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.
Okmulgee County is located in eastern Oklahoma and holds a rich history. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Creek Nation, who were forced to relocate to Indian Territory in the 1830s. The Creek Nation established their capital at Okmulgee, which eventually became the county seat.

In the late 19th century, the discovery of oil brought significant changes to Okmulgee County. Oil fields were developed, attracting investors and workers to the region. The oil boom led to the rapid growth of Okmulgee and the surrounding areas, bringing wealth and prosperity. The city became known as the "Oil Capital of the World," with a thriving industry that created jobs and boosted the local economy.

During this era, Okmulgee County was also home to a vibrant African American community. Greenwood, a neighborhood in the city of Tulsa, just north of Okmulgee County, became an economic and cultural hub for Black residents. However, in 1921, the notorious Tulsa Race Massacre occurred, resulting in the destruction of Greenwood and significant loss of life. The impact of the massacre was felt in Okmulgee County as well, as many residents from Greenwood sought refuge in nearby communities.

In the years following the oil boom, Okmulgee County faced economic decline as oil production declined and industries shifted. However, the county has made efforts to diversify its economy, focusing on agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. Today, Okmulgee County is known for its beautiful natural landscapes, historic downtown, and cultural heritage. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is still an influential presence in the area, with a strong connection to its Native American heritage.

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

  • 1907 - Okmulgee County is established upon Oklahoma statehood.
  • 1832 - The Creek Indian Tribe is relocated to the area with the signing of the Treaty of Cusseta.
  • 1866 - The Creek Council Grounds become a central location for Creek government activities.
  • 1896 - Okmulgee is designated as the seat of government for the Creek Nation.
  • 1923 - Okmulgee becomes the headquarters for the Five Civilized Tribes.
  • 1979 - The Beggs School Shooting takes place, resulting in the deaths of several students and the shooter.
  • 2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic impacts Okmulgee County, leading to various challenges for the community.