Friday, January 30, 2015

Silver City, Indian Territory

[page 173]

County: Grady
Location: (a) Sec. 22, T 10 N, R 6 W  (b) 19 miles north, 8 miles east of Chickasha; 3 miles north of Tuttle
Map: Page 219
Post Office: May 29, 1883--June 17 1890

Silver City, located just south of the Canadian River where it was crossed by the Chisholm Trail, was an important stopping point for cattlemen on their way to northern markets. Just when the village had its beginning is obscure. It is known, however, that a Mexican family living nearby sold quirts to cowboys before 1880. The Canadian may have caused the village to be located at its particular site. In the vicinity were three small creeks with good water, and the land between the creeks furnished a grazing area when the river was in flood. Even when the

[page 174]

water in the Canadian was low, quicksand could present a problem. Cattle, once they had started across, had to be kept moving. Most trail bosses preferred to hold the cattle on the south bank if the crossing could not be completed in daylight. With the opening of the Unassigned Lands, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Reservation, and the Cherokee Outlet for settlement, the Chisholm Trail ceased to exist.

In 1890, when the Rock Island extended its tracks south of the river, there was a general movement from Silver City to the new town of Minco. One of the noted pioneers of Silver City was Meta Chestnut [sic], who had organized a subscription school. She also moved to Minco where she started Minco Academy, which later become El Meta Bond College.

The only existing reminder of Silver City is the cemetery. All land formerly occupied by the village and trail is now in agricultural use.

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Source: John W. Morris, Ghost Towns of Oklahoma (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1978), 173-74.

Note: The Oxford English Dictionary defines "quirt" as "a riding whip with a short handle and a braided leather lash."

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