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Notes on the Geography of Oklahoma: Oklahoma City: Water, Rail, Road: Photo 35

world pictures Oklahoma: Oklahoma City: Water, Rail, Road

And here's the county courthouse. Now that you're completely confused, put the pieces together. The Rock Island and Frisco tracks no longer cross the city, but the flour mill and the parking lot point to their original location. The lines were removed after a campaign lasting literally 20 years and pushed by The Oklahoman since 1909. The railroads weren't bothered in the least by the traffic jams they created, so they resisted change. Then, in 1930, when both railroads were bankrupt, an Oklahoma oilman named Frank Buttram met with a friend, Frederick Eckert, who happened to be chairman of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, which held a lot of the railroads' bonds. Eckert heard Buttram's plea and told the railroads to accede to the city's long-pending request to vacate. On receipt of $4 million from the city, they did, and on the site the city used federal funds to build a civic center. Capisce?

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