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Cushing is a city in Payne County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 7,826 at the 2010 census, a decline of 6.5% from 8,371 at the 2000 census.
Cushing was established after the Land Run of 1891 by William "Billy Rae" Little. It was named for Marshall Cushing, private secretary to U.S. Postmaster General John Wanamaker. A 1912 oil boom led to the city's development as a refining center.
Today, Cushing is a major trading hub for crude oil and a price settlement point for West Texas Intermediate on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The area that became Cushing was part of the Sac and Fox Reservation. With the Land Run of 1891, a former government trader for the tribe, Billy Rae Little, built a house, established his claim, and laid out town lots. The town got a post office on November 10, 1891 and was named for Marshall Cushing, private secretary to U.S. Postmaster General John Wanamaker.
In 1902, the Eastern Oklahoma Railway line to Cushing was built. The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway added service on its own line built in 1903.
Wildcatter Thomas B. Slick started an oil boom on March 17, 1912 when he brought in a gusher east of Cushing. Other wells were soon drilled nearby, and the oil field became known as the Cushing-Drumright Oil Field. The city became a center for exploration of and production from nearby oil fields and also a refining center, when Consumers Oil Company opened a refinery in 1913. Production centered on the new town of Drumright, and Cushing became a refining center.