We have some good news regarding some artifacts that were almost lost during the renovation of Clarence Ford Park in Downtown OKC. Most of the artifacts have been located and/or recovered, including our oldest artifact-the mill stone from the C.G. Jones Gristmill (first flour mill in OKC). We have also located the cupola from the Baum Building and the Lion's head from the trolley system barn.
The Society has realized the need for artifacts such as these to be displayed in some visual representation from the early period of OKC history for some time now. The fact that these artifacts were nearly lost has heightened awareness within the Society to do something now. CLICK HERE FOR NEWSOK HISTORY SOLVED: MISSING ARTIFACTS SOLVED
The Oklahoma City/County Historical Society has agreed to sponsor a huge undertaking. We have been in contact with a sculptor and the City of Oklahoma City to place the mill stone, a life size statue of C.G. Jones (OKC mayor, Territorial and State legislator) and the three remaining columns from in front of the Lee-Huckins Hotel (temporary Capitol building in OKC) as well as some of the other artifacts. We would like for this display to be in the Bricktown Canal area so as to be included in the history discussions while riding the canal boats. Mr. Jones, along with Henry Overholser envisioned and constructed the first canal through OKC. They had hoped to generate electricity for the Robinson Street Electric Co. and power Mr. Jones's gristmill. Sandy soil used in construction did not permit the canal to fill.
The Society has recently discovered that Mr. Jones was probably the one person most responsible for the movement of the Capitol from Guthrie to Oklahoma City. This might explain why he is the "Forgotten Father of Oklahoma City". The punishment for helping relocate the Capitol was death. Several legislators were mobbed, stripped, and threatened to be hanged or shot. Three months after Dan Peery addressed the State Legislature (in OKC) in December 1910 and revealed that C.G. Jones was the driving force to move the Capitol, a seemingly healthy Mr. Jones died from an acute stomach hemorrhage at the age of 54. Property values in Guthrie dropped by 80% once the Capitol was moved.
Cost of the statue will be close to $30,000. This alone will require an extensive fundraising effort that will require support from our members and the business community. Some in the business community are already on board. We plan to make six plaster replicas (as seen above) of the statue for anyone who contributes $5000. or more. We have discussed making one actual bronze replica for a donation of $10,000.(the cost would exceed $3000.) Please consider a contribution of any size to help display this important time in our City's history. Mr. Jones gave all that he had, please give what you can.
Please contact the society at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information to donate and/or mail Oklahoma City/ County Historical Society, P.O. Box 893050, OKC, OK 73189-3050. A tax receipt for all donations will be provided. OKCCHS is a 501(c)(3)