The “2013-14 Oklahoma Official State Map” lists 1,042 cities and towns. I know this because after being transferred through several state departments, a kind state employee counted the list and gave me the answer.
The names for these cities and towns come from a variety of places, and many of them are the names of people.
In November 1963, The Oklahoman began a new column by veteran state newsman Francis Thetford, “Dateline: Oklahoma.” The description that accompanied the debut announcement read: “His newsbeat is the state. His subjects are its people.”
The column ran until September 1969, just before Thetford's death in December.
This is an excerpt from the Jan. 31, 1965, “Dateline: Oklahoma” column:
“Oklahoma has at least 50 cities and towns with strictly feminine names. Some of the better known are such county seat cities as Ada, Alva, Enid, Idabel, Marietta, Okemah and Vinita. Others like Bessie, Maud, Talihina, Wanette, Wynona and Helena are almost equally as familiar.
“Want to read a few more? How about Aline, Amorita, Bernice, Carmen Christie, Clarita, Cora, Daisy? Add to the list, Eva, Fay, Gerty, Jessie, Joy, Lela, Letitia, Madge, Martha, May, Mazie, Nida, Octavia, Oleta, Rose, Sharon, Vera and Vivian.
“One of the oddest among feminine names for state towns is Chockie, an old Choctaw village in northern Atoka County. Known originally as Chickiechockie, the little settlement was named in honor of Capt. Charles LeFlore's daughters, Chickie and Chockie. They, in turn were named for the respective Chickasaw and Choctaw nationalities of their father and mother.
“Why, you ask, is the settlement on U.S. 69 known today merely as Chockie? That's an interesting subject, and it proves the fickleness of fact, because Chickie won more person prominence than Chockie. Chickie, in fact, became the wife of Lee Cruce, Oklahoma's second governor, but her name was removed from the depot after her death in the early 1900s and Chockie prevailed.”
Capt. Charles Leflore, born into a prominent Choctaw family, was a deputy U.S. Marshal and captain of the U.S. Indian Police.
His wife, Angelina Guy, was born into an equally distinguished Chickasaw family and gave birth to twin daughters on July 4, 1871.
Their names were Laurina Choctaw LeFlore and Serena Chickasaw LeFlore.
The name of the town was changed to Chockie Feb. 8, 1904, at the request of Lee Cruce.
Chockie LeFlore married Charles Maupin and lived in San Antonio, Texas. She died in 1962.
Chockie, OK, is still listed on the state map on U.S. 69 north of Atoka.
Reba McEntire was raised on a ranch at Chockie.
Read “The Archivist” online at blog.NewsOK.com/archivist.