Home > PublicationsEncyclopedia >  Breckinridge

BRECKINRIDGE.

Located in Garfield County seven miles east of Enid, the county seat, Breckinridge is sited four miles north of U.S. Highway 64 on County Roads N2960/E0400 in Union township. When the Cherokee Outlet opened to settlement in September 1893, wheat farmers occupied the area around the future town. The Enid and Tonkawa Railway Company (sold to the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway [CRI&P] in 1900) built its line through the area from North Enid to Billings in 1899. The Blackwell, Enid and Southwestern Railroad Company (BES; after 1907, the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway) also built a branch through the area from Blackwell through Hunter and Enid to Darrow in 1900–01. The two railroads intersected at Breckinridge.

In March 1901 the Frisco Town Company platted the town, and it is said to have been named for Breckinridge Jones, president of the Mississippi Valley Trust Company of St. Louis. He was a major financier of the BES and the Denver, Enid and Gulf Railway. Richard Kent was appointed postmaster on June 15, 1901. The postal designation was originally spelled Breckenridge but was changed to Breckinridge two months later.

Small-town amenities quickly developed. Rural dwellers organized a German Lutheran congregation in 1899 northwest of the future town. Later called Immanuel Lutheran Church, it moved into the new settlement, constructed a building in 1901, and maintained a private school at least through the 1930s. By 1909 some inhabitants also organized a Congregational Church. The town incorporated in 1911. By 1918 residents patronized a bank, a hardware, and several general store/grocery establishments. Blackwell Milling and Elevator Company and the Randals & Grub elevator served the surrounding farmers. Breckinridge had a German band in the pre–World War I years. The Breckinridge Times informed the citizens in the early decades of the twentieth century.

Union township had attracted 675 people by 1907. Census figures were not collected for the town until 1920 when 132 residents called it home. A decline to lows of 67 and 42 in 1950 and 1960, respectively, came after World War II. The post office closed on November 22, 1963. Breckinridge rebounded in the 1970s after Farmland Industries constructed a large ammonium nitrate fertilizer plant east of Enid. The 1970 census recorded 261 inhabitants, the 2000 census, 239, and the 2010 census, 245.

Dianna Everett

See also: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS

Bibliography

"Breckinridge," Vertical File, Public Library of Enid and Garfield County, Enid, Oklahoma.

"Breckinridge," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.

Homer S. Chambers, "Townsite Promotion in Early Oklahoma," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 19 (June 1941).

George Rainey, The Cherokee Strip (Guthrie, Okla.: Cooperative Publishing Co., 1933).

Stella Campbell Rockwell, ed., Garfield County, Oklahoma, 1893–1982, Vol. 2 ([Enid, Okla.]: Garfield County Historical Society, 1982).

Copyright and Terms of Use

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society. This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia and part or in whole.

Photo credits: All photographs presented in the published and online versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture are the property of the Oklahoma Historical Society and are held in the agency's Research Division Photograph Archives (unless otherwise stated).


Citation

The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Dianna Everett, "Breckinridge," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org (accessed November 17, 2017).

About the Encyclopedia | Terms of Use | Using the Encyclopedia