Kay County, Oklahoma Trails To The Past

Kay County
Oklahoma Trails To The Past

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September 16, 1893

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    Present Kay County was originally part of the Cherokee Outlet. Following the Civil War the Cherokee agreed to allow the federal government to place other tribes in the outlet as part of the terms of the Reconstruction Treaties in 1866. In June 1873 the Kansa (Kaw) arrived from Kansas and settled on a reservation in present northeastern Kay County. In 1877 the Ponca were removed from Nebraska and located on a reservation situated partially in present Kay and Noble counties. Two years later the Nez Perce were brought from the Pacific Northwest to a reservation near present Tonkawa. The Nez Perce returned to their homeland in 1885, and the Tonkawa and Lipan Apache then occupied the former's reservation. The Chilocco Indian Agricultural School, a federally sponsored boarding school, opened in 1884.
    That same year David L. Payne, leader of the Boomer Movement, established a colony of settlers at Rock Falls, near present Braman. Although Rock Falls was situated in the Cherokee Outlet, Payne published the Oklahoma War Chief newspaper from that location to inform the public about the Unassigned Lands and his efforts to open them to non-Indian settlers. The Unassigned Lands were opened in the Land Run of 1889.
    In preparation for opening the Cherokee Outlet to non-Indian settlers the Tonkawa received their land allotments in 1891. When the Cherokee Outlet was opened on September 16, 1893, towns such as Ponca City and Blackwell sprang into existence in present Kay County. The Ponca and Kansa land allotments occurred in 1904 and 1906, respectively. Their reservations were not opened to non-Indian settlers.
    Before the land opening the secretary of the interior had assigned temporary names to the counties formed from the Cherokee Outlet. Thus, Kay County was originally designated as K County, and Newkirk had been selected as the county seat.


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Kay County Court House
201 South Main St.
Newkirk, OK 74647
Kay County Clerk
Phone (580)362-2537
Kay County Court Clerk
Phone (580)362-3350

Adjacent Counties

Osage County | Noble County | Garfield County | Grant County
Cowley County, Kansas
Last Updated, Tuesday, 10-Jul-2018 11:04:45 MDT
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