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
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.