Northeast Oklahoma’s Beginnings

Credit has been given to the Ozark Bluff Dwellers as being Tulsa’s earliest settlers, in an area that is called Green Country today. It would be in the mid-1830s before the Native Americans came, many came on what is known as the Trail of Tears.

East of the Arkansas River, under the Council Oak Tree, their journey came to an end and that is where many of them made home, naming it Tallahassee. Creek Indians, the Lochapokas came from Alabama carrying burning embers from the council fire there and each night as they traveled, they would re-light their camp fires using those embers as to keep a part of the home they left behind.

There were “Five Civilized Tribes” that came on the Trail of Tears:

Each would have a contribution to make in the way of commerce, trading and other ideas that were an influence in shaping Tulsa and Oklahoma.It was an untamed wilderness and for decades there were a few settles that lived there, most of which were the Native Americans.

Lewis Perryman, part Creek Indian, would build a log cabin and open a trading post in 1846. He would be credited with establishing the first business in that rugged frontier. It was the Civil War that ran many of the area’s residents away.

Luckily, after the war, there was a reconstruction period which would contribute to the area’s growth and the first Post Office was opened in 1879. The railroad would soon follow and the area was called Tulsey Town and known as a cattle town and for its trading post. At that time, the frontier town was considered a city now and the name was changed to Tulsa.

The population of Tulsa in 1882 is said to have been approximately 200 and by 1898 it had grown to over 1,000. The next population boom came when Sue Bland No. 1 oil well struck oil. Located just across the river from Tulsa, Red Fork was discovered to be a large reserve of oil and natural gas and it became known as the Glenn Pool Strike. Soon after, in order to advertise and promote Tulsa, the Commercial Club was formed.

In the early 1900s, homes were being built and businesses were opening in Tulsa Oklahoma. Water systems were installed in preparation for the anticipated arrival of more people. These would be the people that went on to discover more oil, making Tulsa the Oil Capital of the World.