Dinosaurs living at Sheridan and Robinson! That’s what a story said in The Oklahoman on Sept. 23, 1917.
“Hundreds of thousands of years ago Oklahoma had a semitropical climate. Back in those gladsome old days there were no men nor women; the inhabitants of what is now one of the greatest states in the union belonged to the reptilian family. Probably where the Colcord building now stands was the abiding place of Mr. and Mrs. Dinosaur and their interesting brood.
“Interest in the state’s earliest residents was aroused the other day when the leg bone of a prehistoric animal was dug up at the new waterworks site.”
The bone was found “imbedded in solid rock 25 feet under the river bed.”
L. Howell Lewis, a local scientist, upon examining the bone, determined it was 17 inches long, and the vertebra where it was attached was 4 inches wide. His conclusion: “These fossils once belonged to the bony structure of a great carnivorous dinosaur known as the allisoraus.”
He also concluded that this particular “allisoraus,” which is now spelled allosaurus, weighed about 20,000 pounds and was 30 feet long.
While searching for more evidence of dinosaurs in the city, an earlier item from The Oklahoman on March 7, 1917, reported these finds:
“While the contributions to science brought to light in the work at the new waterworks project have so far not startled the world, the foundation for a small museum has been laid.
“In a test hole 19 feet deep in the sand, workmen last week unearthed the sacrum bone of a buffalo. Trees which were uprooted above the spot were estimated to be over 100 years old, so the bone must have been buried under the sand layers for several centuries.
“The skull of a man was found at another spot buried several feet deep in red shale. The type was that of a primitive species. At another place a knife three feet long of crude workmanship was dug up. All the finds are being kept by John R. Boardman.”
What happened to the bones and knife, I do not know, but the waterworks plant, now known as Lake Overholser Dam, is nearing its century mark and is still a part of Oklahoma City’s water supply.