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The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture


Thackerville is located in south-central Love County at the intersection of U.S. Highways 77 and 153. It is situated five miles north of the Texas state line and ten miles south of Marietta, the seat of Love County. Zachariah Thacker founded Thackerville in the mid-1800s. He came from Arkansas and crossed the Red River at Addington Bend, northeast of the present Thackerville townsite. It is believed that he was headed for the Amarillo, Texas, vicinity but camped one night at Wolf Hollow Creek in Pickens County, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, and remained there until his death a few years later. Thacker befriended some of the local Indians, and they farmed together. He constructed a corn mill near the creek, and his two sons dug a large hole in the stream bed to get the water to make the mill's wheel operate. At the turn of the twenty-first century "Blue Hole" continued as a reminder of Thackerville's origins.

In 1887, after Thacker died, the community moved southeast to its present location to be near the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Across the railroad tracks stood the first grocery store, established by Oce McCage. Cora Harper built a hotel, and John T. Myers erected a cotton gin nearby. A post office, churches, and a school also were constructed. Four miles south of Thackerville is Brown's Spring, formerly a popular place for locals to stop on trips to and from Texas.

Court records filed in the United States Court, Southern District, in Indian Territory at Ardmore, indicate that citizens of Thackerville petitioned to have their town incorporated under Arkansas law on October 15, 1898. The community then had about 175 residents. On July 5, 1899, the town was officially incorporated into Indian Territory by Judge Hosea Townsend.

The population of Thackerville has seen significant increases and decreases as each census has been released. It had a population of 210 in 1920, 185 in 1930, 207 in 1940, 178 in 1950, 185 in 1960, 257 in 1970, 431 in 1980, 290 in 1990, 404 in 2000, and 445 in 2010. Thackerville historically has been an agriculture-based community, with local farmers growing peanuts and watermelons. The April 2020 census reported 404 residents.

Michael Bratcher


Michael Bratcher, "The History of Thackerville," Marietta (Oklahoma) Monitor, 2 July 1999.

Love County Heritage Committee, The History of Love County, Oklahoma (Dallas, Tex.: National ShareGraphics, 1983).

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

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The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Michael Bratcher, “Thackerville,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=TH001.

Published January 15, 2010
Last updated March 29, 2024

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