Historical Marker in
Okfuskee County, Oklahoma

Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any other state in the country, with over 200 lakes created by dams.
Okfuskee County, located in the eastern part of Oklahoma, has a rich and diverse history. The area was originally home to several Native American tribes, including the Creek and Seminole nations. In the early 1800s, the U.S. government began to forcibly remove these tribes from their ancestral lands as part of the Indian Removal Act. Many Creeks and Seminoles were relocated to what is now Okfuskee County.

In the late 1800s, Okfuskee County saw a surge of settlers, primarily of European descent, drawn to the area by available land and opportunities for farming. Towns like Okemah and Henryetta were established and quickly became economic and social hubs for the surrounding rural communities.

The early 20th century brought significant changes to Okfuskee County. The discovery of oil and gas reserves in the early 1900s transformed the region into a major oil-producing area. Oil drilling and production brought wealth and jobs to the county, attracting a diverse population of workers and entrepreneurs.

Despite the economic boom, Okfuskee County faced its share of challenges. The Great Depression of the 1930s hit the county hard, leading to widespread poverty and unemployment. However, the community persevered, and in the decades that followed, the county experienced gradual recovery and growth.

Today, Okfuskee County continues to be a rural area known for its agriculture, oil and gas production, and close-knit communities. The county's rich history, from its Native American roots to its role in the oil boom, is celebrated and remembered by its residents.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Okfuskee County, Oklahoma.

  • 1860s - Prior to statehood, Native American tribes including the Creek Nation inhabited the area now known as Okfuskee County.
  • 1875 - The present-day county was established and named Okfuskee, derived from a Creek Indian word meaning "place of the boggy waters."
  • 1901 - The first post office was established in Okemah, which would later become the county seat.
  • 1907 - Oklahoma was admitted as the 46th state, and Okfuskee County was officially recognized as part of the state.
  • Early 1900s - The discovery of oil in Okfuskee County led to a boom in the local economy and an influx of settlers.
  • 1920 - Okemah gained national attention as the birthplace of Woody Guthrie, renowned folk singer and songwriter.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression had a devastating impact on the county, leading to widespread poverty and migration.
  • 1950s - The construction of highways and infrastructure improvements brought economic development to Okfuskee County.
  • Present - Okfuskee County remains primarily rural, with a diverse economy including agriculture, oil and gas production, and small businesses.