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
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
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
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)