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December 18, 1998

Postcard of the home of P. R. Lau
Stylish Early Day Perry Home of P. F. Lau is shown on this picture postcard bearing a 1912 cancellation date on the reverse side. The house apparently was at Twelfth and Market streets.

More contributions from some of our readers...

Allie Campbell, now a resident of Green Valley Nursing Home, noticed a recent reference in this corner to the Orlando drug store once operated by the late Forrest Elliott of Perry. "My memory goes back so far and no one I know seems to remember anything," Mrs. Campbell writes. "There was a drug store in Orlando. I still own the building. My father, Charles Weber, built it or had it built in about 1925. It is now the Orlando post office and has been for several years."

Mrs. Campbell continues: "There was also a drug store on Main street owned and operated by Pat Gilmore. It was about across the street from what is now the new Community building. Orlando was quite a town at one time before paved roads or cars. My father was in the run and homesteaded." Perhaps another reader can contribute more to this recollection. Thanks to Mrs. Campbell for sharing it with us.

Another recent column referred to an office on the second floor of a building occupied in 1904 by P E (Fred) Lau on the north side of the square. Mr. Lau's name was visible on the frontage window of a second story office in the J.E. Evans building, now occupied on the ground floor by Three Sands Oil Co. Mr. Lau had a real estate and loans company back then. By coincidence, at about the time that column recently appeared, Jack Dolezal came across a picture postcard among his family possessions. A penciled message appears on one side, addressed to C.M. Day of Kansas City, Kan., and mailed from Perry in 1912. It is signed simply "Nina." On the reverse side is a hand-colored photograph of a handsome, sturdy-looking two-story house on a spacious green lawn. A line printed at the bottom identifies it as the home of "P.F. Lau, Perry, Okla." According to my copy of the 1910-11 city directory, the Laus of that time lived at Twelfth and Market streets, which presumably is the site of the home shown in this postcard.

Joe Beckham brings me a copy of The Perry Daily Journal published on Friday, October 4, 1929 -- 69 years ago. It's fragile and a bit shopworn, but stories on the front page provide interesting reading. The lead article that day was based on an Associated Press item about the resolution of a bloody riot at the Colorado State Prison in Canon City, which claimed the lives of seven guards and six convicts. There was a definite local angle to the story -- a former Perry cleaning shop operator was identified as ringleader of the mutiny. He used different names in Perry and Colorado, the account stated. He was sentenced here in 1924 after pleading guilty in district court to robbing the Frank Sanders store at Ceres.

The secondary lead story on page one of that same issue reported that a former Morrison lumberman had been acquitted by a Noble county district court jury on charges of misappropriating company funds for his own use. Also on the docket for that court session was the case of a Noble county commissioner whose removal from office had been asked by the grand jury. That case was continued until the December docket. Names of the accused are not important enough to warrant their use here, but the stories show how lively things were in our little city back then.

A front-page feature story in that same issue concerns a bell in the local Methodist church tower. Here's part of the piece: "An unusual discovery about which little had been heard among the present (1929) members of the Methodist church was uncovered when the bell, which has hung in the church lo these many years, was removed from the steeple. The bell was purchased and installed by the Ladies Aid of the Methodist church and was put in place in 1904 and has served the church faithfully all these years. All of the names of those who helped secure the bell are molded on the outside of the bell as well as the date. Among those names of the officers and members of the aid at that time is the name of one Perry resident at the present time (1929), that of Mrs. John Hendley, who still is a member of the church here." Other details, but no names, follow. It's an interesting story.

Thanks to Joe Beckham and the others for bringing these items to our attention.