Location of Shidler, Oklahoma
Shidler was founded in December 1921 and named for Eugene S. Shidler, a Pawhuska, Oklahoma banker and rancher. The town grew rapidly to a population of about 5,000 due to the discovery of petroleum nearby (seeWhizbang, Oklahoma) and the arrival of the Osage Railway (a branch of the Midland Valley Railway) in February 1922. In that year, Shidler had 19 oil-well supply businesses and six plants making gasoline. Shidler had a reputation for lawlessness with bank and highway robberies common. By the late 1920s, the oil boom had subsided and Shidler began to lose population. Shidler's population in the 1930 census was 1,177 and the downward trend continued. Shidler today is a quiet farming and ranching community although there is still some petroleum production in the area.
During World War II, citizens of Shidler actively lobbied to prevent the internment of the Yamamoto family from Shidler (see Internment of Japanese Americans). Thanks to the efforts of US Senator Elmer Thomas, the internment order was lifted
Shidler is located at (36.780342, -96.661844). It is 29 miles (47 km) northwest of Pawhuska, the seat of Osage County.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), all of it land.