A Bit of Collinsville History
History of Collinsville
In the midst of the Cherokee portion of Indian Territory, about ten years before Oklahoma statehood, a small community formed. The site was about a mile east of present day Collinsville. This community was named after Dr. A.H. Collins, who was persuaded to move his post office there in 1898. In 1899, the town was incorporated, meaning they had a population of at least 200.
The railroad was completed that same year and followed the present-day route. The early Collinsville settlers then moved their town, including the wooden buildings and houses, to be adjacent to the new tracks. This avoided the need to construct extra bridges for crossing creeks to the original town site.
Collinsville has seen several cycles of prosperity and lean times since that move. With cattle, coal, and farming being dominant in the beginning, the community exploded after 1911 when two huge zinc smelters arrived. Those smelters brought thousands of workers and associated business to town. The population reached a peak of at least 8000 at one point before the smelter business waned in the early 1920s. During those busy times, many of the brick buildings were built which still give Collinsville its unique downtown character today. Collinsville’s own brick plant provided the bricks for these buildings as well as for many of the town’s streets.
Without the large smelter business, the city relied on oil, gas, farming, and local merchants to carry it forward to today. Over the years, Collinsville has moved from a thriving metropolis to a small town with a population just under 7,000 and an unbeatable quality of life. The historic atmosphere downtown is the perfect setting for its antique stores, boutiques, restaurants, museums, and specialty shops.
Located just west of the main downtown area, built by the Carnegie Foundation in 1917, is the Collinsville Library, a branch of the Tulsa City-County Library system. The Collinsville City Park is centrally located southwest of downtown, in a beautiful natural setting. The newly-built Collinsville Mountain Biking and Hiking Trails are located east of town at Collinsville Lake.
Collinsville is a progressive town that welcomes new residents with a variety of housing types, civic clubs, churches, and an excellent school district. More information about Collinsville can be found by visiting cityofcollinsville.com,or by picking up an issue of our weekly newspaper, the Collinsville Times Star.