Oklahoma celebrates its centennial year in 2007

by C.F. David

By Mid-November, 1907, Oklahoma was a state, and Beaver county, once known as No man's Land had been broken up into three counties, Beaver, Texas and Cimarron. Through the rest of 1907 and into 1908, different Cimarron County communities vied for the right to become the official County Seat, (the offices were then in what was probably the county's oldest community, Kenton, at the Western edge, near New Mexico .

Boise City won the election, and its city fathers chose to take the county's records early.

It was a choice that was resented throughout the county.

What follows was taken from Alma Cryer's Willowbar and the Dandy Little Town of Keyes, volume I.

Poems, such as the following issued in what I assume to be the Hurley Leader, would today, bring either a lawsuit, or threat of same; however, in early Cimarron County, free expression reigned when it came to feelings over the presumed loss by Hurley and Willowbar of the County Seat.

Money talks

Oh! yes money talks!

And horses balks,

And robbers, they will steal.

Some fools will boost

For Robber's Roost,

To ride in the ‘mobile.

Oh! honest Friend,

A vote please lend,

To beat the robber band,

With big gold bricks

And dirty tricks,

Chief liars in our land.

They will rob and buy,

And steal and lie,

And make their own townsite show.

With bluffs so bold,

They flash their gold,

Then off to the polls they go.

They will buy “softheads,”

Who honesty dreads,

And steal, Oh! what a pity;

They have no heart. Since the race did start,

That dirty Boise City.

R, E. Wainscott, Willowbar, Okla.

November 1907


A Box Supper And A Joke...On last Saturday night a box supper was given at Willowbar. About forty people were present and an excellent time was had. The boxes all brought good prices. Two cakes were sold by votes, the contestants being married ladies and the two winners also had the honors of being the best looking married ladies in the house. The cakes brought good prices and were divided among those present by the winners. Then came the cake for the best looking young lady present which sold votes of 5 cents each and brought the handsome sum of $16. A bunch of young fellows of this section were there and seem to think they got a pretty good joke played on them.

At last the farmers are all wearing broad smiles after the fine spring rain.

Willowbar has three mails a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The mail man makes connection at Sampsel with the mail hack from Texhoma to Jurgensen.

A. R. Griggs has recently moved from Illinois to his claim in 28-4-7 and is making quite substantial improvements.

Mr. Lindsey and family have moved to their claim in 31-4-7 and are building a nice little cottage.

Mr. Miller and family of Altus , Okla. have entered our midst.

Miss Ida Moore is out on her claim in 19-4-7 . She made a hurried call at the post office and says there is nothing finer in Cimarron than Willowbar.

Glenn and Goldsmith, the merchants of Texhoma, were with us recently looking after the Willowbar mill and the interest of the Denver and Gulf Railroad Company.

Willowbar has a well company organized and they are preparing to sink four wells in the neighborhood just as soon as the machinery can be placed on the ground.

Keyes- April 1925

The town of Keyes was formed by the anticipated arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad.

Santa Fe Secure Land For Townsite. The people of Cimarron County will be glad to hear that the townsite east of Willowbar store is now permanently located having closed a deal Thursday of this week whereby the Santa Fe Railroad Company purchased a quarter section of land from Mr. W. A. Miller lying directly west of his home. This deal was transacted thru W. A. Henderson of Clayton , New Mexico .

August 1925


It is reported that the railroad will be completed to the new town of Keyes , Oklahoma this week that will only be approximately 22 miles from Boise City on the state highway. It will be just a short time until Boise City will boast a railroad.

WILLOWBAR...The train has arrived in our new town. We had a nice rain Sunday night.

Mr. S. N. Cayton is building his telephone line into Keyes and Elkhart , Kansas this week.