The community of New Alluwe is located in southeastern Nowata County, east of Oologah Lake and near the Rogers and Craig county lines. Its name was derived from a Delaware Indian word with several possible meanings, including "superior." The town is situated along State Highway 28, fifteen miles southeast of Nowata and fifty-six miles northeast of Tulsa. Oologah Lake's location made State Highway 28 New Alluwe's primary link to the rest of Nowata County.
New Alluwe's history began when the town was in a different location, and with a different name. Originally positioned eight miles southeast of present Nowata, near the Verdigris River, the town was called Lightning Creek. Settled in 1869 by members of the Eastern Delaware tribe, after an 1867 treaty with the Cherokee, Lightning Creek acquired its post office in 1872. During the 1870s the population increased and stores were built. Preferring the Delaware name, residents changed the town's designation from Lightning Creek to Alluwe in 1883.
In 1905 Alluwe became a boomtown following the discovery of a nearby oil pool. The find, one of the first in that section of Oklahoma, resulted in a population increase, an influx of businesses, and the construction of petroleum processing plants. The uncertainties of the oil industry were seen in local population fluctuations during the early twentieth century. In 1910 the population of Alluwe Township was 1,332 (numbers for Alluwe/New Alluwe proper were not available until 1970), a figure that reflected the influence of the oil boom. That affect continued into the early 1920s, as evidenced by the 1920 federal census, which recorded 1,761 inhabitants. However, with a decline in oil production, the township population fell to 1,302 in 1930. That number rebounded and peaked at 1,781 in 1940 and dropped to 1,152 in 1950.
In the 1950s the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers purchased Alluwe for the construction of Oologah Lake. Anticipating the relocation, many residents left. As others wanted to retain Alluwe's identity, the town was moved eastward and renamed New Alluwe. After 1970 the number of New Alluwe residents ranged from a high of 129 in 1980 to a low of 83 in 1990. In 2000 New Alluwe's population was 95.
SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Felix M. Gay, History of Nowata County (Stillwater, Okla.: Redlands Press, 1957). John W. Morris, Ghost Towns of Oklahoma (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1977). "New Alluwe," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.
Gary L. Cheatham
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