“I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude”*…
Hoot Owl, Oklahoma- population 4… Just one of the quiet towns around the world to be found on the “List of Places With Fewer Than 10 Residents.”
* Henry David Thoreau
As we head for the hinterland, we might recall that it was on this date in 1907 that Oklahoma was admitted to the Union, becoming the 46th state. The history of Oklahoma is inexorably tiesd to the fates of Native Americans displaced by the Indian Removal Act, May 30, 1830, which authorized land grants in the open prairie, west of the Mississippi, in exchange for Native American property to the east. Oklahoma became the migration destination of Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee, known as the “five civilized tribes,” coerced by the federal government to relocate. By 1880, sixty tribes, had moved to Oklahoma where they created a government structure, landownership laws, and a thriving culture. Indeed, the name Oklahoma is derived from the Choctaw Indian words “okla,” meaning people, and “humma,” meaning red. In 1889 Congress opened part of the region (which the United States had acquired in 1803 via the Louisiana Purchase) to settlement by non-Native Americans– who immediately began lobbying for Statehood, starting by organizing The Oklahoma Territory in 1890. The new state of Oklahoma incorporated what remained of Indian Territory.