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CACHE

Cache is located towards the upper eastern corner of the southwestern quarter of Comanche County, on the south side of the Fort Sill Military Reservation and four miles west of the Lawton city limits. The town is immediately southeast of the intersection of U.S. Highway 62 and State Highway 115. Cache is also about four miles south of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Named for nearby West Cache Creek, the town originated following the 1901 land lottery, which opened the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Reservation to general settlement. Divided into fifty-five blocks, the town plat was filed in August 1902 but not approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior. A second plat, with additional area for the mandatory city park, was finally approved at the end of December 1909.

On the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway's 1902 line between Lawton and Snyder, the town was slow to develop, due to its uncertain legal position. One of the community's main attractions in the early years was the prospect of mining in the nearby Wichita Mountains. Also drawing much attention to the area was Quanah Parker, who even before the town developed lived two and one-half miles northeast of Cache. In 1924 the completion of an electric service high line to Cache allowed the opening of gravel pits on West Cache Creek. Within the decade, gravel and sand were the principal outbound shipments, along with coal, feed, cattle, lumber, and fuel oil. Circa 1958 Parker's home, known as Star House (NR 70000532), was moved to Eagle Park on the west side of Cache. Begun the year prior, Eagle Park was an amusement park that featured six historic buildings in addition to the Star House. The park closed in 1986 due to high costs, and the buildings stand largely vacant.

In 1910 Cache's population equaled 317, a gain of five persons since 1907 statehood. By 1920 years later the number had risen to 382. In 1930 the population reached 425 with even greater growth in the following decade as the number rose to 620 in 1940. Development slowed in the 1940s, and the 1950 population reflected an increase of only 57. During the next decade Cache boomed. In 1960 there were slightly more than 1,000 people living in the town. After adding more than a hundred people by 1970, the population burst to 1,661 in 1980 and 2,251 in 1990. Continuing to grow, albeit at a slower rate, the 2000 census recorded 2,371 persons.

Currently, the community does not have a local newspaper. The Cache Times Weekly, begun in 1978, ceased publication in late 1991. Other newspapers have included the Cache Journal (1904), the Cache Register (1905-1907 and 1910-13), the Cache Clarion (1908-1910), the Comanche County Booster (1913-14), and the Cache Wichitan (1963-71).

SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Cache," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 1901-2000. The History of Comanche County, Oklahoma (N.p.: Southwest Oklahoma Genealogical Society, 1985).

Cynthia Savage

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