About 1850, Jim Sapulpa, a Creek Indian, came to this point from Alabama and commenced farming on Rock Creek, about a mile southeast of the present site of Sapulpa. Later he started a store in his home, hauling goods by team and pack horses from Fort Smith.
In 1886 the Frisco Railway built to this point, and for a few years Sapulpa was the rail terminus; this laid the foundation upon which the city later became an important cattle-shipping center.
One of the boarding schools maintained by the Creek Indians as a part of their well-knit educational system was established here in 1893. The institution was founded for the Euchees, an alien people who had united with the Creeks in their former eastern home and had consequently been moved here with them. The language of the Euchees was so foreign and unintelligible (even to the Creeks) that all communication between the tribes had to be carried out through interpreters. Cut off as they were from their neighbors by this linguistic wall, the Euchees were particularly observant of customs and traditions.
In the 1940s, the diversified industries of the town included a milk-bottle factory, a glass plant which manufactured tableware, a brick and tile plant and a meat packing company. The town was at that time served by an electric railway connecting with the freight terminals of Tulsa.