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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
W.L. Cheatham Home was among the earliest
homes in Bristow. Mr. Cheatham was city attorney begining
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)
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.
House is the former home of Norma Smallwood,
Miss America of 1925. She was the second wife of Thomas
Gilcrease of Gilcrease Museum fame.
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