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

Woods County, Oklahoma

Woods County Education, Geography, and History

Woods County, Oklahoma Courthouse

Woods County is a county located in the northwestern part of the state of Oklahoma. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 8,878. Its county seat is Alva. The county is named after Samuel Newitt Wood, a renowned Kansas populist.

Etymology - Origin of Woods County Name

Named for a noted Kansas pioneer, politician and legislator, Samuel N. Wood, who was assassinated two years before the opening of the Cherokee Outlet lands to settlement. Many of his political followers who regarded him as a martyr, settled in Oklahoma, and in preparing the ballot to vote on his name the letter "s" was inadvertently added.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Woods County History

The known explorer of the area now contained within Woods County was George C. Sibley, who traveled through in 1811. He visited a salt formation near the present town of Freedom, Oklahoma, then followed the Mountain Fork of the Arkansas River southeastward to the Great Salt Plains. In 1843, Nathan Boone traveled along the Cimarron River.

The area was part of the so-called Cherokee Outlet, acquired by the Cherokee Nation under the Treaty of New Echota. It later became important for cattle ranching. The Dodge City and Red Fork Trail, a branch of the Chisholm Trail followed the north bank of the Cimarron River en route to Kansas. The U. S. Government acquired the Cherokee Outlet under Congressional Acts in 1889, 1891 and 1893, and divided the area into counties. One of these was designated M County, prior to opening the area for settlement. The Secretary of the Interior designated Alva as the county seat. M County was renamed Woods County by an election on November 6, 1894. Woods County became part of Oklahoma Territory.

The Constitutional Convention of 1906 created Major County and Alfalfa County from southern and eastern parts of Woods County and added a part of Woodward County to Woods County

Oklahoma History Center
Woods County is located in northwestern Oklahoma. Harper and Woodward counties adjoin it on the west, Major County is on its southern border, and Alfalfa County lies to its east. The Kansas counties of Barber and Comanche border it on the north. The county encompasses a total land and water area of 1,290.07 square miles. Woods County is drained from the northwest to the southeast by the Cimarron and the Salt Fork of the Arkansas rivers and their tributaries. The Gypsum Hills of Barber County, Kansas, extend southward into the western part of the county. At the turn of the twenty-first century incorporated towns included Alva, the county seat, Avard, Capron, Dacoma, Freedom, and Waynoka....WOODS COUNTY

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,290 square miles (3,300 km2), of which 1,286 square miles (3,330 km2) is land and 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2) (0.3%) is water. It is located along the Kansas border.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Comanche County, Kansas (north)
  • Barber County, Kansas (northeast)
  • Alfalfa County (east)
  • Major County (south)
  • Woodward County (southwest)
  • Harper County (west)


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