Tonkawa, "the Wheatheart of Oklahoma", is located in Kay County, in north central Oklahoma just off Interstate 35. It is 100 miles north of Oklahoma City and 75 miles south of Wichita, Ks. From I-35, the U.S. 60 exit will take you into town after only 3 short miles.
Founded following the historic Land Run of 1893, the original Tonkawa Town Site was located on the claims of W.W. Gregory and Eli Blake. Tonkawa was incorporated in 1894. Originating from the Tonkawa Tribe's language, Tonkawa means "They all stay together". The Tonkawa Tribe still holds their annual Pow-Wow in July just east of town at the Fort Oakland Reservation. Tonkawa continued to steadily grow until 1921 when the population exploded almost overnight to approximately fifteen thousand people. Due to the discovery of the Three Sands Oil Field just south of town. Becoming known as the "Billion Dollar Spot", producing more than sixty million barrels of oil. Although the Oil Boom did not last long, petroleum and natural gas still play an important role in Kay County's economy. Tonkawa was also the site of a P.O.W. Camp during World War II. The camp housed over three thousand prisoners and Army Personnel. Today, it has been developed into industrial sites as well as residential properties.
Today, you'll find a variety of retail shops, art studios, historical museums, fine dinning, a bowling center, parks, lodging, camping, churches, a public library and great educational opportunities with the Tonkawa Public School System and Northern Oklahoma College.