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POCASSET

Located ten miles north of Chickasha, Pocasset lies in Grady County on U.S. Highway 81. In 1892 the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway (CRI&P) laid tracks from Minco to the Texas line, establishing the towns of Chickasha, Ninnekah, and Rush Springs in the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory. Between Minco and Chickasha, at present Pocasset's location, was Siding Number One. In 1901 plans were being made for a townsite. The next year a Colonel James auctioned town lots, and the Post Office Department designated a post office, with Isaac Hilton serving as postmaster. The name referred to an American Indian village in Massachusetts and was probably suggested by an eastern railroad official.

Pocasset served area farmers and ranchers. In 1907 it was reported that 150 cars of hogs, 150 cars of cattle, 300 cars of hay, and approximately 1,400 bales of cotton were shipped from the town. By 1909 the estimated population stood at 260, and a bank, three blacksmiths, a hotel, a cotton gin, a livery, a lumber company, two general stores, and other various retail shops served the town. The Minter brothers constructed a two-story, brick building in the business district. In the early twentieth century the Pocasset Post reported the news. In 1918 the population estimate had climbed to 350, and another bank, a grain elevator, and a flour mill had been added.

In 1946 the town no longer supported a bank, but a cotton gin and a grain elevator remained. The Minter Brothers Building became a county landmark and had held a general store, a hardware store, automobile agency, grocery store, furniture store, and feed storage before it was demolished in 1963-64. In 1965 the Pocasset school consolidated with Amber, creating Grady County School District 128. In 1996 the Pocasset Gymnasium (NR 96001489) was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In 1998 the town officially incorporated. In 2000 the population stood at 192. Ray Giles, a state senator from 1977 to 1992 hailed from Pocasset, where he had a farm and ranch. In 2002 the town received grants to complete a community center and to renovate a building to house the fire department.

SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Alva (Oklahoma) Review, 4 September 1902. Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 27 June 1915, 27 December 1964, 1 June 1995, and 16 October 1998. Gwen Jackson, Trails, Rails, and School Tails: A History of 125 Schools and Communities of Grady County (N.p.: N.p., 1995). "Pocasset, Oklahoma," Sturm's Oklahoma Magazine 7 (February 1909).

Larry O'Dell

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