Red  Bird,  Oklahoma

Some history             
Booklet  distributed to land agents to assist in the recruiting of  'colored' families to settle  in the area of Red Bird during the early 1900's. Many of these agents were residents of the local area, who were acquainted with families who had not migrated north of many other  most southern states.
Miller Washington High ^
<<  Mrs. Josephine Jackson Ford  Cook: Historical overview

  Red Bird, Oklahoma is located along the MKT (Missouri Kansas Texas) railroad line twenty one miles northwest of Muskogee in the futile valley between the Arkansas and Verdigris rivers.

   Two families had settled twenty one miles northwest of Muskogee, before nineteen hundred.  They were the Barbers and the Ruffins.  Around 1903 the Block family moved in, followed by a few more families - the Parkers and a man called one arm Johnson, because he had one arm.  There were other families living near, but not in this area.

   When the railroad came through from Muskogee to Tulsa, the little community of Red Bird  was laid out on the allotment  of a Creek Indian.  His name was  Fus Chata, meaning Red Bird.  He wanted the town named after him, so they named the town Red Bird.

   The first post office opened in Red Bird on June 21st 1902,  with Ellis White as its first postmaster.
This was before Oklahoma became a state.  Mail was addressed to Red Bird , Indian Territory.

  The Red  Bird  Investment Company was formed in Muskogee  for the purpose of recruiting 'colored'
families to move to this newly established all black town.  The company dispatched agents throughout the southern states to sell lots to families and encourage them to come to Red Bird, Oklahoma to help build the town.    More than six hundred people attended the grand opening at  Red  Bird  on August 10, 1907.  Business men from sixteen states attended  the event..

   The M.K. & T. Railroad built a depot with two large waiting rooms, one for blacks, and the other for whites.  The outside privy was also partitioned separately.  The first station agent was a very  fair skinned black man   from Mississippi, W.C.B. Lewis.  Some other agents  were E. L. Barber, Rev. Sutton, Lewis Barber,  J. W. Henderson, I. S. White, J. L. Johnson, Joseph M. Jackson, Josephine Jackson Cook.   The railroad line discontinued its mail and passenger services in 1958, however  the freight  services continued.

   Prior to 1913,  Red Bird  school age children were walking to the McKellop school  one mile south of  town.
The  Red Bird grade school was opened in 1913 located  on Main street at Boston .  It was called the 'Main Street School'. It was a two room building with two teachers (pictured  in this document) .  This was a relief for the children who were walking two miles each day of attendance.

.  In 1917, many young men  from Red Bird went to war (France).  Having been exposed to theatrocity of war, seemingly had no desire to continue to build the town.  Most spent their time in the hospital, sick from wounds and gases encountered  while in the army.

  Many citizens started businesses which did  very well for a while.  Almost everyone farmed some kind of crop, mainly cotton, corn, and oats..  Nearly everyone owned a cow or two for milk and butter for the family .    Every family raised a gardden for daily consumption.  Canning and drying were the major ways of preserving produce for later use in the home.

  There were  several  businesses  in Red Bird before the 1920's:

          Cotton Gins (2)                   - S. B. Bradley & I. W. Lane,
                                                       - I.  Williams-  (Operated by J. M. Jackson)
          Blcksmith  Shop                - J. L. Johnson 
          Wheat Threshing               - S. B. Bradley  & I. W. Lane
          Lumber Yard                      - J. M. Jackson
          Casket Factory                  - J. M. Jackson    
          Cement  Block  Factory     -E. Kinney and Ed. Sharp
          Grocery (several)                -Sam Barnes  (Plus shoe repair)
                                                        -Rev. J.  P. Davis. Ed. Sharp 
          Dry Goods (several)          - Ruffin (Plus barber shop)
                                                         - Rev. . Hale
           Delicatessen                       -Ed Sharp
           Hotels                                   -E. L. Barber and Rev. Hale
           Soda Pop factory                -Jacob  White
           Broom Maker                  
           Grain elevator                      -I. W. Lane
           Syrup  mills (2)

Page still under construction.    Check back later.
Cleo Harris Jennings
J. M. Jackson.
Arlevia Davis/Jackson Beard
Ray Brackeen.
Ruth  Edwards.
Lorenzo   Jordan                      Gertrude Townsell Coffey          Willie Davis  Robinson            Ludora Jackson Herndon
      ***  BELOW:  ***      Some  past  instructors
Above:   Waiting at the train depot to  'meet'  the train.  A sometimes daily ritual during the early years for mostly youngsters of our town.  The station agent   (mail carrier)   would receive the mail, carry it to the post office, sort and pass it out  to the citizens.  
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