09 September 2008

Old Opera House Mystery (Morals, Miller, Mabel & Murder)

Old Opera House Mystery - Black Hand Letters of Death (Morals, Miller, Mabel & Murder)By – LK McGill Wagner, the OkieLegacy

What does 1910, Old Opera House, Law Enforcement League, Black Hand Letters, Alva , Oklahoma , Mabel Oakes and Justice of Peace Nelson L. Miller have in common?

This was a time when female purity was regarded as a virtue to be protected. Social standards & dress were according to what was expected and morally correct in society. Women still wore the tight fitting, laced corsets, but there was a change, debate in the air as to if it was a healthy, safe garment for women to wear, confining, restricting their upper torsos. The skirts were to the ground; the coats were below the knees; and the blouses necklines were up around the neck. The “Law Enforcement League” was established, funded for the purpose of enforcing local moral standards, whether they dealt with booze, kissing in motion pictures, separation of races, or investigating backgrounds of newcomers to be sure they were morally acceptable to ruling town fathers.

9 November 1910, considerable excitement was buzzing through government square of Alva , Woods County , Oklahoma . Those favorable to the democratic cause were keeping their eyes, ears glued to the election postings at “Jesse Jackson’s Cigar store,” on the west side of the square, College Avenue, North of Monforts Drugs. On the North side of the square, those favorable to the republican cause were doing the same, upstairs in the two-story building of the “ Woods County Citizens Union Bank,” northeast corner of 5 th Street & Flynn Avenue.

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