Home-Seekers’ Guide

Excellent Copy of a Very Rare, Early Oklahoma Land Guide, with Map

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581. WENNER, Fred L. Home-Seekers’ Guide. Containing the Indian Treaty, How to File a Claim, Bill Opening Reservation, Full List of Reserved Lands, How to Read Corner Stones, Homestead, Mining and Sooner Laws, Complete List of Unsurveyed Lands, Description of Country by Townships, Changes in Boundary Line of Reservation, Correct Sectional Map of Kiowa and Comanche Lands. No Other Book Contains All These Features. Oklahoma Territory.... N.p., n.d. [Wrapper title & imprint] Home-Seeker’s Guide. How to Take a Claim. With a Sectional Map of the Kiowa and Comanche Indian Reservation, Provisions of Treaty, Etc. Published by Fred L. Wenner, Guthrie, Okla. 36th Thousand March 1901. Copyrighted. Guthrie, 1901. [1] 2-23 [1, ads] pp., folded lithograph map (see below). 12mo (15 x 12 cm), original stiff brown printed wrappers (neatly rebacked with matching cloth), ads on recto of wrap, text on verso of lower wrap, text begins: Commencing in August or September, 1901. Other than a small chip at blank upper corner of lower wrap, a very fine copy of a remarkable survival.


[Above upper neat line] Issued Supplementary to the Homeseekers’ Guide (April, 1901, Edition), Fred L. Wenner, Publisher, Guthrie, Okla. [Title in box at top right] Sectional Map of the Kiowa, Comanche and Apache Wichitas (County “I”), Reservation, Oklahoma, U.S.A. Engraved and Printed by Hudson-Kimberly Publishing Company, Kansas City, Mo. [untitled inset map of Indian Territory including Greer County, northeast Texas, railroads, locations of tribes, etc.], [above neat line at lower left] Hudson-Kimberly Pub. Co. Engrs. K.C. Mo. [Printed notation in red above publishers’ name] Sections 16, 36, 13, 33 of each Township are reserved by the Government for Schools, etc., as shown in yellow. Lithograph map, neat line to neat line: 52.5 x 38 cm; inset map: 17.8 x 18 cm; overall sheet size: 55.6 x 43.2 cm. Other than slight browning to map where attached to the upper wrapper, exceptionally fine and bright. Beaver County is so long that the western portion has its own little inset.

     First edition, “36th Thousand March 1901.” The only hard copy OCLC locates for this title is the Yale copy, which is dated in 1900; the only sales record we find is the Eberstadt copy (134:523) in 1954 @$100: “Issued just prior to the ‘opening’ and great rush.” Howes W258.

     This is a guide, which, though printed in large runs, obviously is very rare as a result of intense usage by settlers, speculators, and others. The book and its excellent map were simply “used up” because they presented in a handy, succinct format the beginning, middle, and end of what one needed to know to get to the Land Rushes and what to do to be successful once there. Wenner’s guide first came out in 1892: The Homeseeker’s Guide. Eighteen Million Acres of Indian Lands for White Settlers. Sectional Map of Oklahoma Territory (two copies located, Yale and Kansas State Historical Society). These publications continued through 1905, with constant updates by Wenner. After 1906, he switched his focus to publications such as The New State: All of the Facts and Figures about Oklahoma and Indian Territories from Official Sources, With Synopsis of Statehood Bills and Latest Map (Guthrie, 1906?), and Compendium of Greater Oklahoma: Or the New State in a Nutshell (Guthrie, 1907?)

Author Fred L. Wenner (1865-1956), born to German parents in Ohio, was an industrious promoter of Indian and Oklahoma Territories, who constantly published updated guides to the lands of the dismembered tribes during the great land rushes, as well as several guides to Oklahoma after the dust settled. Wenner reported on the Land Rush for The New York Herald, Chicago Times, and The St. Louis Globe Democrat. He was on the first train to arrive at Guthrie and claimed to be the first newspaperman to set foot in the Oklahoma country and the fourth person to reach Guthrie (preceded only by an engineer, a fireman, and a woman seated on the cowcatcher of the first Santa Fe train to arrive). At the time of his death, Wenner was the oldest original newspaperman in the State. Having worked in newspapers before coming to Oklahoma, he continued his trade after arriving, at times serving as editor of several Oklahoma papers (see Foreman, Oklahoma Imprints 1835-1907, pp. 329, 343-344). Wenner was also interested in civic development. He was involved in establishing the postal system in Oklahoma, served as Secretary to three Oklahoma governors and the Guthrie City Treasury, and worked to establish good roads, schools, churches, and financial institutions. His eyewitness history of the exciting days of the Land Rushes, The Story of Oklahoma and the Eighty-Niners, is a standard work. Mary E. Newbern interviewed Wenner three years before his death and had access to a copy of a typescript (“The Fred L. Wenner Story”) in which he tells his own story. Newbern’s article deftly captures Wenner and his era (see See also Joseph Bradfield Thoburn, A Standard History of Oklahoma, p. 1939.


Sold. Hammer: $1,900.00; Price Realized: $2,327.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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