The Oklahoma Historical Society was organized at a meeting of the Territorial Press Association
in Kingfisher, May 27, 1893, and was inaugurated as an adjunct to that body under the title, "Historical Society
of the Oklahoma Press Association."
W. P. Campbell, at that time connected with the register of deeds office at Kingfisher, undertook the prosecution
of the work. J. B. Campbell, a brother, now a member of the State legislature, was register. He offered room in
the register's office for storage. Effort was made to collect and preserve copies of every publication in the commonwealth,
including the Indian Territory so that a file could always be found for future generations and Incidentally to
collect and preserve all other matters of a historic, relic or curious interest.
During the legislature of 1895, a similar, society was organized by the faculty and students of the University
at Norman. Custodian Campbell co-operated with the new organization, an appropriation was secured, and the collection
was taken to Norman where it remained until completion of the Carnegie building at Oklahoma City, which institution
sought and obtained through a special act removal of headquarters to the present location in the Carnegie building.
It was made the trustee of the State in caring for valuable documents by the Territorial Legislature of 1895,
which provided in the session laws of that year that it should be the duty of the society to collect books, maps
and other papers and materials illustrative of the history of Oklahoma in particular and the west generally; to
procure from the early settlers narratives of events relative to tte early settlement of Oklahoma and to the early
explorations. Indian occupancy and overland travel in the State and the west; and to collect documents of a varied
nature such as to facilitate the investigation of historical, scientific, social, educational and literary subjects.
The newspaper feature has always been zealously maintained, so that there are now about six thousand bound
volumes of these and kindred publications, and practically every publication, small and great, daily, weekly, monthly,
etc., may be found on file as issued. Other features, however, have not been neglected, there being about twenty-five
thousand titles covering every range of historic interest, the entire collection aggregating something like fourteen
tons in weight.
On removal of the collection to Norman, Mr. Campbell was retired, and W. T. Little became custodian, retaining
the place until it was brought to Oklahoma City, January 1, 1901. Sidney Clarke was given charge and was succeeded
at the end of the year by Mrs. Marion Rock. June 1, 1904, Mr. Campbell was Induced to again take charge of the
work, and has remained with it since that date. Miss Edith Rose Kneen has been assistant for the last four years.
The society is controlled by a board chosen at annual meetings of the members and is maintained by membership fees
and State appropriations. Sig. 18
Jasper Sipes President Oklahoma City.
J. B. Thoburn Vice President Oklahoma City.
Frank H. Greer Vice President Guthrie.
Frank D. Northrup. .Secretary Oklahoma City.
J. W. McNeal Treasurer Guthrie.
W. P. Campbell .Librarian and Custodian Oklahoma City.
Edith Rose Kneen.. Assistant Oklahoma City
J. P. Renfrew Board Member Alva.
Sidney Suggs Board Member Ardmore.
C. A. Allen Board Member Tulsa.
F. S. E. Amos Board Member Vinita.
C. O. Bunn Board Member Oklahoma City.
Roy A. Stafford Board Member Oklahoma City.
O. P. Sturm Board Member Oklahoma City.
G. L. Hamrick Board Member Tuttle.
Redmond S. Cole Board Member Pawnee.
[The Oklahoma Red Book, Volume 2 By Oklahoma (Territory) Legislative Assembly Council,
1912 – Transcribed by AFOFG]