McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

October 3, 2013

Hook Eales tied to Civil War, Great Depression

(Continued)

McALESTER —

“Eleven of these men died of disease, mostly measels, when they were encamped in a Confederate military camp called ‘Bokluksi,’” Crowl said, adding that Bokluksi was the Choctaw name for an area between North McAlester and Lake Eufaula.

“The 12th was a murder victim while located in that same area.”

Crowl said the 12 were eventually moved to Oak Hill Cemetery.

Oklahoma gained statehood in 1907, at which point the city of McAlester gained ownership of Jeff Lee Park. From the team’s inception in the early 1910s through to 1936, the McAlester Buffaloes played football at the Fairgrounds, the flat parklands behind Puterbaugh Middle School now known as Mike Deak Field.

The Great Depression hit McAlester as it hit the rest of the nation, but McAlester landed a district office for the Works Project Administration. A program created by then-president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the WPA paid the country’s massive unemployed population to build public works such as new roads and buildings.

For McAlester, that meant construction of the Armory, the swimming pool and the stadium.

“The people were very happy to have this district WPA office because they had a feeling that this way, they’d get their fair share of the projects they had to delve out into southeastern Oklahoma,” Crowl said.

“That they employed 150 men was the big deal.”

Both the Armory and Jeff Lee Pool opened in 1936, the pool opening on Aug. 16. Crowl, whose given talks previously on McAlester during the Great Depression, said 1936 was the “hottest, driest year that we have ever known” in McAlester, and with temperatures cracking 110 degrees in the three days prior, the pool’s opening day drew more than 600 paying customers.

Jeff Lee Stadium opened a year later, the first home game taking place on Sept. 18, 1937, against Muskogee. At that time the home stands were on the west side of the structure, and according to Clyde Wooldridge’s McAlester: The Capital of Little Dixie, the game drew in more than 2,000 attendees and made approximately $608 dollars in ticket sales — more than five times the average gate the previous season.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
Seasonal Content
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.