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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 5, No. 1
March, 1927

Page 95

Circular Letter No. 1

In compliance with a request of the National Board of Geographic Names, Governor Trapp appointed the members of the State Geographic Board, namely, Gen. Charles F. Barrett, Adjutant General, Dr. Chas. N. Gould, Director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey and Joseph B. Thoburn, Curator of the Oklahoma Historical Society, who were duly commissioned as such on October 19, 1926. As there is no statutory provision for the creation or existence of such a Board it is understood that its functions are purely advisory and no appropriations are evailable or expected, even for such purposes as postage and stationery. However, it will be noted that all three members are already in the service of the State, so, that no extra expenses are expected to be incurred as the result of the operations of this Board.

Primarily, the functions of this Board will be to co-operate with the National Board of Geographic Names, in the determination of the proper spelling and pronunciation of geographic names and in the adjustment of disputes concerning such names in cases wherein two or more names for the same object are in more or less common use. There are a number of such disputes existing, which have been of long standing, such for instance, as the insistence of certain federal bureaus calling the Grand River of Eastern Oklahoma by the name of Neosho, when, as a matter of fact, the Grand River is formed by the union of the Neosho River, proper, and Spring River, just as the Ohio River is formed by the union of the Alleghany and the Monongahela rivers. Regardless of this fact certain government maps disregard the name of Grand River and substitute the name of Neosho River instead. Likewise there are some cases of duplications in which it might be advisable to revive former and more appropriate designations. In other instances there are cases of misspelling and of popular mispronunciation which should be rectified.

The Geographic Board does not propose to initiate any

Page 96

reforms in regard to such matters but, on the contrary, will confine itself to the consideration of representations made to it by people in localities most interested and to recommendations that may lead to adjustment of such disputes, misunderstandings, misspellings or mispronunciations. The active co-operation of the intelligent citizens of the state who may be interested in such matters will be greatly appreciated by the members of the Board.


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