The town of Slick, Oklahoma was named for Tom B. Slick, known among the oil men as “Mad Tom Slick,” “Dry HoleSlick”, and “King of the Wildcatters.” He was the discoverer of the Cushing Oil Field in 1919 and initially kept the discovery
secret, but within a short time, tents and hastily constructed shacks became stores, cafes, pool halls and various kinds of businesses. A post office was established on April 28th of 1920 and Slick was born. Within a short time the railroad was extended to Slick and a large depot was built. Within three months of the discovery, the town had gone from zero to a population of over five thousand, many seeking to get rich quick. The oil fields where extremely dangerous places, and the boom towns themselves weren’t much better. The roads where typical for the era, dust or mud, depending on the weather.
The boom was short lived and by 1930 the railroad was abandoned and the population had fallen to less than 500 people. A fire in the business district destroyed several stores and with the depression and oil production dropping off, more closed due to lack of business. By 1940 much of the town was abandoned. Today little remains of the original slick, other than a few abandoned buildings and homes. A convenience store serves travelers passing through the remains of the town. Some photos of Slick taken in 1940 after the bust and the remains today.
Special Thanks to DW Taylor for the photographs and history!