October 06, 2015

Do It with Dewey


In his latest column in the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Dale Lewis writes about the Western Heritage Days festival held last month in Dewey. His article included this bit of history:
It was 1905 when Herbert Tyler and his son Donald rode the train to the Indian territory of northeastern Oklahoma looking for a site where they could build a cement plant. At the time, they needed a source of natural gas for their plant was well as large amounts of limestone and shale or clay. All of these things were plentiful in Washington County and they found just what they needed a mile north of the small community of Dewey. 
In 1906, the Tylers purchased land from a Delaware Indian, arranged to have a four-mile rail spur constructed near their property and drilled several natural gas wells to operate the machinery they brought in for the plant. The company was named the Dewey Portland Cement Company with Frank Tyler as president and Herbert Tyler as manager of construction and operations. According to the Washington County Centennial History book, all the principal stockholders were family members and the main office was in Kansas City. 
The first cement ever made in Oklahoma was manufactured at the Tylers’ plant in 1908. Just as a side note, this was also the first cement in the world ever stored in concrete silos. The silos at the Dewey Portland Cement Company stood for over 100 years northeast of Dewey and were a well-known landmark in the area until they were recently demolished. 
Today, Dewey has many other attractions which bring in visitors from around the world including the Tom Mix Museum and the historic Dewey Hotel. The main street through town is named for the Tyler family and it is full of great shops and restaurants. Dewey is also the place where Jacob M. Bartles started the famous Dewey Round-up in 1908, offering some of the richest prize money in the country for rodeo contestants and featuring big name Wild West Show performers like Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill.
I encourage you to read the whole thing here.

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