Beale 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.