Oklahoma History

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  • Topic: Oklahoma, Oklahoma Territory, Steam locomotive
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  • Published : February 6, 2013
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Chapter 13
Creating the 46th State
Timeline : 1890-1910

Phenomenal changes took place in the country’s heartland between the first land run in 1889 and statehood in 1907.

Two Territories
Indian and Oklahoma

Referred to as Twin Territory’s

Growth in the Territories

Lots of activity happening in Indian Territory Oklahoma Territory Towns, Farms, businesses, and industries growing rapidly
New settlers coming
Five Tribes were trying to deal with their own lives
Five Tribes lives were being stripped away

Railroads (RR)
1829: George Stephenson built the fastest steam-powered locomotive in England American engineers put the technology to work
RR became a leading industry across the US
First Train, stopped in Blackwell, Oklahoma Territory, on February 28, 1898 Great Boom in railroad building started about 1897
Opening of the land to settlers (also had friends and relatives visit) Discovery of coal, asphalt, timber, and oil
Need coal and water to operate a steam locomotive.
RR companies could ;ay out town sites along their routes
Sometimes communites went shopping for a RR (pay the RR bonus money) RR almost guaranteed growth for a community/bypassed towns felt it hard to complete.

Growing Towns

Santa Fe RR arrived in Oklahoma City in 1897 linking it to Sapulpa- Tulsa, Kansas City, and St. Louis. By 1904, Santa Fe RR was crisscrossed by 4 other RR, connecting it to the world. Bricktown (freight yards) in OKC - exported cotton, cattle, horses, wheat, fruit, corn, minerals, machinery, hardware, farm implements, etc. Shawnee rivaled OKC as a rail center.

Main repair shops
Workforce of 1,000 men
Shipping agriculture (cotton, potatoes, peaches)
The Santa Fe built a lavish Bedford rock depot as a reflection of the community. Many Czechs worked on the RR in the El Reno area - major rail center


Short railroads or electric trolleys
1902 - Oklahoma City
Track ran along the city’s main thoroughfares and connected...
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