“Armory construction was the first major thrust of the WPA Building Program in Oklahoma. By mid-1937, 126 armories had been constructed throughout the United States, with 51 of these projects located in Oklahoma. When the WPA ended its program in 1943, 54 armories had been built and 53 others ‘reconstructed’ in the state. The new construction infused $3.5 million into local Oklahoma economies.
Groundbreaking for the Okemah Amory took place in October of 1935, and construction proceeded through the rest of the year, through 1936, and into 1937. Due to labor shortages, material shortages, and weather-related shutdowns, a short project expanded into a long one. Finally finished in February, 1937, the armory was dedicated on March 2, 1937. On that day, Okemah celebrated with an open house, which 2,500 people attended, and a banquet. General Key, state WPA director, and other state and local dignitaries participated in the dedication, and the program concluded with a dance in the new armory.” (National Register)
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