Home |  PublicationsEncyclopedia |  Roosevelt

The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

Street scene in Roosevelt, circa 1904
(19538.3, Peavler and Curtis Collection, OHS).


Located in Kiowa County, the community of Roosevelt lies on U.S. Highway 183, thirteen miles south of Hobart and fourteen miles north of Snyder. The town began as Parkersburg, and at the turn of the twenty-first century serviced by the Grainbelt Corporation (GNBC) short-line railroad, a Farmrail System, Inc., affiliate in Clinton, Oklahoma.

The Roosevelt townsite was planned by the Parkersburg Development Company before the opening of the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache Reservation in 1901. As another Parkersburg existed southwest of present Clinton in Washita County, that name could not be used as a post office designation. Charley Hunter, a townsite organizer, had been a Rough Rider with Theodore Roosevelt during the Spanish-American War. Hunter admired Roosevelt and named the settlement in his honor. The Roosevelt post office was established on October 31, 1901. President Roosevelt visited Roosevelt, Oklahoma, in 1903, providing a highlight for area residents.

Roosevelt's first businesses, schools, and churches soon appeared. The rich soil surrounding the town was good for farming, especially cotton. Early establishments included a lumberyard, bakery, hotel, drug store, bank, grocery store, hardware store, doctor's office, meat market, general store, restaurant, furniture store, undertaker, millinery, and dry goods store. The town's first newspaper was the Roosevelt Record.

By 1907 statehood Roosevelt's population was 173. That figure grew from 298 in 1910 to 744 in 1940. After World War II the number of residents dropped from 679 in 1950 to 280 in 2000 and to 248 in 2010 At the turn of the twenty-first century farms and ranches continued to operate around Roosevelt, and the downtown area remained small.

Ethel Crisp Taylor


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

Susan Smith, "'Parkersburg,' now 'Roosevelt,'" in Pioneering in Kiowa County, Vol. 1 (Hobart, Okla.: Kiowa County Historical Society, 1975).

Browse By Topic

Urban Development




The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Ethel Crisp Taylor, “Roosevelt,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=RO025.

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.