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FITZHUGH.

An incorporated town in Pontotoc County, Fitzhugh is situated at the intersection of County Roads E1620 and N3520, ten miles southwest of Ada and seventy-seven miles southeast of Oklahoma City. The community was named in honor of Fitzhugh Lee, a general in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War and U.S. Army general during the Spanish-American War. According to a local account, Lee and his troops had once camped near the present townsite during the Civil War; in actuality, he had served with the Army of Northern Virginia during the war. He had, however, in 1859 campaigned against the Comanche in present Oklahoma as a lieutenant under Maj. Earl Van Dorn.

A Fitzhugh post office was established in June 1898, and the St. Louis, Oklahoma and Southern Railway (acquired by the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway in 1901) laid its tracks through town in 1900. Fitzhugh was then an agricultural community whose principal crop was cotton. General merchandise stores were the predominant business during the early 1900s. A cotton gin, a blacksmith shop, a bank, and other stores opened by 1910. Four brick buildings were added to the downtown area in 1913, the same year in which a fire destroyed the post office and three other enterprises. The Fitzhugh Herald, a short-lived weekly newspaper, began publication in February 1914. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) was an active fraternal order within the community. Fitzhugh had an approximate population of 450 in 1918.

The community declined during the 1920s as residents moved and businesses, including the bank, were relocated to Ada and other neighboring communities. Despite those setbacks the Fitzhugh Methodist Church was built in 1931–32, and the congregation of the First Baptist Church erected a new chapel in 1936. The local high school closed in 1961, and the Fitzhugh school system, plagued by a diminishing enrollment, was attached to the Roff district soon after.

U.S. Census information for Fitzhugh was not available until 1990. The town had a population of 196 in 1990, 204 in 2000, and 230 in 2010. Fitzhugh had only three businesses in 2000. They were a retail trade store, a general freight trucking firm, and one religious organization. The nearest hospitals and public library were located at Ada.

Jon D. May

See also: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS

Bibliography

"Fitzhugh," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.

Gladys E. Tingle, Roff and Her Neighbors (Durant, Okla.: Plyler Publishing, 1983).

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Citation

The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Jon D. May, "Fitzhugh," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org (accessed November 24, 2017).

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