History of Slaughterville
Slaughterville, Oklahomaby Meyer
Slaughterville is a town of roughly thirty-six hundred residents. The 2000 United States Census was 3609. It encompasses 24,960 Acres or approximately thirty-nine square miles in south central
Before Slaughterville could become a town, it had to meet certain state requirements. First, the proposed town could be no closer than three miles to an existing town. Second, the proposed town had to be surveyed. Third, a census of the proposed town had to be taken. Fourth, a majority of landowners in the proposed site needed to sign a petition requesting a vote to be taken for incorporation as a town. Lastly, a vote had to be scheduled and taken. A proposed town that meets all of these requirements and has a majority vote in favor of incorporation can then file with the
In 1968, Jim Brown, had a desire to incorporate the Maguire Community into a town. The Maguire Community is now part of the town of
Around this same time, two primary groups sought the incorporation of the Town of
Slaughterville had long been an agricultural region, and the residents were proud of this fact. The worst possible scenario was seen as the possibility of
The second group sought incorporation for a different reason. This group of individuals was substantially smaller in number than the first group. The area of Slaughterville had no fire protection. If
Al Barnes, Bill Hightower, and Raymond Wenthold began the incorporation process in 1969. A census was taken of the proposed town site during the winter of 1969-1970. This census showed an initial population of fifty-one families totaling one hundred fifty-eight people. A petition was circulated in early 1970, securing enough signatures to call for a vote. On
The original town was much smaller and less active in politics than it is today. The town originally incorporated only 7,948 acres, only about one third of its present area. It was divided into three wards; each ward would elect a council member. The rural mentality of the majority of the citizens was evidenced by the fact that the first town meeting did not occur for nearly one full year. It seems that the people of the town were satisfied with keeping other towns away; they did not feel a great urgency to begin the workings of the town government. The first town meeting was held on
There are many rumors as to the origin of the name for Slaughterville. Some are very interesting. First, it is rumored that a number of black slaves were executed by their owners in this area. Neither date nor specific location has ever been given by those who promote this rumor. Second, before township, several meat packing plants and slaughterhouses were located in the area. Some believed that the name came from this prominent industry. A third rumor was in relation to a bend on Highway 77 at
The name Slaughterville actually originated from a small business in the area. Jim Slaughter owned a store on Highway 77 and
Beginning in 1972, Slaughterville began to annex surrounding communities. On
The next and perhaps the most important development in the history of Slaughterville is the creation of the fire department. The fire department has done much to build and maintain unity as well as provide security for the community. From the very beginning, there were individuals in the town who saw the need for fire protection. The fire department averages over ninety-nine runs per year.
The fire department had little in the way of resources, so it relied upon community support. The first fire truck was a surplus civil defense vehicle used as a brush-pumper until 1994. The truck was outfitted in 1977 with pump equipment. On
The fire department has grown steadily and improved greatly over its history. It began with seventeen members. The fire department now has twenty-two volunteers; six of these volunteers are state certified instructors. The fire department began with a donated civil defense truck; it now has eleven. With its four tankers, four brush trucks, two engines and one utility truck; the fire department is capable of dealing with most every situation. When the first seventeen members volunteered, they did not have fire protective clothing, uniforms, or a water distribution system. Today, the fire department boasts some of the best fire gear around. If asked, many residents will share that the fire department is what they are most proud of in Slaughterville.
The town now has two fire stations. The first fire station was a combination town hall and fire station “on a one-acre site located in the east central part of Slaughterville” on
In 1981, the town received its first town sign. The sign was installed at the curve on Highway 77 at
As Slaughterville made its way through the mid 1980’s, perhaps the saddest chapter in town history developed. Slaughterville was growing at a very rapid rate. By 1977, the town population exceeded two thousand people. Developers were entering the area and creating subdivisions. Some of these subdivisions placed water wells and septic systems in such proximity that there was a legitimate health fear and most new structures were of questionable quality. Many in the town felt that the time had come to develop a set of regulations to curb the growth of the town so that the rural appeal of Slaughterville would not be lost. Oil and gas companies were also entering the community. With no regulations, wells were being drilled very close to residences and many holding tanks were of questionable quality. A few years earlier, an issue arose concerning the conservation of water resources inside the city limits. This culminated with a suit being filed by Purcell in protest to Slaughterville’s policy to limit commercial water wells. These good intentions would spark a conflict that would divide and nearly destroy the town.
The greatest change in the political landscape of Slaughterville came in 1985. Fueled by the zoning and regulation controversy, six candidates worked together to be elected. The main issue dividing the community and sending people to the poles on
The newly elected trustees began to “dismantle the town’s planning commission, municipal court, and oil and gas ordinance”. This brought about an even greater amount of conflict. The new trustees were true to their word about de-annexation for those who wanted to be out of the town. On
As of 2002, Slaughterville remains the only city in the state of
Those individuals left inside the town began the process of rebuilding. The town was now only about half of the size it was just days before. Many in the community and in the surrounding areas held grudges, some even to this day. Many, who had poured their lives into the town, were devastated by the recent events. The first order of business was to reestablish a working government. With the town a patchwork of what it once was, the former wards would no longer work. Starting in 1985, the trustees were elected by general election from the entire town, no longer did they come from individual wards.
Over time, the town began to come back together. As cooler heads prevailed and the emotions of the moment subsided, order was restored. People began to submit their names for re-annexation into the town. The fire department provided much of the motivation for this move. Many people in the community were involved with the fire department or they knew someone who was. These friendships and ties seemed to help rebuild friendships and trust. The fire department was also a necessity. People liked the security of having a local fire department. Some people feared that being outside of the town limits would impede their fire protection. The Slaughterville Fire Department would deny this, as they are the response department for a number of areas outside of the actual town limits. The fire department also gave residents an economic reason to return to the town. The Slaughterville Fire Department had become such a high quality department that homeowners inside their area were receiving a lower insurance rate. Many people were interested in these savings.
As the town began to draw back together, they still had to deal with the issue of regulation. In 1999, the town again undertook the task of zoning and regulating. This time, however, the town met with much lower resistance. The town was over three thousand in population and it was becoming evident to all that regulation was going to be necessary in order to slow growth. The town was successful in passing essentially the same regulations that had split the town fourteen years earlier.
Slaughterville has never had a large revenue base to draw from for improvements. It hopes that the new zoning laws will bring businesses to the town. Slaughterville only has four convenience stores, a bar, and one restaurant. The town, therefore does not generate a large income from sales taxes. There are other sources of revenue. The town, like all towns, receives a percentage of the utility bills from its residents. The town has also secured various federal and state grants for improvement. The diligent pursuit of these grants has given Slaughterville the opportunity to improve its fire department, build a town hall, and maintain the community. Therefore, the town seems to be heading towards a bright future.