Home > PublicationsEncyclopedia >  Dewar

DEWAR.

Incorporated in September 1915, the south-central Okmulgee County community of Dewar is situated three miles northeast of Henryetta and twelve miles south of Okmulgee on U.S. Highway 266. Dewar originated as a train depot and became a settlement founded by railroad workers in 1909. Once the townsite was established, a post office opened there on April 27, 1909. Dewar was named after William Peter Dewar of Muskogee, an official of the Missouri, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway (MO&G) and a member of the board of directors of the Missouri, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway Company of Texas. The MO&G went into receivership in 1913 and reorganized as the Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway (KO&G) in 1919.

From the mid-1910s into the early 1930s Dewar was a thriving community whose growth was fueled by the railroad, coal, and petroleum industries. A cotton gin opened there in 1915, and the Okmulgee Northern Railway (ON) was built through town in 1916. Also in 1916, natural gas–fired zinc smelters were built nearby. In 1920 Dewar experienced the historical peak of its population, 1,558. In 1930 the town had two schools, four churches, the KO&G, two bus lines, and 994 residents. City administrators then included Mayor S. A. Varner; police chief, B. F. Morgan; city clerk, Miss J. E. Powers; and postmaster, E. B. Larimore. Early newspapers were the Dewar Telegram and the Dewar News.

By the late 1930s and early 1940s, as Oklahoma's coal industry declined, Dewar's local coal mines were closed and crude production was limited to oil leases. During the 1940s the population experienced its sharpest drop, declining to 778. That figure subsequently rose from 1,015 in 1950 to 1,048 in 1980. Both the KO&G and the ON railway lines were abandoned in June 1964.

Dewar had seven businesses and 919 citizens in 2000. At that time manufacturing and the education, health, retail, and social service industries sustained the local economy. The town had an elementary school and a high school. The nearest hospital and airport were at Henryetta. The 2010 population was 888.

Glynis Coleman

See also: COAL, SETTLEMENT PATTERNS

Bibliography

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

Okmulgee Historical Society and the Heritage Society of America, comps. and eds., History of Okmulgee County, Oklahoma, Vol. 1 (Tulsa, Okla.: Historical Enterprises, 1985).

Lawrence Thompson, "The Doers Do It at Dewar," Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 21 January 1940.

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:
Glynis Coleman, "Dewar," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org (accessed November 20, 2017).

About the Encyclopedia | Terms of Use | Using the Encyclopedia