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Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any other state in the country, with over 200 lakes created by dams.
Woodward County, OK, located in northwest Oklahoma, has a rich history spanning centuries. Its history dates back to the time of Native American tribes, including the Cheyenne and Arapaho. These tribes roamed the expansive plains of the county, relying on hunting and gathering for sustenance.

In the late 1800s, the area that is now Woodward County was opened for settlement through the Homestead Act of 1862. Thousands of pioneers, mainly from Texas and Kansas, flocked to this region in search of fertile land for farming and ranching. The town of Woodward was established in 1893 as a trading hub for the local population.

During the early 20th century, Woodward County witnessed the growth of its agricultural industry. Cotton, wheat, and cattle became the primary commodities in the county's economy. The discovery of oil in 1904 further boosted the local economy, leading to the establishment of oilfields and refineries. The presence of oil brought new wealth and opportunities to the county, attracting additional settlers and promoting economic development.

Tragically, Woodward County has also experienced its share of natural disasters. One of the most devastating events occurred on April 9, 1947, when a massive tornado struck Woodward, resulting in significant destruction, loss of life, and injuries. The community, however, showed resilience and rebuilt the town from the ground up, incorporating modern safety measures to mitigate future tornado risks.

Today, Woodward County continues to thrive as an agricultural and energy hub, with farming, ranching, and oil production playing vital roles in its economy. The county also cherishes its rich cultural heritage, preserving its Native American history through museums and cultural centers. With a resilient community and a diverse economy, Woodward County looks toward a promising future while honoring its past.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Woodward County, Oklahoma.

  • 1833 - The area that would later become Woodward County is part of the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Reservation following the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek
  • 1868 - The reservation is opened for settlement through the Medicine Lodge Treaty
  • 1887 - The land in the area is opened for non-Indian settlement, leading to a surge in population
  • 1893 - The town of Woodward is established as the first county seat
  • 1897 - Woodward County is officially organized and named after Brinton W. Woodward, a Santa Fe Railroad director
  • 1901 - The county seat is moved to the newly established town of Alva
  • 1907 - Woodward County becomes part of the newly formed state of Oklahoma
  • 1909 - The county seat is moved back to Woodward due to its central location
  • 1927 - Discovery of oil leads to the development of the county's oil industry
  • 1933 - The Dust Bowl hits Woodward County, causing widespread devastation
  • 1947 - The town of Mooreland is incorporated
  • 1957 - The Woodward Tornado, one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history, strikes the city, resulting in extensive damage and loss of life
  • 2000 - Woodward County celebrates its centennial