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.

1 thought on “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,, March 22, 2020

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