Located in east-central Creek County, Mounds lies eleven miles south of the county seat, Sapulpa, on Alternate U.S. Highway 75. The original post office, established on March 18, 1895, was known as Posey for prominent Creek poet Alexander L. Posey, who resided in Eufaula. Three years later the post office was moved five miles southwest and renamed Mounds for the nearby twin hills. Between 1900 and 1901 the St. Louis, Oklahoma and Southern Railway (later the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway) built a line south from Sapulpa, passing through Mounds. The 160-acre townsite was located on a portion of Corbet/Colbert Maxwell's allotment. Will S. Hines served as the first mayor after a charter for incorporation was granted at the court town of Vinita, Indian Territory, on October 19, 1901. The Bank of Mounds opened in 1901 and the First National Bank in 1902. Early newspapers included the Mounds Monitor and the Mounds Enterprise. The OK Poultry Journal, a farm publication, was printed at Mounds from 1911 to 1919.
Initially, Mounds served a shipping point for cattle. However, after 1905 the agricultural settlement became a bustling community following the development of the Glenn Pool Field. Mounds then became a shipping point for the Glenn Pool crude. The Texas Company designated Mounds as a major supply point, and the railroad built two oil-loading racks. During the oil boom an interurban line connected Mounds with Tulsa. Among the prominent oilmen who headquartered in Mounds were W. H. Millikin, Senes W. Anthony, Barney Flynn, and John Rhodes. As the oil boom declined in the mid-1920s, the major outbound shipments were grain and livestock. A cotton gin, an ice plant, and a gasoline and oil company continued to operate in the 1930s.
In early years citizens established a school, and by 1903 students could attend a one-year high school. In May 1907 sixteen students graduated from that high school. In January 1909 county voters selected Mounds as the site for the Creek County High School. Although the county high school board unanimously adopted a plan to erect a building, apparently it was never built. The first term of the Creek County High School began on September 15, 1909, in rented space in the Bieber and Brown buildings. It operated until 1913, by which time other Creek County communities had established high schools.
At 1907 statehood Mounds had a population of 675. In 1910 and 1920 the federal census reported 701 and 1,078, respectively. After the oil boom in the 1920s, the population dropped to 740 in 1930 and reached a low of 560 in 1950. In the following decades the numbers increased from 674 in 1960 to 1,086 in 1980. At the turn of the twenty-first century population peaked at 1,153. Citizens supported the Liberty and Mounds school districts and a public library. Ninety-two percent of those employed commuted to work in Sapulpa and Tulsa.
SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Mounds," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Profiles of America, Vol. 2 (2d ed.; Millerton, N.Y.: Grey House Publishing, 2003).
Linda D. Wilson
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