The Edmond Sun


April 3, 2014

Extension recreating demonstration train whistle stop for centennial celebration

EDMOND — These days the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service (OCES) uses a blend of 21st century technology to help fulfill its mission of helping Oklahomans live the best lives possible. In addition to a strong social media presence, Extension’s two weekly television shows — SUNUP (agriculture) and Oklahoma Gardening — boast more than 2.5 million views on YouTube.

But, in Extension’s earliest days, agents crisscrossed the state on demonstration trains, sharing the latest trends and know-how for farm and family.

“This year, Extension is celebrating its 100th birthday, and the popularity and effectiveness of demonstration trains are a perfect example of how Extension has always used the technology available to work to make life better for Oklahomans of all ages,” said James Trapp, associate director of OCES.

As part of its centennial celebration, OCES is hosting the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Whistle Stop and Festival from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 12 at the Rock N Rail yard, located off Highway 66 east of Wellston.

A reenactment of a demonstration train whistle stop from the early 1900s, the festival is free and open to the public. Tents and booths will feature Extension-related demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages. Lunch will be provided to the first 500 in attendance.

At the turn of the century, trains were used to move both people and products, and railroad companies strongly supported early Extension work, said David Peters, interim head, special collections, at Oklahoma State University’s Edmon Low Library.

“They would have about 8-10 cars. They’d have poultry on one car, swine on another, home demonstration agents working on others,” he said. “These trains would travel through communities, stop and give presentations. One year, one train attracted more than 52,000 people.”

Though the earliest demonstration trains began rolling in Iowa in 1904, the first demonstration train rumbled across the Oklahoma plains in October 1910, thanks to a partnership between OSU (then Oklahoma A&M College) and the Frisco Railway, according to “Centennial Histories Series: Agriculture” by Donald E. Green.

According to Green’s account, that train included a cattle car, flat car, baggage car and a coach and a staff car. During an 18-day swing through 89 towns in western Oklahoma, the train covered 1,482 miles and drew about 40,000 spectators.

Sometimes known as “county fairs on wheels,” demonstration trains had something for everyone, including women and children. During five or six short daily stops, people gathered to hear lectures and see exhibits on a variety of topics related to the farm, agriculture and home such as livestock, crops, dairying, gardening and preserving fruits and vegetables.

To encourage participation, local schools and businesses often were closed during stops.

“In order that everyone may have an opportunity to get the full benefit of these lectures and demonstration work, it is especially requested by the demonstrators that the business houses and the schools be closed during the period the train is at our station, and spend an hour with them in the interest of better farming,” stated a front-page notice about a demonstration train tour printed in an early 1900s edition of the Crowder City Guardian newspaper.

For more information about the festival, contact your local county Extension office or visit In case of inclement weather, the alternate date is May 3.



Text Only
  • Downtown Master Plan accepted by council

    The 2014 Downtown Master Plan Study was accepted by a 3-0 vote Tuesday evening by the Edmond City Council.
    Fort Worth-based consulting group Freese and Nichols presented their final update to the 1998 Downtown Master Plan. The city hired the group at a cost of $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the central business district.
    “There are clearly some short-term (parking) options that we feel should move forward,” said Cody Richardson, of Freese and Nichols consultants of Fort Worth. “Better signage at existing parking lots.”

    July 29, 2014

  • Lambrecht Construction to build office

    The commercial site plan of a physician’s office was approved recently by the Edmond Planning Commission by a vote of 4-0.
    Lambrecht Construction plans to build the office at 3917  E. Covell Road in the Fairfax Business Office, north of Covell and west of Sooner Road, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.

    July 29, 2014

  • jc_ITS map.jpg More cameras monitoring Edmond motorists

    The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the  installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
    ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • sales tax holiday.jpg Oklahoma sales tax takes a holiday

    Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and ending at midnight Aug. 3, Oklahomans will be able to participate in a sales tax holiday giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing and shoes free of sales tax.
    Yes, retailers may not charge tax, including state and local sales taxes on items that are tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday weekend. The sales of clothing and shoes priced at less than $100 are exempted from sales taxes.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Karan & Rwanda.jpg Peace through Business empowering women entrepreneurs

    Peace Through Business is part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) based in Oklahoma City. It is a program that connects small business entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with business owners in Oklahoma. One such entrepreneur found out about the program from a friend, applied, and was accepted to take part in this year’s session.
    Upon earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universite de Sciences et Technique de Lille in Belgium, Lyliose Nduhungirehe began her career working for a construction company in Brussels, but she quickly switched paths to Information Technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anderson Properties continues to grow

    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties recently announced the acquisition of Tulsa-based Prudential Alliance Realty, an eight-office, 150-agent brokerage operating in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and Edmond.
    The transaction gives Anderson Properties, a full-service real estate agency a total of 38 offices and more than 600 agents.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County pays off jail tax early, seeks new one

    Logan County is paying off a sales tax ahead of schedule and needs a new one to be able to afford funding jail operation and maintenance, officials said.
    Citizens vote on the county sales tax which is split for redistribution by state law. The tax is collected by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and redistributed back to the county as specified by voters.
    In 2005, citizens passed a 10-year sales tax, scheduled to end next month, to fund the building, operation and maintenance of the county jail, which operates on a $1.3 million budget. Jail capacity is 188 without anyone in a holding cell or a temporary bunk. Thursday it was holding 130 inmates, said Logan County Chief Deputy Richard Stephens.

    July 26, 2014

  • Edmond School District’s change orders anticipated

    When building new schools and classrooms there may be additional costs, but when renovating older buildings those costs can more than double, according to a Edmond School District official.
    “When remodeling, you have unknown and hidden costs and you need to include in your budgeted funds for the built-in items you can not see,” said Bret Towne, Edmond’s associate superintendent of general administration.

    July 25, 2014

  • Planning Commission approves rezoning

    The Edmond Planning Commission this week voted 4-0 in favor of rezoning from a single family district.  Peter and Kimberly Roberts made the request to allow a planned unit development on the southeast corner of Jackson and Lincoln Avenue, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.
    “They would like to have D-2 family (neighborhood commercial) zoning for duplexes, 14,000 square feet,” Schiermeyer said. “They can put four units on the property.”

    July 25, 2014

  • A Q&A on ‘Obamacare’ Court Rulings

    On Tuesday, two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on the legality of tax subsidies being provided to people who bought “Obamacare” health insurance policies in Oklahoma and 35 other states.
    Here’s a look at the rulings’ potential impact in Oklahoma.

    Q: I’m confused. What did the courts rule today?
    A: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Washington, D.C., decided that the government can’t provide tax subsidies for Affordable Care Act plans purchased in 36 states where the federal government is operating the health insurance exchange. Oklahoma is one of the 36 states. A few hours later, the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Richmond, Va., issued a conflicting ruling that upheld the legality of the health-care law’s tax subsidies.

    July 22, 2014