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Washita County, Oklahoma
This bit of Cloud Chief history submitted by Doyle Fenn.


The county needed a government for the people, and Oklahoma Territory Governor, A. J. Seay, appointed County H officers on April 20, 1892. They were: H. A. LAMBERSON, probate judge; J. C. HOFFINS, county attorney; GEORGE H. BENNER, county clerk; W. E. THRALL, sheriff; A. S. PRATHER, registrar of deeds; A. R. GILCHRIST, county surveyor; NEAL RAGLAND, county treasurer; H. H. LITTLE, T. J. MILLS, and WILLIAM JARVIS, county commissioners.

The first officers in the county were Republicans since the party was in control of the U. S. Government in 1892. The first court house was set up in a tent. Later, business was conducted in a dugout. The Iron Hotel was built in 1894 and was leased by the county to use as a courthouse. In 1 895, a new frame building was built on the town square and a new city well was drilled in 1 898. By 1897, settlers in Cordell and west of Cordell were demanding to centralize the county seat.

Court house records indicate that the names Tacola and County H were not used after the run. The first marriage license was issued to Frank Arthur Rice, age 1 9, and Connie Amelia Richardson, age 19, on June 13, 1892. The license application gave County H as their place of residence, but the marriage license, issued on the day of the application named Washita County as the county issuing the license and gave Cloud Chief as the county seat. A written record of a vote to change the county and town names could not be found. A Probate Court record dated January 20, 1893, uses the names of Cloud Chief and Washita County.

Most of the officials appointed by Governor Seay did not seek reelection. A complete list of early day officials is not available due to the mysterious 1909 court house fire in Cordell. Thralls resigned as sheriff, and the Governor appointed James Brennan in October, 1892.

An election was held on November 8, 1892, with the following persons being elected: commissioners- W. H. MERSHON (diedafter being elected), JOHN M. DILL (appointed on April 3, 1893, to fill the vacancy), J. C. TALMADGE, & T. J. MILLS; F. B. DUKE-county attorney: J. D. PURCELL, county treasurer; J. M. WISDOM, registrar of deeds; J. D. BALLARD, probate judge; R. B. WELLS SR., county clerk; JOSEPH W. WOOD, sheriff and H. D. YOUNG, county superintendent of schools. Other officers appointed or elected were T. G. WILLIAMS, constable of Twp. 3, R. M. BURKHEART, constable of Twp 2, and D. N. MORRISON. All were sworn into office on January 2, 1893.
(WASHITA Co. Commissioners Docket Book No. 1)

Officials elected on November 6, 1894 were: J. J. FAST, R. N. HUGHES, & J. P. DALE, county commissioners; JOHN C. HENDRIX, county attorney; J. D. PURCELL, county treasurer; W. HARVEY DEAN, registrar of deeds; J. C. HATCHETT, probate judge; GEORGE W. WHEELER, county clerk; A. L. PARMAN, sheriff; G. W. HUNT, county superintendent of schools; A. EDWARD WILLIAMS, surveyor.

Others appointed or elected as officers for the town of Cloud Chief were: THOS LEASURE, Justice of Peace; J. W. REYNOLDS, Justice of Peace; W. H. LOWE, trustee & assessor; R. B. Wells Jr., clerk; P.T.A. Posey, treasurer; J. CLOUD, constable; T. J. SMITH, constable
(Washita Co. Commissioners Docket Book No. I)



FRONT: Tom Galloway-deputy sheriff. Jesse Morris-deputy sheriff, Neal Morrison-sheriff, Harve Dean-treasurer, C. W. Hunt-co. supt,

BACK: Charlie Carlisle-deputy sheriff. G. H. Grant-registrar of deeds, Stuart Humbarger-co. commissioner, Sam Smith-co. commissioner, J. P. Dale-co. commissioner. Joe Haws. Unidentified

NOTE: The photograph had a notation that those pictured were the first Washita county officials which is an error. Those pictured were elected or appointed in 1896. Names were written on the hock of the photo and listed Tom Webb and Lewis Will joins instead of Sam Smith and I. P. Dale as commissioners. The names were probably written on the photo many years later and errors in identification were made. Joe Haws did not home a position listed by his name. He is not listed in the commissioners docket book as an elected official.

Officials elected on November 3, 1896 were: SAM SMITH, S. HUMBARGER, & J. P. DALE, commissioners; J. C. HATCHETT, probate judge; F. B. DUKE, county attorney; W. H. DEAN, county treasurer; GEORGE H. GRANT, registrar of deeds; GEORGE W. WHEELER, county clerk; D .N. MORRISON, sheriff; G. W. HUNT, county superintendent of schools; E. B. ROSS, surveyor; C. E. GRANT and LINNIE E. GRANT were appointed as registrars of deeds. Cloud Chief officers who were either appointed or elected were C. E. AGENS, treasurer; D. PALMANTEER, trustee; W. D. HATCHETT, clerk (Washita Co. Commissioners Docket Book No. I) Officials elected on November 8, 1898 were: H. C. TREADAWAY, M. B. BROWN, L. N. WILLIAMS, commissioners; B. H. BAKER, county attorney; W. B. AUXIER, probate judge; W. H. DEAN, county treasurer; C. T. MURRELL, registrar of deeds; E. B. ROSS, surveyor; R. EARNHART, coroner. Others who were either elected or appointed were: W. D. PHILLIP, trustee; W. D. HATCHETT. clerk; C. E. AGENS, treasurer; A. H. KNIGHT, justice; JNO. C. HATCHETT, justice; F. WILHELM, constable (Washita Co. Commissioners Docket Book No. 1, January 3. 1899)

Officials elected on November 6, 1900 were DAVID SMITH, J. C. CALVIN & SAM DONNELL, county commissioners; RICHARD A. BILLUPE, probate judge; T. A. EDWARDS, county attorney; J. W. ARMFIELD, treasurer; G. D. COKER,clerk; JNO. W. MILLER, sheriff; C. B. HEFNER, assessor; C. T. MURRELL, registrar of deeds; J. S. NORTON, county superintendent of schools; R. EARNHART, coroner; W. J. LAWSON, weigher; E. B. ROSS, surveyor. Cloud Chief officers elected or appointed were: W. H. GRIFFIN, trustee; R. B. WELLS JR, clerk; HENRI STEHR, treasurer; R. L. HARVEY, justice of peace; T. M. DONNER, justice of peace; FRANK WILHELM, constable (Co. Commissioners Docket Book No. 1)

On November 6, 1902, the first all-Democratic slate of officers was elected and would have offices in the new two-story court house in Cordell: surveyor-E. B. ROSS; assessor-C. B. HEFNER; registrar of deeds-C. T. MURRELL; county judge-Richard A. BILLUPS; county attorney- T. A. EDWARDS; treasurer-J. M. ARMFIELD; county clerk- G. D. COKER; commissioners- J. M. DARNELL, J. C. CALVIN, DAVID SMITH; superintendent- J. S. NORTON; county clerk- G. E. WAGNER; sheriff- J. W. MILLER (CORDELL BEACON ARTICLES)

Cloud Chief, Oklahoma Territory 1893


It is them. Alligators over ten feet in length are not allowed to be transmitted by mail. Unsafe to mail apple trees with fruit in...

Persons are compelled to lick their own postage stamps and envelopes; the postmaster cannot be compelled to do this. Ducks cannot be sent through the mail when alive. The quacking would disturb the slumbers of the clerks on the postal cars.

Herald Sentinel - 1
Cloud Chief. Oklahoma Territory May 21. 1895

Miss Sallie Bonneau, Thos Bailey, W.M. Houck, Eddie Henry, Ed Richards.
John Bingham, Post Master

Cloud Chief, 0. T.1893

The El Reno and Cloud Chief bridge across the Canadian will soon be under construction.

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