Native Americans, hardy pioneers, visionary educators, legendary oilmen, German prisoners of war and creative citizens have all left their marks on this city on the Salt Fork River just east of I-35. Tonkawa (the word translates as “they all stay together”) takes its name from the Tonkawa Tribe. Because of abundant wheat production in the area, Tonkawa styles itself “Wheatheart of Oklahoma.”
The town entered the “Roaring Twenties” with the discovery of oil in the Tonkawa (Three Sands) Field in 1929. Briefly known as “The Billion Dollar Spot”, Tonkawa’s population swelled to 10,000 and several beautiful homes and churches built during this time still stand in the city. German prisoners of war were housed in a POW camp during World War II.
Northern Oklahoma College, established in 1901 as University Preparatory School, is the home of the Eleanor Hayes Art Gallery, which hosts outstanding exhibits by Oklahoma artists throughout the academic year, and of the A.D. Buck History and Welcome Center.
Contact the Tonkawa Chamber of Commerce for more information to make your visit to Tonkawa a memorable experience.
Tonkawa Chamber of Commerce
102 East Grand