Oklahoma is known as the "Sooner State" because of the land runs that occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. "Sooners" were people who snuck into the unassigned lands of the Oklahoma Territory before the official opening of the land runs. The term "Sooner" eventually became a nickname for people from Oklahoma.
Garfield County is located in north-central Oklahoma and has a rich and diverse history. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Osage and Pawnee, who relied on the rich land for hunting. In the 19th century, the land was opened up for settlement, and in 1893, Garfield County was officially established. It was named after President James A. Garfield, who was assassinated in 1881.

The early years of settlement in Garfield County were challenging, as pioneers faced harsh weather conditions and had to adapt to the prairie landscape. Agriculture became the economic backbone of the region, with wheat and cattle farming becoming prominent. The discovery of oil in the 1920s brought an economic boom to the county, and many oil wells were drilled, changing the landscape and bringing prosperity.

During the Great Depression in the 1930s, Garfield County, like many other areas, suffered economic hardships. However, the construction of the Great Salt Plains Dam in the 1930s provided employment opportunities and brought a much-needed boost to the local economy. The dam created a reservoir and recreational area, attracting visitors and helping to diversify the county's economy.

In more recent years, Garfield County has continued to thrive and diversify its economy. The county is home to Enid, the largest city in the area, which has a strong agricultural and manufacturing base. Additionally, aviation has become an important industry in Garfield County, with Vance Air Force Base and other aviation-related businesses providing significant employment opportunities. The county also boasts a rich culture, with numerous historical sites, museums, and events celebrating the area's heritage.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Garfield County, Oklahoma.

  • 1893 - Garfield County is established, named after President James A. Garfield.
  • 1894 - The county seat is established in Enid.
  • 1901 - Enid experiences an oil boom, leading to rapid growth and development.
  • 1930s - The Dust Bowl and Great Depression affect Garfield County, causing economic hardship.
  • 1941 - Vance Air Force Base is established near Enid, bringing economic stability.
  • 1950s - Garfield County's agricultural industry expands with the introduction of irrigation.
  • 1970s - Garfield County experiences an increase in manufacturing and industrial activity.
  • 1995 - The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City affects Garfield County, as many residents commute to the city.
  • 2000s - Garfield County continues to grow, diversifying its economy and investing in education and infrastructure.