Canadian Oklahoma History
Thanks to Mr. Larry Duke, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 1975
|The History written By Larry Duke covers a period of time from 1718 though 1973. In May 29, 1873 Canadian became the 33rd town in Indian Territory to receive a Post Master.
From his book on Canadian, the following is provided for public information. Anyone looking for a in depth history should seek his book at the Oklahoma State University.
December 1718, Frenchman Bernard de la Harpe receives a land grant that includes the area of Canadian.
On August 29, 1719 while exploring his land grant whitch covered land between the Red River and the present state of Arkansas, he joined a party of Native Americans (Naouydiches) and fested on a Unicorn. Bernard recorded that the smoked Unicorn was very delicious.
From 1873 to 1913, Canadian was one of the busiest shipping points on the MK&T Railroad between Kansas and Texas. With the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, September 27, 1830 the land south of the Canadian river become Choctaw Nation. ByCanadian 1835 a trade route had been established though the Canadian area to Santa Fe. This was later called the Old Texas HWY and is now the four lane HWY69. During the gold rush of 1849, this road saw it,s heaviest usage. Canadian, the town itself was frist named sandtown where workers building the railroad lived during the construction of the Canadian River Bridge. Because of the lawlessness and people who followed the building of the rails, Sandtown turned into a "fierce little hells of gambling and murders". Because of it's mobs, roughs, gamblers, and cut throats, it was also know as Buzzards Roost. Later it become South Canadian and during the incorperation it was just Canadian. In April 1872 Secretary of Interior, J.D. Cox came to preview the new frontier railroad. During his visit he was shot at while giving a talk to workers at the Canadian rail camp. He dispatched a telegram to Washington stating neither life nor property were safe in the Indian country. The 10th Cavalry from fort Sill responded to his call and began to clean the town up. At first Canadian was a Railroad town with a railhead but by 1880 Canadian was shipping farm products out and a few manufactured goods.