A Small-City Streetcar System Starts

January 7, 1907

Three days after a streetcar franchise in Enid, Oklahoma, had been awarded to C.H. Bosler, the Enid City Railway Company was established to build and run that public transportation network. The Enid City Council awarded the franchise with conditions such as streetcar speed limits of 10 miles (16.1 kilometers) per hour in the business district and 20 miles (32.2 kilometers) per hour in the residential neighborhoods. In addition, the streetcars were given right-of-way over everything in the city except fire engines. This streetcar system, which was launched the same year in which Oklahoma became a state, began operations that June.

The electricity for the streetcars was supplied by the Enid Electric and Gas Company. On-duty policemen, firefighters, and U.S. mail carriers were allowed to ride the streetcars free of charge. This benefit was likewise extended to children age five and under who traveled with adults. The streetcars transported passengers to all three railroad depots in the city as well as Oklahoma Christian University, the Enid Cemetery, residential neighborhoods, the public library, the county courthouse, and various hotels.

Through additional services that reflected those offered elsewhere in the United States at the time, the Enid City Railway further encouraged ridership by taking passengers to various recreational activities locally. This included bringing fans to baseball parks to enjoy the games played there. It also encompassed Lakewood Electric Park, which the Enid City Railway Company built and owned. That amusement park took up 23 acres (9.3 hectares) of oak forest and featured an artificial lake covering eight acres (3.2 hectares). The amenities available at the park included a bathhouse, bandstand, open-air theatre auditorium, pavilion, boat house, and bowling alley.

The Enid City Railway’s streetcar system, however, was relatively short-lived. Outlawed by the city council in 1929, the streetcars were replaced by such other transportation options in Enid as buses and taxis.

For more information on the Enid City Railway Company and its streetcar operations, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enid_City_Railway.

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