History of Craig County Oklahoma

Craig County has an area of 775 square miles of land, mostly level prairie land, nearly all of it being of first class agricultural soil. During the years gone by, great quantities of prairie hay were cut each year and much of it shipped to northern markets. Some of the largest and most prosperous cattle ranches were formerly located in this section of the state, but when lands were allotted to the Indians and cut up into small farms, a much greater portion of the land was put into cultivation, and, as a result, the immense pastures disappeared and the shipment of prairie hay became a less important industry.

In those pioneer days it was customary for the “cow men” to drive thousands of long horn cattle, each year, from Texas to this section, to be fattened for market on the succulent grasses which grew so abundantly on these broad prairie pastures.

The soil and climate of this section are well adapted to the production of practically all of the varied crops of the temperate zone, but corn, wheat, oats, alfalfa and prairie hay are the staple crops. Some cotton is raised but is neither as sure nor as profitable as in the counties farther south. The climate and soil of this county are well adapted to horticulture, especially to the production of peaches, apples, grapes and berries. Some good orchards are found here, but a more thorough, scientific study of fruit culture would greatly enhance the value of that industry. More attention is being given to diversification of crops and to systematic farming now, than in the days when the cow puncher reigned supreme. In this work the county farm agents and the agricultural schools of the state are rendering valuable assistance.

There are no large towns in this county outside of Vinita, but there are a number of excellent shipping points and good trade centers. Welch, located eighteen miles north of Vinita, on the M. K. & T., has a population of 800; Bluejacket, also on the M. K. & T., is twelve miles north of Vinita, and has a population of nearly six hundred ; Big Cabin is six miles south of Vinita on the M. K. & T. and has a population of something like four hundred; White Oak is located eight miles west of Vinita on the Frisco and has a population of 200; Centralia is an inland town twenty miles northwest of Vinita and has a population of some 300 happy and progressive people. All of these towns are located in fine agricultural sections and furnish the people who make them their trade centers with all the necessities and many of the luxuries of life.

Source: Benedict, John D. Muskogee and northeastern Oklahoma, including the counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa. 3 v. illus., ports., facsims. 28 cm. Chicago, S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1922.

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