Redrock, Oklahoma History


"This information was gathered from various sites throughout the Internet. The numbers behind the sentences correspond to the web page I got the information from during my research. It is a conglomeration of information that has it's resources on the corresponding webpages. Please visit those web pages as the people there have done hard work in making history more available to all of us.

Paul Reeves

At the bottom of the page are 'Places of Interest' where I have captured some of the history of the local area.

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Red Rock (Otoe: Íno Súje pronounced [ˌĩno ˈsudʒɛ], meaning "Rock Red") is a town in Noble County, Oklahoma. The population was 293 at the 2000 census. The headquarters of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians is located in Red Rock.[1] Located in northern Noble County six miles west of U.S. Highway 177 on State Highway 15, Red Rock lies in Carson Township sixteen miles north-northeast of Perry, the county seat.

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Long before non-Indian settlement the area was the Osage tribe's hunting grounds. The Oto and Missouri tribes were moved onto a reservation in this area in 1881. Much of the reservation land was leased to the 101 Ranch, owned by the Miller Brothers, for grazing. Their headquarters was on the Salt Fork River, ten miles north of present Red Rock.[3]

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The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF) built its tracks through future Noble County in 1886. With huge corrals being built near the railroad at Otoe Switch, several miles south, the area became an important shipping point for cattle herds in the Cherokee Outlet. No real towns yet existed, as the land belonged to the reservation, but a trading post operated at the railroad's crossing of Red Rock Creek. A designation of "Magnolia" was given to a post office there in   March 1890 to serve the vicinity. In June 1892 Magnolia post office was redesignated Red Rock. An 1898 state gazetteer described Red Rock as "a shipping point of importance located on the AT&SF Railway at the point where that road crosses Red Rock Creek."[3]

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In 1902 and 1903 much of the Oto-Missouri land was offered for sale, and in July 1903 the present town of Red Rock was platted in a new location and adjacent to the railroad in Carson Township. Lots were offered for sale on July 20. Buildings from Otoe Switch, six miles south, may have been moved north to the new site, which was situated on land owned by Joseph Plumley, born in 1862 in Otoe-Missouria Reservation, Nebraska, married in 1892 to Anna Jackson born in 1862, John Plumly died 1910 in Otoe-Missouria Reservation in Oklahoma.

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Two banks incorporated immediately, and one built the town's first brick building in summer 1903 by George Sevey. It was used until 1955 when the bank was sold to the First National Bank of Perry and the building demolished. "A metropolitan Livery Company and Bus Line" was run by Zack Miller. A newspaper "Red Rock Opinion" was housed above Bob Grey's merchandise store. The dipping vat in Red Rock was located directly south of where the Farmers Cooperative elevator now stands. Here many carloads of cattle were dipped for Texas fever ticks since the railroad was the dividing line for infected cattle for many years.[4] A devastating fire in November 1913 destroyed an entire block of businesses, and in 1915 a public water works system was installed.[3]

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In 1910 the federal census recorded Red Rock's population at 378, and by 1917 the community numbered around five hundred residents. Serving a surrounding farming and ranching area were a bank, two drug stores, four grocery and general merchandise stores, two grain elevators, two hardware stores, a hotel, a cafe and a lumberyard. Newspapers have included the Red Rock Opinion and the Red Rock Record.[3]

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The community's educational institutions had served a large area. In the late 1970's Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company built a generating plant six miles east of town. With the extra property tax money that the school district received, a new public-school campus was established one mile east of Red Rock, and a new school building was completed in 1982. In 1989 the patrons of the Marland School District decided to consolidate with Red Rock. As a result, the tax base grew much larger, enabling the community to develop one of the most modern schools in the state. The district's name was changed to Frontier.[3]

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The remaining elevator, a cooperative, was sold to the Perry cooperative elevator company and then closed.[3]

On 5/25/1955, a category 5 tornado 29.1 miles away from the town center killed 80 people and injured 273 people and caused between $50,000 and $500,000 in   damages.[2] On April 26, 1991 a large F4 tornado touched down within one mile of the town. The tornado was rated because of the minimal damage that occurred. The "Red Rock Tornado" held the record for the highest recorded wind speed of 257-268 mph until the Moore, Oklahoma tornado of May 3, 1999 in the 1999 Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak which had a wind gust of 318 mph.[1]

Places of Interest:

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Schultz Barn located on US177 to the south of the OG&E Power Station which is south of the State Highway 15 road that leads to Red Rock. The barn has been there for a long, long time, and is a noticable sight on the highway.

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OG&E Electric Power Generating Station is located on US-177 20 miles to the south of Ponca CIty Oklahoma. It was built in the late 1970's and began generating electricity about 1980. It is a coal fired generating station and with it being built came a large lake, called Sooner Lake.

© Lord Gazmuth 2012