The onslaught of the Dust Bowl and emigration to California cemented a decade of set-backs for most of the state. It took Oklahoma almost twenty years to regain the number of citizens it had prior to the "dirty thirties" stifled growth and optimism. However, as difficult as things might have been in Edmond, it never got as bad as most places in the Sooner state. From 1930 to 1940, Edmond's population grew from 3,576 to 4,002. The Central State College (formerly the Normal School), naturally played a key role in keeping dollars moving and the development of the Edmond Oil Field west of town also represented a major factor in providing an economic cushion. People were so excited about the instant wealth that "black gold" could bring to the town, that they packed picnic lunches baseballs, and horseshoes and drove out west of town to be near the momentous activities.