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Visions from the Past: Photographs of Historic Sallisaw, Oklahoma

Updated on July 5, 2012

Sallisaw, Oklahoma is one of the older towns in the state. The first post office was established there on September 29, 1873, but it wasn't to last long. In 1888, the post office was moved fifteen miles south to its present location. The original location's name was changed to Mays on June 7, 1888 and eventually became a ghost town.

The new location of Sallisaw was actually established on June 26, 1878 as Childer's Station. This was named for John Childers, a prominent Cherokee, and served as a stopping point along the many trails that crossed through the region. On December 8, 1888, after the old town of Sallisaw was re-established, a new post office was established with the name Sallisaw.

Because of the towns prominent location, it quickly became one of the Indian Territory's most popular stopping point. As with most towns during that time, Sallisaw's economy remained largely based on agriculture, as these historic photographs show.

The most important crop in Sallisaw was cotton. Everything from clothing to cooking oil was made from this crop, and helped fuel the local economy during the early 1900s. Vast industries were created in order to harvest, process, and ship the various products that were created from cotton. It can be said that, if it wasn't for cotton, Sallisaw may have faded away as so many other towns during that time did.


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