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Subject: The History Of Thackerville
Date: 19 Nov 2005 08:26:02 -0700

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Surnames: Thacker, Harper, McCage, Myers, High, Oaks, Townsend, Bright, Howard, Spraggins, Garrison, Daniel, Thornburg, Morse, Bowlin, Monkres, Morris, Mitchell, Hudson, Leslie, Langston, Hudson, Leftwick, Beazley, Londridge, Williams, Roberts, Jasper, Roberson
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By Michael Bratcher, Monitor Staff Writer

The history of the town of Thackerville is as colorful as the red clay found along the banks of the Red River. What began as a small settlement some 150 years ago has grown into a community that will celebrate its official 100th birthday as an incorporated town on Monday.

Founded by Zachariah Thacker in the mid 1800's, Thackerville has grown from a town of just a few traveling citizens to a community of many hundred, with many residents still having family ties with some of the original town founders.

Thacker came from Arkansas and crossed the river at Addington Bend. It is believed he was headed for the Amarillo, Texas, area, but he camped one night at Wolf Hollow Creek in Indian Territory and remained there until his death just a few years later.

While in the area, Thacker became acquainted with some of the Indians and together they farmed a very productive corn crop. Thacker set up a corn mill near the creek and his two sons dug a large hole in the creek bed for the mill's wheel to turn in. To this day, "Blue Hole" still stands as a reminder of how the town began.

Before long, many people began settling around the area, building houses and pitching tents to live in. Soon thereafter, Albert and Cora Harper built a hotel and grocery store to service the many people traveling through the area.

However, in 1887, after Thacker's death, the unincorporated town moved to its present location to be near the Santa Fe Railroad. A depot was constructed, but has since been torn down. It was located across the tracks west of the present day BancFirst in Thackerville.

Across the tracks from the depot sat the first grocery store, built by Oce McCage. A cotton gin was soon erected by John T. Myers, and Mrs. Harper built a hotel nearby. A post office, a school, and churches were also constructed in the newly formed community.

The town had a dirt main street with board walks that connected store porches. Later, the second gin was located north of the first railroad crossing and owned and operated by W.C. High. However, a storm in 1927 wrecked it. Judge Oaks was the postmaster of the first post office, located across the street from the train depot.

Residents lived in the unincorporated town for 11 years, before petitioning in court to become an official town of Indian Territory.

Court records filed in the United States Court, Southern District, in Indian Territory at Ardmore, show that early day residents petitioned to be incorporated as a town under the Arkansas law on October 15, 1898.

The petition was read by the Honorable Judge Hosea Townsend and the boundaries of the said city were laid out at this time. The following residents had signed the petition: W.H. Harper, Lam Bright, L.L. Howard, M.F. Spraggins, S. Garrison, T.M. Daniel, J.H. Thornburg, E.D. Morse, W.B. Bowlin, R.P. Monkres, Dennis Morris, J.B. Mitchell, J.C. Hudson, A.C. Leslie, J.H. Monkres, J.H. Daniel, John Langston, G.L. Hudson, T.S. Leftwick, W.D. Langston, J.M. Langston, F.M. Beazley, W.D. Londridge, B.F. Williams, M.Y. Roberts, and W.M. Jasper.

At that time, Thackerville had approximately 175 residents. W.H. Harper, T.S. Leftwick and A.C. Leslie were named as members authorized to act in behalf of the petitioners of the community.

On July 5, 1899, the issue was brought before the Southern District Court again. At this time, the town was officially incorporated into Indian Territory by Judge Townsend.

In 1926, Highway 77 was established from the Red River through Thackerville. At that time, the town moved to each side of the highway, which became the new "main" street for the town, where it still serves as that today.

(Note: As I began my research for this article, I came across some information that was conflicting with that previously recorded. This account is believed to be a true representation of Thackerville's history. My thanks to everyone who provided me with information.)

This article included a picture with this caption: The Thackerville Santa Fe Depot is pictured here in 1927. A local resident, J.B. Roberson, was awaiting the arrival of the train to bring newspapers for his route.

Source: Marietta Monitor, Love County, July 2, 1999, page 1. Courtesy of Ray and Mrs. E. Weathers.

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