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2017 - 2019 Clinton OK Chamber of Commerce Directory

HISTORY OF THE HUB CITY In 1899, two men, J.L. Avant and E.E. Blake, waited for a train at a station house in western Oklahoma. They climbed on a boxcar to look over the country- side, and both men agreed that the Washita River Valley was the perfect place to build a town. The town of Washita Junction would spring up almost overnight some four years later. There were many obstacles for Avant and Blake to overcome in forming Washita Junction. A feud erupt- ed between the men and the nearby town of Arapa- ho. The leaders of Arapaho knew that a new town so opened. One was the first newspaper, The Custer close by would take away from their business and County Chronicle. they tried hard to stop Washita Junction from devel- The second was the First National Bank building at oping. Another major problem was that the law the corner of 4th and Frisco Avenue. The other was specified that an Indian could sell no more than half the town site office building on Frisco Avenue, a of his 160-acre allotment after he was granted per- short distance west of the present location of Sham- mission to do so by Congress. So, Avant, Blake, and burg’s Sporting Goods. their new partners Tom J. Nance and F.E. Richey, Washita Junction grew very rapidly as the major rail- working in secrecy, picked 320 acres allotted to four road stop for western Oklahoma. Due to this railroad different Indians and went to Washington, D.C. access, the town soon earned the nickname Hub City. In 1902, Blake and his partners secured Congressio- The postal department refused to accept the name nal approval to purchase the land. Three buildings Washita Junction for the new town, so Clinton was were already in existence when the town officially chosen in honor of the late Judge Clinton Irwin. 3

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