The First Generation

The First Generation

Price: $29.95
  • 1-58107-149-3: 0-913507-22-9
  • Item #: OKPR001
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Title: The First Generation : A Half Century of Pioneering in Perry, Oklahoma
Author: Fred G. Beers
Description: The First Generationis a glimpse at the earliest days of Perry and the Charles Machine Works, Inc., the manufacturer of Ditch Witch equipment. It proceeds through five decades—the first half-century of Perry and CMW—plus an update on the company today.

Perry was generally considered to be the "queen city of the Cherokee Strip" after the great land rush of 1893 which opened a choice area of the future state of Oklahoma to non-Indian settlers. The event attracted nation-wide interest; it was the largest of the "runs" offered by the U.S. government to bring settlers to the frontier. It lured to this area a marvelous mixture of humanity. Some were adventurous and recklessly daring; some were professional people and entrepreneurs looking for a new start; some were just hungry for a piece of land to call their own.

Good folk and bad, mean-spirited and kind, a few with personal resources and others with absolutely one. From the maelstrom of that great, dusty run at the opening of the Cherokee Strip emerged a semblance of social order and civilization in a relatively short period. The Perry area produced some of the state's outstanding leaders (and its share of eccentrics) in agriculture, business, government, education and the arts. More are emerging even today, but the first half-century is the focus here.


    1. The Pioneer Spirit
    2. Some Background
    3. The Run
    4. Orlando Walking
    5. C.T. Talliferro
    6. James A. Lobsitz
    7. After the Run
  2. 1900 TO 1920
    1. Malzahns Come to Perry
    2. The Library and the Opera House
    3. Churches and Schools
    4. Mr. Hovey and Some Others
    5. The Famous Store
    6. The Cyclone of 1912
  3. THE 1920s
    1. Life After World War I
    2. The Malzahn Brothers
    3. Uncle Christ
    4. Charlie and Bertha Malzahn
    5. Young Ed Malzahn
    6. Henry S. Johnston
    7. Manuel Herrick
    8. Eddie, Kate and the Kumback
    9. WKL and the Perry Journal
    10. Lions and Rotarians
    11. The Wrestling Capital
  4. THE 1930s
    1. Facing the Depression
    2. Charlie's Machine Shop
    3. Marty, Shorty and Kirby
    4. Cap Swift and Friends
    5. Professor Radgowsky
    6. The Poor Boys Club
    7. Mickey and Eleanor Visit
    8. The Exchange Bank Holdup
    9. The First National Bank
  5. THE 1940s
    1. The 1940s Arrive
    2. The Ditch Witch Era Dawns
    3. Why Is It "Ditch Witch?"
    4. Geronimo and Other Products
    5. CMW Finds New Ways
    6. Around the Square in 1940
    7. The Cherokee Strip Museum
    8. Wistful Local Legends
    9. Perry at Fifty Years
    10. Appendix
About the Author: Fred G. Beers is a product of early-day Perryans. He grew up hearing tales of the pioneers and witnessed some of the events of the 1920s and beyond. For 25 years he was a columnist and managing editor of The Perry Daily Journal, and for 20 years after that he was in the Advertising and Graphic Communications Departments of the Charles Machine Works, Inc.


Details: 1991, ISBN: 0-913507-22-9 (369 pages, index, hard cover, 6 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches)