Shamrock in 1913 was a country hamlet with two general stores, a restaurant, and a population of thirty-five people. Two years later, as the Cushing Oil Field was developing, the townsite was shifted to the southern edge of the field and became a full-fledged boom town with a population in excess of ten thousand persons. Not only did the town grow, but several oil-field camps, with such names as Dropright, Gasright, Alright, Downright, Damright and Justright, also were located in the vicinity.
Shamrock took on an Irish tone when the new location was surveyed and platted. The main street was named Tipperary Road, and other streets were given such names as Cork, Dublin, Ireland, St. Patrick, and Killarney. Many buildings were painted green. An important acquisition by the town was a Blarney stone. The first newspaper was the Shamrock Brogue. In the first issue of the Brogue it was stated that Shamrock was "the only town in the United States where green stamps only can be sold by the postmaster." A later rival of the Brogue was called the Blarney.
Like all such oil boom towns, Shamrock had its saloons, gambling halls, and tough individuals. The story is told that the Big Six gambling hall had a one-legged fiddle player who was known to take off his wooden leg and use it as a club to restore order when the occasion demanded. In one pool hall Ruby Darby, a noted oil-field entertainer, performed. She would get "on top of a pool table so everyone could see her dance." Some pool halls closed at midnight so that men could sleep on and under the tables. A former mayor of Shamrock recalled that he had seen Tom Slick and Harry Sinclair, both outstanding early-day oil-field developers, race a little buckskin team up and down Tipperary Road. "They'd have a few drinks and then see who could go the fastest." Probably the last "big excitement" in Shamrock was in 1932, when Charles A. "Pretty Boy" Floyd robbed the bank.
Shamrock began declining in the mid-1920s. Oil-field workers moved on to new boom towns where more work was assured and pay was higher. As in all other such places, stores, pool halls, "hotels," and various shops began to close. Nearby oil-field camps were sometimes deserted, and often the houses were moved to new locations. Business buildings, left unkept, soon began to decay and were vandalized. By 1930 the population of Shamrock had decreased to about seven hundred persons.
With the construction of State Highway 16 near the western edge of the town, the remaining three or four businesses moved from the old store area. About ten stone buildings, all in the process of falling down, plus wide sidewalks extending both east-west and north-south, show the magnitude of the former business section. Fewer than two hundred people now live in Shamrock. As one old-timer, a woman, recently commented, "Instead of loud screeching music and pistol fire, you can hear the soft rustle of the cottonwood trees and the childish laughter of the few youngsters here as they play where mud-caked boots used to tromp" Her husband put it this way: "Shamrock may have been Big Bad Bill it its day, but it's certainly Sweet William now."
SHAMROCK. In Creek County, 5 miles south of Drumright. Post office established July 9, 1910. Named by J.M. Thomas, first postmaster, for his home town in Illinois.
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