Noble County - Other Towns
Ford, Oklahoma, was located eight miles east, one mile south of Bliss, now Marland. According to George Shirk's book, Oklahoma Towns, Ford, Oklahoma got its name from nearby fords across the Arkansas River. Both the east and south fords were just a mile and a half away. But the native Bressians claim the town was named for a man, Ford Marks, who established the first mercantile business around the time the postoffice was officially instituted on July 6, 1905.
One building housed the post office, general store and living quarters in the back. Groceries, hardware, shoes, dry good and even jewelry supplied the needs of all of what today is called the Bressie community as well as the Big Bend country of Osage County.
A building to the north of the general store was the blacksmith shop, operated by the Watrous brothers. Across the road the large meeting hall, built by the Modern Woodmen, was never used by the lodge, because they learned that lodge meetings could only be held in an upstairs hall that provided privacy. But others, not under such compulsions, attended Saturday night dances, church on Sunday and even community sponsored lyceum shows that made their way to the Ford hall.
Ford, a lively center, was different from many old towns of the west, because it did not have a hotel or a saloon, even before Oklahoma became a dry state in 1907.
Lela, along the eastern border of Noble County in Autry Township, was first located a mile west and a half mile south of the present site. When the railroad was put through the location was changed to be close to the railway. After Lela was moved it was located on the junction of Highway 108 to Glencoe and State Highway 64. A small community grew up around the post office and grocery store.
David Beard built a rock building for a feed store. After it was no longer used as a feed store the building was used for "Play parties" by the young people. These were similar to square dances except the players sang the instructions for the dance. Couples held hands and skipped around in a circle side by side. Young people, whose parents objected to dances, were allowed to go to "play parties." Barn dances were held across the road on the Charles Akers place.
The last store building in Lela was built in later years. As the community built up on the opposite side of the highway, it put part of Lela in Pawnee County and part in Noble County. Lela shares the fate of several "ghost towns" in Noble County.
Sumner was originally a mile and a half south from where the school house is now located in Auburn Township east of Perry. The first post office was in the store of Alexander Youree. When the railway was built in 1903, the town was moved to the present site. A townsite promoter, Wolf, platted the town and called it Robertal but the citizens didn't like the name and petitioned for the name Sumner.
At one time Sumner had two blacksmiths, one thirteen-room hotel, one stockyard, two lumber yards, two banks, two grocery stores, two churches - Christian and Baptist - one coton gin, two grain elevators, one feed lot, one garage, a post office and a school.
The school at Sumner was the first consolidated school in Noble County and one of the first in the state. The Tilman school, Nielson school (Rosenwald) district #36, and the Poole school district #43 were consolidated.
The information on these towns was taken from: The Noble County Genealogy Society History of Noble County Oklahoma Perry, OK: McNaughton & Gunn, Inc., 1987. Permission was granted by the Noble County Genealogy Society to Cheryl DeJager and the Cherokee Strip Museum to use this information for research purposes. The information should not be used for publication or for other purposes without the express permission of the Noble County Genealogy Society.
Note: Not all of the photographs contained in this exhibit are available at the Cherokee Strip Museum. Photographs may have been edited for presentation on the web site.