History
Bixby, Oklahoma

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Information Abstracted from:

Tulsa County Historic Sites July 1982: Prepared by the Community Planning Division Indian Nations Council of Governments for the Tulsa County Historical Society (Financed in part with Federal funds ...) Description

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The original pioneers of Bixby settled first in a small community referred to a "Posey on Posey Creek", just north of what is now 151st Street South and Harvard. Alexander Posey, a Creek Indian, brought his family to the area in the late 1800s. Posey had a blacksmith shop, two saloons, and a store (Turner Mercantile). It also had a post office which operated from 1895 to 1898.

The original townsite of present day Bixby was 1/2 mile south of the existing downtown. It was laid out in the early 1880s by the Dawes Commission. As a government townsite, all plats had to be approved by the Dawes Commission. The first plat was submitted in 1902 by F. E. Brennan and Timmonthy Stancliff. According to recorded histories, Mr. Brennan, an attorney, was not entirely upright in his dealings with the people of Bixby and was soon run out of town. (2)

Settlers were attracted to Bixby by the lush farmland, much of which was swampy but had great possibilities. The first business in town was the Turner Mercantile Company which moved to Bixby from its former location at "Posey on Posey Creek". The second business was a hardware store owned by Jason L. Best. The Farmers and Merchants Bank was opened by M. E. Sharp and his son Harry. In 1902, J. F. Paulter opened the Bank of Bixby. (3)

In 1904, the Midland Valley Railroad Company completed its line through Bixby, and as often happens, missed the town by one-half mile. Since the railroad wouldn't move to them, Bixby moved to the railroad. All the businesses moved north near 151st and Memorial into the Midland Valley Addition. The old town had been mostly wooden construction, but now that the location of the depot had been determined, an air of permanence came into the town. The new town center was Dawes and Armstrong. Proud brick buildings were built along Armstrong. The first building in the new town was built J. F. Paulter, at the northwest corner of Dawes and Armstrong, in 1904. He moved his bank of Bixby there, renaming it the First National Bank. The Farmers and Merchants Bank moved too, to the northeast corner, changing its name to the Bixby State Bank. Both of these banks went bankrupt during the depression.

Other early businesses in the new town included: Forry's Drug Store, Jake Coppedge's Drug Store, Bob Hughes' Drug Store, Manierd Hotel, Sapp and Son's Grocery Store, Wiles Hardware Store and Adelman's Hardware.

Bixby was incorporated as a town in 1906 with a population of approximately 400. Fred Farr was the first mayor, Jason L. Best, D. M. Phillips and Albert Swingle were councilmen. John Severns was the marshal and Charles Sherrill was postmaster. (5) Early day doctors included Dr. Coppedge, M.D.; Dr. W. A. Funk, M.D.; Dr. Hutchinson, M.D.; Dr. G. M. Davis, M.D.; Dr. Burns, dentist; and Dr. Robinson, DVM. The first blacksmith shop in Bixby was operated by Jess Lawmaster and Dave Waymire. C. R. Rambo was the organizer of the masonic lodge in the early 1900s.

Alex Williams taught the first school in a log cabin located on the south side of the original townsite. This property was owned by Mrs. Eliza McGuire who gave it to the town for school purposes. The school house was also used for services by itinerant preachers of various denominations. By 1900, the population of Bixby was 100 and the need for a more permanent school became evident. Miss Minnie Weirick was the teacher. She taught for more than ten years, during which time the school occupied three different buildings. In 1908, the first public school was built. M. F. Young, Bob Benett, and George Wiles were the members of the school board. (7) None of these early school buildings exist today.

The countryside around Bixby was open range and several outlaws frequented the area. The Dalton Brothers, the Buck gang and Al Jennings operated from the Spike S. Ranch, three miles south of the original townsite. In later years, during the depression, Pretty Boy Floyd, whose family lived in Bixby, was to make Bixby a frequent visiting place. (8)

In 1909, he cemetery was established. Wright Butler was the first to be buried there. In 1915, a special levy was voted to gravel the roads around Bixby, and soon after, the County voted bonds to build concrete roads from Tulsa to all towns in the county.

 

Endnotes - Bixby
1. Jim Downing. "Some Tulsa County Towns Are Only Faded Memories'. Tulsa Tribune, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Wednesday, July 27, 1977.
2. L. Henderson, "A Bixby Pioneer Looks Back". Bixby Bulletin- Thursday, December 30, 1971.
3. C. B. Douglas, History of Tulsa, Oklahoma (vol. 1, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1921) p. 688.
4. Gary Tipton, "History of Bixby, Oklahoma", A term project for college study.
5. O. L. Henderson.
6. C.B. Douglas.
7. "Membership of 22 Launched First Baptist Church. Bixby Bulletin - Thursday, March 7, 1968.
8. Gary Tipton.
9. O. L. Henderson.
10. C. B. Douglas.
11. Gary Tipton.

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