A Brief History of Tulsa

The area that would later become Tulsa was originally part of Indian Territory, and was first settled by the Lochapoka and Creek tribes in 1836. Their home was in the area that is now the intersection of Cheyenne Avenue and 18th Street, and they named their settlement "Tallasi," meaning "old town", which later became "Tulsa". On January 18, 1898, Tulsa was officially incorporated and elected its first mayor, Edward Calkins.

Tulsa's first oil well, named Sue Bland No. 1, was established in 1901. By 1905, the discovery of a large oil pool in the nearby town of Glenpool prompted a rush of entrepreneurs to the area's growing number of oil fields; Tulsa's population swelled over 140,000 between 1901 and 1930. For most of the 20th centuring, Tulsa was known as the "Oil Capital of the World", and the city's success in the energy industry prompted construction booms in the popular Art Deco style of the time. Profits from the oil industry continued through the Great Depression, helping the city's economy fare better than most in the United States during the 1930s.

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