View Full Version : Another Guessing Game



Doug Loudenback
12-28-2009, 09:50 AM
OK, OK! Time for another guessing game.

Two questions about the image below:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/misc/1918mysterybuilding.jpg

1) What is the building?
2) Where was it located?

I'll give a couple of starter hints:
(a) The above building was built before 1920;
(b) It was the 2nd building in its class that was constructed in or around Oklahoma City.

I'll add hints as needed; it will be the subject of my next history blog article.

Guess away!

USG '60
12-28-2009, 10:17 AM
OK, OK! Time for another guessing game.

Two questions about the image below:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/misc/1918mysterybuilding.jpg

1) What is the building?
2) Where was it located?

I'll give a couple of starter hints:
(a) The above building was built before 1920;
(b) It was the 2nd building in its class that was constructed in or around Oklahoma City.

I'll add hints as needed; it will be the subject of my next history blog article.

Guess away!

First a question. Is only the main part down on the left end of the picture all that is left?

Doug Loudenback
12-28-2009, 11:06 AM
The question assumes that part or all of the building still exists, and it's a heck of a good compound question (2 answers for one question), but, this ain't 20 questions! :ohno: I ain't sayin' just yet.

rcjunkie
12-28-2009, 11:22 AM
OK, OK! Time for another guessing game.

Two questions about the image below:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/misc/1918mysterybuilding.jpg

1) What is the building?
2) Where was it located?

I'll give a couple of starter hints:
(a) The above building was built before 1920;
(b) It was the 2nd building in its class that was constructed in or around Oklahoma City.

I'll add hints as needed; it will be the subject of my next history blog article.

Guess away!

It looks like part of the OKC Water Plant at NW 4th & Penn

Doug Loudenback
12-28-2009, 11:24 AM
Kinda does, but nope.

USG '60
12-28-2009, 11:31 AM
I think it is the Wells-Fargo bldg. I think that main bldg on the left is what is left today.

Martin
12-28-2009, 11:43 AM
i would've guessed the okc waterworks, too. -M

CarltonsKeeper
12-28-2009, 12:05 PM
Fred Jones Mfg Plant on West Main?????????

flintysooner
12-28-2009, 12:13 PM
Old GM training facility on N Santa Fe?

gen70
12-28-2009, 12:51 PM
Fred Jones Mfg Plant on West Main????????? Same here.

Doug Loudenback
12-28-2009, 04:15 PM
None of the above. However, remembering what I said about starter tips ...


I'll give a couple of starter hints:
(a) The above building was built before 1920;
(b) It was the 2nd building in its class that was constructed in or around Oklahoma City.

... a pair of the above answers are "warm," but not "hot," about the "class" of the building. The 1st building of this class was built in 1915-1916 and opened in 1916.

Next clues:
(c) The building to identify opened for business in 1918;
(d) The property is visible in this March 17, 2004, aerial by the Oklahoma County Assessor's office:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/misc/mystery_2004_03_17.jpg

(e) Chances are good that none of us had ever heard of this business without researching the Oklahoman's archives (at least, I hadn't) ALTHOUGH an early Sanborn map is helpful ...

ChuckE
12-28-2009, 04:15 PM
Could be the Ford assembly plant constructed in 1915, which was later to become the Fred Jones Remanufacturing facility.

Doug Loudenback
12-28-2009, 04:23 PM
ChuckE, you've identified the 1st building of the class, constructed in 1915-1916, opening in the latter year.

papaOU
12-28-2009, 04:38 PM
Could be the Ford assembly plant constructed in 1915, which was later to become the Fred Jones Remanufacturing facility.

Know why it became a "re manufacturing" facility?

Doug Loudenback
12-28-2009, 04:54 PM
Know why it became a "re manufacturing" facility?
Know why your question is off topic? :backtotop

Doug Loudenback
12-28-2009, 04:55 PM
Here's a colorized pic from a 1920 Oklahoman article, showing a trainload of products on its way to India.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/misc/1920mysterypic.jpg

FRISKY
12-28-2009, 06:07 PM
East India Toilet Goods and Manufacturing Company?

Martin
12-28-2009, 06:21 PM
1920? india? and a picture?

way too easy, doug... but since i 'cheated' i'm not gonna be a spoilsport. in all honesty, i'd never even heard of the company. can't wait to find out more about it in your next blog post!

-M


edit:

on further research, maybe you were being a bit tricky... the owner of the building changed between the first and second pictures...

and i found out how the building currently looks... well... unless something has happened since this last aerial, of course.

http://www.magnvs.de/pics/mysterybuilding.jpg

Doug Loudenback
12-28-2009, 07:09 PM
East India Toilet Goods and Manufacturing Company?
Sorry Frisky, but maybe the east Indians did have a large demand for toilet goods, who can say? Fun guess ... try again!

Doug Loudenback
12-28-2009, 07:14 PM
1920? india? and a picture?

way too easy, doug... but since i 'cheated' i'm not gonna be a spoilsport. in all honesty, i'd never even heard of the company. can't wait to find out more about it in your next blog post!

-M

edit:

on further research, maybe you were being a bit tricky... the owner of the building changed between the first and second pictures...

and i found out how the building currently looks... well... unless something has happened since this last aerial, of course.

http://www.magnvs.de/pics/mysterybuilding.jpg
Yes, you have the building identified ... state where, exactly, and you get the prize for question #2 ...

If you think you know #1, give it a go ... sounds like you know, but I need to hear you say it ...

Tip for all: #1 question, "What is the building" isn't answered by "naming" the building since, if it ever had a name, I don't know it. But, as Martin suggested, there were 2 important owners, the 1st & the 2nd, the 2nd being the more significant.

Martin
12-28-2009, 07:27 PM
ok, ok...

in the first picture, from the 6/9/1918 oklahoman, the owner is midland motor company. when the second picture, from 6/6/1920, was taken the wichita truck company of wichita falls, tx was leasing the building from midland. i'd never heard of either company.

the factory was located near sw 22nd and westwood blvd. what's weird is that it looks gone when i pulled up google street view... was it demolished?

-M

Doug Loudenback
12-28-2009, 07:40 PM
Bells, whistles, fireworks. Martin is the winner!

I wondered exactly what you did, Martin, and for the same reasons. So, I drove to the property this afternoon to have a look. From what I can see, the building is no more ... I'll upload the pics later. The latest assessor pic is 2007 and it's in that pic. MS Maps (or whatever it's called now) shows the building from its birds eye view. But Google Maps street view shows pretty much what I saw this afternoon.

Both companies manufactured motor vehicles. Midland Motor Company made an auto, the Oklahoma Six, and a truck. It was going great guns until armistice was declared ending WWI, which also resulted in the cancellation of a 500 vehicle government contract. After that, the company didn't last long, and there may have been some internal corruption, also ... certainly there were claims of embezzlement. The Wichita Falls Motor Company, renamed the Wichita Motor Company, was much more successful but only made trucks. It went belly up in 1932. More will be in the blog article.

Martin
12-28-2009, 07:59 PM
well... comparing the streetview and aerial maps, it looks like the building has, in fact, been demolished... and i was dead set on driving by and everything!

here's something interesting... according to the assessor's site, the property is owned by the city of okc. it says the city has owned it since 11/11/1911... 11/11/11... sounds like a programmer put in a placeholder for a date that couldn't be filled in. but given that the last sale date isn't available i'd imagine that the city has owned the property for quite a while now.

-M

Doug Loudenback
12-28-2009, 09:53 PM
well... comparing the streetview and aerial maps, it looks like the building has, in fact, been demolished... and i was dead set on driving by and everything!

here's something interesting... according to the assessor's site, the property is owned by the city of okc. it says the city has owned it since 11/11/1911... 11/11/11... sounds like a programmer put in a placeholder for a date that couldn't be filled in. but given that the last sale date isn't available i'd imagine that the city has owned the property for quite a while now.

-M
I don't know about the chain of ownership, but the 1950 Sanborn map at the MLS website shows this for the property use (note that it shows the building's date as 1918):


http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/motorvehicles/sanborn_1922_1950_p77crop.jpg (http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/motorvehicles/sanborn_1922_1950_p77.jpg)

So, one way or another, the property apparently wound up being owned by the city (unless it was only a lessee). Or, if the assessor's data is correct (which I'm skeptical about), it may have done an early-day Bass Pro Shop deal, but that seems unlikely.

Steve
12-28-2009, 10:12 PM
Alright, I think I may have the missing puzzle piece here. If this is the building I think it is, I visited it once. It's near Will Rogers Courts, truly a gang war zone if this city has one. Not a fun area in which to live. And this was where the city had it's various street maintenance and hazardous materials, etc. kept. A new central facility was built around SW 15 and Portland. This building was in bad shape, and I'm not surprised it was torn down, though it would have been good for the Abandoned Oklahoma guys to have documented before it was torn down.
Too bad there isn't an organization in town to take care of that sort of task... oh wait...

Doug Loudenback
12-28-2009, 11:26 PM
Yeah,
oh wait...
Steve is alluding to the new and emerging Okc history organization which we've dubbed, Okc Retro Metro. You'll all be hearing more about that in the upcoming months as we get our legs and learn to walk.

But, for me at least, one problem I have is that when I stumble across something "new" (and, for me, most everything I learn in front of my nose falls into that category), it's too late for it to be documented before it is torn asunder! I was so excited when looking at MS maps to see that the building still existed ... and so disappointed when driving to the site to see that it does not.

As I will explain in the blog article, this whole developing story is the result of a nice fellow (Steve Hedlund) who lives in Washington State who sent me an e-mail last year wanting information about Sanborn maps as relates to the Belt Line RR and stuff in the Packinghouse area, including this topic about the Wichita Falls Motor Company (though I doubt he then knew that the vehicle plant had roots earlier than that in the Midland Motors history). I was glad to oblige but I was also curious and asked, "Why do you care?" He said,


As far as why I am interested in Oklahoma City even though I live in Everett, WA? Well my roots are in New Mexico and I am a graduate from a high school in Albuquerque. But I lived a lot overseas with my parents because my Dad worked for the Federal Government, so I never stayed in one place for very long. Dennis and I moved to ABQ for high school right after my parents divorced. Not long after high school, I joined the Navy and was in the submarine service for 8 years. After leaving the Navy, I went to Univ of WA where I got my BS in Computer Science (Systems Analysis). After graduation, I hired on with the American Cancer Society in 1999 and I have been with them ever since. I am married with 2 girls (2yo and 5mo), who are my pride and joy. But mainly I am interested because of my hobby which is a love for railroads which I have maintained since I was 9 years old. I'm 41 years old so I really don't want to think how long that has been since it would make me feel really old. This is a hobby that my brother and I have shared the entire time.

Anyway, both of us are building model railroad layouts based on railroads in Oklahoma City in the 1920s. He is modeling the MKT and I am not sure what I am going to build right now. Which is why I am interested in getting access to Sanborn (or any other kind of maps) from Packingtown up to Bricktown. I do know that sounds pretty geeky but it has been a lot of fun for Dennis and I to find nuggets of information that relate to what we want to accomplish. We love doing research that might fill in missing pieces of information that might help us recreate what really happened that long ago. I guess you could call it industrial archaeology. Finding information on Wichita Motors is just one example to what we are trying to accomplish.
We have exchanged several emails and documents, photos, since that 1st email in 4/2008, hopefully mutually beneficial. Which all goes to show ... it's a small world. Someone from a place that you would never imagine can spark interest in a local Okc topic that had not been thought of before.

Had he not sent the 1st email, I'm quite sure that I'd never have had an idea about this interesting piece of Okc's history. It's the kind of thing that one thing leads to another, then another, then another, etc.

So, my friend Steve, what do you have for me to round out the story ... the demise of this auto/truck factory ... about the gang war. Was it reported, and if so, when?

As for today, when I drove to the site yesterday afternoon, like Martin said, the original building appears to be gone. I took a few shots and merged them to make a panorama, shown below:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/motorvehicles/today.jpg

The building shown in the background is much too far removed from Westwood to be the original building which is the focus of this post ... unless my senses of perspective are totally haywire.

Anyway, this is another small piece of Oklahoma City's history that has never been discussed (to my knowledge) ... and there are many, many more. So many that anyone who is disposed to do this sort of research will find treasures, treasures to report, treasures to amplify our city's history and heritage. I hope that others will take the initiative and begin looking at, and inquiring about, the city's treasure maps.

FRISKY
12-29-2009, 05:23 AM
It didn't look anything like the 1918 picture when I was in that building many times in the early '70s. If I remember correctly it was 2121 Westwood and was called the Westwood Garage or simply "Westwood". It was the main maintenance facility for large trucks such as those used for the City of OKC Garbage, Street and Parks departments. It might have been used for Police Department vehicles at one point. I seem to remember getting fuel from a gasoline pump there.

Martin
12-29-2009, 06:31 AM
ahh... 2121 westwood is a very useful tidbit of information. thanks, frisky!

12/1/1948, "asphalt plant equipment here"... according to the article at the 2121 westwood site, the 'current' asphalt plant is south of the 'city garage' and the new plant will be put on the site of the city dog pound which will be moving to new facilities on trosper park.

from here, we know that the city owned the property prior to 1948. i'd imagine that the 'old' asphalt plant resided on the current trinity property... i'd guess that the city sold off some of the land. the assessor's site dates one of the trinity buildings to 1930. i'd also imagine that the 'city garage', based on this article and the sanborn map, is the old factory building. interesting that the pound was also once on this property.

2/12/1939, "dog catcher is nice guy after all"... this article indicates that the pound is at 'the rear' of the 2121 westwood facitility. i'd think that the 'front' would be westwood blvd, therefore the pound would have been located somewhere on the west side of the property.

11/21/1933, "here's where jobs will be found today"... this article lists city projects and invites those unemployed individuals on relief rolls to show up for work. 2121 westwood is mentioned several times as a meeting spot. that seems to indicate to me that the city probably owned the property in 1933.

9/30/1964, "refuse billing office gets new location"... at this point, it seems that refuse collection services was largely run from 2121 westwood. the article describes additional sections of the department moving from city hall to the department's operating office on westwood. the article also seems to indicate that this is the point at which the water department took over billing for refuse collection.

5/15/1939, "police pistol team wins matches" & 9/10/1939, "pistol shooters to have contest today"... both articles indicate that the police range is at 2121 westwood.

1/9/1937, "yes, city still has it's [sic] snowplow"... this one's cool... referring to 2121 westwood as the "municipal garage" where the city's one, rarely used snowplow is stored. there's actually a picture on this one. the building in the background may be the old factory.

1/7/1937, "u.s. abandons city project"... another interesting one... the article discusses wpa workers being withdrawn from the 'municipal garage and warehouse' becuase the city did not actually own the property where the improvements were being made. the article goes on to discuss the reopening of negotiations for the 11-acre tract and garage building. the article does not identify the property owners but indicates that the asking price was $127,000. at the time, the city was leasing the property and that lease was set to expire "next" july.

1/30/1934, "city garage will have open house"... this article refers to the renovation of the 'huge' building at 2121 westwood so that it can serve as a city supply depot and housing for the city's motor equipment. i'd say this is probably near the time when the city started leasing the property.

9/12/1933, "approval of plan for garage asked"... this article discusses plans for the city to use 2121 westwood as a central garage and equipment warehouse. department heads visited the 54,000 square foot building to see if it would meet their space requirements. the property was offered to the city for $416 a month lease... interesting how that later came back to haunt them!

-M

Doug Loudenback
12-29-2009, 07:41 AM
Good memory, Frisky! Good research, Martin!

Generals64
12-29-2009, 08:08 PM
Doug....What do you know about the Macklinburg/Duncan building on Santa Fe.? That building is supposed to be pretty old....

Steve
12-29-2009, 08:09 PM
General, still alive, eh?

Generals64
12-29-2009, 08:10 PM
General, still alive, eh?

Yeah, 78 killed me off and when I noticed it I showed my wife and as she was laughing she was looking for my insurance policy.....

papaOU
12-29-2009, 09:23 PM
Doug....What do you know about the Macklinburg/Duncan building on Santa Fe.? That building is supposed to be pretty old....

And how is this question off topic..........:ot:

Check earlier posts. I was chastised as well.

Steve
12-29-2009, 09:40 PM
Back to topic. Let's just say it's a gang "cold" war with frequent flare-ups. Not an area I'd want to take the kids for a picnic in the park.
As for the city's ownership, etc. I've got an inquiry out...

Doug Loudenback
12-29-2009, 11:14 PM
And how is this question off topic..........:ot:

Check earlier posts. I was chastised as well.
Only from friend to friend. This one gets the same treatment. :whiteflag

papaOU
12-29-2009, 11:33 PM
Only from friend to friend. This one gets the same treatment. :whiteflag

Having fun! Not being a................:053:

Doug Loudenback
01-01-2010, 11:41 PM
I've now finished the article begun on 12/31 ... Doug Dawgz Blog: Cars & Trucks Circa 1917-1922 (http://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2009/12/cars-trucks-circa-1917-1922.html)

In completing my research, the Wichita Motors manufacturing operation did not last as long as I'd earlier thought ... a brief Oklahoman article in 1922 shows that it ceased operations that year, three years after it began.

gmwise
01-02-2010, 08:14 AM
Doug,
Thanks for asking and helping keep a history of OKC alive till its complied in relation to what we "know" today.