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An All-Black town, Lincoln City was located in Kingfisher County, seven miles east and two miles south of Dover. Between 1879 and 1882 African Americans left the south and sought political, economic, and social opportunities in northern and western states. By 1889 several thousand black families, recruited to Kansas by emigrant companies, had gathered to await the opportunity to compete for free homesteads in Oklahoma. On April 22, 1889, an unknown number made the land run from the north line of the Oklahoma District into the Unassigned Lands. Only about fifty families found and staked claims, primarily in the valley of the Cimarron River in present Kingfisher County. Three black towns resulted: Red Wing, Wanamaker, and Lincoln City.

After the run, promoters from Topeka encouraged more Kansas emigrants to move to Kingfisher County. Near Lincoln City the promoters established an agricultural colony consisting of forty-acre farms, with wheat the primary crop. The sandy Cimarron watershed was covered with blackjack oak, and the farmers supplemented meager income by selling fence posts, fire wood, and wild game to the white population of Kingfisher. By August 1889 the All-Black community of Lincoln City numbered a population of nearly three hundred. A mayor and city council ran the town, and a post office was designated on December 14, 1889. Two of the most prominent citizens were John Goring and Col. D. B. Garrett, the latter of whom was active in territorial Republican politics.

Within a year of the town's founding, however, the population of Lincoln City declined as families returned to Kansas. In 1894 the post office closed. The town had disappeared by the turn of the century.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: Jimmie Lewis Franklin, Journey Toward Hope: A History of Blacks in Oklahoma (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1982). Stan Hoig, The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1984). Arthur Tolson, "The Negro in Oklahoma Territory, 1889-1907" (Ph.D. diss., University of Oklahoma, 1966).

Dianna Everett

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