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PIEDMONT

Piedmont is located in the northeastern corner of Canadian County on the terminus of State Highway 4. A small portion of Piedmont extends north across the Kingfisher County line. The community is ten miles straight north of Yukon and, since the 1960s, just north of Oklahoma City's city limits. The townsite of Piedmont was initiated by Dr. E. H. Long in 1903. While many settlers were attracted immediately to the new town, a "big" auction of both residential and business lots was held in late February 1904 to further develop the community.

Another major attraction for the community in 1904 was the new line of the St. Louis, El Reno and Western Railway that extended from Guthrie to El Reno. Numerous residents of nearby settlements moved to Piedmont in order to have rail access. The presence of the railroad also allowed Piedmont to quickly flourish as the market center for the surrounding agricultural community. Within a short period, the town included two livery stables, three grain elevators, and two cotton gins, among other commercial endeavors. While agriculture sustained Piedmont's economy for many decades, the railroad departed the community in 1924. In the 1960s Piedmont's officials extended the city limits as Oklahoma City annexed land in the vicinity. Attracted by proximity, large lots, and a rural setting, many working in Oklahoma City began living in Piedmont, setting off a major population boom in the 1970s that continued at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Seven years after the townsite opened, Piedmont's population stood at 255. By 1920 it had dropped to 213. Continuing to fall, the number of residents equaled 148 in 1930. Despite the widespread economic hardships of the 1930s, the community held steady at 151 in 1940. The population then dropped to 120 in 1950 before rebounding to 146 in 1960. With newly expanded city limits, the town increased to 269 by 1970. An explosion of development in the 1970s rocketed the number to 2,006 in 1980. While the 1980s brought moderate growth to Piedmont, ending with 2,522 citizens in 1990, the next decade also proved significant, as the count soared to 3,650 in 2000.

Since 1976 the Piedmont-Surrey Gazette has supplied the community with area news. Earlier newspapers, which published for only a short time, included the Piedmont Press (1903-05), the Piedmont Post (1905-06), and the Piedmont News (1909-10).

SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 24 February 1904 and 7 December 1979. History of Canadian County, Oklahoma (El Reno, Okla.: Canadian County History Book Association, 1991).

Cynthia Savage

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