Johnston County, Oklahoma

Cities and Towns of Johnston County, Oklahoma

Located in northeastern Johnston County on the Johnston-Coal county line,
Bromide is situated along State Highway 7D, twenty-one miles northeast of Tishomingo and 123 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. Named for nearby mineral springs, Bromide was founded by Judge William H. Jackson, a former superintendent of the Wapanucka Academy, a Chickasaw boarding school. He recognized the springs' potential to become a tourist attraction and organized the Jackson Land Company that established the townsite. The community was called Juanita (1905-1906) and Zenobia (1906-1907) before it became Bromide in 1907 and incorporated in July 1908. Bromide's first large business was a limestone quarry east of town. The enterprise belonged to Tulsa oilman Robert Galbreath, who used native stone to build a three-story hotel at Bromide in 1912. The hotel later housed the Bromide State Bank. A rock crusher operated northwest of the community. Stone became a principal export when a spur of the Missouri, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway (MO&G) reached Bromide in 1911. The MO&G (acquired by the Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway, KO&G) had been built three miles east of town in 1910. The MO&G ran weekly excursion trains to Bromide, promoted as "the best health resort in the southwestern states." Four hotels, including the Galbreath, a bathhouse, and a swimming pool served visitors to the town's sulphur and bromide springs. Agriculture, especially cotton, was also important to the economy. Other businesses included a cotton gin, a gristmill, a lumber mill, a flour mill, and the Bromide Herald newspaper. Bromide's popularity as a travel destination declined during the 1920s. By the start of the Great Depression the excursion trains had stopped running and the bank and hotels had closed. The KO&G line was abandoned in 1950 and only a grocery store operated there circa 1975. The population of Bromide peaked at 523 in 1920. That figure dropped from 352 in 1930 to 258 in 1950. After climbing to 264 in 1960, the number of residents fell to 180 in 1980. Bromide had 163 citizens in 2000. During the early twenty-first century the community had a Baptist church, a construction business, and a post office. The nearby Wapanucka Academy site (NR72001065) is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Bromide Junction
Mannsville lies on U.S. Highway 177/State Highway 199, seventeen miles east of Ardmore. The area served as home to Chickasaw who were removed from the Southeastern United States in the early- to mid-nineteenth century and was in the Chickasaw Nation from 1855 to 1907 statehood. The community coalesced in the mid-1880s and received a U.S. postal designation in August 1888, with Wallace A. Mann the first postmaster. The town name honored the Mann family, early settlers. In 1898, after the Curtis Act stripped the Five Civilized Tribes of most of their governmental powers and allowed towns to incorporate through the U.S. court system, the town incorporated and held its first municipal elections in June. In 1900 Mannsville's population stood at 198. In 1901 two doctors, three grocers, two general stores, two drugstores, one newspaper, the Mannsville Times, and a gin and mill serviced the town and surrounding farmers. The Mannsville News, Mannsville Monitor, and the Mannsville Herald also reported to the town in the early twentieth century. In 1902 the Western Oklahoma Railroad, which became the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad in May of that year, laid tracks through the vicinity. The town moved less than one mile to the railroad bed. Prior to Chickasaw allotment the town was surveyed and platted, which the U.S. Department of Interior approved in August 1903. By 1911 the population had grown to more than five hundred and the town had a bank, an oil and milling company, a lumber company, a photographer, a mill and elevator company, a doctor, a confectionery, and several other retail outlets. The number of residents continued to increase, reaching 639 in 1920, but declined rapidly as the Great Depression affected the area, with a mark of 372 in 1930 and 359 in 1940. In 1935 a tornado destroyed the school, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed a new building in 1937. The St. Louis and San Francisco Railway purchased the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad in 1940. In 1946 a lumber company, a trucking business, and a cotton oil company operated in the town, along with several gas stations and a grocery store. The 1950 population was 311, but fell to 297 in 1960 before climbing to 364 in 1970. In 1968 the town started a volunteer fire department, purchasing a fire truck with municipal funds. Throughout the twentieth century the town has served area farmers and ranchers. The Texoma/Washita Wildlife Management Area, one mile east of town, and Lake Texoma's northern-most appendage, approximately twelve miles east, attract outdoor enthusiasts, enhancing the community's retail commerce. In 1980 the population stood at 568, declining to 396 in 1990. In 2000 the Mannsville kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school system enrolled 104 students. The population had rebounded to 587.
Lying at the junction of State Highway 48A and State Highway 78,
Milburn is located in Johnston County, eight miles east of Tishomingo. The area stood in the Chickasaw Nation after 1855, and a community named Ellen formed approximately three miles northwest of the present town. As the Western Oklahoma Railroad, which became the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad, planned to lay tracks through the vicinity, a townsite initiative emerged. Richard McLish served as a townsite agent for the railroad and was to develop the village. W. J. Milburn, a druggist from Emet and later a state representative, persuaded the Chickasaw landowner, M. C. Condon, to give Milburn power of attorney. Milburn planned to control the town's development or negotiate it with the railroad. From early 1901 until May 1902 several maneuvers, legal and physical, occurred between the parties over the ownership of the land or portions of land, with Condon selling his interests to Milburn. During that period the town had many names. The railroad considered Morris, but decided to call the site McLish. Condon suggested the name Blue, which was how the U.S. Department of Interior identified the town in 1902. Milburn urged the Ellen postmaster, W. H. Nichols, to petition to rename the Ellen post office and move it to the railroad townsite. The first name submitted was Condon, but the Post Office Department rejected it, and the name became Milburn in August 1901. Until the railroad and W. J. Milburn reached a settlement in May 1902 the post office was Milburn and the railroad depot was McLish. In August 1902 Mark Kirkpatrick surveyed the townsite, which the Department of Interior approved. The town had a sufficient population by June 1904 to incorporate. The Chickasaw Townsite Commission held a lot sale in August 1904. After 1907 statehood, Milburn and three other towns vied for the Johnston County seat. Milburn finished second behind Tishomingo. The community had a subscription school until 1905-06, when it became public. By 1910 the town's population stood at 438. In 1911 two banks, a newspaper, the Milburn News, a lumber company, four doctors, two drugstores, and several retail outlets served the villagers and area farmers. Several local cotton gins, cotton buyers, and livestock speculators thrived in the early twentieth century. Other early newspapers included the Herald-Banner and the Milburn Mirror. As Oklahoma's cotton industry declined after World War I, area farmers dispersed, stunting the town's development. The population declined from 496 in 1920 to 442 in 1940. In 1938 the railroad abandoned the local line. In 1946 Milburn had a drugstore, several grocery stores and gas stations, and a photographer. In 1960 the population reached a low of 228. Milburn slowly regained population, with 275 residents in 1970 and 376 in 1980. In 1987 a newly constructed city hall and fire station opened. In 2000 the prekindergarten-through-twelfth grade school had an enrollment of 241. The population was 312.
Mill Creek lies on State Highway 1/7, twelve miles north of Ravia. In 1855 Cyrus Harris, the first governor of the Chickasaw Nation, settled in the area. The town drew its name from the nearby creek and the mill that Harris operated on it. Harris's ranch also served as a stage stand for the lines that traveled west to Fort Arbuckle and Fort Sill. In 1879 the Post Office Department designated a Mill Creek post office, with James Davison as postmaster. In 1891 Felix Penner married one of Harris's daughters, and expanded the ranching operations, creating the Penner Ranch, which continued into the twenty-first century. From 1900 to 1901 the St. Louis, Oklahoma and Southern Railway, which the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad (Frisco) purchased in June 1901, laid tracks through the area. The railroad ran three miles east of the town, prompting the residents to relocate adjacent to the tracks. Mill Creek then became one of the region's largest towns for shipping cattle. That circumstance also led to a reputation for bootlegging and crime. In 1901 Mill Creek's estimated population was 600, and six general stores, a bank, a hotel, a livery, a blacksmith shop, a cotton gin, two groceries, two restaurants, a photographer, four doctors, and other retail outlets served the public. Two saloons also were listed in the Indian Territory Gazetteer, although Indian Territory prohibited alcohol. In December 1901 Judge Hosea Townsend of the U.S. Southern District Court at Ardmore approved Mill Creek's incorporation. At 1907 statehood the community's population stood at 644, and it stayed above six hundred through 1920. By 1911 the town had three banks. The Mill Creek Times, the Mill Creek Herald, the Mill Creek Courier, the Oklahoma Standard, and the Mill Creek News reported to the town in the early twentieth century. In 1930 the population was 422. It increased to 459 in 1940 before declining to 299 in 1950. In the early 1940s the last bank closed, and by 1946 the town maintained a cotton gin, a blacksmith, a garage, several retail outlets, and gas stations. The extraction of gravel and dimension stone near Mill Creek contributed to the economy, with the granite known for its pink-color and called "Autumn Rose." The population continued to fall, reaching 234 in 1970. The trend reversed in that decade, and there were 431 residents in 1980. That year the Frisco railroad merged into the Burlington Northern system, which joined with the Santa Fe in 1997. In 2000, 197 students attended the town's prekindergarten-through-twelfth-grade school system. The population was 340.
RANDOLPH, Oklahoma is in southern Johnston County, 5 miles SW of Tishomingo.  It had a post office from Sept. 5, 1901 to June 5, 1919.  Named for Thomas Randolph, Frisco Railroad official.  This town no longer exsists.
Ravia lies four miles west of Tishomingo at the intersection of State Highways 1 and 22. The town name honored Joseph D. Ravia, a Texan of Mexican descent, who had married a Chickasaw and settled in the region. In 1894 the Post Office Department designated a Ravia post office, with Eliza Forbess as postmaster. In 1899 the residents petitioned the U.S. Southern Indian Territory District Court to incorporate the town. They stated that the community had seventeen business establishments and thirty residential buildings. The court finalized the procedure in May 1899. In 1900 Ravia's population stood at 128. In 1900-1901 the St. Louis, Oklahoma and Southern Railway (acquired by the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway in June 1901) laid tracks near Ravia. The business district shifted to the railroad, which increased the number of residents. In 1901 the estimated population was five hundred, and a bank, two sawmills, a livery, a blacksmith shop, two wagonyards, four general stores, four doctors, five stockmen, and several other retail outlets served the town. The community became a shipping center for agricultural products. At 1907 statehood the population stood at 690. In 1908 fire destroyed most of Ravia's business district. At the time newspapers claimed the community had twelve hundred residents, but by 1910 the population was down to 556. By 1911 the town had added a Farmers' Union Cotton Company, a corn mill, two hotels, an opera house, and the Ravia Weekly News. Other early newspapers included the Ravia Gazette, the Ravia Herald, the Ravia Tribune, and the Ravia Times. In 1910 a small gold vein was discovered, creating a short-lived mining rush. Other natural resources were mined or extracted in the region, creating either brief or long-term industries. These included lead and zinc, petroleum and natural gas, sand and gravel, dimension stone (granite), and asphalt. In 1920 the population was 513, and it declined to 345 in 1930. The school system matured from a subscription school, to an eight-year public school, to a high school (circa 1918), and by the 1930s a consolidated high school. In 1940 the population stood at 424, but it dropped to 327 in 1950. The businesses were mainly gas stations, grocery stores, a drug store, and a feed store. The population loss continued in 1960 with 307 residents, before the trend ended with a figure of 373 in 1970. The school district reverted to a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade system. In 2000 the school had eighty-four students, and Ravia's population was 459. Gene Autry (1907-1998) was raised at Ravia, and worked at the railroad depot before succeeding in the entertainment world. Jonas Wolfe (1828-1900), a two-term governor of the Chickasaw Nation resided south of Ravia, and he is buried there.
Tishomingo began as a trade center and became the capital city of the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, from 1856 until Oklahoma statehood in 1907. Named after Tishomingo, a Chickasaw Indian chief who died on the Trail of Tears in 1838, the town was granted a post office on June 29, 1857. When Mississippi legislation brought all American Indians within that state under government control, the Chickasaw Nation decided to move westward to the Indian Territory (present Oklahoma). There, in return for a payment of $530,000, the Choctaw agreed to allow the Chickasaw to occupy a part of their land. About six thousand Chickasaw removed, of which eleven hundred were African American slaves. Prior to the founding of Tishomingo in 1852, the area was called Good Springs. Several springs flowed into Pennington Creek from the west. The waters gave the location its name and provided a suitable camping and gathering site along the road from Fort Washita to Fort Arbuckle. By 1856 permanent homes had replaced the temporary camps and "Tishomingo City" became the capital of the new Chickasaw Nation. Though the Chickasaw population was small, they had acquired vast wealth from land sales before removal and tribal annuities. A capitol building was constructed in 1897 with slabs of hand hewn red granite quarried from an area west of town. The official dedication was held in 1898 with occupation by offices of the governor, the bicameral legislature, headquarters for the Indian militia, and other Chickasaw officers and Indian Territory clerks. Territorial court was conducted there from time to time. The Western Oklahoma Railroad built from Haileyville to Ardmore by way of Tishomingo in 1902. The line was acquired by the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway in 1902 and was abandoned in 1938. Tishomingo had thirteen hundred citizens at 1907 statehood. In 1908 local schools had an enrollment of five hundred students. Business boomed with thirty retail stores, two banks, and two churches. Voters elected Tishomingo the Johnston County seat on June 11, 1908, and again in 1922. The county's first courthouse was a two-story, frame building that burned in 1908. The Chickasaw National capitol building was sold to Johnston County in 1910 and served as the courthouse into the twenty-first century. Early newspapers included the Chickasaw Capital and the Tishomingo News. The Oklahoma Legislature located the Murray State School of Agriculture (present Murray State College) at Tishomingo in 1908. The town had a population of 1,408 in 1910. That number increased to 1,871 in 1920, declined to 1,281 in 1930, and grew to 1,951 in 1940. The completion of nearby Lake Texoma in 1944 boosted the town's economy. The number of local inhabitants rose from 2,325 in 1950 to a high of 3,212 in 1980. One of the state's oldest cemeteries is Tishomingo Cemetery and is known to have been in existence as early as 1832 and perhaps longer. Originally an Indian graveyard, those buried there include Chickasaw governors Douglas H. Johnston and Robert M. Harris and Oklahoma governors William H. Murray and Johnston Murray. The Governor William H. Murray House (NR 84003066) is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Other historic properties are the Chickasaw National Capitols (NR 71000663), the Tishomingo National Guard Armory (NR 94000489), the Tishomingo City Hall (NR 75001565), and the Bessie Poe Hall on the Murray State College campus (NR 81000464). In 2000 Tishomingo had 3,162 residents and 104 businesses, including twenty-five retail trade and nineteen health care and social assistance establishments. Medical needs were served by Johnston Memorial Hospital, and the weekly Johnston County Capital-Democrat kept locals informed. The town is presently administered by a home-rule charter form of government.
The town
Wapanucka (pronounced WOP-uh-NUCK-uh) is located in northeastern Johnston County at the intersection of State Highways 7 and 48, twenty miles northeast of Tishomingo. The name, which means "Eastern Land People," refers to the Delaware Indians who came to the area before the Civil War. In 1851-52 the Chickasaw Nation and the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church constructed Wapanucka Female Manual Labour School. The institute, named for a nearby creek, which honored the Delaware, opened in 1852. Locals called the school Allen's Academy, for James S. Allen, who supervised the establishment, and later many used the name Rock Academy for the impressive stone building. In 1860 the mission board withdrew their support, and the school closed. During the Civil War the Confederates used the building as a hospital and a prison. After the war the academy reopened, serving male and female students. In 1883 the Post Office Department designated a Wapanucka post office for the institute. In 1890 it became a boys' school, and in 1911 it was permanently closed and the property sold. In 1888, after learning that a railroad might be built between Haileyville and Ardmore, the post office moved four miles east to Button Springs, an area on the proposed route. The Western Oklahoma Railroad, which became the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad (CO&G), did not lay the tracks until 1902. In 1901 Wapanucka had an estimated population of 217. Businesses included general stores, a blacksmith, a hotel, a cotton gin, a sawmill, a gristmill, a drugstore, a millinery store, and a barbershop. In 1902 J. T. Payne surveyed the town, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved the survey, and the town incorporated through the U.S. District Court system. Before 1903 Wapanucka students attended a subscription school. At 1907 statehood the population had reached 789. Transportation access caused the town to grow. In 1908-10 the Missouri, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway (acquired by the Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway in 1919) laid tracks through the region, crossing the CO&G at Wapanucka. The 1910 population stood at 948. In 1911 two banks, a newspaper, the Wapanucka Press, a hotel, five general stores, a blacksmith, a dentist, two doctors, a livery, two cotton gins, the Indian Territory Cotton Products Company, and other retail outlets served the town's residents. In 1917 the Dale Manufacturing Company located at Wapanucka to produce dye and tanning extracts from bois d'arc wood. This was one of the nation's first plants to use the method, which was urgently needed when World War I ended dye importation from Germany. In 1920 the population reached the town's U.S. Census high of 1,038. As with other Oklahoma towns, the cotton industries decline and the Great Depression negatively impacted Wapanucka. Its population dropped to 553 in 1930 but rose to 740 by 1940. In 1938 the CO&G, then owned by the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway, abandoned its area line. In 1946 the town maintained a cotton gin, but gas stations and grocery stores comprised the bulk of the business district. In addition to ranching and farming, petroleum and natural gas and limestone quarries boosted the area's economy. The population declined to 459 in 1960, reaching 425 by 1970. In 1972 the Wapanucka Academy site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NR 72001065). In 1984 a branch of a Tishomingo bank opened in Wapanucka. In 2000 Wapanucka's prekindergarten-through-twelfth-grade school enrolled 224 students. The population stood at 445. Members of the community's Cartwright family served in state politics throughout the twentieth century.

Visit the National Genealogy Trails Site

Copyright © Genealogy Trails