Some seven miles
Route 66 travelers heading
west will arrive in the small hamlet of Depew,
population about 550 people.
The area around Depew was originally within the
However, in 1896, the
were assigned allotments of land and forced
to give up the rest so that the region could be settled by homesteaders. The land which would later become Depew was first
allotted to Creek
Indian, Lydia Barnett, who held title to approximately
115 acres, less six acres reserved for the
and San Francisco Railroad. When the railroad came through in 1898 a small settlement known
as Hall developed near the tracks.
The town of Depew began after W. F. Malley, a
Bristow citizen, was told about some prime land available that was filled
with wildlife and surrounded by good timber. The
and San Francisco Railroad had already come through in 1898, and the land would be
perfect for commercial use. Malley visited the site on January 15, 1901.
Returning to Bristow the next day, he and a man named Henry W. Sims bought
the property for $10 an acre.
On January 30, 1901, Mr. Malley drew up a
petition for a post office, with the first recommendation for the town
name being Depew
after Chauncy M. Depew, a U. S. Senator from New York. Approval received
on May 17, 1901 and the post office opened the very same day. However, it
would still be several years before an "official" town was begun. In June,
1905, the town was platted by the Depew Investment Company and town lots
began to be sold. Shortly afterwards, the first telephone company came to
Depew. During 1905 and 1906 children were taught
at a subscription school by Florance Atwell. When the first physician, Dr. O.S. Coppedge
arrived from St. Louis, Missouri, crews were still removing stumps from
Main Street. Dr. Coppedge purchased a small frame building on the corner
of Main Street and opened his office and a drugstore.