A few days ago I had an opportunity to do some research on the history of an old historical house in the Muskogee, Oklahoma area at the Muskogee library for a local real estate company. The house was built way back around 1900 before Oklahoma became a state. Oklahoma was actually the 46th state in the union after President Theodore Roosevelt signed the proclamation for statehood on November 16, 1907. Prior to that time it was designated as Indian territory.
To give you an idea as to what Muskogee was like back in those days I found some old articles in the Muskogee Daily Phoenix ( Muskogee, Indian Territory) dated Friday December 23, 1904 that I wanted to share with you.
Strayed or Stolen
“Two mules, one black, and one grey mule. Both branded “S” on left shoulder, and hip. Liberal reward will be paid for their return to OK Yard, North C. St. Muskogee, I.T.”
J.H. Neil, A Prisoner in the Federal Prison Jail Died Yesterday
“J.H. Neil – A prisoner in the federal jail, died yesterday of consumption. Neil was confined on a charge of introducing liquor. He was a white man, fifty years of age, and has been in jail since December 9, and was brought here from Sapulpa.
There is a story rumored that Neil was a well to do farmer near Sapulpa and was arrested on account of having in his possession a small amount of whisky. This story however, does not seem probable, as Neil’s bail was fixed very low, and if the story were true he could no doubt have given bond.”
To give you a better understanding as to what things were like in those days here are a few facts about the year 1904 in the United States.
The average wage was around 22 cents per hour and I am very sorry to say there were no cell phones back in those days. Can you imagine someone in today’s world trying to make it one single day without the use of their cell phone? As a matter of fact, only 8 in 100 people had a landline telephone. If you wanted to take a bath in a bathtub, you might just have to borrow the neighbor’s tub since only about 14 in 100 households had such a thing as a bathtub. I am sure that most people did not take a bath every day back then. The powder business might have been a good business to be in with the lack of tubs. You also didn’t have to worry about car accidents too much since there were only 8000 automobiles in the entire United States. People also had to get a lot of living done in a hurry since most people on average only made it to about the age of 47.
Fast forward several decades to 2015 and take a look at the headlines of the July 23, 2015 Muskogee Newspaper. The cost of the newspaper today is 75 cents which has risen by 70 cents since the 1904 edition.
Sex Crime Suspect Found in Indiana
“An Indiana man is facing extradition to Muskogee to face charges in Muskogee County District Court for lewd or indecent acts to a child under 16”
Women’s Defense Course Planned
“A Tahlequah police officer wants women to take advantage of a free class geared at teaching women how to avoid becoming a victim. The particular class she is teaching is rape aggression defense systems. RAD for short – The class is designed to teach adult women 18 and over, enough to defend themselves.”
And here are a few articles in the sports section of the local Tulsa World newspaper on June 11, 2015.
OSSAA Approves First Transgender Policy For Athletes
“The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association Board of Directors unanimously approved policy Tuesday regarding the eligibility of transgender student athletes making Oklahoma the most recent state to adopt a similar policy.
The policy comes eight days after a Vanity Fair article spotlighted the recent transition of former Olympic gold medal winner Bruce Jenner to the transgender woman Caitlyn Jenner.”
Legislator: OSSAA Should Allow Prayer in Playoffs
“Oklahoma City – State Rep Bobby Cleveland said Wednesday the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association should allow school prayer at playoff games….”
This is what the current OSSAA prayer policy states.
Policy 19 – of OSSAA Handbook enacted in 1992
“In view of the current law, no school, individual, group or organization may publicly recite a prayer to all attendees and participants to pray, whether audibly or in silence at OSSAA championship events, or at regional, area, district or other playoff events leading to championship events. This policy applies even if the proposed prayer is non denominational, or is offered voluntarily by a student, or a parent or other adult who is not associated with OSSAA or a member school….”
My how things have changed from the early days in Oklahoma. I do wonder what will have happened by the next one hundred years in the year 2115. I can remember thinking as a kid what it would be like to live in the year 2000. It sounded so far off and I wasn’t sure if I would ever make it that far. Well that has come and gone and I do believe that 3000 might be out of the question for me.
It is evident in reading some of the old newspaper articles compared to today, that in the past 100 or so years that things have changed and that we have drifted pretty far from GOD. I am not sure what all of the repercussions might be as a result of our drift, but the apostle Paul did have a few things to say about what might happen in cutting our ties loose from GOD. He states it pretty clear in Romans 1:28-31
Romans 1:28-31 KJV
“And even as they did not like to retain GOD in their knowledge, GOD gave them over to a reprobate mind filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of GOD, respiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.”
As the father of English literature – Geoffrey Chaucer once said
“Time and tide wait for no man”
Let’s just hope that we tie our ropes back in the proper place before a tsunami plows us under.