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February 10, 1996

Faye Martin of Broken Arrow numbers herself among the hundreds of those who are interested in the history and romance of the old Miller brothers' 101 Ranch which flourished earlier this century in the Marland-Ponca City area. Faye is a niece of Harry and Leona Elwell of this community, and they have provided assistance in securing first-hand accounts of the ranch's golden era. That was in the 1920s when the 101 Ranch Wild West Show captivated audiences in this country and abroad.

The ranch and the show fell victims to the Great Depression and eventually all the assets were liquidated. Many of the performers chose to remain in Oklahoma; quite a few settled right here in Perry. From them we used to hear personal stories about the ranch, its own self-contained business empire, the Wild West Show, and other aspects of that chapter of Oklahoma history, but unfortunately time has taken its toll there. Only a handful of 101 Ranch cowboys and show performers remain.

With the Elwell's help, Ms. Martin has accumulated a number of picture postcards of the ranch plus the interesting recollections of Louis Stanislav, one of the Perry-born members of Cap Swift's Zouave troop which performed with the ranch show. Louis wrote her an interesting letter telling of the founding, life and demise of the ranch.

"I have several postcards of the ranch and will present a program at our next Postcard Club meeting, using his (Louis') letter and the cards," Ms. Martin writes. She also adds: "I wonder if you know of any others who might be willing to tell of their experiences with the ranch. I'm not interested in exploiting this knowledge, only in preserving the stories for my own enjoyment."

I know many people in this area have saved photos and personal stories of the ranch, and perhaps they will be willing to pass that along to this lady. Write to her at 407 S. 5th Pl., Broken Arrow, OK 74012.

Registered voters in all Oklahoma school districts will march to the polls next Tuesday to approve annual millage requests to pay for our public school system. In Perry the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the usual precinct voting locations. It is so easy to stay home when the election lacks the stimulus of some controversy or political strife, but aren't we lucky there are no such elements involved in this district.

Still, Oklahoma law requires that the millage be approved by a majority of the voters who DO go to the polls. The Perry district is asking the same amount that has been routinely OK'd here for years, but if you don't bother to vote "yes" you put the school system at risk. The millage asked here is just enough to keep our schools in operation as they have been for years. If you're 18 years old and a registered voter, be sure to visit the polls Tuesday and make sure our children's education goes on uninterrupted.