This bronze sculpture by
Williams on Route 66 in Elk City Oklahoma
symbolizes the handshake as a true meaning of a "Binding Contract". Photo by David Fisk. Available for photo
is a town filled with history, from tales of the
to the oil boom days of the early 1980s, it provides an abundance of
opportunity in sights to see, and sets a shining example of western
Before this part of
Territory was opened up to settlement, thousands of head of cattle
were driven over the "Great Western Trail” from
on their way to
However, in 1892, the surplus land of the Cherokee Outlet was opened
and settlers began to filter into the area.
The first pioneer who
settled on what would one day become Elk City
was named J.M. "Joe” Allee who homesteaded a quarter section of land
just east of Elk Creek in 1897. In March of 1901, the Choctaw Townsite and Improvement Company purchased land from Allee,
anticipating the arrival of the Choctaw and Gulf Railroad later that
year. Wasting no time, the town site company filed a survey of
platted lots on March 18, 1901 and planned to sell the lots just two
days later. Before the sale even started, hundreds of prospective lot
owners had built a tent city.
On the day of the sale the town-site company
sold $32,000 worth of property.
Originally the town
was called Crowe. However, some of the business people in the
new settlement hoped to entice Adolphus Busch into building a brewery
in the new town and tried to change the name to Busch, but they were
defeated. In the end, the town’s name was officially changed to Elk
after Elk Creek.
The first stores
built in Elk City included general merchandise, grocery stores, lumber,
hardware and dry goods. Also springing up were several
restaurants, along with the ever present
saloons. Professionals included attorneys, physicians and bankers.
On August 13, 1901 the Choctaw Railroad
was completed and just seven days later the first train service
arrived in town.