Historical Markers in
Harmon County, Oklahoma

During the Great Depression, thousands of farmers in Oklahoma were displaced from their land due to drought and dust storms. Many of these farmers migrated to California in search of work, a journey that became known as the "Okie migration."
Harmon County, Oklahoma, located in the southwestern part of the state, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The region was originally home to several Native American tribes, including the Kiowa and Comanche, who inhabited the area for centuries before European settlement.

In the 19th century, European settlers began moving into the area, attracted by the promise of fertile land and the opportunity for ranching and farming. The area was officially opened for settlement in 1901 when the Kiowa and Comanche Reservation was disbanded. Many settlers arrived from neighboring states, such as Texas, and established small rural communities.

Harmon County was officially organized in 1909, named after Judson Harmon, a former governor of Ohio. The county seat was established in Hollis, which still serves as the administrative center of the county. Agriculture, particularly cotton farming, played a significant role in the early economy of Harmon County.

Throughout the years, the county has faced several challenges, including the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. These hardships led to a decline in population and economic struggles. However, the area rebounded after World War II with the establishment of new industries and improvements in agriculture.

Today, Harmon County remains a predominantly rural area with a strong agricultural sector, though it has also seen growth in other industries such as oil and gas production. It is known for its picturesque landscapes, friendly communities, and a strong sense of history. The county continues to evolve while preserving its heritage and traditions for future generations.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Harmon County, Oklahoma.

  • 1865: Harmon County was established as a county in Indian Territory.
  • 1887: The Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian Reservation, located in present-day Harmon County, was opened for settlement.
  • 1893: The first post office was established in Harmon County.
  • 1909: The town of Harmon was established as the county seat.
  • 1912: The town of Vinson was established.
  • 1915: The town of Hollis was incorporated.
  • 1926: The Great Western Cattle Trail, used for cattle drives from Texas to Kansas, passed through Harmon County.
  • 1930: The Dust Bowl severely affected Harmon County, causing widespread drought and agricultural devastation.
  • 1953: Lake Altus-Lugert was completed, providing a water source and recreational area for Harmon County.
  • 1970s-1980s: The oil and gas industry experienced a significant boom in Harmon County, leading to increased economic activity.
  • 2001: The Hollis Historical Society was established to preserve the history and heritage of Harmon County.