October 3, 2012

Spotlight of the Week

Grady County Historical Society feature

Pat Cunningham, Grady County Historical Society
The Express-Star

NINNEKAH — The Grady County Museum has thousands of photographs in its collection.  One of the most interesting groups is the panorama photographs taken during the early years of the development of Chickasha.  Due to the frequent fires, these photos provide the only glimpse of many of these early buildings and businesses.  The Museum is beginning to have these photos copied so that they may be displayed for the public to view.  The first panorama photograph to be featured is a view of the 100 block of North Third Street in 1911.  

Early Chickasha was the site of many conventions and conferences.  One group assembled in front of the west side of the 100 hundred block of North Third.  The photograph does not indicate the name of the group, but due to the uniforms and collars, the men and women were from one of the lodges.  Also, the group is standing near the front of the IOOF Hall and the Elks Hall.  One of the men in the photograph has been identified as John C. Lewis, early law enforcement officer.  

On that one side of one block were many businesses and offices.   At the beginning of the block was the ‘Chickasha Labor News and Free Press’, real estate offices, office of Wellborne & McCalla, Attorneys and a two story brick building belonging to the Citizen National Bank. It housed real estate offices, physicians, and dentists.  At 111 was the Daily Express newspaper, which was established in 1892, the year Chickasha was founded.  There was a Cleaners’ in the basement.  Going north were barbers, realtors, and attorneys.  The wall of the building next to the alley had attached advertising for “The Great C.W. Parker Shows” on Monday April 26, 1909.  

Above the Post Office at 117 were the IOOF Hall  and the quarters of Eugene Hamilton, pastor of the 1st Presbyterian Church and offices of J. W. Speake, attorney.  Across the street was the Majestic Theatre. The remainder of the block included AM Dinning lunch room; Coopers’ wall paper, paint, and glass; and a meat market operated by Dalling & Jerman.   A second hand goods store completed the block.  At the far right in the photo across the street on Choctaw Avenue is the Chickasha Lumber Company with stacks of bricks in front to be used to pave Choctaw Avenue.  

The photograph of north Third Street was taken by “That Man Stone, Chickasha, Okla.”  “That Man Stone” was Fred Stone, who photographed many of the early events in the history of Chickasha.  You may view this photograph in the Grady County Museum located at 415 W. Chickasha Avenue, Chickasha, OK.  

 For additional information contact 405-224-6480 or or