Welcome to Lima!

Lima town history board

Black Leg

Lima, OK got its name because of the limestone deposits in the immediate area. It was settled before 1904 with a post office operating from 1907 until 1957. Like a good majority of the black towns, it was established along a railroad, its population reaching about 400 by 1930. Less than 50 people reside there today. In 1914, the town had a newspaper called the Lima Observer. Still standing, the Mount Zion Methodist Church was built in 1915.

Lima was a hub for black education. In 1921, the Julius Rosenwald Hall, a brick building, was constructed with money donated to the town from the fund of the same name. The building served as the school and students were reared there until the 8th grade. In the same year, African Americans were integrated into the area Farmers Union with the first black state and national branch being established in Lima. In 1925, the residents in Lima won a Supreme Court case giving the school a designation as its own independent school district, legally making any white school in the area a racially separate school. This decision was made based on Lima having a majority 232 black students in its school and only 16 white. Lima’s district of black businesses included a gas station, luncheonette, saw-mill, cotton gin, hotel, jailhouse and several stores. In 1926, oil business brought wealth to some land owners in the community. It also brought white settlers to town. Most non-black settlers gathered just east of town establishing the town of New Lima and later building a school, post office and businesses there. The 2 communities are governed independently from one another. As a result of some hard lobbying by former Mayor Tammie Hill and her trustees, April 8th was proclaimed “Lima Oklahoma Day” by the House of Representatives of the 45thOklahoma Legislature in 1995. . Lima’s current population is about 50. Located 65 miles Southeast of Oklahoma City and is one of the 4 towns on the Black Leg of the Black Towns Motorcycle tour.

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