Sapulpa is named after a young Creek Indian who came to the area around 1840 and opened a trading post near Pole Cat Creek. Sapulpa's arrival in Indian Territory was independent of the famed "Trail of Tears," a term used for the federal government's forced removal of Creek (Muskogee) and other tribes from their southern homelands in the 1830s. The area that would become the Creek Nation is a small part of the land acquired by the United States after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. At one time, Spain, England, and France each laid claim to Oklahoma. Trails, rails, and oil; bricks, clay, and glass; and streetcars, highways, and automobiles are all parts of the historic community of Sapulpa. The diverse people who came to the areaIndians, cowboys, railroaders, settlers, loggers, farmers, wildcatters, oilmen, businessmen, manufacturers, workers, and dreamersrecorded the town's story, as captured in photographs, beginning more than a century ago. Sapulpa was and remains a crossroads in more ways than one.
About the Author
Donald L. Diehl is the former editor of the Sapulpa Daily Herald and the author of that paper's weekend feature dedicated to Sapulpa's history. The sampling of photographs within this book come from the vast archives of the Sapulpa Historical Society.