Our Story

The Story of the City of Nowata Oklahoma


Shaped by over 100 years of people, natural resources, and an abundant demand for opportunity.

This is our story.

City of Nowata Oklahoma one time known for the shallowest oil deposits in the world

Original Oil Fame.

In the Boom Days of Oklahoma, the City of Nowata would become known worldwide for having the world's shallowest oil deposits. This reputation would start a wild race to pump the formations throughout the community.

Oil was originally discovered in the area in the early 1900’s and became the backbone of our economy. A majority of local infrastructure can trace its very existence to the oil industry.

In 1906 the maximum daily production of oil was around 53,000 oil barrels per day or bbls. While oil production still exists within historic formations today, the local economy has become less energy dependent than the earlier years of the community.


American Indian History in the City of Nowata Oklahoma

Indigenous Influence.

In what is known as present day Nowata, Oklahoma there has been many different American Indian nations who have called this area home. For it was the Chief of the Delaware Tribe who blessed these lands with its namesake, "no-we-ata." Delaware for "welcome." While a town to the north of Nowata now bears that tribe's name.

As it was in the era that preceded our city's foundation, our city still bears a strong semblance within its culture and its population to many proud indigenous peoples.

The city now resides within the government jurisdiction of the Cherokee Nation, with 15.7% of the city's total population claiming dual citizenship with the Cherokee Nation. Our boundaries are home to a nation within a nation. 

Take a cruise down main street and you'll notice that main street bears the name of the Cherokee Nation, Cherokee Avenue. Our culture, our past, and our future is forever tied to the peoples of indigenous descent.


City of Nowata Oklahoma is home to never give up attitude amongst its citizens

Strong Resolve.

We've been home to one of the fasting growing economies, the shallowest oil deposits in the world, and we won the race to build the county's courthouse. While we've also endured the loss of the oil industry in the 1980's, Walmart's rise and then abrupt closure in our community in 1995, and a New York Times article that painted us to the world as a "barbed wire town" post-Walmart.

We've seen industry come, grow, merge, be acquired, move, and then something else replaces it. While regardless of the economy, the outlook, we've been a people founded on resiliency. People who won't fall victim to the excuses of being a smaller community bound to a rural topography. What it taught us is that we can rebuild and develop a more diverse economy, less reliant upon the controls of volatile industry constraints.

We are the people of the City of Nowata, rooted in the rising Cherokee Nation, and we are resilient people who are committed to the success and future our community.

County Icon for Nowata County Oklahoma

County Leader.

Ever since we won the race to build Nowata County's courthouse, we've been leading the county forward. From powering its economic engine to being the central social hub of the county, we are committed to the success of Nowata County.

Recently we reaffirmed our shared responsibility in the success of the entire county through key strategic planning that produced the shared city/county motto, "Where the OK Life Begins."

As a county we are connected to one of Oklahoma's borders with the State of Kansas and on a more cultural standpoint, we are rooted in values, Native American culture, and opportunity. All of these things represent what is essential to life in Oklahoma.



Nowata High School Ironmen Football Field Drawing

Successful Children.

Our children, our community's most valuable asset. While we rally around the baseball diamond, the basketball court, and our most favorite passion, our Friday Night Lights, to support our children that's not everything.

We possess some of the state's, heck better yet, this country's most influential teachers. These teachers are backed by principals, superintendents, and school board members who do everything in their power to give Nowata's children the opportunity to be game changers. Game changers in the sense that they are empowered with the ability to change the social and economic fates of not only their own lives, but that of their families. Our kids are prepared for both college and career.

Beyond the realms of formal education our community has a family first atmosphere. With a community built on shared civic responsibility, we all take ownership in making sure our children are granted every opportunity to succeed. From the responsibility of raising farm animals through the local 4-H to the cultivation of locally grown produce through Nowata CAN's community garden, we make sure the children understand their role in creating a better world. 

While we root for our beloved Ironmen on Friday Nights, know that there are so many efforts going on behind the scenes to make this community one founded in the educational and life successes of its youth.

Born here, raised here, and one day will return here to help our community and its next generation of children become successful.

Endless Opportunities Await in Nowata Oklahoma

Limitless Opportunity.

If there is one thing that our city has learned over a century in operation, it's that anything is possible. We've been a world economic benchmark, found black gold amongst our soil, and have found ways to revitalize our economy time and time again. Our opportunities are limitless.

With an unwavering resolve to continue our recent growth we're bound to the potential of our wildest dreams. While we are rooted within the economic stable of the Cherokee Nation, we have a strong network of economic and social stakeholders. We owe our success and our future success to the sweat, blood, and tears of local business owners, civic leaders, and of course, our citizenry.

While we learn from our past, we hope and plan for a brighter future. We all have a shared responsibility and something personal that lives deep within us that fuels us to make Nowata better.

We invite you to come write your own success story here in the City of Nowata. Limitless opportunity.

Join us in Nowata, Oklahoma