Tulsa's first "town council" meeting in 1836, under
an oak tree which still stands on a hill near the downtown area,
was presided over by Archie Yahola, a full blooded Creek Indian and
chief of the Tulsa Lochapokas. The name Tulsa was derived from
"tallasi," a contraction of the Creek "Tullahassee" or
"tallahassee," meaning "old town."
The town's initial growth came as a center for ranchers, farmers,
and traders. When the post office was established in 1879, the name
Tulsa became official. Cattle ranching became a major business in
the area and led to the extension of the Frisco Railroad into the
city in 1882.
Tulsa was incorporated as a municipality on January 8, 1898. With
the discovery of oil in nearby Red Fork in 1901, the city grew
quickly, reaching a population of 7,298 by the time of Oklahoma
statehood in 1907. By 1920, the population had reached 72,075 and
Tulsa soon earned the title, "Oil Capital of the World."
Although oil-related businesses remain an important part of the
city's economy, Tulsa has developed a widely diversified business
base which includes nationally prominent companies in aviation and
aerospace, telecommunications, data processing, manufacturing, and
distribution. The community's employment base is diverse and
balanced among several job sectors including manufacturing,
construction, services, high technology, health care, education,
Today, Tulsa has grown to become a thriving community with a
well-earned reputation as simply a great place to live. The
original Council Oak tree spreads its branches overlooking a city
park against a backdrop of high-rise buildings and expressways. It
is a reminder that, while the city has branched out in many
directions, its roots have remained strong.