The Old Settlers Reunion held in Cheyenne, Tuesday, April 19th, the 40th anniversary of the opening of the C&A Country, attracted the largest crowd that has ever assembled in this city. The crowd was estimated at 10,000 people. All RMC came and large delegations came from Elk City, Sayre, Clinton, Pampa, Canadian, Arnett, Higgins and other cities of West Oklahoma and Texas to mingle with old timers. Undoubtedly more Old Timers of the C&A country gathered than have been together for the past 20 years.
The crowd gathered early to see the parade which started moving promptly at eleven o’clock. The parade was headed by Senator Alvin Moore, marshal of the day, who was attired as an Indian Chief. Then came the cowboys, 200 in number, cowboys from West OK and the Texas plains; then came the ox-wagon, freighter, prairie schooner, buggies, women on horses riding side saddles, the Queen of the C&A in a beautifully decorated auto followed by trucks and cars representative of different organizations and business firms of the city. The parade was preceded by the Elk City Band and was more than a mile in length and carried more than 500 people. This was a great pageant within itself, depicting all modes of travel and of dress. This one feature alone was well worth the day’s entertainment.
The American Legion members began serving the barbecue at 12 o’clock. It had been arranged for the crowd to pass in single file by the tables where barbecue, pickles, bread and coffee were served. Five hundred gallons of coffee was made in a large still and served; two truck loads of bread were consumed. In addition to this many baskets of food were brought and many groups of folks spread dinner together.
After dinner there was speaking. Among the notable speakers were Col. F.E. Herring of Elk City, E.L. Mitchell, Judge of Clinton; Ray Disenger, Supt. of the gas line from Wichita to Pampa; Gen. Roy Hoffman of Oklahoma City made the address of the day. Col Herring then presided over an open forum during which time many Old Settlers talked and many interesting events were recounted.
The Cheyenne school put on a pageant portraying events of history in the C&A country, beginning with missionaries claiming the country for Spain, followed by Coronado’s expedition. Battle of Washita, cowmen, sooners, the run, a dance of the flowers, butterflies, an old time square dance and concluding with the crowning of the Queen of the C&A country. Hiss Hazel Mae Cole, eighteen year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Cole was crowned queen and will reign as such for a period of five years. Her father made the run on April 19, 1892 and established a ranch northwest of Cheyenne in the Washita River Valley near Midway. Frank Cole was ill at the time of Old Settlers and was not able to attend. Hazel was one of the county’s outstanding teachers after graduating from Goodwell College. Hazel Cole Peterson is now deceased.