{Handwritten account of the 1917 Cheyenne-Arapaho Old Settlers celebration by Della Cann Young.}

A certain affectionate good fellowship springs up among those who accomplish any great work—no matter how widely they may be removed from the scene of their accomplished labors–the recurrence of seasons and the tally of years causes the heart and mind to hark back and recount with emotion the incidents of the hard days past.

With the approach of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the opening of the Cheyenne-Arapaho country, Cheyenne sent forth a call to all who topped the Red Hills on the banks of the Washita on that never to be forgotten April 19, 1892 and proclaimed the wilderness their home.

Cheyenne dusted her parlor; made up all her beds in clean slips and sheets, filled her cupboards with the best of goodies, had great pits smoking with barbecued beef, powdered her nose, manicured her nails and after dressing in her most becoming cap and gown, proceeded to welcome her friends.

The guests began to arrive as early as Monday and by ten o’clock Thursday the town was literally a swarm with visitors. Such an event as the parade that passed through the streets of Cheyenne that day will never happen again.

Mr. W.A. Young, age 73, on a fine horse and bearing an immense flag led the parade. Mr. Young had the honor of being in Roger Mills County prior to any other man in the assembly (having passed through in quest of stolen horses in 1880). Mr. W.W. Anderson rode to his left and Judge John E. Leary to his right. The snow-white hair of the three veteran pioneers glistened in the sunshine as they rode in stately grace through the streets of the dear old town. Twenty-six autos loaded with those who made the “Run” and other “Old Timers” followed the three horsemen to a park on the west side of town.

Judge John B. Harrison of Oklahoma City but formerly judicial light of Cheyenne was asked to deliver an address Thursday forenoon but on account of circumstances over which he had no control he was unable to be present; thereby disappointing his many admiring friends and himself too, as he assured us in his letter of regrets.

The speakers were shifted in order to fill the vacancy and Hon. D.W. Tracy (since 1908 of Sayre) amid much good cheer was escorted to the speaker’s platform. Instead of delivering a learned and eloquent address on some profound subject, Mr. Tracy with incomparable grace stepped down from his stand and taking his place on a plank in the midst of the crowd, proceeded to recount his experiences as an attorney when Cheyenne still was in her swaddling clothes, and the country had never even attempted to use her legs. The first case he told was that of one George E. Shufeldt, now known to everyone in Roger Mills, charged with the sale of oleomargarine unbranded, prosecuted by Mr. Cunningham, the carpetbagger county attorney and defended by Mr. Tracy. The court was bested in one Jim Tracy, a lad 21 years old (now an able physician of Memphis, Tennessee). Mr. Tracy then told in his most entertaining way, many of how for years he was pitted in nearly every case against our much beloved friend, the Hon. J.W. McMurtry before the court of Judge John E. Leary and how Mr. Leary from the nature of things was bound to rule in favor of Mc, since Mc’s charming daughter Nellie was the goal in Judge Leary’s heart and mind. (And it might be stated the judge’s efforts were not in vain.)

Judge Shive of Arapaho then entertained the listeners in his most humorous manner with reminiscences of early days and hardships in the neighborhood of Arapaho.

The scent of the roasting beef and boiling coffee now won the attention of the people and many more visitors having arrived during the speaking some time was spent in greetings. Should you stop to listen, on every side was heard, “Why there’s John Gover, who’d ever thought of seeing you?” “And this is ‘Son’ Thurmond—I’d a known you anywhere” “Have you met my wife?—I sure want you to see her” “This was our baby when we last saw you–some baby now isn’t she?” Prolonged handshakes, exclamations of delight and tears of joy at the meeting of long ago separated friends was the order of the day.

Such a dinner they talked and ate and Cheyenne served till about 1:30 p.m. Dr. J.P. Miller, President of the Old Timers was over heard to whisper to the secretary Della Cann Young, “The beef is all gone — $160 worth and only one meal served! What shall we do?” But the secretary more optimistic than the Dr. answered, “Oh we’ll manage!”

A typical Cheyenne and Arapaho gale begun blowing about 2:00 p.m. and speaking was out of the question on that account we missed hearing Mr. John C. Hendricks of Sayre. Mr. Hendricks with his wife made “The Run”.

A.C. Wilson’s singing class of ’93 and ’94 were there prepared to sing their old time songs but the wind was too high to undertake it. The youngsters then began calling for the “Old Timers” dance, after a great deal of shuffling about to find a fiddle and the fiddler and to get the dancers in couples, two sets of the representative “Old Timers” danced a quadrille with L.A. Hitchcock playing and Dick Cann calling; amid much applause, the floor was cleared and another quadrille danced “Monkey Jim” Wilson, a famous caller of early days calling the changes.

The Cheyenne school children then gave a most beautiful flag drill and closed by singing the national songs. By that time the wind had grown so cold and disagreeable that the dancing was turned over to the young set and the Old Timers took shelter for the night.

The Camp Fire girls of Strong City put on a pleasing entertainment Thursday evening. Friday morning, the visitors still poured in and Cheyenne killed her fatted calves. The beef was boiled and even a better dinner than the day before was served, soup that causes one to grieve yet for more coffee, pickles, buns and all the other good eats that only Cheyenne knows how to cook and serve to the daintiest and greediest. This dinner having put the Hon. J.W. McMurtry in a most amicable mood, he proceeded to entertain his many admiring friends in his imitable way. The good people of Cheyenne and Roger Mills County; what they have accomplished in the teeth of adversity; and the hope that the good women who have shared the hardships of these early days will soon be granted equal suffrage, were some of the topics he discussed.

Mrs. Della Cann Young, Secretary of the Old Timers, then read telegrams and messages sent from distant pioneers and a letter from Mrs. Jessie Goodwin Gill now of Catalina Island, CA, the first white woman in Cheyenne and the first girl married in the new country. Mrs. Young did not neglect to ride her hobby, Community Life, before such a large and appreciative audience.

Judge E.E. Tracy, the first School Superintendent of Roger Mills was the last scheduled speaker. Mr. Tracy was listened to with respectful attention and received much applause. No one wanted to leave. Each knew deep in his heart that such a Roundup of the Old Timers would never be again; so they called for speech after speech. John Gober of Woodward, Dick Cann of Higgins, TX; Mrs. Dr. Standifer of Elk City; Mrs. Fields of Cheyenne and others held the crowd for a while longer.

The ball game much attracted the attention of the visitors and after that the Horse Races. Visiting cars came from Woodward, Higgins, Canadian, Sayre, Elk City and Hammon and an excursion train from Clinton and Clarence Thurmond of Oklahoma City was awarded prize for coming the greatest number of miles to the Reunion.

The following are the names as near as could be secured of those who made the Run into Cheyenne, April 19, 1892 and answered the Roll Call April 19, 1917. Frank Cole, Hamburg; J.H. Anderson, Redmoon; Clyde Young, Redmoon; Dick Cann, Higgins, TX: Scottie Falconer, W.W. Anderson, “John the Varmint” Anderson; Fayette Anderson, all of Cheyenne; John Caffey, Strong City; John E. Leary, “Bill” Turner of Cheyenne; Mr. and Mrs. John C. Hendricks of Sayre; “Son” Thurmond, Clinton; Kleve Thurmond, Sayre; Bob Thurmond, Elk City, Billy Owen, Mendota, TX; J.E. Bradford, Cheyenne; L.A. Hitchcock, Cheyenne; and 24 hour “Sooner” J.W.McMurtry, Hammon.