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The Archivist: Jefferson was once Pond Creek, Oklahoma

Mary Phillips: Grant County towns changed names in railroad mix-up.
BY MARY PHILLIPS, For The Oklahoman Published: January 13, 2014

Many cities and towns in Oklahoma have history attached to their names.

None is probably more convoluted than the little town of Jefferson in Grant County.

In 1893, when the Cherokee Outlet was opened for settlement, Jefferson existed, but its name was Pond Creek.

By 1894, Round Pond was Pond Creek and Pond Creek took the name of Jefferson.

Round Pond was on the south side of Salt Fork Creek while Pond Creek was on the north side.

Round Pond took its name from a portion of the river that was cut off from the main river and formed a pond.

Pond Creek took its name from the creek of the same name.

How did the names get changed? Blame it on the government and the railroad.

According to a 1919 article in The Oklahoman:

Pond Creek on the north (now Jefferson) was originally designated as the county seat of Grant County ... ”

“However, it is said, before work was commenced on the county buildings, Hoke Smith, then secretary of the interior, sent a man to locate sites for such buildings and to determine definitely the county seat.

This unknown man told the people of Pond Creek they would have to pay him to be named a county seat.

The people refused, so the government man located the site three miles south of Pond Creek which put it closer to Round Pond.

Now enters the railroad, the Rock Island to be specific.

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