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FORT COBB

Fort Cobb is located in the southwestern portion of Caddo County on State Highway 9 near the Washita River. The town is just south of Fort Cobb State Park. Along State Highway 9, the community is fifteen miles west of Anadarko. The town of Fort Cobb was preceded by a military post of the same name that operated from 1859 to 1862 and briefly in 1868 before being supplanted by Fort Sill. The military post was located about a mile east of the existing community.

Fort Cobb, Oklahoma - Aerial view

The town of Fort Cobb originated in 1899 under the name of Cobb. This was changed to Fort Cobb in 1902. Until the 1950s the community relied on agriculture for its economic well-being. Located on the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway's branch line between Chickasha and Mangum, the town boasted two elevators and three cotton gins by the mid-1930s. Other enterprises in Fort Cobb at the time included two lumber yards, a broom factory, and ice plant. In 1958 construction work began on Fort Cobb Lake, greatly expanding the recreational opportunities in the community. With the designation of Fort Cobb State Park nearby, tourism has become one of the major economic forces for the town.

At 1907 statehood Fort Cobb had 462 residents. Three years later the town's population fell slightly to 382. By 1920 the number of citizens had grown to 546. Fort Cobb's largest number of residents was achieved in 1930 with a population of 827. Over the next two decades the number continued on a downward spiral, falling to 699 in 1940 and 665 in 1950. By 1960 the population rebounded slightly to 687. Moderate growth continued in the 1960s and 1970s, bringing Fort Cobb up to 722 in 1970 and 760 in 1980. Falling by almost a hundred residents, the number stood at 663 in 1990, held steady over the ensuing decade, and rose to 667 in 2000.

The Fort Cobb News has served the community since in 1958. Other newspapers have included the Caddo County Record, the Fort Cobb Express, and the Fort Cobb Record. At the beginning of the twenty-first century the form of city government was mayor-council.

SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Fort Cobb" and "Caddo County," Vertical Files, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Muriel H. Wright, "A History of Fort Cobb," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 34 (Spring 1956).

Cynthia Savage

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