History of Muskogee County, Oklahoma

Muskogee first received recognition when in 1805 US President Thomas Jefferson addressed the United States Congress seconding the recommendation of Meriwether Lewis that a trading post be established near the modern day city. French fur traders had already existed in the area for some time before the American acquisition of the Louisiana Purchase. The French were believed to have established a temporary village near Muskogee in 1806, but the first permanent settlement was established in 1817 on the south bank of the Verdigris River, north of Muskogee.

When President Andrew Jackson passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the Five Civilized Tribes were relocated from their homes in the south to Indian Territory through the Trail of Tears. Of the five tribes, the Cherokee and Creek tribes established settlements near Muskogee, with the town being incorporated into both Indian Nations. The Creeks, recognizing the economic value of the location, made Muskogee the Capital of the Creek Nation in 1836.

Following the American Civil War, renewed interest was created in western expansion. The United States Federal government allowed railroads to be built on Indian soil for the first time. In 1872, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad was extended to this area. In 1889, recognizing Muskogee’s growing economic and political value, a United States federal court was established at the city. This was the first federal court that exercised jurisdiction in Indian Territory that was actually located within the Territory. Before this point, all jurisdiction had been given to the federal court located in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

With the establishment of a federal court, Indian Territory was opened to white settlers via land runs.

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.

11 thoughts on “History of Muskogee County, Oklahoma”

  1. william K winchester

    I am trying to locate my maternal grandfather’s genealogical information. His name:
    John Walter Roberts, born 30 Oct, 1893, Oologah, Rogers County/Coo-weegee-o-gee District. His father was Grant U.S. Roberts, mother was Kathryn W Burgess/Roberts. Both parents came from Paola, Miami County, Kansas. John Walter Roberts married my maternal grandmother, Martha Alberta Payne in Buena Vista, Colorado.

    Thank you for any help you can give.
    Sincerely, William Kent Winchester, kentwinchest@yahoo.com, March 22, 2020

  2. Jennifer Harris

    I am trying to find out more about my grandfather, Woodrow Harris, and his twin, Tedrowe Harris, both born in 1913. His mother, Mattie or Missie Robertson, was supposedly native American. Mattie’s husband was Thomas Jackson “Bud” Harris, and her mother and father were Eleanor Hope Dawson and Edward Robertson. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, Jennifer Harris.

  3. Hi, I don’t know what to chose. I just found out that I’m Cherokee. I have 4 Markers. And my family came from the Trail of Tears. My Great Grandfather was in WW l and a few Wars after that. And my Grandpa was in WW ll and a few Wars after that. My step mom did all the hard work for me. But I had to leave everything behind in Tx. Now I’m starting all over again. Help!!

  4. I am trying to find out about my Cherokee lineage. My great-grandmother was Mary Edna Andes Cannon, March 16,1876-August 30, 1965. She was married, in 1895, to George Washington Cannon. She moved to Emet Oklahoma from Dallas TX in 1906. Her parents were Joseph Isaac Andes and Elizabeth Cappe Andes. Thank you for any help.

  5. I’m looking for information on Martha Della Estes whom I believe to be my Paternal Grandmother. She was born in 1879 in Iowa and was living in Sequoyah County Oklahoma at the time of the 1920 census. She gave birth to my Father, James A Hill in 1911 on a Cherokee reservation in Pryor, Oklahoma. I believe she is of Native American descent and I would like to confirm this information. Thank you for any information you may have.

    1. Did she happen to marry a man with the last name Dykes? I came across (I think is my paternal grandfather’s step-mother Martha Della Dykes. My grandfather was born in Cherokee nation. I am trying to find out if he is of Cherokee descent.

  6. I am trying to find out if I have any Cherokee lineage. My father was John Lewis Whitson and born in 1911 in Il. He always said he was Cherokee. He is married to Mary Louise Wunder born in 1913.

  7. Much genealogy has been done on my father’s side, relatives came from areas in and around Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, to name a few. It was verbally passed down that we were Sioux and Cherokee. I’m wondering if any of the relatives in the genealogy had adopted Native children, that were my direct relatives? I have a picture of my great grandmother on my grandfather’s side…she is dark. My aunt said that she knew her and that she had long coal black hair and dark skin.
    On my grandmother’s side, my grandmother and one of her brother’s had coal black hair and dark skin….but her mother had pale skin and brown hair, and another brother was pale skin with blonde hair. How do I find out if there were adoptions? I have cousins that were so dark, I thought that they were black when we were children. I KNOW there is something here! But I can’t just go on verbal things that relatives passed down. My own father was semi-dark with coal black hair….high cheekbones….looked very Native American.
    Thank you for your time and consideration….any help would be appreciated!

  8. Hello Barb,
    My grandmother was born in Big Cabin, Craig County, Oklahoma January 11, 1918 Her maden name was Frankie Lucille Swaggerty. Daughter of Clifton Eugene Swaggerty – born March 8, 1884. I believe his mother’s name was Lucy (Lucille) Swaggerty – listed in the final Rolls, she was Cherokee, Card 3038, Roll 7531, ID 13069.
    Can you please provide me with information I need to pursue my family heritage?
    Thank You,
    Rickey J. Gregory

  9. I’m looking for information about my great great grandfather, we thought that was Cherokee but everything we’re finding out he was Comanche. His name was Jerome P Hayes. His wife name was Womack Sarah. Baby either moved to southern Tennessee or North Alabama DeKalb county any information you can find fourth would be appreciated.

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