The eastern Carter County community of Dickson is located at the junction of U.S. Highway 177 and State Highway 199, ten miles east of Ardmore and sixteen miles northwest of Madill. A community originally coalesced around a store and a few other buildings. Due to the area's growth, a need arose for a school. As a result, the twelve-grade Dickson Consolidated School District was formed in 1923. The land for the school was donated by Hester Horn on the condition that she served as the facility's first superintendent. The school, and later the town itself, was named for A. E. Dickson, the Carter County school superintendent at the time. The district was a consolidation of Clinton, Mulkey, and Nelda schools. Other schools that later consolidated into the district included Baum, Durwood, Mary Niblack, Provence, Pruitt, Smyrma, Gene Autry, and Springdale. The school graduated its first senior class of five in 1927. The original school was destroyed twice by fire. In 1940 the Works Progress Administration constructed a rock building, using stone quarried from the Dickson area, that currently houses the lower elementary grades. The school is currently one of the largest districts in the state of Oklahoma.
Dickson was incorporated in 1968. The city government consists of a board of trustees, a mayor, a fire and police department, and a city court system. There has been no post office. Through the years the town has always revolved around the school. This was still true in the year 2000. The 1970 census was the community's first, registering 798. The count rose to 996 in 1980, dropped to 942 in 1990, and stood at 1,139 in 2000. During the early twenty-first century the town's economy depended upon the school, two convenience stores, and a bank. Most residents worked in Ardmore or Madill.
SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Dickson," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Profiles of America (2d ed.; Millerton, N.Y.: Grey Publishing Co., 2003).
Greater Southwest Historical Museum and Carter County Genealogy Society
© Oklahoma Historical Society