Search billions of records on

Trails to the Past
Oklahoma's Garvin County

Trails to the Past is a new "free" genealogy project and Brenda Choate has graciously given permission to use her work on this site.  We can never thank Brenda enough for all the hours and hours of time she donated for gathering information to help researchers.

Along with all the work that Brenda has volunteered, we are always looking for volunteers to transcribe material, do look-ups in the county, walk cemeteries and record the information, photograph cemeteries.  If you can spare any time to make this project grow, please contact the county coordinator.

Counties are also available in Oklahoma so the coordinator for the state can be contacted if you might be interested in adopting a county.



Garvin County was originally a part of Pickens and Pontotoc County Districts of the Chickasaw Nation.
The dividing line was the Washita River, so most of the current Garvin County was in the Pickens District. The division into smaller counties came in 1907 with statehood and formally permitted non-native settlement. However, even before non-native settlement was permitted in the Chickasaw Nation, the illegal non-native settlers far outnumbered the Chickasaw people. Only a small number of non-natives had formal permission to reside in the Nation, usually because they had professional services to offer that the Nation wanted to have available. Because of rapidity of settlement and the sheer numbers involved, however, only a small percentage of the "intruders", as the illegal's were known, were ever formally prosecuted and therefore appear on the Intruder Rolls of the Chickasaw Nation. 
Native Americans in Garvin County

The Chickasaw Nation
PO Box 1548
Ada, Oklahoma 74820
voice phone405.436.2603
fax phone405.436.4287

The Chickasaw Nation covered all or parts of the following counties of Oklahoma:
| Bryan | Carter | Coal | Garvin | Grady | Jefferson | Johnston | Love | Marshall | McClain | Murray | Pontotoc | Stephens


Pauls Valley is the county seat of Garvin County, which was named for Samuel Garvin, a prominent Chickasaw Indian and the home to more than 6,200.

In 1847 or 1848, Smith Paul, the city's namesake, brought his family to this area, but the town did not spring into being overnight, as did many other Oklahoma communities.

Pauls Valley, known in those days as "Smith Paul's Valley," did not begin to acquire the characteristics of a town until about 1874, when long wagon trains of Comanche and Kiowa Indians established a trail from Boggy Depot to Fort Sill.

An unofficial survey of the area was made in 1887, and the present town site was laid out in 1892.

Manufacturing is a major part of the Pauls Valley economy, and several major manufacturers call the city home. Among these are Viskase, a plastics firm, and Covercraft, which makes custom vehicle covers. Another major manufacturer is Chicago Miniature Lamp Co., which also has a factory in nearby Wynnewood.

Oil and farming have always been a big part of the Pauls Valley picture as well, and they continue to be. A number of oil companies and support industries, in addition to agriculturally-oriented firms, operate in the area.

Samuel Garvin
Garvin County Namesake


Smith Paul
Pauls Valley Namesake


MEMORIES Ghost Towns
MISCELLANEOUS Photographs  [coming soon]
NEWSPAPERS Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association


Surnames on Our Family Tree


Trails to the Past:  In keeping with our policy of providing free Information on the Internet, data may be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or for presentation by other persons or organizations. Files may be printed or copied for Personal use only. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material for purposes other than stated above must obtain the written consent of the file contributor.