HISTORY OF ATOKA
©Ruth Atteberry Adams 2010


Located in southeast Oklahoma and settled in the mid-1800's, this county was first called Shappaway, with the county seat located in the Choctaw Court grounds on the banks of the Muddy Boggy River. The name was later changed to Atoka, in honor of Captain Atoka a noted Choctaw who led a band of his people to this area during the removal of the Five Civilized Tribes to Indian Territory.

Atoka, the county seat, was a stop on the Texas Road; the route followed when mail service began between Missouri and San Francisco in 1857. Boggy Depot, located in the western part of the county, was established in 1837, when Cyrus Harris, "the future governor of the Chickasaw Nation, " built a log cabin on the divide between clear Boggy River and Sandy Creek.

Boggy Depot became a bustling community, and served as an important trading post during these early years and is now historic Boggy Depot State Park. The first post office in Boggy Depot, Choctaw Nation was established November 5, 1849. Postmaster: William R. Guy. The town's church, built in 1840 by the Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury ("Father of the Choctaw Mission") served as the Capitol of the Choctaw Nation in 1859.

Boggy Depot served as a commissary depot for the confederates during the Civil War. The Old Butterfield route covered 192 miles and was one of the principal roads, through Indian Territory, from Fort Smith, AR, to Colbert's Ferry on the Red River.

Fees to travel from Memphis or St. Louis to San Francisco was $200, a large sum for the time. Local citizens traveled for 10 cents a mile. June 30, 1861, was the last trip made over the route of the Butterfield Stage Line. The efforts to tie the country together, was short lived due to the Civil War.

The demise of Boggy Depot began in 1872, when the M-K-T railroad bypassed the town and New Boggy Depot was established two miles south.

Atoka County was the site of Oklahoma's first Masonic Lodge chartered in 1869 at Boggy Depot, first chapter of Eastern Star, and first Catholic Church in Indian Territory.

Atoka County covering 967 square miles, is well known for its hunting and fishing, since half its area is forested and contains several mountain streams and man-made lakes. Due to the efforts of the late Crockett Lowry it is the site of Oklahoma's largest deer propagation reserve.

The largest rock quarry in Oklahoma is located at Stringtown, is the source of granite quarried at this location and delivered all over Oklahoma and TX for use in highway building.


You will find that this county site does not contain any frills. My goal is to devote my time gathering information that will be helpful to those researching their ancestors in Atoka County. Please keep in mind, while visiting this web site, that the information found within these pages is not to be reproduced in any manner, or used for profit or publication. The information is the property of the submitter. Thanks for stopping by, this web site. Ruth Atteberry Adams, Atoka County Coordinator.