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Legacy in Logs

First log cabin built in Day Co., OK

Oklahoma's multifarious history can be researched through log cabins left by our lineage of territorial and early statehood days.

In El Reno one can see the log cabin used by the Civil War hero, General Phil Sheridan, as a base of operations during the Indian fighting expedition. It was erected at Fort Reno in April, 1876, but for the sake of preservation the El Reno Chamber of Commerce moved it to El Reno's Adams park in 1957.

Western Oklahoma history is preserved in Arnett by a log cabin built in 1893 on the O. A. Black homestead in the south-east corner of Ellis County. O. E. Null moved it to Arnett in 1929 where it stood near the Null Abstract Office.

13 Jun 1968

Log Cabin in Arnett being moved

C. A. Null, of the O. E. Null and Son, Inc, Abstracters, stands to the right watching the moving of an old log cabin which he donated to the local Boy Scouts, and it was moved last Tuesday from behind the abstract office to its new location on the courthouse lawn. To the right is Roy Beardsley who years ago assisted in moving the cabin to Arnett.

Brinkley-Sewell House Movers of Elk City, were secured to move the cabin to the new location. On the roof in the photo is Franklin Sewell making a check for clearance of wires. He called later at the Capital office, subscribed for the newspaper and stated that they would move anything for a fee.

The two-story log cabin was the first log house built in Day County in 1893. It contained many enormously heavy timbers, and played an important part in the early day history of this part of Western Oklahoma. Asa Derrick built the house for Tom Black. It was located on Turkey Creek at the foot of the Joe Pyle Canyon southeast of Arnett. The cedar timbers were hewn out of the native red cedar which thrived in all the canyons. Some of the logs in the house are two and a half feet square. The cabin was used as a home until 1943 when a dam was built at the head of the canyon and the occupant, Jake Richards, decided there was too much water at the head of the gulch for him to live at the bottom.

Photo below show cabin while it was still located at the Null Abstracters office.


Log Cabin in Ellis County
The late O. E. Null bought the cabin, tore it down and each log marked and hauled to Arnett to be reassembled in it's original position. All of the timber in the house was salvaged, none of it showing damage from age.

The building was placed back of O. E. Null Abstracters office and rented to L. H. Clark, former Ellis County Judge and County Attorney who used it for his law office.

The late O. E. Null, abstracter, moved from Winfield, Kansas to Grand in 1894. He lived and saw early day history in western Oklahoma, as has his son, C. A. Null. The O. E. Null & Son Abstracters was established in Arnett in 1902 and C. A. Null, with the help of his son, Bernard, and his daughter, Jaunita Page continue to operate the business.

21Oct 1970
Log Cabin Open House
Ellis County Log Cabin
The public is invited to an open house October 24, 1970, from 4 p.m. at the old Cabin on the court house square in Arnett, Oklahoma. Remodeling has recently been completed on the cabin. It is a 2-story building of cedar logs and was originally built on the East Half of the Southwest Quarter E 1/2SW 1 /4 of Section Thirty-three (33), Township Nineteen (19), Range Twenty-one (21) W. I. M. in Ellis County, Oklahoma near where Joe Pyle Canyon and Spring Canyon intersect. The original location of the cabin was east of what is now the Cree Ranch Lodge near the east bank of the Spring Canyon. The upper part of Spring Canyon was at one time called Turkey Creek. Tom Black built the cabin in what is now Old Day County in 1893.

According to Lynn Black, Tom Black (first cousin of Lynn and O. A. Black), married Belle Downing who ran a post office at Downs, Oklahoma, near Okeene. Tom Black had a son, Jay Black, by his first wife, and Belle had four sons named Bill Downing, Lew Downing, Ed Downing and one whose name it now unknown, a daughter, Dora Downing, and Olive Downing, young daughter of Bill Downing. All these people lived for several years in the log cabin. At that time, there was a lean-to attached.

The land and cabin sold in 1899 to Samuel Belew who proved up on the land and secured a patent signed by T. Roosevelt, President, dated June 26, 1906. The patent was not recorded until October 14th, 1919, at 10:00 o'clock a. m. in Book 6 of Patents, page 525 records of the County Clerk of Ellis County, Oklahoma.

According to Lynn Black, the cabin was build from cedar timbers hewn from the large cedars that grew in Spring Canyon. It was constructed by Tom Black, his four step-sons, Asa Derrick and other neighbors. Some of the logs in the cabin are huge, as much as 2 1/2 feet across. The Belew family and others have used the cabin until 1939. The late Roy Lee Belew of Woodward, lived in the cabin from the age of 12 years until he was a young man.

In 1939, the late O. E. Null, recognizing the historical value of the cabin, tore it down, had each lot marked and hauled to Arnett to be reassembled near what is now O. E. Null & Son, Inc., Abstracters. All the original timbers in the house were salvaged except two end logs which were on the ground. Roy Beardsley, Arnett, was in charge of marking the logs and supervising moving the cabin and reassembling it.

After it was moved to Arnett, the building was used by the late L. H. Clark. At one time it almost burned to the ground when a nearby building burned. The cabin still shows the scorching effects of the near-disaster.

In February, 1967, C. A. Null, for O. E. Null & Son, Inc., gave a bill of sale to the cabin to the Great Salt Plains Council, Boy Scouts of America. In June, 1968, the cabin was moved to its present location south of the old jail on the Courthouse Square in Arnett, a location provided through the courtesy of the Ellis County Commissioners, and it is now being used as a meeting place for Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts.

Troop 267, Boy Scouts of America, and Scoutmaster, Marshall Work, and Pack 267, Cub Scouts and Paul Huffman, Packmaster, wish to thank the hundreds of people who have donated money, time, materials and labor to the remodeling of the cabin to make it a home for the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and other civic organizations which will be holding meetings there. Troop 267 is sponsored by St. Alban's Lodge No. 192 AF&Am, and Pack 267 is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Arnett.

The Belew family are the ones that own Belewville. They have a photo of the cabin when the lean-to kitchen was attached.

6 Aug 1975

Log Cabin History Being Preserved

The old cabin, located on the northeast corner of the courthouse lawn in Arnett, is a beautifully preserved home of an early day family. It is a reminder of the past for the pioneers who will be coming to town August 15 and 16th for the early day settlers reunion and rodeo celebration held annually in Arnett.

Thanks to the O. E. Null family, the cabin has been preserved and is a bit of history for the younger generation to view.

The building was moved from the former Belew land southeast part of Ellis County. It had been built by a relative of the late O. A. Black for some homesteaders. Later O. E. Null bought the cabin from the Belew heirs. It was located on the edge of a creek and as the banks began to cave away, the building was moved to Arnett. It was build about 1892 of red cedar logs cut on the land where it was erected.

Several years ago, C. A. Null gave the cabin to the Arnett Boy Scouts and under the supervision of Scout Master, Marshall Word, it was restored as nearly as possible to it's original state.

Submitted by: (Top photo) Ellis County Historical Society
Stories and other photos taken from Ellis County Capital, 13 Jun 1968, Oct 1970 and 6 Aug 1975, as well as the additional photos of the cabin.
        Oklahoma Independent History and Genealogy
        Oklahoma Independent History and Genealogy

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