Denoya – originally known as Whizbang – was a wild boomtown that rose quickly after the founding of the Burbank oil field. The local postmaster at the time thought the name Whizbang was undignified as a town, so instead named the new town Denoya after a prominent Osage Indian family.
Denoya exploded onto the scene almost overnight when an oil drilled by E.W. Marland (later to be Governor of Oklahoma) hit paydirt, pumping out over 600 barrels of oil per day. Soon a second, third, and fourth wells were drilled, one which eventually produced over 2,500 barrels of oil per day.
With an oil play of such magnitude, soon businesses and people of all kinds – good and bad – flooded into this quickly growing town. In the early 1920’s over three hundred business buildings were erected in Denoya, along with a multitude of houses. It turned into one of the most wild and dangerous towns of the Oklahoma oil boom, with shootings occurring on a regular basis.
You can read much more about the colorful history of Denoya – including tales of outlaw/sheriff Jose Alvarado, in the OU Press book “Ghost Towns of Oklahoma“.
GPS Coordinates: N36 45.911 W96 42.461
Wikipedia entry: Denoya (Whizbang)
James and I at Denoya (sorry for the wind noise, it was REALLY windy and cold and we didn’t have a sound guy handy)
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