Welcome to Choctaw County Oklahoma
OKCHOCTA is part of the OKGenWeb and USGenWeb genealogical service - dedicated to free online historical and genealogical information. "Free" doesn't mean the material is without copyright protection. All material on this site is copyrighted by the original submitters. Please respect their hard work and dedication by not reposting this material to other websites. Currently there is information on 125 county cemeteries with over 21,000 burials recorded, many of which have headstone photos available online; over 10,000 images and documents including maps of the county and the Choctaw Nation are available. Location maps of cemeteries, county schools and communities are also online. And coming soon, a brand new obituary database to house our collection of over 6,000 obituaries.
Choctaw County was created at statehood in 1907 and takes its name
from the Indian tribal name, "Chahta." Located in southern Oklahoma
and bordering Texas, Choctaw County contains 774 square miles, which
ranks it 42nd in size with other Oklahoma counties. Hugo is its county
seat. Today (2000 census) Choctaw County has a population of 15,342
people (down from a high in 1920 of 32,144) with 19.8 people per square
mile. The 1860 Choctaw Nation constitution divided the Nation into 3
districts; Pushmataha, Apukshunubbee and Mushulatubbee. Each district
was further divided into counties. Present day Choctaw County was created
in 1907 out of the districts of Apukshunubee and Pushmataha and contains
portions of Jackson, Kiamitia (Kiamichi), Cedar and Towson counties
of the Choctaw Nation (political
Fort Towson (restored by the Oklahoma Historical Society) sits just 15 miles east of Hugo. Indian Territory's second fort, it was founded in 1824 to protect the then Spanish border. Abandoned by the US Army in 1854, it was used as a Choctaw Indian Agency until the Civil War, when it was used as the Confederate military headquarters for Indian Territory. Other historical interests include the site of Doaksville important early-day trading center, established by fur traders in 1821, and the former Choctaw Nation Capitol where the last Confederate general of the Civil War surrendered. Near the old military post is Oklahoma's oldest existing residence. Known as the "Old Chief's House" the two-story log house was built in 1832 for the District Chief Thomas LeFlore of the well-known Choctaw family of French descent. After the Civil War, it served as the temporary first school for blacks. Goodland Presbyterian Children's Home, oldest agency in continuous operation in the state and the oldest Protestant home for children in the United States, is 4 miles south of Hugo. The chapel on its grounds is Oklahoma's oldest continuously used church, built in 1852. Many old pre-Civil War Cemeteries still exist, such as Rose Hill (the resting place of Colonel Robert M. Jones who was rated the wealthiest man in the Choctaw Nation before the War of Northern Aggression).
Hugo, at the intersection of the old Frisco and Arkansas and Choctaw railroads, has gained national acclaim for revitalizing its impressive railroad legacy and for capturing the magical days of railroad in its Frisco Depot Museum owned by the Choctaw County Historical Society. More information is available from the Hugo Area Chamber of Commerce, (580) 326-7511. Hugo is also the winter headquarters of both the five-ring Carson & Barnes Circus and its sister circus, the Kelly-Miller Bros. Circus. With over 50 years of circus tradition, at one time serving as the winter headquarters for 12 traveling circuses, Hugo is known as Circus City, USA. Both Circuses annually entertain hundreds of thousands of fans across America and Canada. A special section of Mt. Olivet cemetery, Showmen's Rest, is reserved for circus performers and workers. In addition, Mt. Olivet is the final resting place for rodeo legends Freckles Brown and Lane Frost.
some of the above from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website
Choctaw County did not exist prior to Oklahoma statehood in 1907
thus there will be no census data for an area called "Choctaw County"
prior to 1910. As neither Choctaw County nor the state of Oklahoma existed
before 1907 there will be no county or state records before that date.
County marriage records begin in November 1907. For 1900 census information,
look at the Indian Territory census for the Choctaw Nation.
If your ancestor lived in the Choctaw Nation that does not mean they lived in Choctaw County. Please remember that the Choctaw Nation covered all or part of 13 modern day counties. If you're not sure where in the Choctaw Nation you should be looking you may need to research each county GenWeb site. There are 12 other modern day counties that you need to look at.
Death certificates in Oklahoma began in October 1908 but mandatory reporting did not begin until 1917. Unfortunately, widespread compliance with the mandatory reporting did not take place until 1930-40. Death Certificate searches, especially in the rural areas, may be "iffy" between 1908 and 1940. All death certificate records are maintained by the state of Oklahoma. There are no known death records maintained by Choctaw County. Online forms for requesting death certificates can be found on the Oklahoma State Department of Health website. The fee is currently $15 and the application requires a photocopy of your current photo ID. Marriage Records however are maintained by the county and not the state. These records are located in the Court Clerk's office at the County Courthouse.
At this time the only microfilm records available locally are at the Choctaw County Public Library in Hugo. The local newspaper does not maintain any newspapers more than a few years old. The library has an excellent collection of county newspapers on microfilm which are also available at the Oklahoma Historical Society in Oklahoma City. The local library also houses the Choctaw County Genealogical Society's collection.
In addition to the records available in the Heritage Room of the local library, probably the best equipped research library in the area is the Bryan County Genealogy Library in Calera, south of Durant.
April Makerney - County Coordinator
Billie Heath - County Assistant
Cindy Burkhalter - County Assistant
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