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The first settlement in what would become Woodward County was Camp Supply, a military post that had been established in 1868 during the Indian Wars on the American frontier. In 1887, a provisioning point for the post on the Southern Kansas Railway was created and named Woodward. It was not until six years later that the area known as the Cherokee Outlet would be opened to nonnative settlement. At high noon on September 16, 1893, thousands of hopeful settlers rushed into the territory to stake their claims in this new land. On a sunny day in 1907, William Jennings Bryan spoke to a crowd of 20,000 people in the county seat, urging the ratification of the new Oklahoma Constitution. During the late 20th century, Woodward County’s extensive deposits of oil led to a booming economy. In Woodward County, the lives of cowboys, lawyers, gunfighters, brothel madams, and everyday farmers intersect as a civilization rises from the open prairie.
About the Author
Ian D. Swart is curator of Woodward’s Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum. Using photographs from the museum’s permanent collection, he traces the unique history of Woodward County and how its citizenry overcame insurmountable odds and flourished in this land of storms, sand, and sage.
Table of Contents
1 N County: 1893-1906 11
2 Brand New State: 1907-1914 27
3 The Land We Belong to Is Grand: 1915-1918 47
4 The Golden 1920s: 1919-1931 57
5 Hard Times and Dirt: 1932-1939 67
6 The World at War: 1940-1946 77
7 Rage in Heaven: April 1947 83
8 Plenty of Heart, Plenty of Hope: 1948-1960 95
9 Progress: 1961-2008 105
10 Forgotten Places: Towns Gone by the Wayside 115