Wagoner County, Oklahoma Towns

 

Porter

     Porter is a town of 600 inhabitants, located in the western part of Wagoner County on the branch of the M., K. & T. Railroad, which extends up the Arkansas River Valley from Muskogee to Tulsa. and Osage Junction. The town is located about half way between the Arkansas and. Verdigris rivers and is the trading point for the farmers of the fertile valleys of these two streams. A good quality of coal is found near the surface of the ground in this vicinity and underneath the coal in some places is found a good grade of fire clay.

     The citizens of Porter take special pride in their public school. They have a consolidated school district including about twenty-five square miles of land, which enables them to maintain an accredited high school as well as all of the common school grades, without an excessive rate of taxation. The enrollment in their public school is equal to one-half the population of the town and nine teachers are regularly employed. In the various county school contests which have been held for several years past, the Porter School has been awarded its full share of the prizes. The town maintains three churches, two banks, three cotton gins, two grain elevators, two hardware stores, two drug stores, ten general stores and groceries and several shops of various kinds.

     Porter also boasts of being a town of home-owners, there being but very few rented houses in the village. One of the institutions of which this vicinity is specially proud is what is known as Nunn's Pedigreed Seed Farms, where two thousand acres or more of land are devoted to the production of high grade cotton seed, corn, oats and barley, under the supervision of expert plant breeders. Scientific methods of farming, including systematic crop rotation and building up soils, are employed in a manner that afford practical object lessons in agriculture to the farmers of this community.

Coweta

     The town of Coweta is located in the western part of Wagoner County, about half way between Muskogee -and Tulsa, on the branch line of the M., K. & T. Railroad extending from Muskogee to Osage Junction. Coweta is an old and familiar name among the Creeks, there having been a town by that name back in Georgia in the olden times. In their ancient home the Creeks were divided into two classes known as Upper and Lower Creeks, the Upper Creeks residing in Alabama and the Lower Creeks having their hunting grounds in Georgia. The Cherokees called the Upper Creeks "Ani-Kusa" from their ancient town of "Kusa," and the Lower Creeks were known as "Ani-Kawita" from their old town of "Kawita" or "Coweta."

     When the Creeks came to this country they divided their reservation, into towns, meaning districts or counties, one of their most important districts ever after being known as "Coweta Town." Thus the name of the present town of Coweta is fraught with much historic significance to the old-time Creeks. For many years prior to the building of the railroad and the beginning many of the present town of Coweta, Mr. A. D. Orcutt, one of the pioneers of this country, maintained a store and post office about a mile west of the present site of the town and was one of the influential men of that vicinity. He was born in Kentucky in 1841 and had resided in Illinois, Arkansas and Kansas. He enlisted as a private in the Union army in 1861 and was promoted to the position of captain. In 1874 lie drifted down into the Indian Territory and established his Coweta store and dealt in livestock. A few years later he became interested in the hardware business in Tulsa and about the beginning of the present century, at the approach of the railroad, he assisted in founding the present town of Coweta. Another fact which made this neighborhood a prominent place in the minds of the Creeks, was that this was the location of one of the most important Creek boarding schools known as the Coweta Mission School. It consisted of three two-story buildings and 160 acres of land located on a beautiful ridge just east of the present town. This boarding school was established by the Creek Council in 1843 and until a few tears ago it was considered one of the best schools of the Creeks. Many of the leading members of that tribe were educated here and it was with regret that they saw the buildings and grounds sold a few years ago when the school was abolished.

     Coweta is now a flourishing town of 1,500 inhabitants located in a good farming community, and only about two miles from the fertile valley of the Arkansas River. The uplands produce such staple crops as corn, wheat, oats and hay, while the bottom lands are very productive of cotton, potatoes, corn and alfalfa. Livestock raising is also one of the profitable industries of that section, some of the old Indian Territory ranches being still in operation. The Bright ranch, formerly known as the Edwards ranch, is one of the best, known ranches of Eastern Oklahoma ; and the Walter Naylor ranch is another important one. Oil has been found within two miles of Coweta; of the shallow well structure. Quite a number of wells have been drilled, and although the daily flow of oil is not so great as in some other fields, yet the comparatively slight cost of drilling and the inconsiderable risk and loss in case a dry hole is found, make this an attractive field for oil operators.

     Some time after statehood was granted to Oklahoma, Coweta aspired to be the county seat of Wagoner County, but the town of Wagoner, being somewhat more centrally located and being more easily reached by the majority of the residents of the county by reason of its having two railroads, was selected as the county seat town.

     Coweta supports several churches and Sunday schools, and a good public school in which thirteen teachers are regularly employed. Its two-story brick school building contains a very commodious auditorium which serves as a community center for the residents of the town. In addition to furnishing a convenient place of meeting for the various societies of the town, this public use of the auditorium tends toward bringing about a closer union and a more intimate acquaintance between the school and its patrons.

     Coweta has the usual quota of stores, shops, physicians, lawyers and banks found in any town of its

Wagoner County

Source: Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma, 1922

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