About Midwest City
Midwest City was founded in 1942 by prominent Oklahoma businessman and builder W.P. “Bill” Atkinson when he discovered the Army’s desire to build a new Army Air Corp in the center of the country that would be the largest military base to ever be built. He purchased thousands of undeveloped acres of land and began developing a self-contained city which would provide homes, schools, churches, parks, entertainment and shopping for Army personnel as well as the civilian work force. The name Midwest City actually has its roots with Tinker Air Force Base.
Tinker AFB was originally named Midwest Air Depot, so when the city was founded, the name seemed appropriate. Midwest Air Depot was later renamed to Tinker Air Force Base to honor Major General Clarence Tinker, a Native-American from Pawhuska, Oklahoma. He was the first American general to be killed on a mission in World War II.
The “Original Mile” is a one-square mile area that was pre-planned by city founders and held the first homes that helped to supply the growing need for affordable housing in Midwest City. As a savvy business man, Mr. Atkinson built and sold each home with a value-added incentive of owning a Shetland pony that he would house in a pony barn on the grounds of his mansion that is now deemed part of the historical museum. The city was designed with wartime in mind, therefore it needed to be a city where men could walk across the street to work at the base, housewives could walk to stores, and children could go on foot to schools and parks. Shops were built conveniently close to residential neighborhoods and streets were designed with safety in mind that boasted curves, frequent stops, and dead ends. The city gained national print and broadcast attention when it became a model for post-war community development. The city was incorporated on March 11, 1943, but its first school was built in 1941 where all grade levels were taught.
In 1951 Midwest City was honored as “America’s Model City.” Today, Midwest City holds official designations of “Tree City USA” and “Certified City”. Midwest City covers 25 square miles, and its southern boundary is adjacent to Tinker Air Force Base, with four gates that lead directly onto the base.
Midwest City has a warm and friendly atmosphere and a ‘family first’ quality of life. Located in Central Oklahoma on the eastern edge of Oklahoma City, Midwest City serves as the economic trade center for eastern Oklahoma County and is conveniently close to metropolitan area amenities.