Historical Marker in
Latimer County, Oklahoma

The state capital of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, was not the original capital. Guthrie served as the territorial capital from 1890 until statehood in 1907, when the capital was moved to Oklahoma City.
Latimer County, located in southeastern Oklahoma, has a rich and diverse history that spans several centuries. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Choctaw and Creek Nations, who were forcibly relocated to the region during the Indian Removal Act of the 1830s. These tribes played a significant role in the county's cultural heritage.

In the late 19th century, European settlers began to arrive in the area, attracted by coal deposits and fertile land. The establishment of coal mining communities led to a period of rapid growth and economic prosperity. Towns like Wilburton and Panola emerged as important mining centers, and coal extraction became the backbone of the local economy.

However, with the decline of coal mining in the mid-20th century, Latimer County faced significant challenges. The closure of mines resulted in job losses and population decline, which had a profound impact on the county's economy and social fabric. Efforts were made to diversify the local economy and promote tourism, highlighting the region's natural beauty and historical significance.

Today, Latimer County continues to evolve and adapt. While coal mining remains a part of its past, the county looks towards the future with a focus on sustainable industries, outdoor recreation, and preserving its cultural heritage. With a resilient community and an appreciation for its history, Latimer County strives to create a prosperous and vibrant future for its residents.

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

  • 1907 - Latimer County is established as a county in the state of Oklahoma.
  • Before 1907 - The area was inhabited by several Native American tribes, including the Choctaw and Osage.
  • After 1907 - The county's economy was primarily agriculture-based, with farming and ranching being the dominant industries.
  • 1920s - The discovery of coal deposits led to the growth of coal mining in the county.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression had a significant impact on the county's economy, leading to a decline in coal mining.
  • Mid-20th century - The county saw a transition from agriculture and coal mining to a more diversified economy, including manufacturing and services.
  • Present - Latimer County continues to be a rural area with a mix of agricultural, manufacturing, and service industries.