The Town of Boynton, now a thriving little city of 1400 inhabitants, is located in the western part of Muskogee County on the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad, half way between Muskogee and Okmulgee. Twenty years ago it was but a part of a broad prairie pasture, but as soon as the proposed railroad was surveyed, in 1902, the town site promoters quickly selected its site as a suitable location for a promising town. Actual building began in the spring of 1903. Messrs. H. L. Wineland, W. S. Whaley, Junia Williams, W. E. Claire and Dr. J. A. Settle, being among the first settlers. Mr. Wineland taught the first school, Mr. Williams established the first drug store and Mr. Whaley was the first postmaster. Two years later Mr. Wineland assisted in organizing the first bank, called The Bank of Boynton and became its president. Some Muskogee bankers were quick to see that Boynton would soon become a good trading center, and in 1903 Messrs. A. W. Patterson and A. C. Trumbo went out and organized the First National Bank of Boynton. Both of these banks have flourished and have been important factors in building up the town and in developing the surrounding farming interests. One of Boynton’s most important industries is the Francis Vitrified Brick Co. This company has succeeded in manufacturing hard brick of an excellent quality and they have found a ready market for all of their product. Several years ago, oil was discovered in the vicinity of Boynton, numerous productive wells have been drilled and an oil refinery was built, having a capacity of 10,000 barrels per day.
Several years ago a union graded school district was formed, including several square miles of the adjacent farm lands, a good high school was established and twenty-four teachers are now regularly employed in the public schools of the city.
In addition to its two banks, oil refinery, hard brick factory and its good schools, Boynton now has a good water system, an abundant supply of natural gas, a grain mill and elevator, two cotton gins, about a dozen stores and five churches. It is also surrounded by a good prairie farming country, not yet fully developed, but which is well adapted to the production of all ordinary farm products, including livestock.
The thriving little town of Braggs is located in the southeastern part of Muskogee County, ten miles south of Fort Gibson, near the Arkansas River and on the St. Louis & Iron Mountain railroad. It has a population of 500 and is the trading point of a good many thrifty farmers. It has a good public school, a National bank, a State bank, several general stores, two cotton gins, numerous little shops and a good system of water works.
Webbers Falls, a town of 500 people, situated on the right bank of the Arkansas River, twenty-five miles southeast of Muskogee, is one of the oldest settlements in Muskogee County. It is claimed that a century ago, when the Indians began to settle here, there were actual falls, several feet in height in the river at this point, but a century’s constant flow of water has gradually worn the rock away, until now there ii only a faint ripple to mark the spot where the falls once existed.
The Hayes Mercantile Company, established there about forty years ago, has from its beginning been one of the leading business institutions of the county. R. E. Blackstone, one of the pioneer merchants, was for many years connected with the same company. In 1896 Oscar Hayes, son of J. W. Hayes, organized the Pioneer Trading Company at Webbers Falls, which soon became one of the prosperous institutions of the town.
Porum is a town of 600 people, located on the prairie, thirty miles south of Muskogee. The townsite was platted by Walter R. Eaton in 1903, upon the arrival of the Midland Valley Railroad. The firm of Cole & Matthews were the first to erect a substantial store building and fill it with a stock of general merchandise. T. H. Williams and Joseph Francis were also pioneer merchants, as were also H. G. and Frank Finklea. As the town began to grow some of its citizens organized the Bank of Commerce. A few years later a National Bank was established. These two banks were finally combined into one strong financial institution which was named The American State Bank.
Porum maintains a good public school, two churches and now has four general stores, two cotton gins, two drug stores, two hardware stores and several small stores and shops.
Other Muskogee County Towns
Oktaha, on the M. K. & T. railroad, fifteen miles south of Muskogee, is a flourishing little prairie town of 350 inhabitants. It is in the midst of a good farming community, maintains a good public school, churches, a bank, several general stores and is located on the Jefferson International highway.
Wainwright and Council Hill are towns of about 250 inhabitants each, located in the southwestern part of Muskogee County, on the Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad. They are located in a good agricultural section and are good trading points for the farmers.
The Town of Taft, ten miles northwest of Muskogee, was platted upon a large scale, upon the arrival of the Midland Valley Railroad. It now has a population of 600, all Negroes, has a good graded school, three churches, two cotton gins and several stores. Its largest institution is the school for blind, deaf and dumb Negro children, established and maintained by the state.
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.