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 Post subject: Carter Nine
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10th, 2011 am31 11:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 20th, 2011 pm31 10:33 pm
Posts: 251
Location: Ralston, Oklahoma
Carter Nine was one of the many oil boom towns that sprang up around the Burbank field strike. It was unique in that it was company owned, built as a camp to house its offices and workers. Having seen the chaos and lawlessness of other boom towns in the area, such as Whizbang,the Carter Oil company built their own "town" and fenced it in.

It was exceptionally tough to find information or historical photographs on Carter Nine. The town ceased to exist over 60 years ago, but strangely still shows up on Google maps. Except for a few old timers, most of the locals have even forgotten it.


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The remains of the town and refinery were spread over a large area, especially the refinery. I felt like an explorer deep in the jungle exploring the remains of a lost civilization. Hidden in the brush, there were ruins of structures everywhere, and though I walked at least a mile, the remains showed no signs of lessening. You could drive right by and never realize it was there, assuming for some reason you wanted to drive down a rough dirt road that wasn't much better than a cow path....


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At the peak of the Burbank field oil boom in Osage county, Oklahoma, the Carter Oil Company arrived. The Carter Oil Company was founded in 1893 and became a susidary of Standard Oil. In 1915 the company moved its headquarters to Tulsa and began operating in the many oil fields in Oklahoma. The company later became one of the founding pieces of Exxon.

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In 1920, the Carter Oil company purchased oil leases in the rapidly expanding Burbank field. Having seen the chaos and lawlessness of many of the oil boom towns, such as Whizbang, the company decided to build a contained and fenced community for its workers. Originally, Carter Oil wanted to build the camp at nearby Burbank, but was unable to find any property at a reasonable price, i.e. the locals tried to gouge the company. As a result, Carter Oil decided to build the camp on oil lease property they already owned. The camp was constructed in the 9th quadrant of the Carter Oil lease, hence the name Carter Nine.

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The camp was originally built with company offices and two rows of 50 homes, with a third row added later. As the boom continued, the camp
continued to expand, adding a school, stores, cafes, etc in and around the camp. The community became an incorporated town with the establishment
of a post office on the 14th of August, 1928.

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The town was considered very progressive for the era, with electricity and modern plumbing. Carter Oil had built a large Naptha plant nearby, which produced high octane gasoline, solvents, butane and propane. The company sponsored high school which excelled in sports and academic competition including basketball, track and tennis. Children from the smaller camps and area farms and ranches attended the school as well.

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At its peak, the Burbank had six refineries operating. As the fields production waned, these plants begin to consolidate or close. The Skelly Oil Company took over the Carter Nine plant in 1935, who operated it until 1940, when the plant and the remaining Carter Oil Company holdings in the area were acquired by Phillips Petroleum. Much of the towns population was transferred or laid off when this occurred and the orignal camp was razed. The school remained, but by 1942, the high school had closed, with the grade school lasting until Phillips closed the refinery in 1945, consolidating its operations with another Phillips plant west of nearby town of Shidler. At it's peak, more than 500 homes surrounded Carter Nine when the Burbank field employed between 30,000 and 40,000 people. By the time the plant closed, this had dropped to a single grocery and 36 homes.

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I found an old interview with a Loyd Rafferty, the owner of the last grocery in Carter Nine, which he was closing with the refinery shutdown. In the interview he said that at it's peak, almost 10,000 people lived in or around Carter Nine. At the plant closing, less than 100 remained. Loyd had seen it all, getting his start by delivering bread by wagon from the Crocket Bakery in Burbank in the early 1920s. He had owned a
grocery in Whizbang before opening his store in Carter Nine in 1935, which was when Whizbang began its rapid decline.

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The reporter who interviewed Loyd closed his interview with this:

"On a quiet Sunday morning the plant lost its rhythm, slowed, weakened and stopped as workmen made the final shutdown. The prairie became eerily silent as an era came to end."


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_________________
"Ruins, the fate of all cities."


Last edited by dwtaylor999 on Mon Jan 23rd, 2012 pm31 5:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Carter Nine
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19th, 2011 pm31 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 26th, 2011 pm31 2:35 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Edmond
Wind doesn't blow around there at all does it? :lol:

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Thanks for sharing an interesting piece of history.


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 Post subject: Re: Carter Nine
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23rd, 2012 pm31 6:02 pm 
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Location: Ralston, Oklahoma
Below is a photo showing Loyd the grocery owner as a young man when he worked for the Crockett bakery in Burbank. Looks like he had been upgraded to a truck from the horse and wagon. Also looks like the bakery had expanded into Shidler from the truck logo. Loyd retired with the closing of Carter Nine and retired to the nearby town of Shidler. He passed away in 1960.

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Another old newspaper clipping with a photo of some of the plant at Carter Nine the day it was closed.

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_________________
"Ruins, the fate of all cities."


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 Post subject: Re: Carter Nine
PostPosted: Mon May 20th, 2013 pm31 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 20th, 2011 pm31 10:33 pm
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Location: Ralston, Oklahoma
Vicky Kelly provided these old photos and maps of Carter Nine.

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_________________
"Ruins, the fate of all cities."


Last edited by dwtaylor999 on Mon May 20th, 2013 pm31 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Carter Nine
PostPosted: Mon May 20th, 2013 pm31 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22nd, 2011 pm31 12:14 pm
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Location: Broken Arrow
Excellent, the sites with history are my favorites.


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 Post subject: Re: Carter Nine
PostPosted: Mon May 20th, 2013 pm31 4:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 20th, 2011 pm31 10:33 pm
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Location: Ralston, Oklahoma
Thought I had posted these here before, but I guess not.... More Carter 9

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_________________
"Ruins, the fate of all cities."


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 Post subject: Re: Carter Nine
PostPosted: Mon Sep 9th, 2013 pm30 2:18 pm 
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I grew up in a Carter Oil Comp camp. It was on the north edge of Seminole. My Grandparents lived there , and my Mother dropped me off there every day while she worked.

My Great Grandad, came to Oklahoma from Ohio sometime around 1910. He worked in the oil fields at Oilton, where my Grandparents met and were married, and my Mother was born in 1925. My Grandad went to work for the Carter Oil company in Oilton and then was transferred to the Seminole field around 1930.

The originally lived in a Carter camp near the town of Little, which is 9 miles north of Seminole. They had a shotgun house in the camp and my Mother attended Prairie Valley High School. Later on, Standard of New Jersey , which Carter was a subsidiary of, reorganized and Carter was merged with other Standard owned companies to become the Humble Oil Company, which became Exxon in 1972. Sometime during this period, there was another Camp constructed closer to Seminole.

The Seminole Carter Camp was located at the intersection of Hwy 99 and Good Hope Road. I'm sure remnants of the old camp are still there , as I recall playing on a cellar just like the one pictured above. It was right next to my Grandad's house. And there was two story wooden office building not very far away, along with a concrete parking area.

And in fact, there were several oil company camps around Seminole. It was very common for comanies to build housing for their people as housing in boom towns was very hard to come by. When the Seminole field boomed, in the late 1920's and 1930's, I heard stories of oil workers renting a place to sleep in lumber yards, on top of the wood.

Seminole also had a Gulf Camp and a Sinclair Camp, and I think there was one or two others.

Thanks for the pics, this brings back many memories. The Seminole Carter Camp was located in a grove of tall trees and I remember as a kid listening to the bluejays calling among the trees, and to this day, every time I hear a bluejay , I think of Carter Camp.


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 Post subject: Re: Carter Nine
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19th, 2014 pm31 9:42 pm 
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Hi, my father and his siblings grew up in the Carter Oil Camps in Seminole. I believe they attended Wolf school for a while and I think his older siblings, Doyle and Nina Sutton graduated from high school there. My grandfather, Lewis Sutton, was kill in an oil field accident there in 1935. I believe my grandmother kept the family there until the early 40's and then they moved into the Oklahoma City area. I am attaching my grandfather's funeral notice.


Attachments:
Lewis Sutton Funeral Notice.png
Lewis Sutton Funeral Notice.png [ 220.14 KiB | Viewed 269 times ]
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