No Man’s Land Museum207 West Sewell Street
Goodwell, OK 73939
Custodian: Sue Weissinger
10 am to 3 pm
Saturday 10 am to 4 pm
(closed 12 to 1pm)
10 am to 4 pm
(closed 12 to 1 pm)
The museum is closed on all state holidays.
Use of drones over Oklahoma Historical Society property is not permitted without written approval of the facility director.
No Man’s Land Museum
The No Man’s Land Museum chronicles the struggles and experiences of settlers as they established their own government and developed communities. This property is managed by the No Man’s Land Historical Society. To learn more, visit www.nmlhs.org.
The History of No Man’s Land
When the Territory of Kansas was created in 1854 its boundary was set at the 37th parallel. When Texas came into the union, being a slave state, it could not extend its sovereignty over any territory north of 36º 30' North. The Missouri Compromise specified that territory north of this line would be a free-state territory. This situation left a narrow strip of land thirty-four miles wide between Kansas and Texas extending from the 100th parallel on the east to the 103rd parallel on the west, a total of 168 miles in length. At the eastern end of the area was the Cherokee Outlet and at the western end was the Territory of New Mexico. Since the area was claimed by no state, it was soon given the name of No Man’s Land.
In the mid-1880s drought and depression caused many to leave their heavily-mortgaged farmlands in western Kansas. They became squatters in an area that would eventually become the Oklahoma Panhandle. Townsites were organized and trade centers and villages began to spring up. While the settlers could not receive legal title to the land they settled, precedents in other territorial regions indicated the federal government would in time recognize “squatter’s rights.” Under the leadership of Dr. Owen G. Chase, the settlers of No Man’s Land began to think of the possibility of establishing a territory. Congress decided the planned Cimarron Territory was not large enough to justify the creation of a territory, and in 1890 No Man’s Land was attached to Oklahoma Territory. The area became known as Beaver County.
Visit The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture to learn more about No Man’s Land.