|City/Town: • Nowata|
|Year Built: • N/A|
|Year Abandoned: • N/A|
|Status: • Abandoned|
|Photojournalist: • Johnny Fletcher|
Pulled from the Nowata County Website:
The City of Nowata is located in the south central section of the county on the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad, not far from the Verdigris River. It is now a flourishing city of 5,000 people and is supplied with a system of water works, electric lights, telephones, natural gas, paved streets, cement sidewalks and all modern conveniences usually found in an up-to-date city of its size.
It is surrounded by rich farm land, which is especially adapted to small grain. This is also an ideal dairying and stock raising country. The City of Nowata is in the heart of the shallow oil field of Nowata County and immediately adjacent to the city is a vast coal field which is now being opened.
Nowata has an assessed valuation of $2,839,669 and an estimated valuation of $5,000,000. The 1920 census gives the following figures: Population, 4,435, of which 3,920 are white and 515 are colored, and only forty-nine foreign born. It has 1,077 homes, 578 of which are owned by the occupants and 357 of these are free from debt. It has 26.55 miles of streets, 6.47 miles of which are paved, a municipally owned water plant, giving the citizens one of the lowest water rates in the state; motorized fire equipment, and a greater portion of the city served by a sanitary sewer.
The public schools have a total enrollment of 1,406, classified as follows: White grade school, 874; white high school, 318; colored grade school, 161; colored high school, 53; with a corps of fifty-six teachers and an annual payroll of $77,904. The high school is approved by the North Central High School Association, and its graduates can enter any state college in the country without undergoing an examination. The school system represents an investment in grounds, buildings and equipment of $225,000 for white pupils and $40,000 for colored pupils.
It has a public library, open eight hours a day, with a competent librarian in charge. It has 2,784 volumes for adults and 1,250 volumes in the juvenile department.
Nowata has seven churches, representing an investment of $130,000, which are served by able ministers. The churches exercise a wider and deeper uplifting influence than the average church of the modern day. They represent of membership of over fifteen hundred, an average Sunday attendance of over twelve hundred and a Sunday school attendance of over one thousand.
Nowata has a live Rotary Club, devoting most of its energies toward Boys’ Work, a hustling Lions’ Club, whose activities are along the lines of civic improvements, a large Community Club composed of citizens not only of the City of Nowata, but of all Nowata County. The Women’s Clubs, both literary and musical, are not only alert and progressive in their respective efforts of self culture, but are of practical service to the community and are affiliated with both state and national federations.
The city has three strong banks with resources amounting to $2,500,000 and deposits amounting to $1,720,000. It also has a strong Building & Loan Assn. with resources of over three hundred thousand dollars and no delinquent interests. In addition to the above, Nowata has three high-class hotels, equal to any to be found in any city of 25,000; three machine shops, four lumberyards, two grain elevators, ten garages, five oil stations, three of which operate modern drive-in filling stations, three seed houses, a modern 36-ton capacity artificial ice plant, with 500 ton storage capacity, which shipped over one thousand five hundred tons of ice last year; a fine radium bath house with eighty-five rooms and expert attendants. It boasts of having one of the best daily newspapers of the state, giving both Associated and United Press telegraph news service and two weekly newspapers. Nowata is the headquarters of the Henderson Gasoline Co., manufactures of casing-head gas, from the largest single plant under one roof in the world and the second one built in the Mid-Continent oil field. It is also surrounded by the greatest shallow oil field in the Mid-Continent section, the same being served by four pipe-line companies. The retail stores are equal in appearance and service rendered, to any, and serve a population of over fourteen thousand people within a radius of eleven miles.
Nowata’s industrial advantages are unexcelled. With oil and coal all around it, these advantages should be more rapidly developed than they now are.
Much of the foregoing information was furnished by Mr. C.E. Manning, the efficient manager of the City of Nowata, who also adds that as early as 1889, ten years before taxes could be levied for public purposes, Nowata provided free schools for the boys and girls of the community.