Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 27 >> Tropical Forests to Twelfth Century >> Tulsa


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TULSA, Okla., the county-seat of Tulsa County, situated on the Arkansas River in the heart of the Mid-Continent Field, of which it is the financial, commercial and transportation centre. Tulsa is known as Wonder City" and the oil capital of the world, there being more than 500 operating oil and refining com panies located in the city. A survey of Tulsa shows that it has a greatly diversified indus trial activity, giving employment to 14,640 men, with an annual pay-roll in excess of $20,000,000. Tulsa has eight large refineries, a number of iron works, boiler works, stove works, tool works, machine shops, glass factory, smelter and approximately 150 small and large indus trial plants, and a number of wholesale and jobbing houses, several coal companies, 13 public service corporations. The city is served by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, the Midland Valley, the Missouri, Kansas and Texas and the Frisco railroads, with three local systems of street railways. Tulsa has a practically unlimited supply of natural gas, of cheap fuel oil and coal, which is being mined within a few miles of the city limits. The bank clearings in Tulsa for 1918 were $489,983,156, the clearings being the lar gest of any city in the State. Tulsa I ad, under the call of the comptroller of the currency on 4 March 1919, on deposit in the 10 local banks $51,427,337 and the bank clearings for the city average $1,500,000 per day. The building per mits for Tulsa since 1 Jan. 1917 are $14,997,178, the permits for April 1919 being in excess of $650,000 and representing permits issued for 148 homes. Tulsa is a city of splendid homes costing from $3,000 to $150,000; of good sub stantial business houses and has a number of eight-story, 10-story, one 11-story and one 17 story office building. The elevation of Tulsa is 750 feet and the average rainfall 36 inches with a mean temperature of 60°. The city has a fine convention hall, seating 4,000 people; a new Y. M. C. A. building, costing a quarter of a million dollars; a Y. W. C. A. building, costing approximately the same amount; a splendid public library; a modern county court house; a fine municipal building; an imposing government post-office building, with numerous club buildings. There are 30 churches; 475

schoolrooms built largely on the unit system, with a high school costing $550,000 and $1,000, 000 was recently voted for the extension of the educational facilities. The county is now spending $2,000,000 for permanent hard sur faced roadways under a recent bond issue. Stock-raising, dairying and diversified farming are successfully conducted in Tulsa County and the truck grower has wonderful opportunities presented along the valley lands of the Arkansas River. Tulsa is known as the millionaire city, the local Chamber of Commerce having one committee of 50 men with every member of it worth more than $1 000,000 and some of them worth more than $10,000,000, these fortunes having been made from the oil industry in the Mid-Continent Field. The city is the head quarters for oil field supplies for Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma and is the financial clearing point for the great oil transactions of the Mid-Con tinent Field. All of the fraternal organizations which are popular in the Southwest are repre sented; there are six noon day lunch clubs of civic societies; beautiful parks, paved boule vards and paved streets, stately homes and modern business establishments. In the late war the city gave more than 10,000 men to the war and war work through three volunteer military units and through the draft and re cruiting offices. Tulsa subscribed for the Liberty Loans as follows: First, %5,685,000; second, $6,450,000; third, $4,623,400; fourth, $8,240,560; fifth, $5,300,000. There are seven newspapers and periodicals published in Tulsa. The Tulsa World and Tulsa Times are the morning papers; the Tulsa Democrat and the Tulsa World are the afternoon papers. The Tulsa Spirit, the official organ of the Chamber of Commerce and Allied Interests of Tulsa, is a monthly publication with a national circula tion. The city is under the commission form of government, having a mayor and four commis sioners. The police and fire departments are efficient and well organized, being provided with every modern equipment for the protection of life and property. From a population of 1,390 in 1900, the city had grown to 78,755 in 1918.