Beal Defeats Overholser For Mayor

Stop 16: SW Curve of Latting Cir at City Hall, Downtown

With a margin of only 14 votes, Beale claimed a mandate to overturn seven months of Seminole-dominated city rule. Within a month the city was in chaos and city governance was shut down by federal authorities.

Dr. A. J. Beale, the leader of the Kickapoo faction was nominated to replace Mayor Couch after his resignation on November 11. The Seminole faction, knowing how badly they had lost the charter election in late August, were leery of nominating one of their own. Instead, they pressed Henry Overholser, the chairman of the Board of Trade and a businessman aligned with neither faction, to run against Beale. 732 voters turned out for the election on November 27, and Beale won by 14 votes.

Facing a hostile Seminole city council, the new Kickapoo mayor announced his intention to declare two council seats vacant and to call an election for December 30. He also stated his opposition to recognizing the validity of Seminole lot certificates and announced a plan to file a plat of the city at the Land Office that would conflict with the Consensus Survey in use since April 27. A frenzy of lot jumping erupted, and panicked property owners began appealing to federal authorities for help. On December 30, US Marshal Walker in Wichita called off the election and ordered an end to any adverse claims against existing property ownership.


 
  • 1862
    The Homestead Act opens up settlement in the western U.S. by allowing any adult American to claim up to 160 acres of free federal land. 15,000 claims are made by the end of the Civil War.
  • 1866
    The Civilized Tribes are forced to cede large portions of their land, including the Unassigned Lands, to the U.S. Government for relocation of other Native American nations.
  • 1880
    Boomers begin attempts to settle in the Unassigned Lands. The U.S. military repeatedly forces them out.
  • 1887
    The Santa Fe Railroad from Kansas to Texas is completed. Multiple stops are opened in the Unassigned Lands.
  • January-March 1889
    Creek and Seminole Nations release claims to the Unassigned Lands, and Congress approves opening the land for settlement.
  • March-April 1889
    "Boomer camps" pop up along and inside the borders of the Unassigned Lands.
  • March 23, 1889
    President Harrison's Proclamation sets noon on April 22 as the time and date for the Land Run
  • April 19, 1889
    Prospective settlers are escorted from the Kansas and Texas borders to the perimeter of the Unassigned Lands. Those already inside are required to leave.
  • April 20, 1889
    Land east of the railroad tracks at Oklahoma Station is reserved for military use
  • April 22, 1889 at noon
    Oklahoma Land Run officially begins.

 

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