The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 1, 2007

Oklahoma has a purple martin capital and it’s Enid


In 1991 Beth Lilley and I, co-workers at the News & Eagle, decided that Enid should be designated as the purple martin capitol of Oklahoma since numerous residents have lots of martin houses. With the help of Sen. Ed Long, Enid, the State Legislature granted Enid the distinction.

There are 16 states in the nation that have cities with the same designation. Griggsville, Ill., is the purple martin capitol of the United States. Southern and central United States are the ones that have the capital designations so far.

March is the time martin scouts start to appear in our part of the country. On Feb. 1, scouts were reported in San Antonio and last year they started to arrive in Enid around March 20.

As you drive around the Enid area, you will see many martin houses. I have six houses at my home and there are numerous ones in my neighborhood.

I think readers should know Oklahoma has a purple martin capital and it’s officially Enid. Most people have no knowledge of this. When Beth Lilley was a reporter for the news, there was always a story with pictures when the scouts arrived. I have informed the newspaper of the scouts, but no actin was taken. Once I went to the city council asking that March be proclaimed purple martin month and the mayor at that time seemed to think that was somewhat funny. I also asked that some small signs coming into the town be erected stating the fact that Enid is the capitol. Maybe the Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce could include it in some of their publications; especially those promoting Enid, and the newspaper might want to include it in its publications.

Jack L. Norman

Enid