Welcome to the Wanette Wiki SiteEdit
All research and history for Wanette, Pottawtomie County, Oklahoma, United States of America. This page leans toward history of the area and the families that lived there.
Have you ever wanted to visit Wanette or wondered where it was at?EditWanette is a small Oklahoma town in Southern Pottawatomie County. Its located on Highway 102 just south of Highway 39 between Asher and Lexington.
Each Saturday before flag day, this year on June 02, 2012, Wanette has a Flag Day Jubilee consisting of a parade, live music, contests, BBQ and rodeo. Its the event of the year for this little town. It takes place on Main Street so plan to attend each year and bring the kids. This year will have an American Pie contest so enter those wonderful home baked pies to see if yours is the best! There's also a log sawing contest, turtle races, egg race, and more.
Location: Sec. 30, T6N, R3E. Seven miles west of Asher.
Date Established: March 19, 1894
First Postmaster: Charles P. McIninch
Named After: Believed to be of Indian source. “WANETTE” in the Pottawatomi language is translated to “Pleasant Prairie.”John Melot, a Frenchman who had married Katy Burjon, quarter Pottawatomi, at one time owned 240 acres where WANETTE is now located. In 1903 when the Santa Fe Railway came to the area, the town moved north a mile to the present location. The first townsite was sold by D. M. Newell who had previously been a Deputy Court Clerk for George Southgate. Paris and Becotte, partners in a cotton gin, started in 1903. Their gin originally had a capacity of 35 bales in 10 h
Early day saloon operators were: Matt Smith, Charley Green, Opras Smith and Odie Smith, Press Stovall, who had the largest and fanciest one, Buck Carter, a Mr. Cutler, and John Smith, brother of Ike Smith, John Upshaw, and the German Saloon. Billy Holman was the gambler in the Press Stovall saloon. In 1906, an estimated 500 buggies and wagons were hitched in town on Saturday’s. T. C. Wyatt with his family of six boys and two girls came by railroad from Tennessee with four other families: The Fields, Baker, Fowler, and Dodson, all bringing their wagons, horses and milk cows and household goods on box cars on the same train to Purcell. Wyatt settled 3 ½ miles southeast of town in 1902. He was later elected as a State Representative. Randall Pittman taught school here in 1903 with classes in the United Brethren Church.
In 1904 or 1905, Elmer Pantier and Roscoe Pantier operated the Pantier & Sons’ Store.
Verge Wright had a wagon yard here, his brother Frank Wright was the Postmaster in about 1907. George Beal had a hardware store and harness shop. P.H. Grimmett and O. L. Beckner had stores in WANETTE. In 1910, the corner store on Main Street was Beckner’s General Merchandise; the postmaster was Frank Wright, their was a City Hotel next to Beckner’s and a Mill run by Dad Cottingham, behind Beckner’s.
George Southgate and Tom Southgate bought the first lot and put in the “First National Bank” in 1904. The “State National Bank” was started by S. J. Weaver in 1905. E.M. Abernathy and Greenmore started the “Security State Bank” in 1908. In 1904 the population was about 800. In 1903 there was test well drilled across the road from the old ice plant. The contract called for 2,800 feet, and when the depth was reached the well was plugged. The boiler and foundation of the well are still there. For a long time, water had to be hauled in to WANETTE.
The first church in the new town was the Catholic Church in 1904. Shortly afterwards the Christian, the Baptist, Methodist, and United Brethren Churches were established.
Page 31 Thomas Wildcat Alford, the great-grandson of the Shawnee Indian War Chief Tecumseh, who was born less than ten miles east of Old Chisholm Springs in 1860. Thomas Wildcat Alford was one of the first seven pupils at the old Shawnee Mission School, and was one of the first two young Shawnee indians sent away to go to the white man’s school from Pottawatomie County, going to Hampton Institute in 1879. He later taught school at the Wagoza Day School in the county in 1882, located near present WANETTE.
Source: Localized History of Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma to 1907 by Charles W. Mooney, B.S., University of Oklahoma, Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army Retired
Many years before WANETTE was established, several communities existed within six miles of the town. Josuah E. Clardy, known as Judge Clardy, had established the first Trading Post south of present WANETTE near the river, then left for Kansas' for 15 years before returning to Oberlin near here. His son, Al Clardy had a saloon near the river, and killed a man in his saloon named John Cawthon, and his brother George Cawthon got away. They were attempting to rob the saloonkeeper. Judge Clardy had also killed a man in his saloon. It was here that Mose Nadeau robbed the saloon of a ten gallon keg of whiskey on Christmas night. Judge Clardy had another son, George Clardy, who later had a meat market in WANETTE. His meat cutter was named Davis, who during a family argument shot at his father-in-law, and killed his mother-in-law. He was an unusually large man, with feet so large the prison could not fit him. Relatives sent him a pair of large work shoes while in prison. Joe Melot, a Frenchman who had married a quarter blood Pottawatomi, (Katy Burjon), coming from Kansas to the community in 1868. His son, Louis Melot was born here in 1879. His brother, Ed Melot was a Dep. U.S. Marshall, and at one time owned 240 acres where WANETTE is now located. He was with Deputy Carr when he was shot by the Dalton’s. Chris Boyer, another Deputy Marshall, was in a gunfight at old Oberlin. About five miles west of town in the early days, another Marshall, Billy Harris was killed by an outlaw named Heady. It was in the late 1870's that Cole Younger and Frank James were holed up in a log cabin about four miles northeast of town, when two men came to the cabin. Without warning, the outlaws killed the two men, one named California, the other was Gabe Trapp. There was a woman with the outlaws, believed to be Myra Belle Shirley, later known as Belle Starr. The murdered men were buried there on the spot. The first seven families coming from the Pottawatomi reservation in Kansas, found old log cabins west of town that were built by Seminole missionaries before the Civil War. They also found rice growing on Pond Creek, 4 miles southeast of WANETTE.
The original postoffice application was made on August 12, 1893, and was approved on March 19, 1894, with Chas. P. Mclninich as the first Postmaster. It was then located in the NE ¼ of Sec. 36, across the road south from the present WANETTE Cemetery. Then on November 23, 1896, they petitioned to have the Postoffice moved to the SE ¼ of Sec. 36, which was one mile west and two miles south. It was witnessed by W. C. Haney, Postmaster at Adell. It was at this new location that Joe Melot filed a town plat in the name of "St. Jo", which was on his land. It was named for two men named Joe; Joe Melot and Joe Brown, owner of the cotton gin and grist mill across the river at Johnstonville. The plat was filed on November 18, 1897. However, since the Postoffice was still named WANETTE, the place was always called WANETTE, and has since been called "Old WANETTE." S. R. Miller (1851-Missouri.), had a store here, and was later Postmaster, Notary Public, and Town Judge. He homesteaded 2 miles north in 1891, was County clerk in 1894. He was followed by J. C. Wright, whose sons were Verge & Frank. A Woodmen of the World Lodge was here. A Mr. Wright had a saloon here, and his son was named Frank. Arch Carroll had a saloon and store on the east end of town. Jim Couch had a drug store and Nab Toupain later owned a saloon here. S. E. Wright had a cotton gin, and Leopold Ille had a saloon south of town near the river. What originally began as a facetious story, soon blossomed into a full grown legend about the derivation of the name for the town of WANETTE. It has been erroneously repeated for over 75 years. It was in effect that the original Postmaster was trying to spell the name of the popular song "Juanita", and spelled it WANETTE. This is not based on fact, and exhaustive research shows the putative rumors basely false. We believed it to be an Indian word, since the towns in Kansas of Wamega, the ghost town here in Wagoza, and WANETTE all seemed Indian words. Waneta was a chief of the Yanklonai Sioux who fought against the English in the War of 1812. Wapello was a chief of the Fox tribe. Wanatah is among the list of Pottawatomi Villages in the history of the tribe. Also, among the Pottawatomi totems is listed" Wabozo ",meaning rabbit. After an exhaustive search, we find the name "WANETTE" in the Pottawatomi language is translated to "Pleasant Prairie", which Was the English name given to Ghost Town #5, which was about four miles from present WANETTE. When the Santa Fe Ry. came to the area, the town moved north a mile to the present location in 1903. The first town-site lot was sold by D. M. Newell (1853-Kentucky.) on Feb. 3, 1903. He had previously been a Deputy Court Clerk in the County for Geo. Southgate for 4 years. He was a Mason in 1875, then a member of WANETTE Lodge #66. He gave the land for the first school here, and also for two churches. His children were: W. O. Southgate, a merchant here, Lena Southgate, a teacher, Oscar Southgate, Emma A. Southgate, and Beula Southgate. Paris & Becotte, partners in a cotton gin, started in 1903. Wm. G. Paris (1865-Ohio) came to Sacred Heart in 1894, then here in 1903. He was a Mason and WOW. Peter Becotte (1873-Canada), arrived near here in1896, was member of IOOF and WOW. Their gin originally had a capacity of 35 bales in 10 hours. In 1907, they ginned 2,087 bales. Other cotton gins were operated by Arthur Lyle, and the Southland Cotton Gin Co. of Wynnewood. J. S. Smith, one of Ike Smith's sons [brothers], had a store here. Hardware stores were owned by E. B. Mundy, G. A. Cole, and a Mr. Howard. Newman & Gable had a furniture store. Joe Mundy and Mr. Pietree owned a Brick kiln and plant a half mile west of town, and several of the buildings were made from these bricks. John Vardeman, crippled in one leg, was an early day Deputy Marshall. Three different men were in the water hauling business here before wells were plentiful, selling water for 15 cents a barrel. They were Mr. Neal, father of Henry Neal, who came here in 1900 Sing Menter, and a Mr. Hitt, who had a small team of mules. Early day lawmen here were Wm. Northcross (this s/be Walter Scott Northcross - mgp), Bill Lackey, and Bill Barton, a short fat man that bounced noticeably in his saddle. Later, in about 1907, E. L. McDonald was City Marshall and also a schoolteacher later. About 1905, Charley Phillips was killed at a dance 2 ½ miles northeast of town by Tom Linsen, who was later sent to prison. Sylvanius Johnson was a teacher at the old Gilbert School east of town. Local blacksmiths were John Fanning, a Mr. Bucklean, and a Mr. Coffey, whose three daughters drowned in a pond near here in 1910. The first cars were owned by Buck Cottingham, local printer, and Bill Beatty, attorney who came here in 1905. Josh Quinn moved his drugstore here from Avoca. Later, Remington & Tether had a drugstore here. J. A. “Alvie” La Reau (1873) came here in 1891 from Kansas, owned a large Livery stable and feed store. His brother Francis C. "Cass"La Reau came in 1896 at the age of 21, and had a general store here. Their father was Joseph La Reau who was a member of the council that signed the Treaty to move here. Early day Saloon oporators were: Matt Smith and his brother, Charley Green, Opras Smith & Odie Smith, Press Stovall, who had the largest and fanciest one, Buck Carter, a Mr. Cutler, and John Smith, brother of Ike Smith, John Upshaw, and the German Saloon. Billy Holman was the gambler in the Press Stovall saloon. In 1906, an estimated 500 buggies and wagons were hitched in town on Saturdays. T. C. Wyatt with his family of 6 boys and 2 girls came by railroad from Tennessee with four other families: The Fields, Baker, Fowler, and Dodson, all bringing their wagons, horses and milkcows and household goods on box cars on the same train to Purcell. Wyatt settled 3 ½ miles southeast of town in 1902. He had been 1 yr. to Medical school in Tenn. and had practiced there on a temporary license. He was later elected as a State Representative. Two of his sons, Park and Tom were lawyers in Shawnee. Randall Pitman taught school here in 1903 with classes in the United Brethren church. He later was an attorney in Shawnee. (In 1970, at age 85, he is believed to be the oldest practicing City Attorney for any city in the State, at Shawnee.) Verge Wright had a wagon yard here, and his brother Frank was the Postmaster in about 1907. George Beal had a hardware store and harness shop. P. H. Grimmett had a store as did O. L. Beckner, whose father was J. K. Backner [Beckner] who came here in 1897 from Missouri. Preacher West was the preacher for the United Brethern Church here, and Abbett Tomlin was Supt. of the Sunday School. Mrs. Tomlin was a teacher at the King School. James Hitchinson (1865 - Virginia) was Mgr. of the Cary & Lombard Lbr. Co. and came here in 1904. He had been a graduate pharmacist in 1884, came from Perry and before that at Fort Reno. He had been Town Clerk and Treasurer, member of IOOF, Mason, Knights of Pythias, Elks and Modern Woodmen. George Southgate came to WANETTE in 1903 as Cashier of the First National Bank here. W. S. Search of Shawnee was President, and E. C. Nichols of Tecumseh was Vice-Pres. Southgate had formerly been County clerk from 1896 to 1902. He and his brother had owned 640 acres five miles east of Shawnee. S. R. "Si" Miller (1851-Missouri.), a homesteader near here in 1891, was County Clerk in 1894, then Pres. of State National Bank here in 1897, was a member of WANETTE Lodge #87-IOOF.
George Shumake (1862-Ohio) came from Cleveland County to WANETTE in 1904, where he had operated a cotton gin and lost an arm in an accident there. His gin here in 1907 baled 1,097 bales. His children were Wm. Walter, John Frederick, Chas Leroy, and Geo. Ralph. J. A. Keys (1852-Virginia) was a contractor and builder, came to Pauls Valley in 1878, then to Oklahoma City, and to WANETTE in 1904, had 10 acres outside of town. He built several buildings here, including the first schoolhouse. S. J. Weaver was Cashier of the State National Bank here, had formerly been in Shawnee, was member of Modern Woodmen and Knights of Pythias. Dr. A. C. Harrell (1854-Indiana) came to Hennessey in 1891, then to Arkansas, then Shawnee, then WANETTE in 1901, was a member of IOOF. Dr. J. C. Patterson (1872-Tennessee), whose father was a physician in Tennessee, came here in 1904, was a member of WANETTE Masonic Lodge #66. Dr. Ball and Dr. Royster came from Box here in about 1907. Other known doctors here were Dr. Allis, Dr. Wilbur, Dr. Holloway, Dr. Summers, and Dr. Webb lived near town. Symbolic of the tenacity and determination of the founders and pioneers of the town, the present day formidable citizens have struggled along for over 40 years after the last bank had closed. Perhaps like the legendary town of Tombstone, Ariz., they are "Too tough to die!"
Source: Escort Newspaper, Sunday, August 10, 1969
History of Wanette WANETTE is located in Pottawatomie Co., Oklahoma. WANETTE, which in the Pottawatomi tongue means “Pleasant Prairie”. The town of WANETTE was founded on March 19, 1894. It’s first settlers were John MELOT, (perhaps this was Joseph –mgp) a Frenchman, and Katy (BURJON) MELOT, who was one-quarter Pottawatomi. The couple owned the 240 acres on which the townsite was first built. However, in 1903 the Santa Fe Railroad built through the county, and the citizens of WANETTE voted to move the town one mile north (it’s present location) in order to have access to the railroad. One of the first and most properous businesses of the town was the Paris and Becotte Cotton Gin, which was established in 1903. Starting out at 35 bales of cotton per day during the cotton harvest season, its capacity for baling cotton grew to 2,087 bales for 1907, The town’s two other gins were operated by Arthur LYLE and the Southland Cotton Gin Company. Other businesses of early WANETTE included hardware stores of E. B. MUNCY (Is this Mundy?), G. A. COLE, and a Mr. HOWARD. A brick kiln was operated by Mundy and Petrie., J. A. “Alvie” LaREAU owned a livery and feed store. As in most frontier towns, WANETTE had it’s share of saloons. It had a total of eight, with the added bonus of a “German” saloon owned by John UPSHAW. The larget saloon in town belonged to Press STOVALL, and was the home of the town’s professional gambler Billy HOLMAN. Other settlers began to descend on the town as the railroad was established. T. C. WYATT and his family of eight, as well as the FIELDS, BAKERS, DODSONS, and FOWLERS were among these families. WYATT would later be elected to the State House of Representatives. The first school teacher was Sylvanius JOHNSON until 1903 when Randall PITMAN took over the job. The towns first postmaster was Charles P. McININCH. In 1907 the job was handed over to Frank WRIGHT, who owned a wagon yard with his brother, Verge. The town of WANETTE even boasted three banks in the early 1900’s. The First National Bank was established in 1904 by George and Tom SOUTHGATE. In 1905, S. J. WEAVER opened the State National Bank and E. M. ABERNATHY and GREEMORE started the Security State Bank in 1908. From the beginning, the town’s biggest problem was the lack of an adequate water supply. In 1903, a test well was drilled but had to be plugged because even at 2,800 feet no water appeared. For a long time the town had to depend on water being delivered by wagon. A Mr. NEAL, Sing MENTER and Mr. HITT made quite a profit with their water hauling businesses, as water went for 15 cents a barrel. Source: Shawnee New-Star Newspaper, 1991