Major County, Oklahoma Trails To The Past

Major County
Oklahoma Trails To The Past

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    Major County was part of the Cherokee Outlet and opened to non-Indian settlers on September 16, 1893. The eastern half of the county lies in the Red Bed Plains (subregion of the Osage Plains) and the western half in the Gypsum Hills. Major County is home to two noted geological formations: the Glass (Gloss) Mountains, an outcropping of buttes that is part of the Blaine Escarpment, a large gypsum formation extending across much of western Oklahoma, and the Ames Structure, which is buried under 3,000 meters of sand and soil and is possibly the result of a meteorite impact. The county seat is Fairview, so named for its beautiful view of the Glass Mountains to the west and the Cimarron River to the east. At the turn of the twenty-first century other incorporated communities included Ames, Cleo Springs, Meno, and Ringwood.
    The area's prehistory has been little investigated. However, according to a 1981 archaeological survey report, Major County had thirteen known archaeological sites. Representative of these are the Barnum site, a well-preserved camp probably from the Archaic period (6000 B.C. to A.D. 1) and the Davis site, possibly a village site of the Plains Village period (A.D. 1000 to 1500). The Osage, Kiowa, Comanche, and other Plains Indians utilized the area as hunting grounds. One of the first traders and explorers in the area was Thomas James. In 1821 James, who wanted to establish trade in Santa Fe, traversed westward along the Cimarron River. Also, in 1843 explorer Nathan Boone may have passed along the western boundary of the future Major County.
    The county was named for John Charles Major, county resident and representative to the state's 1906 Constitutional Convention. Although the 1893 land opening attracted settlers from many states and foreign countries, the largest concentration to settle in present Major County came from Kansas, including large groups of Mennonite Brethren from that state. The Mennonites settled in various communities and started the first organized churches in the area. In fact, the town of Meno received its name from Dutch Anabaptist Menno Simons (1496-1561), early leader of what became known as the Mennonite movement.


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Major County Courthouse
East Broadway at 9th Street
Major County Clerk
500 East Broadway St.
Fairview, OK 73737
Phone (580)227-4732

Adjacent Counties

Woods County | Alfalfa County | Garfield County | Kingfisher County | Blaine County
Dewey County | Woodward County
Last Updated, Tuesday, 10-Jul-2018 11:04:46 MDT
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