Learn About This Location
Bartlesville is a city mostly in Washington County in Oklahoma. It is 47 miles North of Tulsa & 18 miles South of the Kansas border. Bartlesville is noteable as the longtime home of Phillips Petroleum Company. Frank Phillips founded Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville in 1905 when the area was still an Indian Territory.
Jacob Bartles, son-in-law of Delaware chief Charles Journeycake, moved from Wyandotte County, Kansas, to Indian Territory in 1873. He settled first at Silver Lake, a natural lake south of the present city of Bartlesville. In 1874, he opened a trading post and post office on Turkey Creek, in what is now East Bartlesville. In the following year, he bought a grist mill on the Caney River and modified it to produce flour. Bartles then built a two-story general store and residence, and added a rooming house, a blacksmith shop and a livery stable. Other settlers soon moved into the immediate area, which was then called Bartles Town. In 1880, Bartles moved his Turkey Creek post office to this town. Bartles then provided the community with electricity, a telephone system and a water distribution system.
Development of the present city began after William Johnstone and George B. Keeler opened a general store on the south side of the Caney River in 1884. The first newspaper, The Weekly Magnet, began publication in March 1895. The town was incorporated in Indian Territory in January 1897. The town was surveyed and platted in 1898, and eighty acres were offered to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad for a depot. The railroad reached the town in 1899. The post office was moved from "North Bartlesville" in 1899.