Canadian County Oklahoma Trails To The Past

Canadian County

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    In 1859 the Caddo of Louisiana were transferred from the Brazos Reservation in Texas to central Oklahoma. Showetat, the last hereditary chief of the Caddo, established his camp on the north bank of the Canadian River about six miles west of present day Union City. He is considered the first permanent resident of present Canadian County. The Wichita were relocated to the same region in 1861. However, they removed to Kansas during the Civil War, returning to present Canadian County in 1865. That year Jesse Chisholm blazed the trail, which bears his name and was used by Texas cattle herders from around 1867 to 1884. In 1867 the United States and the Plains Indians negotiated the Treaty of Medicine Lodge, Kansas, which set aside land west of the Caddo and Wichita for the Cheyenne and Arapaho, who were removed from Colorado to present Canadian County in 1869.
    In 1870 the Cheyenne-Arapaho Agency (later named Darlington Agency for the first Indian agent, Brinton Darlington) was established on the north bank of the North Canadian River. Numerous threats of violence between American Indians and cattlemen led to the opening of Fort Reno on the south bank of the river, opposite Darlington, in 1874. Fort Reno (NR 70000529) was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. Approximately five years after the fort was established, the first telephone communication in Oklahoma was tested using a telegraph line that had been installed between Fort Sill and Fort Reno.
    Canadian County was settled by non-Indian settlers through three land openings which occurred in 1889, 1892, and 1901. After the Land Run of 1889, El Reno bloomed overnight on the southern bank of the North Canadian River, while Reno City rose on the north shore. The Organic Act of 1890, creating Oklahoma Territory, designated the county as County Four, which consisted of the eastern half of present Canadian County. In 1892 the surplus Cheyenne-Arapaho lands were opened to non-Indian settlement, and the western half of Canadian County was appended at that time. The southwestern portion of the present county was added after the 1901 land lottery. In local elections the first residents chose El Reno, over Reno City, Frisco, and Canadian City, as the county seat, and Canadian, after the Canadian River, was selected for the county name. A one-story, frame livery stable served as a the seat of county government until a new structure was built in 1901. Designed by W. J. Riley and Solomon A. Layton, the ornate courthouse served the county until a modern building was constructed between 1962 and 1964.


Free Records Search at Familysearch Org

Canadian County Cemetery Listings

Canadian County Cemetery Listings at Interment Net

Canadian County Cemetery Listings at Find A Grave

Oklahoma Birth Certificates

  • Search for Oklahoma Birth Cetificates and how to order from the Vital Records Office.

State of Oklahoma Genealogy Records Guide

  • Search for death certificates and how to order them from The Vital Records Office

Oklahoma State Archives

  • Dept. of Libraries
    Third Floor
    200 NE 18th St.
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
    Phone: (405) 522-3579
  • The Oklahoma State Archives provides an excellent library of genealogy records including: Commissioner of Confederate Pensions Applications, 1915-33, Commissioner of Confederate Pensions Pension Files, 1915-49, U.S. District Land Office Homestead Registers, 1889-1908, Oklahoma Supreme Court Applications to the Bar, 1907-42, Oklahoma Board of Medical Examiners Deceased Files, 1907-86, Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy Deceased Pharmacist Files, 1907-75, and Oklahoma Board of Chiropractic Examiners Inactive License Files, 1921-84.

Oklahoma Genealogical Society Library and Archives

  • 2100 N. Lincoln Blvd.
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105-4997
    Phone: (405) 522-5225
  • The Oklahoma Genealogical Society maintains a library and archives that the public is allowed to visit. The Library and Archives contains over 62,000 volumes with emphasis on Oklahoma, Native American, and western history. In addition to these materials -- many of which are rare and out-of-print -- the library also houses a number of special collections.

Email Lists and Query Boards

Canadian County Mail List on Rootsweb
Canadian County Message Board on Rootsweb
Canadian County Message Board on Genforum
County Clerk
301 North Choctaw Ave.
El Reno, OK 73036
Phone (405)262-1070
Fax (405)262-1522
Court Clerk
301 North Choctaw St.
El Reno, OK 73036
Phone (405)262-1070
Fax (405)262-1522

Adjacent Counties

Kingfisher County | Oklahoma County | Cleveland County | Grady County | Caddo County | Blaine County

Last Updated, Tuesday, 11-Sep-2018 06:36:56 MDT

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