An incorporated community in north-central Caddo County, Binger is situated at the intersection of U.S. Highway 281/State Highway 8 and State Highway 152, twenty miles north of Anadarko and fifty-six miles southwest of Oklahoma City. Named for General Land Office Commissioner Binger Hermann, the town was founded during the opening of the Wichita-Caddo Reservation in August 1901. The settlement was organized by the Washita Valley Townsite Company, and its post office was established in November 1901.
Early Binger was an agricultural community whose principal crops included peanuts and cotton. Local rail service began with the Enid and Anadarko Railway in 1901-1902. Constructed from Bridgeport to Anadarko via Binger, the line was purchased by the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway in 1903 and was abandoned in 1939. Among the town's first businesses were the Newell Department Store, the First State Bank of Binger, the Binger Hotel, the L. A. Cross Lumber Company, the Deer Head Saloon, and the Binger Journal, a weekly newspaper that began publication in 1902. Binger had 257 residents at 1907 statehood. That number increased from 280 in 1910 to a high of 849 in 1930. By 1937 the town had three miles of paved streets, a public swimming pool, and two cotton gins. The population subsequently dropped to 603 in 1960, rose to 791 in 1980, and declined to 708 in 2000.
Approximately thirty-one businesses operated at Binger in 2000, including eight retail trade establishments, a commercial bank, three wholesalers of farm and garden machinery and equipment, and a restaurant. The headquarters of the Caddo Indian Tribe of Oklahoma are presently located at Binger, as are the facilities of the Binger-Oney school district. The town has a public library and one church (Baptist); the nearest hospital is in Anadarko. Binger was the boyhood home of Johnny Bench, a member of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Binger" and "Caddo County," Vertical Files, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Mildred Cole, et al., comps., A History of Caddo County (N.p.: N.p., 1955-56).
Jon D. May
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