Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July


Tulsa’s very first 4th of July celebration reportedly was held in 1884 in a peach orchard near “the old graveyard” on West Second Street. People came from within a 40 mile radius to hear the speeches that were read from the large platform that was erected. Afterward, there was a big picnic dinner and dancing till late. The next day was a Saturday and the dancing continued. Sunday morning, preaching services were arranged.
The 4th of July celebration of 1887 seems to be the best documented one of that era. That year the celebration was held in the form of a barbecue and Mrs. Lilah Lindsey, a teacher from the mission school, was in charge of decorating Jack Wimberley’s wide wagon bed for the parade to the picnic grounds.

The citizens all marched alongside the wagon pulled by oxen through the woods to the clearing. Mrs. Lindsey’s organ was placed on the wagon as well as chairs for a dozen young girls to sit in while wearing patriotic costumes. There was the usual “speakin’” and then a barbecue and dancing after.
This may or may not be the 1887 4th of July, but it is a sure bet that those are Jack Wimberley’s oxen and wagon:Here is the Tulsa Band posing on July 4, 1899 in front of Lewis and Brobeck Hardware on the east side of Main between 1st & 2nd Streets.
Tulsa Electric Bottling Works wagon decorated for a Fourth of July parade, circa 1909. The wagon is in front of the Indian Republican Publishing Company at West 1st Street.Tulsa Gal wishes you and yours a safe holiday.


Some photos courtesy of Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society

3 comments:

Mike Ransom said...

Great stuff. Thanks, and happy 4th!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Great and interesting and post. Happy 4th.

Tulsa Gentleman said...

Great post as usual. I am adding your blog to my link list.

I plan to visit Leon's to see if I can dig up a little more history for Town & Country/S&J Oyster/Leon's.