Oklahoma County, Oklahoma
City and Town Histories


[Most data from Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture]


Arcadia
A once-thriving agricultural center, Arcadia was established in northern Oklahoma County soon after the 1889 Land Run into the Unassigned Lands. Situated approximately seventeen miles northwest of Oklahoma City, Arcadia developed in southwestern Deep Fork Township, where the fertile land around the Deep Fork River and its tributaries attracted cotton farmers, both white and African American. Early settlers apparently chose the name to reflect the area's quiet, peaceful nature, Arcadia being a region of Greece famed as a rural paradise. A postal designation made in early August 1890 named Sarah J. Newkirk as postmaster. In 1902 1903 the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad constructed a line from Bartlesville to Oklahoma City, passing immediately south of Arcadia through William H. Odor's property. Rail access quickly transformed the new town into an important regional market, and the Arcadia Townsite Company, established by Odor and others, developed two plats in 1903. In 1904 the Arcadia Star claimed a population of 800 for the town, but in 1900 the U.S. Census had recorded only 706 in all of Deep Fork Township and in 1907 recorded 994. While Arcadia remained predominantly white, census manuscripts reveal that Deep Fork Township's population remained approximately 50 percent African American for decades. Businesses that thrived in the early years included A. H. Crabb's Pioneer Mercantile and cotton gin, B. F. Ogle's Up-to-Date Grocery, Odor and McMinimy Hardware, Sweat's Restaurant, and F. C. Dowell's Arcadia Hotel. By 1910 residents supported three churches and two schools, one for whites and a "separate school" for blacks. By the 1920s Arcadia had telephone service, two banks, seven general stores, and two cotton gins, as well as other enterprises necessary to a farming center. When U.S. Highway 66 was constructed from Wellston and Luther and immediately south of Arcadia into Edmond, the historic "Mother Road" brought extra income to the town's businesses. Part of the roadbed was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1999 (NR 99001424). In June 1924 a disastrous fire destroyed much of the business district, but one building that survived, Tuton's Drugstore, is listed in the National Register (NR 80003278). The Great Depression and World War II affected Arcadians just as they did the inhabitants of other towns, and people moved away to larger urban areas in search of work. Attempts to incorporate in the 1930s and in 1980 failed, but after avoiding annexation by Edmond in 1984-85, incorporation came in 1987. Since 1968 Arcadia students have attended Oklahoma City public schools. The 1990 census recorded 320 residents within the town limits. In the last decades of the twentieth century local residents and the Arcadia Historical and Preservation Society saved one of the state's remaining round barns. Originally built by William H. Odor in 1898, the Arcadia Round Barn was restored through the efforts of Luke Robison of Midwest City and is listed in the National Register (NR 77001094).



Bethany
Bethany lies approximately ten miles west of Oklahoma City. Bounded to the east by Warr Acres and to the west by Lake Overholser and Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, Bethany became a rest stop for travelers. Established on July 28, 1909, by cofounder Rev. C. B. Jernigan, Bethany prospered as the new home for Oklahoma Holiness College (now Southern Nazarene University, SNU). Bethany's pioneers envisioned a community where they could express their religious beliefs without outside interference. They named it after the biblical community adjoining Jerusalem. Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene members moved from Beulah Heights in northwest Oklahoma City to Bethany by following the El Reno interurban. The Bethany area originally constituted a grove of blackjack filled with underbrush once known as Council Grove, the seat of war council meetings of American Indians in the Indian Territory. In addition to the college two other institutions were soon established, the Oklahoma Orphanage (now the Children's Center, a medical facility) operated by Mattie Mallory and the Nazarene Rescue Home for unwed mothers. Incorporated on August 8, 1910, Bethany continued as a small, rural town dependent upon support from surrounding farm lands. The community received a postal designation on March 11, 1913. The Bethany Tribune newspaper (originally the Bethany Messenger) began publication in 1923. Inevitably, due to Bethany's Nazarene beginnings, the local government enacted blue laws that banned alcohol, tobacco, gambling, dancing, movies, swearing, and working on Sundays. With a population of 2,032 in 1930, Bethany organized as a city of the first class in 1931, and since that time the blue laws have been relaxed. The community was almost obliterated on November 19, 1930, when a tornado killed twenty-three residents and destroyed 652 buildings, leaving hundreds homeless and unemployed. Recovery was slow, but with the advent of World War II the town developed into an Oklahoma City residential suburb. The largest employers in the Bethany area include SNU, Southwestern Christian University, and Wiley Post Airport as well as Deaconess Hospital at Bethany, the Children's Center, and Bethany public schools. Since 1975 Bethany has been the headquarters for the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. Wiley Post Airport serves business and corporate travelers and offers an industrial park for approximately fifty aviation businesses. Rockwell International (an aircraft manufacturer), Million Air, Servicenter Incorporated, and the Federal Aviation Administration Systems Management Office are located there. In 2004 Bethany became headquarters for the National Pinto Horse Association. The town's population increased from 485 in 1920 to 20,075 in 1990. In 2000 Bethany had 20,307 residents served by a home-rule charter form of town government. Citizens elected a mayor and eight city council members. The council appointed the city manager, city attorney, and municipal judge. Bethany maintained its heritage and small-town characteristics with downtown streets lined with antique shops and bed-and-breakfast inns. The community had two independent school districts, twenty-five churches, and sixteen parks. Eldon Lyon Park provided the Oklahoma City metropolitan area with the Bethany Family Fun Festival, an all-day event, and fireworks each Fourth of July. Bethany has hosted an annual Balloon Fest, and the Children's Center has attracted crowds with the Christmas Wonderland Festival of Lights. Astronaut Shannon Lucid and baseball player Allie Reynolds hail from Bethany.


Choctaw
Choctaw was founded after the 1889 Land Run into the Unassigned Lands. The area had been part of William McClure's 7C Ranch, a large enterprise that had extended east into adjacent American Indian lands. Lying in the drainage of the Canadian River and near Choctaw Creek, the locality was known for an early-day trading post and a camping spot near a spring. John S. Muzzy claimed a quarter section there in Choctaw Township in the 1889 run. A community emerged on the east eighty acres of his land, a postal designation for Choctaw City was issued in early 1890, and town lots were surveyed and laid out. When he relinquished title in 1892, a village of approximately 112 and a thousand inhabitants of the surrounding township supported twenty businesses. The settlement was platted into the Choctaw City townsite in 1893 by Angelo C. Scott, Moses Neal, and Charles G. Jones in anticipation of the arrival of the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad (CO&G, after 1902 the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway) line. The CO&G acquired more of Muzzy's land in 1894, created the Railway Addition to Choctaw City, built a station and depot, and completed the tracks in 1895. Most business owners moved their buildings from "Old (or East) Choctaw" into the Railway Addition (or "West Choctaw"), which assumed the name Choctaw. Choctaw's economy depended on the surrounding farming community and the railroad. As the region produced good cotton crops, by 1899 two gins operated and by 1909 three existed. Several retail businesses provided services. The town incorporated in April 1904, and at 1907 statehood the 230 residents enjoyed four churches, a school, a bank, a newspaper, and telephone connections. The population hovered between 200 and 250 for several decades, held back by the Great Depression. Over the century the News, the Courier, and the Choctaw Nicoma Park Free Press reported to the residents. In the 1940s and 1950s the nearby Tinker Air Force Base and General Motors assembly plant provided new employment opportunities. As Choctaw increasingly became a "bedroom" community for residents working in Oklahoma City, the count jumped to 623 in 1960, to 4,750 in 1970, and to 8,545 in 1990. Important industries included Orbit Fine Foods tortilla factory, located in Choctaw from 1972 until 1992. At the end of the twentieth century the population stood at 9,377. The Choctaw-Nicoma Park School District, the town's largest employer, and Eastern Oklahoma Technology Center, a two-year school, provided education. Choctaw's city limits enclosed approximately twenty-seven square miles, including four parks. The community maintained a home rule charter form of government with council-city manager.


Del City
Founded as a "bedroom" community in Boone Township, Oklahoma County, Del City lies three miles east of Oklahoma City and one mile west of Midwest City. At the turn of the twenty-first century Del City was a seven-and-one-half-square-mile community surrounded on the north, west, and south by Oklahoma City and on the east by Midwest City. Interstate Highway 40 bisects the town from the northwest to southeast. Oklahoma City streets define the boundaries; Northeast Tenth Street on the north; Sooner Road on the east; Southeast Forty-fourth Street on the south; and Bryant Road on the west. The city's northwestern corner is a mile from the junction of Interstate 35 and Interstate 40, justifying its claim to being "the Crossroads of America." In 1946, George I. Epperly, a Capitol Hill home builder, purchased the first 160 acres at the corner of Southeast Twenty-ninth Street and Sunny Lane Road, an unincorporated area of Oklahoma County, with a plan to build fifty houses. The location was strategically located between the two major cities where jobs were available. Epperly correctly surmised that the one thing most American families wanted was to own their own home. He used precut, subassembled housing units to keep his costs down and accelerate building time. The first home was ready for occupancy in January 1947. The remaining forty-nine were purchased so quickly that many families moved in before the finish carpentry was completed. By July 30, 1948, there were two hundred families living in the area, and Epperly decided it was time to incorporate the town, which he had named Del City after his eldest daughter, Delaphene. There was some opposition. Finally, on October 9, 1948, Del Citians voted to approve incorporation and elected a Board of Trustees. In 1949 Epperly was recognized by the National Association of Home Builders for Del City's " . . . soundness of design and construction, and suitability of the project to its location." Del City's growth is a product of successful negotiation. Oklahoma City, in particular, was resentful of the establishment of Midwest City in 1943 and did not want to see another competitor on its east side. Edward Carter, another Oklahoma City area home builder, purchased land at Southeast Fifteenth Street and Sunny Lane Road in 1947, where he built and incorporated Carter Park. In 1951 Del City offered to annex Carter Park to save it from annexation by Oklahoma City. The offer was rebuffed. Carter Park then annexed the unincorporated Mansfield Addition, doubling its size. Del City officials persevered, and in 1954 a merger agreement was reached allowing Del City to absorb Carter Park. In 1958 the scenario was repeated with Midway Village. The initial offer was turned down, but in 1963 an agreement allowed Del City to absorb Midway Village. The final piece of the city was acquired when Del City annexed undeveloped land between itself and Tinker Air Force Base. Oklahoma City annexed the same piece of land, and a court fight ensued. Del City won in District Court and Oklahoma City appealed to the State Supreme Court. While awaiting the hearing, Del City officers pursued negotiation again, and Oklahoma City accepted twenty acres along the Tinker AFB boundary. In 1964, having expanded to its greatest possible physical limits, Del City joined Midwest City and Norman in underwriting the Little River Reservoir Project (Lake Thunderbird). In 1975 the Del City Historical Society was organized with Andy Evans as its first president. The citizens of Del City wanted to learn about their heritage. Fortunately, several children of Eighty-niners (89ers) still lived in the area, and they identified every original homestead within the city limits. Residents also learned that their town was on the path of the Arbuckle Trail, a Texas to Kansas cattle trail of the 1870s. Of more recent acclaim, wrestler and two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner John Smith resided in Del City. With the founding focus on home building and family-oriented amenities, Del City was slow to develop any industry to create jobs (99 percent of Del Citians commuted to work in 1948, while only 96 percent commuted in 2000). Two businesses of long standing are Don's Alley Restaurant and Midwest Trophy Manufacturing. Don Moore opened his hamburger grill at 4601 Southeast Twenty-ninth Street in 1955 and in 2007 still served food in there. Midwest Trophy Manufacturing, located at 3405 Southeast Twenty-ninth Street, began in Dave Smith's garage in Del City in 1971. At the turn of the twenty-first century it employed eight hundred people throughout North America, four hundred of them in Del City. It is the city's largest industry. Del City has grown from a population of 2,504 in 1950 to 22,128 in 2000. Numbers peaked at 28,523 in 1980, just prior to the oil bust and economic downturn of the 1980s. In 1964 the Oklahoma Legislature was reapportioned. Del City reaped a State Senate seat, District 43, and a State House seat, District 94. There have been two newspapers in Del City, the Del City Leader and the Del City News. In February 1959 the city adopted a charter and a council-manager form of town government. By 2000 Del City was served by the Mid-Del School District and Rose State College.


Douglas City
Douglas City was a black community formed in 1894, which is now a ghost town.



Edmond
Edmond's beginnings are attributed to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, which built its line south through the Unassigned Lands in the 1880s. Located at a point originally called Mile Marker 103, Edmond was a coal and watering stop on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway line. Later the stop was called Summit because it was thought to be the highest point between the Cimarron and Canadian rivers. On March 28, 1887, the Santa Fe officially named the station Edmond in honor of Edmond Burdick, a Santa Fe traveling freight agent. Edmond Station was first operated by John Steen, with support from his wife Cordelia and their son Charley. Edmond is located in northern Oklahoma County, approximately fifteen miles north of downtown Oklahoma City. As with many other communities throughout the area, Edmond got its start as a town on April 22, 1889, with the opening of the Unassigned Lands. Edmond is home to many firsts in Oklahoma Territory, including the first church building, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, dedicated June 24, 1889; the first continuous newspaper, the Edmond Sun, founded by Milton "Kickingbird" Reynolds on July 18, 1889; and the first public schoolhouse, completed in August 1889. Education forms a significant part of Edmond's history. An important local institution is the University of Central Oklahoma. Originally named the Territorial Normal School in 1891, it prepared students to become teachers. Although it has changed names several times and expanded its curriculum, becoming the University of Central Oklahoma, its first building, Old North Tower, still remains the campus focal point. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NR 71000671). College classes were held in Old North Tower beginning in January 1893. The University of Central Oklahoma offers a positive economic impact by being one of the community's largest employers. The city also supports an extensive public school system that includes three large high schools. Edmond's economic base, growing from the railroad, the normal school, and a surrounding agricultural area, expanded with the discovery of oil in the West Edmond Field during the 1930s and 1940s. Transportation access, always important to the growth of a town, included the arrival of the railroad in 1887 and an interurban line in 1911, designation on U.S. Highway 66 (Route 66) and Highway 77 in the late 1920s, and proximity to Interstate 35 from the early 1960s. More convenient approaches and roads into Edmond in the 1950s and 1960s brought population growth and a corresponding increase in the infrastructure, more schools and businesses in the 1970s and 1980s, numerous housing additions, and active citizen participation in the 1990s through the millennium. Edmond Electric, a municipally owned system and one of only thirty-five in the state, has provided power since 1908. Two important moments highlight Edmond's recent history. In 1986 an Edmond postal employee shot and killed fifteen of his co-workers at the post office. On a more positive historical note, Edmondite Shannon Miller participated in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. She became the most decorated gymnast in United States history. The city's residents support numerous cultural institutions. They include the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond and the Edmond Historical Society Museum, located in a 1936 National Guard Armory that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NR 91000275). Among other listed properties are the American Legion Hut (NR 93001336) and Old North Tower (on UCO campus, NR 71000671). The city's numerous public recreation areas include eighteen parks, several golf courses, one of Oklahoma's first skate parks, championship-quality soccer fields, an aquatic center, and a tennis center. Nearby Lake Arcadia provides boating and fishing opportunities and each January hosts an Eagle Watch. Edmond Liberty Fest, a week-long Fourth of July celebration, annually attracts 125,000 visitors. An Art in Public Places program, established in 2001, has placed dozens of sculptures throughout the community in parks and along streets. The city also hosts an annual Downtown Arts Festival. A farmers' market, located downtown in Festival Market Place, provides a venue for sale and purchase of locally grown produce during the summer. Edmond has grown into a large city but maintains its heritage and small hometown characteristics. On April 22, 1889, the town had a population of 150 citizens, mostly men. The census reported 1,534 in 1900. The population reached 8,577 in 1960, 16,633 in 1970, 34,637 in 1980, 52,315 in 1990, and 70,994 in 2000. Newspapers have included the Edmond Enterprise, the Edmond Booster, the Edmond Sun, and more recently, Edmond Life and Leisure. The City of Edmond maintains a council-manager form of government. The citizens elect a mayor and four city council members. These in turn appoint a city manager. In 2001 citizens elected Edmond's first woman mayor, Saundra Gragg Naifeh.


Forest Park



Garnetville
Located in Luther Township. Estalished May 22, 1892. Named after first Postmaster, Eugene M. Garnett. Name changed on July 26, 1898 to Luther.


Glenwood
This area used to be a housing area for Tinker AFB. The base now uses the area as a training site. Access is restricted. General consensus was that the housing area should be moved away from the flight paths. The housing area was cleared out and the building torn down. A few foundations remain. For the most part, it looks like a field, criss crossed by overgrown roads and driveways.


Gumbo Pit
Gumbo Pit was located about 200 yards east of NW 5th Street and Ann Arbor Street in Oklahoma City. Former railroad grade descends hill from the north and used to curve eastward to meet main east-west line. Trees but no buildings. Is shown on an 1895 Oklahoma railroad map but does not appear after that. Now suurounded by industrial parks and manufacturers. Northbound spur used to go to Warr Acres Oklahoma, also now within OKC Metro Area. Old northbound spur right-of-way can be seen in spots for about 2 miles going north from Gumbo Pit and crosses an elementary school and housing subdivisions built in the 40's-60's.


Harrah
The town of Harrah, formerly Sweeney, is located in the extreme southeast corner of Oklahoma County at a natural ford in the North Canadian River. Formally renamed Harrah on December 22, 1898, the town takes its name from entrepreneur Frank Harrah, who developed and promoted the town in the 1890s. The town owes its origin and continued existence to a favorable geographical location diverse enough to respond to the changing conditions of life in central Oklahoma. The first settler in the vicinity was Louis Navarre, a Potawatomi, who arrived in the early 1870s and observed that the area was well watered and provided plentiful fish from the river and game in the surrounding fields and woodlands. Later, after the partition of the area for reservations, the future site of Harrah lay just inside the Potawatomi reservation at a natural ford on the river. Here E. W. Sweeney in 1891operated first a ferry and then a bridge that greatly facilitated travel and commerce. To the north lay the Kickapoo Reservation with its fertile fields, which were soon to attract the attention of pioneers and land speculators, the latter of whose dealings sometimes fell short of ethical. The hills offered favorable conditions for orchards, while the surrounding fields proved ideal for truck gardens and field crops such as cotton. These factors prompted Harrah in April 1898 to purchase forty acres from Louis Navarre's allotment, which he promoted as the new town of Harrah. The early settlers included not only hopeful Midwesterners and Southerners but also Poles in numbers sufficient to give the town a distinctive central European heritage. The town incorporated in 1908. By 1910 the population numbered 356, and by 1920, 365. Agricultural prosperity stimulated the construction of roads to transport produce to hungry markets, which in turn later determined the town's inclusion as a stop on the railroad. Economic prosperity, good communications, and water from nearby Horseshoe Lake, an ancient cut-off of the river, proved sufficient in 1923 for the Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company to choose the town as home site for an electric generating station that began operation in 1924. This provided economic stability for the town through the lean years of the Great Depression. In 1930 Harrah sheltered 693 residents and lost only 73 in the next decade. As inexpensive automobiles created a mobile post-war population in the 1950s, workers in nearby Oklahoma City moved into suburban areas that offered a different lifestyle. This same desire for a better life ultimately caused the town's residents to resist the city's encroachment and commence efforts to restore the town's independent and distinctive character during the last decades of the twentieth century. Harrah has become a mixture of the past and the present. New residents are frequently lured by the town's reputation for high-quality schools for their children, a status earned in the opening years of the twentieth century. By 2000 the public schools enrolled approximately two thousand students in grades kindergarten through twelve. The power plant, grown through a series of enlargements over the decades, still produces power and jobs. The population burgeoned from 1,931 in 1970 to 2,897 in 1980 and to 4,206 in 1990 as workers continued to move to Harrah and commute to jobs in nearby larger centers. Harrah's downtown, once nearly abandoned for new shopping centers to the south and west, has begun to revive with its own shops and services. Orchards and produce farms have reasserted their importance and attract visitors during season; while cotton, absent for over half a century, has reappeared in the fields alongside the dominant corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. A new interest in the quality of life has led the town to address such issues as parks and recreation; and new residents have joined with those of longer standing to form a wide variety of civic clubs, a historical society, and annual town events that emphasize the town's own character and strive to ensure its continuance for the future. Early-twentieth-century newspapers, including the Enterprise and the Tribune, were superceded by the News and the Herald, the latter still in publication in 2000. Under a home rule charter, the city is operated by a manager-council form of government. The 2000 census recorded 4,719 residents.


Jones
Jones, originally known as Glaze, is a suburban community in eastern Oklahoma County. Luther F. Aldrich platted the townsite on April 22, 1898, before the St. Louis and Oklahoma City Railroad (after 1899 the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway, or Frisco) constructed a line from Sapulpa to Oklahoma City. Aldrich, a friend and business associate of Oklahoma City's three-time mayor Charles G. "Gristmill" Jones, named the town after him, and Jones later named his eldest son Luther, indicating his esteem for Aldrich. Located in Springer Township, Jones is situated just south of the place that Washington Irving described as "The Ringing of Horses" (site listed in the National Register of Historic Places, NR 71001081) in his book A Tour on the Prairies (1835). In early years the economic base was agriculture. The Charles G. Jones Farmstead is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NR 01000658). Covering 13.662 square miles, present Jones is surrounded on three sides by Oklahoma City and by the town of Harrah to the east-southeast and the town of Choctaw to the south-southeast. The North Canadian River meanders through the extreme northeastern corner of Jones. No major highways pass through the town, which lies on Northeast Ninety-third Street/East Britton Road, approximately four miles south of Interstate 44. Jones was strategically located to take maximum advantage of the railroad for shipping, for commuting to work, and for traveling to Tulsa or Oklahoma City for shopping and entertainment. Successful promotion attracted new residents to the area, and circa 1902 Edwin G. Bedford platted an addition to the town. Jones incorporated on January 4, 1909. In 1910 the U.S. Census counted 163 inhabitants. The town had two banks and two mercantile enterprises, a barbershop, a billiard parlor, a blacksmith, a cotton gin, a drug store, a hardware, a lumberyard, a livery, a meat shop, and the Canadian Valley News newspaper. Amenities included a physician and a railroad express agent, as well as Christian, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches, a public grade school for whites, and a telephone connection. A decade later 214 people lived there. One bank and McMullen Mercantile Company remained, Davidson and Case still operated a lumberyard, and A. W. Deal continued as a blacksmith. There were two new hardware stores and a new gristmill. Chester A. Keyes edited the weekly Oklahoma County News, W. F. & Company provided telephone and Western Union service, N. Proctor had left the billiard parlor to run the meat shop, and Otto M. Linthcum joined Ira Wood as a second physician. All three churches remained. In 1916 State Center School opened at the intersection of Wilshire and Indian Meridian, the geographic center of the state. A separate school, opened about 1911 at 108th Street (now Hefner Road) and Indian Meridian, served the area's African American students. By 1930 Jones's population stood at 288 and by 1940 at 260. In the early 1940s, during World War II, Midwest City Douglas Aircraft Company Plant (later Tinker Air Force Base) opened twenty miles south of Jones and became a prime employment center. After the war ended, trains no longer stopped at Jones, commuters traveled by automobile to the air depot or Oklahoma City, finding it convenient to shop in that city before returning home from work. Still, various implement and seed dealers, two dairies, and a cotton gin operated in the 1940s and 1950s. State Center School closed in 1947. A new post office building opened in 1964. The Robert Muller Community Center is named for the first serviceman killed in action during World War II. The town has grown steadily during the second half of the twentieth century from 794 residents in 1960 to 2,270 in 1980, and 2,517 in 2000. The relatively sudden increase in population indicated that the town had become a "bedroom" community. By 2000 approximately half of the employed residents commuted at least thirty minutes to jobs in larger towns. Jones has a mayor-council form of government, and its public schools enrolled 1,048 in grades kindergarten through twelve in 2000. The major news-making events in Jones at the end of the twentieth century were a fire at Madewell Battery Shop in August 1996 and the discovery and destruction of a whiskey still in December 2000.
[Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture]

JONES -- Jones is a town in Oklahoma County, in the Oklahoma City metro area. Covering 13.662 square miles, present Jones is surrounded on three sides by Oklahoma City and by the town of Harrah to the east-southeast and the town of Choctaw to the south-southeast. Luther F. Aldrich platted the town site on April 22, 1898. Aldrich, a friend and business associate of Oklahoma City's three-time mayor Charles G. "Gristmill" Jones, named the town after him, and Jones later named his eldest son Luther, indicating his esteem for Aldrich. C. G. Jones, a industrialist and railroad promoter, was instrumental in bringing the railroad through a town know then as Glaze, Oklahoma. C.G. Jones played a big part in Oklahoma Statehood, and was also a State Reprehensive, just to name a few of his accomplishments. Jones Oklahoma Historical Society Museum located at First and Boston Street. Jones is situated just south of the place that Washington Irving described as "The Ringing of Horses" (site listed in the National Register of Historic Places, NR 71001081) in his book A Tour on the Prairies (1835). In early years the economic base was agriculture. The Charles G. Jones Farmstead is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NR 01000658). History of the Farmstead.
[Source: http://townofjonescity.com/ and National Register of Historic Places Application and pictures. ]


Lake Aluma
Lake Aluma is a small, secluded incorporated town that developed in the 1920s in Oklahoma County immediately northwest of and contiguous with Oklahoma City lies in a valley adjacent to the Deep Fork River. The community originated as a residential development created by a thirty-member organization, the Lake Aluma Club. The club called its property Aluma Cholusa, said to be Choctaw for "peaceful retreat." It was located at a well-known, hilly, wooded camping spot used by city dwellers in the first decade of the twentieth century. Members planned a golf course and wildlife preserve for deer, quail, and other animals. In 1923 Lake Aluma comprised 336 acres lying southwest of the intersection of Sixty-third Street and Coltrane Avenue. In its first years vacationers constructed "summer homes" there, but soon permanent residences were built. A dam was constructed to create a lake, primarily for fishing, and a small hatchery was maintained in order to provide fish. By 1926 residents enjoyed sewer/water and electric utilities. Lake Aluma incorporated in 1952, and the 1960 census recorded 82 inhabitants. The population peaked in 1970 at 124 and stabilized in 1980 at 101. The 1990 and 2000 censuses recorded 96 and 97, respectively, in about forty households. Ninety percent of employed residents earn a living in management or are professionals. There is no commercial development.


Luther
Luther is a small agricultural town located in Luther Township in far northeastern Oklahoma County. The town was named for Luther Jones, the son of Oklahoma County entrepreneur, promoter, and politician Charles G. Jones and the namesake of Luther F. Aldrich, Jones's business partner and friend. Aldrich purchased the land on which the town is located from John A. Blizzard on February 4, 1898, because it was on the right-of-way for the St. Louis and Oklahoma City Railroad (later the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway, or Frisco). Located on the Deep Fork River, flooding was a problem until the Arcadia Dam was completed in 1987. The town was platted in April 1898, and on July 26, a post office opened. In 1903 the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway (Katy) began building track from Oklahoma City north to Osage, reaching a point one mile north of Luther on June 25, 1903. In 1905 Luther incorporated and was served by a mayor and board of directors. At 1907 statehood Luther had 423 residents. By 1910 only 310 inhabitants were enumerated. The population nearly doubled to 601 by 1920. The town had Baptist, Catholic, Christian, and Methodist churches as well as several small religious denominations that met in various locations. There were two banks, one weekly newspaper, a telephone connection, and a Western Union agent. On March 11, 1937, the Oklahoma County Register supplanted the Luther Register. In the late 1940s the Luther Citizen and Citizen informed residents. Five general stores, one dry goods emporium, a furniture store, and two hardware stores served Luther's citizens. There were two hotels, two restaurants, three physicians, two drug stores, and a meat market, broom factory, sawmill, blacksmith, and barber. Prior to 1907 statehood, Luther had two saloons. At statehood Luther claimed that they led the state with five cotton gins and that they shipped the largest quantity of cotton of any Oklahoma town. Engel's Dry Goods Store (NR 80003280), established in 1910, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Other national register listings include Threatt Filling Station (NR 95000038) and Booher Site (NR 79003641). In 1916 Booker T. Washington High School for African Americans opened in Luther. The facility expanded in 1922. Destroyed by fire in December 1930, the school building was rebuilt in 1931. Heralded as one of the premier high schools for blacks in the United States, its graduates were accepted at African American colleges across the country. In 1928 U.S. Highway 66 (now State Highway 66) was opened from Los Angeles, California, to Chicago, Illinois, passing through the northern side of Luther. There were 613 residents on the 1930 census. The Great Depression of the 1930s had a devastating effect on the town and surrounding area. Foreclosures forced many farmers to relocate and town merchants facing reduced business closed their doors. Only 425 people were counted in 1940 and 409 in 1950. Those who could afford an automobile became commuters, driving to Cushing, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, Guthrie, and Langston University to work. In 2000, 94 percent of Luther's employed residents commuted to work. Both railroads ceased serving the town at the end of World War II. Completion of the Turner Turnpike from Oklahoma City to Tulsa in 1953 diverted traffic from U.S. Highway 66, further dampening business. Washington High School closed in 1957 when the school system integrated. From 1960 to 1990 Luther experienced surge in population, growing from 517 residents to 1,560, growth that was substantially people who moved away during the depression and returned when they retired. Another economic downturn during the 1990s spurred a second exodus and only 612 people were counted on the 2000 census. Luther is the home of Crystal Labs, a company that collects and ships pollen samples around the world to laboratories researching hay fever and allergies. In 2005 the Redbud Energy Plant was completed two miles west of the former Katy depot raising hopes for renewed growth in Luther.


Midwest City
Founded as a military support community in 1942 and located in Oklahoma County nine miles east of Oklahoma City,
Midwest City retains that primary function in the twenty-first century. Being the metropolis closest to Tinker Air Force Base, the community has residential, commercial, social, spiritual, educational, and recreational resources to serve the needs of one of the largest logistic and support activities in the U.S. Air Force. U.S. Highway 62 cuts through the city from east to west. Interstate Highway 40 passes through the southwest corner of the town, before turning east along the common boundary with Tinker AFB. Midwest City is twenty-four and one-half miles square and contiguous with Oklahoma City, Del City, Spencer, Nicoma Park, and Choctaw. The impetus for building Midwest City began in 1940 when the U.S. War Department began expanding the U.S. Army Air Corps, constructing air bases throughout the country, where year-round flying weather was good. The announcement that Oklahoma City was a finalist in the competition for a Midwest Air Depot created a rush of real estate speculation. Following the hints published in the Daily Oklahoman, C. B. Warr and W. P. (William Paul) "Bill" Atkinson each purchased large tracts of land in the vicinity where each thought the facility would be created. Atkinson's guess was better, selecting a site directly north of the new facility. He christened his city after the proposed name of the airfield and when it was later renamed Tinker AFB the city's name remained unchanged. After conferring with Pentagon officials to ascertain their desires Atkinson began home construction in April 1942 at the corner of East Trumbull and East Boeing streets. In 1943 he managed to secure all seven hundred building permits allocated to the Oklahoma City region, only to have work stalled by heavy rains and to hear his enterprise derisively referred to as "Mudwest City." In addition to housing, the Air Corps wanted shopping facilities and other amenities. Cement was rationed during the war so the city streets were dirt and only the primary thoroughfare Air Depot Boulevard was graveled. Atkinson persuaded Sylvan Goldman, the owner of Humpty Dumpty grocery stores, to expand his operations to Midwest City, building the store to Goldman's specifications. On March 11, 1943, the city was incorporated. In 1942 Atkinson acquired the services of Seward Mott, the director of the Federal Housing Administration's Land Planning Division. By 1946 Mott's idea for an attractive city developed in a logical manner and gained the attention of the national print and broadcast media. His use of curvilinear streets, circling roads, and cul-de-sacs in residential neighborhoods, separating them from the straight, broad thoroughfares that efficiently moved traffic from the base to major business locations, became a model for postwar community development. The news coverage and the jobs being created at Tinker encouraged people to move to Midwest City for an opportunity to work and own a home. For example, Jim and Hazel Willis moved from Ohio with no guarantees and a lot of hope. In 1949 Hazel opened the Jack and Jill preschool, a day care facility and precursor of the future. A returning veteran Nicholas "Nick" Harroz opened a grocery store, calling it Nick's Brett Drive Grocery, at the corner of Boeing Street and Brett Drive in 1947. His business prospered and in 1953 he moved to a larger building in Atkinson Plaza. In 1964 he moved again, changing the business name to Crest Discount Foods. In 1948 Midwest City citizens voted to change their form of government to a charter-council-city manager to manage the continuing growth. In 1951 Midwest City was recognized by the National Association of Home Builders as "America's Model City." The town's streets were still dirt and gravel with the exception of one mile of Air Depot Boulevard that had been paved. In 1957 Paul Hudiburg, the Buick and Pontiac dealer in Okemah, Oklahoma, moved to Midwest City and purchased the Chevrolet dealership. He built the Hudiburg Auto Group into one of the largest auto sales organizations in Oklahoma. City voters followed the recommendation of their council in 1957 and approved a bond issue to pave the city's streets. The project was 95 percent complete in 1967 when the city received an award from the Oklahoma Good Roads and Streets Association. In 1959 the city fathers sought a bond, which was approved, to build a regional hospital. The Midwest City Memorial Hospital was dedicated on October 6, 1962. In 1968 the voters approved the creation of a junior college district, following up in February 1969 with a bond to initiate construction. In September 1970 the first classes were held at Oscar Rose Junior College (now Rose State College), named for the Midwest City-Del City (Mid-Del) superintendent of schools Oscar V. Rose. The General Motors Assembly Plant, located near Tinker AFB, provided employment between 1978 and its closing in early 2006. As Midwest City grew from a population of 10,166 in 1950 to 36,058 in 1960 and 52,267 in 1990, it also grew in political influence. Before World War II inhabitants of eastern Oklahoma County were usually represented in the state legislature by Pottawatomie County residents. Since 1965 the state Senate seat in District 42 has been occupied by a Midwest Citian: H. B. Atkinson (D), 1965-71; James F. Howell (D), 1971-87; and David Herbert (D), 1987 to the present. In the House of Representatives, Districts 94, 95, and 101 have often been occupied by Midwest City representatives. District 94 is currently represented by Kevin J. Calvey (R), who has held the seat since 1999. District 95 has been represented by David Craighead (D), 1973-89; Jim Isaac (D), 1989-95; and Bill Case (R), 1995 to the present. District 101 has been represented by Jeff Hamilton (D), 1987-95; Forrest Claunch (R), 1995-2005; and Gary Banz (R), from 2005 to the present. During its sixty-year history Midwest City has been served by numerous newspapers. They include the Midwest City News, the Midwest City Leader and the Midwest City News, the Midwest Journal, the Midwest City Sun, and two weeklies, the Eastern Oklahoma County News and the Eastern Oklahoma County Extra. At the turn of the twenty-first century Midwest City had 54,088 residents.


Nichols Hills
Nichols Hills is a city in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, United States, and a part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. The population was 4,056 at the 2000 census. Nichols Hills is a bedroom community and is completely cut off from further growth. It is surrounded by Oklahoma City and The Village on the north, and by Oklahoma City on the south, east and west. Nichols Hills is a primarily residential area, and has a very low commercial tax base. Nichols Hills is also known to have some of the highest housing prices in the state, and has the highest average household income in Oklahoma. Nichols Hills is home to the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club, a private establishment. Nichols Hills has a full service city government, to include water, police and fire services.


Nicoma Park
Nicoma Park was an agricultural community planned by the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce in 1925-27. Chamber staff and T. M. Jeffords, agricultural agent for the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway, studied similar projects around the nation. The chamber decided to bring the poultry industry to Oklahoma, and asked well-known builder-developer Gilbert A. Nichols to promote the colony. In 1928 he purchased a two-thousand-acre site on Twenty-third Street, ten miles due east of the Oklahoma Capitol Complex and outside the city limits. The name Nicoma combined the words Nichols and Oklahoma. Somewhat utopian in design, the purpose of Nicoma Park was to maintain a poultry colony where "modern homes on acreage tracts may be bought on the installment plan and paid for through the commercial production of high grade eggs, under the free supervision of an expert. The head of the family may continue to hold an 8-hour job and keep enough hens to meet all or most of the payments on the home." Lots ranged in size from one to five acres and could be purchased with a residence and a chicken house. The initial development was completed and the first lots sold on January 28, 1928. By June forty families lived in the colony, and seventy-five homes existed. Nichols touted Nicoma Park as an opportunity for family financial independence and as a safe, healthy place to raise children. Nicoma Park was a thoroughly planned community. During the colony's first year three tracts opened, each comprising around three hundred acres. The Nicoma Park Development Company (G. A. Nichols, Inc.) built a community center, arranged for electric and telephone service, graded and graveled streets, and planted hundreds of elm trees. The developer built a tourist court and various business buildings. Oklahoma City paved Twenty-third Street. By September 1928 lot sales totaled more than $1 million. People from Oklahoma City bought lots in the colony, as did would-be chicken farmers from Arkansas and several midwestern states. By mid-1929 around one hundred colonists owned approximately fifty thousand egg-producing chickens, which were housed and fed on each individual's lot. The developer provided hatchery, brooder, and egg-processing facilities, and the growers formed a cooperative, Nicoma Park Egg Marketing Association. The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway, which ran east-west through the community, provided market access. The stock market crash of October 1929 and the ensuing economic depression doomed the colony to failure as a cooperative enterprise. As the development company slipped toward receivership in 1931, several colonists who had lost their investments sued Nichols. In addition, a shipment of sick pullets infected the resident flocks with a disease that killed thousands. Despite these serious setbacks, the community remained generally intact and continued as a town whose economy was still in part based on the poultry business. Oil discoveries in the late 1920s and the 1930s provided jobs. By 1936 the population of approximately 750 supported two churches, a public school, and numerous businesses. In the 1940s a nearby federal air depot (now Tinker Air Force Base) and a General Motors Assembly Plant began providing additional employment. In 1946-47 Nichols auctioned the remaining one hundred lots. As late as 1951 at least one chicken farm remained in business. Nicoma Park incorporated in August 1959. The 1960 census counted 1,263 residents, a number that doubled by 1970. Since 1980 the population has hovered around 2,400, with the 2000 count at 2,415. At the end of the twentieth century commercial development was average for a community of this size. The large Nicoma Park Lumber Yard, serving the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, provided much of Nicoma Park's tax revenue. The town comprised approximately 877 acres (3.269 square miles) generally along U.S. 62 (Twenty-third Street) from Post Road, on the west, to Hiwasee Road, on the east and from Northeast Thirtieth south to Northeast Tenth. The community retained a spacious, park-like atmosphere. Children attended the Choctaw-Nicoma Park schools. More than 80 percent of residents worked in the surrounding metropolitan area in trades, sales, and production and at Tinker. They maintained a mayor-council form of government and recalled their history with an annual Founders' Day (formerly called the Poultry Festival) each spring.

Oklahoma City
As the Oklahoma state capital and the county seat of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma City is centrally located within the state and is a major crossroads served by Interstate Highways 35, 40, 44, 235, and 240. The future Oklahoma City lay within an area that was formerly part of the Creek and Seminole nations in Indian Territory. In the 1870s and 1880s Montford T. Johnson, a contemporary of Jesse Chisholm, operated a ranch at Council Grove, in present western Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City sprang into existence on April 22, 1889, when approximately fifty thousand participants of the Land Run of 1889 claimed town lots and quarter sections in the area known as the Unassigned Lands. On that date, an estimated four to six thousand settlers came to Oklahoma Station (later Oklahoma City) to establish homes and businesses. Prior to the land opening the Southern Kansas Railway (later the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway) built a line from the Kansas-Oklahoma border to Purcell, Indian Territory. At the North Canadian River a watering stop along that line, known as Oklahoma Station, was established in February 1887. A post office at Oklahoma Station opened on December 30, 1887. The post office was renamed Oklahoma on December 18, 1888, and finally, Oklahoma City on July 1, 1923. On April 19, 1889, three days prior to the land opening, Sidney Clarke, William L. Couch, and others formed the Seminole Town and Improvement Company in Topeka, Kansas. Two other townsite companies competed with the Seminole group in platting Oklahoma City. Consequently, accusations were made that some individuals were Sooners and lot jumpers and general confusion ensued. From April 22, 1889, to May 2, 1890, the towns and communities in the Unassigned Lands existed under provisional government, because the federal government had not foreseen the need to establish laws to govern the new territory. When the U.S. Congress passed the Organic Act on May 2, 1890, the laws of Nebraska applied to the newly formed Oklahoma Territory until local legislation could be passed. Oklahoma City was incorporated on July 15, 1890. William L. Couch served as the first provisional mayor of Oklahoma City and Charles F. Colcord as the first police chief. When Couch resigned on November 11, 1889, Sidney Clarke became acting mayor until an election could be held. Andrew J. Beale was elected mayor on November 27, 1889. In 1890 William J. Gault became the first nonprovisional mayor. With the passage of the Organic Act seven counties were established. Oklahoma County was originally known as County Two, with Oklahoma City as the county seat, and Guthrie was designated as the territorial capital. Rivalry between Guthrie and Oklahoma City for the capital existed until June 11, 1910. By a majority vote of the people on that date, Oklahoma City was selected as the state capital, and the state seal was moved from Guthrie to Oklahoma City. William F. Harn and John J. Culbertson donated land for the capitol site. Groundbreaking for the capitol occurred on July 20, 1914, and the structure was completed on June 30, 1917. The Oklahoma State Capitol (listed in the National Register of Historic Places, NR 76001572) was built without a dome due to lack of funds as the United States entered World War I. However, on June 20, 2001, construction started on a dome, which was dedicated on November 16, 2002. In June 2002 The Guardian statue was placed atop the dome. From 1889 to the 1910s city leaders and builders turned the railroad watering stop into a bustling commercial and transportation hub. Henry Overholser, a prominent early settler, had six prefabricated, two-story, wooden buildings transported to Oklahoma City in the early months of its development. He built the first opera house and constructed a palatial home, the Overholser House (NR 70000536), on the outskirts of town. Overholser and Charles G. "Gristmill" Jones, who established the first flour mill in Oklahoma Territory, organized the St. Louis and Oklahoma City Railroad in 1895. By 1898 that line connected Sapulpa and Oklahoma City. When Oklahoma City's population more than doubled from 4,151 in 1890 to 10,037 in 1900, the need for housing escalated. To meet the demand John W. Shartel, Anton H. Classen, and others developed residential areas, which resulted in the first urban sprawl. Shartel opened the Florence Addition in 1898, and Classen organized the Highland Parked Addition (now Heritage Hills Historic and Architectural District, NR 79002006) in 1900. In 1902 Classen established the University and Marquette additions. That year Israel M. Putnam organized his real estate enterprise known as the Putnam Company and sold properties in Epworth View, Military Park, Putnam Park, Putnam Heights Historic Preservation District (NR 82003693), Lakeside, and Lakeview Heights. In the 1910s and 1920s Gilbert A. Nichols constructed houses in present historic districts such as Crown Heights Historic District (NR 95001467), Gatewood West and East Historic Districts (NR 04000125 and 04000126), Capitol-Lincoln Terrace Historic District (NR 76001569), and Mesta Park. He is best remembered for the development of Nichols Hills, an exclusive residential area in northwest Oklahoma City. In addition to Overholser's two-story buildings, other multistory structures included a three-story, brick and stone post office building dedicated on July 4, 1890. Construction of the five-story Oklahoma Publishing Company Building (NR 78002249) at 500 North Broadway Avenue began on January 17, 1909. By 1909 six brick and tile manufacturers operated to keep pace with the rapid construction of residences and office buildings. Charles Colcord built the twelve-story Colcord Building (NR 76001571), which when completed in 1910 was considered Oklahoma City's first skyscraper. Oilman William B. Skirvin had the Skirvin Hotel (NR 79002010) built at One Park Avenue in 1910-11. Solomon Layton designed the five-story Baum Building, which was modeled after the Doge's Palace in Venice, Italy, and constructed in 1909-10 at Robinson and Grand avenues. Soon after the land opening settlers established subscription schools until taxes could be assessed to support public schools. After the land run Lyman H. and Martha Newton North opened a subscription school in a tent. Jennie (Mrs. Fred) Sutton established a school in the rear of a hardware store on First Street between Broadway and Robinson avenues. The first official year of public schools in Oklahoma Territory began on January 1, 1891. Oklahoma City received a $60,000 Carnegie grant for a public library which was constructed in 1899. The Draughon's Practical Business and Hill's Business colleges opened in 1903 and 1905, respectively. Construction of Mount St. Mary's Catholic Academy at 2801 South Shartel Avenue was completed in 1904. By 1909 Oklahoma City had ten public school buildings. In 1910 Central High School (NR 76001570) was completed at Northwest Eighth and Robinson streets. By 1930 the city had three high schools, six junior high schools, and fifty-one elementary schools with an enrollment of 38,593. The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, a two-year residential public high school for academically gifted students, graduated its first class in 1992. At the turn of the twenty-first century several Oklahoma City institutions offered higher education: Oklahoma City University (NR 78002247), Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City Branch, and Oklahoma City Community College. Vocational-technical schools included Francis Tuttle Technology Center/Institute and Metro Technology centers. In addition to educational facilities, the settlers quickly established churches, many of which have historical significance and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. For example, the First Methodist Church structure at 131 Northwest Fourth Street was completed in October 1889. Also in 1889 Catholics built St. Joseph's Cathedral (NR 78002253) at the southwest corner of Northwest Fourth Street and Harvey Avenue. Although the Christian congregation met the first Sunday after the land opening, they did not built the First Christian Church (NR 84003383) at 1104 North Robinson Avenue until 1910-11. Seventeen charter members organized the First Baptist Church on November 2, 1889. Their first church, erected in 1890, was razed by fire. Since 1912 the First Baptist Church has been located at Eleventh Street and Robinson Avenue. The Episcopalians first constructed a church circa 1893 at Northwest Second Street, between North Harvey and North Robinson avenues. They later moved to Northwest Fourth Street and Broadway Avenue, and finally to St. Paul's Cathedral at 127 Northwest Seventh Street (NR 77001096). On November 3, 1889, thirty-six charter members organized the First Presbyterian Church, which had several locations before moving to its present site at Northwest Twenty-fifth Street and Western Avenue in 1954. Jews met at various locations until the Temple B'Nai Israel at 50 Broadway Circle was dedicated in January 1908. By 1930 Oklahoma City had 114 churches, and Robinson Avenue was known as the "Avenue of Churches." Initially, the local economy was based on agriculture. Wheat, cotton, and cattle dominated the market. By 1894 farmers supported a corn mill, a grain elevator, a cotton gin, and several grain mills. The Oklahoma Canning Company operated between the months of July and October and was situated on Choctaw Avenue between South Robinson and South Broadway avenues. In 1899 an Oklahoma City Club promotion pamphlet boasted that five to ten thousand bales of cotton were marketed and seventy-five thousand bales were compressed at Oklahoma City. The brochure also stated that the city had thirty-six wholesale houses and twenty-six manufacturers. Around 1909 Colcord, Classen, and others enticed two meat-packing plants to build near the Oklahoma National Stockyards in southwest Oklahoma City. Representative of some of Oklahoma City's early manufacturing firms were the Oklahoma Carriage Manufacturing Company (ca. 1894), Jackson Plow Manufacturing Company (ca. 1894), J. B. Klein Iron and Foundry Company (1909), Boardman Company (1910), Jay Kola (ca. 1918), Macklanburg-Duncan Company (1920), and Fred Jones Manufacturing Company (1938). By 1921 fifty-two of the city's seventy-six automobile dealerships were situated along "Automobile Alley" located on North Broadway Avenue between Fourth and Thirteenth streets. Automobile Alley Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NR 99000351). A General Motors Assembly Plant operated from 1979 to 2006. At the turn of the twenty-first century the top five employers in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area were the State of Oklahoma, Tinker Air Force Base, the U.S. Postal Service, the University of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma City Public Schools. Other large employers included the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, the City of Oklahoma City, Integris Baptist Medical Center, and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. The 1920s witnessed further economic development. In 1921 the Traders Compress Company built a cotton compress and warehouse at the intersection of East Reno and Eastern avenues. The last bale of cotton was shipped from this location in November 1969, and the structure was razed in March 1970. On December 4, 1928, the Oklahoma City Number One discovery well (NR 77001095) was completed by the Indian Territory Illuminating Oil Company and the Foster Petroleum Company. On March 26, 1930, the Mary Sudik Number One came in. Both wells were situated southeast of the Oklahoma City limits. On May 27, 1930, the Hall-Briscoe Number One Holmes was completed within the city limits. By 1935 the Oklahoma City oil field had produced 409 million barrels of crude oil, and ninety-five oil industry companies employed twelve thousand. The capitol sits above an oil pool. In 1941 the Capitol Site Number One (also known as Petunia Number One) was brought in, using directional drilling, on the south plaza of the main entrance. The 1930s were marked by the Great Depression and the subsequent federal New Deal programs, such as the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Public Works Administration (PWA), and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). As a consequence of the depression, unemployed, migratory persons established a migrant camp in Oklahoma City along the North Canadian River between Byers and Pennsylvania avenues. Local organizations furnished clothing, food, and supplies to the destitute before federal aid became available. Federal programs brought about the construction of the Municipal Auditorium and amphitheaters at several municipal parks. A public art gallery opened January 5, 1936, and the Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestra was initiated under the Federal Music Project of the WPA in 1937. The PWA provided funding for the construction of the Oklahoma City National Guard Armory, which was completed in 1938. With the advent of World War II, the Oklahoma City metropolitan area gained the Midwest City Douglas Aircraft Company Plant. The plant closed in 1945, and the building was designated as Building 3001 at Tinker Air Force Base. Following World War II the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Standardization Center moved from Houston, Texas, to form Will Rogers Field in Oklahoma City. When the Federation Aviation Agency (FAA) replaced the CAA in 1958, the installation became known as the FAA Aeronautical Center (now the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center). Several Oklahoma-based retail businesses have had headquarters or outlets in Oklahoma City. Among them were Anthony Stores, TG&Y Stores, Harold's Stores, and OTASCO. Food distributors have included William E. Davis and Sons and Fleming companies. Troy Smith started the Sonic fast-food chain in 1953 under the name of Top Hat Drive-In. In 1968 William H. Braum opened his first Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store in Oklahoma City. Also, through the years the city has witnessed the development of ethnic business enclaves, such as Second Street (Deep Deuce) and the Asian District. Newspapers were Oklahoma City's earliest form of communication. Telephone, radio, and television soon followed. On May 9, 1889, Angelo C. Scott published the first newspaper in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Times. The Daily Oklahoman, begun in 1903, continued to serve citizens as the Oklahoman at the turn of the twenty-first century. The Missouri-Kansas Telephone Company provided service in the 1890s, and by 1909 the Pioneer Telephone and Telegraph Company served the city. Oklahoma City residents heard their first radio program in 1921 and witnessed the first television broadcast on November 10, 1939. At the turn of the twenty-first century SBC Communications (formerly Southwestern Bell) and Cox Communications offered telephone and Internet services. The three major local television stations were KFOR (channel 4), KOCO (channel 5), and KWTV (channel 9). In addition to the Oklahoman, the Journal Record and various ethnic papers, such as the Black Chronicles, the Oklahoma Chinese Times, and El National, have served the public. Several events in Oklahoma City gained national attention. The Urschel kidnapping occurred on July 22, 1933, when George "Machine Gun" Kelly and his accomplice Albert L. Bates abducted prominent Oklahoma City resident Charles F. Urschel and his guest Walter Jarrett. On July 5, 1982, the Penn Square Bank was declared insolvent, causing other banks across the nation to close and resulting in the revision of banking laws. In April 1995 the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was destroyed by an ammonium nitrate-fuel oil bomb, which killed 168 and injured approximately 850. The early railroads sustained communities until good roads could be built. The first railroad constructed through present Oklahoma City was the Southern Kansas Railway (later the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway) in 1887. Between 1890 and 1895 the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad (later the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad) built a line that connected Oklahoma City to El Reno and McAlester. In 1898 the St. Louis and Oklahoma City Railroad (later the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad, SL&SF) joined Sapulpa and Oklahoma City. Between 1902 and 1903 the Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad (later the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad) built a line between Oklahoma City and Agra in Lincoln County. That company also constructed a line from Coalgate to Oklahoma City in 1903-04. Between 1901 and 1902 the Oklahoma City and Western Railroad Company (later the SL&SF) built a line from Oklahoma City to Chickasha. By 1916 the interurban, operated by the Oklahoma Railway Company, radiated from Oklahoma City to Moore and Norman to the south, to Edmond and Guthrie to the north, and to El Reno to the west. Around 1916, one year after the Oklahoma City Model-T Ford assembly plant began operation, the number of automobiles outnumbered horses. Braniff International Airways had its start in Oklahoma City in 1928, and Central Airlines began operations in 1949. In the early 1940s three airlines (American, Braniff, and Continental) and ten bus lines served the city. At the turn of the twenty-first century commuters used the Lake Hefner Parkway, John Kilpatrick Turnpike, Broadway Extension, Northwest Expressway, and Centennial Expressway to reach their work destinations. Interstate Highways 35, 40, 44, 235, and 240 and U.S. Highways 62, 77, 270, and 277 provided access through the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Will Rogers World Airport and Wiley Post Airport accommodated air travelers. Since June 1999 the Oklahoma Spirit Trolleys, part of Oklahoma City's mass transit system, have furnished shuttle service from the Interstate 40/Meridian Avenue hotel and restaurant district to downtown and Bricktown. Oklahoma City has experienced continual population growth. At 1907 statehood the city had 32,452 citizens. The numbers almost doubled by 1910 with 64,205 reported and rose to 91,295 in 1920. In 1930 the census indicated 185,389 residents. Population climbed to 204,424 and 243,504 in 1940 and 1950, respectively. Numbers increased to 368,164 in 1970 and 444,719 in 1990. At the turn of the twenty-first century Oklahoma City had 506,132 residents, of whom 68.2 percent were white, 15.1 percent African American, 10 percent Hispanic, 3.4 percent Asian, and 3.3 percent American Indian. Oklahoma City offers numerous attractions such as the Oklahoma History Center, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the Oklahoma City National Memorial Center, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the Omniplex Science Museum, the National Softball Hall of Fame, the Forty-fifth Infantry Division Museum, and the Oklahoma City Zoological Park. Bricktown in downtown Oklahoma City is the venue for a movie theater, restaurants, retail shops, and business offices. The Cox Convention Center, the Ford Center, and the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark provide locales for sporting and other recreational events. At the turn of the twenty-first century Oklahoma City had a council-manager form of city government. Mick Cornett became Oklahoma City's thirty-fifth mayor on March 2, 2004.

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City may now be said tobe in the transitional stage of its development.  It has firmly established itself as a good place to make a living.  It is now setting about the task of making itself a good place to live in.  It has passed the first days of bustle and boom, and the sudden migration of many citizens to other parts, it has struggled through those grim days of the break – 1911, 1912, and 1913; and in the few years which followed it demonstrated successfully that it was commercially sound and financially safe.  Commercially and industrially, it is now firmly in the saddle, and has settled into its stride.

Good citizens who have the best good of the city at heart, realizing that they need have no further concern as to its physical life and development, have begun to devote themselves seriously to the study of their city with a view to finding out what is lacking and supplying the needs – with a purpose, in fact, of making the city a good place to live in.  They want to see Oklahoma’s civic growth keep pace with its commercial growth.

The Chamber of Commerce has taken the lead in this movement for civic betterment, and has established a well-defined program of major activities for this and ensuing year, by means of a referendum vote of the membership.  First upon the list came industrial development; followed closely by public health.  Fire and accident prevention, home building, city beautifying, community service, and betterment measures of many kinds were also contained in the list of activities which members believed the chamber ought to take up, and which will be taken up in the order of the vote.

In line with this work is the formation, at the beginning of the year, of the Oklahoma City Public Welfare Board, as an integral part of the city government.  The board, in addition to being an official body, is backed by the Welfare League, which is composed of men and women in every part of the city who want to do something for the uplift of their home town.  The growth of the league, and the hearty support of the work by every class is evidence of the great need of such an organization.

The chief work of the league at present is the care of juvenile delinquents, drug addicts, and those afflicted with social disease.  Lack of adequate quarters and equipment is at present proving a handicap to the board’s efficiency; but the entire movement is so young that the board is far from discouraged.  Steps are being taken now to provide adequate equipment of every sort for the efficient handling of the work; and it is believed that within a few months means will be at hand for the carrying out of sound plans along this line to the untold benefit of the city.

The strong program now in operation by the Chamber of Commerce, the formation of the Welfare League, the whole-hearted support and co-operation of the city commissioners in these plans, and the endorsement of all the prominent civic organizations of the general thought underlying these activities are concrete corroboration of the statement made in the first paragraph that Oklahoma City is now thoroughly and conscienciously concerned with the problem of making itself a “good place to live in;” and the success which has attended much of the effort which has been made is the best proof that so worthy and ideal is certain of accomplishment.

OklahomaCity Churches

OklahomaCity has 67 churches, the buildings valued at $2,000,000, and representing some of the finest edifices in the state.

Among the largest, both as regards seating capacity and membership are St. Luke’s Methodist, the First Presbyterian, the First Baptist, the First Methodist and the First Christian.

Not so large, but equally imposing in appearance, are the First Lutheran church, St. Paul’s Cathedral (Episcopal), St. Joseph’s Cathedral (Roman Catholic), the Maywood Christian, the Maywood Presbyterian, the Pilgrim Congregational and the Fourth Street Congregational churches.

The Roman Catholics are planning a large new building, as are also the Christian Scientists.  The present congregation at the Fourth Street Congregational church expects to build a new and much larger church within the year.

The church life of the city is exceedingly active, and has taken on an especially vigorous impetus this year.  The Centennial movement of Methodism and the New Era movement of the Presbyterian contemplate the raising of immense funds to carry out programs of re-construction, revivifying of the spiritual life of the church, comprehensive and far-reaching in scope.  The Sunday school attendance this year has been the largest on record.

Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce

C.B. MACKLIN, Assistant Manager Chamber of Commerce

               “The Everlastin’ Teamwork “Of Evry Bloomin’ Soul.”

Kipling.

Believing that Rudyard Kipling voiced an exceedingly deep and sound piece of philosophy when he wrote the above lines; and realizing that wherever this philosophy has been put to concrete application it has been productive of the best results; the Oklahoma City Chamber of commerce has endeavored to centralize all civic effort wherever this has been possible.

A meeting was called at the beginning of the present year, at which members of every civic organization were present.  The outcome of the meeting was that a Civic Committee of the chamber was formed, on which were placed members of the Kiwanis, the Lions, the Rotarians, the Retailers, the Real Estate Board, the Ad Club, and the Chamber of Commerce.  All matters affecting the city at large are being coordinated as far as possible through this one central committee, with the result that an immense saving of work and overlapping of effort is affected.

A comprehensive and well synthetized program has been laid out for the chamber, and is now being followed.  The program was adopted from the vote of the entire membership, taken last January.  First on the list comes industrial development, out of which has grown an industrial development committee.  An industrial survey is now being conducted, and is proving of immense value in the gathering of extra data regarding industries already established here, and in providing information calculated to be of service to firms who are considering Oklahoma City as a permanent location.

Early in May a public health committee was appointed.  This committee took the health survey report made last year by the anti-tuberculosis association as its working basis, and proceeded to bring the report up to date and to take steps to see that the recommendations embodied in the report were either in operation or in process of being carried out.  The best success has attended the efforts of this committee, and one of the results of its work is that the health department of the city government is being entirely re-organized.  In this and all other matters of a constructive nature proposed by the chamber, the most cordial co-operation has been accorded by the city commissioners.  In the matter of the health program, Dr. J. T. Martin, city physician, has been of the greatest assistance; indeed, he has taken the lead in the matter of re-organization of the health department.

In all matters affecting city government, it may be said that the chamber committees have never sought to dictate to the city officials, but have merely sought to be of assistance to them in putting the city affairs on a sound and efficient basis.  This attitude has been fully understood by the commissioners, who have worked with the chamber in the most complete harmony.

OklahomaCity Government

The city enjoys the commissionform of government, and has prospered under this form of administration for the past eight years.  Taxes have been light, and the government efficient.  Crime has always been held well in hand, and vice conditions controlled vigorously.

At present, it is felt that for the past eight or ten years the city has been at a standstill in the matter of civic improvements, and that it should begin to branch out in a more modern way.  Conditions heretofore have been such that this was not possible.  In 1911 the “boom” broke, and for the next few years financial affairs were at a low ebb.  The city had hardly recovered from the effects of this condition when the war came upon us, and it was then obviously a time for retrenchment.  With the ending of hostilities and the election of a new administration, many citizens believe that the improvements in the matter of street repairs, water main extension, increased police and fire protection, welfare work, health measure, and the like, for which they have waited perforce for some time, should now be undertaken. 

It was for this reason that the commissioners recently presented a budget which represented nearly double the expenditure made last year.  Opinion seems to be divided as to the wisdom of taking on quite so large an expenditure in one year.  While there seems to be no doubt that the majority of the people would welcome many of the needed improvements, may feel that the program should be spread over a number of years.

In this report as in others, the commissioners have expressed the utmost willingness to listen to recommendations from the chamber committees, and early in June two days were spent in a minute analysis of the budget by the commissioners and a chamber committee.  No report of the committee is as yet available; but it is understood that some of the proposed expenditures will be cut down. 

It may be observed in conclusion that this spirit of co-operation and team work which is in evidence at so many points augurs well for all civic development.

OklahomaCity Schools

There are 38 school buildings inthe city, and there will be forty by the end of the year, if the plans of the buildings and grounds committee of the Board of Education go forward without hitch.  The new building program includes three junior high schools, as well as additions to most of the present buildings.

The present high school has a capacity of 1,300; it is crowded, but the proposed junior schools will relieve this congestion, and allow for future developments.

The Board of Education and the city and county superintendents are justly proud of the teaching staff of the schools.  Under the handicap of overcrowded buildings, every teacher has worked loyally for the best good of the children, and the results have been more than gratifying.  In many of the school buildings, the overcrowding conditions have been so severe, that only the fact that the best spirit exists between teachers and pupils has made this work possible.

The recent bond issue of onemillion dollars will provide far more favorable conditions for the coming year, and the Board of Education believes that every school child will be comfortably accommodated.

So much for the city schoolsystem. In addition to this, the state university at Norman is within an hour’s ride on the interurban line, and the central normal school at Edmond even closer.  The Methodist University has just moved to the city from Guthrie, operating under the name of the Oklahoma City College.  Educationally, therefore, Oklahoma City offers better advantages than any other point in the state, and is becoming known in many states as setting a high standard of educational requirements.

OklahomaCity Statistics

Our Industrial Survey, now under way, evidences a very marked progress in the City’s commercial Growth as compared with 1914 – last government census.

Manufacturing.

With data 90% complete our compilations show that Oklahoma City is now manufacturing annually products valued at $65,000,000.00, in 1914 the value of products manufactured was $22,720,000.  This is an increase in four years of over 200%.

Wholesale Trade.

The volume of Oklahoma City, Wholesale Trade is steadily increasing.  Our wholesalers report that business for the last twelve months is heavier than in any corresponding period.  The reports from wholesalers (40% complete) indicate total volume of wholesaling and distributing $90,000,000 annually.

Meat Packing.

Morris & Co. and Wilson & Co. each have major of $10,000,000, including stock yards and buildings.  Their combined production exceeds 300,000,000 pounds annually.  Together they employ on an average 3,500 people, and their average annual payroll is over $3,500,000.00.  The value of all livestock marketed through Oklahoma City Stock Yards exceeds $50,000,000.00 annually.  The packing houses and stock yards are modern in every respect.

Milling.

Oklahoma City’s mills annually produce flour and other mill products exceeding $11,000,000.00 in value.  Their products are marketed through the United States and foreign countries.

Automobiles, Tractors, Tires and Accessories.

Oklahoma City does the largest distributing business in this line of any point in the Southwest.  A close estimate based upon reliable figures in our hands, shows ‘the volume of this business alone aggregates $30,000,000.00 annually.

Retail Trade.

Oklahoma City is a splendid retail market.  In addition to the city’s population our retailers draw from a trade radius of sixty miles.  It is estimated, using very conservative figures, that the volume of retail trade in all lines now aggregates $29,000,000.00 per annum, of which $8,000,000.00 is attributed to shoppers living outside of the city.

Transportation.

Oklahoma City has five trunk lines of steam railway:

   Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe;

   Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific;

   Missouri, Kansas & Texas;

   St. Louis & San Francisco;

   Ft. Smith & Western;

Radiating in all directions, affording good transportation facilities.

Headquarters and the hub of the Oklahoma City Railway Interurban System – extending to Guthrie, 32 miles north; El Reno, 27 miles west; Norman, 19 miles south.

Hotels

Lee-Huckins, room capacity 400.

Skirvia, room capacity 350.

Kingkade, room capacity 250.

Lawrence, room capacity 150.

Bristol, room capacity 125.

Other uptown hotels, room capacity 1,250.

If the occasion demands private homes and rooming houses of good class could supply on thousand additional rooms.

Population.

According to census taken bypostal authorities last February, the population of Oklahoma City is 110,000.

1,500 to 2,000 traveling menreside in or make Oklahoma City their headquarters.

Summing Up

The Capitol of the State.

Largest city in the State.

Geographical center of State.

Manufacturing: $65,000,000.00 annually.

Jobbing and Wholesale: $90,000,000.00 annually.

Live Stock and Packing: Over $50,000,000.00 annually.

Milling Center: $11,000,000.00 annually.

Retail Trade: $29,000,000.00 annually.

Financial center.

Convention center.

Sixty-seven churches, valued at $2,000,000.00.

Thirty-eight modern school buildings.

A $650,000 high school.

A $700,000 Federal building.

Seventeen city parks.

One hundred forty-seven miles paved street.

Fourteen thousand occupied residences.

Eight hundred ninety-six apartment houses.

Nine thousand, nine hundred automobiles.

Four daily papers.

State medical school.

Eighteen colleges and private schools.

Elevation 1,275 feet.

A $3,5000,000 city-owned water system.

Fifteen thousand, five hundred eighty-two gas consumers.

Fourteen thousand, two hundred ninety-seven electricity consumers.

Twelve thousand one hundred water consumers.

Fifteen thousand, six hundred fifty-six telephones.

Thirteen thousand and seventy-five average daily school attendance.

Bank clearings (1918), $480,205.266.

Bank deposits, $37,943,180.49

June 4th, 1919

Source: Oklahomans and TheirState, A Newspaper Reference Work, Oklahoma Biographical Assocation (1919), transcribed by Dawn Stafford.



Packing Town
Due to its numerous railroad extensions, the city attracted new industries and packing plants in an area called Packing Town, now known as Stockyards City.


Smith Village
Smith Village was created as a rural residential area circa 1949 by Rose Henrietta Smith of Oklahoma City. Inheriting a twenty-acre farm, she subdivided it into lots and created a housing development, Rose Smith Addition. It encompasses three-tenths of a square mile. The town is bounded on the west by Oklahoma City (Bryant Avenue) and on the north, east, and west by Del City (Southeast Fourteenth Street, Brookdale, and Southeast Fifteenth Street). When Del City attempted to annex the addition in 1952, its residents voted to incorporate. This was accomplished in November 1952. Smith Village's 1960 population stood at 93. As there has been no commercial development, the 2000 population of 40 inhabitants occupy themselves in services, sales, construction, and factory work in the surrounding metropolitan area. A town government is elected on an irregular basis. Del City provides water and sewer services.


Spencer
Spencer was one of the earliest towns in a region that was opened to settlement in the Land Run of 1889 into the Unassigned Lands. Spencer was developed in 1901 in Crutcho Township by Louis F. and Henry W. Kramer, early area settlers and businessmen of Oklahoma City. Originally from Spencer County, Indiana, they had come to Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory, in 1889 and had moved on to Oklahoma City. Louis Kramer built the city's first hotel, organized the Oklahoma City Mill Elevator Company, and constructed Sportsman's Park and racetrack. In company of several other Indiana capitalists, he acquired property east of the city near a milldam on the North Canadian River. The partners formed the Canadian River Water Power Company to develop a townsite there. The location lay near the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway line. Crutcho Township was a fertile agricultural area within the flood plain of the North Canadian River. Local farmers grew wheat, some of which had been sent to Chicago for the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, where it won first place in the crop competition. The township's population in 1900 stood at 805 and in 1907 at 1,020. Kramer's company improved the dam, built a water-powered flouring mill and grain elevator, laid sidetracks to them, and obtained a postal designation called Spencer, after their Indiana home. A fifty-acre tract was surveyed into lots and sold. After extensive promotion, by 1909 Spencer had grown to approximately 300, with 1,111 in the surrounding township. The populace supported six stores, a hotel, two churches, a public school, and a bank and enjoyed telephone service. Over the years the Spencer News and Spencer Star have informed the citizens. The population remained around 300 for several decades. Spencer grew after World War II, as nearby industries such as General Motors Assembly Plant and Tinker Air Force Base offered employment. In 1948 an opportunity to obtain gas utility service created a movement that resulted in incorporation. A new post office building was constructed in that year. The 1960 census recorded 1,189 residents, and as Oklahoma City spread out around various suburban communities, Spencer's population tripled in the next decade, rising to 3,713, in 1970. After annexing several nearby housing additions in the 1960s and 1970s, Spencer peaked at 4,064 in 1980. In the 1990s the residents supported fifteen retail businesses. The largest employer was Willow View Hospital. At the end of the twentieth century Spencer remained a residential suburb of 5.34 square miles generally lying between Twenty-third (U.S. Highway 62) and Sixty-first streets on the south and north and Midwest Boulevard and Post Road on the west and east. Oklahoma City borders the town on three sides and Midwest City on the south. The city maintained a statutory council-manager form of government. The Oklahoma City Independent School District provided education. Most wage earners worked in nearby parts of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. The 2000 census recorded a population of 3,746.


Stockyards City

Stockyards City Sign
Est 1910
You are approaching the gate of the Oklahoma National Stockyards, the world's largest stocker-feeder cattle market. Having always served as the anchor tenant in Stockyards City, the inception of business inside the gate resulted in the rapid growth of a district required to accomadate customers of the stockyards. Provision of goods and services to meet the needs of the working cowboy and cowgirl became the focus of Oklahoma County's only western heritage speciality district. Always a driving force in the cattle industry, the yards are a reminder of the impact of the cowboy culture on our states history.


Due to its numerous railroad extensions, the city attracted new industries and packing plants in an area called Packing Town, now known as Stockyards City. There were a lot of rowdy bars and old hotels that doubled as other things. Into the 1930s, the cowboys, farmers and ranchers made Stockyards City a destination point for their livestock sales and weekend shopping. They bought their farm implements, building materials and clothing, and they patronized the bankers and doctors.The packing plants are now closed. However, several businesses still exsist in this area. One of the Stockyards' and the city's most enduring landmarks has its own legend involving gambling. The story goes that the Cattlemen's Restaurant, which also opened in 1910, was owned by Hank Frey who entered into a craps game with Percy Wade in 1945. As the stakes climbed Frey put the keys to the restaurant on the table for collaterl. Frey lost and Percy Wade and his son would operate the restaurant for the next 50 years. The Oklahoma Coliseum opened in 1922. While certainly used in conjunction with the Stockyards and associated events, its use was not as limited as that. As noted in Vanished Splendor, it hosted road-show comedies, auto shows, conventions, and performances by Al Jolson, John Philip Sousa's Band, Jack Dempsey, and others. Destroyed by fire in 1930, it was rebuilt in 1931 and survived until 1970 when it was destroyed (the State Fairgrounds facility had pretty much captured its business – and the fairgrounds facility had air conditioning which the Coliseum did not).Among them is Stockyards Bank, Langston's, Cattlemen's Steak House, Swaim's Serum, Little Joe's boots and saddles, National Saddlery, Stockyards Merchantile and The International Pro Riders Association to name a few.


The Village
The Village is a small community that developed on the outskirts of the state capital in rural Oklahoma County after World War II. An urban island surrounded by other cities, including Oklahoma City and Nichols Hills, The Village comprises approximately 2.6 square miles. The surrounding region had been settled after the Land Run of 1889 into the Unassigned Lands of central Oklahoma. From that time until the late 1940s farmers grew wheat and other crops in the area. In the early twentieth century local farmers traded at the nearest town, Britton, located at a Santa Fe railroad depot seven miles north of Oklahoma City. Platted in 1890, the tiny community lay in Section 30 of Township 13 North, Range 3 West, in Britton Township. An interurban line constructed in 1908 from Oklahoma City to El Reno caused Britton to grow rapidly to 696 people in 1910 and to 2,214 in 1930. Although it reached 2,239 in 1940, it languished after World War II and was annexed by Oklahoma City in 1950. A mile to the west, as Britton declined, The Village began its history when residential developers discovered the economic potential of the farm land in sections 31 and 32 of Britton Township. The area was considerably northwest of Oklahoma City, immediately west of Britton, and north of the town of Nichols Hills. Houses began to rise in 1949 in section 31 when Clarence E. Duffner platted The Village Addition to Nichols Hills (this area was not included in the original incorporated town of The Village). Floyd Harrison also platted an addition in the area. Even before they had built very many houses, the developers sensed an annexation threat from Britton and set in motion the incorporation process with the board of county commissioners. The Town of The Village was incorporated in January 1950 to include Casady Heights (first addition), which encompassed 135 acres under development by Floyd and Joe Bob Harrison and Sylvanus Felix, plus The Village Extended Addition and The Village Second Addition, both being built by Duffner. The total incorporated area was about 159.9 acres. The additions lay on opposite sides (east and west) of Pennsylvania Avenue. Of the total seven residents, six voted in favor, none against. Over the years 1950, 1951, and 1952 the Town Board annexed nine more new housing additions, so that by 1953 The Village's estimated population was 8,000. During the next decades other annexations expanded The Village's corporate limits to Hefner Road on the north, Waverly and McKinley on the east, Hefner Parkway on the west, and, roughly, Britton Road, Westminster, and Andover on the south. By 1960, however, Oklahoma City had blocked The Village's further expansion, and afterward the town remained at 2.5 square miles bordered by Oklahoma City on the east, north, and west, and by Oklahoma City and Nichols Hills on the south. Included within The Village's boundaries is the site of Curtiss-Wright Field, later styled Wiley Post Airpark. This facility provided Oklahoma City's earliest air transportation access, is the state's oldest private airfield, and is noted for having been Wiley Post's base of operations from 1929 through 1934. The airport was opened in 1928 at the corner of Britton Road and May Avenue, outside Oklahoma City's limits. Although the land was annexed to The Village in 1954, the airport functioned until 1955. The Village grew rapidly in its first decades. City water and sewer services were provided by agreement with Oklahoma City, police and sanitation departments were established in the early 1950s, and a volunteer fire department provided protection. A new city hall was constructed in 1951. In 1959, with the community eligible to become a city of the first class, voters adopted a home rule charter with mayor-council form of government. By 1960, when the federal census tallied a population of 12,118, two schools served the growing residential community. Casady Square, a large shopping center, was constructed at Pennsylvania Avenue and Britton Road. The Village Library, a branch of the Oklahoma County Library System, opened in 1966, and after more than two decades of campaigning by the Friends of the Library, a new building was constructed and opened in April 1990. Otherwise, through the 1970s The Village remained primarily a residential community, with limited, planned commercial development along the major thoroughfares. By the mid-1980s May Avenue had grown into a thriving retail district. Elsewhere, shopping centers emerged to offer a variety of retail establishments. A Wal-Mart store that opened in mid-1991 provided 12 percent of city revenues in the 1990s but closed in 2001. The Village also hosts a Hertz Corporation's (car rental) Reservation Center and the corporate headquarters of Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores. Local amenities at the beginning of the twenty-first century included seven municipal parks and the Northside YMCA. Educational opportunities included several elementary schools within the Oklahoma City School District, Casady School (private, Episcopal), and St. Eugene Catholic School. In 1960 the first federal census for The Village tallied a population of 12,118. That number grew to 13,695 in 1970 but declined to 11,114 and 10, 353 in 1980 and 1990, respectively. The 2000 census counted 10,157 inhabitants. Most employed residents work in the surrounding metropolitan area.

Valley Brook
Valley Brook is a very small, incorporated town in the southeast part of Oklahoma City's metropolitan area. The 160-acre urban island, entirely surrounded by Oklahoma City, is bordered by Southeast Fifty-ninth Street on the north and Eastern Avenue on the east. Interstate 35 and Interstate 240 are one-half mile west and south, respectively. The general area lies in the center of the Oklahoma City Field where oil was found in the 1930s. Cities Service maintained a large operation in the area, and oil-camp housing was the first residential property there. Oil-field businesses, such as pipe yards and a drill collar manufacturer, employed local workers. After World War II Dotson-Merson and A. C. Anderson housing additions were developed southwest of the Fifty-ninth Street and Eastern Avenue intersection. In May 1956 the residents, then numbering approximately a thousand, elected to incorporate. The board of trustees subsequently took steps to provide water and sewer services for the citizens. In 1963 some residents began a move to seek annexation by Oklahoma City, but voters rejected the plan then, and again in 1988. Commercial development was minimal until the 1980s when various adult-entertainment venues appeared on Fifty-ninth and Eastern streets at the community's edge. Valley Brook has always been a "bedroom" community. Over the decades it slowly lost population, numbering a peak of 1,378 inhabitants in 1960, 1,197 in 1970, 923 in 1980, and 744 in 1990. In 2000 a tornado took its toll in Valley Brook, with no loss of life. At the end of the twentieth century the 817 residents were served by the town's own police and fire departments, Head Start maintained classes in the former Valley Brook elementary school building, and one church served the citizens. Inhabitants of the town's .269 square mile commute to work in south Oklahoma City or adjacent towns.

Warr Acres
Warr Acres was created in 1948 in western Oklahoma County. In this area, well outside Oklahoma City's and Bethany's corporate limits, developers began to create residential areas there. In 1909 Israel M. Putnam, real estate developer and member of the first state legislature, had purchased land west of Oklahoma City in Council Grove Township. On a 160-acre tract about eight miles west of downtown, he sold lots in Putnam, later Putnam City. More significantly, he attempted unsuccessfully to engineer the relocation of the state capital from Guthrie to his Oklahoma County property. Putnam City grew but never incorporated. Warr Acres housing addition was created nearby in 1937 by Clyde B. Warr, an Oklahoma City real estate promoter since the 1920s. He followed with War Acres Second Addition. In the area's early years an interurban railway provided quick access to jobs in Oklahoma City, and a bus line launched in 1946 by Warr provided similar service. Transportation promoted growth that accelerated in the post-World War II era. By the 1940s many housing developments had been planted in the western part of Oklahoma County. The impetus for incorporation came in January 1948 when Bethany's city council voted to annex Ferguson Park, Smythe Place, and part of Warr Acres. Therefore, in February residents of eight other additions, including Putnam City, joined the three in petitioning to incorporate. The county commission allowed it. Of the approximately 2,000 area residents, 857 voted for the merger (40 voted against). Bethany filed suit, and the Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld the Warr Acres incorporation. The name Warr Acres remained, because the community had earlier been given that postal designation. In its first formal decade Warr Acres continued its rapid expansion. The 1950 census reported 2,378 residents, and the 1960 census, 7,135. As single-family and apartment residences multiplied, city services could not keep up. In September 1952 some dissatisfied residents petitioned Oklahoma City for annexation. The movement fizzled, reappeared in 1954, and died again. In the 1960s and 1970s shopping districts emerged at the intersections of MacArthur Avenue with Thirty-ninth, Fiftieth, and Sixty-third streets and Northwest Expressway. In future years Warr Acres annexed adjacent residential developments that were not in Oklahoma City or Bethany, and by 1979 the town comprised more than three square miles. In 1980 Warr Acres was a substantial "bedroom" community with a population of 9,940. Service-related businesses predominated, numbering approximately 250. The city's annual budget supported police and fire departments and various other services, including a sewage treatment system shared since 1950 with Bethany. The YMCA's Camp Don Shelley and the YWCA's Camp Ione provided outdoor activities for boys and girls of the Oklahoma City area from 1963 and 2003, respectively. Newspapers included the Putnam City-Northwest News, continued as the Northwest Quill in the 1980s. At the end of the twentieth century Warr Acres retained a small-town atmosphere. It is generally bounded by Wilshire Boulevard on the north, Mueller Avenue on the west, Thirty-third Street on the south, and Meridian Avenue on the east. State Highway 3 (Northwest Expressway) and U.S. Highway 66 (Northwest Thirty-ninth Street Expressway) pass through the community. Nearby Wiley Post Airport provides private air transportation. The Putnam City School District serves some parts of Oklahoma City and almost all of Warr Acres, although some residents live in the Oklahoma City School District. In 1990 the population stood at 9,286 and in 2000 at 9,735. Citizens maintained a home rule charter with mayor-council form of government.

Wheatland
Wheatland is a rural community located on State Highway 152 in extreme southwestern Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. The post office opened February 10, 1902.

Witcher
Located at the southeast quadrent of the I-35 and I-44 junction. Was lost a few years ago when the entrance to Turner Turnpike (I-44) was re-done

Woodlawn Park
Woodlawn Park is one of several urban islands surrounded by other towns of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Woodlawn Park lies within the city of Bethany, which is itself surrounded by Oklahoma City. Originally the area was the farm of Frank Levi Braniger, who acquired land in Council Grove Township with, or soon after, the Land Run of 1889. In 1923 one of Braniger's sons subdivided a heavily wooded part of the property into residential lots. This became Woodlawn Park, a rectangle of .128 square miles (approximately eighty-one acres), measuring one-half mile east-west and one-quarter mile north-south. It is bounded by Council Road on the west, Glade Avenue on the east, Northwest Thirty-sixth Street on the south, and Northwest Thirty-ninth Street on the north. Within the boundaries, between Thirty-seventh and Thirty-eighth streets lies a long park, the center of the town. A few homes were constructed in the late 1920s, but most of the development occurred in the late 1940s and through the 1950s. Incorporation was accomplished in July 1952 as Bethany began to envelop the neighborhood. The 1960 census recorded 129 inhabitants. Woodlawn Park's large lots were gradually sold, and housing construction continued into the 1990s. After peaking at 220 residents in 1970, the community's population declined to 161 in 2000. The town supports no commercial development. A board of trustees is elected, but city services are provided by Bethany and Oklahoma City. Most residents are employed in management and the professions, and all work in the surrounding metropolitan area.



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