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A of Tulsa Annexation - The Tulsa City History.pdf · PDF fileA History of Tulsa Annexation ... “There is no Mason‐Dixon line between Tulsa and Red Fork now,” said Judge...

Aug 19, 2018

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  • ProjectedUrbanizedArea,UniversityofOklahomaUrbanDesignStudio

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  • AcknowledgementsAcknowledgementsMostofthe information inthisreport isdrawnfromTULSATRIBUNEandTULSAWORLDnewsarchives,compiledby theresearchstaffof theTulsaCityCountyLibrary.The covermap of the projected urbanized area in the Tulsa region isreprinted bypermission of theUniversity ofOklahomasUrbanDesignStudio.The2004MetropolitanTulsaAreaCorporateLimitsmap isprovidedbytheIndianNationCouncilofGovernments(INCOG).

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  • ContentsContentsIntroduction ............................................................................................................................................. 5

    fromasmalltribaltowntoasprawlingmodernAmericancity1900to1940............................................................................................................................................... 6

    TulsahasbeencalledtheMagicCity.TulsaisalsoaMagneticCity.1940to1950............................................................................................................................................... 9

    Aprogressive,wideawakecommunitythathadalotontheballasanindividualtown...becameapartofTulsaafewdaysago.

    1950through1965.................................................................................................................................. 10

    Tulsahasbeenoutgrowingitscitygovernmentsteadilyinrecentyears.1966 .......................................................................................................................................................... 14

    Ifthisisanannexationwar,thenitwillbeclearthatTulsadidnotfirethefirstshot.1967through1972.................................................................................................................................. 21

    Togetwatertotheseareasthatarefarbeyondpresenturbandevelopment,thecostswouldbestaggering.

    1973 ......................................................................................................................................................... 23

    Theactionwashailedasawaytobringaboutplanned,orderlydevelopmentandtobalancethecitygrowthpatternbyheadingawayfromthesoutheasternsprawl.

    1974to1980............................................................................................................................................. 26

    Ifthecityistopursueabalancedgrowthphilosophy,thenthispolicymustbetranslatedintoaction.

    11998800ttoo11999900............................................................................................................................................. 29

    Westillhaventcoveredour****onwhatweannexedin66.11999900ttootthheepprreesseenntt ................................................................................................................................ 32

    Howdoyouserveamicrochipplantifitcomes?CertainlythetownofFairOakswouldntbeabletodoit.

    CCoonncclluussiioonn ............................................................................................................................................. 33

    AppendixTulsaAnnexationNewsArchives,1947Present

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  • Figures:

    CityofTulsa,LandArea,19002004 CityofTulsaPopulation,18821940 CityofTulsa,LandArea,19001940 CityofTulsa,LandArea,19001965 1966AnnexationAreaMap CityofTulsa,TotalLandArea,19001970 MetropolitanTulsaAreaCorporateLimits,2004

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    Landareadatafromthe1940stothepresentwereprovidedbyCityofTulsaPublicWorksDepartment,

    PlanningDivision;informationfrom1900to1940isfromTulsaAreaNow50TimesasLargeas60YearsAgo,TULSATRIBUNE,Oct.13,1961.

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  • AAHHiissttoorryyooffTTuullssaaAAnnnneexxaattiioonn

    TTulsa began as a Creek tribal town (one of three Tallassee towns in theMuscogeeNationwest of theMississippi). Itsmodern identity, however, istraced to 1879 and the establishment of a post office on the ponymail routethroughIndianTerritory.1Inlessthanacentury,fueledbyanimmensenaturalwealthofoil,Tulsawouldgrowfromasmalltribaltown,toarailroadcampoftentsandcrudebuildings,totheOilCapitaloftheWorld,andasprawlingmodernAmericancity.In 1882, Tulsa had a population of about 200. By the time the town wasincorporated, on January 18, 1898, its population had grown to 1,100.2 But,Tulsas early development was just a prelude to the explosive growth thatfollowedthediscoveryofoilatRedForkin1901.

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    1882 1898 1907 1910 1920 1930 1940

    CityofTulsaPopulation,18821940

    Population

    Tulsaspopulationgrew tonearly20,000by1910, tomore than70,000by1920,andwoulddoubleyet againby 1930. In 1930, just threedecades after itwasincorporated,Tulsawashometomorethan140,000people.3

    1NinaDunn,TulsasMagicRoots:AnEarlyHistoryofTulsa,57(Okla.BookPub.Co.1979);AngieDeboetal,WPAGuideto1930sOklahoma,206(U.PressofKan.1986).2Dunnat8,1821.3Id.at57;Deboetalat206;U.S.CensusBureau(www.census.gov).

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  • Fornearly70years,Tulsawasadenselypopulatedcity. As lateas1960,whilejust the 49th largest city by population, Tulsa was the 19th most denselypopulatedlargecityinthecountry.Thecityheldover260,000peopleinalandareaofjust50squaremiles(aboutaquarterofTulsascurrentlandarea).4Thefundamentalcompositionofourcitywouldchange,however,inthespringof 1966. Confronted with ambitious and fastgrowing suburbs, city leaderswouldmake a fatefuldecision to tripleTulsas landarea ina single sweepingannexation.ThatdecisionwouldsetTulsascourseforthenexthalfcentury,tothepresentday.ThehistoryofTulsaslandexpansionfromjustafewacrestonearly200squaremiles is one of variously conservative and aggressive policies, occasionallydramatic confrontationswith surrounding communities, and nearconstant reassessmentofthecostsandbenefitsofcityservices.

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    Eventhoughtodayweconsiderapointatadistanceoftenmilesormorefromdowntown as being in the city, early Tulsans did not consider even a shortdistanceofamileorlesstobewithinthecitylimits.Intheveryearlyyearsevenashorttwoorthreeblockswasconsideredbythemasbeinginthecountry.5Thatperceptionbegan tochangesoonafter thediscoveryofoilatRedFork, in1901.Thecity,whichbeganasatownofjust1squaremilesin1900,morethandoubledinsize,to3squaremiles,by1910.6Tulsagrewso fast, in fact, thatby1916 local leadershadbegun towonder justhowbigacityshouldbe.

    Thesmallcityof200,000peoplemaybeandusuallyisjustascapableinallthatacityaffordsitsinhabitantsasinthecityof2,000,000. Citiesof

    4TulsaAreaNow50TimesasLargeas60YearsAgo,TULSATRIBUNE,Oct.13,1961.5Dunnat57.6TulsaAreaNow50TimesasLargeas60YearsAgo,TULSATRIBUNE,Oct.13,1961.

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  • 200,000usuallyhaveasgoodawatersupplyandasgoodsewageasdocities of 2,000,000, their people get from job towork as quickly, theirstreetsareascleanandwellpaved, theirhousingandsanitationareasgood. Where then is the advantage in great size? Is it educationaladvantages,opportunitiesforamusementorsociallifeoractivity?Everyone knows that in none of these things does the small city deny itsinhabitantsanymaterialadvantagehadbytheinhabitantsofalargecity.Whyshouldcitiesviewithoneanothertoattainsize?Sizemerelymakesacitynomorefittoserveitsinhabitants.7

    Thatconservativeoutlook,however,soongavewaytooptimisticexpectationsofgrowth. When asked in 1925 by the TULSAWORLD about his predictions forTulsasgrowth,cityfatherJ.M.Hallreplied,

    My,my,my,thereisntanytellinghowbigTulsawillbe25yearsfromnowifitkeepsgrowinglikeithas,increasing10,000populationayear.With theChamber ofCommerceprogram of advertising this city andwith big industries beginning to come in, the growth is unlimited. Ithinkhalfamillionpopulationfor1950isaconservativeestimate.8

    One ofTulsasmostprominent early annexations occurred in the fall of 1927,whenRedForkofficiallybecameapartofTulsa.

    Tulsashistory is lacedwith storiesof the strong competitionbetweenTulsa andvarious otherhamlets in the area, especiallywith regard toRed Fork. The rivalry between Tulsa and Red Fork grew especiallysteamyforatimebutwasshortlived,forTulsaspromoterswerenottobeoutdone.9

    On October 16, 1927, nearly a thousand people gathered for the annexationceremonies.Ironically,theannexationoccurredatRedForksrequest.Someof

    7Reprinted inTulsaSpirit (aChamberofCommercepublication) (ContinentalHeritagePress,1979).8Dunnat82.9Id.at32.

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  • theoldtimerswhohadpassedonwouldhavebeenshockedtoseethedaythiscouldhappen.10There isnoMasonDixon linebetweenTulsaandRedForknow, said JudgeDudleyC.Monk,TrustOfficeroftheFirstTrustandSavingsBank. TulsahasbeencalledtheMagicCity.TulsaisalsoaMagneticCity,hedeclared.11

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    Just as a trees rings reveal years of slow or rapid growth, Tulsas earlyannexationsareareflectionofitseconomicfortunes.Tulsagrewrapidlyduringtheoilboomdecadeofthe1920s,mor

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