First settled in the 1860s by D.P. McCracken and H.C. Ackers in northeastern Wichita County. Cowboys on the giant Samuel Burk Burnett 6666 Ranch derisively called the town "Nesterville." In 1907 Joseph A. Kemp and Frank Kell from nearby Wichita Falls bought part of the Burk Burnett ranch for their railroad and laid out the present town. It's said the town was named for Burk Burnett after President Theodore Roosevelt personally interceded. (Roosevelt had been Burnett's guest on a wolf hunt in the area in 1905.) The 1918 Fowler oil discovery turned the community into a boomtown. Oil derricks were so close together that old-timers say it was almost possible to walk across town from derrick to derrick without touching the ground. The 1941 movie Boomtown, with Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy, was based on those wild, oil-boom days.
Oil pours less freely today. Farming, ranching and other industries now provide stability to the economy. Several parks provide picnic facilities.