About Harrah

Nestled on the banks of the North Canadian River sits the City of Harrah. The first Polish settlers came in the spring of 1892 when 10 families came by covered wagon from Arkansas. In 1898 the Church of St. Teresa of Avila was built. The town was devastated when they lost the church in a fire in 1923, but within 2 years a new building was built. This church, still beautiful and maintained is Oklahoma’s only Polish Catholic Church. Several business owners of today are descendants of the early Polish businessmen. The community formerly known as Pennington and Sweeny became Harrah in 1898 when Louis Navarre sold 32 acres to Frank Harrah who plotted and developed the original Town of Harrah along either side of the railroad track. Harrah’s geological location gave it a wonderful chance of survival. It was surrounded by fertile farmland and a river full of fish. E.W. Sweeny had a ferry on the river and later built a toll bridge which made Harrah accessible to both sides of the river. Harrah was struck by disaster twice in its early years. First, in 1916 when a tornado struck south of town and destroyed the ball stadium which was never rebuilt. Second, in 1922 when a fire destroyed most of the original town. Harrah was one of the first small towns to have electric service as OG&E purchased land north of town and built an electric generating plant that was producing electricity in 1928. On May 15, 1908 an election was successful for the corporation of the Town of Harrah. The next step was to elect town officials. Harrah’s population was 100 in 1901 and tripled to 300 by 1905 and has steadily grown to its present population of approximately 5,200. The City of Harrah is currently experiencing amazing growth with the addition of hundreds of home and new business developments. In June of 1992 by a vote of the people the Town of Harrah was officially changed to the City of Harrah.