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Noble County - Billings

Almost immediately following the opening of the Cherokee Strip, a man named Dick White who had a claim just north of Red Rock Creek about four miles south of the present townsite of Billings and one mile east applied for and received permission to establish a post office on his land. A small townshite was laid out and named White Rock.

The community became so rich in the production of live stock, wheat and other farm products that the Rock Island railroad running through Enid, built a spur to haul these products to market.

A group of men saw the importance of a townsite on the right of way. Harry Thompson, Rock Island railroad townsite agent, gave Billings its name for his wife, whose maiden name was Mary Ann Billings. The town was laid out and invitations for a "Grand Opening" were sent far and wide. There was a huge barbecue on opening day, October 23, 1899, and a sale of town lots to hundreds of prospetive purchasers who attended.

Most of the people in White Rock moved their homes and businesses, building and all, to the new town. White Rock's newspaper, "Red Rock Valley News" was moved to Billings and renamed "The Billings News." The editor, W. W. McCullough, was also Post Master at White Rock, applied fo the post office at Billings before being released at White Rock.

Another business that was moved was J. G. Back's general merchandise store. Large stone buildings were built in the first few years. The first one was the Old Coney Island Saloon building erected by Heim Brewery interest during the first year of Billing's existence

When school district #4 was moved to Billings it became Billings school, first with two rooms upstairs and down of rock, then another wing was added in 1911. A high school was built in 1921.

The information on this town was taken from: The Noble County Genealogy Society History of Noble County Oklahoma Perry, OK: McNaughton & Gunn, Inc., 1987. Permission was granted by the Noble County Genealogy Society to Cheryl DeJager and the Cherokee Strip Museum to use this information for research purposes. The information should not be used for publication or for other purposes without the express permission of the Noble County Genealogy Society.

Note: Not all of the photographs contained in this exhibit are available at the Cherokee Strip Museum. Photographs may have been edited for presentation on the web site.