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Some History of Love County

     R.H. "Bob" Love, a Chickasaw Indian was probably the first known settler who settled at Oil Springs in 1841 and promoted it as as health spring with a partner, Thomas S. Boyd. This was one of the first settlements west of the Washita River prior to 1842. Oil Springs is now in the Hickory Creek Hunting Reservation. In 1843 another Chickasaw settler, Overton "Sobe" Love moved into Love County. He later became judge and one of the largest land holders in Chickasaw Nation. Love County was named for him.
     Gainesville, Texas was named for a Chickasaw, James M. Gaines who settled at Burneyville in 1845. Adam Jimmy Point is a hill less than a mile northwest of Overbrook where Adam Jimmy settled in 1850. He was a Chickasaw Indian trader and was reputed to have large sums of gold. The gold was not found after he died.
     The Western Plains Indians represented a serious threat to the Chickasaws settling in the area. They would steal anything and did not usually kill except for revenge. Traders were generally left alone as the Plains Indians liked to trade hides and pelts for food, guns or other items.
     Fort Washita was established in 1842 as the first federal port to protect the Chichasaws from the raiding Indians. This fort is about twenty miles east of Love County.
     After the Civil War, Love County was in an economic slump as plantation farming was no longer profitable. Some enterprising Chickasaws rounded up wild horses and cattle and began ranching.
     Bill Washington was the wild, tough and free wheeling cattle king of Mud Creek. He married a Chickasaw woman which allowed him to take advantage of almost all the range he could use in building his cattle herd. His large ranch extended over 150,000 acres and he was a millionaire by the age of 38. His home built in 1888 about four miles southwest of Marietta, is a fine elaborate house. It is still privately owned and not open to the public. Later Mr. Washington moved to New Mexico and Mr. Suggs of 700 Ranch of Ardmore bought his property.
     The cattle drives came through Love County on their way to Kansas. This industry brought a great economic boost to the area. Today the Cattle industry is still strong in Love County.
     Submitted & © by Nova A Lemons , author of "Pioneers of Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory" (1991), page 56. [printed here with permission by Nova A. Lemons]

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