Gracemont is located in the east-central portion of Caddo County on Sugar Creek. The town is situated on U.S. Highway 281, also known as State Highway 8, nine miles due north of Anadarko. A postal designation under the name of Ison was attained for the area in January 1902 by G. A. and Alice L. Bailey. The following year the Enid and Anadarko Railroad, a subsidiary of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway, completed a branch line between Bridgeport and Anadarko. In 1903 the name of the community was formally changed to Gracemont, and the town incorporated in 1917.
Agriculture largely fueled Gracemont's economic growth during the first six decades of the twentieth century. The community drew farmers from the nearby fertile valleys of Sugar Creek, Spring Creek, and White Bead Creek. By the mid-1930s the town had twenty-three businesses, including three gins and a grain elevator. In the 1960s the oil boom occurring in the area and state spurred a bevy of local activity that lasted for two decades. The oil boom collapsed in the 1980s, returning Gracemont's economy to dependence on the surrounding agricultural community.
In 1920 the community included 266 residents. Significant growth occurred in the 1920s to bring the population to 394 by 1930. Declining slightly over the next decade, Gracemont's population stood at 328 in 1940. Over the next two decades the town retained a fairly stable population of 301 in 1950 and 306 in 1960. Reflecting the oil surge, the population reached 424 in 1970 and continued to grow until the all-time high of 503 was achieved in 1980. By 1990 the number of residents had fallen to 339. Stabilized once again, the population held at 336 in 2000. At the turn of the twenty-first century Gracemont had no newspaper but had been home to three, the Gracemont Graphic, the Gracemont Herald, and the Gracemont Progress. The town operates under the commission form of government.
SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Mrs. Alice L. Bailey, "Pioneering at Gracemont," interview, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. "Gracemont" Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Elbert G. Cook, "The Story of Early Gracemont, The Establishment and Growth of A Town [manuscript, August 1992]," Anadarko Public Library, Anadarko, Oklahoma).
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