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June 1, 1996

Birdseye view postcard looking north on 6th Street, Perry, Oklahoma
This excellent photo of 1915 Perry is owned by Don Stoddard.

My friend Don Stoddard has a fascinating collection of photos and newspaper clippings relating to Perry's history and his high school football days in the early 1950s. Recently he received from his daughter, Gayla, who lives in Edmond, a marvelous matted and hand-colored photo of the northeast corner of the square as it appeared in 1915. The photo's perspective is looking north on Sixth street and it shows clearly where the brick pavement ended at the corner of Sixth and Elm.

An abundance of trees, most of them apparently elms, can be seen throughout the city, all of a uniform height and fully leafed out for summer. A one-horse carriage is rounding the comer at Sixth street, heading west up Delaware. One of the new-fangled horseless carriages is parallel-parked at the corner and a two-horse dray is approaching the intersection.

Prominent in the foreground are Roy Morris' two-story brick building, the former home of Bush & Joe's Smoke House and now the home of his CPA business, and the two-story sandstone building next door which we now know as The Trib, where attorney Nikki Leach and cattlemen Bill Gengler and Laddie Trojan have their offices. The east wall of the old wooden Elite Hotel & Restaurant is visible. Across the alley from Roy's building is the two-story frame structure where Orlando Walkling once had a market and hotel. Looking up Sixth 9 street to the corner of Sixth and Elm, where David Luthye now has a garage, you can make out a two-story house surrounded by lush trees.

The photo also shows the old I.X.L. Livery Stable on the north side of Elm street. That building is still standing in the same location, 611 Elm street. Don would like to have more, information about the livery stable and would appreciate hearing from anyone who can help out. His home is at #19 Villa Apartments, Hwy. 77 & Noble street. My thanks to him for letting me see the photo and other parts of his fascinating collection. His daughter found the historic 1915 photo in an Oklahoma City gallery.

Betty Andrews read with interest the recent column about Kraemer's Shoe Store on the east side of the square, in the building now occupied by Mel's Clothing. "I worked at Kraemer's in the summers of 1942 and 1943 while in high school," Betty recalls. "They sold women's and children's clothes as well as men's. Children's Jumping Jacks were the No. 1 seller, guaranteed to protect a child's backside. One of the best selling items for all ages was the white jumpsuit. Sweaters were different. The 'sloppy Joe' style was the in sweater. The bigger the better. They had to come within an inch of the bottom of your skirt, to be just right. The short button-down sweater had darling unusual puffed sleeves. I always had clothes but never a paycheck! When I graduated from high school, Mr. and Mrs. Ott Edson, the store owners, showed me a huge box of assorted flowers to wear in your hair, and I got to pick out two of them. World War II was going on then and most of us at home wore our hair parted in a V in back, then put a flower on each side. The Edsons were good people to work for.

Thanks, Betty, for those remembrances of Kraemers, the Edsons, and a special time of life from the 1940s.