Chronological History of The State of Oklahoma
The first known inhabitants of Oklahoma were the Osage, Quapaw, Caddo,
Wichita, Waco, Tawakony, Kiowa, Comanche, the Apache of the Plains and
several other tribes of Indians.
(1000 A.D. Prehistoric Indian people, “Mound builders.” The mound near Spiro, LeFlore County, excavated by archaeologists in 1935. Exhibits of objects discovered are on display in the museum of Oklahoma Historical Society, University of Oklahoma, Tulsa University.)2
1528-1536—Four survivors of Cabeca de Vaca’s expedition, captured by the Indians, first saw the buffalo in the Red River Valley and are supposed to have been taken through a portion of Oklahoma.
1541—Francisco Vasques de Coronado made an expedition from Mexico northward and is believed to have penetrated as far north as northeastern Kansas crossing western Oklahoma. They named the great plains the “Liano Estacado.”
1541-3—Morcosco and a few survivors of De-Soto’s exploring party are believed to have crossed eastern Oklahoma.
1549—Bonilla, Spanish explorer, explored far out on the great plains and is believed to have crossed one or more of the counties of western Oklahoma.
1601—Onata, Spanish governor of New Mexico, is believed to have passed through the western part of the state in search of Quivira, the land of supposedly fabulous wealth of gold.
(1601 Spanish explorer Onate’s battle with the Kaws, near northern boundary.)2
1611—A Spanish expedition was sent to the Wichita mountains, and until 1629 Spanish missionaries labored among the tribes in that section.
Gold Seekers in Wichita
1650—Don Dego del Castillo with a force of Spanish
spent several months in the Wichita mountains seeking gold. He found many
pearls which he sent to the governor of New Mexico at Santa Fe.
1655—The crown of Great Britain made a grant for the colony of Carolina, embracing all the land from the Atlantic to the Pacific between 30 degrees and 36 degrees, 30 minutes north latitude.
(1663 Charter to the province of Carolina included Oklahoma, given by King Charles II to Duke of Clarendon and associates.)2
1673—Marquette a French Jesuit missionary, and Luis Joliet, a Quebec trader, floated down the Mississippi river to the mouth of the Arkansas.
1678-1682—Robert de la Salle explored the Mississippi to its mouth and claimed all land drained by that river and its tributaries for the king of France in whose honor he named the great region Louisiana.
1714—Saint Denis from New Orleans ascended the Red river along the southern boundary of Oklahoma.
1717—The Spanish under Padilla marched from the Spanish settlements on the Rio Grande across the great plains to punish the Comanche for making warfare on them. They fought a hard battle on the western border of Oklahoma and captured 700 prisoners.
1719—Bernard de la Harpe, under direction of Governor Bienville at New Orleans, set out from Natchitoches on the Red river to explore the valley of that stream. He passed over southern and southeastern Oklahoma.
(1719 La Harpe’s first expedition and first peace council between the Indian tribes in this region and a European nation.)2
1723—New Orleans was proclaimed as the seat of government for the territory of Louisiana.
Frenchman Visits Indians
1732—Etienna Venyard du Bourgmont crossed Oklahoma, visiting the Pawnee, Kaw, Osage, Missouri and then the Comanche on the Arkansas river in what is now central Kansas. He loaded the Indians with presents in an effort to win their attachment to the French, thus beginning the rivalry with the Spanish for the great plains region.
1729-1740—Two brothers named Mallet and four companions ascended the Missouri river to the Platte, following that river to the Rocky mountains. Skirting the mountains, the party went to Santa Fe, N. M. where they spent the winter, separating in the spring, three members of the party returned overland to the Missouri, while the other three passed down the Arkansas through Oklahoma.
(1740-1750 First known white settlement in Oklahoma. French trading post, Ferdinandina, on Arkansas River, Kay County. Excavations of site. 1926, by Marland expedition. Objects discovered are on exhibit in museum of Chilocco Indian School, and the Oklahoma Historical Museum in Oklahoma City.)2
1750—Bravel, a French Creole trader form New Orleans, visited the Wichita mountains in company with the Caddo Indians. He reported the Spaniards to be engaged in mining operations in the mountains at that time. Spanish priests were also present among the Indians.
(1750-1800 San Bernardo, Wichita and Caddo Indian Village and French headquarters, also Spanish on Red River in southeastern part of present Jefferson County. Village had population ranging up to 3,000 and was important trading post and stopping point on old Spanish trail.)2
1763—The territory of Louisiana was secretly ceded to the Spanish by the French, to prevent its falling into the hands of the British.
(1799 French settlers leave their locations on Red River (McCurtain County) for lower Louisiana.)2
1801—Louisiana was ceded back to the French by the Spanish.
(1802 Chouteau fur traders first promote their interests on the Arkansas and Verdigris Rivers, resulting in the first permanent American trading post and white settlement (on present site of Salina, Mayes County) soon afterward.)2
1803—Louisiana was purchased by President Thomas Jefferson for the United States for $18,000,000 cash and the assumption of obligations amounting to $3.750.000.
(1803 Oklahoma a part of the Louisiana Purchase.)2
(1804 Oklahoma acquired its first governmental status being under the Governor of Indian Territory, except the panhandle.)1
1806—Lieutenant Wilkinson of Zabulon Pike’s exploring party, descended the Arkansas from a point near Great Bend, KN, to the settlements on the lower course of the river.
(1808 Shawneetown on Red River (McCurtain County), farming community begun by Shawnee Indians (now oldest farm in state.))2
1809—A band of Cherokee Indians made agreement with President Jefferson to move beyond the Mississippi river to what is now the state of Arkansas. These lands were ceded to them by treaty in 1817.
1811—The salt plains of the Cimarron and Salt Fork were explored by George C Sibley, United States Indian agent at Fort Osage, on the Missouri.
(1812 American traders in business at the Three Forks, confluence of Verdigris, Grand and Arkansas Rivers, present vicinity of Muskogee.)2
1817—Fort Smith was established as a military post, at the mouth of the Poteau, on the Arkansas river.
1818—Major William Bradford, stationed at Fort
Smith, marched through eastern Oklahoma to expel the “intruders”
most of whom were declared to be renegades and fugitives from the eastern
states. He was accompanied by Thomas Nuttall, the noted botanist, who
visited the valley of the Grand, Verdigris, Cimarron and the Deep Fork
of the Canadian during the season.
(1818 First Protestant church services among white settlers in vicinity of Pecan Point on Red River in present McCurtain County, a regular preaching station on Methodist church circuit.)
1819—Treaty was made with Spain whereby the Red river was to be the northern boundary of the Spanish possessions to the one-hundredth meridian, following that meridian to the Arkansas river and the channel of that stream westward to the Continental Divide.
1819-20—Major Stephen Long’s party of engineers entered western Oklahoma just north of the Canadian river, and following that river, believing it to be the Red river, landed at Fort Smith. His course was generally along the divide between the two Canadians.
1820—Choctaw treaty made with Generals Jackson and Thomas Hinds subsequently ratified by the treaty at Washington in 1825 and the Dancing Rabbit Creek treaty in 1830.
(1820 Union mission (Presbyterian) established; first mission in state, followed by opening of first school in 1821 at the same location (site southeast present Chouteau, Mayes County))2
1821—Captain Nathan Prior, Hugh Glenn and Jacob Fowler left Fort Smith with a party of trader and trappers on an expedition to the Rocky mountains. They crossed through northern Oklahoma.
1823—The American board of commissioners for foreign missions established a mission school on the Grand river for the Osage Indians a few miles north of the spot upon which Cantonment Ribson was built.
(1824 First US Post Office established, September 8, at Miller Courthouse, location on Red River, Shawneetown community; also Fort Gibson established on Grand River and Fort Towson, on Red River)2
(1825 Osage Indians cede all lands in Oklahoma, by treaty to us.)2
(1827 The steamboat Catawba, Veocipede, and Scioto arrive at Fort Gibson with supplies, in April.)2
1828—Treaty made with the Cherokees of Georgia, by which they were to move on a reservation of 7,000,000 acres, west of Arkansas, with an outlet to the region of the Great Plains.
1830—By act of congress provision was made for the establishing of the Indian Territory.
(1831 Beginning of the final removal of the Five Civilized Tribes to Oklahoma from east of the Mississippi River.)2
1832—The Seminole treaty was signed, but was unheeded by the tribe. 1836 they were provoked into hostilities and in 1842 were forcibly removed to Indian Territory.
1832—Chickasaw treaty was signed at Pontotoc creek, Mississippi and the tribe came to Indian Territory.
1832—A company of mounted rangers under command of Captain Nathan Boone, from the Osage agency, near Fort Gibson, marched westward to a point near Guthrie and then turning south, passed betwe3en the sites of Oklahoma City and El Reno, ad thence southeastward across Cleveland and Pottawatomie counties and to Fort Gibson.
(1832 Washington Irving’s visit, his narrative subsequently published ads “A Tour of the Prairies.” Classic in Oklahoma literature.)2
1833—War broke out between the Osage and Kiowa Indians and General Henry Leavenworth with a body of troops marched westward to a point between Anadarko and the Wichita mountains and then southwestward through the Wichitas, in an effort to pacify the warring tribes. This led to a general peace council at Fort Gibson.
1835—Second treaty made with Cherokees in Mississippi in February with John Ross as principal chief of the tribe. The Cherokees became dissatisfied with the amount fixed by the United States senate for their lands, which Ross sought to refer to a general council of his people for deliberation. A meeting held in October resulted in the tribe refusing to consider the offer. At a second council called by the government in December but few of the Cherokees were present. A treaty was perfected with the few present and the senate ratified this, making the official proclamation May 23, 1835.
1835-36—Fort Holmes was established by the American Fur company of St Louis as a trading post with the southwestern tribes. Fort Holmes was abandoned later when a trading post was established in the southern part of what is now Cleveland county. Choteau, a trading post on the west bank of Cache creek, near the present site of Lawton, was also established.
Creek Tribe Moved
1834—The main body of the Creek tribe moved to
their new reservation.
(1834 (1) Indian Territory established by act of Congress (2) government of Choctaw Nation established with written constitution and laws; (3) Leavenworth expedition set out from Fort Gibson, first US military expedition (dragoons) for peace with Plains Indians in southwest.)2
(1835 First printing press in state, set up at Union mission, and first book printed, “The Child’s Book”, a primer in the Creek language.)2
1837—The Chickasaws and Choctaws made a treaty near Fort Towson by which the Chickasaws purchased a joint interest in the granted Choctaw reservation.
1837—The treaty with the Kiowa, Apache, Apache of the Plains and the Tawakony was signed.
1837—The Cherokee Outlet was surveyed by the Rev. Isaac McCoy.
1838—A force of 3000 troops under command of General Winfield Scott forcibly moved the Cherokees west.
1839—As a culmination of the feeling between the “treaty” and “anti-treaty” factions of the Cherokees, Major Ridge, Elias Boudinot and John Ross were killed. Civil war in the tribe threatened for a time.
1839—Bill was introduced in congress providing for the organization of the Indian territory. It was submitted to the several tribes but was not largely approved and no action was taken.
(1839 Cherokee Nation established with new written constitution and laws, Tahlequah the capital, following the “act of union” signed by eastern and western Cherokees, among them the noted Sequoyah (George Guess).)2
1834-39-40—Santa Fe traders made the trip across Oklahoma from Fort smith and Van Buren in each of these years under military escort.
1842—Fort Washita was established twenty-two miles above the moth of the Washita river.
1844—Captain Nathan Boone, son of Daniel Boone, made a second exploring expedition through the valleys of the Arkansas and Cimarron and their tributaries.
(1844 The Cherokee Advocate first newspaper in state, printed at Tahlequah, in English and Cherokee languages.)2
1845—Texas was annexed to the United States.
1845—The government succeeded in getting the factions of the Cherokee tribe to sign a treaty between themselves.
1845-46—Between these years 7,000 Choctaws moved from Alabama and Mississippi to the tribal reservation.
1846—War broke out with the Kiowas and Comanches.
(1846 Completion of the Wheelock church, stone building; first organized as Choctaw mission in 1832. Oldest church building in Oklahoma, still standing near Millerton.)2
1849—A part of California gold seekers crossed the state from Fort Smith and Van Buran, following the valley of the Canadian. (accompanied by US military escort under command of Randolph B Marcy, Captain Fifth Infantry.)2
1850—Texas relinquished all claims to the land north of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes. The establishment of the bounds of New Mexico left the so called “No-Man’s-Land” unattached to any state, territory or Indian reservation.
Overland Trail Laid Out
1850—Lieut. J.H. Simpson laid out an overland trail
across Oklahoma from east to west. The route followed the Canadian to
a point in what is now the southern part of Cleveland county, on the north
side of the river. There county where it crossed over into the valley
of the Washita, re-entering the Canadian in Roger Mills county.
1851—Fort Arbuckle was established near the Wichita mountains.
1852—Captain R.B. Marcy led a surveying and exploring expedition up the Red river. Some mistakes made in his map are declared to have resulted in the dispute over the Greer county boundary.
1853—First attempt was made by the Cherokee and Creek to perfect a treaty with the plains tribes.
1853—A peace council was held by the government with the Kiowas, Comanches and Apaches of the Plains, and a part of the terms was that the government should make a yearly allowance of $18,000 for the ensuing ten years.
(1853 Pacific railroad survey by government expedition under command of Lt Amiel W. Whipple, Topographical Engineer Corps.)2
1854—Captain Patrick Calhoun, son of John C Calhoun, led an expedition against the hostile Indians in the Wichita mountains and in the valley of the Red river from western Texas. Great hardships were experienced in the winter months by the command, Captain Calhoun dying four years later as a result of his broken health, caused by the trying winter of the campaign in southeastern Oklahoma.
1855—The Chickasaws and Choctaws signed an agreement by which the Chickasaws obtained their political separation on payment of $150,000.
1856—A part of the Creek reservation was set aside by a treaty with the government for the Seminoles.
1857—Fort Gibson was abandoned as an army post. It was afterwards garrisoned by confederate and then federal troops, being finally abandoned in 1890.
(1856 The Chickasaw Nation established as separate government, with written constitution and laws, and Tishomingo designated the capital)2
1857—The Choctaws and Chickasaws adopted new tribal constitutions.
1858—The north boundary line of Oklahoma was surveyed by Lieut. Joseph E Johnston, afterward famous as a confederate general.
1858—Camp Radsiminaki was established in the southern portion of Kiowa county.
(1858 Butterfield Overland Mail line began operations, 192 miles, with stage stations from Fort Smith to Colbert’s Ferry on Red River, carrying first transcontinental US mail to San Francisco.)2
Fort Cobb Established
1859—Fort Cobb was established in the Washita valley.
(1859 Wichita agency, first US Indian agency in western Oklahoma, and Fort Cobb established when remnant tribes (Anadarko, Caddo, Kichai, Waco, Tawakoni, Tonkawa, Shawnee, Delaware) were brought north from Brazos River Reserve, Texas, and settled on Washita River.)2
1861—The Choctaw council on February 7 adopted resolutions declaring their affiliation and sympathy with the southern states in the Civil War.
1861—Fort Smith was captured by the confederate forces April 23. Fort Arbuckle, Fort Cobb and Fort Washita were abandoned by the Union forces and occupied by the confederates.
1861—The Chickasaw legislature, by resolution, allied themselves with the conferedate (confederate) states.
1861—The Indian territory was declared to be under the military control of the confederacy May 13.
1861—Albert Pike, special commissioner of the conferedate (confederate) states, signed a treaty at Elufaula (Eufalua) with the members of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole Nations July 10-11 and August 1.
1861—The Cherokees in council signed a treaty of alliance and friendship with the confederate states October 1.
1861—Alliance and friendship treaties were signed by Commissioner Pike with representatives from parts of the Comanche, Wichita, Waco, Caddo, Anadarko, Tawakony, Tonkawa, Keechi and Delawares August 13, at Anadarko and with the Osage, Quappaws, Senecas and Shawnees October 3-4. the major portion of the Osages and the Shawnees remained loyal to the national government. Many Indians of the respective tribes, also, remained loyal to the Union and fought in the Union armies.
(1862 General Albert Pike, in command of Confederate states army in Indian Territory, ordered to join his forces with the army of General Earl Van Dorn moving to attack the federal forces at Pea Ridge (Elkhorn Tavern), Arkansas.)2
(1863 second federal invasion of the Indian Territory and the Battle of Elk Creek or Honey Springs (site near Oktaha, Muskogee County.))2
(1864 Brig. Gen. Stand Watie’s Indian cavalry brigade and Gen. R.M. Gano’s Texas brigade capture federal wagon train (value $1,500,000) at Cabin Creek; the 130 wagons loaded with supplies, a boon to the Confederate forces.)2
1865—General Edmund Kirby Smith, commanding the Trans-Mississippi department of the confederate army, surrendered at Fort Smith, May 26. The Indians under General Douglas H. Cooper refused to enter into the compact with the confederates, declaring for a separate agreement of surrender with the Union forces. This surrender was effected June 11 at Docksville, Choctaw Nation.
Chisholm Trail Marked
1865—The Chisholm trail was laid out from the present
site of Wichita, KN, to the Wichita-Caddo agency, where Anadarko is
1866—The new Seminole treaty was signed Mar 11, it being the first with the Indians who had allied themselves with the confederacy. The joint Chickasaw-Choctaw treaty was signed April 28; the Creek treaty, June 14; and the Cherokee, July 10. (Indian Territory named “Oklahoma” in Choctaw-Chickasaw treaty)2
1867—Removal of the Kansas tribes to Northeastern Indian territory.
1867—Medicine Lodge treaty was signed with Kiowas, Comanches, Apaches, Cheyennes and Arapahoes.
(1867 First cattle drives from Texas to Kansas on the Chisholm Trail, crossing at Red River Station (near Ryan, Oklahoma) and continuing north a few miles east of 98th Meridian to Abilene, Kansas)2
1868—Removal of the Shawnees from eastern Kansas to the Cherokee country.
1868—Congress passed an act that there should be no more treaties with the Indians.
1868—General George A Custer waged the Washita valley campaign.
(1869 Establishment of Fort Sill)2
1870—The Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroad began laying its tracks into the Indian Territory.
1872—The Atlantic & Pacific (now the Frisco), railway was built, affecting a junction with the Missouri, Kansas & Texas at Vinita
1869-70-71-72—Quakers were appointed as Indian agents for the Wichita-Caddo and affiliated tribes.
1871-72—Indian raids in the southwest were renewed under Santanta. Satanta, Satank and Big Tree were arrested for their raids in Texas, on charges of murder and sentenced to be hanged, but sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.
1873—The Five Civilized tribes met with the plains tribes at Fort Cobb and endeavored to get them to leave the warpath.
1874—The last outbreak on the part of the Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne and Arapaho was made. Peace was restored the following year.
1875—First cattle ranches were established in western Indian Territory.
(1875 The surrender of the Quahaua Comanche under the leadership of Quanah Parker closed the period of wars with the Plains tribes in Oklahoma.)2
Cheyenne's to Fort Reno
Cheyenne's were brought to Fort
Reno from Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.
(1877 The last great herd of buffalo in the Indian Territory was seen near Camp Supply (present Woodward County).)2
1878—A band of the northern Cheyenne's under the leadership of Dull Knife went on a raid and were permitted to return to the north. The remainder of the Cheyenne's were escorted to the Pine Ridge agency in 1883.
1879—The Carpenter colony of settlers from Kansas City, Mo, made the first attempt to enter the unassigned lands known as Oklahoma. They were ejected by troops under command of General Wesley Merritt. Another was organized at Topeka, KN, under J R Boyd and one was organized in Texas to operate from Caddo, Indian territory. The Carpenter colony entered near what is now Coffeyville, KN, May 7.
(1879 A new bill or organize the Indian Territory as the Territory of Oklahoma was introduced in Congress.)2
1880—Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe built its line to Caldwell, KN on the northern border of Indian territory.
1880—Captain David L. Payne and his colony of settlers crossed into Oklahoma, locating in Oklahoma county, where they were apprehended by the troops, taken to Fort Reno, later escorted to the Kansas line by soldiers and released June 7. Within a month Captain Payne returned to Oklahoma and was arrested a second time and taken to Fort Reno and from there to Fort Smith, where he was released without bond.
1881—Stockmen of the Cherokee strip met at Caldwell, KN, for the discussion of common interest. This was the beginning of the movement which culminated in the organization of the Cherokee Strip Live Stock association two years later.
1881—Captain Payne brought suit in the United States court at Topeka, KN, for damages on account of his forcible removal from the territory. He was frustrated by repeated postponements and in the fall he went to Texas, where he organized his second colony. They came to Oklahoma and encamped on Cache creek, but were expelled by the troops.
1882—Cattlemen began fencing ranches in the Cherokee Strip.
1882—Payne went to Washington D.C. to consult with the secretary of the interior in regard to the status of the Oklahoma land, but received no satisfaction. Returning, he organized a third colony and was arrested again and taken to Fort Reno, and thence to Fort Smith, but the case was continued on the motion of the district attorney, and Payne began organizing his followers for a fourth attempt to affect a settlement in Oklahoma.
Payne is Indicted
1883—Payne made another attempt to settle Oklahoma
with a colony of several hundred persons. They made their way into the
valley of the North Canadian, where he was again arrested and taken to
Fort Reno while his followers were escorted by the troops to the Kansas
border. Payne sought to obtain an injunction against the military authorities
in the district court at Topeka in July. A band of 250 “boomers”
from Arkansas City left in august for Oklahoma, but Payne was not with
them. He and three associates were arrested at Wichita and formally indicted
by a federal grand jury on a charge of conspiracy to violate the laws
of the United States, and in the meanwhile the injunction proceedings
were postponed from time to time.
1884—Oklahoma “boomers” began to settle the country singly, instead of coming in a body, but as fast as the settlers were removed others followed. Payne and seven other leaders were arrested August 9 at Rock Falls, four miles south of Hunnewell, KN, in the Cherokee Strip on a charge of conspiracy by intruding on Indian lands. Judge O.C. Foster, of the United States district court, held that the title to the land in Oklahoma was bested in the United States, and therefore settlement by citizens was not a criminal offence. This was Payne’s first and only real victory in the courts.
1884—Captain Payne died suddenly at Wellington, Kansas, November 17, and it was but a few days later when Representative Sidney Clarke, James B Weaver of Iowa, and W.M. Springer of Illinois, aligned themselves behind a bill providing for the opening and settlement of Oklahoma. Representative Clarke introduced the bill.
1885—W.L. Couch, one of Payne’s lieutenants moved from the Kansas line at the head of a large colony of “boomers” little more than a month after the death of Payne. The party reached the valley of Stillwater creek, where they encamped, laid out a town and staked claims, but were driven out at the point of guns to the Kansas border.
Declared Indian Lands
1885—Couch and twelve leaders were arrested on
a charge of treason in January and were placed in jail at Wichita. The
Oklahoma lands were declared Indian lands by President Cleveland March
13. The cattlemen were notified by the military authorities to move, but
no record is had that they heeded the notice. Couch and his companions
were released some weeks later when General Hatch, who had ousted them
from Stillwater creek failed to appear at the trial.
1885—President Cleveland issued a proclamation ordering the removal of the cattle ranch fences form the ranges of Oklahoma, August 7. The last effort at colonization was under the leadership of Couch during the fall, but the colonists were removed by Lieut. Col. E.V. Sumner, Fifth cavalry, November 10.
1885—The beginning of construction work on the new railroad from Arkansas City south to Fort Worth, Texas was begun. This gave the “boomers” inspiration that the lands would soon be opened to settlement.
1886—The Santa Fe was completed north and south across the country. (Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railway, second railroad in state.)2
1887—Immigration of settlers into “No-Man’s Land” began.
(1887 Dawes Act passed by Congress, providing for allotment of Indian reservation lands in severalty.)2
1888—The Oklahoma bill was passed by the house of representatives early in February, but Senator Preston B. Plumb of Kansas made an impassioned speech when it was reported from the senate committee on territories and the measure failed to pass, but the famous “rider” on the Indian appropriation bill, opening Oklahoma to settlement, was passed by congress and it became a law March 1, 1889. March 13, President Harrison issued the proclamation naming April 23 at 12 m. as the day and hour of opening.
(1889 Oklahoma Territory opened for settlement.)1 The first land run in the territory was April 22, 1889. Over 50,000 people are said to have entered the race. Oklahoma City, Kingfisher, El Reno, Norman, Guthrie and Stillwater were some of the towns which sprung up overnight.
Organic Act Passed
1890—The organic act was passed and became a law
May 2, giving the land an organized form of territorial government. This
organized the western half of the Indian Territory and the “No man’s
land” strip into Oklahoma Territory with the Eastern half remaining
as Indian Territory.
1890—The population of the Indian territory as reported by the federal census was 179,321, of which number 50,818 were Indians. The population of Oklahoma was given at 51,834.
1890—The reported coming of an Indian Messiah caused much unrest among the Indians west of the Mississippi and the Indians in western Oklahoma began holding a series of “ghost dances” which caused considerable excitement among the settlers. Aplatan, a Kiowa leader; exploded the story by making a trip to a remote part of Nevada, where he is reported to have found the reputed messiah and ascertained that he was an Imposter.
1890—George W Steele of Indiana was appointed territorial governor May 22.
1890—First election for choosing members to legislature was held August 5.
1891—A.J. Seay was appointed territorial governor October 12.
1891—The surplus lands of the Sac and Fox, The Iowa, and the Shawnee-Pottawatomia reservations were opened to settlement, September 23.
1893—Governor A.J. Seay was removed from office by President Cleveland in May and W.C. Renfrow was appointed to fill the vacancy.
1893—The Cherokee Outlet and the surplus lands of the Pawnee and Tonkawa reservations were opened to settlement, September 16.
1893—President Cleveland appointed ex-Senator Henry L. Dawes of Massachusetts, Meredith H. Kidd of Indiana and Archibald S. McKennon of Arkansas, members of the Dawes commission November 1.
1893—Dennis T Flynn, delegates from Oklahoma territory in congress, introduced a bill in the fifty-third congress providing for the admission of Oklahoma and Indian territories as a joint state.
1895—In May the Kickapoo surplus lands were opened to settlement.
1896—Greer county was made a part of Oklahoma by act of congress, approved May 4.
First Statehood Convention
1896—A statehood convention was held in Oklahoma
City, January 8. Two separate calls had been issued for the meeting, one
by the supporters of the joint statehood movement and the other for the
separate statehood idea. The meeting was disrupted soon after it convened.
Two chairmen were elected by the rival factions and a wrangle resulted
which was stopped only by the lights being turned out.
1897—Cassisus M. Barnes was appointed in April by President McKinley to succeed Governor Renfrow whose term of office had expired.
(1897 First commercial oil well drilled in Oklahoma.)1
1898—Spanish-American war broke out and many young men from Oklahoma and Indian territories answered the calls for troops.
1899—The Curtis bill was passed in February.
(1900 “free Homes bill,” surplus lands in most Indian reservations granted free to white settlers.)2
1901—Crazy Snake “uprising” was advertised in a sensational manner by newspapers, when some of the Creeks refused to accept allotments. A faction elected Chitto Harjo chief and he called a special meeting of the National council. He was later arrested with several of his followers, when much excitement had been stirred up, and was confined in jail for a time.
1901—Gas and oil were discovered in the vicinity of Tulsa, Red Fork, Sapulpa and other towns in the Creek nation early in the spring.
1901—William M. Jenkins was appointed governor April15, to succeed Governor Barnes.
1901—The reservations of the Kiowa, Comanche, Wichita, Caddo, Apache of the Plains and the affiliated tribes were opened to settlement by registration July 9. The drawing began August 6.
Jenkins Removed From Office
1901—Governor Jenkins was removed from office by
President Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas B Ferguson was named as his successor,
1902—The senate committee on territories visited Oklahoma in the fall. A bill providing for single statehood of the two territories was reported out by the senate committee when congress met in December, but the bill became involved with the New Mexico-Arizona statehood question and action was deferred.
1905—The Sequoyah constitutional convention met in Muskogee in July. William H. Murray was chosen president. It proposed the formation of a separate state of the Indian territory to be named Sequoyah. Dallas Morning News - Nov 9 1905 (Dallas, Texas)
1906—Frank Francis was appointed to succeed Governor T.B. Furguson, whose term of office had expired. During the time of the Oklahoma Territory there were seven governors and two acting Governors administering the territory.
1906—Congress passed the single statehood bill and it became a law June 14.
1906—Under the provisions of the enabling act, the delegates to the constitutional convention met in Guthrie November 20, and was in session almost continuously until the latter part of April of the following year.
1907—Election of first state officials was held Saturday, November 16, C.N. Haskell, democrat, of Muskogee, was chosen first governor, defeating Frank Frantz, territorial governor, and candidate of the republican party.
(1907 On November 16, Oklahoma became the 46th State in the Union.)1 Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Nov 17 1907 (Fort Worth, Texas)
1910—Lee Cruce, democrat, was elected governor, defeating Joe McNeal of Guthrie, the Candidate of the republican party.
(1910 Oklahoma City designated the capital of the state by vote of the citizens.)2 (Map) The Daily Oklahoman - Sep 25 1910
(1912 Seventy-seven counties in Oklahoma (present number) with the organization of Cotton County on September 14.)2 Counties Established
(1914 Construction of the State Capitol begun, completed 1918.)2
Main article published
in The Daily Oklahoman July 6, 1913 and covered one full page. Excerpts
from other publications has been added to expand the timeline.
(1) Oklahoma Natural Gas “Historical Map of Oklahoma” 1981
(2) "Oklahoma Heritage" A teaching aid prepared by Miss Muriel Wright, prominent state historian, published by The Daily Oklahoman . Oklahoma City Times (Newspaper Insert - Unknown year)
Contributed by Vicki Ebert