holdenvilleRepresenting Hughes County as its seat, Holdenville is among the safest of central Oklahoma cities. It is located near Little River, the Canadian River and Holdenville City Lake. Citizens of Holdenville enjoy a truly breathtaking landscape with beautiful rolling hills and forests and plenty of little streams and creeks. With an agriculture based economy, Holdenville is a friendly city that offers its residents a wide array of recreational activities and a comprehensive public safety program.

As the county seat of Hughes County, Holdenville is situated at the intersection of State Highway 48 and U.S. Highway 270, approximately seventy-five miles southeast of Oklahoma City. Originally located in the Creek Nation, Indian Territory, a settlement known as Echo (a Creek word meaning "deer") existed before the arrival of the railroad. Echo became known as Fentress with the establishment of a post office on May 24, 1895. George B. Roderick operated a small store there.

In 1895 the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad (CO&G, later the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway) built a line from McAlester to Oklahoma City. As a result, on September 19, 1895, the city of Holdenville was surveyed. The land belonged to Frank Jacobs, his son John Jacobs, and Charlie Grayson. On November 15, 1895, the Fentress post office was renamed Holdenville, in honor of J. F. Holden, an employee of the CO&G.

On November 14, 1898, Holdenville was incorporated as a town by an order of the U.S. District Court at Muskogee. At the first municipal election held on December 27, 1898, D. J. Red was elected mayor. The first city councilmeeting was held on January 4, 1899.

When the St. Louis, Oklahoma and Southern Railway (later the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway)constructed a line between 1900 and 1901 from Sapulpa to the Red River, it passed through Holdenville. At that time it had a population of 749. By 1907 citizens supported three newspapers, the Holdenville Times , the Holdenville Tribune , and the Union Signal . Two years later the settlement had developed as an agricultural trade center and boasted five banks, three cotton gins, four lumber yards, and a cotton-seed oil mill.

In the 1930s five cotton gins and two grain elevators operated. As the Greater Seminole and Hughes County oil fields developed in the 1920s and 1930s, numerous petroleum companies located in Holdenville.

For the complete article, go to Oklahoma Historical Society's Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture


Boone Pickens, Oil and Gas
Jack Jacobs, Quarterback
Dave Cox, California State Senator
Clu Gulager, Actor
Constancfe N. Johnson, Senator

Chamber of Commerce
(405) 379-6675
119 North Creek Street
Holdenville, OK 74848
Holdenville Public Schools