Tulsa Wasn’t Always aBoomTown

Tlsau had a time when it was not considered a boomtown. It was once an open prairie land that became a small town on the frontier. There were five tribes that came to this area as they traveled the Trail of Tears. The wildcatters would come here when oil was discovered in 1901.

The town we know as Tulsa today was shaped by official surveys that established neighborhoods and drilling sites with the Arkansas River separating the two. With more people coming to the area, there would be some downsides, too.

Such as the smallpox epidemic that broke out. Most homes at the time weren’t large enough to keep the one family member away from the rest. Dr. Fred S Clinton, a surgeon, would establish a hospital with a 4-room cottage in Tulsa. Once the epidemic had passed, that make-shift hospital would close.

In 1906, using an unfinished structure located at today’s 5th and Lawton, a new hospital would be opened. And in 1908, the first nursing class would graduate from there. Today, there are several medical entities and offices in Tulsa with two large hospitals: Hillcrest Hospital South

and Saint Francis Hospital and Hillcrest Medical Center.