NAME: Keokuk Falls
CLIMATE: Hot in summer, some snow in winter
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Year round
Town was named for Chief Keokuk. The "Falls"
comes from a former water falls fed by the North Canadian river. It was
known as an "outlaw" town and wooded sidewalks were still visible (some
remember them as bloodstained due to gun fights) until a few years ago.
It was once a "haven" for the likes of Pretty Boy Floyd and other unsavory
characters. Historical marker on Highway 99, north of I-40 towards the town
of Prague, Oklahoma, gives more information.
REMAINS: A few homesites, one building, owned by the Edmondsons, was the "center" of the town where church, funerals, weddings took place. My parents were married there.
The "town" was very active in the early 20's and 30's. My great grandparents and grandparents were there. As a child, I played in the sand-filled "roads" there. Huge wild red plums were everywhere. Submitted by: Joann Bell
Keokuk Falls, Oklahoma is located on Mapquest about 1.7 miles east of US. Hwy 399 (State Hwy 99), on county road E1110 Rd. However, a small granite plaque is located approximately .3 miles further east of that location. The plaque is in the weeds along the side of the road.
The plaque was placed by the Oklahoma Historical Society. My family owns the farm on the south side of E1110 Rd. across the road from where Mapquest locates it. I visit there a few times each year, but it has been several years since I went down and cut the weeds where the Oklahoma Historical Society marker is located.
Keokuk Cemetery, named after the famous Sac and Fox Tribe Chief, is located a short distance northwest of the Oklahoma Historical Society marker, although his grave is in the Tribal Cemetery near the town of Stroud. Levi's Rock, a prominent outcropping along the North Canadian River today, was, I believe, part of the falls, and was named after my Grandfather who was a member of the Sac and Fox Tribe. I have never been able to find any evidence of an actual falls along the North Canadian River, which makes up the southern boundary of our farm, but the river has moved over the years due to floods eroding the banks.
I have been told that the boundary of the Sac and Fox Reservation, at one time, prior to the Allotment of the Reservation, ran down the middle of the main street of Keokuk Falls, and only Indians lived on one side and only Whites lived on the other side. Also, I have been told that the first Postmaster of Oklahoma Territory had his office in Keokuk Falls. I have no independent verification of either of these pieces of information, however.
This is not intended to correct the current information about Keokuk Falls, Oklahoma, but instead, to add to it.
Submitted by Jerry E. Jones, Ph.D.