"Truth is stranger than fiction."
PERHAPS some of the facts contained in the following pages may sound very strange to the younger folk. However. the material here has been told to me by reliable persons and can be accepted as fact.
TIME WAS when Lamar was only 160 acres of grassland with a large ranch house sprawled across what is now the northwest corner of block 48 on Ash Street and Powell Avenue. Herds of cattle fed on the native grass. Wild animals were also plentiful. A small corn patch and a garden thrived on the fertile soil near the ranch house.
In 1907, the Missouri, Oklahoma, and Gulf Railroad Company extended their railroad southward across this 160 acres which was an allotment belonging to a Creek Indian, Mildred Carter. The railroad company built a turntable just south of this 160 acres; until late in 1908 the trains came down from Muskogee, turned around on the "Y" and went back north. "On a certain day in December, 1908," as recalled by Oreta Havens, "the train went on south to Allen."
The railroad had been completed that far. In the meantime Miss Carter had passed away and the said 160 acres had become the property of her sister.
Late In 1907 Mrs. J. P. Adkins, wife of an early doctor in the area bought the land of the Northwest 1/4 Section 10, Township 7 North, Range 11 East, and sold it off in lots.
The town was incorporated January 2, 1908.
The town was laid out, built around the town square at the intersection of Main and Broadway—where the old "town well" stands today. A city park was laid out between Powell and Carter Avenues. A small stream ran through the park affording youngsters wading pools. There were native Oak, Elm, and Sycamore trees to furnish plenty of shade. This park was the scene of the 4th of July picnic which became a must in Lamar.
A small school was built at the corner of Broadway and Main In 1907. Across frown the school a bank building, now housing the U.S. post office, was constructed of native stone. Arthur Franklin, a contractor from Wetumka, built one whole block of stone buildings and laid one block of concrete sidewalk, (Which is all we ever had. We still have it.)
The first president of the town’s bank, established in 1908, was Will Browning who married a local girl, Miss Blanche Carpenter (still living), daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Carpenter. Later people who served as bank presidents were I.S. White, Joel Martin; Hugh Hobbs and a Mrs. Bolyard were cashiers.
At first people lived In tents, but soon residences as well as more business houses were erected. Immediately two hotels sprang up — the Dunsford at the corner of Bell Avenue and Elm Street and the Traylor Hotel, owned by Mrs. Traylor, at the corner of Main and Jefferson. Later, Mrs. Traylor was married to Bud Moore. She also changed the name of the hotel it became the Moore Hotel. Later this hotel burned. Several years later George Cox bought the lots and built a home there. A modern house, now on the corner, is owned by Mrs. Redus Mooney.