Perry, the county seat of Noble County, is located in north central Oklahoma, nestled in the valley of the prairie grass to the east and the wheat belt to the west. I-35 is on the western city limits and US highways 64 and 77 intersect near downtown.
On September 16, 1893 at 12:00 noon, more than 100,000 land hungry pioneers raced for 40,000 claims available in the Cherokee Outlet Land Opening. The largest and most dramatic land run in Oklahoma ushered in an era of agriculture development. Promoters promised the land to be some of the most productive in the Territory.
The first night in Perry was utter chaos with more than 25,000 people trying to make a claim at the land office. Daylight revealed a city of tents, shacks and wagons all in disorder. The bronze Cherokee Strip statue, titled "Hopes and Dreams," sits on a massive granite pedestal in front of the courthouse as a memorial to all the eager settlers trying to claim a territorial homestead.
The town had a very colorful beginning and is named for J.A. Perry, a member of the Cherokee Strip Commission during President Grover Cleveland's administration. Perry, a Main Street town, is one of those towns that still maintains a beautiful town square, whose central focus is the Noble County Courthouse, built in 1913, and on the National Register of Historic Places.
The moderate climate of Perry allows its residents to enjoy all four seasons. The average January temperature is 38 degrees with a July temperature average of 82 degrees.
Many of Perry's activities center around the square and most businesses are on the four streets that create the square. Perry is the largest city in Noble County, and its historic downtown business buildings have some of the most interesting brickwork in the state. As the county seat, all county governmental offices are in the courthouse on the square, downtown. It has a council/mayor type of government, 11 full-time fire personnel, 12 volunteer fire personnel and 16 full-time police officers.
Perry is served by a very fine municipal 28-bed hospital, ranked in the top 100 rural hospitals in the USA, numerous doctors, dentists and chiropractors.
The educational system in Perry is one of the finest for scholastic and athletic programs. The average graduating class size is 69 and approximately 1,400 students and 100 teachers make up the enrollment at the 5 primary and secondary facilities. Perry is known as the wrestling capital of the world, producing many champions on the local thru the world levels. Perry is 24 miles from a Big 12 school, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. Also nearby are Northern Oklahoma Jr. College, Phillips University, and Meridian Technology Center.
The major employer in the area is Charles Machine Works, known for the world-famous Ditch Witch Trenchers. There are several other manufacturers, oil and agriculture industries also offering employment.
Perry is served by an east/west and a north/south railway and the municipal airport offers a 5,200-ft runway.
Perry offers a challenging semi-private 9-hole golf course, with the new clubhouse being completed in the spring of 1997. Recreational facilities and activities are many in the area.
There are four lakes within 1.5 to 22 miles of Perry. Sooner Lake, operated by OG&E, a power generating company, provides some of the greatest fishing in the area. Bass, hybrid bass, crappie and catfish are plentiful due to the warm waters. Beaches for swimming, boating and skiing are also available at Sooner. All the lakes in the area offer good fishing, boating, camping and swimming.
The YMCA features a six lane Olympic swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna, whirlpool, racquetball, etc., and there are 7 parks, 5 tennis courts and one municipal pool in town.
The Cherokee Strip Museum, the antique and gift shops, the bowling alley, and the year-round activities of the Chamber of Commerce offer many enjoyable hours of pleasure and fun. Perry is proud of its past and in remembrance of its beginning, celebrates the Cherokee Strip Land Run every year as close to September 16 as possible. This celebration is a major event and draws people in from all over the area. Highlights include the county fair, parade, rodeo, carnival, food and craft booths, and entertainment.
Perry has something to offer to most everyone. A small relaxed community, close to the metro areas but far enough away for that great country living. A clean, friendly city with a strong pride of the prairie.