Town Tour

 

This information is from the Bristow Chamber of Commerce Bristow History Tour brochure. Click here to download a PDF version of this brochure.

Bristow History Tour

This GUIDE lists 37 buildings and places of historical interest within the city limits of Bristow. Historical building names are used for identification with current names or principal occupants contained in parenthesis.

Before 1896, the area around what is now Bristow was occupied by the Creek Indians. In 1896, however, the Indians took allotments and gave up part of their land for white settlement. The land could not actually be sold but a deed for possession or a leasehold from a Creek Indian could be obtained. In 1897, the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad began the extension of its rail from Sapulpa to Oklahoma City. This was the real beginning of Bristow, and a small trading post was established at this time.

In 1898, Bristow was granted a post office; the first mail was delivered to Bristow on May 30, 1898.


Click map to view larger version
(map from Bristow Chamber brochure "Bristow History Tour")

1. The McSoud Building (1922) was operated as a drug store on the ground floor with a barber shop and a pool hall in the basement. The upstairs was reportedly the first "modern" hotel with up-to-date plumbing.

2. The House of Charm (Coyote Computer) Building (1904-10) was the "cheap theatre" in 1910. It was powered by a gasoline engine and a small dynamo in the basement.

3. Bowman Dry Goods (D&D Office) Building (1902-04) was constructed as retail stores. It is one of the earliest commercial structures still standing.

4. The Stone (Western Auto) Building (1906) was the first brick commercial building in Bristow. A.H. Stone, "the Hardware Man", continued business here for over fifty years.

5. The Modern Hotel (McKay Carpet) Building (1920-23) was built as a hotel for attorneys who came to Bristow on circuit to try cases and for the oilfield workers who worked on the wells. When the oilfield workers rented the rooms, they were rented three times a day as the shifts changed.

6. The R.S. House (Brace's now Root's) Building (late 1920's) was first used as an aeronautical school. Later it was leased to Montgomery Ward's and J.C. Penney's. House was an early settler who made his fortune selling farm implements. Mrs. House headed the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and led a big prohibition movement.

7. The Firestone (Mounce's now Jack's) Building (1924-29) was built as a gasoline service station and has not been changed greatly since that time. Note the unusual brickwork.

8. The R.L. Jones (Auction House) Building (1922) was built by the Jones family as their corporate offices. The first floor held their offices as well as one of the first radio stations in the state - KFJK. The upper floors were family living quarters and there was a large ballroom for entertaining.

9. The Creek Masonic Building (1918) was a gift from B.B. Jones and is still in use as a Masonic Lodge today. During World War I, B.B. Jones reportedly had $2,000,000 in Liberty Bonds.

10. The Bristow Motor Co/List Motor Supply (Bolin Ford) Building (1923) was the first building in the block. A unique Model "T" Ford tire and wheel motif adorns the four corners of the building. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

11. The Bristow Library Building (1923). The Culture Club started the Library in 1912 with 5 cents per month dues. The interior has original wood floors, brick fireplace, and beautiful curved wooden check-out counter.

12. The Dial-Carman (Star Video) Building (1920-23). An art deco style building, the ground floor was first occupied by the Katz Department Store and later Safeway. Upstairs offices with fine marble details, were occupied by several oil companies, Sinclair, Gulf, Kirchner, and Frierson and lawyers and dentist.

13. Bristow Record (Daylight Donuts, now Krackers) Building (1904-10) was originally a general store. In 1920 it housed the Bristow Record, the first long term newspaper.

14. The First National Bank (Tim Johnson, Atty) Building (1917). Originally the Farmers-Merchants Bank, it became the First National Bank in 1902. The bank failed in 1928, reportedly a result of the oil boom/bust.

15. The Abraham (Blue Front) Building (1902) was the first commercial building built by Syrian immigrant merchant, Joe Abraham. It was one of the first permanent structures built on the townsite.

16. Coppedge Drug (Sister Act, now Purple Penguin) (1903). One of the oldest permanent structures still standing, this building was constructed and in business by 1903 when Dr. B.T. Coppedge established his drug store.

17. Farmers State Bank (Express Personnel) (1910) was built on the site of the Conger Opera House that burned in 1909. The third floor was used as a hospital during a World War I Spanish flu epidemic. The building was occupied by OG&E for many years.

18. Gillespie Home (House Unique) (1901). This brick residence was built by T.W. Hendricks who had built four brick houses in a row on 4th Street, then known as Brick Row. Ullyses Grant and Eva Gillespie bought the home in 1901. The bricks on the house were made in Bristow.

19. Bristow Floral Co. (Bristow Flower Shop) (1920-23) was used for offices for the Bristow Floral Co. The building has always been a floral business.

20. Bristow Train Depot (1923-29). The granting of a post office and the promise by the Frisco Railroad to establish a depot in 1898 were two of the important factors in establishing Bristow as a permanent city. Cotton, peanuts, and oil were all shipped from Bristow. William Jennings Bryan was here in 1908. Harry Truman delivered a whistle stop speech here while campaigning, and Gene Autry was once employed at the depot.

21. Roland Hotel (1923) was built by A.A. Rollestone and C.L. Freeland, two pioneer oilmen. This hotel building was the home of radio station KFRU, which later became KVOO, founded by Edwin H. Rollestone. In 1927 passenger elevators were installed. At one time, Gene Autry broadcast a radio show from this building.

22. U.S. Post Office (1935). On April 25, 1898, Joseph Little Bristow, a U.S. Senator from Kansas, helped obtain permission for a post office in Bristow. The present building was built to replace the outdated post office on East 8th Street and has remained unchanged since its construction.

23. The Bottling Plant (Pecan and Ag) Building (1926) was constructed by Joe Abraham for use as a Dr. Pepper bottling plant. It was a pecan shelling plant in the 1950's. The sugar bins of the bottling plant are still in place.

24. The Joe Abraham Home (1903) was built of native sandstone for Mr. Abraham, his wife and five children. His first commercial building on Main Street is built of the same sandstone which was mined locally. Mr. Abraham was instrumental in the development of commerce in Bristow, having built several of the first commercial buildings in the town.

25. American Legion-Klingensmith Post (1932) was named for Peter Klingensmith who was the first Bristow man killed in World War I. The $75,000 structure was build by R.L. Jones to provide work for local people and was presented to the city as a gift.

26. The former Bristow High School Building (1924) was reportedly built at a cost of $130,000. For many years Bristow also operated a junior college in this building.

27. The Christian Church (1920) was one of the oldest congregations in Bristow, having their first church building east of Main street on 9th in 1899. It was reportedly the first church building in Bristow.

28. The Presbyterian Church (1922). The Presbyterian Church was organized in 1917 and originally occupied a frame building to the west of the current church. This church, designed by Scottish pastor Dr. Thomas Murray, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Notice the beautiful Tiffany windows.

29. St. George Episcopal Church (1903). This High Victorian Gothic style church building was built on Creek Indian land by a wealthy Englishman, Thomas Cundy. The pews and organ still inside, which were already old in 1903, were donated by churches in Oklahoma City and Chandler.

30. St. Joseph Catholic Church (1924) was formed in 1903 when they first met in homes. In 1927 St. Joseph's opened a school in the building.

31. Albert Kelly, Sr. Home (1903) was purchased from Clad Purdy. It was occupied by bachelors Clad Purdy, Albert Kelly and Ed Rollestone.

32. The Jones Estate was the home of Mrs. Allie Brown Jones, widow of Montfort Jones who was a pioneer oil man. Their first family home, a large two storey sandstone building, was across the streed and dismantled after Mr. Jones' death. A charitable trust fund was set up after Mrs. Jones' death and continues to fund many improvement projects for the city of Bristow.

33. The W.L. Cheatham Home was among the earliest homes in Bristow. Mr. Cheatham was city attorney begining in 1904.

34. Relvue-R.L. Jones Home (1917). R.L. Jones along with his brothers Montfort and B.B. were significant contributors to the growth of Bristow. R.L. first came here in 1903 and was Creek County Treasurer prior to being involved in the oil business. The home had a private pool and tennis courts and is still owned by a member of the Jones family. (Across Hwy, North of Walmart)

35. The Amphitheater (1937) was built by the CCC and the NYA, one of the first youth projects completed. Eleanor Roosevelt came to Bristow to dedicate the project in March 1937.

36. Smallwood House is the former home of Norma Smallwood, Miss America of 1925. She was the second wife of Thomas Gilcrease of Gilcrease Museum fame.

37. Washington School sits on the site of the original high school built in 1903. Steps and a hitching post from the original school are still visible. (At First St and Poplar)


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Visit Bristow, OK on Historic Route 66
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