Researching Oklahoma’s Past

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While researching my historical book series, I visited the Oklahoma History Center. My first book released in June of 2016, A Promise to Break: Love, faith and politics in the 1930s, and is based on a true story set in Shawnee Oklahoma. A wealthy, socialist banker’s daughter falls in love with a hobo, a poor bum who comes from a Christian family.  Her life is drastically changed.

The impressive History Center is northeast of the capitol and holds a huge museum. The research center staff was very helpful, gathering books, looking up data for me, etc.

My goal was to locate newspaper articles or books that listed my antagonist by name, Malcolm Trimble, confirming his work during the 1930s. Trimble was a bank auditor in the thirties, and auditors were not highly esteemed during that time. Of course not, what with all the banks failing left and right. I found one bank examiner fatally shot in Jackson County and others articles describing life threats against them. Not a good time to be a state bank examiner.

The first book the research assistant brought me had my grandfather’s name listed. That was awesome! He was an employee at Wewoka Bank in 1920. The assistant was amazed I found information so quickly. She said many people search for days for information. I confirmed other bankers’ named in my sources. Newspaper articles also listed Mr. Trimble as involved in a scandal that included State Bank Commissioner Barnett. Exactly as I had heard from family lore.

Those treasures made the trip worth it.

I came home with a large stack of copies of newspaper articles and book pages to read. My second book is ready for an editor and I’m already working on the third.

It’s a fun ride. I love research and discovering what God has done through people. If you are researching Oklahoma past, I suggest you make a trip to the Oklahoma History Center. The Lord willing, I hope to share my second book in the historical series with you soon, A Promise Child.

 

Kathryn Spurgeon
Christian writer and speaker Memory House Publishing

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