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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 11, No. 1
March, 1933
HISTORICAL MARKER AT THREE FORKS

Page 635

marker at Three Forks

The Muskogee Indian Territory Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution has exhibited gratifying interest and enterprise in directing attention to historical places in eastern Oklahoma.

A few years ago they raised funds to purchase a handsome monument which they erected at Fort Gibson as a memorial to the life and service in the Indian Territory of Montfort Stokes, Revolutionary veteran, former United States Senator and Governor of North Carolina, who died at the scene of his labors on September 8, 1842.

Recognizing many other features of this interesting country worthy of commemoration, last year they made plans for erecting a marker on the bank of the Verdigris River to call attention to historical events and conditions associated with that locality. Though it was a year of extreme depression the members of this enterprising organization raised sufficient funds to erect a handsome monument for this purpose. The erection of this monument was part of the Bicentennial Washington celebration but the actual dedication did not take place until February 22, 1933, the anniversary of the birth of George Washington. On this occasion a large crowd from the surrounding country, from Wagoner, Muskogee, Tulsa, Tahlequah and other cities in eastern Oklahoma, gathered to participate in the program of dedication as follows:

Bugle call—Boy Scouts Ceylon Lewis, Jr., and Edward Brooks.

"Star Spangled Banner" — Led by Gordon Berger and Bacone College Glee Club.

Salute to the flag—Led by Mrs. Homer Baughman.

"The American's Creed"—Mary Elizabeth Jacobs.

"The Builders"—Bacone College Glee Club.

"History Commemorated by the Marker" — Grant Foreman.

Page 636

Indian vocal selections—Martin Napa, Navajo, Bacone college.

Introduction of honor guests.

Dedicatory address—Mrs. Kib Warren, of Shawnee, state regent, D. A. R.

Unveiling of Marker—Halley Bender and Fulton Williams Fite.

Retiring of colors.

The monument is an imposing granite shaft 32 inches wide at the base, 30 inches at the top, 16 inches thick and 8 feet tall, and has a conspicuous location on a turn of the road in the village of Okay near the highway crossing of the Verdigris River ten miles northeast of Muskogee. The monument bears the following inscription:

"TEXAS ROAD The most ancient and important trail through Oklahoma. THREE FORKS at the head of navigation of the Verdigris River the oldest trading post in Oklahoma dating from 1812. CREEK & OSAGE Indian agencies on the east and west banks of the river below the falls of the Verdigris in buildings acquired from Col. A. P. Chouteau in 1828. THE FIRST PARTY of emigrating Creek Indians were landed here in February, 1828. Between here and Fort Gibson Sam Houston resided during his stay with the Cherokee Indians, 1829-1832. IRVING TRAIL near this spot on October 10, 1832 Washington Irving forded the river on his 'Tour on the Prairies.' "

The event was a significant one as it brought home to a large number of people who were present and many others who read of it the interesting history of the neighborhood and of conditions and developments associated with it. It is in line with the aims and efforts of the Oklahoma Historical Society and it is hoped that this outstanding achievement will encourage other citizens of the State of Oklahoma to similar efforts and will lead to a greater appreciation of the early history of our state.

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