Stillwater is a city in north-central Oklahoma at the intersection of U.S. 177 and State Highway 51. It is the county seat of Payne County, Oklahoma, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 45,688. Stillwater was part of first Land Run held April 22, 1889, when Oklahoma Territory's Unassigned Lands were opened for settlement. The city charter was adopted on August 24 later that year. Stillwater is home to Oklahoma State University, Northern Oklahoma College/OSU Gateway, Meridian Technology Center and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. In 2010, CNN/Money Magazine ranked Stillwater as No. 67 on its list of "America's Best Small Cities."
The north-central region of Oklahoma became part of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. In 1832, author, storyteller, and traveler Washington Irving provided the first recorded description of the area around Stillwater in his book A Tour on the Prairies. He wrote of “a glorious prairie spreading out beneath the golden beams of an autumnal sun. The deep and frequent traces of buffalo, showed it to be a one of their favorite grazing grounds.”
On April 22, 1889, the Unassigned Lands of the Oklahoma Territory were opened for homesteading with the first Land Run. By the end of the day, 240 acres had been claimed and designated as Stillwater township and a tent city with a population numbering 300 had sprung up on the prairie.