Oakwood, or Oakwoods, as it was first called, could have ended up in a puddle of mud. The town, located in Leon County, was founded in 1870 one mile north by northeast of the present location and three miles from the Trinity river. Because of the river's frequent overflow, the town was just too muddy, although bustling. The site was chosen by the International Railroad Co. and named Oakwoods because of the quantity of post oak trees.
In 1878 the New York and Texas Land Co. offered to move the town to a sandier location. And so Oakwood was moved to its present site--an exact duplicate of the town was constructed including eight businesses and eight residential blocks on the north side of the railroad tracks.
Like other towns fortunate enough to be built along the iron horse lines, Oakwood grew with the railroad. In the years between 1879 and 1884, most of the population of Butler moved to Oakwood. Early settlers, and there were many, included A.E. Cutler, W.E. Holley, Mrs. Addie Wiley, Dr. J.W. Murdock and the Hammitt, Mays, Gills and Waldrin families.
As the town grew, the Oakwood settlers recorded their first death, in 1881, while in 1885 the first son was sent off to college.
In 1884, it was reported that Methodist Church was built. A tannery, distillery and cotton gin were operating in the late '80's, but in 1891 disaster struck and the town was destroyed by fire. Three times, in 1891, 1908 and 1917, the town burned to the ground, "Mrs. Hale said. And in 1922, the south side was burned and re-built in 1923.
Each time the hardy settlers re-constructed Oakwood, and in 1901 the first bank was built and called the Wiley-McKenzie Bank. In 1912, a lighting system was established, and citizens had a water and sewage system by 1928.
Officials of the railroad town included A.T. Clark, first mayor when the town incorporated in 1905; John Perry, first justice of the peace; and John Perrin, postmaster.
Children first attended school in Oakwood in the back room of a blacksmith shop, and a building was constructed for classes in 1884.In 1896, children attended classes in a two-story frame structure.
CITY OF OAKWOOD
CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
|Marty Bailey ( Mayor Pro-tem)