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The History of Fallis Oklahoma
Lincoln County Oklahoma History
© Nellie Murphy


The History of Fallis Oklahoma

Fallis was at one time, a very pretty little town. Located in a wooded area, it was known as an agriculture community, as well as a railroad town with some oil development. It was also well known, for its size, as the home of five nationally recognized authors and two well known poets.

Fallis was formerly known as Iowa Village, which was north of the Fallis townsite but in 1892, Judge Fallis is reported to have laid out the streets and the plans for Fallis.

Cotton was the principal crop and two cotton gins were in operation. In 1902, the Katy Railroad built through Fallis to Oklahoma City; in 1903 a line was built from Fallis to Guthrie. In 1903, the Ft. Smith and Western crossed through Fallis to Guthrie, making it a very good shipping center.

The first oil well drilled in Lincoln County in 1904 was near Fallis. It did add income to the community, although at the time, oil didn't amount to much.

At the time of statehood, Fallis had a population of 350-400. Four general stores, {one of which sold coffins}, a bakery, two lumber yards, two blacksmith shops, three hotels, two banks, two doctors, four saloons, and a post office with two mail routes. The Katy Railroad brought the mail twice a day. One or two cafes and one school, grade school through high school known as school district #43.

Fallis was most famous for its authors and poets; Blanche Seale Hunt, wrote children's stories, The Little Brown Koko series which appeared in household magazines for twenty years as well as in books. Beulah Rhodes Overman was a writer of popular detective short stories. Jennie Harris Oliver wrote short stories such as "It Is Morning" and many other stories in the 1940's. She was poet laureate of Oklahoma. She had several books of poems for which she was famous. Vingie E. Roe, was a writer of western novels such as "West of Abilene", "Guns of Stone Valley", and "Dust Above the Sage". Her novel " A Devine Egotist ", used Fallis for its setting.

Aletha Caldwell Connor edited the yearly anthology of poetry, written by various Oklahoma authors around 1930. Cecil Brown wrote, "Journey's End ". Delbert Davis wrote "Pipe Dreams" as well as others; was poet laureate of Oklahoma in 1963. Most of these authors knew and helped each other. There are probably others that wrote stories or poems I didn't know about.

Zula {Murphy} Lenon, the daughter of James W. and Sarah Leverich Murphy, was born April 17, 1892, died March 26, 1982. She was the first white baby born in Tohee Township. She was such a history buff about Fallis and the surrounding community, if she were alive today the Fallis report would be much more complete.

A large part of the town burned in about 1960. Zula Lenon's grocery store was also burned.

There were three churches in Fallis in the early days; then the Christian church was built in 1928; it still stands today.

Other businesses located in EARLY DAY FALLIS; by Marie Milner; two butcher shops; three rooming houses; two barber shops; one post office; two livery stables; one city hall; two dressmakers {Mrs. Christ owned one}; two newspapers; one shoe shop; two doctors; one jewelry store; one drug store; two lumber yards; one hat shop; one telephone office; one hardware store; one casket and furniture store; one sawmill; three cotton gins; one railroad waterpump station; one Masonic lodge and one jailhouse.

Zula Lenon was the last person to run a grocery store in Fallis.

© Nellie Murphy
Lincoln County Oklahoma History
Pages 128 - 129.



The History of Fallis Oklahoma

Located in western Lincoln County, Fallis is situated on a paved county road five miles northwest of Wellston. Originally known as Mission, the town was established on the western edge of the Iowa Reservation. In 1894 the name was changed to Fallis for its prime developer and first postmaster, Judge William H. Fallis. Due to its location in the productive valley of Bear and Mission creeks and the Deep Fork River, the community became an agricultural trade center and was at a crossroads of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway and the Fort Smith and Western Railroad. In 1903 fourteen thousand acres around Fallis produced 10,500 bales of cotton worth a half-million dollars. In 1904 the county's first oil well was drilled nearby. At 1907 statehood the population was 321.

Fallis was home to many African Americans. In 1904 one of its two newspapers, the Fallis Blade, had a black editor. Well-known African Americans born in Fallis include Oklahoma educator Frederick Douglass Moon, U.S. Medal of Honor recipient Riley L. Pitts, and Radio Hall of Fame inductee Jesse B. Blayton, Sr. Other newspapers serving Fallis residents included the Star and the Gazette.

After its commercial prosperity ended, Fallis became known as an artist's community. Well-known juvenile fiction writers Blanche Seale Hunt and Aletha Caldwell Conner, Oklahoma poet laureate Jennie Harris Oliver, and novelist Vingie Roe moved there because of the town's rustic, inspirational surroundings. Roe used Fallis as the setting for A Devine Egotist {1916}. At the turn of the twenty-first century the population had declined to 28 from 105 in 1950. Fallis maintained a fire station, with twenty volunteer firefighters, and a community building, which was constructed in 1999.

© Oklahoma Historical Society.




Fallis {formerly Mission} Post Office

The community of Fallis was known as Mission until July 13, 1894. The first postmaster was John F. Murdock, June 23, 1892. William H. Fallis became postmaster July 13, 1894, and changed the name of the community to Fallis on July 13, 1894. Henry R. Williams became postmaster April 23, 1907; followed by William H. Murphy, George H. Tea, and Egerton Paddock.

© Frankia Story
Lincoln County Oklahoma History
page 129.



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