Harper County is a county located in the northwestern part of Oklahoma. It was founded in 1907, and since then, the county has played a significant role in shaping the history of Oklahoma. Here are seven interesting facts about Harper County in Oklahoma history.
1. The county is named after a prominent politician
The county is named after Oscar Green Harper, a prominent and well-respected politician in Oklahoma. Harper served as the Assistant Secretary of the Interior under President Theodore Roosevelt, and he was also a member of the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention. He played a significant role in the statehood of Oklahoma, and as a founding father of the state, he was honored by having a county named after him.
2. The county has a rich Native American history
Harper County has a rich Native American history that dates back many centuries. The land that now makes up the county was once home to several different tribes, including the Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. These tribes lived off the land and established communities in the area, leaving behind a rich cultural and historical legacy that still exists today.
3. The county was once known as the "Great American Desert"
Harper County was once known as the "Great American Desert" because of its harsh, arid climate and barren landscape. However, with the advent of modern agricultural techniques, the county has become a rich farming and ranching community, producing crops and livestock that are sold throughout the region.
4. The county was a hub of activity during the Dust Bowl
The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms that ravaged the Great Plains in the 1930s. Harper County was one of the areas hardest hit by the Dust Bowl, with massive dust storms that destroyed crops and livestock and forced many people to move elsewhere. However, the county rebounded quickly and remains a thriving community today.
5. The county is home to several historic sites
Harper County is home to several historic sites that reflect the rich history of the area. These include the Alva Downtown Historic District, which features buildings and landmarks from the early 20th century, and the Little Sahara State Park, which is famous for its sand dunes and recreational activities.
6. The county is a center of higher education
Harper County is home to several institutions of higher education, including Northwestern Oklahoma State University. This educational hub has helped to shape the intellectual and cultural landscape of the area and has contributed to the county's growth and prosperity.
7. The county is home to several notable individuals
Harper County has produced several notable individuals who have made significant contributions to Oklahoma and the United States. These include former U.S. Senator and Oklahoma Governor David Boren, former NFL player T. J. Rushing, and former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson.
In conclusion, Harper County is a county with a rich and fascinating history that reflects the struggles and triumphs of the people who have lived there over the centuries. From its Native American heritage to its role in the Dust Bowl and beyond, this county has played an important part in shaping the history and culture of Oklahoma and the United States.
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