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Located in Greer County (formerly Old Greer County), Granite is situated six miles north and seven miles east of Mangum at the junction of Oklahoma State Highways 6 and 9. Lying at the southern base of Headquarters Mountain, Granite is known for its monument industry, farming, ranching, and the Oklahoma State Reformatory. Originally a part of Greer County, Texas, Granite became part of Oklahoma Territory in 1896 and Oklahoma in 1907. The population stood at 1,026 in 1907 and hovered around one thousand until 1970 when it rose to 1,808.

Granite Quarry, Granite, Okla

In the 1880s the area was home to cattlemen. A post office was established on December 6, 1889, and the town was so named because of the granite found in the nearby mountains. In 1900 K. C. Cox platted the townsite and sold lots. That same year, the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway brought rail service to the area, spurring tremendous growth in a matter of months. For some time Granite was the terminus for rail service, and supplies had to be freighted from there to outlying areas. Many early visitors came to the town to await the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Opening in 1901.
Reformatory at Granite, ca 1920They stimulated the sale of hardware, lumber, dry goods, groceries, meats, and bakery goods. By 1909 the town had at least four companies quarrying red granite from Headquarters Mountain. In 1910 the Oklahoma State Reformatory was opened as a medium-security institution. At the turn of the twenty-first century its inmate population was 841.

In 2002 Granite began receiving water from the Quartz Mountain Regional Water Authority osmosis plant located between Granite and Lone Wolf. Granite's population peaked at 1,844 in 1990 and remained the same at the turn of the twenty-first century. The Granite Enterprise newspaper, established in May 1900, continued to keep the local citizens informed.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: James Albert Barnett, "A History of the 'Empire of Greer'" (M.A. thesis, Oklahoma A&M College, 1938). C. W. Gould, "Oklahoma's Granite Industry," Sturm's Oklahoma Magazine 8 (March 1909). "Granite," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Mrs. C. R. Higdon, "Oklahoma's Granite," Sturm's Oklahoma Magazine 10 (August 1910).

Faye Jo Haynes and Glen E. Burkhalter

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