Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

March 18, 2013

A matter of manners

TAHLEQUAH — The mid-1800s was a time when etiquette was fashionable, women were ladies and men were gentlemen.

Martha Ray, retired from the Oklahoma Historical Society, presented, “Manners, Morals, Customs and Lifestyles of Mid-19th Century” to more than a dozen participants, some local and others from around the state, Saturday morning at the Murrell Home.

The workshop included topics such as conversation, education, courtship, marriage, dancing, grooming and clothing.

“When in doubt, watch your host or hostess,” Ray said.

A typical meal, or the main meal of the day, lasted about two hours with conversation – and for the men, drinks or cordials, like mint juleps between each course.

Fresh clothing was worn to the dinner. Some ladies also drank in between the courses and afterwards, as the men went to the parlor to smoke and have a night cap.

Indoors, families played cards, dice, and games like “The Fleas,” which was like Tiddlywinks, and 5 Stones which was similar to jacks.

Outside games included croquet, lawn bowling and hide-and-seek.

Etter Nottingham, a new volunteer with Friends of the Murrell Home, came to begin her training as a docent.

“This workshop is my first official training,” Nottingham said. “I want to see this home continue, it’s a treasure for this area.”

During the 1800s, children began training in etiquette at age 5 both at home and in school. The well-to-do often had tutors, and the children learned history, elocution, penmanship, higher math and Latin by age 13.

An Alphabet Doll was used with Posture Master Alphabet cards showing the doll spelling out letters.

Jean Knox, from Shawnee, attended the workshop with her husband. She was enjoying everything about the event, and said she was learning a lot.

“We like history and enjoy the different events, this is our third time here,” Knox said.

The basic manners and lifestyle of the mid 1800s was much different than we see today, she said.

“The procedure with calling cards was interesting and a matter of introduction, not bold like the kids are today,” Knox said.

The first dance of a ball would be the Grand March, where everyone showed off who they were with and what they wore. Grandparents and grandchildren would walk together. They would dance from 6 to 8 p.m., dine from 8 to 10 p.m., and then dance again until 2 a.m. Often, guests would stay the night, sleeping on pallets or sharing beds. Ladies would wear silk and satin dancing slippers and change back into their boots when not dancing.

Michelle Widener, of Gore, said the workshop covered one of her favorite time periods in history.

“I came to add to the collective information in my head,” Widener said. “It’s so interesting. She [Ray] talked about entertainment and dances, what they learned in school and topics of conversation.”

Some things never change, Widener said.


To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

Text Only
Local News
  • rf-poker-run-main.jpg Poker run

    Fundraiser was in the cards for local philanthropic group

    It was perfect weather, with temperatures in the high 80s Saturday, as boaters filled their vessels with friends for a fun afternoon on Lake Tenkiller. A crowd gathered at Cookson Bend Marina, and folks lined up to support a local charity event.
    As fundraisers go, the Beta Sigma Phi Mu Omega Poker Run last Saturday could be considered huge success, as nearly $9,000 was collected.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • bilbrey-anthony.jpg Man arrested for blackmailing woman for sex

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies put a man behind bars Monday night after he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman by threatening to post nude photos of her on the Internet if she did not meet him for sex.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach_photo_2.jpg Peach crop lean, but fruit still available

    Summer is all about peaches in Porter – especially at Livesay Orchard.
    The Livesay Orchard is still busy a week after Porter’s annual peach festival. The orchard’s crop this year was cut in half from what had previously been expected, according to Kent Livesay, one of the owners of the orchard.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • jackson-jaymee.jpg Tot’s injuries prompt abuse charges for two local residents

    A Tahlequah couple was formally charged Tuesday with child neglect and child abuse after an 18-month-old girl was found with a number of injuries.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • proctor-micah.jpg Pair accused of threatening man

    Two men behind bars at the Cherokee County Detention Center are accused of wielding a knife and gun and assaulting a man at a trailer park on West Keetoowah Sunday afternoon.
    Tahlequah Officer Reed Felts spoke with Reinaldo Flores, who told officers he heard a knock on his door and went to answer it.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Reach Higher an innovative approach to college

    The “Reach Higher” degree completion program is helping many Oklahoma students go back to school without drastically changing their lives.
    “This program is designed for working adults,” said Tim McElroy, program coordinator at the NSU- Muskogee campus.

    July 30, 2014

  • City attorney, others questioned chamber use of tourism tax

    Letters written in 2006 by City Attorney Park Medearis to former city councilor and Tahlequah Area Tourism Council board member Jack Spears suggest money from a hotel-motel tax could be disbursed through an agent other than the Chamber of Commerce, without voter approval.

    July 30, 2014

  • Hulbert council discusses Internet service

    During a meeting Tuesday night, members of the Hulbert Town Council discussed the possibility of Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s extending its cable and Internet service.

    July 30, 2014

  • ts-marching-MAIN.jpg Marching in step

    Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band kicks off 2014 season with summer drills.

    The Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band has added 30-35 freshmen to its roster this year, and drills began for the newest members last Thursday.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • studie-roberta.jpg Woman accused of stealing cash, taking it to casino

    A 35-year-old Tahlequah woman is free on bond after she allegedly took $1,200 from a man who had been jailed for old warrants.
    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies said they spoke with Jason Jones last week after Jones was arrested by park rangers for the outstanding warrants. Jones said he came to Oklahoma to see family, and when he was arrested, he left his wallet and cash with one of his daughters.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando