by Jan Vassar
In 1892 a Mr. Beatty opened the first saloon and was doing a brisk business. The Black Dog was a thriving enterprise, thanks largely to its trade with the Seminoles across the North Canadian River. The population never reached more than three hundred, and according to early records, the number of the town's saloons grew disproportionately to the number of residents, reaching as many as sixty-two saloons by 1900.
The killings that resulted eventually forced four saloons to close. One day an auctioneer rode an ostrich into Keokuk Falls as a marketing tool, and once pigs ran wild after they drank mash a distiller poured onto its main street.