Home > PublicationsEncyclopedia >  Cole

COLE.

Located on State Highway 74B in McClain County, Cole is six miles southeast of Blanchard. From 1855 the area lay within the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, with ranching a primary economic focus. In 1906 the Oklahoma Central Railway (OCR) laid tracks in the region. In 1912 surveyor H. Macklin and his associates from Chickasha platted the town near the railroad. The name honored Judge Preslie B. Cole, who had agricultural interests in the vicinity. The U.S. Post Office Department designated a Cole post office on April 2, 1912, with Sara Cunningham as the postmaster. A cotton gin was soon built, and O. A. Madden moved from Washington, Oklahoma, to establish a general store. In January 1913 the company of Haskins and Keltner, who already had a general store in Blanchard, opened a Cole franchise operated by Adrian Read. By 1918 the business was known as Keltner and Read, and eventually Read became the sole owner.

In 1913 the town's estimated population stood at twenty-five, and by 1918 it was only thirty. The two general stores remained the primary business entities in the town's early history. In 1914 the Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway acquired the OCR. In 1942 the railroad abandoned the tracks from Purcell to Chickasha, including the segment through Cole. In 1954 the post office closed. In 1962 the residents completed incorporation proceedings, but the town became inactive. In 1975 the town reorganized and held municipal elections, with E. J. Oglesby attaining the mayor's office. The 1970 population was 131, and it climbed to 309 in 1980. In the mid-twentieth century a cooperative gin and gristmill operated, and for most of the century's latter half Bridwell Mill and Supply served the area residents, continuing into the twenty-first century. In 2000 the population stood at 473 and in 2010 at 555.

Larry O'Dell

See also: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS

Bibliography

Blanchard (Oklahoma) Record, 11 July and 25 July 1912, and 2 January 1913.

Maurice H. Merrill, "The Oklahoma Central Railroad," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 59 (Winter 1981–82).

Purcell (Oklahoma) Register, 17 April, 24 April, and 22 May 1975.

Joyce Rex, ed., McClain County, Oklahoma: History and Heritage, Vol. 1 (Purcell, Okla.: McClain County Historical and Genealogical Society, 1986).

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:
Larry O'Dell, "Cole," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org (accessed November 24, 2017).

About the Encyclopedia | Terms of Use | Using the Encyclopedia