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The town of Hickory, located in Murray County, is situated west of State Highway 1 on County Road N3450, ten miles northeast of Sulphur. Hickory was founded in the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, during the late 1880s. A post office was established there on November 15, 1893, with Charles W. Reed serving as postmaster. The post office was robbed at least twice before its closure on March 31, 1964. The community was named for a grove of hickory trees that thrived along Mill Creek west of the townsite. The Hickory vicinity is among the most picturesque prairie regions in Oklahoma. To the present, residents have worked in farming, ranching, and the dairy industry.

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway reached Hickory in 1901 when a line was built between Sherman, Texas, and Sapulpa in the Creek Nation, Indian Territory. The railroad created a period of growth in which Hickory's population reached 468 in 1907. The local newspaper, the Hickory Advance, began publication in 1906, and the People's Bank of Hickory opened in 1907. Four businesses were destroyed by fire in 1909, and the newspaper soon went out of business. In 1922 a group of Hickory citizens combined their money to open Murray County's first radio station, but the necessary equipment could not be obtained.

By 1923 Hickory had become one of Oklahoma's major cream-shipping centers. The community had Nazarene, Methodist, and Baptist churches with only the latter remaining in 2003. Population numbers declined after a count of 359 in 1920. There were 224 residents in 1940 but only 62 by 1970. That number increased to 87 in 2000. The local cemetery is still used and is maintained by the Hickory Cemetery Association.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Opal Hartsell Brown, Murray County, Oklahoma: In the Heart of Eden (Wichita Falls, Tex.: Nortex Press, 1977). "Hickory," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.

Dennis Muncrief

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