When Pres. Roosevelt reached Oklahoma soil last Saturday afternoon he beheld a canopy with out a single cloud, a green velvety carpet stretching as far as the eye could see and when about twenty minutes later as he talked from the grandstand to the 5,000 or 6,000 eager auditors not even the faintest zephys was in evidence to interfere with his oratorical effort. All nature seemed to be in accord in making an ideal day for this the greatest event that has happened in the history of the new country. Despite the fact that those here who knew of the President's coming nearly a fort-night before, were importuned not to make it public, nevertheless parties were here from as far east as Lawton; to the west as far as Altus; to the north from Hobart and to the Lone Star state on the south; the hotels and eating houses were crowded. For miles around the farmers left their fields to come to Frederick and get a glimpse of their chief executive.
At a meeting of the citizens, about twenty deputies were employed, in addition about half this number of mounted police, with C.C. Shive as marshal of the day. The crowd was an exceptionally orderly one and the marshals experienced little difficulty in keeping perfect order.
About 100 soldiers who had worn either the blue or the gray in the great war of the Rebellion marched side by side to do honor to their common president and testified more convincingly than volumes of the friendship that exists between all section of the country.
It was a sight long to be remembered to see the smoke from the pilot engine curling up into the azure dome miles to the south, while still farther away could be discerned a faint dark smoke from the engine that the expectant throng knew was bringing the president. Five minutes after the pilot engine, the presidents train, consisting of five handsomely equipped coaches, glided to the crossing on Grand avenue. When the Pres. emerged from the car, dressed in his outing suite, he was met by the reception committee and after he descried the decorated grand stand two blocks up the street, he was glad to address the assembly. He took a seat besides Mayor Kelly and was driven behind Ed Carters spanteam to the grand stand. The remaining members of his party were brought in other vehicles which were furnished by the reception committee. Atty. Geo. Ahern introduced the Pres. who spoke in part as follows:
"The next time I come to Oklahom I trust I will come to a State and it won't be my fault if this is not soon. I greet the veterans of the Civil War, who come here to day to greet the President because we are one people and one country, not to be divided forever. I am glad to see Quanah Parker here, who has done so well with his farm. One thing of which I am proud is that I have tried to give a fair deal to every man. Give red man the same chance as the white. This country is founded on the doctrine of giving each man a fair deal to see what there is in him. I have traveled four days in Texas, and am now in what will soon be a great State of the Union.
There is nowhere I feel more at home than in a town like this. I have confidence in the character of the men and women who have come here. Ever since the Revolution we have been making new States. Now we are about at the close of this period. I don't feel that I have to explain my policies to the Oklahoma people. you like to have the American people play a big part in the world, and then play that part well. I know the western people are with me when I say we must build the Panama Canal. You don't think I should be quiet while the American people are being held up. We want our right not as a favor, but as a right.
I have had a middling busy three and a half years. I have liked my job. I enjoyed it, and was thankful to the people for telling me to go on with it. Now I want four days' play. I hear you have plenty of jack rabbits and cyotes here. I like my citizens, but don't like them on a coyote hunt. Give me a fair deal to have as much fun as even a President is entitled to. Good-bye and good luck."
At the close of the speech, he entered Burnetts carriage and was rapidly driven to the camp, accompanied a portion of way by members of the mounted police.
It was about dark when the party reached the camp, eighteen miles southeast of here nestled cosily in the timber skirting Deep Red creek. Sunday morning the Pres. was up early and when he first beheld the beautiful panorma of virgin prairie, with out a sign of civilization except that of the camp, he said he felt perfectly at home. He did little during the day except to exercise his horse. His doctor, however, took a number of view of the party with their dogs and horses which will be used to illustrate the article which Mr. Roosevelt will write concerning the hunt.
The hunt for which the president has been yearning as anxiously as the pack of dogs chained in camp who made night hideous with their yelps, was begun Monday morning. From the start the president was invariable in the lead and even the cowboys and veteran troopers from Fort Sill were astonished with the ease with which he kept his seat while going at break neck speed over ravine and hill. By noon the pack had caught three wolves and the party returned to camp with an appetite which left but little of the picked yearling which had been taken out that morning. In the afternoon the president saw John Abernathy catch a wolf which the dogs had harassed.
Once on Monday, after a long chase in the hot sun, the president spied some water in a buffalo wallow, he spurred up his horse and beating the dogs to the spot, leaped from the saddle and lapped up the refreshing liquid in good old fashioned cowboy style.
The next day he ran over a six foot rattler, which sprang at him four times before he had dispatched it with his 18 inch quirt.
The president was particularly pleased by the manner in which the public heeded his admonitions regarding a square deal and remained from the pasture. He says this would be impossible in many sections of the country, and this, in addition tot he rare sport which he enjoyed in the chase, may cause him to return to this spot some time when he wants a real uninterrupted hunt.
Originally printed on Friday, April 15, 1905 in the Frederick Enterprise.
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