Settling the Conflicting Surveys

Stop 6: SW Corner of W Main St and N Broadway Ave, Downtown

The Citizens' Survey, begun the day after the Run, was reconciled with the survey of the Seminole Town and Improvement Company at a mass meeting on April 27.

As the Citizens' Committee and its surveyors worked north from the section line at Reno, a subcommittee of five - the awarding committee met with rival claimants on each surveyed lot, listened to their stories and awarded claims. Crowds gathered around, and a clever settler nailed three boards in a triangle to separate the subcommittee and claimants from the curious observers. The work of the awarding committee proceeded smoothly without rancor.

By Friday, the surveyors had reached Main Street, where they encountered major discrepancies with the survey of the Seminole Town Company and hostility from settlers whose claims would be threatened by realignment. Continuation of the Citizens' Survey would throw hundreds of settlers off their lots.

Saturday morning, a nasty confrontation ensued with threats of violence from Seminole settlers. Another mass meeting was called that afternoon with Angelo Scott again presiding. A conference committee of ten was chosen, five from north and five from south of Main Street, to reconcile the conflicting surveys.

The conference committee quickly went to work and at dusk that Saturday the citizens adopted the report of the conference committee by acclamation.

  • 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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