Minco, Oklahoma

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Minco is a city in Grady County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 1,672 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

The town was originally included in the Chickasaw Nation, and is believed to be named after the great Chickasaw chief and warrior, Itawamba Minco, who later acquired the name of Levi Colbert. A county in Mississippi is named after the chief who resided in nearby Monroe county near Cotton Gin Port.[3]

Minco was originally settled sometime around 1890, several years before Oklahoma achieved statehood. In its early stages it was a very busy town because of its location at the end of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Co. until the railroad was extended further south two years later.[4] Charles B. Campbell owned the occupancy rights of the land that the town was built on. His wife was Miss Maggie (Margaret) Williams, a daughter of W. G. (Caddo Bill) Williams, owner of the Half Moon Ranch, who started Silver City in 1872 by building a trading store for those cattlemen driving their herds of cattle up the Chisholm Trail.[4]

The Rock Island Railroad Co.'s original purpose in extending the railroad to Minco was to provide a gateway for the shipping of cattle from the grazing lands of the Chickasaw Nation, just to the south of the town. On August 4, 1901 the Chickasaw Nation's land was opened to white settlement, in turn making Minco a railroad hub for the entire region.[4]

On October 14, 1901, local citizens formed a company for the purpose of selling vacant lots in the town to encourage settlement. It was known as the Minco Townsite and Investment Company.[4]

The town was originally composed mainly of merchants who provided supplies for the many travelers that used the railroad infrastructure of the town. It is the oldest town in the Western part of Oklahoma so its many businesses served residents for many miles around. In fact, the Hardware Store and Tin Shop originally opened by Kirk Woodworth in 1891 is still in existence in the town. The remains of some of the hotels that were used by the many temporary residents also still stand along its Main Street.[4]

In September 1894 Meta Chestnutt, a teacher from North Carolina determined to bring education to the frontier (specifically Indians), along with the services of J.H. Bond, established the El Meta Bond College, one of the first of its kind in the area. The college offered elementary, grammar, and high school courses along with some music and drama courses. Having faced economic troubles for the whole of its existence it was eventually decommissioned in 1920 due to decreasing enrollment sine the arrival of newer educational institutions that came with statehood. After the demolition of the old school building a modern masonry armory was constructed in 1936 and still stands today and serves as a community gathering center. There is also a community park occupying part of the old campus. In this park there is a plaque commemorating Meta Chestnutt and her contributions to the school.[5]

The Minco Historical Society recently established a museum to exhibit the numerous historical facts associated with the town.

Minco currently has two weekly newspaper, 'The Minco Millennium', which began publication in the summer of 1998.

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