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[ Being a County or State Administrator is fun and rewarding. If you have an interest in the history of Oklahoma and the genealogy of it's residents please consider it. If you think "there is no way I can do this" there are many people ready, willing and able to help you. It's not near as difficult as you might think. ]
| Spanish travelers traversed the area on the Great Spanish Trail, which may have cut through the county's southwestern corner. In 1849 Randolph Marcy blazed the California Road and probably navigated through Washita County's northern edge. In 1869 both the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes arrived in present Oklahoma to reside on their reservation, which included present Washita County. |
In 1874 John Lytle established the Great Western Cattle Trail that traversed Washita County. Although ranchers had been grazing their cattle on the reservation, illegally or through informal agreements, in 1883 Indian Agent John Miles leased three million acres of Cheyenne and Arapaho land to seven cattlemen. After turmoil ensued between ranchers and portions of the tribes, in 1885 the federal government terminated all leases in the reservation and ordered the removal of stock. During this period John Seger worked for the cattle interests, building a three-hundred-mile fence and overseeing a ranch near present Colony. In 1886 Seger convinced 120 Cheyenne and Arapaho to move to Cobb Creek, the site of the old ranch headquarters, and farm. This "Seger's Colony" was one of four that agency officials hoped would teach these tribes agricultural methods prior to the forced allotment of tribal land. The site later housed the Seger Indian School and Mennonite and Dutch Reformed Church missions.
On April 19, 1892, the federal government introduced non-Indian settlement into this region in a land run known as the Cheyenne-Arapaho Opening. This expanded Oklahoma Territory, and officials designated most of present Washita County as County H. The secretary of the interior allocated Tacola, which soon became Cloud Chief, as the county seat.
Oklahoma Birth Certificates
State of Oklahoma Genealogy Records Guide
Oklahoma State Archives
Oklahoma Genealogical Society Library and Archives
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Cordell, OK 73632
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