In April of 1913, the Ladies Aid Society and the First Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma buried a mysterious chest deep in the basement of their church building. The time capsule was left with specific instructions that it not be opened for one hundred years, so it was left undisturbed until 2013.
That year, it took workers 11 hours to dig up what they called the “Century Chest,” and when they opened it, they realized it was well worth the effort!
According to American Overlook, the first thing they found was a copy of the local newspaper dated April 22, 1913. Then, they found what must have been a revolutionary desk phone, crafted by the Pioneer Telephone and Telegraph Company.
The Ladies Aid Society also included a series of everyday items, including a can of coffee, fashion garments and a magazine.
Underneath all of these items, however, was the most interesting find of all: a batch of letters from Oklahoma communities to their future members! One was even written in brail for the blind people of modern Oklahoma City.
Since Oklahoma is known for their strong Native American heritage, both the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations contributed to the capsule as well. The items they provided were a bible translated into Choctaw, a copy of the Chickasaw Nation Constitution and a plate with the Seal of the Chickasaw Nation hand-painted on it.
At the bottom of the capsule was a pen used by President William McKinley to sign the Free Homes Bill of Oklahoma, a bottle filled with native Oklahoma wheat and a spoon carved entirely of Buffalo horn. This entire collection can now be viewed at the Oklahoma History Center.
What a fascinating find!