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Boise City History, Oklahoma

Boise City, Oklahoma is the county seat and city in Cimarron County and its name is pronounced while rhyming with ‘voice’. Vera Miles, the famous actress, was born in this city in the year 1929.

A. J. Kline and J. E. Stanley founded the Boise City in the year 1908 and they also published and circulated brochures to promote the town as a tree-lined and elegant city with numerous businesses, paved streets, an artesian well and railroad service.

3000 lots were sold to buyers who arrived in the city and discovered that no information mentioned in the brochures was true. Kline and Stanley were claimed for fraud and were sent to the Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. Located in Kansas, this prison is a medium security all male facility designed to carry out judgments made by the federal courts.

 Nevertheless, the town took shape and more than 250 residents were living here by the year 1920. The prosperity of the Boise City was highly affected in 1930s because of its location at the center of Dust Bowl region. During the Dust Bowl period from the year 1930 to 1936, severe dust storms caused major agricultural and ecological damage to the Canadian prairie and American lands. This was due to severe drought and years of broad farming without techniques of preventing erosion such as crop rotation.

As the grasses were destroyed, the soiled was dried and turned to dust and started blowing away southwards and eastwards in big dark clouds. Much of this soil was deposited in Atlantic Ocean. Around 400,000 km2 area was affected by Dust Bowl and it centered the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas and adjacent areas of Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico. It was a human and ecological disaster caused by sustained drought for years and land misuse. People’s livelihoods and cultural heritage was affected by degradation of the dry lands and a large number of families shifted to California.

Only Boise City was bombed during the Second World War. A B-17 Flying Fortress bomber was responsible for the bombing, which took place on 5 July 1943 at nearly 12.30 am. This bombing happened because the pilots who were performing their target practice mistook the town to be their target. No harm to living beings was held because they were only practice bombs.

But the square was immediately deserted for the time being and the pilots were greatly embarrassed. In order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that attack, those pilots were invited back to the Boise City.

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