Mayes County, Oklahoma, located in the northeastern part of the state, was named in honor of Ex-chief Samuel Houston Mayes, who is now living in Pryor. All of the land comprising Mayes County was formerly a part of the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory, with the exception of one township on the south, being a part of the Creek Nation. Mayes County enjoys a citizenship second to none in the state, for the reason that the Cherokee Nation played such an important part in the history making of Oklahoma, and that part of the Cherokee Nation that is now Mayes County furnished a liberal share of the history making of the Cherokee Nation.
From the time that Columbus
discovered America, in 1492, up to the year 1541-2 or about fifty years
after the discovery of America, the Territory comprising Mayes County
had very little if any mention historically, probably the first white
people to lay foot on Mayes County soil was in 1541 when De Soto the
Spanish explorer and his expedition passed through what was then the
Province of Mayes County to be. Other Spanish explorers and French
explorers, explored this part of the country the following century and a
half, the Spanish explorers seeking gold and the French a fur trade. The
Bernard De La Harpe expedition of 1721 is probably responsible for so
many of the streams and some of the towns having French names.
A ride over the county will reveal to the
observer the same reliable crops of corn, wheat, oats, hay, cotton,
alfalfa and potatoes thriving here much the same as in older grain and
livestock states. The visitor will see the- rolling prairies, the rich
creek and river bottoms and the timbered uplands. If it be the late
summer or autumn, he will see wheat or oats stacked or straw piles in
every direction. He will pass loaded wagons hauling the grain from steam
thresher to elevator. Other teams are hauling baled hay, of which
thousands of tons are shipped each year. He may be surprised to learn
that wheat makes from ten to forty bushels; oats thirty to eighty
bushels; corn twenty to seventy bushels, per acre ; alfalfa from three
to five cuttings a season. He will pass fields of cowpeas, kafir, milo,
feterita, peanuts, and other crops that may be new to him. An occasional
field of cotton will be seen. Mayes County is on the northern limit of
the cotton belt, and a few thousand acres of this valuable crop are
From United States Department of Agriculture
The following statements about Eastern
Oklahoma are quoted from the United States Department of Agriculture,
Weather Bureau, Section forty. Mayes County is a part of this section.
"Nowhere else can be found more nutritious grasses and abundant water,
and Eastern Oklahoma ranks high in the production of live stock. Eastern
Oklahoma is agreeable for residence and exceptionally favorable for
agricultural pursuits, so far as its climatic features are concerned.
The harvesting of corn and cotton extends well into the winter months,
and the soil is prepared in January, February and March for spring
planting, with but little interruption on account of inclement weather.
Stock needs little or no protection and the farmer may pursue his
vocation throughout practically the entire year. The summers are long,
with occasional periods of very high day temperatures ; abnormally high
temperatures are almost invariably coincident with a dry atmosphere so
that the heat is rarely oppressive. The nights are usually agreeably
cool during the entire summer. Eastern Oklahoma is a distinctly
agricultural country. The entire section is well watered; the rainfall
is well distributed through the growing season and is ample for growing
and maturing any of the staple crops ; the annual average is between
forty and forty-five inches in the southern and eastern counties.
Three-fourths of the annual precipitation occurs during the growing
season, March 1, to October 31.
Source: Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma, 1922