Mulhall started out as a lone railway depot for the Atchison, Topeka, and Sante Fe Railways. This depot was known as Alfred, named after the son of an Oklahoma Attorney, Henry Asp. When the Oklahoma Land Run of 89 opened up a portion of the Oklahoma Territory to be claimed many new settlers came here to stake their claims on the surrounding lands. Among these settlers was Zack Mulhall, Sam Mathews, and J.J. Cummings. These three men would donate portions of their claims to be used for the town site. Eventually in 1889 the town would be asked to change their name due to there being two Alfred's in Oklahoma so the towns people decided to name the town "Mulhall" after Col. Mulhall. Later in April of 1890 Col. Zach Mulhall would be elected mayor but that is not all that he would contribute to the town in 1899 he would start a Wild West Show. He would recruit the best cowboys and call them "The Congress of Rough Riders". This show would feature the then unknown Will Rogers by the name of "The Cherokee Kid" and Tom Mix. Also one little lady would prove to steal the show with her amazing roping and riding skills and she was Lucille Mulhall, Zack's own daughter. Lucille would be dubbed "The First Cowgirl". She of course was not the only woman getting her hands dirty doing this men's work, but she was the first to be made famous. Even as a young girl she was said to have rode down a wolf and killed it. Zack was said to have even given the head of the wolf mounted to President Theodore Roosevelt because the President just could not believe that such a cute little girl could achieve this feat. At the age of 7 her father had told her that she could have as many head of cattle as she wanted as long as she roped and branded them herself. She had gotten so good at this that her father had to beg her to stop so he wouldn't be without cattle of his own. Also her roping skills would be attributed to the teachings of Will Rogers himself.
Mulhall even had a town band that was organized by Zack Mulhall. This band had the honor of marching in the Inauguration Parade for President Theodore Roosevelt.
Some of the early businesses in Mulhall were two banks. The first was under the name of Oklahoma State Bank. Built in 1893 it was owned and operated by D. W. Dwinnel and John and Ed Donahue, George Buford and stock holders. The second was the Mulhall State Bank. There were also a few general stores, a post office, a blacksmith shop, hotels, a market, a jewelry store, an ice plant, feed store, a tractor business, a couple of hardware stores and one of them that also acted as the undertaking establishment. One establishment that was there in the beginning, but only for a short while was saloons. In 1901 Carrie Nation visited the town telling the town saloons the evil of liquor and that she would be back. The towns people quickly voted out the saloons.
In 1920 highway 77, that ran through Mulhall was paved. After it's completion people started to take the new road outside of town to do their business. The loss of this business in town hurt it very badly and it slowly began to decline in size. Turning this once vibrant town into a small community of slightly under 300 people.
Mulhall has one cemetery in which many have been laid to rest. Among them are most of the Mulhall family and the train robber, Oliver "Ol" Yantis. "Ol" Yantis was a member of the Doolin and Dalton gangs, and on November 29, 1892 he was staying at his sisters house near Orlando when the Dodge City Sheriff C. M. Beeson, U. S. Marshall's Chris Madson, Heck Thomas, and Tom Hueston, and others were sent there to apprehend him. "Ol" Yantis stepped outside and shot once, and then received two shots, one to his stomach, and one to his leg. He would die the next day from his wounds.
On May 3, 1999 Mulhall was hit by a F4 tornado that almost destroyed the whole town. Only one of the older town buildings on their main street was spared, the old Oklahoma State Bank. The bank now stands as the only memory of the old days, the time when things were simpler. The bank was refurbished and added onto the North end, by Robert and Teresa Brian. They opened it as a restaurant, by the name of Lucille's'. Inside you are immediately welcomed by a warm atmosphere all decked out in cowboy dÃ©cor. Throughout the establishment so much history can be seen. They still have the original bank tellers that is now used as the bar, the original bank vault is still there and inside it you can see the hole that was made by robbers who broke into the doctors office that was upstairs so they could rob the vault. Even the walls tell their own stories with all the pictures hung all around the establishment that show the history of Mulhall and the Mulhall family. Something else about this building is it seems to maybe have some spirits who are still residing there. There have been claims of banging, electrical disturbances, a uneasy being watched feeling, and even one claim of seeing a man hanging in a doorway. Who could be there, it is not known. Maybe it's someone who died upstairs in the old doctors office, maybe it was a robber who was shot down the street, or maybe it's someone who just clings to this building because it's the only thing left that is familiar to them.
Check out my other article on Lucille's in Mulhall. - More on Lucille's in Mulhall, Oklahoma.