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Non-Native Settlement of Oklahoma

The following historical item is from
"The Essential Facts of Oklahoma History and Civics" By Charles H. Roberts, Published 1914]


The Kiowa and Comanche country was the last great tract of land in Oklahoma to be thrown open to white settlement.

There was still one tract of considerable size to be settled that was known as the Big Pasture.

Then there were a few Indian tribes whose tribal governments were to be brought to an end and their lands placed under county government. The lands of the Kaws, Poncas, and the Otoes and Missouris were divided among the membership of each tribe, and their reservations were attached to and made a part of Kay, Noble, and Pawnee counties.

All of their lands were distributed among the Indians, none being opened to white settlement. The distribution was completed, and their tribal governments ceased in 1904. The Big Pasture was a large tract of land in the southern part of Comanche County that had been reserved by the Kiowas and Comanches for pasture land. Later,they decided to sell it, and it was opened to settlement in 1906. The Government sold it for the Indians. It was sold to the highest bidder by sealed bids. The settlers were required to have the qualifications of homesteaders. Each person was allowed to bid upon several tracts not to exceed one hundred sixty acres each, but he was allowed to take only one. Part of the purchase price had to be inclosed with each bid. The purchaser was to pay for the land in five equal payments. At the time of the opening the land was included in Comanche County, now part of it is included in Tillman County.

The Osage Nation was included in Oklahoma Territory for court purposes in 1893, but it was not opened to white settlement. They were the last Indians in Oklahoma to receive their lands in severally. All of their land was divided among the members of the tribe; none of it was opened to settlement by the whites. The Osages are thought by some to be the richest people in the world. There are only a few more than two thousand of them. At the beginning of statehood the Osage Nation was formed into one county, Osage County.

It will be seen that Oklahoma was settled unlike any other state.
1. The unassigned lands (Old Oklahoma) settled by race for claims, April 22, 1889.
2. The Public Land Strip (No Man's Land) added by the Organic Act, May 2, 1890.
3. Iowa, Sac and Fox, and Pottawatomie-Shawnee reservations by the race plan, September 22, 1891.
4. Cheyenne and Arapahoe country by race plan, April 19, 1892.
5. Cherokee Outlet (Strip), by race, September 16, 1893.
6. Kickapoo country, by race, May 23, 1895.
7. Greer County, by act of Congress, May 4, 1896.
8. Kiowa-Comanche country by drawing, August 6, 1901.
9. Kaw, Ponca, and Otoe-Missouri reservations, by ending tribal governments and attaching land to counties, 1904.
10. Big Pasture, by sealed bids, in 1906.
11. Osage Nation made a part of Oklahoma for court purposes, 1893, made a county, 1907.
12. The Indian Territory, including the lands belonging to the Five Civilized Tribes and the smaller tribes east of the Grand River, was made a part of the state of Oklahoma, by statehood, 1907.

[Source: "The Essential Facts of Oklahoma History and Civics" By Charles Henry Roberts, Published by B.H. Sanborn & Co., 1914. Contributed to Genealogy Trails

 by K. Torp]