News and Messages
City Hall Moving
The City of Watonga is proud to announce that we will be moving City Hall to 410 West Main Street. Previously, the DHS Building. We plan to move the week of September 13th thru the 17th.
The Light and Water Office will also be moving at the same time and Watonga Chamber of Commerce is already in the facility.
Unfortunately, there may be short periods of time when offices are not accessible. We will try to keep these inconveniences to a minimum. The phone number 623-7354 will be a backup number if you need to reach someone while we are in transit. You can also email to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. The night deposit box at the old City Hall at 115 N. Weigle, will continue to be in service for at least through the week of moving.
The tentative schedule is to have our first City Council Meeting at the new facility October 19, 2021.
Thank-you for your patience. We have tried to anticipate all contingencies but, none of the current staff has any experience moving a City Hall.
Watch for our Open House.
City officials welcomed Karrie Beth Little as Watonga's new City Manager. The change to council-manager government gives the city manager more control over the city's day-to-day operations. Little's first day on the job will be August 23.
Splash pad will be open through Labor Day, September 6.
Watonga is the county seat of Blaine County, located at the junction where State Highways 8 and 33 meet U.S. Highway 270. The Northwestern Oklahoma community grew from a tent city in the midst of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Reservation. It was part of a non-Indian settlement opened in a land run on April 19, 1892.
The town was named for Arapaho Chief Wa-ton-gha, whose name meant Black Coyote. A post office was established in 1892. In 1902, the Enid and Anadarko Railway opened a line extending west from Guthrie and passed through Watonga. The 60-mile leg was the community’s first rail connection and became a vital transportation link for the area’s growing agricultural industry. Four years later, the Blaine County Courthouse was built and remains as one of several in Oklahoma that predate statehood.
In October 1892, Thompson B. Ferguson arrived in Watonga and established the Watonga Republican newspaper. In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him as Oklahoma’s eighth territorial governor. He served until 1906, leaving office a year before Oklahoma became the nation’s 46th state.
By 1940, the city had grown to a population of more than 2,800. That same year, the Watonga Cheese Factory was established in a building that had formerly served as an ice and electric plant. The factory, famous for its many dairy products, inspired Watonga’s annual cheese festival in 1976. After operating in Watonga for 70 years, damage from Tropical Storm Erin forced the cheese factory to relocate in 2010, but the annual Watonga Cheese Festival continues to be a community celebration every October.
Watonga’s current population is about 3,000. Famous people from the community include native son Clarence Nash, who provided the voice of Walt Disney’s cartoon character Donald Duck.
Buildings on the National Register of Historic Places include the Watonga National Guard Armory, the Blaine County Courthouse, the Noble Hotel, the Thompson Benton Ferguson House, the Cronkhite Ranch House, the U.S. Post Office, and the J. H. Wagner House.