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Oklahoma Counties
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Oklahoma Counties

There are seventy-seven counties in Oklahoma. Oklahoma originally had seven counties when it was first organized as the Oklahoma Territory. These counties were designated numerically, first through seventh. New counties added after this were designated by letters of the alphabet. The first seven counties were later renamed. The Oklahoma Constitutional Convention named all of the counties that were formed when Oklahoma entered statehood in 1907. Only two counties have been formed since then

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Cherokee County, Oklahoma

Cherokee County Education, Geography, and History

Cherokee County, Oklahoma Courthouse

Cherokee County is a county located in the state of Oklahoma. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 46,987. Its county seat is Tahlequah, which is also the capital of the Cherokee Nation.

Cherokee County comprises the Tahlequah, OK Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Tulsa-Muskogee-Bartlesville, OK Combined Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Cherokee County Name

Named for the Cherokee tribe of Indians. The word is said to have been derived from a Chickasaw word "Chiluk-ki," meaning cave people.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Cherokee County History

According to a historian, Cherokee County was established in 1907. However, the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, states that it was created from the Tahlequah District of the Cherokee Nation in 1906.

The Cherokee moved to this area as a result of the forced relocation brought about by the Indian Removal Act of 1830, also known as Trail Of Tears. The first significant settlements were at the site of Park Hill, where there was already a mission community, and Tahlequah, which became the seat of Cherokee government. However the Civil War divided the tribe and caused many of the early structures to be destroyed. Non-Indians began moving into the area illegally starting in the mid-1870s, and became the majority by the 1890s

Oklahoma History Center
Located in northeastern Oklahoma, Cherokee County has a total land and water area of 776.40 square miles. Bordering counties include Mayes and Delaware on the north, Adair on the east, Sequoyah on the south, and Muskogee and Wagoner on the west. Important rivers and streams include the Illinois River, Baron Fork, Town Branch (also known as Ross Branch and Tahlequah Creek), and Park Hill creeks. The area is located in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains and includes the Cookson Hills, which was a favorite hideout for turn-of-the-twentieth-century outlaws. Cherokee County was created from the Cherokee Nation's Tahlequah District at the 1906 Constitutional Convention and named for the Cherokee Nation. The county seat is located at Tahlequah, which was also the capital of the Cherokee Nation....CHEROKEE COUNTY

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 776 square miles (2,010 km2), of which 749 square miles (1,940 km2) is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) (3.5%) is water.

The county lies in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. It includes most of Tenkiller Lake and part of Fort Gibson Lake. The principal river running through it is the Illinois River. Grand River (Oklahoma) forms part of its western boundary

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Delaware County (north)
  • Adair County (east)
  • Sequoyah County (south)
  • Muskogee County (southwest)
  • Wagoner County (west)
  • Mayes County (northwest)



Tahlequah is home to Northeastern State University.

Northeastern State University is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of Oklahoma as well as one of the oldest institutions of higher learning west of the Mississippi River. Tahlequah is home to the capital of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and about 25 percent of the students at NSU identify themselves as American Indian.

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