Why is Oklahoma City the Capital of Oklahoma?

Why is Oklahoma City the Capital of Oklahoma?
Why is Oklahoma City the Capital of Oklahoma?

Deep in America’s heartland sit’s the state of Oklahoma, known for its agriculture and tales of tornados. Stretching plains and cowboy culture are what make this state so unique.

What is the capital of Oklahoma?

Oklahoma City is the capital of Oklahoma, a city that is surrounded by working oil wells and a lively downtown area.

Check out more in the article to learn more about this midwestern city.

Where is the Capital of Oklahoma Located?

Where is the Capital of Oklahoma Located
Where is the Capital of Oklahoma Located

Oklahoma City sits along the interconnecting corridor to Mexico and Texas and is a three-hour drive from Dallas-Fortworth. It’s a larger city with a total of 620.34 square miles. It sits in the Sandstone Hills part of the state and is bisected by the Oklahoma River.

The city boasts three large lakes, Lake Overholser, Lake Hefner, and Lake Stanley Draper. 

A Brief History of Oklahoma City

A peaceful cove on a Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City in the spring.
A peaceful cove on a Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City in the spring.

When the land was opened for settlement on April 22nd, 1889, Oklahoma City was founded.  More than 10,000 hardworking men and women homesteaders settled, and the population quickly doubled by 1900.

In 1907, Oklahoma was admitted into the union, and Oklahoma City became the state’s capital. In 1928, with the discovery of oil, the city became a major producer of oil. After the second world war, construction grew, and the city became a major interchange on the Interstate Highway System.

In 1971, Oklahoma City elected Patience Latting as the first female mayor in the country. 

Sadly many of the state’s beautiful historic buildings were destroyed to make room for more modern businesses, and the population declined significantly in the 1980s.

However, in the early 1990s, the Metropolitan Area began to rebuild and added a new library, baseball park, convention center, and water canal. As a result, the population increased dramatically with the addition of more retail shops and grocery stores. 

In 1995, the city suffered damage to more than 100 buildings after the Oklahoma City bombing at the Murrah building. As a result, the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum was founded.

When Did Oklahoma City Become the Capital of Oklahoma?

Oklahoma City, cityscape in Bricktown at dusk
Oklahoma City, cityscape in Bricktown at dusk

The state of Oaklama was admitted into the union in 1907, and Oklahoma City became the new capital. 

Why is Oklahoma City the Capital of Oklahoma?

Skyline of Oklahoma City, OK with OKC sign and ferris wheel
Skyline of Oklahoma City, OK with OKC sign and ferris wheel

In 1907, the city surpassed the city of Guthrie as the state’s commercial hub and center of population.  Oklahoma City was moved from Guthrie due to the city being on the infamous Route 66. Due in part to the jazz era of the 1940s, the city gained popularity.  

Route 66 was mentioned in the 1936 song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” by Bobby Troup.

Best Places to Visit in Oklahoma City

With its western influence and southern charm, Oklahoma City also has a strong economy and plenty of fun things to do. Read on as I list some of the best places to visit in the city. 

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

This museum is the country’s mecca for Western art, culture, and history. The museum holds Western artifacts and gives us the history of the American West. The museum also has a huge collection of contemporary and classic Western art. 

One particularly interesting wing of the museum is a replica of a turn-of-the-century western town with galleries focusing on American cowboy history, rodeos, and Native American culture.

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden

This beautiful zoo and botanical garden covers over 130 acres and is where over 1,900 animals call home. Exhibits include Asian elephants, big cats, sea lions, and more. 

The zoo also has a special children’s section where kids can play while connecting with nature and animals like goats, flamingos, and monkeys. The zoo is also home to a 21,000-square-foot butterfly garden, a giraffe feeding platform, and an amphitheater.


Brickton is Oklahoma City’s thriving downtown, which was founded just after the Land Run of 1889. Brickton is a place where railroads and highways connect, giving easy access to all it has to offer. 

Brickton has over 45 restaurants, retail shops, bars, and other attractions. The museums and galleries are delightful, and there is even an urban beach. The area’s diversity makes it incredibly distinct without taking away from the city’s history.

Museum of Osteology

The Museum of Osteology is one of the coolest things about Oklahoma City, in my opinion. A museum for just bones is so interesting, and it’s an educational experience for both children and adults that focus on the skeletal system. 

The 7,000 square ft museum has hundreds of skeletons from all over the world, showing the diversity of the amazing vertebrate kingdom. 

Oklahoma City Museum of Art

One of the best things about this museum is that children ages 17 and under are free—a great way to get kids interested in art. 

The museum has exhibits from collections around the world. Highlights from European, Asian, and North American art are everywhere, along with postwar art. 

It also has a theater that shows some of the best independent, classic films and documentaries. 

Henry Overholser Mansion

This beautiful mansion was home to entrepreneur Henry Overholser who came to Oklahoma during the 1889 Land Run. He and his wife built one of the most stunning homes in the area, which soon became a place for social networking and gatherings during the early 1900s.

It boasts stunning turn-of-the-century architecture that is completely original. The three-story mansion is not only welcoming to visitors, but it also hosts events by the Preservation Society of Oklahoma. 

The Henry Overholser mansion is one of the state’s oldest homes.

Frontier City

This Wild West amusement park, owned by Six Flags, is full of both old and contemporary rides. Frontier City has become a staple to the city, with rides and fun for people of all ages. 

The park’s main attractions include a saloon, post office, marshalls’ office, hotel, and fire department, all featuring the wild west theme. Folks can also watch staged robberies and gunfights and enjoy water rides and kid’s attractions. 


Oklahoma City stands out as a beacon of the old west in America. A city full of history but has all the convenience of the modern day. 

See Also

Capital Cities 

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!