Soon after winning election, Governor John Walton planned to help his Farmer-Labor Reconstruction League supporters by naming one of their own to replace James Eskridge as president of Oklahoma A&M College.
George Wilson (pictured), who had worked at OAMC and served as a school superintendent, prior to leading the powerful league, was Walton's pick for the president's post. The governor stacked the agricultural board with league members who approved Wilson's appointment on May 19, 1923, to take office June 1.
However, soon after the decision, students, faculty and staff from the college gathered in the auditorium for a mass meeting which ended in a march through Stillwater by about 2,000 students who protested Wilson's appointment, shouting statements such as "keep our school out of politics" and "we want educators, not agitators." About 1,000 people made a trip to Oklahoma City to protest on the steps of the Capitol and nearly 100 crowded Governor Walton's office, but he refused to reinstate Eskridge and threatened that if the people of Stillwater did not remain peaceful, he would place them under martial law.
The governor eventually ordered Eskridge removed from his office by members of the National Guard. Wilson served just over a month, from June 4 to July 31, before the governor himself came under political pressure to get him removed. Walton re-stacked the ag board with new members who voted to remove Wilson, who went peacefully. Richard G. Tyler, the former dean of engineering, served as temporary president until a new one could be hired.
A new president was soon chosen. The result, three presidents in one year.