The Carter County community of Lone Grove is situated along U.S. Highway 70, approximately eight miles west of Ardmore. Lone Grove was founded on February 4, 1885, in the former Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory. Christopher Columbus "Sweet" Price, an intermarried Chickasaw from Gainesville, Texas, and thirty-five other gentlemen, including T. C. "Tom Cat" Price, organized the town. Originally known as Price's Store, the Lone Grove name became official when it was selected as the post office designation in February 1885. On November 15, 1899, a fire destroyed many Lone Grove businesses and some homes.
During the early 1900s local businesses included three grocery stores, a barbershop, a drugstore, a movie theater, a blacksmith shop, and three doctors. Numerous oil pools, including the Healdton and Hewitt fields, were discovered nearby during the 1910s and 1920s, and the Oklahoma, New Mexico and Pacific Railway reached town in 1913. (Popularly called the Ringling Railroad, the line was later acquired by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and was abandoned in 1976.) During the 1920s the community grew with the addition of a two-story Masonic lodge building, a wagonyard, a restaurant, a grist mill, a cleaning and press shop, and an automobile garage and gasoline filling station.
Lone Grove's first three schools were subscription schools. A public school was built in 1887 and staffed by two teachers. By 1910 a two-story, brick facility had been constructed, and Kate Galt Zaneis served as superintendent. A new high school was built in 1978, and in 2000 the Lone Grove School District had an enrollment of 1,455. On January 5, 1983, Gary and Linda Hicks started publishing the weekly Lone Grove Ledger, the community's first newspaper.
Lone Grove had a population of 241 at 1907 statehood. That number increased to 1,191 in 1930, 1,240 in 1970, and 4,114 in 1990. In 2000 the town's population peaked at 4,631, and it had seventy-one businesses, including sixteen retail trade establishments.
SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Lone Grove Centennial, 1885-1985 (Lone Grove, Okla.: Lone Grove Centennial Committee, 1985). Lone Grove (Oklahoma) Ledger, Centennial Edition, 1 May 1985. "Lone Grove," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Kate Galt Zaneis, Journal of Carter County Schools ([Ardmore, Okla.]: Privately printed, 1923).
Greater Southwest Historical Museum and Carter County Genealogy Society
© Oklahoma Historical Society