Nowata Filling Station

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City/Town: Nowata
Location Class:
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.

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COLBY
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COLBY

I ACTUALLY GREW UP ON A FARM JUST DOWN THE ROAD FROM THIS….. OFF OF SCOOP COOPER

Mike
Guest
Mike

Yes, they filmed the movie called "possums" in nowata. Part of it was filmed on my parents lawn. They had a parade through the town for the cast. The Walmart is long gone but another discount store is now in that spot. Bliss Cafe is still there. I can remember going to it as a little kid when my grandmother lived in Nowata and was a teacher at the high school. My parents retired in my grandmothers house.

COLBY
Guest
COLBY

BLISS IS NOW CLOSED…… IT'S GOING TO BE A MEXICAN RESTARAUNT……

Lady Lelouch
Guest
Lady Lelouch

I hear they have a Sonic now, maybe that will help the towns economy a bit.

According to Wikipedia, this town was the setting for a 1990's movie called possums.

COLBY
Guest
COLBY

IT SURE WAS…I'M ONE OF THE KIDS IN THE MOVIE…AT THE END OF THE FOOTBALL GAME, THERE IS A WOMAN IN PIGTAILS WAVING FLAGS WITH THE CELEBRATION GROUP…THAT'S MY WIFE!!!!
B)

RollinRoy
Guest
RollinRoy

In the oil boom's later years it was still a vibrant place, and is in a beautiful part of the state. There was little local industry of to soften the oil bust's impact, as Oologah had with its power plant, or Vinita and the hospital there.

yarga
Guest
yarga

Wal Mart stayed just long enough for local businesses to close down trying to compete with them, then Wal Mart shut down and left. The town has never recovered.
We may be down but we're not out!!!

judy
Guest
judy

My mother grew up in Nowata in the 1930s & 40s. I think it was a thriving town at one time due to the oil business. We used to spend summers with our grandparents there in the 1970s and it was still a pretty active little town, but the last time I was there, it really did look like a ghost town. It made me so sad, because it really was a great little town at one time.

Ginnyfromtheblock
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Ginnyfromtheblock

The information above was from 1922..

psychosaw13
Guest
psychosaw13

Wow you blow me away with the amout of info you come up with Thank you Abandoned Ok!

unfortunatelyinbartl
Guest

Wow,I don't get where the info came from, it's hard to believe that so many people live there. Each time I've gone thru there u might see 3 people walking around. Nowata looks like an abandoned town itself, and I seriously donot think that anyone makes 77K a year in that town! It's a dump.

AbandonedOK Team
Guest

I pulled the info from HERE.

COLBY
Guest
COLBY

90 PERCENT OF NOWATA'S POPULATION LIVE IN THE SURROUND FARMS…I GREW UP THERE AND WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL THERE……….MOST OF US GOT JOBS IN ABRTLESVILLE, COFFEYVILLE OR TULSA…. AND OF COURSE YOU ONLY SEE THREE PEOPLE WALKING AROUND, MOST OF US DRIVE OR STAY INSIDE..LOL

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