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Clinton Ok Chamber Directory 2015-2017

HISTORY OF THE HUB CITY In 1899, two men, J.L. Avant and E.E. Blake, waited for a train at a station house in western Oklahoma. They climbed on a boxcar to look over the countryside, and both men agreed that the Washita River Valley was the perfect place to build a town. The town of Washita Junction would spring up almost overnight some four years later. There were many obstacles for Avant and Blake to overcome in forming Washi- ta Junction. A feud erupted between the men and the nearby town of Arapaho. The leaders of Arapaho knew that a new One was the first newspaper, The Custer town so close by would take away from County Chronicle. their business and they tried hard to stop Washita Junction from developing. An- The second was the First National Bank other major problem was that the law building at the corner of 4th and Frisco specified that an Indian could sell no Avenue. The other was the town site of- more than half of his 160-acre allotment fice building on Frisco Avenue, a short after he was granted permission to do so distance west of the present location of by Congress. So, Avant, Blake, and their Shamburg’s Sporting Goods. new partners Tom J. Nance and F.E. Washita Junction grew very rapidly as Richey, working in secrecy, picked 320 the major railroad stop for western Okla- acres allotted to four different Indians and homa. Due to this railroad access, the went to Washington, D.C. town soon earned the nickname Hub In 1902, Blake and his partners secured City. The postal department refused to Congressional approval to purchase the accept the name Washita Junction for the land. Three buildings were already in ex- new town, so Clinton was chosen in hon- istence when the town officially opened. or of the late Judge Clinton Irwin. 4


Clinton Ok Chamber Directory 2015-2017
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