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City Of Harrah

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1900 Church Ave, Harrah, OK 73045
http://www.harrah-ok.gov
(405) 454-2951
 
History: Harrah. Formerly Sweeney. In eastern Oklahoma County. Post office name changed to Harrah, December 22, 1898. Named for Frank Harrah, merchant and business leader. These words, found in the book Oklahoma Place Names, state the facts. But what...read more
History: Harrah. Formerly Sweeney. In eastern Oklahoma County. Post office name changed to Harrah, December 22, 1898. Named for Frank Harrah, merchant and business leader. These words, found in the book Oklahoma Place Names, state the facts. But what were the underlying factors which led to the establishment of this town and which enabled it to remain viable while many others have ceased to exist. The location and the circumstances provided many things to many seekers. As we look at some of the people and events that were involved, we begin to see how Harrah came about and survived. In the early 1870s, when Louis Navarre came to the area on a hunting expedition, he found the river full of fish, the grass belly-deep on the horses, and the countryside full of deer, wild turkey, and wild hogs. Said his grandson, Robert J. Navarre, Jr., Im sure they thought they had found the most wonderful place in the world. Louis definitely saw something of value, for he later returned to the area and, in 1889, established a residence. It is on a portion of Louis Navarres property, which he later sold to Frank Harrah, that the initial townsite of Harrah was platted. Pressure for the opening of unoccupied Indian land had grown steadily from the end of the Civil War. With the opening of the Unassigned Lands in 1889, the demand increased. Potential settlers saw a new territory, with an abundance of resources beckoning to the homesteader, the businessman, and the adventurer. The lands of the Sac and Fox, Iowa, Potawatomi and Absentee Shawnee nations were opened on September 22, 1891. The newspapers touted the country as splendid farming land, with good crops of corn, wheat and cotton being grown, well watered and well timbered, white oak predominating on the uplands, and cottonwood and walnut along the creeks, having coal and oil reserves, and having plenty of turkey, quail, prairie chickens and other game. People crowded in, many agreeing with Louis Navarre, that this was the most wonderful place in the world, and they spread the word. In 1891, E. W. Sweeney purchased the northwest quarter of Section 25, Township 12N, Range 1E (NW S25-T12N-R1E), property which adjoins the current site of Harrah on the east. He started a business operating a ferry across the North Canadian River, and later built a wooden pontoon toll bridge. A 1930 map shows Sweeney Bridge as being located about mile east of Harrahs current bridge crossing on Highway 62. Mr. Sweeney helped to improve communication and commerce by providing a means, other than by horseback, for crossing the North Canadian. He brought those on the two sides of the river together. In 1892, a group of ten Polish families arrived from Marche, Arkansas. Discouraged by poor crop yields, they were looking for something better, and they found it in the fertile farmland of the North Canadian bottom. With hard work and determination, these families survived to form the nucleus of Harrahs Polish community, and they told others. Small settlements, perhaps clustered around relay stations or post offices, began to appear in the area. Cavett. In Oklahoma County, 2 miles southwest of Harrah. A post office from May 24, 1892, to October 27, 1898. It was named for James S. Cavett, early-day resident. On February 4, 1895, James F. Cavett was granted the patent to the NW of S34-T12N-R1E, which is the SE corner of the intersection of Luther Road and NE 10th Street. Local tales indicate that Cavett lay on the line of a stage coach route, and documentation of the time provides additional information. Oklahoma Citys Daily Oklahoman, in 1894, contains advertisements for the Oklahoma & Tecumseh Stage Line: The only mail route that runs through the Kickapoo Reservation. Good meal at relay stand. Runs daily except Sunday. Leaves Oklahoma City at 7:30 a. m., arrives at Tecumseh at 6 p. m., leaves Tecumseh at 7 a. m., reaches Oklahoma City at 6 p. m. J. F. Cavett. Charles Mooneys book on the history of Pottawatomie County tells the s
 
 

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History: Harrah. Formerly Sweeney. In eastern Oklahoma County. Post office name changed to Harrah, December 22, 1898. Named for Frank Harrah, merchant and business leader. These words, found in the book Oklahoma Place Names, state the facts. But what were the underlying factors which led to the establishment of this town and which enabled it to remain viable while many others have ceased to exist. The location and the circumstances provided many things to many seekers. As we look at some of the people and events that were involved, we begin to see how Harrah came about and survived. In the early 1870s, when Louis Navarre came to the area on a hunting expedition, he found the river full of fish, the grass belly-deep on the horses, and the countryside full of deer, wild turkey, and wild hogs. Said his grandson, Robert J. Navarre, Jr., Im sure they thought they had found the most wonderful place in the world. Louis definitely saw something of value, for he later returned to the area and, in 1889, established a residence. It is on a portion of Louis Navarres property, which he later sold to Frank Harrah, that the initial townsite of Harrah was platted. Pressure for the opening of unoccupied Indian land had grown steadily from the end of the Civil War. With the opening of the Unassigned Lands in 1889, the demand increased. Potential settlers saw a new territory, with an abundance of resources beckoning to the homesteader, the businessman, and the adventurer. The lands of the Sac and Fox, Iowa, Potawatomi and Absentee Shawnee nations were opened on September 22, 1891. The newspapers touted the country as splendid farming land, with good crops of corn, wheat and cotton being grown, well watered and well timbered, white oak predominating on the uplands, and cottonwood and walnut along the creeks, having coal and oil reserves, and having plenty of turkey, quail, prairie chickens and other game. People crowded in, many agreeing with Louis Navarre, that this was the most wonderful place in the world, and they spread the word. In 1891, E. W. Sweeney purchased the northwest quarter of Section 25, Township 12N, Range 1E (NW S25-T12N-R1E), property which adjoins the current site of Harrah on the east. He started a business operating a ferry across the North Canadian River, and later built a wooden pontoon toll bridge. A 1930 map shows Sweeney Bridge as being located about mile east of Harrahs current bridge crossing on Highway 62. Mr. Sweeney helped to improve communication and commerce by providing a means, other than by horseback, for crossing the North Canadian. He brought those on the two sides of the river together. In 1892, a group of ten Polish families arrived from Marche, Arkansas. Discouraged by poor crop yields, they were looking for something better, and they found it in the fertile farmland of the North Canadian bottom. With hard work and determination, these families survived to form the nucleus of Harrahs Polish community, and they told others. Small settlements, perhaps clustered around relay stations or post offices, began to appear in the area. Cavett. In Oklahoma County, 2 miles southwest of Harrah. A post office from May 24, 1892, to October 27, 1898. It was named for James S. Cavett, early-day resident. On February 4, 1895, James F. Cavett was granted the patent to the NW of S34-T12N-R1E, which is the SE corner of the intersection of Luther Road and NE 10th Street. Local tales indicate that Cavett lay on the line of a stage coach route, and documentation of the time provides additional information. Oklahoma Citys Daily Oklahoman, in 1894, contains advertisements for the Oklahoma & Tecumseh Stage Line: The only mail route that runs through the Kickapoo Reservation. Good meal at relay stand. Runs daily except Sunday. Leaves Oklahoma City at 7:30 a. m., arrives at Tecumseh at 6 p. m., leaves Tecumseh at 7 a. m., reaches Oklahoma City at 6 p. m. J. F. Cavett. Charles Mooneys book on the history of Pottawatomie County tells the s