Oklahoma Land Run: 1893

Ask any Oklahoman what year the land run occurred and they will more than likely tell you that it was in 1889. Although this was the first land run it wasn’t the only land run that took place in Oklahoma. In fact there were five land runs that took place in what was then called Indian Territory.

The fourth land run which was in 1893 and was the largest in land size, took place on what was known as the Cherokee Strip. This land was of course owned by the Cherokee Indians, hence the name, as it was given to them by the government not long before. During the Civil War (1861-1865) the Cherokee fought for the Confederacy and because of this the government wanted a new treaty between them and the Cherokee, sort of as a punishment perhaps for siding with the Confederates. The government reduced the reservation lands and allowed some of the tribes to move to the eastern portion of the territory. The settlers pressured the government to purchase the land from the Cherokees, which I am sure the government did not like having to do since they had given it to them in the first place. Anyways, the government ended up purchasing it and paid more the 8.5 million dollars for 6 million acres.

The President Grover Cleveland set the date of Sept 16, 1893. 100,000 settlers raced for 42,000 claims. The land that had just been nothing but open prairies was changed in a matter of hours. The cities of Enid, Perry, Alva, and Woodward were established that day.

Picture taken at the land office that would later become Perry, Ok. 1893
1893 Land run of more than 100,000 settlers

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