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Washita County, Oklahoma

Canute, Oklahoma

Contributed by Marti Graham, August 2003. Information posted as courtesy to researchers. The contributor is not related to nor researching any of the families mentioned.

Canute in northwest Washita County (Sections 14-23 Township 11N Range 20W) was first known locally as Oak. A post office was established in February 1899; Eli B. Keen was first postmaster. It was named for Canute, king of Denmark. The town was founded by an independent townsite company. The 1998 population was 513.

Oklahoma's first State Park on Highway 66 built by the WPA (Work Projects Administration) is the city park.

holyfamilycross.gif (271024 bytes)

On the eastern edge of Canute is the Roman Catholic Cemetery (Holy Family Cemetery) in which there is a replica of the Crucifixion scene. A life-size bronze figure of Christ on the cross. In the side of the hill, a glass-enclosed sepulcher holds the waxen image of Christ. The scene was planned by Father Peter Paul Schaeffer, of the Holy Parish; the sanctuary to be the final resting place of Father Schaeffer and Frank Flies, whose financial aid made its erection possible. more photos [off site link]

The St. Francis Cemetery is located 2 miles south and 1 3/4 east of Canute, Oklahoma.


  1. Shirk, George H. Oklahoma Place Names. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965.
  2. "St. Matthew History." 2002. St. Matthew's Roman Catholic Church. 22 Aug 2003 <http://www.mbcsi.com/stmatthew/history.htm> [photos used with permission of Donnie Shirey].
  3. "Counties and Township Maps for Oklahoma." OKGenWeb. 2003. OKGenWeb. 18 Aug 2003 <http://www.okgenweb.net/okprojects/maps-dot.html>.
  4. Oklahoma Route 66 Association. no date. August 16, 2003 <http://www.oklahomaroute66.com/tour66.html>.


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