Lamar News

(Reprinted from the Holdenville Daily News - March 23, 1980

By Herbert Friend
     Lamar, in its early days, was a thriving little trading post. Businesses lined both sides of the street. There were hardwares, general merchandise stores, cotton gins, blacksmiths, grist mills, shoe cobbler, livery barns, drays (hauling), ice men, drug stores, hotels, cafes, a boarding house, a ball park, a city well (still exists), an air dome theater, an undertaker, barber shops, a watch tinker, a bank, a band, a newspaper, a post office, a railroad station with freight platform, four passenger trains daily, a railroad turn-a-bout, a Justice-of-the-Peace, a Constable, a jail house (still stands), a school, four churches and a honky-tonk.
     Saturday was always a "high" day in Lamar as everybody came to town to see everybody else. Ma and Pa and all the kids filled the wagon and the dogs followed along, as they al sought respite from the fields of toil. The more than a block long business section was usually jam-packed with people, vehicles and animals. There was hardly space to move about, and if things reached a stalemate and the conversations ran low, there were always those reviving thrills of the inevitable dog fights, which aroused the tempers of the concerned individuals.
     An speaking of dog fights, I've got one I must tell you about. In Lamar, as in all places, people sometime had their day in court. A lawsuit was being tried on a very hot sunshiny day. The court decided to hold the hearing outside under a large oak tree nearby. W. L. Friend was Justice of the Peace, Sherman Thomas was constable, the trial lawyers were Alfred Stevenson and Stanley Huser, Sr. A jury of six were chosen to hear the civil case. Trial was underway, the attorneys were waxing strong, when, in the midst of the crowd, some dogs could no longer restrain their canine animosities, and in a vicious 'no holds barred' affray, opened their case, sending the Judge, Jury, Attorneys, spectators, the accused and the accusers scurrying in four directions, clearing the shady bar of Justice for themselves. I do not remember the outcome of the dogs' case, or whether they even reached a decision, but strangely enough, the lawsuit being tried at the time was to settle a dispute about a dog.
     By the way, to illustrate the public spirit and civic pride of the people of Lamar, the City was barely a year old when in 1908, it aspired, along with Wetumka, Calvin, and Holdenville to become the County Seat of Hughes County.  Lamar, of course, didn't win, but she would have made a dandy county Seat. Joe Berry Winningham, the Sage and noted Historian of Spaulding, contends that the County Seat should have been put at Spaulding in the first place. Of course, Joe Berry was just standing up for his hometown, having grown up at Spaulding, but it is a bit difficult to understand why Lamar was not favored for the County Seat. It was a good city with all the earmarks of a county seat town - the writer should know, he lived there.
     But as history will have it, Holdenville won the County Seat in 1908 and Lamar took her thumps but undauntedly pursued her role in the history and development of Hughes County. We cordially invite you to make a leisurely drive some day to a point on the hilltop some 16 miles east of Holdenville, and there slow down to observe the scene before you. You will enjoy the view of one of Hughes County's most beautiful landscapes, and you will see, nestling in the gorgeous valley below, a community of wonderful people - The Lovely City of Lamar.