding with that on the slip. They were emptied into the boxes
by the clerks as fast as the numbers were called. The first number was called at 9:55 o'clock, the first boxes
of envelopes were emptied into the El Reno box on the east side of the platform. The first number was 46 and that
box corresponding to that number was placed in it. Governor Richards had charge of the placing of the envelopes
in the El Reno box and Judge Dale took charge of the Lawton box on the west side of the platform. One of the boxes
was held stationary by Commissioner Dyer and the other by United States Deputy Marshall Hickok. The envelopes for
the Lawton district were yellow and those for the El Reno district were white. As soon as a box was emptied the
clerks tossed it into the crowd. Each box was promptly torn up and pieces were preserved by the spectators as souvenirs
of the great event.
The American woman was just as interested a spectator
of the great drawing as the American man. She stood in the crowd, and took her chances for seeing the proceedings
as did her brother. Women stood and sat everywhere possible and the majority of them were well cared for by the
men in the crowd. The work of placing the envelopes took longer than was anticipated and as the minutes passed
by each person in the crowd fretted that his chances were promptly dwindling away.
Colonel Dyer, just before the drawing began, stepped
up to the front of the platform and addressed the crowds assembled. He said in part, "I never saw a better
crowd assembled together. You are all here with equal rights as American citizens. We have selected young men,
not having chances in this lottery, to draw out the names. We have selected them, knowing their families they represent,
are the foremost in the territory. Twenty-five names will be drawn from the El Reno box first and then twenty-five
names from the Lawton box.
This is to be absolutely fair and every person
interested is to have an equal chance. We rely upon every citizen assembled here to see fair play and justice done
to every man.
The boys drew slips in order to ascertain who would
draw the first name from the box containing the El Reno envelopes. No. 3 was the number of the boy, Ben Hegler
of Guthrie, drawing the name. When Colonel Dyer made the announcement that No. 3 had been selected to draw the
first name he stated: I hope to God that each of you will get No. 1." This statement, was met with a hearty
response from the crowd.
It took until 10:50 to get the names placed in
the boxes and at 11 o'clock the first name in the El Reno district was drawn.
There was not a sound when the boxes stopped rolling
and the first name was drawn. Colonel Dyer read the name of the lucky man and a cheer went up from the crowd. Colonel
Dyer read all of the names as they were drawn and there was a lull in the interest in the El Reno district, but
everyone was expectantly waiting for the announcement regarding the prize claim at Lawton. When this name was read
the cheer that went up was a stunner. People were glad that a young woman got second chance at a fine claim and
everything on the identification card had to be read to satisfy the crowd.
After the fifty names had been drawn the announcement
was made that a recess would be taken until 1:30 o'clock. In a few minutes the thousands of people had disappeared
only to return by 1 o'clock to witness the drawing of other names.
There were many people on the platform. There were
newspaper men, government clerks, United States marshals, representatives of various states, etc. The accommodations
afforded were better than anticipated and every detail was arranged for by the commissioners. After the envelopes
were all placed in the boxes, the three large openings were nailed fast. In each of the boxes there were five openings
just large enough to admit an arm. These are the openings from which the envelopes are taken. It is impossible
for anyone to see what envelope is being taken out and the boy probably grabs the first envelope he touches. The
man securing the first prize in the Lawton district had his name taken from the box by Roy Winton of Guthrie.
As soon as the envelope is drawn out, it is stamped
by a stamping machine thus giving it the proper number. The envelopes are placed in boxes which are kept locked.
The drawing of names during the morning did not
proceed rapidly, but plans were made during the recess to proceed with more rapidity during the afternoon.
All night long Sunday night men were at work erecting
booths around the platform for the drawing. These stands were stocked up early by their proprietors in order to
accommodate the people desiring refreshments. Some of the men had good propositions and made a good sum of money
during the first day's drawing. By noon there were dozens of stands up and ready for the business which came to
The crowd in general was an orderly one. One or
two little fistic encounters occurred, because one man stood upon a rock or box and obstructed the view of another.
The differences were soon settled and everything was carried on smoothly. A deputy United States marshal walked
out into the crowd before the drawing began and came back with a Winchester and a belt well filled with cartridges.
The man came from the Indian territory and anticipated that he would find trouble. The gun will be kept until after
the drawing, when the Indian territory citizen can secure his property. No guns were seen in the crowd with the
exception of those used by the United States Marshals.
One of the best places for seeing the drawing at
a distance was next to the Irving school building. The ground is elevated enough to see right into the stand. Thousands
of people occupied this elevation and saw what was going on in the stand, even if they could not hear.
One man by the name of Middleton was overcome by
heat this morning. He was in the crowd and promptly taken to the shade of a home adjacent to the stand where the
day's drawing took place. Middleton was given medical attention and will recover. The heat was intense and it is
remarkable that there were not more prostrations. One of the redeeming features of the day was the breeze, although
at times the dust completely covered everything.
James R. Wood, of Weatherford who drew the prize
claim at Lawton is 27 years of age. He was born in Illinois and weighs 150 pounds. His height is five feet seven
inches. Whether he was one the ground this morning or not, is not known but if he was he was undoubtedly the happiest
man in the United States. Woods is a country school teacher. During the summer he has been in Weatherford.
Stephen A. Holcomb, of Pauls Valley, who is number
one in the El Reno district is 47 years of age and a native of Virginia.
Asa C. Sharpe who secured number fifteen in the
Lawton district, was just released from the federal jail last week on bond. He was convicted of bribery while agent
of Indian lands. Sharpe was in town when his name was called and his rejoicing over his success.
The crowd after dinner was not nearly so large
as the one in the morning. The first interest had worn off and many people did not care to stand in the sun and
wind to see the drawing. The impression that everyone received was that the drawing was absolutely fair and each
man an applicant was willing to let his chance come when it would. Close to the stand was always a crowd of people,
but they were not as loud in their demonstrations as they were in the morning.
James R. Wood who won the first prize at Lawton
is in charge of a hardware store at Weatherford. He taught school in Kansas for several years. Wood is a son-in-law
of C. Kimmell, ahardware merchant of El Reno. He formerly lived here, working in Kimmell's store. It was during
his residence here that he met and wooed Kimmell's daughter.
Assistant Passenger Agent Thompson of the Rock
Island railroad announced tonight that trains will be running into Richards, via Anadarko by August 5.
The following persons are the lucky ones whose
home is in Wichita, or are known to a great many people in this city. They are numbered among the first one thousand: