Clio Logo

As a result of the creation of the Santa Fe railway in Purcell, Oklahoma the population reached 2,277 in the year 1900. The headquarters of the railroad moved to Oklahoma City in the 1930s, but without the creation of this particular commercial hub, the growth of central Oklahoma could have faltered and Purcell might not have been.


The original Sante Fe railway was completed in the spring of 1887 just on the border of the unassigned Indian territory in what would become Purcell, Oklahoma. It has since been replaced with a new depot but still stands on the original location on east Main Street and north Santa Fe Avenue in Purcell oklahoma. The creation of this railway established Purcell as a railway town in 1887. This is why the town is named after the Vice President of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad (ATSF), Edward B. Purcell. Shortly after its creation railway surveyor, Robert J Love began to sell lots on April 5th, 1887. Purcell became a traveling and shipping hub. 
Due to the creation of the ATSF Purcell began to thrive and drew in hundreds of settlers and businesses that would utilize the railway system to travel across the country to settle more land and also ship the goods that would aid in the growth of oklahoma and assist in the 7 Land Runs of Oklahoma that first began April 22nd, 1889. In 1907 the construction of the Oklahoma Central Railway (OCR) reached Purcell’s busy hub and connected LeHigh coal mines to Chickasha, Oklahoma. OCR was bought out by ATSF the following year in 1908.

Williams-Allen, Susie. "Taking a trip back in time Purcell founded as railroad town in 1887 By Susie Williams-Allen - The Purcell Register Jul 28, 2011." Purcell Register(Purcell)July 28, 2011.
 . . . Augustus J. Veenendaal, Jr., "Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=AT001. © Oklahoma Historical Society..