in 1880 during the railroad era, Strawn never quite became the oil boom town
that many of its Eastland
County neighbors did.
Surrounded by oil fields and the nearby Thurber coalmines and brick-making
plant, Strawn benefited from both, but never boasted a high-rise hotel or a
theater like Eastland, or even a population over 1,500. Routing of the Bankhead Highway
through Strawn encouraged new businesses, like the Bankhead Hotel and Apartments,
catering to travelers. The Bankhead also inspired Marche “Zim” Zimicki. A former mine worker,
Zimicki built an all-in-stop for travelers along the Bankhead Highway. He and his father-in
law began construction on the brick complex in the 1920s, that eventually
included a gas station, restaurant, ice house, bottling plant, and tourist courts. Billboards advertising fuel,
food, drinks, and ice beckoned weary travelers to Zim’s. The roadside stop, much like the rest of Strawn, benefitted from the Bankhead Highway traffic, but
construction of Interstate 20 in the 1970s bypassed the community.
Strawn Chamber of Commerce
123 Central Ave.