Century Chest Celebration
Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman, Copyright 2013
Mrs. Virginia Eason (Sohlberg) Weinmann removes first item from chest
which was the "Book of the City Builders"
On April 22, 1913, with the Lord's blessing, a burial ceremony took place at the newly built First English Lutheran Church (now First Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City) at 1300 North Robinson. Attendees heard speeches from the church pastor, Dr. Royer, Governor Cruce and other notable Oklahomans. The purpose of the ceremony was to bury an 8'x4'x4' Century Chest filled with treasures from 1913 Oklahoma. The funds raised in conjunction with the Century Chest burial went toward the purchase of the church's Moller pipe organ. The Andrew Carnegie Foundation provided the other half of the funding. This very instrument has faithfully provided our worship services with beautiful music for the past 100 years. Some of the contents of the chest include:
Indian relics, pamphlets and pictures
Pottery made from Oklahoma soil
Original poems and musical compositions
Kodak camera shipped direct to the century chest from the factory
Oklahoma City newspapers
Forecast of Oklahoma City in 2013 by leading professional men
Several articles placed at the last moment and not listed
List of Donors to the Chest
720 Names of City Builders Handsewn on Quilt
On April 22, 2013, 100 years later, First Lutheran Church celebrated the opening of the Century Chest with an invocation written by Pastor Newton Royer read by Pastor Jerry Peterson; 1902 original music (The Lord is My Shepherd by Rowland D. Williams, choir director) sung by First Lutheran Choir; 1913 original poem (To Those Who Shall Come After by Louise Brooks) read by Mrs. Virginia Eason (Sohlberg) Weinmann and excerpts from original speeches were read by Governor Mary Fallin, Mayor Mick Cornett, and President of 1889er's Association, Billy Fogarty. Mrs. Virginia Eason (Sohlberg) Weinmann (granddaughter of Mrs. Sohlberg who was the originator of the Century Chest) and her family were present for the celebration. The transfer of custodianship of the chest has been given to the Oklahoma History Center. They will be providing an exhibit of the Century Chest in the Fall 2013.
You can view pictures from the celebration on our Photo Album page.
If you want to view the program, OETA has made it available. There is an eight minute delay before the program begins.
For more additional information:
Visit the Oklahoma History Center website
100 Years of History Revealed! Century Chest 1913-2013