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home : news : history March 26, 2015

10/9/2013 9:42:00 PM
Applications being taken for Cimarron River Bridge Queen

With construction progressing nicely on the new Cimarron river bridge south of Perkins, plans are being made for a dedication ceremony in late December or early January 2014. Since 1891, when the first bridge across the Cimarron River south of Perkins was completed, the community has selected a Bridge Queen to be part of the bridge dedication ceremony.

Young ladies 13 to 18 years of age who are residents of the Perkins- Tryon School district are eligible to apply. The 2013 Cimarron River Bridge Queen will be selected based on an essay of 250 words or less telling why she would like to serve as Bridge Queen and why she should be selected. Judging will be based on the content and quality of the essay and judges will not know the identity of the applicants. Judging will be done by a committee consisting of 1954 Bridge Queen Judy (Sadler) Bartram, Darla Woody, and Mariann Miller.

Applications may be picked up at Payne County Bank, Stroud National Bank, Sasser & Company Antiques, or Perkins Tag Agency. There is also an application on page 5 of this edition of The Journal.

The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. Applications may be turned in at The Perkins Journal, 222 N. Main St., Perkins or mailed to: Bridge Queen Contest, PO Box 667, Perkins, OK 74059

The winner will be announced Dec. 12, and introduced at Perkins Old Fashioned Country Christmas celebration.

The first bridge across the Cimarron river south of Perkins was completed on September 1, 1891, three weeks before the land run opening the Iowa and Sac and Fox reservations to settlement. The single lane bridge was 740 feet long with handrails on either side. A dedication celebration was held at the bridge prior to the opening. Two queens were chosen, one white and one Indian, symbolizing the joining of the lands of the white man on the north side of the river with the Indian country on the south side. Miss Nellie Stumbo, of Anglo- Saxon decent, the daughter of S. R. Stumbo, and Miss Mellie Tohee, of Indian decent, the daughter of Chief David Tohee, met in the middle of the bridge and each christened the structure with a bottle of wine. Then Miss Stumbo spoke these words, "We anoint this bridge as a token of peace and goodwill toward all men. May the friendly intercourse of these two races be forever sealed by the mingling of this wine." Then the crowd of about 1000 people listened to such orators as Hon. Horace Speed, Colonel Ross, William T. Little, E. G. Guthrie, F. H. Green, F. B. Lilly, and Captain Bain.

Previous Cimarron River Bridge Queens were: 1891 - Mellie (Tohee) Dole and Nellie (Stumbo) Mote, 1897 - Maude (DeVault) Baker, 1905 - Daisy (Clark) Holbrook, 1954 -Judy (Sadler) Bartram, and 2005 (Coyle Bridge) -Marlene McAnally.





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