Charleston, Oklahoma
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 36° 51.351 W 099° 26.327
14S E 460885 N 4078971
Quick Description: Where once was a bustling town, now only the weeds bustle from the wind. People moved in, then people moved on.
Location: Oklahoma, United States
Date Posted: 12/10/2021 4:07:16 AM
Waymark Code: WM15CXC
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member wayfrog
Views: 0

Long Description:

County of marker: Harper County
Location of marker: US-64, roadside turnout, 10 miles East of Buffalo
Marker Erected by: Oklahoma Historical Society
Date Erected: 1983

Marker Text:

The east-west section line one mile south of this marker was formerly Locust Street in Charleston, Okla. The first post office was established June 18, 1901, approximately one and one-half mile south, and one mile west of here, near center of section 10. It was named after Charles I. Eilerts on who's homestead it was located and who was the first postmaster and merchant in the area. The Charleston School District was organized March 27, 1902, and the first school was taught in a tent. approximately two miles west of here by Edna B. Coffey.

Travel from this area to the nearest railroad took all day with a team and wagon loaded with wheat of livestock for the market. Community roads were little more than traces in the grass and visiting between neighbors accordingly was limited. A trip to town on Saturday was a social event as well as a shopping chore. However, the wagons that brought homesteaders in to the territory carried musical instruments and books as well as plows, so that social progress was rapid. Before statehood in 1907, the community came to enjoy civic opportunities afforded by a lodge room, a race track and a brass band.

In 1908 Charles J. and Edna B. (Coffey) Eilerts surveyed 26 acres of the northwest corner of their homestead into six blocks and lots with seven streets. The town included the post office and subsequently the school was moved to the new location bordering on the section line (Locust Street) where lots could be obtained for homes and businesses.

In its most active period Charleston had a doctor and a Justice of the Peace, two churches, a school, a post office and two rural mail routes, there were two general stores, a blacksmith shop and a livery stable. The principal commerce was with farmers and ranchers who raised wheat, broom corn, hogs, and cattle. The population of 100 persons was exceeded considerably on Sunday by community church attendance and on weekends by the visits of those interested in baseball or the program of the school or literary society.

Despite this progress, the population declined after 1920, when the Santa Fe Railroad bypassed the town to the south. The post office was moved to Selman, but kept the name Charleston until 1923. The school house continued in use until 1933.

Who placed it?: Oklahoma Historical Society

When was it placed?: 1983

Who is honored?: Pioneers, settlers, farmers, and railroads, teachers

Website about the Monument: [Web Link]

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