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Alikchi Court Ground

McCurtain County
Location: on OK-3, 1/2 mile east of Ringold
Topics: Government, American Indians, Territorial Period 1861–1907, Folklife, Social/Cultural

The last execution under Choctaw law was carried out here in 1899. According to Choctaw custom, a prisoner sentenced to death was allowed freedom to set family affairs in order from the time of sentencing until he returned to face the firing squad.

Alikchi Springs

McCurtain County
Topics: American Indians, Law and Order

Alikchi was established in about 1834 as “Court Town“ or the District Capital of the Oklahoma Falaya (later Apukshunnubbee) District of the Choctaw Nation. On July 13, 1899, Alikchi Court grounds were the scene of the last official execution under Choctaw tribal law. With the Curtis Act of 1906, the court was closed.

Barnes-Stevenson House

McCurtain County
Location: at 302 Southeast Adams Street in Idabel
Topics: Family/Household, Government, Early Statehood 1907–1941

The restored 1912 home of Judge T. J. Barnes is now owned by the McCurtain County Historical Society. Barnes was McCurtain County's first county judge. The house contains World War I–era furnishings.

Beaver's Bend

McCurtain County
Location: at Beavers Bend State Park near Broken Bow
Material: Granite
Topics: Government, Early Statehood 1907–1941, Environmental/Cultural Ecology, Social/Cultural, Recreation/Service

This unique park was developed between 1935 and 1941 by members of CCC Company 2815, one of many such units organized during the Great Depression by the federal government to provide employment for thousands of young men in conserving and developing the nation's natural resources

Booker T. Washington High School

McCurtain County
Location: at the former Booker T. Washington School campus in Idabel
Coordinates: 33.893863, -94.838091
Sponsored by: Booker T. Washington-Slater-Riverside Alumni Association
Material: Aluminum
Topics: Social/Culture, Ethnic Diversity, Government, Early Statehood 1907–1941, Industrial Period 1941–1982

Booker T. Washington High School began independently in one room of the Masonic Hall. Around 1908, the school moved into an old store. In 1911, it was under the County Superintendent and moved into a two-room building on this site. T.F. Spigner became principal in 1925 and increased the grades steadily through 1931 when three girls graduated 12th grade. The wood building mysteriously burned in l936 and was replaced by the WPA with a stone building costing $21,735. Groundbreaking was held on August 24, 1936, and the building was dedicated on March 24, 1937.

Chickasaw Trail of Tears

McCurtain County
Location: on US Hwy 70 between Broken Bow and Arkansas state line
Topics: Westward Expansion 1803–1861, American Indians, Government, Settlement Patterns, Transportation

During the late 1830s and early 1840s, Chickasaws removed by the United States government from Mississippi and Alabama passed near here on their way to a new homeland in present-day south-central Oklahoma. In 1937 an estimated 6,000 Chickasaws traveled by various routes to lands purchased from the Choctaws. This journey became known as the Chickasaw Trail of Tears.

Chitto Harjo, Creek Patriot

McCurtain County
Location: in front yard of home five miles south of Smithville
Topics: Government, American Indians, Westward Expansion 1803–1861, Territorial Period 1861–1907, Folklife

This Creek Indian leader opposed allotment of tribal lands and led rebellions against the federal government's abandonment of early treaties with the Indians. He died here in 1909 in the home of Choctaw citizen, Daniel Bob, after being wounded in a gun battle with federal deputy marshals.

Choctaw Chief Isaac Garvin

McCurtain County
Location: in Waterhole Cemetery three miles south of Garvin
Topics: American Indians, Government, Family/Household, Westward Expansion 1803–1861, Social/Cultural

Garvin served as principal chief of the Choctaws from 1879 to his death in 1880.

Choctaw Chief Thomas LeFlore

McCurtain County
Location: one mile west of Wheelock Mission on private land
Topics: American Indians

Leflore, chief of the Apuckshunnubbe District of the Choctaw Nation, 1834–1838 and 1842–1850, lived in a home built here under the 1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. He died in 1859 and was buried in a family cemetery nearby.

Choctaw Trail of Tears

McCurtain County
Location: at a point on US Hwy 70 near Broken Bow, Oklahoma
Topics: Westward Expansion 1803–1861, American Indians, Government, Transportation, Social/Cultural, Settlement Patterns

During the early 1830s, Choctaw Indians removed by the United States government from Mississippi passed near here on their way to new homes in present-day Oklahoma. An estimated 15,000 Choctaws traveled by steamboat, wagon, and on foot to Oklahoma. Approximately one-quarter of the tribe perished from cold, disease, and starvation during the removal journey. This journey became known as the "Choctaw Trails of Tears.

Clear Creek Water Mill

McCurtain County
Location: on US-70 on west edge of Valliant
Topics: Arts, Water, Industry/Business, Ethnic Diversity

The water mill was established here in 1818. At the site, the Negro spiritual, "Swing Low Sweet Chariot," was first introduced in writing. The song had been oral tradition until then.

Cyrus Byington

McCurtain County
Location: in Eagletown Cemetery north of US-70
Topics: Religion/Philosophy, Education, Westward Expansion 1803–1861, Social/Cultural, Arts

Byington established Stockbridge Mission at Eagletown in 1834 where he produced the Dictionary of the Choctaw Language. The federal government finally published the grammar book in 1915. It is recognized as one of the greatest contributions to the field of American ethnology.


McCurtain County
Location: on US-70 west of Mountain Fork River at Eagletown
Material: Granite
Topics: American Indians, Westward Expansion 1803–1861, Government, Religion/Philosophy, Education, Ethnic Diversity, arly Statehood, 1907–1941

The first permanent settlement among Western Choctaws was west of Mountain Fork River, but the present town was platted east of the river in 1821. Oklahoma's first post office was established here on July 1, 1834.

Elliott Memorial Academy

McCurtain County
Location: on US-70, on west edge of Valliant,
Material: Aluminum
Topics: Education

The Presbyterian Board of Missions opened a boarding school for children of freed slaves here in 1886. It was called Oak Hill Industrial School until 1912 when David Elliott contributed funds for the construction of a dormitory in memory of his wife, Alice. Hundreds of African American students were trained here before the school closed in 1936.

Gardner Mansion

McCurtain County
Location: on US-70 west of Mountain Fork River
Material: Aluminum
Topics: American Indians, Government, Territorial Period 1861–1907, Religion/Philosophy, Family/Household

Now privately owned, this two-story home belonged to Jefferson Gardner, principal chief of the Choctaws from 1894 to 1896. Well-known Choctaw minister and builder James Dyer constructed the house in 1884 near the site of old Eagletown.

Garland Cemetery

McCurtain County
Location: on OK-3, three miles west of the Oklahoma-Arkansas border
Topics: Social/Cultural, American Indians, Agriculture

This cemetery was the family burying ground for prominent Choctaws. Chief Samuel Garland, 1864–1866, established a plantation here after arrival over the Trail of Tears in the 1830s. Buried here are Chief Garland and his mother-in-law, Sophia Pitchlynn, the mother of Choctaw Chief Peter Pitchlynn.

Harris House

McCurtain County
Location: on US-259, one mile south of Harris
Topics: Family/Household, Territorial Period 1861–1907, American Indians, Government, Transportation, Agriculture

Judge Henry C. Harris built the house in 1867. He served the Choctaw tribal government in several positions, including supreme judge of the Apukshunnubbe District. He founded Harris Ferry and operated a large plantation along the Red River.

Harris Mill Cemetery

McCurtain County
Location: south side Hwy 70, one mile from Arkansas border


McCurtain County
Location: on US-259 at Hochatown Union Church and Cemetery
Material: Granite
Topics: Pre-European Contact, before 1541 AD, Westward Expansion 1803–1861, American Indians, Territorial Period 1861-1907, Water, Industrial Period 1892–1941

Prehistoric hunters left spear points along the Mountain Fork River at Hochatown around 6,000 B.C. Caddo Indians occupied the area from 1,000–1791 A.C. The town was named for a Choctaw Indian, Hocha, who arrived on the Trail of Tears in 1833. White settlers moved into the area in 1900. The original town was inundated by waters from Broken Bow Lake in 1968.


McCurtain County
Location: on county road, three miles west of Cerro Gordo
Topics: Settlement Patterns

The community was named for a pioneer Doan family member who settled the area before statehood.

Knights of Columbus Gift/John F. Kennedy Monument

McCurtain County
Location: near John F. Kennedy Monument, Big Cedar
Topics: Social/Cultural, Government, Folklife

Sponsored by the members of the Poteau Knights of Columbus Council, the nearby granite and bronze marker commemorates the site where John F. Kennedy made his only address as President in Oklahoma.


McCurtain County
Location: at 1307 Southeast Adams Street in Idabel
Topics: Family/Household, Early Statehood 1907–1941, Government

This two-story private home was built in 1912 for federal magistrate George A. Spaulding.

Military Road

McCurtain County
Location: on US-70 at chamber of commerce office in Broken Bow
Topics: Transportation, Settlement Patterns, American Indians

Cut from Washington, Arkansas, to Fort Towson in 1831 for removal of Choctaws from Mississippi, the road became known as the "Trail of Tears" after thousands of suffering Indians used it to reach the new land. The road served as a major east-west artery for the Choctaw Nation until early 1900s. Important early settlement along the road were Harris Mill, Eagletown, Lukfata, Wheelock, and Clear Creek. Segments of the road are still visible.

Miller Court House

McCurtain County
Location: on US-259 near US-70 junction in Idabel
Topics: Government, Westward Expansion 1803–1861, Mass Communication, American Indians, Settlement Patterns

In 1821 this was the site of the first judicial proceedings in what would become Oklahoma. In 1824, a post office was established at an unknown site nearby as county seat of Miller County, Arkansas Territory. White settlers were forced out when the area was ceded to the Choctaws by treaty. The courthouse and post office burned in 1828.

Pecan Point

McCurtain County
Location: on US-259, one mile south of Harris
Topics: Religion/Philosophy, Indian and Frontier Trade, Westward Expansion 1803–1861

In 1818 Methodist minister Reverend William Stevenson held the first Protestant church service in present-day Oklahoma here at a trading post established three years earlier by George and Alex Wetmore.


McCurtain County
Location: on US-259 near US-70 junction in Idabel
Topics: American Indians, Westward Expansion 1803–1861, Settlement Patterns

In the early 1800s a group of Absentee Shawnee Indians occupied a site near the Red River, southwest of present-day Idabel. The Shawnees departed in the 1830s when the area was ceded to the Choctaws.


McCurtain County
Location: on US-259, 1/4 mile west of Smithville
Topics: Indian and Frontier Trade, Religion/Philosophy, Westward Expansion 1803–1861, Education, Early Statehood 1907–1941

Town's original name was Hatobi, but it was renamed in 1890. A nearby salt lick inspired the name of Big Lick Presbyterian Church, founded in the 1830s. The Folsom Training School was established here in the early 1920s.

Soldier Joseph Oklahombi

McCurtain County
Location: at Wright City
Topics: American Indians, Military

Sophia Folsom Pitchlynn

McCurtain County
Location: in Garland Cemetery near town of Tom (DAR)
Sponsored by: Daughters of the American Revolution
Topics: Social/Cultural, American Indians, Agriculture

In this cemetery is the grave of Sophia Folsom Pitchlynn, wife of Major John Pitchlynn, who served under General George Washington in the Revolutionary War.

Three Choctaw Chiefs

McCurtain County
Location: on US-70 west of Mountain Fork River
Topics: American Indians, Government, Social/Cultural

Three prominent Choctaw principal chiefs made Eagletown their home: George Hudson (1860–1862); Peter Pitchlynn (1864–1866); and Jefferson Gardner (1894–1896).

Transportation Crossroads

McCurtain County
Location: on US-70 between Vallient and Idabel
Material: Granite
Topics: Transportation, Military, Settlement Patterns, Social/Cultural, Folklife

During the early 1800s, present southeastern Oklahoma was a major transportation crossroads. Roads connected Fort Towson in the Choctaw Nation to military installations to the north, south, and west. On the Texas side of the Red River, Jonesboro was a major entry point for thousands headed for Austin's Colony and other settlements in Texas. Along these routes traveled such notable persons as General Zachary Taylor, Sam Houston, David Crockett, Jefferson Davis, and Benjamin Milan.

Waterhole Cemetery

McCurtain County
Location: on county road three miles south of Garvin
Topics: Social/Cultural, American Indians, Territorial Period 1861–1907

One of the first community cemeteries in McCurtain County, Waterhole was used by two Choctaw families in the 1870s, but later became a burial ground for all races. Choctaw Principal Chief Isaac Garvin is buried here.

Wheelock Academy

McCurtain County
Location: on US-70, 1 1/2 miles east of Millerton
Material: Aluminum
Topics: Education, American Indians, Social/Cultural, Territorial Period 1861–1907

This boarding school for Choctaw orphan girls was completed in 1884 northeast of the Wheelock Church. Five of the buildings survived and are being restored by the Choctaw Nation.

Wheelock Mission

McCurtain County
Location: on US-70, 1 1/2 miles east of Millerton at church site
Material: Aluminum
Topics: Education, Religion/Philosophy, Westward Expansion 1803–1861, American Indians

Wheelock is the oldest church building in Oklahoma. Built by Reverend Alfred Wright in 1846, the stone church is still used. Wright had established the mission among the Choctaws fourteen years earlier. Nearby was the Wheelock Academy, a famous school for Choctaw girls.

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800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive
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