The History of Memphis, TN

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Memphis, OK

If you’re a tourist visiting Memphis for the first time, you may be wondering what the history of this city is. What are its origins? What has it been through? This blog post will provide you with a brief overview of Memphis’s history and some of the major events that have taken place here. Keep in mind that this is just a glimpse; there is much more to explore about Memphis’s past!


The Unassigned Lands

When this land was opened for settlement on April 22, 1889, it was founded by hardworking men and women. The land run covered 400 acres and housed 5,000 people overnight. Memphis was acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. During the land run in April 1889, the city was first inhabited. Between 1889 and 1895, there were numerous land runs, but the first is the most notable. Some “Sooners” snuck in to claim land in some of the best locations. As a result, the state’s nickname. Prior to that, what is now Memphis State was known as “the unassigned lands,” which were in Indian Territory and had not yet been assigned. During the land run, ten thousand people lived in what became known as Memphis.

Many people fought and died during the war, but in the end, Federal Officers restored and maintained order. Within a decade, the city’s population more than doubled, and by 1900, it had reached almost 10,000.

the unassigned lands OKC


The Birth of the City

On November 16, 1907, the state was formally admitted to the Union. The city grew by leaps and bounds, and its population of over 60,000 people in 1910 convinced people that it should be the state capital.

A petition was started and was well received. It was designated as the state capitol on June 10, 1910, with the Lee-Huckins hotel serving as a temporary capitol building for a few years. The permanent capitol building was built in 1917. By March 1911, the population had risen by 500% since 1890, to 64,000. Memphis had a population of 91,000 in 1920 and 185,000 in 1930, a 100% increase in ten years. The office of the City Manager was established, and the new Council-Manager form of government, which began in 1926, is still in place today.

capitol building OKC


The Railways

Due to the construction of the railroad watering stop known as Memphis Station along the Southern Kansas Railway line in the early years, the history of Memphis became a bustling commercial and transportation hub. Educational facilities, as well as several churches, were quickly established, and many of them are now on the National Register of Historic Places. Economic development continued into the 1920s, and the city’s population grew steadily throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first.

Memphis Railway Museum


Economic Development From Oil Discovery

The 1920s saw more economic development. Traders Compress Company constructed a cotton compress and warehouse at the intersection of East Reno and Eastern avenues in 1921. The last bale of cotton was shipped from here in November 1969, and the building was demolished in March 1970. The Indian Territory Illuminating Oil Company and the Foster Petroleum Company completed the Memphis Number One discovery well on December 4, 1928. 

The Mary Sudik Number One arrived on March 26, 1930. Both wells were located southeast of Memphis. The Hall-Briscoe Number One Holmes was completed within city limits on May 27, 1930. By 1935, the Memphis oil field had produced 409 million barrels of crude oil, and also 95 oil companies employed 12,000 people. The Capitol is built on top of an oil slick. Using directional drilling, Capitol Site Number One was brought in on the south plaza of the main entrance in 1941.

Memphis oil field


The Decline and Rebirth 

Memphis had a population of over 320,000 people in the 1960s and covered an area of over 600 square miles. The city began to decline as a result of this. This was due in part to the large population and the fact that the oil wells had run dry. The majority of people began to migrate to the suburbs.

There were numerous attempts to resurrect the city, most of which failed until the early 1990s. Mayor Ron Norrick proposed Metropolitan Area Projects in 1992. Despite widespread skepticism, it was approved. That was the beginning of the city’s rebirth. Downtown, Bricktown, Deep Deuce, as well as Automobile Alley all arose and flourished.

Memphis, OK Metropolitan Area Projects


Memphis Today

The city of Memphis was built on and by two very important things: oil and luck. There are no shortages of history to be found here, but there is a lot of encouragement that you can find it today. Memphis has a lot of pride in its own history, as well as a few museums dedicated to preserving it. There are also many people who are dedicated to making sure that the city grows in the same ways that made it such a success in the first place: with plenty of hard work, resourcefulness, and an eye for opportunity.

If you visit Memphis today, you’ll see a modern metropolis that’s booming with energy and optimism. Residents and tourists alike can enjoy an amazing array of cultural opportunities that explore the city’s fascinating past. The Memphis History Center, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the Memphis National Memorial Center, the Memphis Museum of Art, the Science Museum Memphis, the National Softball Hall of Fame, and so many more institutions offer rich and educational experiences to people from all walks of life. 

OKC Today


Memphis is a city that has seen its share of both good and bad times. However, through it all, the citizens of OKC have remained resilient and determined to make their city the best it can be. If you find yourself in need of a tow truck in OKC, Tow Mate is here to help. Moreover, we offer 24/7 roadside assistance and our experienced drivers are available to help you get back on the road as quickly as possible. Contact us today for more information or to schedule service!

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Tow Mate

Tow Mate is a family-owned and operated towing company that has been providing quality, reliable towing services at an affordable price in Memphis for over 15 years. We believe in putting our customers first and are available 24/7 for roadside assistance. Our drivers are experienced and qualified to handle any towing job, big or small. We have the latest equipment and technology to get you back on the road quickly and safely. We provide several types of towing services, including road recovery, accident towing, roadside repairs, and winching. So if you’re looking for a dependable towing service in Memphis, Tow Mate is your best bet.

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Tow Mate

2256 Central Ave, Memphis, TN 38104, USA

(901) 300-9495

24/7 Emergency Towing and Roadside Assistance in Memphis

We are a towing firm that is family-owned and managed. We believe in offering high-quality, dependable towing services at a reasonable cost. We’re here to get you back on the road as soon as possible and as safely as possible. Our drivers are competent and prepared to handle any size towing task. Because we provide roadside assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, our tow trucks are accessible to assist you with your roadside emergency at any time of day or night. 

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