Between 2,000 and 3,000 people came to Mountain Park at the opening of the Kiowa Comanche Apache Reservation in 1901. Many came in wagons bringing their families, others came on horseback, and a ragtown sprung from the prairie. Saloons, gambling houses and other vices characteristic of frontier times were found there.

This "tent town" became one of wooden buildings, businesses, homes, and a school. With the possiblity of the Oklahoma City and Southwestern railroad coming through the south end of Kiowa County, hope was great that it would be the nucleus to build the town on.

The railroad requested a bonus of cash as well as a quarter section of land adjoining the town to build their depot and buildings on. Arrangements were made to purchase the required 160 acres from Sol Bracken for $6,000.00 and turn it over to the railroad to use. It seemed certain that it would pass through Mountain Park.

As Sol Bracken watched the town and the railroad, he became convinced the railroad would have to come through his property which he could sell for any price he asked. He thought the original price was too small so doubled he price, which angered the railroad officials, so they decided to change the route and obtained land at Snyder to the south.

Then came the fight to move the town to Snyder and consolidate the two, was a blow to Mountain Park. Loss of businesses and population caused much hard feelings. Of the 48 businesses in town when the conflict began, all but 7 were moved. To stop the migration to Snyder, the only bridge across Otter Creek was burned.

Those that stayed began the progress of Mountain Park. A. Moffett, a Scotts contractor, built the first brick building in 1907. A few years later a fire threatened to wipe away the town. The fire started in the Tom Jones Hotel, a large two story frame building. With fire equipment at the time, nothing could be done to prevent the building from being destroyed. A south wind blew the fire across the street and burned a 50x100 foot bank building, L. P. (Dob) Lorance's real estate office, Bearden and Burns offices and the post office.

In August, 1910, the south part of Kiowa County wanted to secede and become Swanson County, with Mountain Park as the county seat. Prospects for the little town at that time were very good. Brick buildings were constructed and prosperity seemed at hand. The fight between Snyder and Mountain Park was finally resolved in the disorganization of the county in June 1911, and it became again a part of Kiowa County.

Today, Mountain Park is still a small community .

Copyright, 1998-2003

NOTICE: Ethel Taylor grants that this information and data may be used by non commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material, for personal and genealogical research. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit, can not be copied over to other sites, linked to, or other presentation without written permission of Ethel Taylor.

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