View Full Version : 1st National & Bunky

Doug Loudenback
03-03-2010, 06:30 PM
My latest blog post is for those who like to read old pieces of Okc literature, this one being Doug Dawgz Blog: 1st National Bank & Bunky (

Fifty Years Forward. The leading item to read is the 1939 booklet, Fifty Years Forward, published by 1st National to commemorate its 50th birthday.

Click image for larger (

The 64 page booklet is divided into 2 parts. Pages 3-45 contain excerpts from the booklet, The First Eight Months of Oklahoma City by "Bunky" (McMaster Printing Company 1890). The remainder describes the history of 1st National from April 22, 1889, through 1939.

I've scanned the whole booklet and it is available in both HTML or PDF formats. The PDF file is fully bookmarked.

HTML cropped & shrunk example:

PDF cropped & shrunk example:

While mainly text, the booklet does include either small drawings on each page or 8 full-page photographs ... 4 of the large murals in the Great Banking Hall and 4 others of 1st National and its 1939 president.

I'll show 4 of those images below (click any image for a 1024 px wide view): ( ( ( (

Bunky. Not being content with just excerpts from Bunky's (Irving Geff's) 110 page booklet, I've also included a bookmarked PDF file which contains the whole booklet for reading or download. According to Luther B. Hill's 1908 A History of the State of Oklahoma, Vol. I (1908), pages 218-219, says this about the author of First Eight Months of Oklahoma City:

This unique little book, printed at Oklahoma City in 1890, containing 110 pages in pamphlet form, was written by "Bunky," and aside from this name the historian gave no hint of his own individuality. His real name was Irving Geffs. Some time before the incidents which he describes he had taken too much liquor, and on recovering his senses found that he was a regularly enlisted soldier of the United States army, a position for which he had no special liking, but it was several years before he was able to get out. He was with the infantry that camped at Oklahoma City the day before the opening, and on leaving the army remained in the city for some time. He was a left-handed scribe, a clever writer, and was in the employ of some of the first newspapers of the city, especially with Frank McMaster.

PDF cropped & shrunk example:

Generals64, since you were the 1st to open my eyes about the failed canal, I'll include what Bunky said about that just for you:


The most gigantic undertaking in Oklahoma Territory or in the entire southwest was the Oklahoma City water power canal. No description can be given that would convey anything like a fair idea of the immensity of this canal or the enormous labor required in its construction. It has been of inestimable benefit to the Laboring classes of the city and surrounding country from the single simple fact that hundreds have been given employ-men all through the winter months. It was the only work in the country during the winter and scores of families owe their present prosperity to it. It has attracted the attention of capital to the city and numerous factories mills, and cotton gins are in course of building along its way. To this canal Oklahoma City is indebted for a great many things. It has made her the metropolis and commercial center of the Territory and in the future will be her beacon light.


the secretary of the company, fought long and well in the establishment of this great enterprise. He surmounted obstacles and beat down difficulties that would have disheartened and discouraged ordinary men. He persistently labored with lot and claim owners for the right of way and at last succeeded in obtaining it to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. He gives his entire time and attention to the business of the company. The directors of the company are C.W. PRICE, JOHN W. WALLACE, ROBERT KINCAID, B. N. WOODSON, C. P. WALKER, JAMES B. WEAVER, FRANK A. WEIMAR and W. H. EBEY. The officers are C. W. Price, president; John W. Wallace, general manager, and C. P.The following furnished by the chief engineer, Mr. Burns, gives a very good idea of the big canal:

The canal begins (taking its east end as the starting point) at the west bank of the North Canadian river, 550 feet east of the quarter section corner between sections 3 and 4, twp 11, range 3 west. The tail race is 950 feet in length and constructed principally of oak, the precaution of fluming being necessary to prevent damage to the A. T. & S. F. track, as the water in the race passes under said track. At this point, station nine and fifty on the canal is located the end of power or the point where the water is used by the various mills and factories to produce the [page break] power necessary to do their work. This is accomplished by each mill using a turbine wheel. From this point to station forty-six the canal follows west on the quarter section line. In section four, at station forty-six the course is changed to a northwest one so that at station seventy-two the line crosses the township line 700 degrees east of section corner between four, five, thirty-two and thirty-three. The line there turns west crossing section thirty-two at an angle of about fifteen degrees. North of an east and west line at station one hundred is the heaviest work on the line. It is a through cut 800 feet in length and had an average cutting of ten feet. At station 138, one and three-quarter miles from Oklahoma City, we find the first crossing of the river. This consists of an open flume 110 feet in length resting on eight bents of piling, five piles to each bent and all thoroughly braced, bolted and spiked together.

This bridge flume is attached at the west side to the half flume 4200 feet in length which is constructed of posts and lumber and banked on the outside with dirt to the top. This was found necessary in order to procure right of way and at the same time save several thousand dollars in the construction. At station 180 the canal passes from township twelve to township eleven 1800 feet east of section corner thirty-six thirty-one, one and six. The course is then south of west thirty degrees to the second crossing of the river at station 227. The river at this point is spanned by two thirty foot spans and three of fifteen feet. This bridge flume is constructed in much the same way as the first with the exception of a waste weir, which is made by making the flume one-half foot higher at the ends than in the middle. This enables all surplus water from the dam to waste itself into the river without damage to the banks. The bridges have as protection shear piling from six to ten feet up stream to turn or hold all drift that might damage the bridge. In addition to the great strength of the bridges themselves there is a constant downward pressure of 300,000 pounds which of itself would withstand great shocks without trembling.
Of course, the utter and complete failure of the canal (after filling the canal, the water sunk into the sand overnight) must have occurred shortly after Bunky wrote his above glowing and lofty description and expectations.

Not too much eye candy in this post, but if you enjoy reading up on old OKC history, this one's for you.

03-03-2010, 06:37 PM
Re: those tables in the lobby. There appear to be eight. Of those, I know one is at the Oklahoma County Courthouse in the 2nd floor lobby. Another is in the BOA branch at Leadership Square.

Doug Loudenback
03-03-2010, 07:23 PM
Re: those tables in the lobby. There appear to be eight. Of those, I know one is at the Oklahoma County Courthouse in the 2nd floor lobby. Another is in the BOA branch at Leadership Square.
Thanks, Midtowner, I'd never noticed what you said about the courthouse 2nd floor lobby.