|City/Town: • Shamrock|
|Location Class: • Church • Commercial • Disappearing Town • Jail|
|Built: • 1910 | Abandoned: • N/A|
|Status: • Disappearing Town|
|Photojournalist: • AbandonedOK Team • Emily Cowan|
Shamrock, Oklahoma began as a small farming town and area. The post office of Shamrock was established on July 9, 1910, the first postmaster was James M. Thomas. Thomas was responsible for making the decision on the town name and decided to name it after his hometown of Shamrock, Illinois. It became the ‘Irish Capital of Oklahoma’ sporting street names such as Ireland Ave, Dublin Ave, Kilarney Ave, Tipperary Road, and even in the beginning days St. Patricks Ave. By 1915 the town had a steady population growth with the Sapulpa and Oil Fields Railroad (later St. Louis and San Francisco Railway) building a line from Depew to Shamrock and a year later the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway constructed a line from Shamrock and Drumright.
Like many of the now disappearing towns in Oklahoma, the boom of Shamrock came when the Cushing Oil Field began to develop around 1915. The townsite soon shifted to the southern edge of the oil field and became a boomtown almost overnight with the population reaching 10-15,000. Nearby, oil-field camps called Dropright, Gasright, Alright, Downright, Damright and Justright sprung up in the vicinity. The Cushing Oil Field became one of the greatest oil discoveries producing 300,000 barrels a day. By 1919, the Cushing-Drumright area accounted for 17 percent of oil in the U.S. and 3 percent of world production becoming known as the “Pipeline Crossroads of the World.”
Shamrock began declining in the mid-1920s as oil-field workers began to move on to new boomtowns. Before long, stores, pool halls, hotels, and other businesses began to close as the nearby oil-field camps were left deserted. Houses were moved to new locations and business buildings stood closed up. By 1930 the population of Shamrock had decreased to about 700 persons. Though the Cushing oilfield continued to produce massive amounts of oil, the production had been mostly automated and the numbers of men were no longer needed. Today most of the original buildings are gone and the population of the town has fallen to just a few dozen.
Even though the population of the town is getting older and diminishing that doesn’t stop their annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. Taking pride in their Irish heritage and unique town name the parade in past years has included things such as Shriners in tiny cars, motorcycles, Wewoka Buffalo Soldiers, bagpipers and more. Senior citizens of the town gave away quilts and the Shamrock Volunteer Fire Department hosted an Irish Stew for attendees. The celebration dates back to the fifties and still happens today even with the towns further dwindling population.
Shamrock Museum (Open Saturday 10 am-4 pm Free)
The Shamrock Museum is one of the most unique museums you will ever see in a small town like this. Previously it was Mrs. Brown’s Store & Cafe, “The cafe was run by Ruth Brown, back in the day (mid-1960s) you could get a great hamburger, a slice of homemade cherry cream pie and a coke for less than a dollar. Their huge plate lunch was 65 cents and it was great food. I spent many an afternoon working for Joe Brown sorting glass pop bottles, carrying out and burning the days’ trash from the store, stocking the shelves and waiting on customers in the store” said Larry Pittser. Another former employee, Carla Stevens Ellis said “I worked at the cafe 4 hours during the rush hour and made $3.00 each day, but the main thing was I learned how to make those cherry cream pies. We enjoy them every holiday. I learned down-home cooking from Ruth, better than any cookbook on earth.”
In the late 1990s, it was transformed into the Shamrock Police Station and Museum. It was painted a vibrant green attracting everyone driving through the town, and still sports the unique shade making it unmissable. The police station came and went but the Shamrock Museum remains open to this day. It houses the town’s entire history and a collection of oddities and ends inside and out. The museum is free and open on Saturdays from 10 am-4 pm but appointments can be made on other days by calling 918-703-5464.
Built: ~1916 Abandoned: ~1927
The Shamrock jail is a bigger jail than your typical calaboose, surprising for what the town is now but an incite to what the town used to be. It is constructed of concrete with a barrel roof and consists of two cells each with two barred windows. The first mentioning of the jail in locals news comes in 1916 which is presumably the year it was built. The newspaper article of the story says this: In 1916 a gentleman by the name of Joseph Hunt was arrested for forgery and thrown into the Shamrock jail. Mr. Hunt cut his prison sentence short, quite literally by sawing the bars off of the window of the north cell in the two-celled jail. His escape was discovered at daybreak by his jailer and a twelve-inch hack saw was found in the cell. Quickly he was found with two companions hiding out in an abandoned house and arrested again by Deputy Sheriff Cliff Terry. He was returned to the Shamrock jail again, this time accompanied by his two hideout companions who were charged with aiding a fugitive. It can only be assumed one of the men assisted by passing the hacksaw through the jail barred windows in the middle of the night.
Mar 22, 1922- J.C. Clark of Whizbang has recently been sojourning at the Shamrock jail where his uncle resides. Before leaving the town he was in need of funds and passed a bad check for $20.75 onto W.P White, a jitney driver. He then proceeded to Bristow where he passed on another bad check for $85. The police succeeded in getting on the man’s track and Monday he was arrested by the Bristow officers and returned to Shamrock to face trial.
Jan 13, 1926 – Professor C.A. Caldwell, for two years head of the Shamrock schools, was sentenced to fifteen minutes in the Shamrock jail by a group of friends on a charge of “going to Sapulpa and getting married to Miss Bessie Black, of Shamrock, without the knowledge or consent of his friends, to which he pleaded guilty in a court composed of his friends. Caldwell served only three minutes, however as he succeeded in “breaking jail” and making his escape after his incarceration.
Fred Wensauer & Sons
Built: 1927 Abandoned: ~1940s
Built in 1927 of native rock, the famously photographed building that sits in Shamrock sports the name ‘Fred Wensauer & Sons’. Although the business venture was short-lived, Fred used to build batteries there but any more information on the business was not found. According to local historian Roy Willey, it was then sold to Artie E. Bray which again was a very short business tenure.
It was sold to Harold (Fay) Facker who turned it into the Central Chevrolet Company. This quickly became one of the hearts of the town, featuring hundreds of newspaper ads for the dealership. Mr. Facker had decades of experience in selling Chevrolets throughout the state. This location sold numerous models including ‘The COACH’, ‘The COUPE’ and ‘The SPORT CABRIOLET’ as well as a wide selection of parts. During this time Facker started another Central Chevrolet Company dealership in nearby Drumright. Continuing to sell at both dealerships before closing the Shamrock station presumably due to the declining population.
[Photograph 2012.201.B1164.0026], photograph, March 3, 1958; (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc612442/m1/1/?q=shamrock: accessed March 20, 2021), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.
“1 May 1941, 1 – The Drumright Derrick at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/593533757/?terms=crow%20shamrock&match=1.
“13 Jan 1926, 1 – Drumright Weekly Derrick at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/592420175/?terms=shamrock%20jail&match=1.
“13 Mar 1958, 1 – The Drumright Journal at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/592364753/?terms=shamrock%20museum&match=1.
“17 Mar 2000, 3 – Sapulpa Daily Herald at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/662222525/.
“22 Mar 1922, 1 – Drumright Weekly Derrick at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/661335870/?terms=shamrock%20jail&match=1.
“28 Jan 1927, 6 – Creek County Democrat at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/592481671/?terms=chevrolet%20shamrock&match=1.
“9 Nov 1923, 6 – Creek County Democrat at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/582174838/?terms=fred%20wensauer%20shamrock&match=1.
“9 Sep 1916, 1 – Shamrock Brogue at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/582098764/?terms=shamrock%20jail&match=1.
“Shamrock | The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture.” Oklahoma Historical Society, www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=SH005.
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My family lived in and around Shamrock for years. I was around ten years old in 1955 when we moved away. I remember a lot of good times there. I went to school in Shamrock. Most of my brothers and sisters went there when it still had a high school. My brothers were great basketball players. Ms. Haught was our 5th grade teacher. I had ms. Pruitt and Ms. Primm in grades before her. We lived at one time on a farm that was called the Doc Coppedge place. I have tried several times to find the entrance to that… Read more »
I loved Shamrock. Great Grandma lived there just down from the general store. I bought candy there.. So lived a few of my Great Aunts. My brother, sister and I used to go exploring all over the place while there over Easter, found lots of Easter eggs too. Met an Indian Chief my great Aunt read the Bible to him each week. I got to sit on his lap, why he looked just like the Indian Chief on the writing tablets, I’ve always wondered who he was though. I also was there in 1960 during the last long horned steer… Read more »
I grew up there in the 70's. That green building was a store then. The family that ran the store lived above it. I learned to paint ceramics in the ceramic store, it was ran by a nice older lady. The school was in okay shape then, not many students. I lived on the west side of the highway that runs right through the town. We had lots of fun when we were growing up there.
That would be Lloyed and Bea, my grandma and grandpa.
“Seventy-five years ago this month was a sad, dark day in Shamrock’s history. A school bus accident took the life of a young boy. A first-grader was killed in a gruesome accident. April 30, 1941, was a Wednesday. A school bus was loaded with students to take them home at the end of the school day. The bus drivers had been trained and told not to fuel the buses while students were on-board. Nevertheless, this driver pulled into the gas station with a bus-load of kids. The filling station was the Fred Winsaur & Son building. Little Leslie Dean Crow… Read more »
both my parents graduated high school here. My grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles lived here. They own general stores, gas stations, worked in the oil fields. In the 1940's they began moving, house and all to Cushing Ok.
Was this post really necessary?
If fifty people living in Shamrock used the internet at a cost of about $600,000 for two years, cost borne by the taxpayer would be $6,000 per user per year. It's like kicking a dead horse…
The Old Shamrock City Hall will officially become a Cyber Community Center on Thurs, Sept. 8, 2011. Address 101 East 5th Street, Shamrock, OK –Public Ribbon cutting is at 11 a.m. All are welcome! Hosted by @Link Services in OKC — bringing broadband internet to Rural Oklahoma. 405-753-7174.
If anyone wants even more information about this town, it hit it's 100 years this year. I wrote an awesome book with 1916 newspaper articles, old photos, all the alumni, family information and tons more! Only $30 for a hundred years of Shamrock History! contact me at: ancestryfarmer.com or email is email@example.com
Was there today would love to know more about the book and if it talks about the saloon Ruby Darby danced in I think it may have been a pool hall.
Our Family friends Jack and Edie Sellers owned land and oil wells near Shamrock. Edie is still alive and still close friends with my mother. I visited their home and land several times in the late 70’s. I was in the St. Patrick day parade one year on horseback. Looking up this town on Google and read most of your comments here. We had stew in a building there that day. Im 54 now born in 1968. I had a great time that day!!
My name is Laura Moore (Bearden), my great grandparents were Donald and Lilly Bearden. Grandpa ran the Bearden Salvage for many of years. My family owned the four lots across the street beside the green building. As a kid, I couldn’t jus step out the front door and watch the parades. Ms.Pitzer asked me one year to be a clown for the parade. I loved it. The store was still open, remember when a bottle soda and candy bar was $.50 a piece. The bar was short lived and we either went to school in Dumright or Depew. I was… Read more »
I went to school with some Bearden children. I think the one in my class was Doris. I went to school to the first semester of the fifth grade then i we moved away in the fifth grade. Ms. Haught was fifth grade teacher. I had a lot of brothers and they told me she was mean. But I think it was just because they were pretty ornery and got in a lot of trouble. Anyway I really liked her and didn’t want to move. I still have a couple of ceramics that we made in her kiln.
My name is Tony Grove, I am a registered RC pilot. I wish to overfly Shamrock, and put the video of the flight on you tube
The names of my aunt and uncle were Aunt Vin and Uncle Gordon Ledgerwood in Shamrock. Aunt Dee and Uncle Albert lived around Bristow. Sorry about the mix-up. I must be getting mixed up in my old age. I just hope I am right now. It’s been a long time.
Martha (Frazier) Skaggs
[…] Interstate 44. Did you know there is also Shamrock, Oklahoma? The awesome blog, Abandoned Oklahoma featured the ghost town on their site in […]
My husband's mother grew up in Shamrock, OK and is still alive at almost 91 years old. My mother in law's mother was appointed postmaster of Shamrock, Creek County, Oklahoma on January 21, 1922 and served until about September 1, 1926. She met her husband while serving as postmaster of Shamrock. They lived on a small farm about 2 miles south of Shamrock where they raised 3 children. (My husband's mother being one of the three children) My mother in law's dad worked and retired from the Sinclair Oil and Gas Company. We heard the other day that the Shamrock… Read more »
I stumbled across the photos on accident, if it was your property wouldnt you look on the site? And as for "problems with the site" thats silly, my issue as I said before is the building is very unstable and very dangerous, people going inside which you can clearly tell they did, if you have ever been in there where access is available for pics from the outside and where it is impossible, such as the mold room..my issue is I would hate visit and find fool dead in there..
Looking for any information on a 1st cousin who died in April of 2011. Said he was from Shamrock. Wayne Eugene Robinson. Anything might help. Long lost relative.
My Great Grandfather told me stories about coming to town on a covered wagon. That generation saw the beginning of the town, now it would seem that we are seeing the end of it. Yes, it is sad.
MY grandmother came to Shamrock on the train she was around 11 or so. He Uncle Tom ran the boarding house there it was the only true building the rest of the city was a tent city at the time. She was born in 1913 in Arkansas and moved there for the oil boom. My mother grew up there and I was brought home from the hospital and lived there for awhile before we moved to Cushing and later to Colorado. My family is buried is buried in the old Shamrock Cemetary and when my grandmother passes she will be… Read more »
Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more introduced agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?