• Julie Coley

Where Wichita Falls Got Its Start

I have taken a detour from the downtown buildings because of a discovery I made. I went to the County Clerk's office this week and found some amazing original town plat maps. I thought the town started in what is today, the downtown area. It did not!

It actually started in the area of east Wichita Falls from Madison St. to Wichita St. and from Mississippi Ave. to Clay St. In the middle of the brand new Wichita Falls was a Public Square which was surrounded by Carolina St. and Washington St. and between Missouri Ave. and Kentucky Ave.

In the photo below, it says in part, "Witness my hand and official seal this 21st day of October 1882. The above map of the plan of the town of Wichita Falls is hereby adopted and all sales of lots therein by me will be made with reference to it. Signed R.E. Montgomery, Trustee.

The second photo is a newspaper article advertising the town of Wichita Falls town lots for sale. The sale would commence on Sept. 27,1882. It too, was signed by R.E. Montgomery and lists him as the General Town Lot Agent. The official birthday of Wichita Falls is Sept. 27, 1882. In Sept. of this year we will be 136 years old.

The second map shows the downtown area from Lake St. to Lamar St. and from Main St. (instead of naming it 1st St.) to 15th St. This plat map is dated 1926.

The final map was very intriguing to me. It was a town that was named Oildom. The name sounds so funny, but it was a real town. It was once located in the area of Pearlie Dr. and Hooper Dr. near what today is Sheppard AFB. This map is dated Feb. of 1919. Below the plat map is a topographical photo of today, showing where Oildom once was. Back then the streets were named Byrens Ave., Hawley Ave., Tex-Gulf Blvd., Parker Ave. and Baxter Ave. The cross streets were First through Seventh streets, Maynard Ave. and Ninth Ave.

To me, I found an amazing hidden treasure in these plat maps at the clerk's office. There are dozens of other maps there, including early maps of Iowa Park, Burkburnett and Electra, hidden away in metal cabinets.

x The original plot map for Wichita Falls, dated Oct. 21, 1882.

The advertisement in the paper in 1882, advertising the sale of town lots on Sept. 27.

Downtown Wichita Falls Plat Map dated 1926.

Oildom, Texas was located in the area of Pearlie Dr. and Hooper Dr. near Sheppard AFB. This map is dated Feb. 1919.

Oildom was once located near Hooper and Pearlie according to this topographic map.

I also sell out of print books on CD on my website. You can find family names, city or county histories, the books I have written about Wichita Falls and more! Just click on the logo below!

The books I have written are available at Heritage Antique Mall at 1503 Lamar Ave. across from Coca Cola or at Picker's Universe at 1000 Indiana Ave. across from the library. They are also available on Amazon at

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