The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

August 21, 2013

Time capsule: Old Garfield Elementary cornerstone yields artifacts

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The contents of a time capsule found Tuesday inside the cornerstone of the old Garfield Elementary School provides a peek at life in Enid in late 1919.

No one was expecting to find a time capsule in the cornerstone, which had been moved to the district maintenance building as the school was being demolished.

“A copper box had been placed in the cornerstone,” said Amber Fitzgerald, human resources and communications director for Enid Public Schools. “From what we can tell, it was placed there by the contractor.”

Inside were the Thursday, Nov. 6, 1919, edition of the Enid Daily News; a 1919 penny; a 1910 penny; a trolley token; and business cards from F.W. Weller and J.J. Reardon, Weller and Reardon Contractors; O.A. Hamm, draftsman and commercial artist; R.W. Shaw, architect; and Enid Cornice and Heating Co., J.L. Tuley, proprietor. Also inside was a piece of paper with the names E.T. Elgin and Geo. W. Piner written on it, but nothing to explain the significance of the names.

The school district contacted Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, Fitzgerald said.

“They have been to look at it and they are checking their archives,” said Karl White, chief financial officer for EPS.

Aaron Preston, CSRHC archivist, said Wednesday afternoon the museum accepted most of the contents of the time capsule.

On the day the time capsule was sealed, Woodrow Wilson was president, James Robertson was Oklahoma governor and Milton C. Garber was mayor of Enid.

The following year, Garber purchased the Enid Morning News. In 1923, Garber merged the News with the Enid Eagle.

Preston said the Enid City Railway trolley cost between 5 and 7 cents.

“The railway operated from 1907 to 1929,” Preston said.

The lead story in the Nov. 6, 1919, Enid Daily News was headlined, “Ready For Legal Battle Saturday,” about a mining company’s plan to ask a judge to command withdrawal of a strike order.

On the opposite side of Page 1 was a story about a car struck by a train at Kremlin. The headline on that story reads, “Three Killed, Others May Die Following a Kremlin Accident.”

An advertisement for the theater shows the movie offering to be Tom Mix starring in “Rough Riding Romance.”

According to the Economy Grocery ad in the Nov. 6, 1919, newspaper, 25 cents would buy you two packages of Post Toasties or Grape Nuts; a large package of oats; three large rolls of toilet paper; three packages of macaroni and spaghetti; two large cans of Meje Meat; four cans of small Hebe milk; two packages of fancy meat; two quarts of cranberries; two large cans of pumpkin, hominy and kraut; two cans of tomatoes; a dozen fresh large pickles; a can of pink salmon; three pounds of Colorado pinto beans; or two cans of lima beans.

Economy Grocery, 223 S. Grand, was operated by John Waken and Nicholas Nicholas, Preston said.