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Towns, Cities, Communities and Populated Places
Updated: 12 Oct 2004

Sapulpa
Sapulpa's Main Street
Photos

County seat of Creek County. 

Record Town for Recording District No. 8, Indian Territory. 

Post office established July 1, 1889. 

-more history below -

Cemeteries
Old Sapulpa Cemetery
Green Hills Memorial Garden
South Heights Cemetery
North Heights Cemetery

Named for James Sapulpa, a Creek, near whose home a railroad construction camp was located. The name is a Creek word meaning "sweet potato." 

George H. Shirk, Oklahoma Place Names (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965)

 

Differing opinion of the Creek word Sapulpa.

Sapulpa is located in the northeast corner of Creek County, Oklahoma. It occupies a territory over which five nations have flown their flag; Spain, France, England, Mexico, and the United States of America. However, during the War Between the States, the Choctaw Indian Nation flew its flag over the territory also. Sapulpa's history dating back to 1886, is rich in Indian and early American folklore.

By the treaty of 1865, the Creek Indians gave the right-of-way to the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad and the line terminated at the present site of the city of Sapulpa in 1886. The name of the terminus was not decided upon, but the railroad men called the end of the line "Sapulpa" because it was there they lived and boarded with the Sapulpa's; an Indian family.

The treaty of 1866 between the Creek Nation and the United States provided for the establishment of post offices within the territory. In 1889 a post office named "Sapulpa" was established.

Under the Curtis Act of 1898, Sapulpa was incorporated. The town was rapidly organized after the passage of the law which authorized the ownership of land and the legal elections of town officers. The first election was held in April, 1898.

Although oil had been found at Chelsea in 1889, Muskogee and Bartlesville in 1897, and Red Fork in 1901, the territory was not recognized as a great oil reserve until the opening of the Glenpool field, four miles southeast of Sapulpa, in November, 1905. This oil boom fostered Sapulpa's greatest period of growth.

Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce, 101 E. Dewey, Sapulpa, OK 74066 - 918-224-0170

 

SAPULPA REMEMBERED:
by: James Hubbard

Have you ever wondered how our home town got it's name? For years the experts had it wrong contending that the name SAPULPA, was derived from the Creek Indian word meaning "Sweet Potato". ...the true and accurate story, ...based on information handed down to us by one of Chief Sapulpa's sons, William Sapulpa, and also by Elizabeth Sapulpa, who was the wife of Chief Sapulpa's eldest son James.

In about the year 1824 in Southeastern Alabama, a full blood Creek baby boy was born to OMIYA (the boy's father). His mother's name is not known. Being one of the Five Civilized Tribes, many of the Creeks had already converted to Christianity. It was not uncommon for them to select names for their newborn out of the Scriptures. The proud parents selected the name "SEPULCHER" for their son - the word taken from the Four Gospels describing the tomb of Jesus, hewn out of the rock, connoting great strength.

About 1850 he arrived in Indian Territory and established a Trading Post near the Polecat and Rock Creeks, (about a mile south of present-day downtown Sapulpa) to become the area's first permanent settler.

When the Civil War started in 1861 he joined the Confederacy and rose to the rank of First Lieutenant in Co. K of the Creek Indian Regiment of the Mounted Volunteers (Cavalry). The clerks would write down a name as it might sound to them. His discharge certificate from the Army (which I have seen) shows his name as "SUS-PUL-BER". This evolved into the name "SAPULPA". He was never a chief in the sense of a tribal leader, but was called "CHIEF" as an honorary title. 
James Hubbard, Sapulpa Remembered (Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce, n.p.,: n. pub., n.d.)

 

When the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad extended it's line from Red Fork to this area in 1886, it was called "SAPULPA STATION" in honor of Chief Sapulpa, who had befriended the railroad workers. This was the beginning of the town of SAPULPA. 
James Hubbard, Historian, Historic Walking Tour, (Sapulpa, OK: Sapulpa Historical Society, Revised April, 1992)

 

 

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Last Updated: 11/12/2004
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