After the cattlemen were gone the government sent in the army and workmen to remove any trace of human habitation. All fences were removed. Plans were underway to open the land for settlement.
Presidential Proclamation of Calvin Coolidge - August 19, 1893
In order to gain access to the starting line and claim land settlers had to register at one of the registration booths. Some thought if they registered and then snuck out into the Outlet after dark before the beginning of the opening they could gain an advantage. The government had stationed troops in various places around the Outlet to remove these "Sooners".
Settler Entry Declarations
There were nine registration points for the run. Four booths were set up on the southern border of the strip: Stillwater, Orlando, Hennessey and Goodwin. The other five booths were set up on the Kansas/Oklahoma border: Kiowa, Cameron, Caldwell, Hunnewell and Arkansas City. Arkansas City Had the largest registration with over 30,000 persons registered for the Run. More than 75,000 people moved into Arkansas City during the two years prior to the Run. On the day of the Run, there were approximately 100,000 people in town. Three days later, only 5,000 remained. There were 115,000 people registered for the Run. Some racers took their families or friends with them, so the total number of participants was approximately 150,000 people.
At precisely twelve noon on September 16, 1893 a cannon's boom unleashed the largest land rush America ever saw. Carried by all kinds of transportation - horses, wagons, trains, bicycles or on foot - an estimated 100,000 raced to claim plots of land in an area of land in northern Oklahoma Territory known as the Cherokee Strip. There had been a number of previous land rushes in the Territory - but this was the big one.
In just a matter of hours cities sprouted on the prairie.
From the Glasgow Weekly Times, Barren County Kentucky 27 Sept 1893;
"The following interesting letter is from Mr. Cell HATCHER, of this place, who made the rush for a quarter section in the Cherokee strip and got there in great shape.
Letter Home From The Strip
The Recollections of Pioneer Days in the Cherokee Strip were written by my brother, G. E. Lemon in 1933 as a matter of record for the family and with no thought of publication. But it seemed to me the more historical parts might be well worth preserving in some form.
The brother Jack, he speaks of, is J. E. Lemon, who pioneered in Grant County along with the rest of the family, taught school terms at Nash, Renfrow and Pond Creek and later served in the Legislature from Grand County about the time of statehood. He died in 1933 and his necrology written by the Honored Campbell Russell was published in the Chronicles.
The writer of these reminiscences now lives near Booker, Texas, where he pioneered a second time
Daisy Lemon Coldiron, Perry, Oklahoma. c.a. 1944
RECOLLECTIONS OF PIONEER DAYS IN THE CHEROKEE STRIP