The Election of May 1, 1889

Stop 7: 20 N Broadway Ave

A slate of candidates supported by the Seminole Town and Improvement Company, including the temporary mayor William Couch, was elected at the polls on Wednesday, May 1.

At the mass meeting on April 27, after the compromise survey was adopted, a group of residents backing the Seminole Town and Improvement Company proposed the election of a temporary mayor. William L. Couch, the prominent Boomer and trustee of the Seminole Company was elected. Two days later he published a proclamation calling a general election for May 1 with two wards and polling places, one north and one south of Main Street.

When election day arrived, citizens confirmed Couch as mayor and chose a city council and other officials of a provisional government. With the advantage of an organization that nominated candidates, the Seminole Company and its backers were the overwhelming victors.

Many settlers didn't realize at the time that they were setting in motion policies that favored lot claims by illegal sooners, and the sale of lot certificates for the profit of a private business. A rival faction quickly emerged - known as Kickapoos - that challenged the Seminoles at every turn.