The incorporated town of Slick had its beginning as an oil-boom town in March 1920 after oil tycoon Thomas B. Slick drilled a discovery well in the area. Located in eastern Creek County, it is situated ten miles southeast of Bristow on State Highway 16. Named for Slick, a post office was established on April 28, 1920, with Carroll W. Holmes serving as the first postmaster. The Oklahoma-Southwestern Railway built a line from Bristow to Slick in 1920 and extended its line south to Nuyaka in 1921. In October 1920 the Slick Townsite Company, with Thomas B. Slick as president and R. E. Brooke as general manager, announced that arrangements had been made to furnish gas to businesses and residences. The company also planned to build bungalow-style houses to meet the housing need due to the influx of oil-field workers. With the arrival of the railroad, Slick became a distribution and shipping point for the surrounding oil field. It also served as a supply and market center for the local farmers, who were served by a gristmill and a cotton gin. By 1923 the African American population had a separate school, a Baptist church, and a hotel.
Early on the town and surrounding area had an estimated population of five thousand. However, by 1930 (the first federal census for Slick) the number had dwindled to 422, and the railroad was abandoned. The census reported 300 and 151 in 1940 and 1950, respectively. The population remained steady at 151 in 1960 and climbed slightly to 171 in 1970 and 187 in 1980. In the 1970s the town had one store, one gas station, and the former railroad depot served as a Baptist church. At the turn of the twenty-first century, Slick had 148 citizens. All of its employed citizens commuted to work in Bristow, Sapulpa, and Tulsa.
SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: John W. Morris, Ghost Towns of Oklahoma (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1977). Profiles of America, Vol. 2 (2d ed.; Millerton, N.Y.: Grey House Publishing, 2003). "Slick," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.
Linda D. Wilson
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