View Full Version : 1903 Chamber of Commerce Book

Doug Loudenback
12-28-2008, 01:14 PM
Just up in my blog is an article about the 1903 Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce book which was around 250 pages long. The book is very rare and if copies exist other than the one owned by and in possession of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce they would be in private collections.

Mr. Dean Schirf kindly allowed me to borrow the Chamber's copy and scan what I wanted and more than 60 scans are included in the article. The Chamber didn't even have copy in contemporary times until Mr. Jim Fentriss delivered it to the Chamber in 2005. The book is was intended to sell Oklahoma City to people and businesses around the country and it must have been quite an expensive undertaking -- the pages are glossy and the text of course touts the city as only the Chamber could do!

Here's the link: Doug Dawgz Blog: 1903 Book by the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce (

As usual, clicking on a small image in the article itself will open a larger image ... but this time the larger images are oversized (most are about 2,240 px wide) due to the historical value of this book as well as its rarity. A few exemplar images are shown below, and, of course, all images are owned by and provided courtesy of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce:

Inside Cover
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Page 11, Colcord Park (in Delmar Garden)
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Page 18, Carnegie Library
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Page 25, India Temple (later, the Wright Building)
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About the above, this building is presently hidden under a false exterior on the southeast corner of the Sandridge (formerly Kerr-McGee) campus. It served as the temporary location for the state legislature between 1913-1917, until the the State Capitol was completed. Hopefully, Sandridge will see the need to preserve and restore this very historic property.

Page 102, Lee Building
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As to the above, this building still stands although it is not recognizable in the above ... southwest corner of Robinson & Main ... today the exterior is red brick and it houses Quiznos, among other tenants. Neil Horton saved this property from the Urban Renewal onslaught in the 1960s & 1970s. It was built by and named for Oscar Lee, OKC Police Chief (4/25/1892-4/12/1893) (only one of his many credentials).

Page 149, Ad by Hanson Plumbing Company, 213-215 W. Main (of course, one of my favorites)
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The above is interesting since it speaks to the attitudes present in 1903 as to the appropriateness of such an ad. Another page from the book shows not just an interior photo but a small article praising the Southern Club Bar! Some of the brief article's text reads,

METROPOLITAN in all things is Oklahoma City—in its professions, trades, commerce, arts, science, and last, but not least, its bar rooms. First and foremost among the elegant and high class resorts of this kind for the convenience of business men ranks the beautiful place of Barnes & Stout, known as the Southern Club Bar, at 28 West Grand Avenue. It was established February the first of the whole of a two-story and basement brick building twenty-five by one hundred and forty feet in dimensions.
Ever since its inception this house has made a record for excellent management, superior quality of goods and eminent respectability, which have gained for it the large and popular patronage it enjoys. The apartments occupied are elegant and luxurious, the bar being carved and finished in mahogany. The floor is of tile, and the shelving handsomely fitted with large mirrors of French plate glass and handsome decorations, the finest glassware, and only the finest qualities of wines, liquors, whiskies, brandies, ale, mineral water and cigars are kept on hand. * * * The firm [that owns the business] are members of our Chamber of Commerce, and are men of business ability and are prominent among those who promote our business interests as a city.
You may know that the Southern Club was reputed to be one of the city's more elegant locations for vice, in those days gone by. I wonder whether and how the Chamber, today, would carry such an ad! :LolLolLol

In any event, enjoy this look back into the city 105 years ago!

Doug Loudenback
12-29-2008, 09:32 AM
The article has now been updated with some researched-text which may help out a bit.