By Eileene Coffield

From the "New Journal," Mannford, Oklahoma, June 18, 1986

Editor's Note: Mr. and Mrs. Jack Schickram were honored at a covered dish dinner Sunday noon at the First United Methodist Church. It was a celebration of their 65th anniversary of marriage. Following is a tribute and story of their courtship presented at the dinner. -- By Eileen Coffield

When Sara Katharine Faust was seven years old her father was sent to Ploesti, Rumania with the Standard Oil of Ohio. The company was called Romana Americana.

Sara Katharine went with her mother and sister, Clara. For two years the girls attended a private school sponsored by the Crown Princess Queen Marie, who was a niece of Queen Victoria. When Queen Marie visited the school, Clara and Katy were able to converse with her in English.

When they returned to America, they lived at Robinson and Lawrenceville, Illinois.

It has all her life been easy for Katy to think quickly how old she is, because she was born in 1900.

After Katy went to Wooster College at Wooster, Ohio, she got a teaching position at Lawrenceville.

She had a girl friend named Verna Barry whose father had been transferred by an Oil company to a God-forsaken, unheard of town in Oklahoma named Drumright.

Verna got a job at Briggs Lumber Co. located first door north of the Ford Garage. W.C. French was superintendent of schools and Verna was a friend of French's siter-in-law.

When one of the teachers failed to show for the fall term in 1920, Verna told French about Katy. He wired her an offer of a job for $125 a month. She liked that. She was getting $50 in Illinois. He said, "Wire me your qualifications."

This was on Thursday.

Katy wired right back.

French returned the wire that said, "Come Immediately."

By Saturday she was backing into the Drumright Station on the Santa Fe and Monday morning teaching at Third Ward (Lincoln School). She taught history and art and she had never seen so much money to work with as was available in the Drumright School System.

One of her pupils was Roy Townsley, who to this day greets her with, "Hello, Miss Faust."

Verna had told her, "I have a place for you to stay." It was known as the Holland House. It stood where the Christian Church parsonage is right now.

Five teachers and Verna lived there. Katy and Verna slept on a duafold with all six of them trying to get ready to go to work taking turns sharing one white wash basin and other facilities equally as inconvenient.

Katy toughed it out for three weeks and finally said, "Verna, you know I wasn't reared in wealth, but I can't stand a year of this no-closet-no-privacy and a teacup of water to wash my face."

Rooms to rent in Drumright were almost impossible, but Verna somehow managed to get them a room at the Drumright Hotel located just east of the City Hall. Rent for both of them was $35 a month and accomodations - WOW - deluxe - running water in the room and a bath down the hall.

Now - here comes Frank Paul Schickram. He lived across the hall sharing a room with five other men, one of them Dr. Orange Starr, who had just moved out when he got married.

Jack came to Drumright from Guthrie. Born in 1895 in Oklahoma Territory, he had graduated from High school in 1914. He had already been working at accounting and court reporting.

One day a friend of his grandfather said to him, "Frank Schickram, how would you like to work in a bank in Drumright?"

"Drumright?" asked Jack. "Where is that?"

So he came to Drumright in 1914 only to find there were three Franks working in the bank. Frank Foster, Frank Simmons and Frank Schickram.

"This will never do," said Frank Foster, vice president and the oldest of the three. "Call me Frank, Simmons, we'll call you Simmons, and Schickram, you'll be Jack."

So Jack Schickram worked at the bank until World War I, when he enlisted in the Navy - the first man from Drumright to enter the service.

After the war he returned and was working in the Drumright State Bank when Miss Katharine Foust arrived in town in 1920.

Now, Verna had a boy friend and was double dating with a friend of hers in Cushing. She was going to Cushing one Sunday to have dinner with her friend's family, the Montgomery's.

But she hated like everything to go off and leave Katy alone, so she said, "I am going to introduce you to a nice fellow, who lives across the hall. His name is Jack Schickram."

Verna did that and said to Jack as well, "Why don't you two come to Cushing tomorrow and be with all of us for dinner."

It was hot that Oklahoma fall and Katy selected the coolest dress she had. There were no zippers, of course. It buttoned all the way down the back with tiny buttons.

Katy buttoned and buttoned. She buttoned up and she buttoned down - but there were still about six inches of buttons that she couldn't reach.

Finally, in desperation she called for help, and Jack came to the rescue. Then they caught the train to Cushing, had dinner with the Montgomerys and rode back home in a Hudson Super Six with Verna and her date.

Jack's desk at the bank was in front of a window and he could watch Miss Katharine Foust as she walked by each morning on her way to school (no doubt on his side of the street).

Since the bank didn't open until 9 a.m., Jack had plenty of time to escort her to the railroad station. There Katy would continue to walk up the track to Third Ward School (later known as Lincoln) rubbing blisters on her heels all the way.

Sometime that fall before Christmas Jack bought a ring. He didn't ask Katy to marry him, he just gave the ring to her.

When she went home for Christmas, the ring was the envy of all the girls. So school was out in May - and they were making wedding plans. Katy always thought it would be lucky to be married on Wednesday.

She and Jack talked about it. There were five Wednesdays in June.

Jack said, "First Wednesday in June."

Katy said, "No, the last Wednesday in June."

So they compromised. The middle Wednesday it was - that was the 15th.

So Jack came, met her parents and they were married in the First Presbyterian Church in Lawrenceville at 1 p.m.. They left on the 2 p.m. train for St. Louis - then on to Drumright.

Jack had already bought a home for them at 715 North Pennsylvania and had it furnished shiny and clean.

When they arrived, Dr. Starr had thought he would play a big joke on them. He didn't plan an Oklahoma Chivari. Instead he posted a big QUARANTINE sign on the front porch.

That's how they began their life as Mr. and Mrs. Frank Paul Schickram of Drumright, Oklahoma.

Today on June 15 it has been 65 years. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! Dear Friends.

(Note: For more on the Schickrams, See "Drumright, 1", this collection.)

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