Alva Pioneer - 1904

Information from the 1904 Souvenir Edition - of the Alva Pioneer, Friday, Jan. 1, 1904, Vol. 11, No. 16, by W. F. Hatfield, Alva, Woods Co., Oklahoma. W. F. Hatfield, Publisher Daily and Weekly Pioneer editor, sold the Souvenir Edition in 1904 for 50-Cents. It was printed to celebrate Alva's tenth anniversary since the opening of 1893.

Scott Cummins, The Pilgrim Bard.

Scott Cummins, Pilgrim BardKansas and Oklahoma had their Poets & Bards. The following information was taken from the Alva Pioneer Souvenir Edition dated January 1, 1904. The headlines starts out with -- President Roosevelt Reads. It goes on to state in sub headlines, The Book That All Oklahomans Are Proud of -- 'Musings of the Pilgrim Bard.' The president expressed much pleasure over its contents. It is copied from the Wichita Eagle's Washington Correspondence.

Senator Long has presented to the president a copy of The Musings of the Pilgrim Bard for his perusal. The president has already read a number of the little poems, and has expressed his pleasure at them.

The Pilgrim Bard is Scott Cummins, who during the 1903 era resided at Winchester, Oklahoma. He formerly lived in Barber County, Kansas, out in the canyons far away from the town of Medicine Lodge. He was a typical frontiersman, and liked the solitude of nature. Indeed most of his poems are incident to nature and the wild life of the frontier. While in Barber county Cummins was a regular contributor to the Medicine Lodge Cresset, published and edited by Tom McNeal, of Topeka. For years the Creset seldom went to press without some of Cummins' verse.

Senator Long was well acquainted with Cummins from the days when the former first went to Medicine Lodge to practice law. He had a great liking for him, which the Pilgrim Bard fully appreciated. They became fast friends. So when Cummins decided to get up a book of his verse he sent two copies to his old friend -- one for himself and the other to be presented to the president. Senator Long carried out his old friend's request, and this is how the president happened to read The Musings of the Pilgrim Bard. The president had expressed himself as being delighted with the verse. It is indeed good, and besides being close to nature, contains much of pathos, eloquence and philosophy. It is strong, and not unlike the writings of Eugene Field and James Whitcomb Riley.

Tom McNeal wrote the introduction to the book. He tells of his long acquaintance with Cummins. He also tells the latter's history. Cummins was a native of Ohio, a soldier of the war of the rebellion, lived for years in Iowa, then migrated to southwestern Kansas, and finally to Oklahoma. He was always seeking loneliness and the frontier life, ahead of the march of civilization. Though he was in a sense a hermit, he was always genial and companionable, so his old friends say.

Alva Pioneer 1904 Links
Agitator & Oklahoma Run
U. S. Land Office
Alva Tidbits of 1903
1904 - Early Recollections
1st Bridge & Frame Building
Oklahoma Broom Corn
Oklahoma Beats the World
Scott Cummins, Pilgrim Bard
Tenderfoot Girl in the West
In Oklahoma - Early 1900 poem
Woods Co. Schools - 1904
Alva Pioneer Staff
1st Newspaper
The Scramble for Land
Eagle Furniture Store & Undertaking
1904 Letter to Editor - John Culver
Summary - Annual Report 1903