Legends of America

Follow the links to the various pages of Legends of America

The Old West Legends of America Outhouse Madness Ghostly Legends Outlaws Old West Saloons Rocky Mountain General Store Legends Photo Store The Book Store Make your travel reservations here! Route 66 Native Americans The Old States - Back East

Legends of America    |    Legends General Store    |    Legends Photo Shop

 

Legends Of America's Facebook PageLegends Of America's Twitter PageLegends on Pinterest

Legends Home

Site Map

What's New!!

 

Content Categories:

American History

Destinations-States

Ghost Stories

Ghost Towns

Historic People

Legends & Myths

Native Americans

Old West

Photo Galleries

Route 66

Travel Center

Treasure Tales

 

   Search Our Sites

Custom Search

Google

 

About Us

Advertising

Article/Photo Use

Copyright Information

Blog

Facebook Page

Guestbook

Links

Newsletter

Privacy Policy

Site Map

Writing Credits

 

We welcome corrections

and feedback!

Contact Us

 

Legends' General Store


Old West/Western

Route 66

Native American

Featured Items

Sale Items

Books/Magazines

CD's - DVD's

Nuwati Herbals

Personalized-Engraved
Postcards

Wall Art

Custom Products

and Much More!

 

  Legends Of America's Rocky Mountain General Store - Cart View

 

Legends' Photo Prints

Legends Photo Prints and Downloads
 

Ghost Town Prints

Native American Prints

Old West Prints

Route 66 Prints

States, Cities & Places

Nostalgic Prints

Photo Art Prints

Jim Hinckley's America

David Fisk (Lens of Fisk)

Specials-Gift Ideas

and Much More!!
 

Legends Of America's Photo Print Shop - Cart View

 

Family Friendly Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oklahoma Flag - Indian Territory Legends IconOKLAHOMA LEGENDS

Bristow - Queen of the Woodlands

Bookmark and Share

Early Bristow, Oklahoma

Early Bristow, Oklahoma

 

 

About 20 miles beyond Kellyville, Route 66 travelers heading westward will come to the small town of Bristow, which got its start in 1897 as a trading post.

 

The history dates back long before a settlement was formed here. Before 1896, the area around what is now Bristow was part of the Creek Indian Nation. However, in 1896, the Indians were assigned allotments of land and forced to give up the rest so that the region could be settled by homesteaders. 

 

The following year, the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad began to extend its tracks from Sapulpa to Oklahoma City. It was then that a small trading post was established. The beauty of the area prompted it to be called the Woodland Queen of Creek Nation. A settlement was not actually formed until the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad was due to arrive. A post office was established on April 25, 1898 and named for Kansas Senator Joseph L. Bristow, who was then serving as the fourth Assistant Postmaster General. The first mail was delivered to Bristow on May 30, 1898. The railroad arrived in July, 1898, and a small settlement began to grow. The area settlers soon organized and built a small frame school. The next business in Bristow to open was the Territorial Bank by A.H. Purdy, across from the trading post.

 

In the beginning, most of the area was occupied by Creek Indian owners and white tenant farmers and quickly became known as a little cotton kingdom. Other farms in the surrounding area produced corn, peanuts, potatoes and fruit. In the 1900 census, the population of Bristow was listed as 626. A year later, in 1901, the town was officially surveyed and platted out to include 108 blocks of 12 to 24 lots each. Continuing to grow the city soon sported seven cotton gins and two cottonseed oil mills.

 

The town continued to grow and over the next decade a number of buildings and businesses were established including the Bowman Dry Goods Building and Creek Indian land by a wealthy Englishman, Thomas Cundy. The land where the church was built was originally awarded to a Creek Indian by the name of Ollie Mayes, who sold it to the Indian Territory Diocese of the Episcopal Church on June 5, 1903 for $200. Over the years, the building changed hands several times and is now owned by a private foundation, serving as a venue for weddings and as a church museum. The beautiful building continues to display the original pews and organ which were already old in 1903 -- donated by churches in Oklahoma City and Chandler. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the church stands at the corner of 7th and Elm Streets.

 

The same year, the Coppedge Drug building was built housing B.T. Coppedge's drug store; in 1904 a general store was built that would later house the Bristow Record, the first long term newspaper; and in 1906, the Stone Building was erected -- the first brick commercial building in Bristow. Housing a hardware store, A.H. Stone operated the store for over 50 years. These historic buildings also continue to stand in Bristow.

 

When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, the city was designated as the Creek County Seat, when its population was 1,134. The county held a special election on August 20, 1908 to decide whether the seat would remain in Bristow or move to Sapulpa, which claimed to be more centrally located. Though Bristow had a larger population and claimed to have better railroad connections, Sapulpa won the election. However, Bristow claimed voting irregularities and several years later, . the election was voided and a new vote was held November 20, 1912. Once again, Sapulpa won the election which finalized the decision for good.

 

 

 

Old West People Prints

 

Bristow Motor Co/List Motor Supply Building

The Bristow Motor Co/List Motor Supply Building was the was the first building in the block  when it was built in 1923. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. January, 2011, Kathy Weiser. This image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE!

 

The city continued to grow and in 1915, oil and gas were discovered in the area, which would provide a boom for the city and its economy. By the 1920's Bristow was a full-blown oil-boom town as many oil companies established their businesses in or near the city. Over the next decade the Oklahoma-Southwestern Railway Company built a short line from the oilfields to Bristow, and three refineries and four pipeline companies were established. By 1930, the city reached its peak population of 6,619 people.

 

During these prosperous years, yet more businesses and buildings were established including the art deco style Dial-Carman Building, which was first occupied by the Katz Department Store; the Bristow Floral Co. which was built as offices for the company, and since then has always been utilized for floral businesses; the Modern Hotel, the Bristow Library, the train depot, the Roland Hotel building, which also hosted one of the first radio stations in Oklahoma, and many others that continue to stand.

 

Bristow, OklahomaThese were exciting years for Bristow. Not only was the town thriving, but Route 66 also rolled through beginning in 1926. This brought many a traveler through the city that quickly responded with all types of service businesses. It was also during the 1920's that Gene Autry worked briefly as a telegrapher at the Frisco Depot. He later transferred to Sapulpa and then to the station in Chelsea. It was there that he was discovered by Will Rogers. While awaiting the next train, he noticed Autry's guitar and asked him to play a tune to pass the time. Rogers was so impressed that he mentioned Autry on his national radio show and from there, Autry became one of the biggest country-western stars of the time. Later, Autry would return to Bristow, where he would broadcast a radio show from the radio station in the Roland Hotel Building.

 

Though the oil boom had died down by the 1930's and the population dropped over the next several decades, the city continued to thrive and the town diversified with several manufacturing businesses. By 1970, Bristow was called home to 4,653 people.

 

Today, Bristow has evolved into a community that offers the best of both worlds – small town values with city amenities. Agriculture, industry, medicine, and educational sectors employ many of the area citizens. The community of about 4,500 people welcomes visitors to explore its historic buildings and the Town Square that opens onto Historic Route 66/Main Street. Roll along its charming brick streets -- in fact, more brick streets than any other town in Oklahoma. To learn more about Bristow and its heritage, be sure to make a stop at the historic 1923 Bristow Train Depot, that houses not only the Chamber of Commerce but also the Bristow Historical Museum. Here, you'll find railroad related displays and exhibits about the city's history and Native American heritage from Indian Territory days to the present. The Chamber of Commerce provides a History Tour brochure that lists 37 buildings and places of historical interest within the city. Just a few of these include the tiny St. George’s Episcopal Church, the state-of-the-art Montfort & Allie B. Jones Library; the fascinating southwestern architecture of the Post Office; and the Wake Island War Memorial located on a 320-acre park on the lake.

 

For Route 66 enthusiasts, don't miss the Bristow Motor Co. Building, established in 1923 located at 500 North Main Street. The building, now owned by Bolin Ford, was partially damaged in a huge fire in 2008. But Bolin Ford rebuilt the burned-out portions of the complex, using Art Deco- and Route 66-inspired architecture. The Bristow Tire Shop at 115 West 4th, the Texaco Service Station at 201 West 4th, and the historic Firestone building located at 321 N. Main also remain. Jack Longacre in 2011 restored and renovated the 1930 Firestone building into the Bristow Body Shop, including a vintage-looking neon sign that hangs from the original pole. And if you're hungry for a bite to eat Russ' Ribs at 223 S Main Street is the perfect stop. The restaurant is located in the old Hamburger King building where Bob Wills and the boys stopped to eat on late night runs between Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

 

Continue your journey down Route 66 for another seven miles to tiny little Depew, Oklahoma.

 

Also See:  A Haunting in Bristow

 

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated February, 2013 with additional edits by Ron Warnick, Route 66 News.

 

Bristow Chamber of Commerce
1 Railroad Place
P.O. Box 127

Bristow, Oklahoma
918-367-5151
 

 

 

Route 66/Main Street in Bristow, Oklahoma

Route 66/Main Street in Bristow today, January, 2011, Kathy Weiser. This image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE!

 

To Depew, Oklahoma  Return to Route 66  To Kellyville, Oklahoma

 

To Depew

 

Return to Route 66

 

To Kellyville

 

From Legends' General Store

Mother Road EmporiumRoute 66 - ah, what great memories she brings. At the Legends' General Store, you will find all kinds of memorabilia to bring you more!  Our Mother Road Emporium  has added dozens of Route 66 Postcards, Books, Historic Signs, photographic prints and more.

 

66 Exclusive 66

Photographic Prints

Route 66 Book Shelf

Signs of Route 66

Signs of Route 66

Postcards of the Road

Route 66 custom design

Custom Route 66 T-Shirts

 

                                                            Copyright © 2003-Present, www.Legends of America.com