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
Grain elevator -I. W. Lane
Syrup mills (2)