Not many cities know the exact date and time of its birth. Enid does, born at Noon on Sept. 16, 1893, going from 0 to 10,000 people in one day in what is still known as the largest competitive event in US history, the Cherokee Strip Land Run. The Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, a $10M Smithsonian-quality facility, tells the unique history and development of the Cherokee Outlet.
No one is sure how Enid got its name. Most believe a railroad official named it Enid after the heroine in the Alfred, Lord Tennyson novel Idylls of the King. Local folklore, however, says a dyslexic restaurant owner misspelled the word “Dine” outside of the restaurant, and “Enid” became the town’s name.
History books say John Wilkes Booth was killed in a barn in Virginia two weeks after he assassinated President Lincoln. But was he? In 1903, 37 years after Lincoln’s assassination, David E. George committed suicide in Enid. On his death bed at the Grand Hotel (now Garfield Furniture), George declared he was John Wilkes Booth. To this day, the Booth family believes their ancestor died in Enid.
The only remaining U.S. Land Office from any of the seven Oklahoma land runs is located at Humphrey Heritage Village, part of the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center in Enid. This land office originally stood at what is now the northwest corner of Grand and Maine, home today to the Enid Public Library.
The streets on the square were originally named with letters, A, B, C, D, E, and F. F street was called "Boundary" and it is now Randolph. E street is now Broadway. D street is now Maine. C street is now Cherokee, B street is now Oklahoma, and A street is now Park.
D street was renamed Maine street after the sinking of the Battleship Maine, an act that precipitated the Spanish American War. The City Council changed the name in 1898. Maine is misspelled "Main" frequently in city directories and on postcards because it was often mistaken by publishers. A typo, yes, but one with a story.
Enid is home to the state’s longest-running symphony. The Enid Symphony Orchestra has played each year since 1905, two years before Oklahoma statehood.
Woodring Regional Airport was named after Lt. I.A. "Bert" Woodring, an Enid native who was one of the army's most famous test pilots and a member of the famed "Three Musketeers" aerobatic team, the first U.S. display team formed in 1927. Lt. Woodring later escorted Charles Lindbergh on his U.S. tour after Lindbergh made his solo flight across the Atlantic. Lt. Woodring was killed in a plane crash during a test flight in Dayton, Ohio in 1933.
The 1922 Enid Harvesters in professional baseball's Western Association was named the 20th best Minor League Baseball Team of all time by Minor League Baseball (MiLB.com). The Harvesters finished the season with a record of 104-27. Of all the full season teams to play pro ball in the 20th century, Enid's .794 winning percentage ranks supreme. Their leading hitter was left fielder Frank Reiger, called "The Babe Ruth of the Western Association." Reiger, born in nearby Garber, OK, batted .392 with 31 home runs in 120 games.
A 17 year-old boy lay in Enid dying of tuberculosis in 1935 when God healed him and he gave his life to Christ. That boy was Oral Roberts, founder of Oral Roberts University. After graduating from Phillips University, Roberts began his ministry in Enid at a small church north of Emerson Middle School. His first community revival meeting in May, 1947 drew 1,200 people to the Education Building at the corner of Garriott and Independence. Shortly thereafter Roberts moved to Tulsa and began his world-wide healing ministry.
One-third of all the Air Force’s pilots get their training at Enid’s Vance Air Force Base
Government Springs Park was an historic watering hole along the Chisholm Trail.
$10 million in private donations was raised to build the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, which opened April 1, 2011 and tells the story of the Oklahoma Land Run and subsequent development of the region. The Heritage Center was named Outstanding New Attraction in Oklahoma in 2012.
Enid produces more Philly cheese steak sandwiches than any other town in the world – even Philadelphia thanks to Advance Pierre Food Company. Advance Pierre also is the largest producer of school lunch food in the United States.
Enid’s Western Enterprises is one of the last fireworks manufacturers left in the United States.
Dr. Sheldon Cooper contemplates moving to Enid on an episode of "The Big Bang Theory," (The Bozeman Reaction, Season 3, Episode 13). "Unfortunately, as I'm earthbound for the foreseeable future, I need to find a location that's more hospitable than the mean streets of Pasadena. Like Enid, Oklahoma. Low crime rate and high-speed Internet connectivity, but no model train shops. Sorry, Enid."
Movies filmed in and around Enid made their debuts at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018 and 2019. The motion picture "Wildlife," starring Academy Award nominees Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan, was filmed in Enid in late 2016 and debuted at Sundance in 2018. "To The Stars," starring Kara Hayward and Liana Liberato, opened at Sundance in 2019. Other movies filmed in Enid include "The Killer Inside Me," in 2009, and "Dillinger," in 1973. Click here to learn move about movies filmed in Enid.