The Resignation of Mayor William L. Couch
Oklahoma City November 11, 1889
— The ‘89er Trail —
First a boomer, then a sooner, then the first mayor of Oklahoma City, William L. Couch resigned as Mayor on November 11, 1889. Five months later, he died of a gunshot wound by a rival homestead claimant, the day before the first anniversary of the Land Run.
After a summer of heated disputes among lot claimants, unremitting criticism from his political opponents the Kickapoos, and a dramatic confrontation with voters in the charter election of September 21, Mayor Couch abruptly resigned as mayor on November 11, 1889. Increasingly concerned about rival claimants of his homestead who accused him of being a sooner, he joined his family just west of the city limits to protect his 160 acre claim.
Couch's homestead was claimed by two other settlers who had built houses on the acreage and several townsite companies that hoped to establish West Oklahoma City. On April 4, 1890, rival claimant John C. Adams, also a sooner, fired his rifle at Couch and hit him in the leg. The wound became infected and on April 21, 1890, Couch was dead. A massive funeral the following day honored the city's first mayor on the first anniversary of the
Top left: William Couch, Oklahoma City's first mayor, was killed by a rival homestead claimant just before the first anniversary of the Run.
Research Division of the Oklahoma Historical Society
Middle: Based on historical accounts these are the approximate locations of the W.L. Couch and J.С. Adams homes on the same quarter-section homestead claim. Research Division of the Oklahoma Historical Society
Top right: William Couch, his father, five brothers and an associate claimed quarter sections around the Oklahoma City townsite. All were sooners, and all of their claims were eventually rejected.
Erected 2018 by Oklahoma City Community Foundation, Wiggin Properties. (Marker Number 15.)
Location. 35° 27.978′ N, 97° 31.168′ W. Marker is in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in Oklahoma County. Marker is at the intersection of South Hudson Avenue and West Sheridan Avenue, on the right when traveling north on South Hudson Avenue. Located near Myriad Botanical Gardens. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: South Hudson Avenue, Oklahoma City OK 73102, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. T.M. Richardson and the Oklahoma Bank (about
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Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 1, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 39 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 1, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.