Located in Harmon County (formerly Old Greer County) at the intersection of U.S. Highway 62 and State Highway 5 and originally known as Gibson, Gould was named for postmaster John A. Gould. A post office was opened February 8, 1909. In 1910 the Altus, Wichita Falls and Hollis Railway (later the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad) was built through Gould. The First State Bank of Gould opened March 23, 1910, in a grocery store on the property east of the present bank, renamed Stockman's Bank.
Gould was incorporated on March 16, 1917, and was a thriving agricultural trade center. Early-day businesses included four cotton gins, two lumberyards, a twenty-one-room hotel, two grain elevators, a hatchery, livery stable, wagon yard, tin shop, and broom factory. Gould had four newspapers: the Democrat, the Record, the Harmon County News, and the New County Hub. Early churches included the Baptist, Methodist, and Christian, with the Church of Christ established in the 1940s and the Church of the Nazarene in 1953. The Gould School (1909-1990) was home to the blue-and-gold Coyotes, a marching band, and many successful baseball, basketball, and football teams. Women's clubs included the Altrusa, the Self Culture, and the LaHoma Home Demonstration Club.
With 228 residents in 1920, Gould peaked at 391 in 1940. At the turn of the twenty-first century, the community 206 inhabitants, and its economy was based on farming and ranching, with cotton, wheat, alfalfa, sudan grass, and maize being raised. The American Legion Building (1937-38) housed the Harris Cannady Chapter Number 327, and the Gibson Masonic Lodge Number 402 had joined the Hollis Lodge Number 219.
SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: "History of Gould," Prairie Lore 7 (July 1970). Planning the Route (Hollis, Okla.: Harmon County Historical Association, 1980). Planning Route 2: Harmon County Book II (Altus, Okla.: Altus Printing Co., 1987).
Maurice Searcey and Gloria Mefford
© Oklahoma Historical Society