The Last Land Rush
On September 16, 1893, 15,000 land hungry whites gathered here to make "the Run" into the Cherokee Outlet to the south. Caldwell was 1 of 9 places where over 100,000 potential settlers awaited cavalry soldiers' gunshots to start the last land rush in the United States. The Outlet, commonly, but incorrectly, referred to as the "Strip", contained 6,000,000 acres and roughly laid between Caldwell, Stillwater, and the Oklahoma Panhandle.
Originally set aside for the Indians in 1835, the Outlet went unused and white cattleman grazed Texas longhorn cattle across it on the way to eastern markets. Under heavy pressure from white landsquatters, known as "boomers", and lacking help from federal authorities to protect their property, the Indians reluctantly began negotiations with Washington in 1889.
The Cherokees sold the Outlet to the government in 1891 for $8.5 million but when Congress finally appropriated the monies in 1893, the Indians were shorted $200,000.
Historic Marker Project
The many historic markers on display on Caldwell's streets were commissioned by the Caldwell Cherokee Strip Centennial Committee in 1992 in anticipation of the celebration of the "Run" in April and September, 1993. The project preserves
a part of Caldwell's past for our many visitors and future generations. The work of the Historic Marker Subcommittee, with the help of others, allows you to enjoy some of the history that those streets and buildings witnessed over 100 years ago during Caldwell's stormy cowtown period. We hope you enjoy your stroll into history.
Marker Subcommittee members: Chairperson Colin Wood, Richard Lowe, Harold Sturm, JE Turner, Donald White, and David Williams.