Located on lot 7 block 22 in Clearview, Oklahoma, this crumbling building has been many things from grocery store, to hardware store, to juke joint. Historians and residents alike have attempted to identify it's true origin and solve the mystery of what appears to be an insignificant part of history---until now!
The building located on Lot 7 Block 22 in Lincoln City, Oklahoma (legal description), began in 1903. This property, along with 30 additional acres, had previously been awarded to George Jackson upon his freedom from slavery by the Creek Native Americans, SEE HISTORY OF CLEARVIEW. It was George Jackson's desire to pass this land to his only child Lemuel Jackson, upon his death. The Muscogee Creek Nation strongly objected demanding that the property be returned to the Creek Nation upon the demise of Mr. Jackson. A court battle ensued and George inevitably became the victor; therefore upon his death his sole heir inherited all properties contained in his father's estate.
In 1903, Lemuel Jackson resided in the Clearview Indian Territories which was where many freedmen and former slaves settled because of it's reputation of being a safe haven for African Americans. When that part of the Territory began to grow, Lemuel, along with two other men decided to legally form a city. Thus, the Abe Lincoln Townsite was formed, and that part of the Territory was officially named Lincoln City, Clearview I.T. (Indian Territories).
The three men, Lemuel Jackson, J.A. Roper, and Rev. John Grayson platted the land and named the streets. Since Lemuel owned the overwhelmingly majority of the land, he became the Townsite Manager of Lincoln City, giving him sole authority to sell or lease lots to future residents. J.A. Roper became the first postmaster. At this time, the first newspaper was created. It was named The Lincoln Tribune and was printed in the back of the post office. Rev. John Grayson opened a fresh meat market and cold food storage facility.
In addition, these three founders of Lincoln City, formed the Abe Lincoln Trading Company according to the Commercial Laws of the Indian Territories to sell goods, services and building supplies to new and existing settlers. As a distribution point, they chose Lot 7 Block 22 to be the storefront because this parcel of land was located directly along the Western Railroad tracks. This location would have easily facilitated the shipping and receiving of goods.
The Abe Lincoln Trading Company was led by J.A. Roper, while Lemuel Jackson continued to sell and lease his property as Townsite Manager for almost decade. When both Lemuel and Mr. Roper became ill and could no longer function in their roles, the Company ceased operations. Anticipating his own death, Lemuel Jackson sold all of his remaining land, including the building located on Lot 7 Block 22 to J.E. Thompson, who was also a freedmen living in Anadarko, Oklahoma. Upon Lemuel's death, Mr. Thompson moved to Clearview and assumed the role of Townsite Manager and changed the name of the newspaper to The Patriarch which continued to be printed in the post office. From this point, the building that was once the Trading Company, changed many hands. The only evidence of the second use of this building was in 1911 when Dr. M.C. Alford bought the building and lot and opened the Clearview Drug Company.
OUR MISSION IS TO RESTORE & PRESERVE THIS RICH PART OF CLEARVIEW'S AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY FOR THE AWARENESS AND EDUCATION OF FUTURE GENERATIONS TO COME
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