Alfalfa County, Oklahoma

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Alfalfa County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of 2000, the population is 6,105. Its county seat is Cherokee[1]. Alfalfa County was formed in 1907 from Woods County. The county is named after William H. "Alfalfa Bill" Murray, the president of the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention and ninth governor of Oklahoma.[2]



Indigenous peoples inhabited and hunted in this area for thousands of years. By 1750, the Osage had become a dominant tribe in the area. About one third belonged to the band led by Chief Black Dog (Manka - Chonka). Before 1800 they made the Black Dog Trail starting east of Baxter Springs, Kansas and going northwest to their summer hunting grounds at the Great Salt Plains in present-day Alfalfa County.[3] The Osage stopped at the springs for its healing properties on their way to hunting at the plains, which attracted migratory birds and varieties of wildlife. The Osage name for this fork of the Arkansas River was Nescatunga (big salt water), what European-Americans later called the Salt Fork. The Osage cleared the trail of brush and large rocks, and made ramps at the fords. Wide enough for eight men riding horses abreast, the trail was the first improved road in Kansas and Oklahoma.[4]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 881 square miles (2,280 km2), of which 867 square miles (2,250 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (1.68%) is water.

Major highways

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