“I worked hard to get Congress to divert the millions of dollars being appropriated to make navigable rivers out of dry creeks to the building of good roads.”
Col. Sidney Suggs was born in Mississippi and lived in Indian Territory, where streams were small and railroads were few. It was largely through his efforts and speech-making campaign regarding the unfair way in which the federal government provided large sums of money to build railroads and dredge waterways to serve only a limited area of the United States. His leadership in the protest ultimately led to the federal highway program, including the farm-to-market roads which he declared were the most important of all. In 1897, he purchased The Daily Ardmorite and enjoyed researching and mapping old Indian trails. He also served as Oklahoma’s first highway commissioner.
Sidney Suggs was believed to be the first man to purchase a “car load of paper” shipped to the Five Civilized Tribes, the first resident of Indian Territory to purchase a linotype machine, and the first in the territory to serve as a member of the Associated Press.
Suggs came to Ardmore, Oklahoma, as the owner and publisher of The Daily Ardmorite in 1895.