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All articles copyrighted by the Guymon Daily Herald. Used by permission.


Guymon History Traced

This article appeared in the Thursday, October 8, 1987 Chamber of Commerce Edition, Page 5, Guymon Daily Herald.

Guymon hasn't always been called Guymon, Sanford, the first name of Guymon, was never recognized by the postal department. A commission was issued June 14, 1901 to Cleo Quinn, Guymon's first postmaster. A post office by the name of Sanford was never in operation.

Guymon founders were E.T. Guymon, R.B. Quinn, George E. Ellison, John George, Charles Summers and others.

Those who came into this region to take up land had to have their filing papers completed at Woodward, but in order to avoid delay and a long drive, applications for filing on homesteads could be made at Guymon. R.B. Quinn was the first United States Court Commissioner with whom application could be made.

His office was a very busy place during the years of rapid settllement. The land was easily and quietly occupied. There was little claim-jumping, for the land as a whole was about the same quality and claims were practically equal in value. The distance from the railroad made the greater difference.

This section was greatly benefited by the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company's building into the country in 1900. This road extends diagonally across the county, entering at the northwest corner and leaving the county in the southwest corner. Fifty-five miles of this road are within Texas County.

One story about naming Guymon goes like this: "The railroad came through Guymon in 1900. As the road moved on to the southwest, there was established a town in Texas named Stratford. What we know as Guymon was first named Sanford. This caused much trouble for the freight agent on the train who handled freight for Sanford and Stratford, and many times the shipment went to the wrong place. In desperation one day the freight agent said, "Mr. Guymon is the only one who ever gets any freight anyway, so why don't you call this town Guymon. It was Changed."

Regular trains were put on by Rock Island June 21, 1901. Along this line towns began to grow very rapidly, especially Guymon. The Beaver County Bank, the first one in Guymon, was organized in 1901 by Guymon, Ellison, John H. Lott and Charles Summers, with Guymon as the first president. The bank is now known as the City National Bank.

The first business house to open in the town was a saloon, operated by Jim McQuinen. The first hotel was operated by Mrs.Wilson, mother of Mrs. R.B. Hayes. Another new firm was the first newspaper, the herald, which was moved to Guymon from Hardesty by R.B. Quinn.

The building now occupied by the D & J Store was the first brick building ever built in this part of the country, and was built for Louis Latham. As the walls grew higher, the people looked on doubfully wondering if it would stand or if it would be destroyed by the plains wind.

The First National Bank was orginized in February 1906 by J.H. Wright, who served as its first president. Members of the board of directors were Wright, S.C. Tyler, W.H. Langston, R.S. Cox, J.E. Steele, S.Denny, J.S. Harris, B.M. Ballinger and C. Langston. On March 13, 1913, the First National Bank of Guymon was established-capitol and surplus $28,000.

The first school in Guymon was built on the site where the grade school in the south part of town is now located. This building was afterwards moved across the railroad track. Early day schools lasted six months and teachers were paid about $40 per month.

The first motion pictures were shown in 1909 in the Guymon Opera House.


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