Oklahoma Historic Places Database


Ben Kiehn Memorial

Erected by the Oklahoma state bankers association as an expression of their regard for their fellow member as a man of honor and integrity. On Jan 24, 1928 he gave his life to the cause of law and order, in defending that which was intr ...

Black Post

Black Post Early Day Landmark.

Cloud Chief Courthouse

Site of first Washita County court house Cloud Chief, originally Tacola, served as the first county seat. Area settled by land run April 19, 1892. August 7, 1900, citizens voted to move county seat to Cordell. U.S. Supreme Court v ...

Cloud Creek

Washita County Home of American's First Upstream Flood Control Dam Cloud Creek #1 Washita River Basin Dedicated July 8, 1948 Rededicated July 3, 1990 Cloud Creek Dam NO. 1 Located 11 miles southeast of Cordell was th ...

Colony

Colony One of the oldest towns in Western Oklahoma founded in 1886 by John Seger and the Cheyenne-Arapaho on the banks of Cobb Creek. Seger Indian Industrial School operated here from 1892 until 1932. Local tradition holds this w ...

Cordell Academy

Site three blocks east. Opened in 1906, under auspices of the Dutch Reformed Churche, this pioneer school taught the youth here in Christain living. Its motto was "Labor omnia vicit." Presidents to its close in 1911 were: Myron B. Keat ...

Foss

The town was est. in 1900 and town charter was granted in 1901. It was named for the Cordell post master who was instrumental in the founding of the town and post office. About the same time the Rock Island Railroad came through t ...

Korn to Corn

Corn has it roots in the Cheyenne-Arapaho Land Run of 1892. Native Americans had earlier been able to choose their sites. Soon after a Mennonite Missionary at Shelly Took note of unclaimed land and invited German-Russian Mennonites of ...

New Cordell Courthouse Square Historical District

Cordell Historical District The structures, built of brick with a typical clipped front of a corner building of the period, was one of the first brick buildings built in Cordell.

Port School

Port School 1915 - 1922 By the fall term of 1892-93, 31 school districts had been organize in "H," now Washita Co. Wood district 3, containing 10.25 sq. mi., which was the beginning of the largest consolidated school in Okla. and po ...

Red Bluff Community Church and School

Red Bluff Church and School first opened in 1900. The church was the first missionary Baptists in Washita County; functioning until 1946. The Red Bluff School also served the community until that time; acting as a social center. Th ...

Retrop

Dedicated to the pioneers who settled this community whose perseverance and courage enabled them to survive the hard times of drought and dust bowl days give us a heritage in which we take great pride. History states that most of th ...

Rocky School Memorial

Rocky School Memorial. Includes information on the History of Rocky, Orange Blossom, Rocky Public School, Rocky Cooperative, and The State Bank of Rocky.

Seger Colony

4 mi. N. Begun by Cheyenne and Arapho in 1886. under U.S. supervisor. John H. Seger. the Indiands friend and Oklahoma pioneer. Seger Indian Industrial School opened there, 1893. Mission founded by Rev. Frank H Write. 1895 under au ...

Sharon Missionary Baptist Church

Sharon Missionary Baptist Church Land Donated By Prairie Pioneers B.E. and Virginia Grant Bryant January 7, 1910 Original Church 1909-1950 Present ChurchBuilt 1951 Great Seal of The State of Oklahoma 1907

Tacola / Cloud Chief School

Tacola / Cloud Chief School Created in 1892, Tacola school met in a dugout until 1894 when a 30' x 50' bldg. was built 1/2 mi. SW of this marker. In 1918, the school was moved to a new bldg. north of this marker. During the 1921 co ...

Washita County Museum

Museum dedicated to preserving the history of Washita County, Oklahoma. Over 10,000 items on exhibit. Also available is genealogical research items. Museum is housed inside the old Carnegie Library.

Washita County

Washita County, Oklahoma

County Seat: Cordell, OK 73632

Wikipedia: Washita County, Oklahoma

National Register of Historic Places for Washita County, Oklahoma

Located in western Oklahoma, Washita County is directly south of Custer County and north of Kiowa County, with Caddo County on the east and Beckham County on the west. The Washita River drains most of the county, but the southwestern corner has tributaries that flow into the North Fork of the Red River. The county encompasses a total of 1,009.7 square miles of land and water area. Located in the Osage Plains, mostly in the Western Redbed Plains subregion, Washita County's landscape of rolling prairies is ideal for farming and ranching. The county has fewer than six square miles of surface water.

A hunting ground for many precontact American Indian groups, the area had abundant bison, deer, antelope, turkey, and other game. The Duncan Archaeological Site provides an example of a Coalesced Villagers/Nomadic Communal Hunter culture immediately prior to or around the time of European contact. This village contains evidence of a palisaded wall to protect the residents, who were probably a part of the Wichita culture. The location may have been used seasonally during bison hunts. Later, Spanish travelers traversed the area on the Great Spanish Trail, which may have cut through the county's southwestern corner. In 1849 Randolph Marcy blazed the California Road and probably navigated through Washita County's northern edge. In 1869 both the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes arrived in present Oklahoma to reside on their reservation, which included present Washita County.

In 1874 John Lytle established the Great Western Cattle Trail that traversed Washita County. Although ranchers had been grazing their cattle on the reservation, illegally or through informal agreements, in 1883 Indian Agent John Miles leased three million acres of Cheyenne and Arapaho land to seven cattlemen. After turmoil ensued between ranchers and portions of the tribes, in 1885 the federal government terminated all leases in the reservation and ordered the removal of stock. During this period John Seger worked for the cattle interests, building a three-hundred-mile fence and overseeing a ranch near present Colony. In 1886 Seger convinced 120 Cheyenne and Arapaho to move to Cobb Creek, the site of the old ranch headquarters, and farm. This "Seger's Colony" was one of four that agency officials hoped would teach these tribes agricultural methods prior to the forced allotment of tribal land. The site later housed the Seger Indian School and Mennonite and Dutch Reformed Church missions.

On April 19, 1892, the federal government introduced non-Indian settlement into this region in a land run known as the Cheyenne-Arapaho Opening. This expanded Oklahoma Territory, and officials designated most of present Washita County as County H. The secretary of the interior allocated Tacola, which soon became Cloud Chief, as the county seat. The day after the run Tacola had an estimated population of three thousand to four thousand. Although a wide range of ethnic groups made the run, numerous German and Russian immigrants migrated a few years later, primarily from Kansas. Later towns, such as Corn and Bessie, had large German and German-Russian populations, which supported Mennonite churches, German-language newspapers, and other culturally specific enterprises. After settlement the county took the name Washita, for the river.

Towns such as Colony, Cloud Chief, and Cordell were founded on the day of or soon after the land opening. Other communities coalesced later, either by large Mennonite migration, consolidation of school districts, or townsite promotions by the incoming railroads. The latter proved the most frequent scenario. In 1902 the Blackwell, Enid and Southwestern Railroad, later acquired by the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway, commonly known as the Frisco, built through the county from north to south. East to west in the county's northeastern corner the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway, affiliated with the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway, penetrated Washita County. In 1908 the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway, bought by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, completed construction on a north-south line through the county. In 2000 there were ten incorporated towns: Bessie, Burns Flat, Canute, Colony, Cordell, Corn, Dill City, Foss, Rocky, and Sentinel.