Home |  PublicationsEncyclopedia |  Perryville

The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture


Located approximately four miles south and west of present McAlester in Pittsburg County, Perryville was an important settlement in the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. Named for its founder, James Perry, a Choctaw-Chickasaw mixed-blood, the town was situated along the Texas and California roads. Perry opened a trading post there around 1840.

Perryville's traffic and commerce increased during the California gold rush of 1849 and the Colorado gold rush of 1859. The town also benefited from the construction of Fort Washita in 1842 and Fort Arbuckle in 1852. Troops and supplies passed through Perryville as they traveled between those posts and Fort Gibson and Fort Smith. Local businesses included a post office, a blacksmith, an inn, and a stage stand that operated until 1872.

The Colbert Institute, a Methodist boarding school for Chickasaw children, was founded at Perryville in 1854. It was relocated after the establishment of the Chickasaw Nation in 1855. Perryville was subsequently designated the seat of Tobucksy County in the Choctaw Nation's Moshulatubbee District. Its courthouse also served as a school and church.

Confederate forces held Perryville during the Civil War. The Battle of Perryville was fought on August 26, 1863, after which Union troops burned the town. The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway bypassed Perryville in 1872, prompting residents to move to McAlester and elsewhere. The community of Chambers now occupies the original Perryville townsite, of which nothing remains.

Jon D. May


J. Y. Bryce, "Perryville, At One Time a Regular Military Post," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 4 (June 1926).

William Gailey, "Perryville," in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma: People and Places (Wolfe City, Tex.: Henington Industries, 1997).

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

Muriel H. Wright, "Additional Notes on Perryville, Choctaw Nation," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 8 (June 1930).

Muriel H. Wright and LeRoy H. Fischer, "Civil War Sites in Oklahoma," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 44 (Summer 1966).

Browse By Topic



The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Jon D. May, “Perryville,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=PE020.

Copyright and Terms of Use

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS). This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and part or in whole.