Jackson County of Oklahoma is an amazing combination of Native American, early western exploration, the discovery of oil, and the famous Red River. In this article, we are going to take a look at seven interesting facts about Jackson County in Oklahoma history.
Jackson County was founded in 1907 as Oklahoma's 55th county. The county was named after Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States. Jackson County serves as the county seat, and the city of Altus is the largest city in the county.
2. Ranching and Farming
Farming and ranching were some of the earliest economic activities in Jackson County. By 1910, the county had over 1.2 million acres of cultivated land and over 6,000 farms. Wheat, cotton, and cattle were the primary agricultural products.
3. Aviation Training
During World War II, Jackson County became a training hub for U.S. military aviation. The Altus Army Airfield was established as an advanced flying school from 1941-1945 for training pilots. Today, the base is home to both Air Force and Navy pilots.
4. Oil Discovery
Oil discovery began in Jackson County in the early 20th century. The first oil well was drilled in 1908, which opened the door to significant growth in the oil and gas industry. The specialized equipment needed to drill and explore for oil made Altus a thriving center of industry.
5. Famous Oklahomans
Several famous people from Jackson County have made their mark on Oklahoma's history and the nation. Notable Oklahomans from Jackson County include baseball player Johnny Bench, former Governor and US Senator Henry Bellmon, and country music singer Reba McEntire.
6. Red River
The Red River, which forms the border between Texas and Oklahoma, flows southward through Jackson County. The Red River played a significant role in the county's history as a boundary and source of commerce. Tourism has also thrived around the river, especially for fishing and hunting expeditions.
7. Native American Presence
The Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache tribes historically lived in the Jackson County area before forced relocations and other interactions with Anglo settlers. The tribes have cultural heritage centers in western Oklahoma, where they preserve and teach their language, art, and customs.
In conclusion, Jackson County in Oklahoma has a rich history that has contributed to the growth and development of Oklahoma. From its founding as a county to modern-day economic activities of oil and gas exploration, farming, and aviation training, Jackson County continues to shape the Sooner State. The county’s famous citizens, the Red River, and cultural heritage are just a few more interesting aspects of this fascinating place.
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