This new 220 page booklet is quirky, but interesting and a genealogical goldmine for the Covington Oklahoma area! Early days in the Covington area of Southeastern Garfield County Oklahoma are captured in this unusual book written by the daughter of a pioneering family. Reprinted complete with typos, misspellings and quirky footnotes -- the book gives a close-up view of pioneer life along the Cherokee Strip around the turn of the 20th Century. The original book, entitled A History of Covington, Garfield County, Oklahoma and Surrounding Territory was written in 1952 by Mrs. Fannie Eisele. Our edition is called simply Covington, Okahoma USA -- it fits easier on the 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 front cover, which is printed on 80# card stock and protected with a vinyl sheet. The text is printed on 60# paper. Besides Covington, area towns mentioned are: Douglas, East Covington, Fairmont, Garber, Hayward, Lucien, Marshall and West Covington. After a personal account of the struggles and delights of pioneer life -- from chinch bugs and sod houses to pet prarie dogs and taffy pulls -- Mrs. Eisele names the early settlers in Marshall, Otter, Reed, and Wood townships. The Sale of town lots brought a lot of spectulors, and -- eventually -- some businesses. These are listed -- but what might otherwise be a boring list, is spiced up by Biblical quotes and footnotes. For instance, a note that a Mr. Goode "stopped his car...then in a hurry to get away, forgetfully started without reversing and shot inside through the front door" and a tale of a lad who bought two hamburgers on credit and saved for a year to pay off the 10 cent debt. Information on public buildings, utilities and town officers follows. Various church histories are related, followed by a paragraph or more on various clubs, often including the names of members. Apparently Mrs. Eisele requested each group to send her information because she writes in a footnote that ... some accounts were written with pencil on most anything from napkins to wall paper, in dim script somewhat short of Spencerian perfection, and more like the scratches of a rheumatic chicken...but with thanks to our helpful contributors, and apology to any victims of typographic error, we will "proceed to proceed"... A section on the Covington-Garber Oil Field mentions "the black Gold bubbling up out of the ground resembled an old fashioned kettle of boiling soap." This is followed by information on Bus Lines and Covington schools, and sections on the smaller towns. A list of additional homesteaders is followed by a brief essay comparing the Oklahoma settlers to Adam and Eve, the followers of Moses, and the Plymouth pilgrims! Mrs. Eisele's work was illustrated, and against our better judgement we have included copies of these photographs. But the orginal pictures were terrible and as my mother used to say "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." Nonetheless, despite its shortcomings, this book should prove a valuable resource to anyone interested in the history and genealogy of the area.
Covington (Garfield County), OK
Sources: A History of Covington, Garfield County, Oklahoma and Surrounding Territory / Covington Oklahoma USA
Authors: Fannie Eisele
Original Publication Year: 1952
Original Publisher: The Goodspeed Publishing Co.
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