Oklahoma is known as the "Sooner State" because of the land runs that occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. "Sooners" were people who snuck into the unassigned lands of the Oklahoma Territory before the official opening of the land runs. The term "Sooner" eventually became a nickname for people from Oklahoma.

Mayes County is located in northeastern Oklahoma and was established on July 16, 1907, during the early years of statehood. The county was named after Samuel Houston Mayes, who served as the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1895 to 1899. Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the area was home to Native American tribes, particularly the Cherokee Nation.

During the late 19th century, the area underwent significant changes as the Cherokee Nation was forcibly relocated to Indian Territory under the Indian Removal Act. This led to the establishment of several towns, including Pryor Creek, which later became known as Pryor, the county seat of Mayes County. The railroad played a crucial role in the development of the region, connecting Mayes County to other parts of the state and facilitating economic growth.

Agriculture has historically been a significant part of Mayes County's economy. Early settlers engaged in farming, primarily focusing on cotton and other cash crops. However, as the 20th century progressed, farming practices shifted, and diversified farming became more prevalent. Today, agriculture continues to be an important industry in the county, with livestock production, poultry farming, and crop cultivation being key sectors.

Mayes County has also experienced notable population growth and industrial development. The presence of natural resources like oil, gas, and coal greatly influenced the industrialization of the region. The construction of hydroelectric dams on the Grand River in the early 20th century led to the development of hydroelectric power and further contributed to the county's economic growth. In recent years, Mayes County has also seen the emergence of various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, and tourism, diversifying its economic base and providing employment opportunities for its residents.

  • 1907: Mayes County officially established as a county in the state of Oklahoma.
  • Early 1900s: The area was primarily populated by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee Nation.
  • Early 1900s: Agriculture played a major role in Mayes County's economy, with farming and cattle ranching becoming prominent industries.
  • Early 1900s: The discovery of oil and gas reserves led to a boom in the county's economy.
  • 1930s: Mayes County was severely affected by the Great Depression, with many residents struggling economically.
  • 1967: The Pensacola Dam on the Grand River was completed, creating Lake Hudson and attracting tourists to the area.
  • Late 20th century: Mayes County experienced growth in manufacturing and service industries.
  • 1993: The Will Rogers Turnpike was completed, providing improved transportation and increased connectivity to other parts of the state.
  • 21st century: Mayes County continues to be an important agricultural and manufacturing hub in northeastern Oklahoma.