Historic Okmulgee: How Oil Tycoons Created one of Oklahoma's Wealthiest Towns

Okmulgee History 1910-1919: Oil Tycoons, Vaudeville Plays, and a City on the Rise


During this time, Okmulgee grew into it's own. Gone were the days when Okmulgee was known as Indian Territory, but rather, it was now a bustling town full of opportunity. As it was all across the United States, Okmulgee was still a blend of old and new. New cars and horse drawn popcorn stands lined the streets of downtown Okmulgee. Outlaws and bandits still roamed the countryside, while slick suited businessmen bustled around downtown.

Daily Life in Okmulgee 1910-1919


The town streets were busy with delivery wagons - ice wagons, little goat drawn wagons the traveling photographer had to take pictures of children, farmer's wagons, the jewel tea card which smelled of pungent spices, teamsters' wagons with pipe to the oil fiends and grocery delivery wagons. Okmulgee even had a hurdy gurdy man. "He came completely equipped with a music box on a prop pole and a little monkey on a chain all dressed up in a red and gold suit with a little red cap.

Picnics and outings were the order of the day. One young "social set" took bag and baggage, "together with the choicest edibles of the season and a colored cook to do the manual labor" and headed out for dripping springs for a week of rollicking in the country.

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