Nowata Area Chamber of Commerce
Nowata, derived from the Delaware word "no-we-ta," meaning "welcome," is located in the heart of Green Country on Hwy 169 and Hwy 60.
In 1889, the Iron Mountain Railroad completed a rail through Indian Territory and set stations every six miles along its tracks from the Kansas border to Arkansas. The Cherokee town of Nowata was established in 1892 and incorporated in 1904.
Following the discovery of oil and gas in the late 1890s, Nowata emerged as a growing boom town. Newspapers were being published in 1894, telephones were in use by 1899, and in 1903, the first public school was built. That same year, the very first graduation ceremony in Indian Territory took place at Nowata school.
In 1908, Nowata became the county seat with gas, sewers, water, electricity and refrigeration in place by 1911. A large number of grass acres encouraged cattle grazing and production. The Henderson Gasoline Plant, the largest in the world at the time, was built in Nowata County and the shallow oil fields became a draw for those trying to make their fortune in the oil and gas business. Nowata remains a thriving community with a strong economy, prosperous businesses and small town hospitality.