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Our History

View of Downtown in Early 1900sWhen a group of Creek Indians established a settlement near what is now our city, they called it "Broken Arrow." There were no ceremonies of actually breaking arrows. There was no symbolic meaning of peace. Broken Arrow is the name of the place where many of those same Creeks had lived when they were in Alabama -- before moving west on the Trail of Tears.

In his Centennial book, "Broken Arrow, The First Hundred Years," author Steven L. Stapleton covered a few hundred years which helped lead to the town's official name when it was founded in 1902. Those Creeks had lived along the Broken Arrow Creek in Alabama. They named the creek flowing along their new settlement "Broken Arrow." They had moved out of another Alabama village named "Coweta" when it grew too large. Coweta, Oklahoma, is just a few miles to the south and east of Broken Arrow.

While many Americans think of the term "broken arrow" as meaning an act of peace by Native Americans a few hundred years ago, the Creeks who got that name did so because they broke branches of trees to make their arrows, rather than cutting them.

Once the town of Broken Arrow began developing, with a bank or two, a hotel, its own newspaper, dry goods store, food store, etc., the railroad helped bring in more and more new residents. Churches sprung up on or around Main Street. A school was opened. And, gradually, Broken Arrow became a healthy little city able to take care of most of its own needs.

Then, from the late 1950s through the 1970s, major steps were taken to set the stage for the staggering growth here in population. First came the Broken Arrow Expressway, which opened in the mid-1960s and expanded on to what became the Muskogee Turnpike. Telephone calls to Tulsa and the surrounding area, which were a dime up until then, became free. And, perhaps more important than any other factor, Broken Arrow developed an abundant water supply and the way to deliver it to new residents and businesses.

There has been no slowing down since that time!


 Related Links  
The Broken Arrow Centennial 
How to Order Centennial Bricks 
BA Historical Society 
BA Genealogical Society 
Historical Sites of Broken Arrow 
"Broken Arrow: The First Hundred Years" 

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