The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2012

April 7, 2012

Wheat, oil and ... chickens?

Agriculture, energy have large roles in Enid’s past

ENID — Oil and agriculture have played major roles in the development of Enid and northwest Oklahoma since land opened in 1893.


When farmers first settled in the Enid area and its surroundings, they planted a variety of crops such as corn, grain and sorghum. Soon they found wheat, particularly winter wheat, grew best.

By 1900, seven years before statehood, northwest Oklahoma produced more than 10 million bushels of wheat.

In 1914, Garfield County farms produced more than 6 million bushels of wheat and were setting records by 1919, when wheat rose to $2.19 per bushel.

Enid’s terminal elevators were constructed between 1925 and 1955 and had the capacity to hold half of the entire state’s wheat production. From 1926 to 1930, Enid’s grain storage capacity grew from 248,000 bushels to eight million.

In the early 1910s, Enid also boomed in poultry production. Companies such as Swift & Co. and Enid Poultry Co. were large suppliers. Money earned from distribution of chickens, turkeys and eggs was substantially more in northwest Oklahoma than other parts of the state.

A 1930 pamphlet published by Enid Chamber of Commerce said: “Enid is the largest poultry market in the United States.”

Crude beginnings

Oil production undoubtedly has been an important part of history in northwest Oklahoma, almost as long as Oklahoma has been a state.

In 1916, Garber Oil Field was discovered, with its prime years from 1916 to 1930. The field’s production peaked in 1926 with 10,920,000 barrels of crude.

By 1919, the city of Enid had four refineries, with H.H. Champlin building the city’s first in 1917. Just two years later, oil prices set records at $2.01 per barrel. By the time H.H. Champlin died in 1944, his oil company employed more than 800 people in Enid.

According to a 1930 Chamber of Commerce publication, the Tonkawa District had produced a million barrels of oil by 1930, and the Billings Field, 30 miles from Enid, was showing steady growth.

Lew Ward, founder of Enid-based Ward Petroleum, drilled his first well in the Sooner Trend, near Enid in 1963. Since that year, Ward Petroleum has drilled or participated in the production of more than 1,000 wells.

As of 2007, Oklahoma’s oil and gas firms employed more than 76,000 workers with an income of $8.9 billion. Each job in the industry supports 3.2 jobs in the wider economy.

Information provided by Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center in Enid.

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Progress 2012
  • onlineheader.jpg 2012 ON THE HORIZON

    The News & Eagle puts out an annual progress edition. This year's 2012 On the Horizon focuses on developments now and in the future. The stories in text format are available by scrolling down this page.

    Links to pdf format: Economic Development I Health and Wellness I Education I Northwest Oklahoma I Family I Faith I Agriculture and Energy I Community Service


    February 18, 2012 1 Photo

  • cover.jpg Community Service

    Enid News & Eagle's 2012 On the Horizon edition concludes with the role of community service.

    Click HERE for text version of the stories.

    Click HERE for pdf version of the edition.

    April 15, 2012 1 Photo

  • Chisholm vs Okeene_6_BV.jpg Chisholm seeks consistency

    August 19, 2012 1 Photo

  • Karen Vanover_Bass Hospital Volunteer_2_BV.jpg A positive interaction

    Karen Vanover and A.Z. Callicoat are past volunteers of the year at their respective hospitals, Vanover at Integris Bass Baptist Health Center and Callicoat at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

    April 14, 2012 2 Photos

  • Sandbox Learning Center_Ella Mae Loggins_BV.jpg Foster Grandparents: The solver of all problems

    “It’s something to get up for in the morning." — Foster Grandparent Ella Loggins

    April 14, 2012 2 Photos

  • Hedges_Carmen Ball_3_BV.jpg Hear this

    Hedges is committed to improving communications skills for those in need in northwest Oklahoma.
    Executive Director Carmen Ball said Hedges is the only full-service speech and hearing center in northwest Oklahoma.

    April 14, 2012 3 Photos

  • Stephanie Ezzell_BV.jpg Doing their part for the community

    Stephanie Ezzell is active in the community in a number of capacities, including the popular Farmers Market, on the southeast corner of Grand and Garriott.

    April 14, 2012 1 Photo

  • Keepin' Enid Green_1_BV.jpg Sorting out the service

    The curbside recycling business began after Chris Feeney of Oklahoma Employment Securities’ Material Recovery, a recycling venture, repeatedly was asked why the option wasn’t available.

    April 14, 2012 2 Photos

  • ESL_Emmanuel Baptist Church_4_BV.jpg Learning the language

    Volunteers at Emmanuel Baptist Church stepped up to fill that gap with free ESL instruction last January, and now they have hopes of expanding the program to better serve the community.

    April 14, 2012 3 Photos

  • First Presbyterian Church Mentoring_1_BV.jpg Tutoring joy

    Each Wednesday after school, church members pick up students — there are 23 in this year’s group — and take them to the church building for a snack, some fun and plenty of homework help.

    April 14, 2012 3 Photos