No Man's Land Historical Society


Local History

The Panhandle Of Oklahoma Before Statehood
Compiled by the No Man's Land Historical Society
... Preserving the Panhandle's Heritage since 1934

10,000 B.C.
Paleoindians, first humans in region begin arriving • sequence of nomadic hunting people follows until the 1870's: from Clovis and Folsom times to Comanches and Kiowas

Antelope Creek Phase farming people build one-sotry stone houses in rows, similar to precursors of SW Pueblos villages appear throughout the region, then vanish

1450 - 1700
Apaches, probably Jicarilla ancestors, occupy region until displaced by Comanches trade over old trails with New Mexico pueblos

Ciboleros from Spanish New Mexico colonies begin annual buffalo hunts across High Plains continue into 1880's, given names are still attached to the Oklahoma Panhandle places and features use and expand ancient trails

1700 - 1875
Comanches take over Plains - Pueblo trade network while dominating vast area of High Plains • significant roles also played by Kiowas, Kiowa-Apaches, Cheyennes, and Utes in region during this time

Anza-Ecueracapa Treaty leads to emergence of comanchero traders who traverse region in large numbers, reinforcing old trails from New Mexico across High Plains until c. 1875

Texas independence from Mexico, Texas claims the area now in Oklahoma Panhandle • Texas later tries to discourage trade along Cimarron Cutoff of Santa Fe Trail

Compromise of 1850 Texas cedes land to US, including what is now Oklahoma Panhanlde ceded land is now Public Land

Kansas and New Mexico Territories defined • area now known as Oklahoma Panhandle is named Pubilc Land Strip • US government leaves legal status of Strip unclear until 1890

Camp Nichols established in Public Land Strip to protect Cimarron Cutoff of Santa Fe Trail

1876 - 1890
Scottish, English and US syndicates, as well as individual Texans and Kansans begin ranches of varied sizes in Public Land Strip • some even negotiate leases with Cherokees

1880 - 1890
Cherokees roam the Neutral Strip claim it as extension of Cherokee Outlet promote erroneous view that Public Land Strip is Indian territory US Postal Service even establishes post offices with postmarks N.S.I.T. (Neutral Strip of Indian Territory)

Interior Department rules that Neutral Strip is Public Land • frenzy of squatter homesteads • federal officials rule that squatter homesteads are invalid, one says "no man can own the land" • Strip begins to be called No Man's Land around 1886 • vigilante committees keep order

No Man's Land residents fail in attempt for US recognition as Cimarron Territory

Rock Island Railroad founds old Tyrone to load cattle outside Kansas quarantines • was one of 1890's busiest livestock loading points • nearby Shade's Well and Beer City slake thirsty cattle and cowboys, respectively

No Man's Land part of Oklahoma Territory is in Oklahoma Organic Act land ownership now possible all of old No Man's Land designated as Beaver County, O.T. seat at Beaver City

Statehood • old Beaver County split into three new counties (Beaver, Texas, and Cimarron)



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No Man's Land Historical Society • (580) 349-2670 • P.O. Box 278 Goodwell, OK 73939