Madill in 1910
Photo and article submitted by Dan James.
Earlier Times Recalled --- Madill 51 Years Ago
Sand streets, cotton wagons and metal awnings on slender poles were a common sight in Madill 51 years ago. The year was 1910 and Oliver O. Wilkerson, a former county resident, remembers the time well. He was a dashing young man of 15 at the time. Wilkerson was the son of late W. W. Wilkerson who farmed in the Raborn and Antioch areas. The Wilkerson family had moved to this Indian Territory area in 1897 from Pottsboro, Tex., where Oliver was born December 25, 1895. The now retired Wilkerson who lives in Electra, Tex., worked with his father on the farm until 1926 when he moved to Ardmore. From there he moved to Lubbock in 1928 and then to Electra last July.
Wilkerson was in town last week recalling some of the downtown square area as he remembered it. Looking over the photograph appearing with this story, he recalled that the picture was made in front of the Chaney Studio about where the Paul Armstrong Shoe Shop now stands. The wagon and team to the right were used by W.J. Reed's grocery store for deliveries. At the extreme right is the old First National Bank building now the location of Main Automotive. Cotton wagons which were quite common to the day are parked at the east side of the courthouse. Other identifiable business locations remembered by Wilkerson include Biles Drug Store at the present location of Peterson's and Vandervort Brothers grocery and dry goods. The area also featured a saddle shop and theater along the north side.
While remembering these early years, Wilkerson said his father first moved to the Jeff Arbuckle place at Grantham. At a later time the late Mr. Wilkerson left the county with the going to Roswell, N. M., with the thought of moving his family there. This was about 1908, the year of a flood that turned the trip into a 30-day excursion. Wilkerson said the family was ready to give up on their father returning, thinking he might have been drowned trying to make his way back home. After having the family possessions packed and ready to move, Mr. Wilkerson moved his family from Grantham to Raborn, rather than New Mexico.
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