Owasso, Oklahoma

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Owasso is a city in Rogers and Tulsa counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, and a northern suburb of Tulsa. The population was 18,502 at the 2000 census. Since 2000 the population has grown to 35,703.



Owasso is located at 36°17′25″N 95°49′43″W / 36.29028°N 95.82861°W / 36.29028; -95.82861 (36.290373, -95.828640)[3]. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area a of 10.1 square miles (26.0 km²).99.9% of it is land and 0.10% is water.


Owasso began as a settlement in 1881, located in the Cooweescoowee District of the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory, near what is now 66 th Street North and North 129th East Ave. It was called Elm Creek, and was named for Elm Creek, a tributary of Bird Creek. The first settler was H.T. (Tole) Richardson. In June 1893, plans began to be made for a rail line to be extended south from Bartlesville to the cattle ranches in the vicinity of Bird Creek. At that time there were already several residences, a blacksmith shop, and a general store in the Elm Creek Settlement. Preston Ballard, owner of the general store, established a post office in the general store on February 10, 1898 and was appointed the first postmaster. The Joseph T. Barnes family moved to the settlement in 1897. Joseph and Luther Barnes bought the blacksmith shop in 1898.

In 1897, the Kansas, Oklahoma Central & Southwestern Railway Company acquired right-of-way approximately three miles northwest of the Elm Creek Settlement, dammed a natural spring to form a lake as a water supply for the rail line, & built a depot about a mile south of the lake. The depot was torn down in 1942. Late in 1898, Joseph & Luther Barnes moved their blacksmith shop to the new community. The shop became a temporary home for the Joseph Barnes family. It was the first residence officially moved to the new depot community. During 1898, many of the residents and businesses moved from the Elm Creek Settlement to the new community. Preston Ballard moved his post office and general store during that time. The new community became known as Elm Creek, since the post office retained its name.

The railroad completed its line in 1899. Its parent company, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company, took over the line and property. The first train came into Elm Creek on November 1, 1899. As the land around the end of this railroad developed, the Osage Indian word Owasso , meaning “the end” or “turn around”, was adopted to identify the area because the rail line ended in a turnaround “Y” near the depot. The name of the Elm Creek post office was officially changed to Owasso on January 24, 1900. The rail line was not extended into Tulsa until 1905.

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