Eufaula is a city in and county seat of McIntosh County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 2,813 at the 2010 census, an increase of 6.6 percent from 2,639 in 2000. Eufaula is in the southern part of the county, 30 miles (48 km) north of McAlester and 32 miles (51 km) south of Muskogee.
The name "Eufaula" comes from the Eufaula tribe, part of the Muscogee Creek Confederacy. The town and county are within the jurisdiction of the federally recognized Muscogee Creek Nation, descendants of people who removed here from the American Southeast in the 1830s.
- 1 History
- 2 Notable residents
- 3 Geography
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Media
- 6 Notable people
- 7 In popular culture
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
By 1800, the Creek had a village named Eufala, located on Eufaula Creek, near the present site of Talladega, Alabama. It was one of a group called their Upper Creek towns. Pickett's History of Alabama mentions an Indian town, belonging to the Creeks, which he calls Eufaulahatche. Little Eufauly is mentioned by one of the historians as early as 1792. Another Upper Creek town called Eufaula was located on the Tallapoosa River; the present town of Dadeville, Alabama developed near there. The Lower Creek also had a village named Eufala, located on the east bank of the Chattahoochee River, within the limits of the present County of Quitman in Georgia. Another Lower Creek town called Eufaula was located on the Chattahoochee River, in what later became Henry County, Alabama.
Eufaula, Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma), began to develop as a European-American town soon after the arrival of the (Katy) in 1872. Since 1832, after the U. S. Government had forced the Creeks to move to Indian Territory from their previous home in the Southeastern United States, Eufaula had been a well-known center of the Creek and frequent meeting place. They held pow-wows or Indian conferences in that vicinity during the early days of Creek settlement. G. W. Grayson, then Chief of the Creeks, his brother Samuel, George Stidham and others, persuaded the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway was to locate one of its stations at this site. The older Creek village was moved here to take advantage of the railroad. The town received its current name after George W. Ingall, Indian agent for the Five Civilized Tribes, suggested the name Eufaula, after the earlier Muscogee tribal town in Alabama. Eufaula incorporated as a town in Indian Territory by 1898.
D. B. Whitlow and Joseph Coody established the first store on the west side of the railroad, and the Graysons and G. E. Seales started a store on the east side about the same time. Dr. W. H. Bailey was the first physician and druggist to locate in the new town. Rev. R. C. McGee, a Presbyterian missionary, established one of the first churches in Eufaula. He served there as minister for many years. For many years before the American Civil War, the Asbury Mission School, located two miles northeast of Eufaula was the leading educational institution of that vicinity. It was burned in an accidental fire.
Harmon Davis playing steel guitar
Between 1907 and 1909, the people of Eufaula were involved in a dispute with nearby Checotah known as the McIntosh County Seat War. After Checotah was designated as the new county seat, the people of Eufaula refused to hand over the county records. Soon after, a group of heavily armed men from Chectotah attempted to seize the records from the courthouse in Eufaula, but were beaten back and forced to surrender during the gunfight that followed. Eufaula was designated as the permanent seat of McIntosh County one year later.
- Brothers George W. and Samuel Grayson. Samuel Grayson was deeply interested in the education of his people. He supported himself by cattle raising and merchandising. He died in Eufaula in the early 2000s.
- George W. Grayson, the late Chief of the Creek Nation, died at about seventy-eight years of age. He was more than six feet tall and stood as straight as an arrow. He was born near Eufaula and had resided in the Creek Nation from his birth. He attended school at the old Asbury Mission in his youth and later the University of Arkansas. He acquired a good English education and also served as interpreter, as he was fluent in Creek. He served for several terms in the Creek Council, and as the Creek delegate to Congress.
- Charles Gibson (1846- ), merchant and reporter. He reared and educated several Creek orphans. Source: 1
- C. E. Foley, early white settler who was a businessman: banker and built a hotel.
- Alexander Posey (23 August 1873- 28 April 1908)(Creek), writer of prose and poetry. He attended local schools and the Bacone College at Muskogee. He adopted the nom-de-plume of "Chumubbie Harjo" in his writings. For several years he served as superintendent of the Creek Boarding School at Eufaula.
- Harmon Davis
Harmon C. Davis grew up in rural Oklahoma. His family was always musically inclined, so he naturally learned how to play the guitar at a young age in his life. Later on, he learned to play the steel guitar, and mastered the instrument. He played in his brothers bluegrass band, Olen and The Bluegrass Traveler's, every weekend on his radio station, KCES FM. Harmon Davis had the first radio station in Southeastern Oklahoma. It was KCES FM. The station survived from the mid fifties until about 1999 when he sold the station to KFOX FM. The radio station was very important to the small town and was the Lake Eufaula Giant, the voice could be heard all over lake Eufaula by turning into the station 102.3. Olen Davis was inducted into the America's Old Time Country Hall of Fame (Iowa) in 2013.
The settlers of Eufaula demonstrated their interest in education by erecting a school on the east side of the railroad, and establishing a free school by voluntary taxation, before there was any law authorizing the levy of taxes for school purposes. As soon as the Curtis Act was passed by Congress, Eufaula took advantage of it by levying taxes and starting to build up a first class public school system, and to make other needed public improvements. The city now has paved streets, a splendid "White Way," five brick and stone schoolhouses, seven churches, a large cotton oil mill, light and ice plant, well built and attractive business blocks, three parks, a fine waterworks and sewage system, four banks, two hotels, the three story brick boarding school for Creek girls and an abundance of natural gas for domestic and commercial purposes. There is also a very active civic club whose purpose is to make the town a better place to live in, rather than to increase its numbers, an ambition which is concurred in generally by the 3,000 prosperous and contented people who live here. Source: 1
- Jefferson Highway
When the Jefferson Highway was first located through Eufaula the only way of crossing the South Canadian River, about four miles below the town, was by means of a rather uncertain ferry, and the citizens of Eufaula, feeling the great need of a good bridge across the river, incorporated- The Jefferson Highway Bridge Company, and at a cost of almost a quarter of a million dollars, built the present splendid structure of steel and concrete, forty feet above low water; affording a 365 day crossing throughout the year. Already the traffic over this bridge, which was opened for use April 21, 1920, bids fair to justify the large expenditure upon it and it is rapidly becoming one of the notable landmarks of the neighborhood. Source: 1
Eufaula is located at 35°17′31″N 95°35′12″W / 35.29194°N 95.58667°W (35.291895, -95.586528). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.6 square miles (25 km2), of which 6.6 square miles (17 km2) is land and 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2) (31.15%) is water.
Eufaula is home to Lake Eufaula, the largest lake contained entirely within the state of Oklahoma because of the Eufaula Dam. Lake Eufaula contains Standing Rock, an historical monument which can no longer be seen since the creation of the lake.
U.S. Decennial Census
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