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The town was founded in 1905 and originally named Bigheart, for the Osage Chief James Bigheart. It was initially a 160-acre site along the Midland Valley Railroad in March, 1905. The railroad opened Bigheart Station in September, 1905 and the Bigheart Post Office opened in January, 1906. The town was exempted from the Osage allotment, so lots could be sold to anyone. Lots were auctioned in May, 1906. The first newspaper, the Bigheart Star, first appeared in 1906.

Joshua Cosden built the Southwest Refining Company oil refinery in 1910. He sold it to Stone and Webster of Boston, Massachusetts in 1917. The Barnsdall Oil Company had discovered the nearby Bigheart (later Barnsdall) oilfield in 1916. The Barnsdall Oil Company, bought the refinery in 1921. The town was renamed on January 1, 1922 in honor of Mr. Barnsdall.

The town of Barnsdall experienced a tornado in April 1911, a major fire in March 1913 and a flood in September 1915. Despite these calamities, the population increased from 307 in 1910 to 2,099 in 1920. That proved to be the high point of population in the town.

Barnsdall Refining Company renamed itself Bareco Oil Company in 1940. It ceased refining oil in 1946 and began producing microcrystalline waxes that year. Petrolite Corporation (now part of Baker Hughes Inc.) bought Bareco and has continued to operate the plant.

E. L. Doherty bought the holdings of Theodore N. Barnsdall, founder of Barnsdall Oil Company, in 1912.

Our city if governed by the Mayor with four (4) city council members.

City Council meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month at 4:30 pm at City Hall:

409 W. Main
City Hall
Barnsdall, OK 74002

Important Message from City Officials

  • Memorial Flowers need to be removed from Cemetery by June 9th.
  • New Animal Control Officer starting for the City of Barnsdall. Ticket Fees for Dog Running at large are $169.00 plus Court Fees $30.00
  • Please take advantage of online bill pay or drop box.
  • Water department has several ongoing leaks that are schedule to be repaired
  • If you have any questions or need to report an issue, please call City Hall at (918) 847-2980
  • Code of Ordinances to be added to web site soon. Hard copy available at City Hall.

Online Services

Pay Utilities

You can quickly pay your utility bill online from the comfort of your home

Pay online:
or by phone (918) 847-2980
or by drop box available at City Hall


Fire Department

Michael Kelley– Fire Chief
412 S 5th,
Barnsdall, OK 74002

(918) 847-2255

Police Department

Richard Harper– Police Chief
409 W Main St
Barnsdall, OK 74002

(918) 847-2285

Animal Control

Michael Dyer
409 W Main St
Barnsdall, OK 74002

(918) 510-4628

City Hall – City Clerk

Lisa Yarber
409 W Main St
Barnsdall, OK 74002

(918) 847-2980
[email protected]

Mayor’s Office

Johnny Kelley– Mayor
409 W Main St
Barnsdall, OK 74002

(918) 847-2795

Public Works Authority

Kris Davis– Plant Supervisor
Hwy 11 Waterplant
Barnsdall, OK 74002

(918) 847-3522

Public Library

Cecilia Hibdon
412 S 5th St
Barnsdall, OK 74002

(918) 847-2118

Municipal Court

409 W Main St
PO Box 879
Barnsdall, OK 74002
Meetings held monthly

(918) 847-2795

City Attorney

John Heskett
2401 Nowata Place
Suite A
Bartlesville, OK 74006

(918) 336-1773

City Hall – Treasurer

Melissa Pearson
409 W Main St
Barnsdall, OK 74002

(918) 847-2980