Oklahoma City was first settled on April 22, 1889, when the area known as the “unassigned lands” (that is, land in Indian territory that had not been assigned to any tribes) was opened for settlement in an event known as “The Land Run” Some 10,000 homesteaders settled the area now known as Oklahoma City; the population doubled between 1890 and 1900.
By the time Oklahoma was admitted to the Union in 1907, Oklahoma City had supplanted Guthrie, the territorial capital, as the population center and commercial hub of the new state. Early city leaders John Shartel, Anton Classen, James W. Maney and Henry Overholser helped grow the city, which developed an efficient trolley system, a major regional commercial center, a railway hub and had attracted several large meat packing plants along with other industry. The city, now with a population of 64,000, put in a petition to become the new state capital. A popular vote was held, with Governor Charles N. Haskell as one of the strongest advocates for Oklahoma City’s candidacy, which Oklahoma City won. The Oklahoma State Capitol was established at N.E. 23rd Street and Lincoln Boulevard. The capitol lacked a dome after its initial construction; it could not be added by the time the building was completed in 1919 due to lack of funds. A dome was finally added to the building in 2002.