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Washita County, Oklahoma

Port, Oklahoma

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Contributed by Marti Graham, August 2003. Information posted as courtesy to researchers. The contributor is not related to nor researching any of the families mentioned.


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Located about 6 miles south and 18 miles west of Cordell, Oklahoma. Section 34, Township 9 North, Range 20 West. A post office from February 1901 to February 1940. William H. Bunch was the first post master. Town named for Mrs. F. M. Port, local druggist.

Founded shortly after the opening of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Reservation, Port developed as an agricultural and school community. Before statehood Port had a population of 150-200. A cotton gin, two general stores, a drugstore, blacksmith shop, bank, two saloons, and a undertaker made up the businesses of the town. The undertaker is remember for the odd sign over his door, "Cold Drinks and Coffins". By 1910 the business area increased to include a hotel, an elevator, a telephone exchange and four additional general stores. The saloons were noticeable missing from the list of businesses. The growth of the town was also aided because of a conflict between neighboring villages of East Wood and West Wood.

Port was noted for its schools. During the first year a subscription school was taught in a dugout. The original school district, established in 1893 included more than ten square miles. In 1922 several districts consolidated. During the 1930s it was the largest district in area in Oklahoma, including almost ninety square miles.

Port began declining as a trade center soon after the Orient railroad was build through Sentinel. Improved roads, the automobile, consolidation and mechanization of from caused Port to become a ghost town.


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1924 Port School was the largest consolidated school in Oklahoma at that time.


Sources:

  1. Morris, John W. Ghost Towns of Oklahoma. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965.
  2. Shirk, George H. Oklahoma Place Names. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965.
  3. Speck, Gary B. Ghost Towns of Oklahoma, Foss, Oklahoma. 2001. August 16, 2003 <http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gtusa/gt-of-month-index/01-apr.htm>.
  4. "Counties and Township Maps for Oklahoma." OKGenWeb. 2003. OKGenWeb. 18 Aug 2003 <http://www.okgenweb.org/okprojects/maps-dot.html>.

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Susan Bradford (Nov 2003)
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