History of Bartlesville & Washington County, Oklahoma

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Washington County, OK

Wayside

(formerly Ayetla)

In 1902 the Katy railroad placed a boxcar depot called Ayetla here along the tracks from Coffeyville to Dewey. It was renamed Wayside during the oil boom after the productive shallow Wayside sand. Benjamin F. Teague built a small general store here in 1907, and was the first postmaster of the post office that operated here from 1910 until 1931, with the town peaking in 1924. A Wolverine Gas Company gas processing plant was located here, with a spur of the railroad running to the plant loading station. Other pioneers were J.W. Chandler, Hugh Watson, J.W. Richardson, and W.R. Mosby.

Before 1916 Abner F. Wright built a store and meat market north of the gas plant. Ed Hadley operated the store and Clarence Swan worked there in 1901 when he was 15. The post office would relocate to this store. The community also had a blacksmith shop, the Clark and Bates lumber yard operated by a Mr. Plew, and a small cluster of homes. Jim Bridges boarded folks in his home, and the Willits operated a cafe. A school was built in 1909 south of the store and operated until it was annexed into the Dewey system in 1949.

Sam Evans later bought the leases at the Wolverine site and dismantled the railroad loading block, platting the townsite as the Ayetla Addition. The gas plant was dismantled around 1930 and the main headquarters building was moved to Copan and used as the county barn. He refinished the 68-box post office cabinet from the store and in 1961 displayed it in the Dewey post office.

The railroad tried to rename the depot Allen in 1940, but those who remained in the area would not cooperate. The tiny grassy Wayside Airport is here, accessible from oil field roads. Mike Lester, whose family owns land in the area, reports that the military sometimes lands helicopters here at night for training.


Washington County Carrel