By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (November 16, 2023) – Today’s edition of Fun with Maps celebrates the anniversary of statehood for the Sooner State.


Oklahoma became a state on November 16, 1907.

This state might have the most troubled history relating to Native Americans. 

The land has been inhabited since the last major climate change – thawing from the last ice age about 12,000 years ago — mostly the ancestors of the Wichita. 

Then came the Spanish in 1541 but then the French claimed the area in the 18th century.  The land was sold to the US as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

In the 19th century the Government forcibly moved various tribes to the Indian Territory, which is basically todays Oklahoma.  There were promises that the land would be theirs.

And then the Land Rush occurred in 1893, and the western portion of the Indian Territory became Oklahoma territory.  While there were attempts to create a state for the Native Americans, it fell through in the US Congress, and the rest is history.

This map by Gray from 1901 shows a divided territory – Oklahoma Territory to the west and Indian Territory to the east.  The combination of the two became the state of Oklahoma.  

Oklahoma and Indian Territory map – 1901 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.