Supply, OK


I was born on June 11, 1919 in the little town of Supply, OK in the Northwest part of the state. I think it received its name because that is exactly what it was in the early days, a supply center for this somewhat remote area. Also just about a mile from this little town was a small but well cared for military fort. There were trees planted on both sides of the road to the fort. The fort was an area that was complete in itself. There were no other roads away from the fort except through the little town of Supply. Soldiers who were ill with emotional problems were cared for at this hospital post. In all the years I have visited there everything was neat, clean and well cared for. As the need for the active fort was over, it became mainly a hospital complex for some type of home or medical care.

supplycircus.jpg (43601 bytes)The population of Supply must have been around 250 people (if that many). There were many farms around Supply and people did their Saturday shopping in Supply. Main Street was about three blocks long. There was the Bank of Supply that my family owned.  The bank had been founded in 1905 by E. L. Gandy who also owned a large general store.   (see picture above)  In 1907 Mr Gandy sold the bank to E. M. Lowe and T. P. Lowe for $500.  In 1911 my grandfather, Burrell Million, Sr. bought the bank.   And of course the door to the bank was angled across the corner with the name of the bank and certain assets printed there. All banks back then had their entry door like this. At that time the bank was a wooden structure but some time after 1911 the bank built a new brick building.

BankofSupplyNew.jpg (84879 bytes)BankofSupplyOld.jpg (100208 bytes)






Next to the bank was the Davis Drug strore and then several vacant lots. Then there was Mr. Cunningham’s barbershop, which received all the business because there was no other barber. Next was a somewhat longer space – then a huge two story brick building which contained Gandy's,  a well supplied general store. It had a little bit of everything. This building had an elevator inside going to the second story. On the outside was a long wooden stairway, which everyone climbed to go to the weekend dance or some special program that took place there.

Since there weren’t that many opportunities for fellowship, no one minded climbing the long wooden staircase at the general store to the dance floor on the second floor. I remember when a local orchestra was played there. They also played at the auditorium at the hospital about a mile away. Every so often there were dances held in the auditorium area of the large administration building. My family was always invited to these dances and we went a number of times. My daddy would always ask me to waltz with him at least once during the evening. It made me feel so grown up and special.

Supply also consisted of a post office, a newspaper and a very small print shop. There was also a very small hotel, one grocery store, one “rooming house,” Hurst’s garage and filling station, one grain elevator and one little train depot just three blocks from the bank corner. There was a small two story hotel diagonally across Main Street from the bank. There were vacant lots all down this side of Main Street. In about the middle of this area was a well built little bandstand where on special times or Saturday evenings my brother Don (a teenager then) would sometimes play his trombone and the husband of the  postmaster, Red Vaughn, played the drums. They would give us a little jazz festival. A number of cars would show up with various families and park in a row down the middle of Main Street and listen and visit after they had finished their shopping. People sat in their cars and visited with one another with their car doors open or the top folded back.

In October 2002 Ed and Pat took me back to see Supply again. Ed has a friend whose parents live in Supply, Bobbie and Zelda Norman, and they went out of their way to make the trip special. First they contacted a classmate of mine, Barbara Doris Devore, whom I had not seen since I was 11 years old. We both remembered each other and recalled a lot of families who lived there in the 20's. Then we went to city hall where they had information about my family and the bank. Bobbie drove us around to see the town. There is not much there after 70 years, but the bank building is still there and we were able to go inside. It is now apartments, but the fancy ceiling that I remember is still there. The old boarding house and an old church are also still there. There were a few homes there that I remembered including Dr. Stelcher's, the Gandy's and others.


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