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LAMBERT

Located in west-central Alfalfa County, Lambert lies on County Road E2030, three and one-half miles west of U.S. Highway 64, which is also State Highway 8/58. A wheat-growing region, this area was originally part of the Cherokee Outlet and after 1893 was in Woods County and from 1907 in Alfalfa County. The town lies about seven miles southwest of Cherokee, the county seat.

The community developed on or near land owned by Ambrose Lambert, one of three brothers who had made the Cherokee Outlet Opening land run of 1893. He had later obtained a quarter section in this part of Woods County. The settlement that came to be called after him moved about a mile west to be nearer the Choctaw Northern Railroad's line. In late summer 1901 the Choctaw (later the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway) constructed its tracks north from Aline through "old" Augusta to "new" Lambert. To the east lay a community called Yewed, through which the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway (later the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway) built a line in mid-March 1903. Incorporated in 1910, Lambert lay between the two railroads and prospered, while Yewed declined.

In 1909 Lambert sheltered 127 inhabitants and had four churches, a hotel, a bank, an elevator, and two grain buyers. A half-dozen stores served residents and rural dwellers. The Farmers' Bank had the distinction of having been robbed in 1904 and again in 1919. The population peaked in 1920 at 130, at which time the community supported a dozen businesses, and farmers accessed an elevator and a flour mill.

Lambert's population drastically declined after World War II. In 1950, 55 people lived there but by 1960, only 21. The Rock Island abandoned its line west of Lambert, although the Santa Fe line, sold to the Texas and Oklahoma Railroad in 1991, remained in service. The 1990 population of 11 dropped to 9 at the end of the twentieth century. Novelist and University of Oklahoma sports publicity director Harold Keith hailed from Lambert.

SEE ALSO: CHEROKEE OUTLET OPENING, SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Lambert," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Oklahoma State Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1909-1910 (Detroit, Mich.: R. L. Polk and Co., 1910). Our Alfalfa County Heritage: 1893-1976 (N.p.: Alfalfa County Historical Society, 1976). United States Census, 1900, Woods County, Oklahoma Territory.

Dianna Everett

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