Home |  PublicationsEncyclopedia |  Ratliff City

The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture


A town in northwestern Carter County, Ratliff City sits along the intersection of State Highways 7 and 76, forty miles northwest of the Carter County seat of Ardmore and twenty-seven miles east of Duncan. Ratliff City began as an oil boomtown after the nearby Healdton Field was discovered in July 1913. The resultant influx of people became too much for the community of Healdton to handle. Many individuals began settling outside of town in rural areas. This led Ollie Ratliff to open a garage and filling station on an intersection corner situated on his brother's land.

A grocery store and a few rental houses soon located across the road from his filling station. More businesses and houses were built, and soon it became known as Ratliff Corner. Oil-field crews and their families settled in to make their homes. By this time mail was being provided to Ratliff Corner out of the town of Alma. Early-day schools were of the one- or two-room variety, but by the 1920s many had combined in a central location to have a high school. Fox Consolidated Schools were formed in 1923.

Ratliff's continued growth necessitated a post office, which opened January 1, 1953. On that occasion the community's name was officially changed to Ratliff City. The town incorporated in 1963 and formed a board of trustees. In 1970, the first year in which federal census figures are available for Ratliff, the town had a population of 250. That number increased to 350 in 1980 but declined to 157 in 1990. The town had 131 residents and twenty-eight business establishments in 2000. Early twenty-first century employers included a valve manufacturing company. The town had a population of 120 in 2010.

Greater Southwest Historical Museum and Carter County Genealogy Society


Profiles of America, Vol. 2 (2d ed.; Millerton, N.Y.: Grey House Publishing, 2003).

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

Browse By Topic

Urban Development




The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Greater Southwest Historical Museum and Carter County Genealogy Society, “Ratliff City,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=RA017.

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.