Garfield county Oklahoma, the closest neighbors to Garber are; Billings, Breckenridge, Covington, Enid, Fairmont, and Hunter.
Garber, Ok., has a population of around 750, plus or minus. Home to the Wolverines. On State Highways 15/74, three miles north of their junction with U.S. Highways 64/412 and sixteen miles east of Enid. In October 1899 the Garber Town Company, owned by Milton C. and Burton A. Garber, platted the town.
The usual small-town agriculture-oriented businesses soon appeared. By 1905 four grain elevators served the area's prosperous wheat farmers. Petroleum development significantly affected life in Garber. Nearby, drilling began as early as 1904-05. From 1899 the Garber Sentinel informed the residents, and the Free Press began publication in 1949. The Garber-Billings News today keeps the neighbors informed.
Booms happened again in 1925 and 1927, the latter continuing through the 1930s. Three refineries operated by 1929. By 1920 the boom had grown Garber to an unofficial population count of 2,200. The town attained status as a first-class city. The oil industry made many Garberites wealthy and continued to provide residents with employment and income, although the area's inhabitants still rely on wheat and cattle.
Breckenridge, Ok., with a population of around 250, plus or minus. Seven miles east of Enid, four miles north of U.S. Highway 64 on County Roads N2960/E0400. In March 1901 the Frisco Town Company platted the town, and it is said to have been named for Breckinridge Jones, president of the Mississippi Valley Trust Company of St. Louis. He was a major financier of both the BES and the Denver, Enid and Gulf Railway. The postal designation was originally spelled Breckenridge but was changed to Breckinridge two months later.
By 1918 residents patronized a bank, a hardware, and several general store/grocery establishments. Blackwell Milling and Elevator Company and the Randals & Grub elevator served the surrounding farmers. Breckinridge had a German band in the pre-World War I years. The Breckinridge Times informed the citizens in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Hunter, Ok., a population of around 550, plus or minus. Approximately sixteen miles northeast of Enid, situated on County Road E0310, four miles due west of State Highway 74/15. The place was named for Charles E. Hunter, the railroad's townsite manager and an Enid real estate promoter who had been in Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders during Spanish-American War.
By 1901 Hunter already consisted of seventy-five buildings that sheltered the Bank of Hunter, a furniture/undertaker dealer, and numerous other enterprises. The area's farms already produced enough to support four local grain elevators. By 1918 a second hotel had opened and a Catholic Church had been built. Citizens enjoyed socializing at the Epworth League, IOOF (Odd Fellows), Knights of Pythias, and Farmers' Union. The Hunter Enterprise informed the citizens from 1904 through 1923. Grain and orchards provided an ongoing economic base, and the town remained a small agricultural center in the midst of a prosperous wheat-farming region.
Fairmont, Ok., with a population of around 150, plus or minus. Located ten miles east-southeast of Enid. Fairmont is sited on County Roads N2970/E0450, approximately two miles south of U.S. Highway 64/412. The surrounding Patterson Township began to be settled in 1893 with the opening of the Cherokee Outlet. Homesteaders grew wheat, primarily as a cash crop, and garden crops to sustain their families. The township had 546 residents in 1900.
1902 town lots were sold in one day by auction and mail-order bids. On the opening day the celebration included a beer wagon. The town was named by John Murphy. December of that year, Edmund Frantz, Enid entrepreneur and brother of future territorial governor Frank Frantz, immediately built a hotel and set up a lumber company. Two railroads crossed at Fairmont, a hub of agricultural services. Two elevators were built along the Frisco and two along the Santa Fe.
Covington, Ok., a population of around 550, plus or minus. Covington-Douglas Public Schools, the Wildcats. Located six miles south of U.S. Highway 64 on State Highways 74/15 approximately seventeen miles southeast of Enid, the county seat. The surrounding area was part of the Cherokee Outlet, opened by run in 1893. The town is named for local homesteader and townsite investor John Covington.
Covington made headlines in August 1926 when the notorious Kimes brothers, George and Matt, robbed the town's two banks on a quiet Wednesday afternoon. Their gang of four or five locked twenty-four people in a vault and demanded "just the bank's money, not the widows' and orphans'." The crooks were captured a month later.
In 1917 an oil boom resulted in numerous wells being drilled in the Garber-Covington oil field. Through the twentieth century oil production continued to provide employment. Champlin Oil and Refining Company of Enid was an important operator. Wheat farming and agricultural services have also continued to generate jobs and income.
Billings, Ok., (in Nobel Co.) With a population of around 400, plus or minus. On State Highway 15, five miles west of Interstate Highway 35, in the northwest corner of Noble County, Billings is approximately thirty-five miles from both Enid and Ponca City, Oklahoma, the major shopping and medical centers for residents.
A Billings Town Company formed, with directors M. O. Billings, Wesley Taylor, and James M. Taylor, the town was named for Billings. A Spring Carnival souvenir booklet dated April 14, 1900, reveals that the townsite was opened October 23, 1899. By April the population approached eight hundred, served by forty business houses, three churches, and two lodges.
After peaking at 846 in 1920, the population varied from 500 to 600 from 1930 to 1980. The Billings News informed the community from 1902 through 1985. One graduate of Billings High School, Henry L. Bellmon of the class of 1938, made a significant contribution to the history of Oklahoma. He served two terms both as governor of Oklahoma and in the U.S. Senate.
Sourced with: © Oklahoma Historical Society.