Home |  PublicationsEncyclopedia |  Grayson

The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture


One of Oklahoma's more than fifty All-Black towns, Grayson, formerly known as Wildcat, is situated in southeastern Okmulgee County. Until the Okmulgee and McIntosh county boundaries were changed in 1918, the town lay within McIntosh County. Named for Creek Chief George W. Grayson, the community lies at the intersection of U.S. Highway 266 and State Highway 5 and approximately eleven miles southeast of the county seat of Okmulgee and eight miles northeast of Henryetta.

A Grayson post office was established on February 10, 1902, and was discontinued on April 30, 1929. At 1907 statehood the town had 375 residents. By 1909 the small rural community boasted five general stores, two blacksmiths, two drug stores, a physician, and a cotton gin. It was served by the Pioneer Telephone Company, and the town of Hoffman, located 1.5 miles away, was the nearest banking and shipping point. In 1910 Grayson had a population of 411, but it declined to 298 by 1920 and to 134 by 1930. Numbers rose to 188 by 1940 but decreased during the next two decades. The population remained steady at 142 reported in 1960 and 1970. In 1980 the number of inhabitants increased slightly to 150 and then dropped sharply to 66 by 1990. The 2000 federal census counted 134 and the 2010 census, 159. At the turn of the twenty-first century Grayson's population was 64.1 percent African American, 9.8 percent white, and 9.8 percent American Indian. It had two public schools, two churches, and a community center where area residents voted. In April 2020 the census counted 128 residents.

Lynn Marie Townsend

Learn More

Profiles of America, Vol. 2 (Millerton, N.Y.: Grey House Publishing Co., 2003).

George H. Shirk, Oklahoma Place Names (2d ed.; Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1974).


The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Lynn Marie Townsend, “Grayson,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=GR012.

Published January 15, 2010
Last updated December 12, 2023

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.