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WARWICK

Located in Lincoln County, Warwick is situated on State Highway 66 eight miles west of Chandler, the county seat. Warwick, named for a county in England, was established by Monarch Investment Company on September 18, 1903, on land homesteaded by David M. and Norah High. A postal service for the area was started October 26, 1892, by J. A. Ramsey, who became Warwick's first postmaster.

Early businesses primarily served a surrounding agricultural region and included a bank, drug store, saloon, two hotels, the Warwickian newspaper, a blacksmith, a general store, delivery service, livery stable, a cotton gin and mill, a veterinarian, a lumber mill, and a depot that served both the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway and the Fort Smith and Western Railroad. In the surrounding agricultural area, cotton was the major cash crop.

An incorporated town was developed late in Warwick's history, in order to preserve the local school system. In early years a log schoolhouse also served as a church. In 1908 school was held in the Methodist Church, which was built in the early 1900s on lots donated by J. W. Cherry, an early-day merchant. From 1909 to 1940 a block school building was used until a replacement was erected by a Works Progress Administration project. In 1963, fearing annexation by another town, Warwick citizens incorporated as a town that took in 1,800 acres comprising their school district. Warwick thus became the largest "town" in the county. Despite this effort the district was consolidated with that of Wellston in 1968. Thereafter the school building served as a community center. The post office closed in December 1972.

With the decrease in railway shipping and the decline of cotton farming, the first federal census for Warwick counted only 146 residents in 1970. In 1980 and 1990 the town had 167 and 160 citizens, respectively. At the turn of the twenty-first century Warwick remained a small, rural community composed of residential dwellings, an antique store, a church, and 235 citizens.

SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Lincoln County, Oklahoma History (Chandler, Okla.: Country Lane Press, 1988). Profiles of America, Vol. 2 (2d ed.; Millerton, N.Y.: Grey House Publishing, 2003).

Gerry Stanfill Greenfield

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