NAME: FriscoCOUNTY: Candian
CLIMATE: Hot Humid Summer, Cold may snow in Winter
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Late spring, early summer
Graveyard. My great Grandparents are buried there.REMAINS: Church, partial remains of general store and other buildings.
Data gathered about the old-time town of Frisco which was in Canadian county. Currently all that remains of the town of Frisco is a cemetery. As you read, you may find at times a person may go by his/her initials and at other times may go by a given name.
Submitted by: Andie Stringfellow E-mail address: Astringf@aol.com
FRISCO The community of Frisco although officially came to being on April 22, 1889, was planned out and platted in advance of the land run. History records that Dr. J.M. Minnick wanted to start a veterans colony in the soon to be opened land in Oklahoma Territory. It was reported that he got a large group of veterans interested in this idea and they decided to send out a scouting party in order to find a good location for their new proposed town. These men went down the Chisholm Trail in the Oklahoma land by wagon. After going through some land they considered less than desirable, Dr. Minnick eventually came upon land he liked in the Canadian Valley area and the scouting party returned to their home in Kansas, to make their plans. As veterans they would be given the privilege of prefiling for the lots they drew for this proposed townsite. At first they wanted to call the site Veteran City, but it had been changed to Frisco by the time the post office was opened. Frisco was located halfway between Oklahoma City on its east and Fort Reno on its west, on the North Canadian River. Currently, it can be said the town would be about 3 miles northwest of Yukon. The townspeople of Frisco considered it to be in the center of the richest and best portion of Oklahoma. The townsite lay at the edge of the bottomland and ran back upon nearby hills. Over time, four different railroads considered passing through the new town of Frisco. The townspeople were so certain of securing a railroad, Veteran City's name was changed to Frisco in honor of expecting the Frisco Railway, however, when a railroad was built, it missed the townsite entirely. The local newspaper, the Frisco Herald, was begun on October 24, 1889. The paper touted that the country about Frisco was thickly settled by men "exerting themselves to get out crops next season" and are fitting up their farms like men who intend to make this their home. The land was still considered cheap and at the time of the first edition of the newspaper, there were still a few government claims yet to be had. The Frisco Herald claimed that there was plenty of timber to meet all the wants of fuel, fencing, and building purposes. Good water could be found at depths of 15 to 27 feet and springs and creeks were found on the greater number of farms. The soil was black loam. The grasses of the land could make a ton or two of hay per acre. The town of Frisco felt well provided with men of title and former distinction. It claimed to have a half a dozen members and ex-members of legislatures and any number of Colonels, Captains, and Judges. The Frisco Herald reports that the townspeople were from "everywhere", including Kansas, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, and "from every state and territory in the West". It was the fourth largest town in the new territory for a time. Many felt that Frisco was a prime candidate for the county seat of Canadian County, and some went so far as to believe that it could even take away the Territorial capital from either Oklahoma City or Guthrie. Frisco was on an already established stage route and it was the only town its size for several miles. It was developing into a thriving commercial center. At one point it had about 2,000 residents and over 95 businesses, according to advertisements in the Frisco Herald. Frisco was a progressive community. They had a volunteer fire department which consisted of every able bodied man and boy. The town being the largest town west of Oklahoma City meant when people in the vicinity needed a way to reach Frisco for business, the townspeople took it upon themselves to build a bridge across the North Canadian River and after that one was completed, they built yet another. At the printing of the first edition of the Frisco Herald (October 1889), there were three churches listed. The Methodist Episcopal church held services every Sunday evening at 7:00 o'clock. Reverend J. Roberts was pastor according to the Herald, although another source names M.E. Roberts, who reportedly pastored several churches in the area. Payton Smith was in charge of the Methodist Sunday School. The Christian Church held services every Sunday with Reverend A.C. Bender as pastor, but there is no recorded building site for this church. The Union Sunday School had services every Sunday at 2:00 p.m. with A.V. Swearingen listed as Superintendent, in the Frisco Herald. Among the businesses that Frisco was known to have, and many advertised in the Frisco Herald, were two hotels, several grocery stores, a millinery shop, a bank, several dry goods stores, meat markets, a couple of blacksmiths, livery stables, a billiard hall, several saloons, real estate offices, and a couple of drug stores. They had multiple physicians and lawyers, a dentist, a quarry nearby, and many other people in labor related businesses. Frisco had one of the first two story school buildings in the Territory and even during Frisco's short time as a town they at one point had a college called the Oklahoma Frisco College. The town did not lack for cultural events. Within a short time, Frisco had a drama and a literary society. They had the first GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) post in the Territory. They had a Fife and Drum Corps which represented Oklahoma Territory all over the United States. Frisco had choral groups, musicians, and a glee club and dances were especially a favorite among the townspeople of Frisco. Frisco came upon hard times though. None of the four railroads that proposed a route through Frisco came through, reportedly because the town refused to pay them tribute. In 1891 there was the heated battle between El Reno and Frisco for the county seat. El Reno by this time was a powerful railroad town and with that influence, it was voted in as the county seat. Businesses began to leave Frisco and move on to El Reno or Yukon. By 1904 most of Frisco's mail was routed to Yukon. On February 20, 1905, Eli Rhodyback who was the chairman of the trustees of Frisco, filed with the county court to dissolve the city status of Frisco. All that is left of Frisco now is the town cemetery.
Submitted by: John Warner