South Oklahoma

Stop 12: SW Corner of W Reno and Ron Norick Blvd at Myriad Gardens, Downtown

On Saturday, April 27 the citizens of South Oklahoma elected G. W. Patrick mayor along with a full slate of city officials.

On April 23, 1889, G. W. Patrick began surveying south from the section line at Reno, as the Citizens' Survey began working north. Encountering no conflicting surveys, Patrick's crew laid out 35 blocks along seven streets, and settlers made adjustments as required. By Saturday, April 27 the citizens of South Oklahoma were ready to elect Patrick mayor along with a full slate of city officials. In spite of frequent turnover, the South Oklahoma officials served until Oklahoma City and South Oklahoma were combined in July 1890 according to rules set by the Organic Act establishing Oklahoma territory.

According to the City Directory published by the Oklahoma Chief newspaper, in August 1889, South Oklahoma contained approximately 1,300 residents compared with about 3,700 north of Reno in Oklahoma City. The commercial district was mostly in Oklahoma City (except for the south side of Reno) and was the most densely developed portion of the two cities. During the 15 months of its separate existence, South Oklahoma had a contentious political life, reflecting the land claim disputes of its larger neighbor to the north.

  • 1862
    The Homestead Act opens up settlement in the western U.S. by allowing any adult American to claim up to 160 acres of free federal land. 15,000 claims are made by the end of the Civil War.
  • 1866
    The Civilized Tribes are forced to cede large portions of their land, including the Unassigned Lands, to the U.S. Government for relocation of other Native American nations.
  • 1880
    Boomers begin attempts to settle in the Unassigned Lands. The U.S. military repeatedly forces them out.
  • 1887
    The Santa Fe Railroad from Kansas to Texas is completed. Multiple stops are opened in the Unassigned Lands.
  • January-March 1889
    Creek and Seminole Nations release claims to the Unassigned Lands, and Congress approves opening the land for settlement.
  • March-April 1889
    "Boomer camps" pop up along and inside the borders of the Unassigned Lands.
  • March 23, 1889
    President Harrison's Proclamation sets noon on April 22 as the time and date for the Land Run
  • April 19, 1889
    Prospective settlers are escorted from the Kansas and Texas borders to the perimeter of the Unassigned Lands. Those already inside are required to leave.
  • April 20, 1889
    Land east of the railroad tracks at Oklahoma Station is reserved for military use
  • April 22, 1889 at noon
    Oklahoma Land Run officially begins.


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