Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cloud Chief, Oklahoma

In the spring of 1892, Cloud Chief was established as the Cheyenne-Arapaho Reservation was opened up for settlement during one of Oklahoma's Landruns. Congress had designated the townsite of 320 acres as the county seat of "County H." After the opening of the landrun, it only took a few weeks until the town's population jumped from zero to over three thousand. Sadly, as quick as the town had grown, the town declined down to little more than a hundred.

By 1898, population again had risen to several hundred. Fifty homes had been built as well as 35 dugouts. But population of the county had also grown, more towards the central portion of the county.

The county petitioned to have the county seat moved to Cordell, but Cloud Chief residents would not give up without a fight. The town held onto the courthouse, until in a required document was mailed to El Reno, Oklahoma, and arrived too late. The courthouse was moved from Cloud Chief to Cordell. In 1904, still the Supreme Court ruled that the move was illegal and Cloud Chief was the legal county seat. It took a bill being passed by congress to end the fight between Cloud Chief and Cordell. The move of the county seat ended the growth of Cloud Chief and ultimately was the death of the town.

A High School was built in the town in 1938 under the WPA. The High School moved to Cordell in 1958 and the school closed in 1960.

Now the Cloud Chief school sits on private farm land and this photo shows that the fence is as close as you can get to take photos. Just west of the school building is what appears to be the gym building. In downtown there is an old building that looks like it was once a service station. There are so many places in rural Western Oklahoma with interesting history.

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