Home > PublicationsEncyclopedia >  Dill City

DILL CITY.

Located in Washita County on State Highway 42, Dill City is nine miles west of Cordell. Non-Indians settled in the area after the 1892 Cheyenne and Arapaho Opening. The Dill post office was established on August 9, 1902, and named for David S. Dill, an attorney from Hobart who conducted the legal work that created the town. The Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway later bought by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway, had listed the town as Dill City, but the U.S. Post Office Department designated it Dill. Town leaders hoped to clear up the confusion and changed the name to Dill City on February 1, 1944.

Frank McDonald, in an agreement with the Delaware Western Construction Company, a division of the Orient Railroad, deeded a portion of his farm to establish the town. On the evening of February 23, 1903, the Orient Land and Townsite Company held an auction to sell lots, in anticipation of the coming railroad. The northern half of Dill developed on land owned by Lucretia Reed.

By 1908, after the Orient built tracks through the area, Dill had become an active community, supporting a telephone exchange, a local newspaper, three dry goods and grocery stores, and a hardware and implement store, that carried a large stock of buggies, wagons, harness, saddles, and plow tools. The town also supported a drugstore, a printing office, two doctors, two hotels, restaurants, a pool hall, a bank, a barbershop, a furniture store, two livery stables, a lumberyard, a cotton gin, several churches, a railroad depot, a two-cell city jail, and other smaller businesses. In that year, however, a disastrous fire broke out. A bucket brigade, using a downtown water well, attempted to control the fire, but it destroyed several buildings. Many of the businesses were not reestablished. The 1910 population stood at 240, slowly climbing to 511 by 1930. The town peaked at 623 residents in 1960.

The Dill School District was established with the 1904 school term. From 1907 until 1911 several schools joined the district, and in 1911 the Dill City Consolidated District Number Three was established and continued to grow. In 1993, due to loss of population and decrease in students, the district was consolidated with the Burns Flat School District to form the Burns Flat–Dill City Schools.

Dill City served as a water station for the railroad. Agriculture and ranching have been the economic mainstay during most of the town's history. The population registered 453 in 1950, 578 in 1970, 526 in 2000, and 562 in 2010.

Wayne Boothe

See also: CHEYENNE-ARAPAHO OPENING, SETTLEMENT PATTERNS

Bibliography

Carl Jones, The Development of Washita County School Districts, 1892–1951, and Financing 1940–1952 (N.p.: Carl Jones, 1952).

Vester Montgomery, "History of Washita County" (M.A. thesis, University of Oklahoma, 1929).

Dee Ann Ray, "Dill City: Queen of Washita County," Cordell (Oklahoma) Beacon, 13 April 1984.

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:
Wayne Boothe, "Dill City," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org (accessed November 22, 2017).

About the Encyclopedia | Terms of Use | Using the Encyclopedia