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ARMSTRONG

Located in Bryan County, the small town of Armstrong is approximately five miles north of Durant and one-half mile east of U.S. Highway 69/75 on the banks of the Blue River. The town formed on the tracks of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway, after the company constructed a line through the area in 1872. In a 1928 article in The Chronicles of Oklahoma historian Grant Foreman asserted that Armstrong sustained a post office from 1882 to 1883, after which the mail went to Caddo. George Shirk claims that this post office served Armstrong Academy, which is in the same county but is situated two miles northeast of Bokchito. In 1896 the Post Office Department did establish a post office in Armstrong, but it was discontinued in 1920. The town's name honors Frank C. Armstrong, who was a member of the Dawes Commission.

In 1911 Armstrong had a population of 46 and one grocery store operated by M. W. Maupin, who also served as the postmaster. In 1916-17 the Office of the State Game Warden (later the Department of Wildlife Conservation) developed a fish hatchery at the town. Agriculture, the railroad, the town's proximity to Durant, and outside dollars from sports enthusiasts visiting Lake Texoma and Blue River provided the key to the community's economic survival. By 1980 the population stood at 133, declining to 122 in 1990. In the mid-1990s Armstrong incorporated. In 2000 the U.S. Census reported 141 residents.

SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 8 July 1917. Grant Foreman, "Early Post Offices of Oklahoma," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 6 (March 1928). The History of Bryan County, Oklahoma (Durant, Okla.: Bryan County Heritage Association, 1983).

Larry O'Dell

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