Home |  PublicationsEncyclopedia |  Granite

The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

A granite quarry at Granite
(19462., Museum of the University of Oklahoma Collection, OHS).

State Reformatory at Granite, circa 1920
(20648.14.16, Robert L. Williams Collection, OHS).


Located in Greer County (formerly Old Greer County), Granite is situated six miles north and seven miles east of Mangum at the junction of Oklahoma State Highways 6 and 9. Lying at the southern base of Headquarters Mountain, Granite is known for its monument industry, farming, ranching, and the Oklahoma State Reformatory. Originally a part of Greer County, Texas, Granite became part of Oklahoma Territory in 1896 and Oklahoma in 1907. The population stood at 1,026 in 1907 and hovered around one thousand until 1970 when it rose to 1,808.

In the 1880s the area was home to cattlemen. A post office was established on December 6, 1889, and the town was named for the granite found in the nearby mountains. In 1900 K. C. Cox platted the townsite and sold lots. That same year the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway brought rail service to the area, spurring tremendous growth in a matter of months. For some time Granite was the terminus for rail service, and supplies had to be freighted from there to outlying areas. Many early visitors came to the town to await the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Opening in 1901. They stimulated the sale of hardware, lumber, dry goods, groceries, meats, and bakery goods. By 1909 the town had at least four companies quarrying red granite from Headquarters Mountain. In 1910 the Oklahoma State Reformatory was opened as a medium-security institution. At the turn of the twenty-first century its inmate population was 841.

In 2002 Granite began receiving water from the Quartz Mountain Regional Water Authority osmosis plant located between Granite and Lone Wolf. Granite's population peaked at 1,844 in 1990 and remained the same at the turn of the twenty-first century. It rose to 2,065 in 2010. The Granite Enterprise newspaper, established in May 1900, continued to keep the local citizens informed.

Faye Jo Haynes and Glen E. Burkhalter


James Albert Barnett, "A History of the 'Empire of Greer'" (M.A. thesis, Oklahoma A&M College, 1938).

C. W. Gould, "Oklahoma's Granite Industry," Sturm's Oklahoma Magazine 8 (March 1909).

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

Mrs. C. R. Higdon, "Oklahoma's Granite," Sturm's Oklahoma Magazine 10 (August 1910).

Browse By Topic

Urban Development




The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Faye Jo Haynes and Glen E. Burkhalter, “Granite,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=GR008.

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 versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS). 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 of Oklahoma History and part or in whole.