Skedee, OK

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City/Town: Skedee
Location Class: Ghost Town
Year Built: N/A
Year Abandoned: N/A
Status: National Register of Historic Places
Photographer: AbandonedOK TeamBilly DixonDavid LindeJohnny Fletcher

Located in north-central Pawnee County, Skedee is situated slightly east of the junction of County Roads E0440/N3530. Established six miles northeast of the county seat of Pawnee, Skedee was originally known as Lemert for the Lemert family, who sold land for a townsite to the railroad company. The Eastern Oklahoma Townsite Company sold town lots at auction on January 17 and 18, 1902. Subsequently, a post office was designated on February k10, 1902. However, the name Lemert was too similar to another Oklahoma town, and the postal department requested that the post office name be changed. Consequently, Lemert became Skedee, a reference to the Skidi band of the Pawnee. Between 1900 and 1904 the Eastern Oklahoma Railway (later the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway) built a line from Newkirk to Pauls Valley that passed through Skedee. The nearby Crystal Creek provided water for the trains’ steam engines. When the railroad bypassed Osage City (located five miles northeast of Skedee), buildings and several homes were moved to Skedee.

Agricultural pursuits have been the mainstay of Skedee’s economy. Local farmers raised livestock, and cotton was their principal money crop. By 1909 settlers had established four churches, a public school, and a bank. A feed mill, a grain elevator, and a cotton gin supported the rural community. In the 1940s and 1950s a gasoline station, a cotton, grain, and produce company, and flour and feed company served residents.

Like most all abandoned buildings it is weird to see the items and keepsakes left behind. The school still housed many school books, desks, maps, globes and more. There were no school cleaning services at the end of the school’s functioning time. Right along with the other buildings in the area many things inside them stayed as is. A place that is the bones of a time and community that once was, but no longer is.

At 1907 statehood Skedee had 277 residents. During the next three decades the population remained fairly steady with 289, 268, and 272 reported for 1910, 1920, and 1930, respectively. In 1940 the population declined to 235. Since 1940 the numbers have decreased from 170 in 1950 to a low of 96 in 1990. As a result of dwindling population, the school was consolidated in the 1950s, and the post office closed on August 2, 1963. At the turn of the twenty-first century Skedee had 102 inhabitants. Employed citizens commuted to jobs in Pawnee and Stillwater. A statue of Osage Chief Bacon Rind and famed oil lease auctioneer Colonel (his first name) E. Walters, located in the town square, is a local point of interest. Walters commissioned Margaret (or Emaline; sources vary) Baker of Wichita, Kansas, to sculpt the Bond of Friendship, which was dedicated on April 22, 1926.

For much more great OK history, visit:
https://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/S/SK001.html

 

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Fiend
Guest
Fiend

Awesome. Some neat buildings.

KrK
Guest
KrK

Some neat old buildings— but the town seems to still be there, judging by the homes and vehicles nearby….

bert huddleston
Guest
bert huddleston

your right about 100 people call it home.

Annie
Guest

There are many people still living there and its wonderful.

Nik
Guest
Nik

pretty eerie pictures.. love it.

trsoonerstrongbad
Guest
trsoonerstrongbad

Cool Pics. I think the guy who opened Cains Ballroom lived here at one time.

Doug Loudenback
Guest

While a senior at OSU in 1964-65, I was a student minister at the Methodist Church in Skedee … very interesting little town not on any state or federal highway but only a farm to market road, as I recall. In its better years, I'm pretty sure that a railroad passed through this little town in Pawnee County but I don't recall which one.

Annie
Guest

It did and still does. every now and then.

Hal Cantwell
Guest
Hal Cantwell

the name translates to "wolf" from the Pawnee language

bert huddleston
Guest
bert huddleston

it not a ghost town. good folks still live there. it was home for me from 1942-1960.

Henry Kissinger
Guest
Henry Kissinger

No they don't

Catherine Carter
Guest
Catherine Carter

The term "ghost town" can apply to towns that have lost the economic centers they were built upon. it doesn't have to be totally deserted. there are only about 50 residents there today and the only public establishment is the single church there. It's pretty much a ghost town.

Sverige
Guest
Sverige

Here's a (slightly foggy) memory: In the early and mid 70's I would, whenever possible, join my Uncle Ernest when he hunted quail. He had some great bird dogs and through his restaurant he knew alot of people and had cultivated permission to hunt several places in Osage and Pawnee Counties. On one of these hunts we followed the dogs into what appeared to me to be a ghost town. It felt strange when we stopped at next substantial statue in the center of a crossroad, shotguns ready while the dogs hunted the brush nearby. After a bit, we continued… Read more »

Jo Ann Harshbarger
Guest
Jo Ann Harshbarger

Yes, it may be listed as a ghost town but it is home to around 100 people, give or take a few. I was born, raised and still live in the area along with a lot of my family and friends. I don't remember giving anyone permission or even being ask if you could go inside the old store bldg and take these pictures. Taking pictures outside is one thing but entering private property without permission is something else.
The town was orginally named Lemert but changed to Skedee after the Skidi band.

Luci
Guest
Luci

That was noted above, in the story.

Annie
Guest

Awesome, I know some of the Harshbargers and my mother went to school with one or two.

Annie
Guest

Hi Jo Ann it is Anna Beulah Layton's granddaughter. Glad to know some from home are on these type of sites and posting. I agree one should get permission before going in one of the buildings. I am in the process of trying to get ahold of the chamber of commerce to hold an official investigation at the buildings there. Hopefully I get the permission I am seeking, if not then it is for the best I am sure.

Suzie
Guest
Suzie

My granddad grew up here in the early 1900's, and his mother, Nicolena Jensen Smith, is supposed to have run a boarding house next to the railroad. She is buried in the Skedee cemetery. Is the church still in existence?

Annie
Guest

yes it is my grandmother Beulah Layton went to it every Sunday until her death in 2010. She lived in Skedee Valley all her life and when she got married; her and her husband Wayne Layton lived on the other side of hwy 18 from the old Hill House and owned 4 acres. My aunt and uncle live there now and another aunt and uncle lived on the old Hill House land. I have great memories of both places and of the entire Skedee Valley and find myself missing it.

skedee proud
Guest
skedee proud

I think that it is a ittle ensensitive to the ppl that do live there to take these pictures. These pitures make it look as if skedee is a bunch of hillbillies that dont take care of thier town and we are not. I have live in Skedee for the past 22 years i can i cant imagine living anywhere else the ppl are as nice as they come and would give you the shirt off thier back and not have a second thought about it. yes we might not have even so much as a gas station, but we… Read more »

meme
Guest
meme

Just want to say, I've been to Skedee twice now and the last thing I think is that you are hillbillies that don't care about your town! It is obvious that you guys are doing what you can to keep it as best you can. I love your little town and consider it a treasure.

Chuck Hunts
Guest
Chuck Hunts

My father graduated from Skedee High School in 1938 and I have photo of all the students at the High School taken in 1937, I also have my father's senior class picture from 1938.
It is sad to see that build closed.

Becky McCray Brown
Guest
Becky McCray Brown

Took kids out to take a look at town. Family farm is nearby and I remember as a little girl going to school reunions with my great grandma and great aunt. It has changed and it is upsetting to see that someone or some people have vandalized the school. I have found memories of this area and greatful for it!!!!!!!

Curtis
Guest
Curtis

You related to Alvie (sp?) McCray?

Luci
Guest
Luci

I think it's nice someone has documented this place I've lived in Oklahoma my whole life and would have never heard of this town if it weren't for this site. Atleast somone cares about local history! It's not like this site promotes vandalism or such things. Thanks and keep up the good work!

Luci
Guest
Luci

What pictures of homes and cars? I only saw one house, a trailer house…?

Annie
Guest

There are more houses the angle of the pictures only show a house or two but there are plenty more. Trust me. Go visit it sometime you will see yourself.

Chad
Guest
Chad

My dad and I used to come to Skedee in the late 80s to buy used motorcycle parts from a motorcycle salvage dealer there in Skedee. I loved roaming around that old man's property looking at all his motorcycles in various states of repair/ruin. That place had bike as far as the eye could see from a 11-12yo perspective.

Eric
Guest
Eric

I've been to Skedee, many times in the past. Col Walters was married to a great Aunt of mine, but I never knew them. I have some photos and advertising cards the Col used to give out and I also have a program for the dedication of the statue of the Col and Bacon Rind that is in the middle of the main intersection of the town. If not mistaken, there are still relatives who live in the home the Col built and lived in for many years. I also have an old photograph of the town that was taken… Read more »

Erin Bailey
Guest
Erin Bailey

Hi Eric! Colonel Walters is my great great great grandfather. The home is/was a beautiful bungalow on a couple of acres of pecan trees with Tiffany glass light fixtures, beveled glass windows and mirrors, and a huge octagonal dining table that was built inside the house. I lived there as a child. Many many loving memories of my grandmother and stepmother and my childhood there. Unfortunately my father had to sell our family home the 90's after losing his wife. I have many fond memories of playing in the creek, and by the railroad where the coal tower used to… Read more »

Bob Hoobler
Guest
Bob Hoobler

Bob Hoobler I moved to Skedee in 1929 and moved to Pawnee in 1941. I still have fond memories of living there. During my time there (30's) it was a thriving community. We had the RR which kept the community going. Of particular interest was the famous coal shute that was erected in 1917 and is no longer there. Although dangerous we boys thought it was a great place crawl inside looking for birds nests, etc. It wa 120 feet tall. Along the railroad was a cotton Gin and a grain elevator. Just below the depot was a hotel. The… Read more »

ruth (horton)easton
Guest
ruth (horton)easton

I also lived there as a child. both my grandparents. Mary young and Billyjack her grandson and Elbert(Ebb) horton and wife Mary. Mary Horton passed 1943. Ebb in the 50's. I used to climb up and slide down the posts on the backside of Cameron's store. I went to church when I visited at the church on ne side of squire. My grandparents lived 1 block south of the square. youngs on the se corner and horton on westside of the church that sat on the sw of the same corner. My dad and I went fishing down by the… Read more »

Maria
Guest
Maria

I would be interested to know if you know of or remember a Pawnee Native American man who lived in Skedee by the name of "Dog Chief" Simond Adams who resided there from 1890 until his death in 1939.

G. Cunningham
Guest
G. Cunningham

My great grandparents walked from Kansas to homestead in Skedee and Pawnee in the 1800´s. Their family names were Lewark and Carmean. I have old pictures of the stone schoolhouse where my grandmother was teaching in the late 1800´s. I still remember many many stories from my great grandmother Carmean and my grandfather Lyman Lewark about their life there. I have dozens of letters they wrote about their life in the area. Thank you for this site.

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

Wow this is wonderful. You know about the Lewark family there. Are you related to with Frank Madison Lewark , What about Larry Lewark? do you know his fathers name? We may be related, might we chat sometime?

Mike Tanner
Guest
Mike Tanner

do you remember any Tanners? Fred Tanner was the blacksmith in Skedee. He eventually moved his business to Ralston, and the Tanner name is still there. Fred donated the land to the Methodist church in town, which used to be the location of his shop. He moved his blacksmith shop across the street. The current resident (well, 20 yrs ago) told me she was always digging up pieces of iron in her garden. Orville was my grandfather, and he just loved Skedee. I have cassette tapes of Orville and his brothers swapping stories. I last visited about three years ago… Read more »

MemoriesFade
Guest
MemoriesFade

I think it's a shame that people are offended. What's being done on this site is an act of preservation. Given the condition of those buildings, another ten years will garner an entirely different, less descriptive, less informative batch of photos. As for permission, from what I saw, these buildings, which are literally in ruin, were openly accessible. They did not "break in," and they left the premises as they found it. If there are "No Trespassing" signs posted, then that is entirely different. Would the polite thing be to ask for permission? I would probably agree that yes, that's… Read more »

Jay
Guest
Jay

I lived and worked on the Bell Ranch in 1978-1982. Still have friends there. Hazel Bell was the daughter of Sanders. Her daughter still lives in the old home place. The time I was living there, we still got fuel from the station, and fertilizer and feed from the elevator. He always had peanuts to munch, and a fire in the stove. Great times while there. Met my wife, from Pawnee, been married 33yrs tomorrow

Annie
Guest

Yes people do still live there I have many friends that live there and I too lived in Skedee Valley for years on the Layton residence and on the Hill Residence. I think what they mean by ghost town is the store is no longer in use and the school and the gas station. It was and still is a small beautiful community. I love going back when I visit family I make sure I drive by. That is home and will always be my home.

Ape
Guest
Ape

I believe Ghost town refers to any town with population of 500 or less….

Myrna
Guest
Myrna

Ghost town refers to a location that is no longer served by a post office.

Sandra
Guest
Sandra

My dad was in Skedee sometime between 1921 and 1930, helping put in electrical lines. For some reason he never forgot the town though he spent from around 1930 to his death in 1995 in the DC area. When my mom retired about 1975 and they had time they flew to Tulsa then drove to Ponca City and Skedee. He never said why it was so special to him.

J. Hull
Guest
J. Hull

My father was the pastor of the Skedee United Methodist Church from 1984-1989. We had many good fellowship dinners at the church and still have photos of the Christmas programs at the church. I knew a man named Hoobler from Skedee who actually lived in Pawnee. He used to tell me stories of raccoon hunting with dogs and being a barber. I believe his name was Eldon. His wife's name escapes me now, but they were almost like adopted grandparents to me. I have a lot of fond memories of Skedee. I used to fish in Crystal Creek outside a… Read more »

Val
Guest
Val

Mr. Hoobler cut my hair many times (always a buzz cut!) in his shop in downtown Pawnee during the 1960's. I was in elementary school in Pawnee at the time. A very fine gentleman as I recall.
V. Gokey

Mike Tanner
Guest
Mike Tanner

My great grandfather Fred Tanner donated the land to the Methodist Church. This was the site of his blacksmith shop, and his home is directly next door to the church. He moved his shop across the street. I visited in the '80s or '90s and chatted a bit with the woman that now lives on the site of the relocated blacksmith shop. She commented that she always wondered why she kept digging up pieces of iron/metal in her garden. My grandfather, Orville Tanner, loved the Methodist church. He attended faithfully until he was 19(?) years old and moved out of… Read more »

shelly
Guest
shelly

Did any of you know the Lanning family from Skedee in the 30's? I'd love to know!!

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

Does anyone know who currently owns the school? I was there recently and also took some pics (with permission from a neighbor).. Its a beautifull old building! (I tried to call the Pawnee county courthouse to find out current owners but they couldnt provide any information other than who lived in the area that might know..:-) my email is osufangirl@yahoo.com if anyone has any information.. thanks again. wonderful pics by the way.. i think its great that someone is out there documenting these old /abandonded places.. one day soon they will all be gone and if it wasnt for photographs… Read more »

Catherine Carter
Guest
Catherine Carter

The locals told me that the city owns it.

Jon Ann
Guest
Jon Ann

Wow! What memories these photos brought to me. My grandparents lived in Skedee, though I 'm not sure of the dates, the late 50's for sure. Our family came to visit every other year from the northwest. They lived right across the street from the Baconrind statue and got their water from that pump. One year, my sister, who was 10 years younger than me, plopped both of her dirty bare feet in each of the buckets of water that my Dad had just brought into the house. I remember Grandma not being very happy about that!

Denise O'Hagan
Guest
Denise O'Hagan

Spent many summers there in the 50's & 60's. Both sets of great grandparents (McDugal's and Spears) lived there. Remember the coal shute which was so cool. My parents went to the high school, family members had the general store, post office. Walked to the church each Sunday on the corner. It was what rural America was about. Loved it! Thanks for the great memories.

Noma
Guest
Noma

Hi,
My name is Norma, and I had family there also. my granddad had a store there twice. my mom was born there in 1907.i have a picture of both. snsnell@sbcglobal.net

blackcat
Guest
blackcat

does anyone know how much land cost there i was thinking about moving there i want enough for a small farm

Bernice
Guest
Bernice

Do you know anyone from the Whitmire family there?

N-Dawg
Guest
N-Dawg

My dad, howard foust, lived there. He tells great stories from this town.

Clarice Doyle
Guest
Clarice Doyle

So I learned in the last month, my great Grandfather Luther Green Embry and his wife Mae Bloom Embry lived in Skedee in the 30s and 40s. Or, at least got mail there and did business. A friend of mine's great-grandfather also lived there and owned a barber shop in Skedee. It was surprising to make this connection. Our family travels to Ingalls, Oklahoma, to the Mowery Family Reunion as often as possible. Our family names are Mowery, Hays, Bloom and Embry.

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Kyle Ripton
Guest

does anyone know how I can get in to this area and do some photo shoots with a bunch of models of mine? I just need to know my name and a phone number or contact information so that I don't cross over boundaries without permission. Thanks,
kyle Ripton 580 399 2566

Mark Sewell
Guest
Mark Sewell

My dad was born there in 1916. His younger sister who died at early age is buried there and his oldest sister attended school there. I have been there one time and it was pretty much ghost town then. Thanks for sharing.

Sue Oler
Guest
Sue Oler

While going through some of my father's belongings (he passed away in 2007), I came across a year book from 1931, Skedee, OK school. Our family was from SE Kansas…I have no idea why my father had this year book. I have looked through it, found no familiar names. There is no one left in our family to ask. From looking at the website, Skedee is now a 'ghost town'. I really hate to just throw it away, so if anyone who reads this might like the year book, please reply to this email.
Sue Oler

Jen
Guest
Jen

I have recently been investigating and visiting abandoned towns andhave become very interested in all the history. I know this is a very old post but if you still have the year book I'd love to have something like this.

calvin white
Guest
calvin white

In the 6th pic..with the screens ripped out…last window on bottom…something there….

Mimi
Guest
Mimi

Can people still visit the town??

yeng constance
Guest
yeng constance

Fantastic post . For what it's worth , people a graycookmovement FMS Score Sheet , my family saw a blank document here <code&gt ;https://goo.gl/24tgSi</code&gt;.

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

My grandparents and father are from here. Carllile's,I have heard many stories,I have pictures from 1964 at the statue with my family. We visited in 1976. I would love to hear from any relatives and share stories!

EJ Newell
Guest
EJ Newell

Thank you for this post. My grandfather was raised here, I never knew him. But seeing this brings a closeness that I appreciate very much.

Harry Keeton
Guest
Harry Keeton

I am a Historical Investigator and would love to do a story 9n this town. I do not know who to contact regarding gaining entry into this property, but, would love to visit and investigate it. We would absolutely love to interview people and do a show about Skedee. Pls contact me at 479-573-8198 or Email me at ArklahomaMinistries@Gmail.com.

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