Skiatook, Oklahoma

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Skiatook (Skī•ǎ•tōōk or Skī•ǎ•tǒǒk versus Skī•tōōk or Skī•tǒǒk) is a town in Osage and Tulsa counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Located in the northeastern part of the state, it is a suburb of Tulsa. The population was 5,396 at the 2000 census, but the 2009 estimate was 6,897.

Contents

History

William C. Rogers, last hereditary Chief of the Cherokees, founded Skiatook in 1872, when he established a trading post in the Cherokee Nation just to the south of Bird Creek where the stream was easily crossed. The Osage Indian, Skiatooka, was a frequent trader at the post, so it has been suggested this may be the connection which resulted in the town's name.

Historical records have conflicting data as to the origin of Skiatook's name. One story is that the town was founded on land which was the home of a prominent Osage Indian, Skiatooka, and the community around his home was called Skiatooka's Settlement.

Another story is that the name was Cherokee in origin meaning either "big injun me" or describing a large man or a vast tract of land.

Yet another story, told by local natives of Osage decent, is that after a tornado struck the settlement in its early years, while trying to describe to white settlers what had happened in broken English, natives used the phrase "sky-a-took". Literally meaning, the sky had taken the settlement. This story is at least four generations old -and in native tradition- handed down by word of mouth.

The first Skiatook Post Office was established in Rogers's store in the 1880s, and in 1892, the name was changed from Ski-a-took to its present form.

The first deed in town was granted to the Skiatook Bank, later known at the First National Bank, on December 18, 1904. Lumber was hauled in to build the bank building and in January 1905, the bank opened. Immediately after this day, despite the harsh winter, active construction began, and many buildings replaced shacks and tents.

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