Oklahoma was originally intended to be two separate states: Oklahoma and Indian Territory. However, when Oklahoma became a state in 1907, it included both areas.
Ottawa County, located in northeastern Oklahoma, has a rich and diverse history that goes back centuries. The area was originally inhabited by several Native American tribes, including the Quapaw and Seneca-Cayuga, who thrived in the region's fertile land and abundant natural resources. These tribes left behind a legacy of rich cultural traditions and customs that are still celebrated today.

In the early 19th century, Ottawa County came under the control of the United States government after the Louisiana Purchase. The area soon became an important trading post for fur trappers and explorers. The Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad arrived in the late 1800s, opening up opportunities for settlement and further economic development in the county.

The discovery of lead and zinc deposits in the late 19th century ushered in a new era of prosperity for Ottawa County. This led to a boom in mining operations, attracting thousands of workers to the area. Towns such as Miami and Commerce sprang up as mining centers, fueling the local economy and attracting businesses and infrastructure development.

In the early 20th century, Ottawa County experienced significant growth and expansion. The county became known as the "Tri-State Mining District" due to its proximity to Kansas and Missouri. The mining industry boomed, and Ottawa County became one of the largest lead and zinc producers in the world. However, the decline of the mining industry in the 1950s led to economic decline and population loss in the county.

Today, Ottawa County continues to celebrate its rich history and heritage while looking towards the future. The county has diversified its economy, focusing on tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing. Ottawa County also boasts several historical sites and museums that provide visitors and residents with a glimpse into its fascinating past.

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

  • 1836 - Ottawa County is established as part of the Cherokee Nation's lands in the Indian Territory.
  • 1862 - During the American Civil War, the area experiences significant conflict between Union and Confederate forces.
  • 1879 - The city of Miami is founded, becoming the county seat of Ottawa County.
  • 1891 - The Cherokee Nation is dissolved, and Ottawa County becomes part of the Oklahoma Territory.
  • 1906 - Ottawa County becomes part of the state of Oklahoma when it is admitted to the Union.
  • 1937 - The completion of the Pensacola Dam creates Grand Lake, a popular recreational area in the county.
  • 1940s-1950s - Ottawa County experiences economic growth due to mining activities, particularly in lead and zinc.
  • 1960s - The construction of Interstate 44 through the county boosts connectivity and facilitates transportation.
  • Today, Ottawa County continues to be a vibrant community, known for its natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and historical significance.