Pioneer Genealogical Society - Ponca City, Oklahoma




The Blackwell Sun
Blackwell, Oklahoma
June 25, 1903

The Times Record
Blackwell, Oklahoma
June 25, 1903

Submitted by
Loyd Bishop

A.J. Blackwell Suddenly Passes Away
And Was the Founder of Blackwell

From Friday’s Daily

A. J. Blackwell, the founder of the city of Blackwell is dead. This forenoon John R. May received the following telegram:
Chelsea, I. T. - June 19-03

Mr. Blackwell dropped dead this morning. Will be buried tomorrow at 4:30. - Rosa Blackwell

A few weeks ago Mr. Blackwell moved his family from this
City to Chelsea, I. T., to be nearer the scenes of some large business transactions he had recently engaged in.
The announcement of his death was a great surprise, and the news rapidly spread throughout the city, many people being inclined to doubt the truth of the report, owing to the fact that he has been on one or two occasions during the past few years reported dead.
A. J. Blackwell was probably close to sixty years old at the time of his death. He was born in the state of Mississippi, but spent a great many years in the Cherokee Nation, his wife being part Cherokee. During his latter years he accumulated a great deal of property and was a very wealthy man at the time of his death. He leaves a widow and three children.
A. J. Blackwell was a town builder. Long before the Cherokee Strip was opened to settlement he conceived the idea of building a city upon the present site of Blackwell. He secured the allotments, three eighties, and when the strip opened to settlement on Sept. 16th, 1893, this town had already been laid out and surveyed into lots, blocks and streets, with one house on the town site, a small frame building that now stands back of the Blackwell hotel on West Blackwell Avenue. The original name of this city was Blackwell Rock, but the citizens soon dispensed with the Rock and adopted the name of Blackwell. He afterwards founded the town of David, in the Cherokee Nation, and was also one of the founders of the town Chelsea in the same country.


Last Friday morning John R. May received a telegram from Mrs. Blackwell at Chelsea, I.T., announcing the sudden death of her husband, Col. A. J. Blackwell, and later by letter to Mr. May gave an account of his death, burial, etc. Mr. Blackwell arose Friday morning in usual health and sprits, but before he had completely dressed he spoke to Mrs. Blackwell and told her to look at him as he was going to die, and almost as he spoke he turned purple, and toppled over before Mrs. Blackwell could reach him to support him. Death followed shortly. The funeral held Saturday was conducted by Chelsea Lodge, I.O.O.F, of which the deceased was a member. Colonel Blackwell, as founder and principal builder of this city, has had much to do with its history and the story of his life if properly compiled would read like fiction. He was an eccentric character, but was a shrewd, capable business man and had amassed thousands that in a few years would have made him worth what he claimed he would be, a millionaire; his holdings in this city are among the most valuable in town, and he was builder and owner of Hotel Blackwell corner; Hotel Maine corner, and Hotel Kay corner; also four brick buildings are some valuable unimproved property; at one time his monthly rent toll amounted to $1500. His permanent improvements showed his faith in the town and while in the past two years he has not given his interests here much of his time, still it is known that he thought highly of Blackwell. About three months ago he moved his family to Chelsea, I.T., to give his time to the development of his vast coal, oil and farming interests near there and they bid fair to make him a millionaire. While at times of an irascible disposition much could be said to his credit and his bite was never as serious as his bark. He was a humorist and could give or take a joke even when most perplexed with cares. The Commercial club at their meeting Tuesday of this week took action on the death of Col. Blackwell by passing the following resolution:
Whereas, The sad news has come to us of the sudden lamented death of Col. A.J. Blackwell at Chelsea, I.T., and whereas, Col. Blackwell was the founder of our city, its first mayor and its chief citizen; therefore, be it resolved, By the Blackwell Commercial club, that in the death of Col. A.J. Blackwell our city has lost one of its most ardent supporters and friends, whose death is most universally deplored and lamented, and his widow a kind and affectionate husband, and his children a loving father. Be it further Resolved, that to the widow and children of Col. Blackwell we offer our heartfelt sympathy and condolence and that a copy of that resolution be sent to the widow and children of Col. Blackwell.