Early Oklahoma City and the problem of mapping the streets
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How do you build a city?
Back in 1889 the settlement of the Unassigned Lands began. With lots of people moving to a new area, planning the way a town was laid out was very important.
Now, it seems that the smart way to build a city would be to draw the streets first. But people had already claimed pieces of land, so First Street might cut right across Bob's front lawn and take out his garage. Or as they called it in 1889, his hitching post.
Let's call in the professionals
But there was a problem! The companies who were designing the roads inside Oklahoma City couldn't agree on where to put the streets. This caused a lot of arguments and fighting, so a group of 14 people were chosen to help settle the dispute and find a solution.
They started by looking at the southern part of South Oklahoma City and making new maps. But when they got to Grand Avenue, they realized that if they changed the street, some people wouldn't have a place to live anymore! You can understand how this might be a big problem.
It just takes a little compromise, just 'bend' a little
After thinking about it, they came up with a solution. They decided to compromise and make a little bend in the street, so that everyone could keep their lots and have a place to live.
So, even though there was a problem, people worked together to find a solution that satisfied everyone.
This is an important lesson that we can learn from, that sometimes we need to work together and compromise to solve our problems.
****If you enjoy reading about the history of Oklahoma, you might like My Daddy Was The Last Sheriff of Delaware District," Recalls Cherokee Prairie Woman
Hi, I'm Judy! I love bringing a magnifying glass to where psychology and history cross. What makes people do what they do? Why did they make that choice? What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments and share this article on social media and with family and friends, if you'd like.