Kiefer is a small town (population: 1,818 as of 2012 Census, with median household income of $54,333 in the same year) in the eastern and central part of Creek County, Oklahoma, right between State Highway 67 and Alternate US Highway 75.
It is nearest to the town of Sapulpa, approximately six miles.
A Brief History of Kiefer
This county, whose original name was Praper, became an oil-boom town in the 1906 when the Glenn Pool field was developed in the previous year. Prior to oil-rigging activities in this area, the town had some few buildings and establishment. In fact, the local post office was established on June 26, 1901.
It was also during this time that the construction of a railway system by the St. Louis, Oklahoma and Southern Railway (which was later known as St. Louis and San Francisco Railway) was made, connecting the town through a line south of Sapulpa. By 1906, this small town became a convenient transport point for bringing crude from the Glenn Pool field into the industrial refineries of Texas.
The name Kiefer came to be known with some conflicting stories as to how it really originated. There were many locals who said that the name was made in honor of Smith Kiefer, a resident of the town.
Another source tells of some stories that the name was taken from the last name of some Creek allotees who had their lands leased for the oil drilling ventures. Some other sources claim that the name was in honor of yet another local resident, John Kiefer. Whatever the real story is, the town came to be known as Kiefer when the post office was redesigned in 1906.
The town favored incorporation in November 1908 following a majority of votes from the residents. It eventually ushered in more development and investments for the town. By 1909, the population had grown to about two thousand. There were various businesses, a weekly newspaper, and two banks were in full operation. A number of religious denominations were also established from 1908 to 1912. A few of these sects and organizations were the Methodist-Episcopal, Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), the Woodmen’s Circle, the Royal Neighbors and the Woodmen of the World. There were also Christian churches as well as the St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
The educational system, meanwhile, was improved in 1915. By this time there were already four school buildings and twenty-three school teachers.
Oil Industry in Kiefer
On the other hand, the crude extraction has become a thriving industry in the area. So much was the expansion of the oil activities in Kiefer that Midland Valley Railroad established a line connecting the town to Glenn Pool. This was followed by another railway construction by Oklahoma Union Railway which connected the towns of Kiefer, Sapulpa and Mounds in 1924. An assortment of other establishments was also constructed in town to help augment needs for building construction and oil operations.
However, the Great Depression that struck the US created such a big blow to the industry of oil in Kiefer. Decline in production hit low, prompting many oil companies to lay off workers and shut down operations. The once booming oil industry in Kiefer, which started in 1906, eventually came to a final halt with the closure of Warren Petroleum Gasoline Plant in 1964.
The Kiefer Police Department
The town had a similar reputation to Cromwell in the earlier period. This was largely due to the fact that there was a Bowery section in Kiefer which contributed to it becoming seemingly like a lawless community.
At present there are four paid police officers while ten others are in the reserved force. Currently, Johnny O’Mara serves as the chief of police in the Kiefer Police Department after Johnny Matthews resigned in December 30, 2013.