Article transcribed & submitted by: Tammie Chada
By the second day after the opening citizens of this community had a political white elephant on their hands. There were no less than four full-fledged city governments, Guthrie proper, East Guthrie, West Guthrie, and Capitol Hill, early settlers recall.
There were plenty of suggestions as to how to get out of the situation, but, somehow, they refused to work. Finally, a California mounted a wagon and informed the crowd that an election for mayor would be held.
The tellers counted the men as they passed in twos. But the votes were doubled so many times that the cry of "Fraud" was raised and no election was held.
Then the populace agreed that each state get together and elect a councilman and the group would select a mayor.
Thirty-two states were represented in the four separate communities. A committee of one from each was chosen at a general mass meeting, held on April 24, Charles W. Constantine, ex-mayor of Springfield, Ohio, was elected chairman of the meeting, and Robert F. Hill, secretary. Occupants of each half-section organized themselves into townsites.
Col. D. B. Dyer was elected the first mayor of Guthrie, and a council of 18 members was elected. The new body held three meetings a day in a large day.
Then Guthrie's government and physical development really came into being. Ordinances were passed and police enforced them. An appointed surveyor surveyed the city and made a plot. The city's north, west and south lines were bound by creeks, and Division St. formed the east boundary. Tents were ordered removed from the streets.
Government developed quickly. A city convention was called and certain men were elected to prepare a charter for the government of the city. Another election, the fourth in six months, was provided for.
Tents were replaced by frame buildings and business of all kinds were rapidly established. Cost of living in Guthrie was at all times moderate.
But Guthrie struck a snag in all of its rapid development. The fact that Guthrie was chosen as the seat of government turned the other towns in the territory against it, and it was hard to get proper representation friendly to Guthrie's interests. Old timers remember the cry "A Vote for Colson is a vote for Guthrie."
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