Home > PublicationsEncyclopedia >  Randlett

RANDLETT.

Randlett lies in extreme southern Cotton County at the intersection of U.S. Highway 277/281 and U.S. Highway 70 and is approximately one mile east of Interstate 44 and sixteen miles southeast of Walters, the county seat. The only surviving town of the five original platted townsites established with the 1906 Big Pasture Opening, Randlett was named for James Randlett, an Indian agent for the Kiowa and Comanche. Town lots were sold by public auction on May 13, 1907, with an estimated forty-five hundred potential buyers present. John Mabee, soon to be a successful oil entrepreneur, was a pioneer of the new town.

By 1910 Randlett had two banks, a newspaper, numerous retail businesses, professionals, and a population of 574. Although bids for a railroad failed (a proposed roadbed was graded, but the tracks were never laid), the town prospered by serving the needs of a surrounding agricultural area. In the late 1910s and 1920s, with the success of nearby oil and natural gas fields, a drilling boom occurred near Randlett. The two banks merged in 1912 and closed in 1931. In 1920 the population stood at 323, declining to 257 in 1930. In the early twentieth century the Randlett Enterprise, the American, the Randlett News, and the Randlett Progressor reported the district's news.

Throughout the twentieth century Randlett remained a small agricultural community. In 1957 the schools of Devol, Randlett, and Union Valley consolidated, establishing the Big Pasture School District in Randlett. In 1964 the H. E. Bailey Turnpike opened, connecting Oklahoma City to Randlett, the last Oklahoma town north of the Red River. The 1960 population was 356, climbing to 461 in 1980. In 1987 the city had elections for the first time in four years when residents succumbed to the fear of losing a monthly state gasoline tax allotment. U.S. Rep. Toby Morris attended the Randlett schools, and U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Fratis L. Duff was born in the town. In 2000 the population stood at 511, with many of residents commuting to work in Wichita Falls, Texas, and Lawton. The 2010 census reported 438 residents.

Larry O'Dell

See also: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS

Bibliography

Charles M. Cooper, "The Big Pasture," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 35 (Summer 1957).

Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 14 May 1907, 11 December 1932, 25 March 1962, 5 November 1987, and 7 February 1991.

History of Cotton County: Family and Area Stories (Walters, Okla.: Cotton County Historical Society, 1979).

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, "Randlett," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org (accessed November 19, 2017).

About the Encyclopedia | Terms of Use | Using the Encyclopedia