Choctaw County was
created at statehood in 1907 and takes its name from the Indian tribal name, "Chahta." Located
in southern Oklahoma and bordering Texas, Choctaw County contains 774 square
miles, which ranks it 42nd in size with other Oklahoma counties. Hugo
is its county seat. Today (2000 census) Choctaw County has a population of 15,342 people
(down from a high in 1920 of 32,144) with
19.8 people per square mile.
The 1860 Choctaw
Nation constitution divided the Nation into 3
districts; Pushmataha, Apukshunubbee, and Mushulatubbee. Each district
was further divided into counties. Present day Choctaw County was
created in 1907 out of the districts of Apukshunubbee and Pushmataha and
contains portions of Jackson, Kiamitia (Kiamichi), Cedar and Towson counties of
the Choctaw Nation (political
Fort Towson (restored by the
Oklahoma Historical Society)
sits just 15 miles east of Hugo. Indian Territory's
it was founded in 1824 to protect the then Spanish border. Abandoned
by the US Army in 1854, it was used as a Choctaw Indian Agency until
the Civil War, when it was used as the Confederate military
headquarters for Indian Territory. Other historical interests
include the site of Doaksville,
important early-day trading center, established by fur traders in
1821, and the former Choctaw Nation Capitol where the last Confederate general
of the Civil War surrendered. Near the old military post is
oldest existing residence. Known as the "Old Chiefs House," the
two-story log house was built in 1832 for the District Chief Thomas LeFlore of the well-known Choctaw family of French descent. After the
Civil War, it served as the temporary first school for blacks.
Goodland Presbyterian Children's
Home, oldest agency in continuous operation in
the state and the oldest Protestant home for children in the United States, is 4 miles south of Hugo.
The chapel on its grounds is Oklahoma's oldest continuously used
church, built in 1852. Many old pre-Civil War
exist, such as Rose Hill (the resting place of Colonel Robert M. Jones who was
rated the wealthiest man in the Choctaw Nation before the War of
at the intersection of the old Frisco and Arkansas and Choctaw railroads, has gained national acclaim for revitalizing its
impressive railroad legacy and for capturing the magical days of railroad
in its Frisco Depot Museum owned by the
County Historical Society. More information is
available from the Choctaw County Chamber of
Commerce, (580) 326-7511.
Hugo is also the winter headquarters of both the five-ring
Barnes Circus and its sister circus, the
Kelly-Miller Bros. Circus. With over 50 years
of circus tradition, at one time serving as the winter headquarters for 12
circuses, Hugo is known as Circus City, USA. Both Circuses annually entertain hundreds
of thousands of fans across America and Canada. A special section of Mt. Olivet
cemetery, Showmen's Rest, is
reserved for circus performers and workers. In addition, Mt. Olivet is
the final resting place for rodeo legends Freckles Brown and Lane
Choctaw County did not exist prior to Oklahoma statehood in 1907
thus there will be no census data for an area called "Choctaw
County" prior to 1910. As neither Choctaw County nor the
state of Oklahoma existed before 1907 there will be no county or
state records before that date. County marriage records begin in
For 1900 census information, look at the
Indian Territory census for the Choctaw Nation.
ancestor lived in the Choctaw Nation that does not mean they
lived in Choctaw County. Please
remember that the Choctaw Nation covered all or part of 13
modern day counties. If you're not sure where in the Choctaw
Nation you should be looking you may need to research each
county GenWeb site.
There are 12 other modern day counties that you need to look
Death certificates in Oklahoma began in October 1908
but mandatory reporting did not begin until 1917. Unfortunately, widespread compliance
with the mandatory reporting did not take place until 1930-40. Death Certificate searches,
especially in the rural areas, may be "iffy" between
1908 and 1940. All death certificate records are maintained by
the state of Oklahoma. There are no known death records maintained by
Choctaw County. Online forms for requesting death certificates can
be found on the
Oklahoma State Dept. of Health website.
The fee is currently $10 and the application requires a photocopy
of your current photo ID. Marriage Records however are maintained
by the county and not the state. These records are located in the
Court Clerk's office at the County Courthouse.
At this time the only microfilm records
available locally are at the
Public Library in Hugo. The local newspaper does not maintain any
newspapers more than a few years old. The library has an excellent
collection of county newspapers on microfilm which are also
available at the Oklahoma Historical Society in Oklahoma City. The
library also houses the
County Genealogical Society's collection.
In addition to the records available in the Heritage
Room of the local library, probably the best equipped
research library in the area
Bryan County Heritage Association in Calera, south of
Durant in Bryan Co.
The name "OKCHOCTA" comes from the "OK" state
project code and the first 6 characters of the county name "CHOCTAw".
The final "w" in Choctaw is dropped to maintain an 8 character filename, thus
CONTRIBUTING FILES TO OKCHOCTA
When contributing files to OKCHOCTA,
please DO NOT
use any spaces, commas or periods in the
filename. The only "dot" or "period" in the filename
MUST be ONLY between
the filename and the extension; i.e., "filename.jpg"
DO NOT use any other special characters such as
"&" in the filename. If you need a space in the filename use the
underscore "_" or the hyphen character "-". For example: "lastname_firstname-middlename.jpg"
Spaces, special characters and extra dots are not accepted by
our Unix server. It will take longer to get your
files online if they have to be renamed. Thanks for your help.
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