HISTORY OF FRIENDSHIP, OKLAHOMA

FRIENDSHIP, OKLAHOMA

Pictured above are the Navajoe Mountains, located four miles east of Friendship, which are a part of the Wichita Mountain Range.




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Friendship, in Jackson County, is a rural Southwestern Oklahoma Community with a unique, colorful history. At various times Southwestern Oklahoma was claimed by England, France, Spain, Mexico and the Republic of Texas. Before Oklahoma became the 46th state, Friendship was located in Indian Territory, Oklahoma Territory and Greer County, Texas.

Southwestern Oklahoma was once part of a vast sea of grass stretching as far as the eye could see, populated by millions of buffalo and claimed by Texas, but ruled by the Comanches and Kiowas. After the last free bands of Comanches and Kiowas were confined to the reservation at Fort Sill in 1875, the area became safe for cattle drives. From 1876 to 1892, millions of longhorns were driven from Texas to Dodge City and Ogallala, Nebraska, over the Western Cattle Trail which passed through the middle of what is now the Town of Friendship.

In 1880, giant Texas cattle companies, attracted by the rich grazing land, started moving into Southwestern Oklahoma. At that time, the area was claimed by Texas as Greer County, Texas, based on its assertion that the North Fork was the main channel of the Red River. In 1890, Oklahoma Territory was created, and a lawsuit was filed by the United States to resolve the boundary dispute. In 1896, the Supreme Court determined that the area was a part of Oklahoma Territory, not Texas, and it was opened for Homesteading in 1897.

Navajoe Cemetery

Friendship Schools


Click here to see list of those buried in the Navajoe Cemetery

History of Soldier Springs

History of Navajoe


Over the years, a number of communities, including Clabber Flat, Alfalfa, Lone Oak, Ricks, Riverside, Pleasant Point and Navajoe, were settled in the Friendship area. Clabber Flat School, which opened in 1899, became the first Friendship School, changing its name to Friendship because of its association with the Friendship Baptist Church which was organized and often met at the school.

The Town of Friendship was originally known as Alfalfa and was the site of the Alfalfa Post Office from 1903 to 1905. But, in 1908, the Friendship Baptist Church was built at Alfalfa, and the town soon became known as Friendship. The town thrived as cotton production increased in the area. At its peak, Friendship had more than a dozen businesses, but all of them gradually closed (except for the Friendship Baptist Church which still has weekly services) with the decline in rural population after World War II.

In 1920, the Friendship and Navajoe School Districts and parts of the Lone Oak and Riverside School districts consolidated to form a new Friendship Consolidated District. In 1935, Pleasant Point consolidated with Friendship and, in later years, students were gained from the Ozark and Headrick School Districts.

After the Friendship School burned in 1962, Friendship and Warren consolidated to form a new school district known as Navajo, building a new school midway between the two towns in 1963.

Front of Friendship School Monument

Back of Friendship School Monument


Friendship History Marker

Western Cattle Trail Marker


If you wish to learn more about the history of the Friendship Community, click on the links below:

Friendship Community/Western Cattle Trail Marker, WEB PAGE

Friendship School Marker, WEB PAGE


Soldier Springs/Quartz Mountains

Friendship History Group


The Friendship History Group is a nonprofit entity, organized to document and preserve the history of the Friendship Community. It has two books for sale, which tell some of the colorful history of the Friendship Community and Southwestern Oklahoma. All proceeds from the sale of these books will be used to help fund area historical projects.

One of the books, The Early Day Friendship Area: Its Settlement and Communities, is a comprehensive history of the early Friendship area. More than 500 copies of the book have been sold, and copies have been donated to numerous schools, libraries, museums and historical collections. Additionally, the book has been purchased and reproduced by the Church of Later-Day Saints for its Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Proceeds from the sale of the book, together with matching funds from members of the group, were used to fund an Oklahoma State Historical Marker commemorating the Friendship Community and Western Cattle Trail.

The other book is an historical novel, The North Fork: A Tale of the Southwestern Frontier, which was written recently by Don Butler, a member of the Friendship History Group. It combines both historical figures and fictional characters from three different cultures, whose lives are shaped by events on the southwestern frontier during the turbulent decades after the Civil War. A recent book signing and review, sponsored by the Western Trail Historical Society at the Museum of the Western Prairie in Altus, resulted in excellent attendance and sales of the book.

Click on the link below for further descriptions and images of the books, or to print out an order form.

Southwestern Oklahoma Frontier History


Oklahoma History WebRing
Oklahoma History Ring

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Web page - Verna Johnson
History - Don Butler
Quartz Mountain Picture - Floyd Roach