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Fourth of July in Stillwater, 1905

July 4, 2001

Historian's Notes

This material came from various Stillwater newspapers from the year 1905. I checked the issues both before and after the Fourth of July for information on upcoming events as well as reports of the celebration. The paper immediately after the Fourth held a good account and description of the parade from which was taken most of this Almanac text. Interested in the Stillwater of long ago? Older newspapers are kept on microfilm in the Microform & Media Department of the OSU Library.


Stillwater Daily Democrat. (July 1905).

Almanac Transcript

Greetings and welcome to Stillwaterís 17th Annual Fourth of July Celebration. Iím Steven Kite for the Oklahoma Audio Almanac along with KOSU's Kelly Burley. Well Kelly, itís 1905 and the Fourth of July Parade is just about to kick off things here in Stillwater, any special thoughts for the occasion?

Kelly: Steve the spirit of patriotism is in the air as people from miles and miles around have converged here to ring in the fourth.

Steve: Okay well itís ten oíclock sharp and here comes the Stillwater band leading the procession, what rousing tunes theyíre playing today, they must have practiced!

Kelly: And whatís right behind it there, ooh, itís the Greiner Brothers and they've got a fine display of their goods here on the float, and that is some real artistic talent involved in the decorating.

Steve: Now here comes something new this year for Stillwater. What is that, could it be? Yes it is Uncle Sam and the Goddess of Liberty riding on an elaborately decorated float. Now who is that?

Kelly: I believe thatís Ms. Panthea Ready, as Stillwaterís very own Goddess of Liberty, and that float is courtesy of the Stillwater Advance newspaper, printing all the news thatís fit to read.

Kelly: Oh, and this is just exciting, here comes the Eagles Lodge. Now stand back folks, thatís a real live eagle in that cage.

Steve: The men of the lodge are carrying red, white and blue parasols and the women look lovely in their white outfits.

Kelly: Here is a tribute to the industrious and hard working Payne County farmers. It appears to be a working dairy moving down the street.

Steve: Thatís right Kelly, a complete dairy on one float, here you can see everything involved from the milking of the cows to the working of the butter. And the crowd is just loving it!! What else is in store for this town on the July fourth celebration of 1905?

Kelly: Steve, a little bit of everything. After the parade there is a program at the speakers stand featuring speeches by prominent citizens. There will be music, drill teams and something listed here mysteriously as simply ďamusement.Ē Now what could that be?

Steve: Kelly, it's really just anybodyís guess today. But folks should not miss out on the baseball and basketball games. Itís Pawnee versus Stillwater, and I hear that the hometown boys are favored to win. Also there are some athletic events for everybody else on the list, we have the fat-mans race and the greased pig chase.

Kelly: ...and Iím entered in the wheel-barrow race as well as the egg race, and I hear that the line is getting long for the pie eating contest.

Steve: Well, Iím entered in the three legged race. It should be an exciting time.

Steve: This evening of course, Kelly, we can count on the Stillwater Fire Department for a grand pyrotechnical display. As usual a large mountain of wooden boxes has been piled on Main Street to be ignited at dusk. The department always makes a magnificent display of putting out the conflagration. I hope that there is no water supply problems like last year.

Kelly: Yes, that did get a little hot. Folks weíd like to remind you to be careful with your celebrating; we've already had reports of some problems over on Sixth and Pine. Apparently, the owner of the Chinese Restaurant there imported some special firecrackers from china that...well they were a little too explosive.

Steve: Yes Yes, the police were called to the address but not because of the noise, apparently the litter from all of the firecrackers was clogging up the street-car switches. That must have been a lot of litter.

Steve: Well folks it's time to wrap up this commentary for KOSU Radio and the Oklahoma Audio Almanac. I'm Steven Kite.

Kelly:...and I'm Kelly Burly wishing you a happy and safe Fourth of July.

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