383. Cordell, Washita County (OK15)

Now this is a courthouse! Just imagine having to walk up those steps to deal with the county! It looks like something Perry Mason would descend from after victoriously defending his client in small town…wherever his client was from! And a working clock tower, too?

May I also offer kudos here. Everywhere talks a lot about the (white) founders of the county, but surprisingly few even reference the native Americans who came long before. I can’t imagine that many places would handle it this deftly, but I also have to admit that I haven’t been that many places this far where natives and whites ended up in some sort of coexistence peacefully. Then again, having been to New Mexico, Louisiana, and Arkansas, as well as Oklahoma, I probably have and didn’t even notice it. So I guess my point here (and I do have one), other than the fact that I am woefully blind to and uneducated about native coexistence with whites in many parts of America, is that this courthouse definitely gets a solid 6.4 on a 7.1 scale!

Sidenote: this place almost did me a bamboozle! There is a flagpole at each end, both flying the American flag. Only one side, however, is flying the Oklahoma flag! So maybe that’s the front! I say maybe because that’s also the side with the dumpsters, too. An eternal flame, too. But the other monuments and such are on the other side of the building? I photographed both sides. At least one of them is right and it’s didn’t fool me (I think)!

I stopped on the way to Cordell in the town of Bessie for my cache. It’s devoted to a bank robbery that happened here in 1928. Unfortunately, Ben Kiehn, WWI hero and local citizen, was killed in a shootout with the bank robbers, and his killer was never caught. The state bankers’ association erected this memorial to him and at the foot of it…

…an ammo can filled with information and copies of documents from the time of the robbery. I signed the log and thought to myself how I didn’t usually walk the streets of these side towns and soak up the color anymore. I’m usually fixated on the cache or the next county. Is this another way in which geocaching has changed me? I think it’s more an unintentional effect of picking up counties. I’m usually trying to rush because I rarely feel that I have to the time to just hang around for a bit. I’m usually racing daylight or trying to fit as much as I can into my time on the road. I look forward to the day when I can make extended trips like a week or more. Then I can take my time and dally a bit more. But for now, that’s a bit of a pipe dream. Besides, I am who I am and, in this case, that makes me goal oriented as all get out! So I made haste to that next goal, the town of…

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