KIOWA COUNTY GHOST TOWNS
This is a list of the Ghost Towns that I have run
across in the county. Some I have only their name. If you know something
about one of them, send me your info and I will include it.
ALOCAN.....located nine miles northeast of Roosevelt...T6N; R16W. there
was a post office from March 25, 1902 - July 14, 1903, Ernest T. Rehfield,
BABBS SWITCH.....six miles south of Hobart...Sec. 16, T6N, R18W. It had
a schoolhouse, grain elevator, store and filling station. The elevator
was on the railroad, and is all that remains. It belongs to the Farmers
Coop in Hobart. The school was the scene of a tragic fire, Dec. 24, 1924,
in which 36 people died, at the Christmas program for the community. Today
there is a small roadside park and memorial on the site.
BARTON....store built in 1927 by J.S Barton. located 5 miles west and
8 miles south of Hobart in the Koonkazachey school district. ...Sec 22,
T5N, R19W....This was a very active community with people living on nearly
every quarter section of land. The Barton family lived on their farm 1/4
mile north of the store and walked to work. The store handled staple groceries,
gasoline and oil, and during cotton picking season, bologna and big round
longhorn cheese were big sellers to the many cotton pickers that came
into the country. An Ice house was added and was very popular in the summer.
The store was a meeting place and entertainment center for the community
where many world problems were discussed and solved around the pot belly
stove. Dominos and checkers were the main entertainment in the winter
and some players became so expert they formed a checker team and played
match games with Lone Wolf and other towns. In the summer entertainment
was croquet and baseball. The KoonTowners had a pretty good baseball team.
BRETCH JCT.....Sec. 12, T5N, R18W
BRICE JCT.......Sec. 15, T7N, R 18W
BOBBS.............Sec. 35, T6N, R18W
BURFORD........Sec. 35, T6N, R17 W...... Present site of Mountain park,
5 miles north of Snyder. Post office was established Sept 26, 1901, named
for John H Burford, Postmaster, William B. Poole. Burford was a Trading
post for Indians and cowboys. The name was changed to Mountain Park in
1902. It's estimated that between 2,000 and 3,000 people came to Mt. park
at the opening. Many came in covered wagons, others on horseback. A rag
town sprang up, saloons, gambling houses and various other forms of vice
characteristic of early southwestern OK could be found in Mt. Park. Glenwood
Park, a 10 acre plot of ground south of town was an amusement park for
the people of southwestern Oklahoma, and in 1973, was made a part of Mt.
Park. Following the "rag town" days, the town became one of small wooden
frame buildings, about 3 times the size of present day Mt. Park.
When railroads came to Oklahoma, the Frisco was going to build through
Mt. Park, but the land owner for the site for the depot raised his price,
which angered the railroad officials, so they changed the route and went
to Snyder. The fight over moving the town to Snyder and combining the
two, was a blow to Mt. Park. Of the 48 businesses, all but 7 moved.
A few years later, a fire threatened to wipe Mt. Park off the map. It
started in the Tom Jones Hotel, a large two story building , then spread
with the south wind. The next problem with the growth of Mt. Park was
the organization of Swanson Co. Aug. 13, 1910 with Mt. Park as county
seat. Brick buildings were constructed in the business district that were
far above the average buildings in a town of the same size. In 1911, the
new county was dissolved and the area returned to Kiowa County.
BIG ELK......Sec. 10, T7N, R19W....5 miles west and 4 1/2 miles north
of Hobart. This rural community's school was built in 1901, immediately
after the new county was formed. It was a one room school, named for Big
Elk Creek which was 1/2 mile east. This was the center of community life.
There were literacy societies, singing schools and church services, box
suppers, pie suppers and sock suppers. At these, the picnic meal was packed
into a pair of men's socks (new, of course) and the man or boy who bid
on it got to keep the socks. Money raised at these events was used for
small playground equipment such as bats, balls and basketballs. Some was
saved for treats at the yearly Christmas program.
CAHILL.......Sec. 11, T6N, R19W...Cahill was located on the Rock Island
Railroad, 3 1/2 miles east of Lone Wolf. It is shown on older maps as
a town, but all Cahill consisted of was a grain elevator, the scale house
and an old wooden boxcar sitting flat on the ground with no doors to close.
The old boxcar was the waiting station, but it was used mostly for hobos
who traveled down the railroad. There were 2 homes nearby, and the hobos
went to surrounding homes asking for food. The elevator was built about
1910-11. Grain was hauled in wagons by horses and mules. When hauling
grain to the elevator, one wanted to be sure he wasn't unloading when
a train was due. The train always whistled for the crossing, and with
the commotion and noise, most teams would just not stand still while the
train went by. The passenger train quit running about 1936. Many students
rode the train to attend schools in Hobart, the fare was 10 cents.
CAMBRIDGE.....Sec. 22, T7N, R19W......A small one horse town, Cambridge
was sometimes referred to as "Dog Trot", as most of the dogs trotted on
through. By 1939, Cambridge consisted of a typical crossroads general
store, cotton gin and 2 elevators. Today, all that is left is one grain
elevator. With towns springing up all over the rolling plains of Kiowa
County, Cambridge was not destined to survive it's childhood. Lone Wolf
was close to the south, Sentinel to the north and Hobart to the southeast.
The store was also the post office, with mail being hauled in from Lone
Wolf by buggy by Doc Hensley who had bought the store and was postmaster.
Dave and Lola Gingrich ran the store for years. Practically everyone in
the area bought sodas at Gingrich's which was the community meeting and
loafing place. With the railroad running through, Cambridge was one of
the outstanding hay marketing places in the southwest. As many as 10-15
cars of hay would be shipped at a time from this small community. At times
there was wheat piled on the ground for lack of cars to ship. As long
as there was a Cambridge store, "old timers" swapped their wild tales
of early days.
CAMP RADSIMINSKI......Sec. 22, T3N, R17W.....This was a temporary fort
in the early days. The soldiers watered their horses and mules on Otter
Creek. This was on the east side of the creek, 8 miles northeast of Tipton.
It was a temporary palisade of logs constructed by Major Earl Van Dorn,
when he came from Fort Bellnap to help quell the Comanche raids against
the Mexicans and Texans. The camp was established Sept. 15, 1858. The
camp was named for Lt. Charles Radziminski who had died recently of tuberculoses
and a close friend and classmate of Major Van Dorn. Because no telegraph
or communications except by "spies" a battle was fought against the Comanche
who were camped near Rush Springs. Men rode for 36 hours on horseback,
then fought for 3, leaving 70 Comanche dead. Peace had been made between
the Comanche and Wichita, but Van Dorn did not know of this treaty. During
the battle Dorn was severely wounded but recovered. In November the camp
was moved 4 miles upstream and when grazing was exhausted, it was moved
again. to the more permanent location 4 miles northwest of Mountain Park.
There he found a sheltered cove for protection from "mothers" with grass.
water and timber. It is the only fort site in Kiowa County and is on the
national historic register.
CENTERVILLE......Sec. 21, T3N, R18W....Centerville was located in the
southwestern edge of Kiowa County, between the Wichita Mountains and the
North Fork of Red River. There was an abundance of wood water and grazing
land to attract people. From 1901-1906, many farms were settled and homesteaded
in this community. In 1904 a cemetery was established and still remains.
The first general store was named Centerville and in 1909 the first school
opened. Warren Dempsey donated the land for the school that stood at the
foot of a small mountain. The school and the mountain were named Shiloh
after the battle Mr. Dempsey was in during the Civil War.In 1913, Dr.
E. B. Hibbits came to Centerville and built his office and drug store.
Later, a lodge hall, second doctor's office, blacksmith shop, two general
stores were added. In 1906 there was a big fire and since they had no
means to fight it, most of Centerville was destroyed. Now there only remains
one concrete structure that had housed a grocery store and filling station.
Lt. Gen.Jerry Max Bunyard, USA (ret.)
Yarbro-Booher Groceries, Cold Springs, OK
Owned by Gen. Bunyard's grandfather, Donald Burgess Yarbro
COLD SPRINGS.......Sec. 21, T3N, R17W......Cold Springs was located 5
miles south of Roosevelt. Founded in 1907, nearly 6 years after most towns
in Kiowa County, it existed for a time as 2 towns, north and south. North
Cold Springs was widely known as a real estate development and recognized
as a recreation and health area. Special trains from Hobart brought hundreds
of visitors to the living springs, nature's health and pleasure resort.
A post office was established in 1905. In 1913, a nearby post office named
Mondamin had it's name changed to Cold Springs and continued in operation
at the new site until March 15, 1956. The site of Cold Springs is now
underwater at the Tom Steed Reservoir.
CONSOLIDATED 8....Consolidated 8 was the merging of 4 one room schools
in 1911, Lone Star, Olive Branch, Shiloh and Mackey. The school remained
until dwindling enrollment forced closure in 1957 and the district divided
between Mountain Park and Roosevelt. A cotton gin was built in 1928, there
were 2 stores, one near the school and one near the gin. Cotton was king
as there was a lot of good bottom land that would grow good cotton. Cotton
farmers kept dairy cattle and sold cream to finance the cotton as no one
could borrow money.The cattle fed the family bought feed and gas and paid
for cotton chopping. The gin is all that is left of the of the Con 8 community,
as it was called.
CLOVERTON.....Sec 26, T4N, R16 W... Post office began March 4 1902 and
discontinued Dec. 31, 1908 when the mail changed to Mountain Park. Postmaster
was Jacob A Willets.
DILL...Sec. 18, T6N, R19W........Present site of Lone Wolf..
EVERETT......Sec. 36, T5N, R18W....Present Babbs Switch site. A post office
was there from Aug. 3, 1903 to May 31, 1904.It was named for Everett Pate,
longtime Kiowa County Publisher.
FLAT TOP MOUNTAIN.....Located south of Lone Wolf, there is a spring on
top of this mountain that never goes dry. Because of this and the fact
it was easily defended and hard to find, made this site a favorite of
the cattle rustlers and outlaws for a hideout and a place for wanted men
to hole up. First known to have been used when the Great Western Cattle
Trail crossed Kiowa County. During a cattle drive, some always stray away,
the rustlers picked up these small bands and held them in a blind canyon
near Flat Top.
FRUIT JAR CENTER...Nestled in the foothills a few miles south and east
of Cooperton is the small community known during the depression days as
"Fruit Jar Center". A visit to this community is an unforgettable experience.
There is a warmth and empathy and an almost forgotten spirit of "love
thy neighbor" which is rarely found. It started in the 1930's. Times were
hard, money was scarce, and most of the ranchers were in debt. It is said
that at one time, every family in the community, except one, made whiskey.
Each family had it's own brand names. The name originated from the fact
they brought fruit jars in car load lots.
In the beginning all this came about in the mind of Jack Patton owner
and operator of the Mountain View grain Elevator. Jack was a born money
maker and always on the lookout for a way to make a profit. When he was
approached by a representative of a large sugar manufacturer to warehouse
sugar for distribution in this area, his mind began to figure how to make
money. The sugar company would ship to Mountain View, Jack was to off
load the cars and store. He had helped make whiskey in Kentucky as a boy
and knew the ranchers were making whiskey on the side, so all he had to
do was sell them on making it on a large scale. Jack provided the sugar,
fruit jars and other necessary items and helped make the contacts. The
stills were located in hard to find areas and each had it's own warning
system. Very few were ever caught moonshining. The water was of the highest
quality, coming from mountain springs or wells, so a good quality of whiskey
GOLDBURG.....Sec. 18, T7N, R19W.....located six miles north of Lone Wolf,
on the homestead of Thomas H Gold. He operated a country store and a post
office from Aug 3, 1903 to Oct. 31, 1903
HARDIN.....Sec. 3, T6N, R18W..... Present site of Hobart. Post office
was established July 21, 1889 and the name changed to Speed, Feb. 20,
1901. Hobart is the county seat.
HARRISON.....Sec. 22, T7N, R16W....Established Aug. 17, 1901 and name
changed to Gotebo, Feb. 25, 1904. Named for President Benjamin Harrison.
HUGHES........Sec. 32, T4N, R17W
KINNEY......Sec. 18, T2N, R17W. Kinney was located in southern Kiowa County
4 miles southeast of Snyder. A post office existed between March 12, 1902
and March 1905. The store and school were named for John Kinney who owned
and operated the general store. The post office was in the store and his
wife Rebecca was postmistress.
KIOGRE.....Southwestern Kiowa County, 3 miles northeast of Headrick. There
was a post office from May 3 1902 until March 3, 1904. The name was coined
from two counties, Kiowa and Greer.
KOMALTY...Sec. 27, T7N, R3W.... Komalty is 5 miles northeast of Hobart,
and had a post office from Dec. 6, 1901 to March 31, 1938. It was named
for Ko-mal-to, chief of a band of Kiowa Indians who had a camp nearby.
The town had a grocery store, lumberyard, coal and feed yard, cafe, doctor
and the Rock Island Depot. There were 2 grain elevators built, one owned
by C.G. Long and one owned by the Farmers Co-op. On Nov. 1, 1946, a petition
was filed in Kiowa County Court to vacate the town site and it looks much
like the surrounding farm land. All business buildings and houses have
disappeared. All that remains to show there was a thriving town is the
elevator still owned by Farmers Co-op a quarter mile south of the original
KOONKAZACHEY....Located 6 miles east of Lugert. Town site filed April
30, 1907, named for the leading Kiowa-Apache Chief, Koonkazachey, who
was a government scout. Because of his services to the government, he
was buried with military honors at the Post cemetery in Ft. Sill. Although
proposed the town itself. never developed. It was located 12 miles south
of Hobart. It was laid out over 160 acres for business and residents.
However without the prospect of a railroad and few lots sold, the town
actually died before it materialized. The school did develop and many
years of community activities were held there.
LAWRENCE... Located northeast of Hobart . The post office was established
Oct. 24, 1902 and discontinued March 4, 1904 The post office was located
in the general store, with living quarters upstairs for the owner, H.
L. Standeven. A school named for Lawrence Standeven was about a half mile
away. the school existed until 1945, when enrollment was 14 students,
who were moved to Hobart.
LUGERT...The town of Lugert was established in 1901 soon after Frank Lugert
filed his claim. It nestled at the foot of the Wichitas along the North
Fork of the Red River. Frank had come to this country as an immigrant
lad of 12. He taught himself English and proceeded to make a place for
himself in his new country. Like other 1901'ers he could tell fascinating
tales of hunting wild boar in Russia, of a trip across the Atlantic as
a small boy, logging in Wisconsin and the run into the Cherokee Strip.
There were not many dull moments in his life and but for a trick of fate
a large town today might bare his name.
The town of Lugert thrived. there were general stores, a brick bank building,
restaurants, and a population of 400-500. The general store supplied everything
needed. Saloons were there but were voted out in 1905. There was a feed
store, pool hall that served as a dance hall, meat market, lumberyard,
blacksmith shop, Hotel, Gin, drug store, and 2 dry goods stores.
But that was before the twister of 1912. It was about noon when the twister
moved in from the southwest and when it was gone, most of the town was
The town never did build back, the post office closed in 1950 and now
Lugert is under the waters of Lake Altus, although locals still call it
LETTICE....Post office, Feb. 23 1904, James W. Smith postmaster. The order
establishing the post office was rescinded March 8, 1904 and the office
was never in operation.
MANFRED.....Sec. 22, T2N, R17W....Store and post office 5 miles from Snyder.
The post office was established April 12, 1902 and mail came from Mountain
Park three times a week. The home, store and post office of the store
owner, Post master, I.E. Davis burned and the post office was discontinued
Feb. 25, 1905.
MAYNUS......Post office established April 23, 1902, John W. Adams postmaster.
The order establishing this post office was rescinded July 22, 1902, so
it was never in operation.
MAYO.....Sec. 26, T5N, R20W...A rural town site north of Barton. Town
site plat filed Sept. 30, 1942, named for Clarence E. Mayo, Hobart businessman
and deputy county treasurer. Never developed.
MONDAMIN.....Sec. 31, T4N, R17W...Mondamin was located 5 miles south and
one mile east of present Roosevelt. Post office was established July 24,
1903 with Dr. J. Clay Adams, a dentist, as postmaster. The town was plated
and filed about 1905. It never developed. There was a grocery store, shoe
repair shop, cotton gin and Star Valley School. The store was in operation
until about 1909 when South Cold Springs came into being and the store
moved there. Several houses were built and the town was a "whistle stop"
on the Frisco Railroad. The post office was moved to South Cold Springs
and the name changed Jan 27, 1913. Today, nothing remains to mark the
site of this once prosperous farming community.
MULLINS.......Six miles west of Mountain Park. It had a post office from
Nov. 11, 1903 to Aug. 13, 1904. Mail was changed to Mountain Park.
OAKDALE....Sec. 2-11, T7N, R15W... Present site of Mountain View in northeastern
Kiowa County. The post office was established Oct. 14, 1893 and the name
changed to Mountain View, Oct. 9, 1900.
ODETTA......Sec. 12, T2N, R16W....Odetta is located in the southeast part
of Kiowa County, close to the Wichita Mountains and 6 miles east of Snyder.
The tracks of the Frisco railroad Which runs from Chickasha to Quanah
Texas, came through in 1902. There was a post office put in by Lee Dunn
just north of the railroad section house and named for his daughter Odetta.
The first store was built in 1903 and the post office moved there. The
first school was held in the 10 x 14 half dugout 1 14 miles west of Odetta
owned by a widow with one child. There were 7 students and each paid $1.00
per month for the teachers salary. In 1903 the first school house was
built. The Sunday School began in the home of Mr. and Mrs. R. K. Moss
in 1902 and later moved to the Odetta School house.
OLDHAM.....Sec. 7, &4N, R17W
PUEBLO.....April 17, 1903. Samuel Combs, Postmaster, The appointee declined
the order establishing the office and it was rescinded July 16, 1903 and
was never in operation.
RAINY.....Sec. 13, T6N, R16W... Three miles south of Gotebo. A post office
existed from April 28, 1894 until May 15, 1905. Name was taken from the
nearby Rainy mountain Indian Mission.
RICHLAND STORE......Sec. 15, T3N, R16W
SADDLE MOUNTAIN.....Sec. 31, T5N, R16W......Located 16 miles south of
Mountain View near the south edge of the Kiowa County line. Store was
a small general store and a fourth class post office. Some customers came
to the store at 5 or 6 A.M. as they started their days work, others stayed
till midnight. Domino games near the big coal heater in the winter were
a big part of life there. The store went out of business about 1956.
SEDAN.... Sec. 23, T6N, R16W....A store and post office were established
by William Nathaniel Columbus Athens Fox on his claim and suggested the
name of Sedan. The post office was established Dec. 29, 1902. THe first
modern concrete block building was a church built by Sherman Chaddlesone.
The Elmwood Cemetery was started in 1903-4. Other stores were built and
the telephone showed up about 1912. In 1913 the post office was moved
one mile east of Sedan and went out in 1933-34. Progress put Sedan into
SEIG....T3N, R18W... Located 7 miles southwest of Roosevelt. A post office
existed from Sept. 4, 1902 till Aug. 31, 1904.
SIMS.....T3N, R18W....Located 7 miles southwest of Roosevelt, there was
a post office from Feb. 17, 1902 - June 30, 1904. The mail came from Mountain
SPILMAN....Sec. 1, T3N, R18W.... Post office opened Sept. 19, 1902 and
closed July 14, 1904. Mail was changed to Mountain Park.
STOKES...Sec. 17, T5N, R14W...
SVOBODA......Sec. 23, T3N, R17W... A rural community 3 miles north of
Snyder. Named for long time local resident, Frank Svoboda.
TAYLOR....Sec. 35, T2N, R17W
TOKIO.....T6N, R15W...Located 6 miles southeast of the present town of
Gotebo. A post office was established Sept. 27, 1901 with James A Simmons.
postmaster. The history of Tokio, the Indian Trader's Store and Boake's
Store are all interwoven with the Rainy Mountain Indian School , which
had been established by the government on an area of land covering 3 square
miles, including Rainy Mountain. A wagon peddler, R.D. Wood was the first
licensed Indian trader and established a store just east of Rainy Mountain
School in 1901. The Indians called the store Tokio, taken from a Kiowa
word, Tow-ky-awy, meaning long building and was given because the store
and post office was housed in a building 125 ft. long.The post office
was discontinued Jan 31, 1905 and mail was delivered from Gotebo.The store
carried general merchandise, Indian shawls, blankets, harnesses, saddles
and notions of sorts. The store was bought by Corwin Boake and operated
for many years. In 1917, a tornado destroyed the store and the Boake's
home, but they rebuilt. The store was robbed in 1930 by 2 bandits and
were never caught. The store closed in 1935.
WILDMAN.....Sec. 22, T4N, R17W......The last great gold rush east of the
Rockies, happened happened at Wildman, located at the head of Otter Creek
4 miles southeast of the present town of Roosevelt. Wildman was the overnight
place for the lawless. Gambling, drinking and fighting went on day and
night. Some of the names of the more famous citizens were "Nine Fingers",
"Scandalous John", Sam Bibe, Joe Johnson, Carle Zerkle, H. Foster, who
was a government claim jumper, and Judge Fox, a former probate Judge in
Canadian Co. It was established illegally on Indian land by Frank Wildman
and Elisha Williams. In a few weeks it had grown to over 300 miners and
prospectors. The post office was established almost a year before the
Reservation was opened. Saloons and gambling houses, 2 grocery stores,
2 blacksmith shops, a general store, an eating joint, a drug store,4 assayers
offices, a smelter, mining company offices and a 2 story hotel developed.
This was a wild west, hard shooting, tough mining town. Though the "gold
fever" was great, the federal government decided the ore could not be
marketed, and a railroad would be farther away, caused Wildman to be abandoned,
much to the benefit of the homesteaders in the area.
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by Ethel Taylor and remains the property of the
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