Dilworth, Oklahoma History


"This information was gathered from various sites throughout the Internet. The numbers behind the sentences correspond to the web page I got the information from during my research. It is a conglomeration of information that has it's resources on the corresponding webpages. Please visit those web pages as the people there have done hard work in making history more available to all of us.

Paul Reeves

At the bottom of the page are 'Places of Interest' where I have captured some of the history of the local area.

Dilworth 001

Post office established March 17, 1917 Named for Charles A Dilworth Townsite           owner and developer. 10 miles NW of Newkirk. According to the county records           Dilworth’s incorporation date was November 5, 1917, population 58.[3] There is nothing to even show that there was a townsite here today except for a very large oil field with pump jacks very close together.

Dilworth 002

Dilworth sprouted after 1911 after the discovery of the Dilworth Oil Field,[2] enjoying its own Oil Field Shortline Railway. It was platted by W. Matthews and John A. Frates, president of the Dilworth Town Site Company and an employee of the St. Louis and Sa Francisco Railroad. The town sprawled over 60 acres of the Charles Dilworth farm, ten miles northwest of Newkirk. The Lew Wentz Oil Company, Empire (later Cities Service), 101, Sinclair, and Marland Oil Companies converged on Dilworth. The population of Dilworth, according to Homer S. Chambers “...rose as by magic to 3,500 to 4,000 within a few months.” Chambers became postmaster when the post office opened March 17, 1917. Two thousand people (some estimates were 4,000) lived in Dilworth’s new homes and rooming houses; sent their children to Dilworth’s new Pleasant View grammar school and high school; and shopped in Dilworth’s business district. On October 23, 1917, the town voted to become incorporated.[1]

Dilworth 003

Several false-front buildings lined the broad, unpaved main street. Among these businesses were the Fred Davenport Bakery, the Empire Pipe Yard, a clothing store, telephone office, W.R. Pickering Lumber Company, Hillsdale Rooming House, O.F. Graff Rooming House, Star Grocery, John Lewis Garage, Mike Trapp Barber Shop, Keith and DeRossett Pool Hall, Bob and Babe Morrell Pool Hall, Allen’s Drug Store, O. C. Munn Hardware Store, physicians Pryor and Bishop, Tom McQuirt General Store, Dilworth Bank, Roy Hill Furniture Store, a theatre, refinery and the Charlie Rollins Elevator.[1]

Dilworth 004

A new $60,000 sewer system had just been completed when disaster first struck Dilworth. The first indication of problems was a rapid decline in oil production. The final blow came in 1922 when Dilworth’s tinderbox business buildings went up in flames from a fire that started in the power room of the Electric Theater.[2] Fire fighters struggled to save what they could from what was felt to be arson. The town never recovered, since too much of Dilworth’s business district was lost as there were only four businesses left standing.[2] Dropping productivity in the oil fields saw the oil boom move on. On February 7, 1924, Dilworth’s population was 72, as the town faded away with its post office closing March 29, 1929.[1]


Places of Interest:

© Lord Gazmuth 2012