town has its stories and Bristow is no exception.
Here's a few we've heard. Check back often because
we're always collecting more! Got a story? Send it
to us at email@example.com
This famous cowboy crooner lived in Bristow for a
time and worked as a telegrapher at the Frisco Depot
which now houses the Bristow Chamber of Commerce.
He was later transferred to Sapulpa. While working
at a Frisco station in Chelsea, Autry was accidentally
discovered by Will Rogers as Rogers passed through
and noticed Autry's guitar and asked Autry to play
a tune to pass the time while awaiting the next train.
Rogers was so impressed he mentioned Autry on his
national radio show and from there Autry had his ticket
Hamburger King on Route 66 at the corner of Main and
4th Street was the favorite haunt of Bob Wills and
the Texas Playboys when touring between Oklahoma City
and Tulsa. Russ' Ribs is now housed in these famous
walls and brings a fame of its own with barbeque that's
raved about up and down Route 66.
The Lake Mesina Amphitheater was built by the CCC
and the NYA in 1937, one of the first youth projects
completed. Eleanor Roosevelt came to Bristow to dedicate
the project in March 1937. (Taken from Bristow
History Tour brochure)
Miss America of 1925
The spanish-style Smallwood House on 4th Street as
it turns into Roland Street is the former home of
Norma Smallwood, Miss America of 1925. She was the
second wife of Thomas Gilcrease of Gilcrease Museum
fame. (Taken from Bristow
History Tour brochure)
Charles Arthur Floyd, known by such names as "Pretty
Boy Floyd" "Choctah" or "Choc",
frequented these parts, purportedly to see a notable
local doctor who is surmised by some to have discretely
treated the outlaw element. Floyd robbed the bank
of nearby boom town Shamrock, and was seen casing
the Depew Bank from the Post Office, though he never
American "populist" political leader that
ran for presidency many times but failed, William
Jennings Bryan was in Bristow, OK at the Frisco Depot
in 1908. Eventually, the nation adopted many of the
reforms he urged—the income tax, popular election
of Senators, woman suffrage, public knowledge of newspaper
ownership, and prohibition. (Credit: http://www.bartleby.com/people/Bryan-Wi.html)
Bryan was noted for his "Cross
of Gold" speech. "You shall not
press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns,
you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold"
(Full text of speech can be found at http://www.micheloud.com/FXM/MH/Crime/crossof.htm#Speech)
Harry S. Truman
Harry Truman delivered a whistle stop speech here
(at Bristow's Frisco Depot) while campaigning. (Taken
History Tour brochure)
This highly acclaimed very influential folksinger
moved to Bristow in 1948 when he was ten and graduated
from Bristow High. See his complete info at Tom
This author of "A Bad Attitude: A Novel from
the Vietnam War" humbly considers himself only
"almost famous". He lived with his parents
on a dairy farm north of town and went to Edison Elementary
from 1951-1955, until moving away to the Pacific Northwest
when he was ten. To this day
he has many pleasant memories of what he considers
his "home town".
A copy of his novel is in the Bristow Library and
is soon to be a major motion picture. For details,
Bristow has more brick roads than any other Oklahoma
Bristow started in 1897 as a trading post on Creek
land in Indian Territory and was known as the "Woodland
Queen". The town was founded in
1901 and named after J.L. Bristow, Asst Postmaster
In its early days, Bristow was the largest cotton
shipping center in Creek County, and the marketing
center of the farming country thirty miles square.
This earned it the reputation as the biggest Saturday
town in the State of Oklahoma. Few Saturdays passed
without street congestion in Bristow.
First Radio Station
Bristow was the site of Oklahoma’s first radio station,
KRFU “The Voice of Oklahoma;” which was renamed KVOO
and moved to Tulsa in 1927.
In March 1889 C. O. Crane, a general merchant from
Sapulpa, established the first general store near
the northwest corner of what was later to become the
intersection of 6th and Main Streets. In was in this
house on August 11, 1889 that his daughter, Bessie
Crane, was born. She was the first white child born
in Woodland Queen.
Investigation at Depot Museum
On August 26, 2006, members of OKPRI (www.okpri.com)
did an investigation at the historical Depot Museum
at 1 Railroad Place. The group's psychic, OKPRI founder
and director, Christy Selfridge, indicated that she
picked up on two impressions or residuals that could
be attached to some of the donated items in the museum
and one intelligent. She explained that an intelligent
is a spiritual being that has the capability to interact
and communicate while residuals are like a point in
time that replays like watching a movie.
One residual was detected in the
south end of the museum and was of a young couple
in their twenties arguing. Selfridge believes they
were perhaps man and wife from the early 1940s and
the man was leaving her and she was begging him to
stay. The other residual happened in the north end
of the depot and was again a couple but with darker
skin, perhaps African American or Native American
descent. The man, approximately late 30s or early
40s, was angry over either word or deed that he felt
was an injustice and his smaller, lighter complected
wife, or female companion was attempting to calm him
down and get him to think before he acted.
The intelligent, however, was
a middle aged man that Selfridge indicated was pacing
agitatedly in the mid portion of the depot. He was
clean shaven, light brown hair, denim overalls and
a light colored cap that was flat on the top perhaps
from the 60s era. He was sullen and wouldn’t speak
with her but she sensed he didn’t appreciate all the
bustle and intrusion and preferred the quiet and wanted
everyone to leave. He paced continually watching the
investigation. Selfridge said though he was resentful
of the intrusion, he was not a spirit to be feared
and would cause no harm. That he was merely territorial
or protective of his domain. The woman who works at
the Depot Museum has dubbed him "Charlie".
If ever you are in the neighborhood, be sure to stop
by and tell Charlie hello.
Big Foot Sighting
In 1977, Big Foot sightings were reported in Vici,
OK. Shortly thereafter, search parties were formed
after similar sightings of an unidentified creature
were reported in eastern Oklahoma near Bristow and
Stilwell. Nothing was found. (Click
here for more details on this and other Big Foot
On 5/15/74 at 13:00, an object
appeared for 5 Minutes. It was described as large,
drab color, enormous, cigar shaped, no appendages
on craft. Moving at moderately fast speed, (faster
than any blimp could}. (Click
here for more details on this and other Oklahoma
When an elderly woman that resided on Pecan street
became too feeble to live on her own, her son moved
her into a trailer house near his home in Sapulpa.
A former neighbor reports that shortly thereafter,
the woman was found in a chair severely burned with
no damage to either the chair or the trailer house.
The neighbor further reported that unfortunately,
the poor woman lingered a few days in the hospital
before passing on. What could possibly have caused
such an injury? Was this a case of spontaneous combustion?
A local Bristowan took photographs of some roadside
ruins and had quite a start when pictures were in
hand. A curious mist appeared in several shots. Was
it a gust of her frosty breath on a cold morning captured
by the camera, flaw of the lens, or something else?
You be the judge whether it is "ghost",
"gust" or "goof". Click
here to view the photos.
Oklahoma has more miles of Route 66 run through it
than any of the eight states that it crosses through.
Originally 412 (or 420 depending on where you get
your facts), after many straightenings, today there
is 370 miles.
Of the 370 miles presently running through Oklahoma,
Creek County has the lions share with 158.51 miles.
Miles in Bristow
Of the 158.51 miles of Route 66 in Creek County, roughly
14 to 18 miles of it is in the Bristow zip code area,
starting at the old Heyburn Trading Post area to Gypsy
Crossing near Depew.
Route 66 in
Bristow City Limits
Bristow's Main Street is Route 66 beginning on its
East end and running down its middle to 4th Street
where it turns and runs a jag on to Roland Street
where it leads out of town. That stretch is approximately
2.3 miles long.
An ordinance requiring the serving of one peanut with
each glass of water at all public cafes and eating
houses within the City of Bristow, Oklahoma.
Be it ordained by the Mayor and Councilmen
of the City of Bristow, Oklahoma: