Lots went up for sale at this time, with buyers allowed to pay for the lots in three installments over 18 months. The first building erected in Oxford was a two-story, wooden frame courthouse, designed and built by Francis Boynton, and the second was a hotel, built by Henry L. Ellsworth and operated by James L. Hatton. The first home was that of Aaron Wood, who also ran a small store that supplied groceries, beer and whiskey.
Other early establishments in Oxford included the Earl & Carnahan dry goods store and Barnes & Dailey drug store. The town's first lawyer was Jacob Benedict and its first physician Dr. Mayo. An 1883 history also makes mention of the community's first literary society, the Oxford Lyceum.
Many additions and expansions to the town were made over subsequent decades, adding several streets and more than 300 lots. On July 7, 1869, a vote was held to determine if Oxford should be incorporated, and passed with 41 in favor and 28 against. The town was dealt a blow, however, when in 1874 it lost its status as county seat to more centrally-located Fowler.
Standardbred horse Dan Patch is arguably the town's best-known native, and was foaled in an Oxford barn on April 29, 1896. The horse gained celebrity status for setting world speed records that remained unbroken until 1960. He continues to be honored at the town's annual Dan Patch Days festival.
There were 485 households out of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.2% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 24.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the town the population was spread out with 26.8% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $39,375, and the median income for a family was $45,966. Males had a median income of $31,714 versus $21,630 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,472. About 2.1% of families and 5.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under age 18 and 11.0% of those age 65 or over.