The people of Mayes County are going ahead and each year finds the county as a whole more determined to build homes and farms.
According to the United States Government census of 1920 the total illiterate population of Mayes County is but 3.6 per cent out of the total population of 16,894.
There are not many Negroes in Mayes County and very few in any of the towns in the county.
Titles to the land in Mayes County are not at all difficult to understand. The land was patented to the Cherokee as a nation by treaty in 1838. The allotment act by treaty was approved by Congress July 1, 1902, and approved by the Cherokee tribe of Indians, August 7, 1902. All necessary records are available to show the age and degree of blood of allottees, and if land is restricted or unrestricted.
All of the leading loan companies of the Southwest are loaning money on Mayes County land.
The assessed valuation of Mayes County for 1921 was $1.3,614,757. This, of course, does not include thousands of homesteads that are still owned by the Cherokee, that are not taxable and does not include thousands of acres of land held by Cherokee of three-fourths blood and over. Much of this land, however, is placed on the tax-rolls annually on account of sales of homestead and removal of restrictions by application of the allottee through the Interior department.
The average levy for county purposes since statehood will average about six mills. Of the sixty-six school districts in the county, the average levy for all school purposes was less than nine mills in 1921. The average levy in townships for road purposes for 1921 was three mills. Add one mill for state purposes and you will get a reasonable average for the total levy for all purposes in the county.
Out of the above levies, Mayes County has built school buildings in sixty-six districts and one of the best road systems in the state, which includes the bridging of many streams and a gravel road. A farm for the poor of the county is owned by the county and joins the county seat. The county maintains a fair which is held annually in the county seat. A county engineer is on regular duty as well as a county agent and a woman’s home demonstrator. The Federal Government aids the county in the financing of the last two named officers.
A new $140,000 court house is now being completed at Pryor and is fully paid for. Mayes County has no bonded indebtedness.
Every few miles in this drive one will pass an up-to-date schoolhouse. Every child on a Mayes County farm lives within. walking distance of a rural school, and within driving distance of a village graded school or a good town high school. Thus, even in this new country, the people have already provided just as ample educational facilities as are enjoyed in any state.
Another surprise in the drive will be the excellent character of roads and bridges. It must be remembered that before Statehood there were only trails, through the prairies and hills, with practically no bridges. Now the country is fenced, with roads on section lines. Good bridges and culverts are built. Often these are steel or concrete. Road drags are seen and the good effects of their use are evident. The Jefferson Highway passes through Mayes County from north to south, traveling through all of the towns located on the M. K. &T. Railway. The King of Trails follows almost the same route as the Jefferson Highway. The White River Trail passes through the county, east and west. . Mayes County not only has an abundant supply of gravel for the roads of the county but it is shipped out of the county almost daily by the train loads going to other counties of the state to help make up the Federal and state roads.
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.