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GRAYSON

Formerly known as Wildcat, Grayson is situated in southeastern Okmulgee County. Until 1918, when the Okmulgee and McIntosh county boundaries were changed, the town lay within McIntosh County. Named for Creek Chief George W. Grayson, the community lies at the intersection of U.S. Highway 266 and State Highway 5 and approximately eleven miles southeast of the county seat of Okmulgee and eight miles northeast of Henryetta.

A Grayson post office was established on February 10, 1902, and was discontinued on April 30, 1929. At 1907 statehood the town had 375 residents. By 1909 the small rural community boasted five general stores, two blacksmiths, two drug stores, a physician, and a cotton gin. It was served by the Pioneer Telephone Company, and the town of Hoffman, located 1.5 miles away, was the nearest banking and shipping point. In 1910 Grayson had a population of 411, which declined to 298 by 1920 and to 134 by 1930. Numbers rose to 188 by 1940, but decreased during the next two decades. The population remained steady at 142 reported in 1960 and 1970. In 1980 the number of inhabitants increased slightly to 150, then dropped sharply to 66 by 1990. The 2000 federal census counted 134. At the turn of the twenty-first century Grayson's population was 64.1 percent African American, 9.8 percent white, and 9.8 percent American Indian. It had two public schools, two churches, and a community center where area residents voted.

SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Profiles of America, Vol. 2 (Millerton, N.Y.: Grey House Publishing Co., 2003). George H. Shirk, Oklahoma Place Names (2d ed.; Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1974).

Lynn Marie Townsend

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