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SMALL TOWN MATTERS: Eason right on by

Sarah Hussain / Red Dirt Report
Entering Pottawatomie County on OK-39.
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EASON, Okla. – We had not thrown the dart at our map of Oklahoma in a while, and I was a bit nervous of my skills, probably being a tad rusty. For what seemed like a couple months straight, my terrible aim landed us fairly close to the Kansas border. Although I loved the adventures it took us on, I was ready to see some more of the state, and share more of why our small towns matter.

When the dart landed southeast of Lake Thunderbird I was pleasantly surprised. The closest town it was near was Eason, go figure, I had never heard of it.

Generally, I like to get a sense of what the background of the town is before we go snooping around, however there was nothing I could find. So, off I went!

I traveled south on Interstate 35 and took exit 95 toward US-77/Purcell/Lexington. Google Maps had me follow US-77 N through Lexington and past the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, which I had no clue was out there.

After 50 miles of driving from my office, my phone alerted me that I had reached my destination on OK-39 E with nothing but a few scattered houses along the roadside.

Luckily, from past Small Town Matters trips with Andrew, I knew the drill. Drive around slowly, take pictures of anything of interest, find a person or two, chat with them and move along.

I drove slowly, east and west, yep, made a couple illegal U-turns. I stopped for pictures of abandoned buildings. I found a dog that didn’t want to chat. And I moved along.

On the drive back to the metro I called the friendly folks at the Oklahoma Historical Society to see if they had any information about the town. I was told that it did in fact have a post office before statehood, so I did a bit more digging.

According to rootsweb, an ancestory.com site, Eason is known as the ghost town of Pottawatomie County.

It existed from October 20, 1893 until February 14, 1904, and was named for Lou M. Eason, its first postmaster.

The town began when Scott Eason opened a general store shortly after he homesteaded 160 acres in the run of 1891. The store was first located only about a half mile east of the Cleveland County line. 

J. F. “Jim” Quillan came to the county in 1895 and started a large general store in the new location of Eason in 1898, in a two-story building.  

L. C. Holloway owned 320 acres near Eason and had homesteaded in 1891 and was the treasurer of Eason township in 1900.  

Nate P. Willis, owner of Eason Nursery and Fruit farm, arrived in 1892. His apples won first place at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. He had the first irrigated farm in the county, using windmills to pump the water from his wells.

Now that I know it is termed the ghost town of the county, I may have to go back to see if there are any real ghosts! 

Photos by Red Dirt Report's Sarah Hussain.

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Sarah Hussain

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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