In the heart of Oklahoma- a U.S state located in the West South Central part of the country, lies the city of Claremore. The state itself is the 28th most populous in the USA and is the 20th most extensive region. It is synonymous with many Native American tribes and the state’s name is derived accordingly from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning “red people.” This tribe were among the regions original occupants but many others were later relocated to the area after the government designated the state as “Indian territory” as part of the American policy of Indian Removal and while some eastern and mid western tribes willingly signed treaties agreeing to move onto reservations in Oklahoma in exchange for undisputed ownership of the new land, others had to be forcibly moved into Oklahoma by the US Army, after refusing or resisting the move. The original tribes in the area included the Plains Apaches, the e Arapaho, Caddo, Comanche, Kiowa, Osage and Wichita tribes while many others including the Cheyenne, Cherokee, Apache and Seminole arrived later and still have organizations in the area today, albeit in much smaller numbers.
The area that is now present-day Claremore, was originally settled by a group of Osage Indians around the start of the early 19th century and the city was named after their chief, called “Gra-moi” whose name French traders in the area pronounced as “Clairmont.” This translates as “mountain with a clear view” and while the Osage settlement was destroyed fifteen years later in 1817, the town’s name remained unchanged. However, when the official Indian Removal Act of 1830 was passed in the country, Claremore became part of the Cooweescoowee District, part of the Cherokee’s north western nation. Among the first white settlers, were the Rogers Family and the county in which this city is situated was named in their honor. They moved into the area in 1856 onto a ranch covering 60,000 acres which is still standing today, just outside Oologah. It is now deemed to be a historical site of great significance and is a popular attraction among visitors to the area, not least because one of the town’s most famous citizens – Will Rogers, the legendary humorist and philosopher, one of the world’s best-known celebrities in the 1920s and 1930s – is buried there along with generations of his family.
In June 1874, a post office was set up and at this point the town was known as Clermont until a clerk recoding this fact misspelt the name and has thus been called Claremore ever since. The arrival of railways to Indian Territory proved to be among the key driving factors in the Claremore’s early growth with two early lines intersecting in the center of town however it was an area “Radium Town” that really put it on the map in 1903 when a local oil company struck an underground pool of water while drilling. The pool smelled of sulphur and was deemed to have healing properties so as a result many bath houses sprang up around the area, one of which is still standing today.