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Chickasha City

Chickasha City Hall is located at 117 North 4th Street, Chickasha, OK 73018; phone: 405-222-6045.

Chickasha as described in 1941 [1]

Chickasha, seat of Grady County, is a market place for a wide and prosperous farm and ranch region, the home of the largest college for women in the state, and an industrial center, where cotton, grain, and dairy products are processed.

A well-built, spreading municipality, its wide downtown streets are bordered by brick and stone business buildings, old and modern; along the gently sloping residence streets radiating out to the west and south arc trees, some planted in the 1890's. Near by, to the north, the Washita River bottom marks roughly the boundary between the city and farm lands.

Before there was a town, the Rock Island had a train stop here (1892). The site of Chickasha was included in the "Swinging Ring" cattle ranch owned by an intermarried citizen of the Chickasaw Indian Nation, the western boundary of which was within a few miles of the place.

The first considerable industrial development at Chickasha was a cottonseed oil mill, and the next was cattle feeding pens where the residue from the mill, called "cake," was the chief fattening feed for the thousands of steers shipped out every month. At one time, more than ten thousand cattle were in the fattening pens there.

When the new town was only a straggling handful of stores and shacks in the middle of a cornfield, and corner sports bet on whether or not a team would "pull" the slough at the western edge of the field, the Chickasha Express began publication as a small, four-page weekly in a leaky shack. Today (1941) it is a daily of wide circulation, housed in its own substantial brick-and-steel building.

Ten years after its founding, Chickasha had a population of 6,370 and became a city of the first class. Its growth was greatly stimulated by the opening to white settlement in 1901 of the Kiowa-Comanche reservation, which adjoined the former Chickasaw Nation on the west. The Rock Island made the city a division point and established shops there. More cotton processing plants—gins, mills, and compress—were located in Chickasha.

After statehood, the growth of the city was steady though census figures show a population gain of but twelve between 1930 and 1940. Only two small oil fields, the Cement and Carter Knox pools with some three hundred oil wells, and the Chickasha gas field with 272 wells have (as of 1941) been developed in the Chickasha area, but the surrounding farms and ranches have continued to maintain the prosperity of the city. The Lindsay neighborhood, some twenty-five miles to the southwest, is known as the world's greatest producer of broomcorn, and much of it is processed and marketed at Chickasha.

Recreation is provided by the city's Shannoan Springs Park, the municipal swimming pool, a Softball diamond, tennis courts, picnic and croquet grounds, and public and private golf courses.

The modern three-story-and-basement Grady County Courthouse, is a gray limestone building designed along severe lines; and the older Federal Building contrasts with it architecturally. The new Senior High School is a red-brick structure of modified collegiate Gothic design set in well-landscaped grounds.

The Oklahoma College for Women, at the southwestern edge of Chickasha (S.W. 17th St.), is one of the few state-supported women's colleges in the United States. Founded in 1908 by an act of the first Oklahoma state legislature, the college grants degrees in liberal arts, fine arts, and science. Courses are also given leading to teachers' certificates, and pre-professional courses are offered in medicine, law, nursing, and journalism. A teaching and executive staff of seventy-eight is required for the 959 students enrolled (1941).

Spread over a tree-shaded campus of seventy-five acres on top of a low ridge, the college plant consists of seventeen modern buildings, including the big Administration Hall, 220 by 214 feet; Fine Arts, Austin, and Physical Education Halls, and eight residence halls. Physical Education Hall contains a swimming pool, and close by are six concrete-surfaced tennis courts, two playing fields for outdoor games, and golf practice putting greens. On the college's 140-acre farm an experiment station is maintained by the Department of Biology.

  1. Workers of the Federal Writers' Program, Works Progress Administration in the State of Oklahoma, Harold O. Hunter, Commissioner, Oklahoma: A Guide to the Sooner State, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 1941.
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