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Located in Jackson County, Friendship is a rural town situated six miles northeast of Altus on County Roads E1600/N2100. The area was settled in 1898 after the U.S. Supreme Court declared it to be a part of Oklahoma Territory. Originally known as Alfalfa, the town had a post office from 1903 to 1905. In 1908 the Friendship Baptist Church relocated to Alfalfa from nearby Clabber Flat, and shortly thereafter, the town became known as Friendship.

During the early twentieth century cotton became the prevalent crop in the agricultural area, and the community grew. At its peak in the 1930s the town had more than a dozen businesses, including two cotton gins, several grocery stores, service stations, blacksmith shops, a garage, a cafe, a barber shop, and a hardware store. However, with the decline in rural population and improved transportation after World War II, all the businesses gradually closed.

Friendship suffered another blow in 1962 when the Friendship School burned. A new school district called Navajo was created through consolidation of the Friendship and Warren districts, and a new facility was built three miles north of Friendship. Incorporated in 1999, Friendship had a surge in residential construction in the vicinity at the turn of the twenty-first century. However, only the Friendship Baptist Church and a few residences actually existed within the town limits.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Navajoe-Friendship History," Vertical File, Museum of the Western Prairie, Altus, Oklahoma. Verna B. Johnson, The Early Day Friendship Area: Its Settlement and Communities (N.p.: N.p., 2002).

Don Butler

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