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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

international character of the gathering and the quality of inter-
est which it aroused. This, however, does not detract from the
high standard of the publication or from its importance as a
contribution to the study of a vital area.
The University of Texas
The Founding of Stillwater. By Berlin Basil Chapman. Okla-
homa City (Times Journal Publishing Company), 1948. Pp.
xii+245. $3.oo.
In The Founding of Stillwater (Oklahoma) Professor Berlin
Basil Chapman of Oklahoma A. and M. College primarily aims
at studying the origins of the city with special emphasis on the
years 1889-1891. After setting the historical and geographical
scene, he introduces the "Boomers," persons who entered Indian
Territory before it was opened to settlement. One of the most
interesting sections of the book comprises the first thirty-four
pages and deals with the strife between the Oklahoma Colony,
led by David L. Payne and William L. Couch, and the United
States government, represented by units of the army. Couch led
some two hundred men from Arkansas City, Kansas, into Okla-
homa in December, 1884, for the dual purpose of squatting on
the land near Stillwater Creek and of forcing Federal officials to
open the area to white settlement. This move was in direct
opposition to the orders of President Chester A. Arthur, and only
after near bloodshed was Couch's party ejected.
The pressure of such groups undoubtedly influenced the open-
ing of this region. On March 1, 1889, Congress ratified an agree-
ment with the Creek and Seminole Indians which made the Okla-
homa lands available for homesteading, and President William
Henry Harrison set the "run" date for noon, April 22. Then
followed the well known pattern of "Sooners" and the struggle
for choice acreages.
With the present site of Stillwater as his locale, the author
traces the activities of the Stillwater Town Company of Winfield,
Kansas, from the petty bickering of landowners who hoped to
profit from having the town on their property to formal organ-
ization of the community. Then came squabbles between con-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 6, 2016.

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