Piedmont History – The Beginning
The City of Piedmonts’ auspicious roots began with the Unassigned Land Run of April 22, 1889, and the land homesteaded by Mr. James Dean. After his death in 1899, the land found its way to Dr. E.H. Long. In 1903 Dr. Long became the owner and designated a quarter-section of land for the townsite.
Enter the Railroad
The next spur of growth came in 1904 with the St. Louis-El Reno Western Railroad lot auction along with the railroad right-of-way. As a result of the railroad, two things happened. This “big” auction attracted new settlers, helping to further develop the town. The railroad stop at Piedmont helped the town flourish as an agriculture market center for the surrounding community.
New growth brought prosperity. The Star School building, established in 1893, was no longer big enough. In 1905 a two-story, four-room school was built in town.
Statehood & Incorporation
President Roosevelt, on November 19, 1907, signed the Statehood Proclamation making Oklahoma the 46th State of the Union. Two years later, the town of Piedmont was incorporated.
As populations grew and needs shifted, schools found a need to consolidate. In May 1920, Piedmont, Bell, Diamond, and Kansas school district residents voted to consolidate, creating a large enough district to support a four-year high school.
The Bell Schoolhouse was moved next to the two-story Piedmont building. This move did not seem to quite fit the bill as classes ended up being held in the local churches and city jail. Further consolidation happened in 1921 when the Pleasant View and Mathewson districts consolidated. On New Construction started in 1921 on a nine-room, brick school building.
Over time the town grew to support two livery stables, three grain elevators, two cotton gins and other commercial establishments. Agriculture was the mainstay of Piedmont’s economy for many decades. Unfortunately, in 1924 the railroad departed the community and the town’s position as a market center declined.
The Great Depression
Through the Depression of the 1930’s and World War II, residents of Piedmont survived. Though agriculture was in a recession, the school system remained a priority. In 1948 another school district consolidation brought parts of the Racine, Harmony, Texas, and Scott School districts together and annexed into Piedmont.
Postwar recovery led to the 1950’s-1970’s that saw some population growth. It also saw growth in oil and gas exploration and oil rig development. With the 1970’s, Piedmont’s population exploded from 269 to 2016 residents. The City of Piedmont land increased from 1,400 acres to 23,330, thus allowing for further room for grown. New buildings included:
- 1972 – High School
- 1976 – Elementary Building
- 1976 – Stout Athletic Field
- 1977 – Collett Field House
The 1980’s brought growth but it was not as dramatic as it was in the 70’s. Residents adopted a City Charter in 1984. Additions to the school system included:
- 1982 – Junior High
- 1984 – Junior High Addition
- 1984 – 5th & 6th Grade Buildings
Since 1990, Piedmont has seen tremendous growth, with the population more than doubling. The four-lane State Highway 4 through the center of the city connected Piedmont to the Northwest Expressway. This transportation link has made traveling to surrounding metro areas easier and housing more appealing.
Piedmont History – Today
Today Piedmont supports a public library and a fully staffed professional medical center and clinic. Piedmont is a modern Home Rule City, served by a Council-Manager Government. The city has fire insurance rating of 7-9 and a full-time staff of 9 police officers.