October 10, 2012

Grady County Historical Society

Spotlight of the Week

The Express-Star

— The Grange began in 1867 to support agriculture and the strong family unit.  It included women on equal basis with equal vote from its beginning.   In 1921 the Oklahoma State Grange held a convention in Chickasha. They met Dec. 12-16, 1921.  During the event, the group gathered for a photograph in the middle of Fourth Street.  

That photograph is second in a series of three panorama photographs being featured by the Museum this fall.  Very few photographs in the collections at the Grady County Museum show the development of North Fourth Street during the early years.  The Grange photo provides a glimpse of the street with the new Federal Courthouse.  Also, the photo pre-dates the construction of the Grady County Courthouse.   

The Grange group includes men and women.  A group of them have sashes across their chests.  Also, on the right of the photo are at least four children who appear to be under ten years of age and in the front row, sitting on “Mom’s knee”, is an infant.  Approximately 310 people, counting the children, poised for the photograph.  

Businesses located on the east side of Fourth Street included the Oasis, Chickasha Cleaning Works, and the Elliott Barber Shop at 114th N. Fourth.  The Oasis was the Oasis Dairy Lunch and was operated by J.W. Greek and W.A. McCormack.  The Barber’s at the Elliott Barber Shop “Where Quality and Service Counts” were W.N., J.E., C.C. and W.O. Elliott.  Across the alley were a building with rooms to rent up stairs, E.H. Tuggle Grocery, Hamilton Cleaners & Dryers, a building that later housed the Gassoway Buick Co., and the Melton Filling Station on the corner.

On the west side of Fourth Street the businesses shown are the News Stand and the Washita Valley Abstract Co.  The Federal Courthouse and the U.S. Post Office occupied the north half of the block.  

In the background, cars and trucks of the era were parked in front of the Courthouse.  Also there the photo shows many trees along the north side of Choctaw Avenue and down Fourth Street in the two hundred Block.  

The photograph is on view in the Grady County Museum located at 415 W. Chickasha Avenue, Chickasha, Oklahoma.  The Museum is open M-F from 10 3 p.m.  

For additional information contact 405-224-6480, or