The town of Piedmont was originally homesteaded by Mr. James Dean, who had made the Unassigned Land Run of April 22, 1889. After his death in 1899, the farm became the property of Dr. E.H. Long, who was both a medical doctor and an attorney. In 1903, Dr. Long had a quarter-section of land laid out for a townsite. On November 6, 1903, the local newspaper reported, "The townsite of Piedmont is one of the prettiest in Oklahoma. The town is laid off on smooth but gently sloping ground, with the best residence portion considerably higher than the business district; and from the higher ground a splendid view can be had of the valley farms away to the southward. No more beautiful location for a town can be found anywhere."
Despite the initial flurry of activity in 1903, the town prospered with the coming of the St. Louis-El Reno-Western Railroad in 1904. At that time, lots were auctioned along the railroad right-of-way. The first train arrived in Piedmont on New Year's Day, 1904. Settlers who had located outside of Piedmont, primarily from the communities of Eda, Herron and Mathewson, hastened to move closer to the railroad. They joined other merchants to form the town by physically moving their business structures. After Piedmont was established, a larger school was needed. In 1905, a two-story, four room school was built in town. The Starr School building, established in 1893, located south of NW 150th Street on State Highway 4, was then abandoned and later sold.
In 1906, the first telephone service was installed by the Canadian Valley Farmers Telephone Company. On Saturday, November 16, 1907, President Roosevelt signed the Statehood Proclamation at 10:17 a.m., Eastern Time. Oklahoma was now the 46th State of the Union with the power to make her own laws. In 1909, the Town of Piedmont was incorporated. Prior to incorporation, the municipal township of Mathewson provided government services below the county level.
During the period from 1903 through 1910, local businesses included the following: a newspaper, bank, doctor's office, blacksmith, general store, grocery, two meat markets, a drug store, merchantile company, undertaker, hotel, millnery shop, two harness and shoe shops, two livery stables, three grain elevators, two cotton gins, a railroad depot, ice house, dentist office, pool hall, barber shop, and a telephone office. In addition to these 28 businesses, there was a post office, church, jail and the school. By 1910 , the population of Piedmont was 255.
The lifeblood of Piedmont business was agriculture, especially wheat production. The merchants and large-scale farmers despised the lack of transporation, which often included the railroad shutting down daily between El Reno and Guthrie, because of bad weather. With only seasonal and unpredictable agricultural freight, the renamed Fort Smith & Western Railroad did not take in sufficient revenues to pay indebtedness. On Febrary 15, 1925, the line was auctioned on the steps of the Canadian County Courthouse. In addition to this economic bad news, during the period from 1910 - 20's, there were serious floods in 1914, 1923, and 1927.
In May, 1920, residents of the Piedmont, Bell, Diamond, and Kansas school districts voted to consolidate so that the district was large enough to support a four-year high school. The Bell Schoolhouse was moved beside the two-story Piedmont building. Classes were also held in the Baptist and Christian Churches, as well as the city jail. The Pleasant View and Mathewson districts consolidated with the Piedmont School District in 1921. On New Year's Eve, 1921, construction started on a nine-room, brick building located 1/2 mile north of the old school.
Adding to the economic problems of Piedmont during the Dust Bowl, a 1932 fire burned a portion of the north side of Main Street, destroying additional businesses. No new homes were being built. However, on the "bright' side, in 1936, Baker Utilities of Bethany provided the first commercial electrical service. Also, the first hand-surface road was laid between Yukon and Piedmont in 1938-39. Improvements to road surfaces directly correlated with the increase of automobiles.
From 1950 through 1970, the population of Piedmont increased by 124%. There were fewer farmers, but larger farms as our economy caused specialization throughout the workplace. Oil and gas activities showed gains. Canadian County missed an oil boom during the 50's, due to the prohibitive depth of the black gold. However, in the 60's, there was an increase in activity for natural gas production.
Despite the fact that population growth amounted to a total of 149 persons over a twenty-year period, and the general economy, especially for the agricultural sector, was in a recession, Piedmont residents supported their schools. The Head, Pleasant Hill, and parts of the Racine, Harmony, Texas, and Scott School districts were annexed into Piedmont in 1947. Pleasant Valley was annexed in 1948. A part of the Richland district was folded into Piedmont in 1957. The 1921 School Building got a face-lift in 1943 - indoor restrooms and locker rooms with showers were added. A cafeteria was added in 1953; a new gym was constructed in '55; a brick teacherage was constructed in '59; and an elementary building was built in 1964.
During the 1970's, the population exploded from 269 to 2016 residents. The size of Piedmont dramatically increased from 1,400 acres to 23,330 acres, adding room for growth and encompassing other pockets of population. Part of the explanation for this growth, both in area and population, can be traced to April 2, 1973. That was the date of the Trust Indenture forming the Piedmont Municipal Authority. The Authority built a delivery system with reliable, portable water, serving an area greater than many rural water districts in the state. This water system encouraged both annexation and development. The encroachment of Oklahoma City's limits also increased requests from area farmers to be annexed into Piedmont.
Other evidence of growth in the 70's included: an addition to the elementary building (1976); a new high school (1972); Stout Athletic Field (1976); Collett Field House (1977). See Collett Article.
In the 1980's, Piedmont continued to grow, though not at the dramatic rate experienced during the 70's. By the mid 1980's, drilling activities decreased dramatically. Farm values fell and decreased the farmers' borrowing power. On the side of growth, the school system built a junior high in 1982, a junior high addition in 1984, and a fifth-and-sixth grade building in 1988. Residents adopted a City Charter in 1984. A new post office was dedicated in 1985. A four-lane highway, State Highway 4, was constructed in 1987.
The City of Piedmont is located near the geographical center of the State of Oklahoma, in the far northeast corner of Canadian County, literally "a hop, skip, and jump" northwest of Oklahoma City. The city limits of our state capital and largest metropolitan area abuts Piedmont corporate limits on two sides. Piedmont city limits cover's approximatrely 47 square miles of area. The service area for Piedmont's Municipal Authority water system is approximatey 107 square miles.
Piedmont has numerous service and civic organizations including, but not limited to: the Piedmont Kiwanis, Piedmont Chamber of Commerce, the Piedmont Round-Up Club, Piedmont Sports Association, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Campfire Girls, the 4-H Club, and the Piedmont Historical Society. The Chamber of Commerce logo is "Piedmont - the Winds of Progress."