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The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

Lindsay American Legion Building under construction, 1953
(2012.201.B0372.0427, photo by G. Tapscott, Oklahoma Publishing Company Photography Collection, OHS).

Lindsay Santa Fe Depot
(State Historic Preservation Office, OHS).


Located in Garvin County twenty-four miles west of Pauls Valley on State Highway 19, Lindsay began when the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe and Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railroad companies decided to link their lines halfway between Chickasha and Pauls Valley. Lewis Lindsay, an area farmer, donated 440 acres for the townsite in January 1902, and the town was named in his honor.

Lindsay's primary economic base has always been agriculture, with cotton the first major commodity. Broomcorn was introduced in 1906, and by the 1950s, with its huge production of that crop, Lindsay was dubbed "the Broomcorn Capital of the World." However, the high cost of production and the increasing use of synthetic brooms led to the end of the broomcorn era by 1982. The community's subsequent major crops have been alfalfa, soybeans, wheat, corn, and milo. Since the drilling of the first oil well in the Lindsay area in 1944, petroleum production has also played a major role in the town's economy.

Lindsay's 1907 population of 1,102 residents grew to 1,713 by 1930. Due to oil-field activity, the number rose to 3,021 in 1950 and reached 4,258 in 1960. By 1990 the town's population had decreased to 2,947, and it declined to 2,889 in 2000 and to 2,840 in 2010. The Lindsay News has informed the residents since the early 1900s.

Nearby in the Erin Springs community, two miles south on State Highway 76 and one-half mile west of Lindsay, is the Murray-Lindsay Mansion. A museum since the 1970s, the mansion is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NR 70000534). Built in 1882, this was the home of Frank and Alzira McCaughey Murray, founders of Erin Springs.

Centennial Committee of the Lindsay Community Historical Society


Hunter James, "Lindsay, 'Queen City of the Washita Valley,'" Sturm's Oklahoma Magazine 7 (October 1908).

Anita Lindsay, From Pioneers to Progress (Lindsay, Okla.: Smith Publishing Co., 1957).

Pauls Valley Chamber of Commerce, From Bluestem to Golden Trend: A Pictorial History of Garvin County, Covering Both the Old and New (Fort Worth, Tex.: University Supply and Equipment, 1957).

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The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Centennial Committee of the Lindsay Community Historical Society, “Lindsay,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=LI007.

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