Fort Gibson, Oklahoma

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Fort Gibson is a town in Cherokee and Muskogee counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The population was 4,054 at the 2000 census. It is the location of Fort Gibson National Cemetery and is located near at the end of the Cherokees' Trail of Tears at Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

Colonel Matthew Arbuckle of United States Army established Fort Gibson in 1824. The Army abandoned the fort in 1890. Some of the original fort still stands at the historic site.



Fort Gibson is located at 35°47′41″N 95°15′11″W / 35.79472°N 95.25306°W / 35.79472; -95.25306 (35.794861, -95.253090)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.3 km² (14.0 mi²). 34.8 km² (13.4 mi²) of it is land and 1.5 km² (0.6 mi²) of it (4.14%) is water.


After the founding of Fort Gibson, military families, Indians desiring military protection, and free African-Americans settled near the fort, forming a town. After the Army abandoned Fort Gibson in 1857, the Cherokee Nation took over the military stockade and renamed the town Keetoowah. The Army reoccupied Fort Gibson during the American Civil War, and the town again prospered as refugees from fighting elsewhere fled to the relative safety of the fort.

On May 20, 1898, the Articles of Incorporation for the town of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma were established under the Arkansas Statutes, placing all of the densely settled areas under one jurisdiction.

Fires, mosquitoes, and other afflictions beset the poorly located town of Fort Gibson, and the town moved to higher ground around 1900. The first buildings, including "Black Town" (an African American section), faced west toward the Missouri Pacific Railroad tracks. In 1904 the town of Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, was surveyed and platted. In 1904 the town was turned around and situated one block east when J. C. Pierce built the first brick building. In 1906 John C. Berd constructed a brick-and-stone building for his drugstore, and the commercial district grew around these two permanent features. Its 1907 population comprised 1,063 residents.

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