National Geographic : 1941 Mar
So Oklahoma Grew Up Photograph by B. Anthony Stewart In Such Prairie Schooners, Pioneers Conquered the Vast Western Plains "Oklahoma or Bust!" says a motto on the canvas. That audacious spirit colonized this amazing State. This old wagon is preserved in the Frank Phillips historical collection on Woolaroc Ranch near Bartlesville (page 286). many tribal names still on the map-Musko gee, Tahlequah, Oolagah, Chickasha, Waurika, Talihina, Tuskahoma, Okmulgee, Atoka, and so on into the night! (map, page 289). Then came the first grand opening of free lands for whites. Historic Hurdle Race for Homes This spectacular "Run" of 1889 swept thou sands of settlers into Oklahoma in a day. They swarmed like Israelites into a Promised Land. Uncle Sam was their Moses (page 279). But they wasted no 40 years in any wilder ness. Nor did they dawdle along after slow ox teams, in the manner of Oregon pioneers with banjos on their knees, singing "Oh, Susanna." Not they! Gambling for homes, they dashed into this Canaan on race horses or bounced over the hills in jolting buckboards and spring wagons, whipping their teams into a dead run; thousands more came in special excursion trains. "I saw excited men jump from the windows of crowded coaches even before the train came to a stop," a railroad president told me, "and rush off to stake out claims in a cornfield that by noon next day was a busy tent city of 10,000 people. Drinking water cost as much as beer, and rivals shot it out over claim dis putes." Later on, still more free lands were drawn for by lottery, and otherwise opened to whites. With an area about 82 times the size of New Jersey, Oklahoma has some 54,500 oil wells and 35,000 dry holes with no oil in them. It has barefoot squaws who can cash fat checks, and other Indians, and part Indians, who gain prizes in painting and literature. It has huge refineries, pipe-line connections to the Atlantic Ocean, seas of yellow wheat, roll ing ranges of bluestem grass dotted with fat, lazy kine-along with artists, orchestras, swanky clubs, and its quota of idle men and economic headaches (pp. 282, 298, 302, 314).