The city was established after the Land Run of 1891 by William "Billy Rae" Little. It was named for Marshall Cushing, private secretary to U.S. Postmaster General John Wanamaker. An oil boom that began in 1912 led to the city's development as a refining center.
Pipeline Crossroads of the World monument (2006)
|Nickname(s): "Pipeline Crossroads of the World"|
|Motto: "Personal Connections. Global Impact."|
Location within Payne County and Oklahoma
The area that would become Cushing was part of the Sac and Fox Reservation. With the Land Run of 1891, a former government trader for the tribe, Billy Rae Little, built a house, established his claim, and laid out town lots.The town got a post office on November 10, 1891 and was named for Marshall Cushing, private secretary to U.S. Postmaster General John Wanamaker.
In 1902, the Eastern Oklahoma Railway line to Cushing was built. The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway added service on its own line built in 1903.
Wildcatter Thomas B. Slick started an oil boom on March 17, 1912 when he brought in a gusher east of the town. Other wells were soon drilled nearby, and the oil field became known as the Cushing-Drumright Oil Field. Oil production became based in nearby Drumright, Oklahoma, and Cushing became a refining center, when Consumers Oil Company opened a refinery in 1913.
The oil boom did not last long. Annual production peaked in 1915 with 8.3 million barrels of oil, but production declined by fifty percent in 1916. Refining operations continued in Cushing until the last two refineries, Kerr-McGee and Hudson, closed. Rail service ended in 1982.
Cushing is located in Payne County, Oklahoma at the intersection of state highways 33 and 18. Its geographic coordinates are (35.982628, -96.764171). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.6 square miles (20 km2), of which, 7.6 square miles (20 km2) is land and 0.13% is water.
Cushing has a commissioner-manager form of government.
The Cushing school district has seven schools that include a preschool, four elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. The district serves approximately 1,800 students.