The City of Nowata, the county seat, is located in the south central section of the county on the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad, not far from the Verdigris River. It is now a flourishing city of 5,000 people and is supplied with a system of water works, electric lights, telephones, natural gas, paved streets, cement sidewalks and all modern conveniences usually found in an up-to-date city of its size.
It is surrounded by rich farm land, which is especially adapted to small grain. This is also an ideal dairying and stock raising country. The City of Nowata is in the heart of the shallow oil field of Nowata County and immediately adjacent to the city is a vast coal field which is now being opened.
Nowata has an assessed valuation of $2,839,669 and an estimated valuation of $5,000,000. The 1920 census gives the following figures: Population, 4,435, of which 3,920 are white and 515 are colored, and only forty-nine foreign born. It has 1,077 homes, 578 of which are owned by the occupants and 357 of these are free from debt. It has 26.55 miles of streets, 6.47 miles of which are paved, a municipally owned water plant, giving the citizens one of the lowest water rates in the state; motorized fire equipment, and a greater portion of the city served by a sanitary sewer.
The public schools have a total enrollment of 1,406, classified as follows : White grade school, 874; white high school, 318; colored grade school, 161; colored high school, 53; with a corps of fifty-six teachers and a a annual payroll of $77,904. The high school is approved by the North Central High School Association, and its graduates can enter any state college in the country without undergoing an examination. The school system represents an investment in grounds, buildings and equipment of $225,000 for white pupils and $40,000 for colored pupils.
It has a public library, open eight hours a day, with a competent librarian in charge. It has 2,784 volumes for adults and 1,250 volumes in the juvenile department.
Source: Benedict, John D. Muskogee and northeastern Oklahoma, including the counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa. 3 v. illus., ports., facsims. 28 cm. Chicago, S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1922.