Home |  PublicationsEncyclopedia |  Tryon

The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture


Located in northwest Lincoln County, Tryon is situated three miles east of U.S. Highway 177 on State Highway 105. Homesteaders, mostly from Missouri and Kansas, made the land run on September 22, 1891, into land that had belonged to the Sac and Fox and Iowa tribes. African Americans also made the run from a gathering point at Dudley, southwest of Tryon.

Tryon was platted in August 1893 in the southwestern corner of pioneer Fred S. Tryon's homestead. The town quickly thrived to the point that the post office at Fouts, three miles west, was moved and the designation changed to Tryon in 1899. The Tryon Mercury newspaper reported the opening of a three-month school in February 1896; other accounts trace early public education in Tryon to 1893–94. In November 1902 the platting of Parrott's addition south of town was the first step in expanding Tryon to the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway, then under construction. At 1907 statehood Tryon had 211 residents. Newspapers informing the citizens over the years included the Mercury, the News, the Star, and the Herald. The population of 225 in 1920 grew to 279 in 1940, 285 in 1950, and 301 in 1970.

The Farmers and Merchants Bank, founded in 1903, was the target of several robberies that became town legend. Shortly after Miner C. Sloan became bank president, during one of the robberies the bank was blown up. In 1933 robbers took Clarence Hall and Bill Vassar as hostages. Robbery attempts continued into the 1970s.

Oil production began in 1904 after legendary wildcatter Tom Slick drilled a dry hole near the town. Since then, oil and gas leasing has occurred in the area. At the turn of twenty-first century Tryon's population stood at 448, a decline from a peak population of 514 in 1990. It dropped to 491 in 2010. The April 2020 census reported 380 residents.

David Sloan Vassar

Browse By Topic

Urban Development



Learn More

Lincoln County, Oklahoma History (Chand-ler, Okla.: Lincoln County Historical Press, 1988).

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


The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
David Sloan Vassar, “Tryon,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=TR016.

Published January 15, 2010
Last updated March 29, 2024

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.