Prelude to a State
Boggy Depot's contribution to Oklahoma outlasted all her structures, for it was the source of the state's name. Chief Allen Wright, principal chief of the Choctaw Nation, suggested the word "Oklahoma" (meaning "Red People") in 1866 as the name for the proposed Indian Territory. In 1907 the word was made the official state name. The Townsite and adjoining Cemetery are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and on Oklahoma's list of Oldest Historical Places.
The name Boggy Depot was derived from the three rivers that flow nearby, the Clear Boggy, the Muddy Boggy, and the North Boggy. "Boggy" was the word given the rivers by the French trader who called the rivers "Vazzures," meaning miry or boggy. The name "Depot" was added after a Choctaw-Chickasaw treaty of 1837 required the Chickasaws to pay annuities on the Choctaw lands at the "Depot of the Boggy."
Old Boggy Depot Began in 1837 when Cyrus Harris, the future governor of the Chickasaw Nation, built a log cabin on the divide between clear Boggy River and Sandy Creek. With the settlement of the first Chickasaws along the Boggy and Blue Rivers in 1838, the Depot became a bustling community. The establishment of Fort Washita in 1842 caused the Fort Supply-Boggy Depot Road to become even more important along with the surge of white settlers to Texas in 1846, the gold rush to California in 1849, and an ever-increasing trade business.
The town's church, built in 1840 by the Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury (so-called "Father of the Choctaw Missions"), served as the Capitol of the Choctaw Nation in 1859. During the Civil War, when federal forces abandoned southern Indian Territory, the confederates made Boggy Depot their commissary depot.
The first Masonic Lodge in the State of Oklahoma was chartered at Boggy Depot in 1869. Later, the Masonic Grand Lodge chartered at Boggy Depot in 1869. Later, the Masonic Grand Lodge of Guthrie erected a granite monument at the location of the old Lodge with the original members' names engraved.
Boggy Depot acquired a post office in 1848, along with mail routes to surrounding areas. In 1858, Boggy Depot became a stop on the Butterfield Overland mail route from St. Louis to San Francisco.
Boggy Depot's decline began in 1872 when the M-K-T Railroad route bypassed the town and the "New" Boggy Depot was established two miles south. With the move of the established post office and local businesses, Old Boggy Depot faded into a memory.
The Boggy Depot State Park near Atoka in southeastern Oklahoma, is popular among travelers for its pleasant surrounding, recreational facilities and its significance as a major historical site.
Adjoining the area is the old cemetery maintained by the Oklahoma Tourism Department with graves of Chief Allen Wright and Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury, along with many Confederate troops and other Indian leaders.
Located in Atoka County, Boggy Depot can be reached by traveling 11 miles west on SH-7 from Atoka, then 4 miles south on Park Lane, the first road west of the bridge over Clear Boggy Creek.
Boggy Depot State Park
P.O. Box 1020
Atoka, Oklahoma 74525
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