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Beckham County, Oklahoma

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Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Beckham County, Oklahoma.


In 1855, the U.S. government leased the western part of the formerly reserved Choctaw and Chickasaw Nation lands, which became known as the Leased District. After the Civil War, the two nations were forced to cede the land to the US government under terms of new treaties required because they had been allies of the Confederacy. Under the treaties they were also required to emancipate their slaves and provide them with citizenship in their nations.

In 1869, the former Leased District was designated by the President as the Cheyenne Arapaho Reservation, following their removal from further west. During the 1880s, Texas cattlemen leased grazing land from the Cheyenne and Arapaho.

Under the Dawes Act of 1891, the government split up such communal lands, allocating plots to individual households of various tribes. After distribution was made, the government declared any additional lands on the reservation to be "surplus". In 1892, the government opened such surplus land to settlement by non-Indians, attracting numerous European-American settlers and immigrants.

The area was designated as County F in the newly created Oklahoma Territory, until it was renamed Roger Mills County. At statehood, portions of land from both Roger Mills and Greer counties were joined to form Beckham County. Sayre was named as the temporary county seat. A 1908 election after statehood made Sayre, Oklahoma the permanent seat.

In 1910, a piece of southern Beckham County was returned to Greer County. The Gannett survey of 1927-1929 found that the true 100th Meridian, the boundary between Texas and western Oklahoma, was 3,800 feet farther east than previously thought. The US Supreme Court ruled that the strip of land must be returned to Texas, thereby reducing Beckham County's area slightly.

Adjacent Counties

Cities, Towns & Communities

  • Carter
  • Delhi
  • Elk City
  • Erick
  • Hext
  • Mayfield
  • Retrop
  • Sayre (County Seat)
  • Sweetwater
  • Texola



Beckham County Courthouse

The J.W. Danner House

The Hedlund Motor Company Building