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Archive for December, 2011

Joe Johnson, Easterns’ Student of the Year

Joe Johnson, Easterns’ Student of the Year

Wilburton, named ‘Student Senator of the year’ for 1972-73 is Joe Johnson, Eufaula Sophomore at
Eastern Oklahoma State college who has enjoyed a full tow years of club activity at Eastern State.
An art major and president of the Young Democrats, Johnson was selected by other members of the
student senate and recognized at the annual installation banquet may 8, Chairman of the Senates
activities committee this year, Johnson keeps bus as a reporter for the prize winning student newspaper.
As a freshman the Crowder High graduate who now calls Eufaula his home, was elected Freshman
class president, Vice President of the young democrats, a student senator and listed on the Deans Honor
Roll both Semesters.
Johnson was named to Who’s Who in American Junior Colleges this year and was chosen as
one of the 10 campus leaders to represent Eastern State at a conference with the advisor to President
Nixon in Midwest city. A member of the 4H MP battalion of the Oklahoma National Guard, he will
take his initial active duty at Ft. Jackson, S.C., and advanced training at FT. Gordon, Ga. Before
resuming his education at southeastern state college, Johnson received the Associate Degree during
Easterns’ Commencement Exercises May 18th.
Johnson has worked two years for the Indian Journal newspaper in Eufaula and plans a teaching
career in art and journalism upon completion of his college work.

Picture of Multi-Purpose Center Fountainhead, Eufaula, Oklahoma

Picture of Multi-Purpose Center Fountainhead

Johson-Shurden-Moore Muti purpose center at Fountainhead resort was dedicated Friday June 5th 1992.
On hand for the ceremony were State Senator Frank Shurden, Fountainhead Resort Manager David
Hammond, State Rep. Glen Johnson and Eufaula Mayor Joe Johnson. The center was named for Sen.
Shurden, Mayor Johnson and the late George Moore, former manager of the resort, for their hard work
and dedication to the tourism business of Lake Eufaula. The center which houses an indoor swimming
pool, indoor tennis courts, racquet ball courts as well as a multi-purpose room is open and in use.

Bicentennial Scrolls Travel By Canoe On First Leg Of Journey

Bicentennial Scrolls Travel By Canoe On First Leg Of Journey

Eufaula’s Bicentennial Flag Raising Ceremonies held in Eufaula Cove (Collies Campground) on
Sunday could be considered successful, as some 500 people gathered to witness the event. Eufaula’s
Mayor Joe Johnson welcomed the people early in the program and was handed the scrolls by
bicentennial chairman Jim Young. The Mayor joined Richard Garrity and Carl Hervey in the canoe
for the trip up to Lake Eufaula as far as possible, where Mayor Joe Johnson joined Bret Boyd, Gail
Burdine and Rodney Helms, (local high school students) finished delivering the scrolls by horseback to
the National Wagon Train which was camped in Checotah on Monday.
The Eufaula Bicentennial was very impressive with the canoe being paddled in the distance,
while a group of Indians from Tuskogee Church sang Amazing Grace in the Creek language. The
pledge of allegiance to the flag was under the direction of W. Star Wilson and Rev. Kenneth Shaw
gave the invocation. The color guard under the direction of Jimmy Walker Jr. is known to be the only
all Indian color guard in the state.

Eufaula’s Mayor at 24 ‘youngest’ –Bernadette Pruitt

Eufaula’s Mayor at 24 ‘youngest’–Bernadette Pruitt

Months ago, reporter Joe Johnson covered a city council meeting and didn’t like what he saw. His
determination to do something about it let to his being elected the youngest mayor in the state. Johnson,
easy going mustachioed and with sun bleached blond hair touching his ear lobes, is 24. Although his
victory over three-term mayor Tulley O’Reilly, a man 40 years his senior, is three months past, Johnson
is still campaigning.
He wants reform and wont settle for anything less. Things are changing for the young mayor
who has a fisheye view of the town of 2,000 plus at his office door. “I was dissatisfied with the past
and the way things had past and the way things had been going.” said the former journalism student
and reporter for the Eufaula Indian Journal. “People weren’t really aware of some of the things that
were going on at City Hall.” Johnson said his background in journalism helped him shape his own
ideas on a government’s responsibility towards citizens and the importance of keeping voters informed.
The Eastern Oklahoma State College graduate began working election night and has been at it ever
since. Unneeded jobs are being eliminated through attrition at a savings of 14,000 a year. City
employees are getting a salary boost, the town’s tourism potential is being better realized and a
menacing juvenile burglary problem is being placed under control.

Works his hobby, but Eufaula Mayor Joe Johnson says play is key to future

Works his hobby, but Eufaula mayor says play is key to future–
Muskogee Phoenix & Times Democrat by Liz McMahan

Ask Eufaula Mayor Joe Johnson anything about city government, local industry or the areas economy
and and he has an answer. But ask him a question like what he does for fun and he’s stumped. For
Johnson work is fun.
“Work is kind of my hobby,” he finally says adding that he owns a few pieces of rental property which
fill his time when he isn’t wearing the mayor’s hat.
“I don’t fish or golf or anything like that. I’ll have plenty of time to do those things later, they don’t pay
as well.”
Johnson has seen a lot of changes in Eufaula since becoming mayor nearly 13 years ago and thinks the
town of about 3,500 pop. is on the verge of a very prosperous future.
That future, Johnson believes, will largely center around a tourism industry which is still in its infancy
and probably will not be ready to blossom if it weren’t for a marina developed by Meeco Marina Inc. as
a showplace for its operations; and the decision by Three Buoys Houseboat Vacations Inc. to place 75
of its luxury houseboats here.
Now during the tourism season Eufaula is a beehive of activity as people from Dallas/Fort Worth
area and from throughout eastern Oklahoma flock to the community for a taste of the easy life Lake
Eufaula. The city of Eufaula is supporting the development of an amusement park in the cove just south
of the marina and have purchased two used water slides and will erect them, then turn them over to the
park.
They also have invested heavily in getting Eufaula designated as a Main Street city and have put the
director of that project on the city payroll. They are also putting money into the renovation of the
downtown area by footing part of the bill for new sidewalks.
And the city recently produced a 16 page, two section newspaper with four-color process
pictures touting the town’s assets. Those will be distributed to tourists and potential tourists as the city
sells itself here and at various travel and trade shows. Johnson admits a lot of what the city is doing
could be done through a chamber of commerce. “But in a town this size, the chamber has a very
limited budget. Where we depend so much on tourism, the city feels like it is a part of our function to
promote tourism and handle some of the responsibility that a chamber would normally have.”
Johnson says he is ready for Eufaula to grow.

1980’s Resort To Eufaula | Little town that could – Mayor Joe Johnson

Eufaula: Little town that could
Eufaula Mayor Joe Johnson said: “I couldn’t have done anything without their help. I’m certainly not egotistical enough to
think Eufaula would not have grown without me.”
Mary Rule, managing editor of the Indian Journal, the states oldest consecutively published
newspaper, said Johnson is a “progressive”
He was covering city council meetings for the newspaper, saw what was going on and decided
he could do a better job, he said. He ran successfully for mayor at the age of 24.
Johnson spearheaded the drive to get the 1-cent sales tax passed. He said he feels they were
fortunate to get it passed before “the shortfalls the state was going to experience came to a head.”
“I can name a number of communities where it has failed,” Johnson said. “They expect returns from
the state and federal agencies, but they’re not willing to give locally.”
Randy Nobles, director of the eastern Oklahoma Development District, said “All towns of
similar size are growing in eastern Oklahoma, but Eufaula’s growth is more pronounced. I think its an
attitude of elected officials, community leaders and an active Chamber of Commerce.”
“They’re very good at grantsmanship,” Nobles said. “It’s a willingness, an attitude, and having
good people there to package projects.”
Stan Kelly is the man who knows how to wrap the package. Johnson said Kelly had been
writing grants for Eufaula for about six years. Nobles said Kelly had done the same thing for Checotah.
Eufaula has received grants from ‘the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, the Environmental
Protection Agency, Housing and Urban Development, the Development of Economic and community
Affairs and the Economic Development Administration. The list is like alphabet soup.
Johnson agrees grantsmanship has been an integral part of Eufaula’s progress, but said “don’t
misunderstand this. They don’t just call you and ask you if you want some money. If we don’t ask for
it, we don’t get it.”
He feels the residents of Eufaula contributed to the pool of available state and federal funds
“The better job we do of returning their taxes to them, the lower we are able to keep local rates,” He
said.

1980’s Resort To Eufaula Video