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The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture


Situated in Muskogee County, Oktaha is fourteen miles south-southwest of Muskogee and one mile east of U.S. Highway 69. It is an agricultural community originally located on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway. A boxcar served as the first train depot. The town has had a multicultural mix of white, African American, and American Indian residents from inception, with African Americans comprising 18 percent of its 1907 population of 286. On August 6, 1900, the Oktaha Switch post office opened. It was named after Oktarharsars Harjo, a Creek citizen. Oktaha was incorporated three years later and a mayor-council form of government prevailed through the twentieth century. Its population rose to 335 in 1920 and then began a sixty-year decline. The census counted 233 in 1940 and 199 inhabitants in 1960. Since registering 376 people in1980, its population fell to 327 in 2000 but rose to 390 in 2010.

Many Oktaha citizens have excelled both locally and nationally as rodeo performers. Ted Yochum, who moved to Oktaha after establishing his rodeo career, became a world-champion bulldogger. Renowned artist and sculptor Willard Stone hailed from Oktaha.

Wallace F. Waits, Jr.


John Downing Benedict, Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma, Including the Counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa, Vol. 1 (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1922).

James M. Etter, Oktaha: A Track in the Sand (Oktaha, Okla.: Oktaha Historical Society, 1982).

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The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Wallace F. Waits, Jr., “Oktaha,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=OK095.

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