Welcome to Skiatook, Oklahoma

Skiatook, Oklahoma

"The Gateway to the Osage"


Historical records have conflicting data as to the origin of Skiatook's name. One story is that the town was founded on land which was the home of a prominent Osage Indian, Skiatooka, and the community around his home was called Skiatooka's Settlement.

Another story is that the name was taken from Ski-A-Took, Cherokee in origin meaning either "big injun me" or describing a large man or a vast tract of land.

It is generally accepted that Cherokee Chief William C. Rogers founded Skiatook when he established a trading post in the Cherokee Nation just to the south of Bird Creek where the stream was easily crossed. The Osage Indian, Skiatooka, was frequent trader at the post, which brought his name as a possible connection in the town's name.

The first Skiatook Post Office was established in the Rogers' store in the 1880s; and in 1892, the name took its present form, "Skiatook."

The first deed in town was granted to the Skiatook Bank, later known as the First National Bank, on December 18, 1904. That same day, lumber began being delivered to build the bank building, and on January 24, 1905 the Skiatook Bank opened for business. Following the Skiatook Bank, more construction began throughout town, and many buildings replaced shacks and tents.

Also in 1904, the Midland Valley Railroad was built through the area and weekly newspaper, The Skiatook Sentinel, was first published. On April 10, 1905 the Midland Valley Railroad arrived in Skiatook with its first Tulsa passengers. The town became incorporated on May 28, 1905 and by fall of 1906, the residents had the conveniences of natural gas and public telephones.

After Oklahoma Statehood in 1907 construction began on permanent roads and bridges. Several country schools had been scattered throughout the area, and Skiatook Schools began in 1905, before statehood. The first church building constructed in Skiatook was the First Christian Church in 1907. It's still located at 419 E. Rogers Blvd. Before this, congregations had been meeting in several places in town, including homes and businesses.

Cement sidewalks were constructed between 1909 and 1910, and in 1912 Skiatook received water, sewer and electric light improvements. The area experienced much growth in the oil, gas and farm industries. Increased traffic through town warranted better streets, and by the fall of 1919, Skiatook had 15 blocks of continuous cement paved streets. In 1920, Skiatook had 2,000 residents and around 50 businesses.

A road to Tulsa was paved in the early 1920's, and with good roads leading out in all directions, Skiatook became known as the Gateway to all points North, South, East and West. In the 1930's, Skiatook began purchasing water from Spavinaw, but the completion of Skiatook Lake in 1984 gave Skiatook its own water source.

Since its beginning in the late 1880s, the town of Skiatook has grown steadily. It is estimated the population has increased by 93% since 1990.

Information compiled by snowhawk from the Skiatook Historical Society & the Skiatook Journal.

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