OHS Historical Marker Program
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Location: in community of Boley
Boley is one of thirteen All-Black towns, out of more than fifty that once existed, remaining in Oklahoma. While Tullahassee is reportedly the oldest, most were established between 1889 and 1907 as African Americans sought security and control of their own destiny in a segregated world. Most of the towns began to decline in the 1920s and 1930s as rural African Americans faced economic hardships and began to move to urban areas. Boley was established in 1903 on land owned by a Creek Indian freedwoman, Abigail Barnett. Because there was already a town named Barnett in Indian Territory, the townsite was named after a white roadmaster, J. G. Boley, who persuaded the Fort Smith and Western Railroad that blacks could govern themselves. Boley was incorporated on May 11, 1905.
Location: in community of Clearview
Clearview was organized with a post office in September 1902. Two years later, the name was changed to Abelincoln, but that order was rescinded within a month.
Location: on Main Street in Paden
In 1903, the town was founded by and named for deputy US Marshal Paden Tolbert who served the federal court in the Western District of Arkansas presided over by Judge Isaac C. Parker, the "hanging judge."
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