History Of Payne County Oklahoma

The Perkins Journal
January 10, 1895
In the NEW COUNTRY Column
Brief Bits of General News from the Territories
"It is talked strong that the Court House at Stillwater was burned to get rid of fraudulent records"
 Courtesy  of: Frederick M. Dittmar

Payne Co. was founded in 1889 as County #6, the name Payne later selected. Parts were added on in 1891 (Iowa/Sac & Fox lands), 1893 (Cherokee Strip) and small bits at other times. Rock and Walnut Twps. were taken from Payne County and attached to Noble County at Statehood. Land records technically go back to 1889 (not all were rerecorded after the courthouse fire of 1894). Marriages go back to 1893, and probate start 1894.
Payne County was named for Captain David L. Payne, called the "father of Oklahoma" the leader of the Oklahoma Boomers. He was on his way to Stillwater with the other Boomers when he died suddenly of a heart attack November 28, 1884 in Wellington, Kansas. He is buried now in Stillwater, Oklahoma (since April 22, 1995) on the southwestern corner of Boomer Lake/Park.
The county seat is Stillwater, named after a nearby creek "Stillwater Creek" a tributary of the Cimarron River, post office established in 1889.
Stillwater was the first recorded reference to a non-Indian settlement in the "Unassigned Lands" of what was to become Oklahoma.
It was part of a cavalry officer's report after an encounter with the "Boomer" settlement on Christmas Eve, 1884. That's why it is often said Stillwater is "Where Oklahoma Began". Stillwater was the northern edge of the first land run into Oklahoma in 1889. The northern edge of Stillwater borders the "Cherokee Strip" area which was opened to settlement in the land run of 1893.


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