Route Description from 1925 State Highway Map:
Beginning at the Kansas state line south of Caney, via Copan, Dewey, Bartlesville, Ochelata, Ramona, Vera, Collinsville, Owasso, Tulsa, Sapulpa, Kiefer, Mounds, Beggs, Preston, Okmulgee, Henryetta, Weleetka, Wetumka, Calvin, Atwood, Allen, Ada, Roff, Hickory, Mill Creek, Ravia, Madill, Kingston, Woodville, to the Red River toward Denison, TX.
As we have rather fancifully put it on the menu page, the original Oklahoma Route 12 filled in a gap between Route 4 and Route 6, almost appearing as one spoke of a great wheel with a hub somewhere in north Texas. Another example of an incomplete "spoke" might be Route 18, which partially filled in another gap. However one describes it, Route 12 was a major north-south connector, if not quite major enough to fit into the first tier of the original highways. Evidence of this can be found in the fact that it was, like so many of the major original routes, largely overlaid with a US highway in 1927. Below is an approximate path for Route 12 using modern highways, approximating the original path by showing where it might run today if the original numbering system had been retained.
If original Route 12 existed today, it would begin at the Kansas state line near Caney and travel south on US Route 75 through Bartlesville and on to meet modern State Highway 20, where Route 12 would turn east toward Collinsville. For information on the historic routings in this area, please see the US 75 Tulsa to Caney, KS detail page.
Route 12 would join the limited access US 169 outside Collinsville and travel south toward Tulsa, turning west at the I-244 junction to follow the crosstown expressway loop through the city. West of the Arkansas River, Route 12 would join with modern SH 66, leaving the expressway just before the former Tulsa gate of the Turner Turnpike. In Sapulpa, Route 12 turns south onto Alternate US 75, passing through Kiefer and Mounds before turning east at SH 16 in Beggs.
After traveling along SH 16 east from Beggs, Route 12 would rejoin US 75 for the journey south through Okmulgee to Henryetta. For information on the historic route in this area, see the forthcoming US 75 Tulsa to Henryetta page. After taking the business route through Henryetta, Route 12 merges onto I-40 for a few miles before turning south along with US 75 to travel through Weleetka and Wetumka toward Calvin. For information on the historic route, see the (coming soon) US 75 Henryetta to Calvin page.
After crossing the Canadian River at Calvin, Route 12 leaves US 75 behind and instead follows modern SH 1 toward Ada and further south. This portion of highway remained State Highway 12 until 1968, when it was renumbered to SH 1.
Route 12 would continue south on modern SH 1, which is on the old Route 12 alignment for the most part, through Mill Creek and Ravia to just east of Mannsville, where it would join with US 177 and head toward Madill.
Just north of Madill, US 177 comes to an end and Route 12 would follow US 70 south toward Kingston. At this point, we have chosen to show a modern Route 12 heading back west on SH 32, joining with US 377 (SH 99) and reaching a terminus at the Red River channel in Lake Texoma. It would be equally valid to show Route 12 continuing east on US 70 to Durant and crossing the Red River on US 69/75, but we prefer a separate crossing, as Route 6 (which is now US 69) and Route 12 had separate river crossings in the classic highway period. The old Route 12 river crossing was at the south end of what is now SH 70A and has been inundated by Lake Texoma.
When the US Highway system arrived in 1927, the north 2/3 of original Route 12 were overlaid by US Route 75, leading to the removal of the state number from that portion of highway in 1930. However, since a new routing was built for US 75 south of Calvin, a diminished Route 12 remained in its original location continuing south for 37 more years before disappearing from the map entirely. The designation of a new SH 1 in 1968 may have removed the last of original Highway 12 from the map, but it does not stop us from considering and appreciating one of the original crossings of Oklahoma. Thanks for reading.
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Base Map Data Copyright DeLorme USA, http://www.delorme.com
State Highway Shields created by Ken Parker of Oklahoma Bridge & Highways Group.