You might know these Oklahoma towns, but do you know how they began, who they were named after or what year they were incorporated? If not, we put together a list featuring some of Oklahoma’s towns that gives a little history on their beginnings. Here are their stories:
1. Pauls Valley
One of the earliest known European settlements in what was then known as Indian Territory, is now present day Pauls Valley. Smith Paul, born in 1809 in New Bern, North Carolina, discovered the rich bottom land which is present day Pauls Valley while traveling to California by wagon. Paul described the land as, "a section where the bottom land was rich and blue stem grass grew so high that a man on horseback was almost hidden in its foliage." The town was originally called "Smith Paul's Valley" but was shortened to Pauls Valley in 1887 when the railway came to town.
Established in 1887, Guthrie was a railroad station called Deer Creek. The name was later changed to Guthrie, after jurist John Guthrie of Topeka, Kansas. After the 1889 Land Run, over 10,000 people settled in what became the capital of the new Territory of Oklahoma. The capital was moved to its present day location in 1910.
The land of Weatherford became available as part of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Opening on April 19, 1892. Its location was chosen by Beek Erick, a banker and civics leader. The post office was located a few miles out of town on John and Lorinda Powell Weatherford's homestead. The town was named after the postmaster, Linda Weatherford.
Talihina comes from two Choctaw words, tully and hena, meaning iron road. The town was built around a railroad in 1886-1887, gaining it the nickname "Iron Road." The town was incorporated in 1905 and was successful due to its railroad access.
Before Catoosa was famous as an inland port it was known as "cow town." The name of the city comes from the Cherokee language, pronounced "Ga-du-si" or "Ga-tu-si". Multiple interpretations of this word exist, including: "between two hills," "on the hill" and "into the hills." The Federal Government opened the first post office in 1883.
Originally named Sanford, the town was later renamed Guymon by railroad officials to avoid confusion with the town of Stratford, Texas, which was further down the railway line. Guymon incorporated in 1901 and grew rapidly after the railway passed through it.
7. Broken Bow
Broken Bow, Oklahoma, was named after Broken Bow, Nebraska, the former hometown of the town's founders, the Dierks brothers. It was owned by the Choctaw tribe before it was settled by non-Indians. Its early days were largely centered around a lumber company started by the Dierks brothers. It was incorporated in 1911.
Originally named "Downingville," Vinita was mostly a Native American community in its early days. It was established in 1871 by Elias Cornelius Boudinot. It was later renamed "Vinita" after Boudinot's friend and sculptor Vinnie Ream. The city was incorporated in Indian Territory in 1898.
Purcell was nicknamed the "Queen City of the Chickasaw Nation," as it sat on the Canadian River. The town was founded in 1887 and named after the vice president of the ATSF Railway - Edward B. Purcell.
Named after Judge George Chandler, a member of Congress and Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Chandler opened after the Land Run of 1891. A tornado in 1897 destroyed most of the town and killed 14 residents. A railway line was built through town in 1898 which helped Chandler grow again. Later, Route 66 brought a vast amount of business to the city.