In 1988, the residents of Boise City, Oklahoma, were tricked into believing they were under attack by aliens. A local radio station aired a fake news report about a UFO sighting, and many residents saw lights in the sky that they believed were alien spacecraft. The hoax became national news and has since become a part of the town's history.
Atoka County, Oklahoma has a rich and diverse history that spans thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, particularly the Caddo and Choctaw nations. These tribes enjoyed a prosperous and harmonious existence in the region, focusing on agriculture, trade, and communal living. However, their way of life was disrupted in the early 19th century with the arrival of European settlers and the subsequent Indian Removal Act of 1830, which forcibly relocated many tribes to present-day Oklahoma.

In 1854, the Choctaw Nation signed a treaty with the United States government, establishing their own government and jurisdictional boundaries. Atoka, originally known as Atoka Station, became an important stop along the Butterfield Overland Mail route, a stagecoach line that connected St. Louis, Missouri, to San Francisco, California. This led to the development of Atoka as a trading post and transportation hub, boosting its economy and attracting settlers.

The county was officially established on October 13, 1907, when Oklahoma became a state. Atoka served as the county seat, and the surrounding area flourished with agriculture, particularly cotton farming, and the lumber industry. The discovery of oil in the 1910s also brought economic growth, attracting oil companies and leading to the establishment of oil wells and refineries in the county.

Throughout the 20th century, Atoka County experienced ups and downs in its economy, with periods of prosperity and hardship. The Great Depression and the decline of the cotton industry hit the county hard, but it managed to recover with the construction of infrastructure projects like roads and bridges through government programs such as the Works Progress Administration. Today, Atoka County stands as a reflection of its resilient past, with a mix of agricultural, industrial, and recreational activities shaping its economy and culture.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Atoka County, Oklahoma.

  • Atoka County was established on October 25, 1907.
  • In 1911, the first courthouse in Atoka County was built.
  • During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Atoka County was heavily affected by economic hardship.
  • In 1948, Atoka Dam and Reservoir were completed, providing water and recreational opportunities to the area.
  • In the 1950s, coal mining became a major industry in Atoka County, leading to economic growth.
  • In the 1980s, the completion of the Indian Nation Turnpike improved transportation in the county.
  • In 2009, Atoka County celebrated its centennial anniversary.
  • In recent years, Atoka County has seen growth in tourism and outdoor recreational activities.