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Collinsville History
Collinsville, The Center of It All

In the beginning, sometime during 1897, settlers from all over began to gather forming a community due to the fertile prairie and huge coal beds beneath the earth. The new settlement, approximately a mile east of today's town site, was named after respected surveyor and engineer, Dr. A.H. Collins. He was persuaded to move his post office to the new town site from his allotment located two miles north by the folks' promise to name the town after him. The Collins Post Office was established on May 26, 1897, then the name was changed to Collinsville on June 16, 1898.

According to an article in Volume 1, No. 1, of the first Collinsville News issue, dated May 11, 1899: "In accordance with the court proceedings held at Muscogee, Indian Territory Northern District, on April 1, 1899, in which the petition for incorporation of the Town of Collinsville, Indian Territory, was granted, the same bearing Hon. Judge William Springer's signature."

The Old Town moved to it's present location shortly after the Santa Fe Railroad was built during the summer of 1899. Present day Collinsville is at the intersection of hwy169 and state highway 20, and is located from 97th East Avenue to 145th East Avenue, and 126th Street North to 166th Street North. Highway 75 is four miles west of downtown.

Charley "Jack" Taylor was the first Mayor, and the first general store was established by E.B. Dunaway and A.J. Clawson, who was also the postmaster. "Uncle Rod" Perry and John Detwiler built the first business building in the new town at the northwest corner of 9th and Main; the general store and restaurant.

The greatest natural gas field in existence in the territory was opened in the early 1900's after natural gas was discovered near Collinsville. Then one of the largest brick plants in the state was established when the Coffeyville Vitrified Brick & Tile Company came to town in 1908. The plant employed 40 to 50 men at full capacity and shipped its bricks all over the United States. It was bricks from this plant that were used to pave the main streets of Collinsville in 1913, about 50 blocks, plus many of the brick buildings and homes.

In 1911 one of the early booms for Collinsville came with the smelter industry. Induced by the Chamber of Commerce, the Prime Western and Bartlesville Zinc smelters came to be located here bringing in many more people to live and work in Collinsville. We were one of the first towns in Indian Territory to have a municipally owned light and power plant. In the early boom days with a population of 8,000 many buildings were built including a three story High School in 1909, City Hall in 1913, and the Carnegie Library in 1917.

Collinsville's earliest homes were built between Walnut, Spring, 5th and 16th Streets. Eleven new subdivisions, totaling 796 lots, were added to town during the early stages of development. Many of the residences built in the early 1900's remain standing today.

Collinsville (known as "The Center of It All") celebrated its 100th birthday in 1999, and was selected for the 2000 Oklahoma Main Street program.
by Snowhawk

Appreciation for information provided by the Collinsville Historical Society, 371-3540

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Appreciation to Ivan Hersh for
this photo of his Grandad's store in 1915 Collinsville

History of the Collinsville Library (Oklahoma Libraries)
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Page Title: Collinsville, Oklahoma History

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