Antelope Hills, Oklahoma

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Antelope Hills


The Antelope Hills
Highest point
Elevation 2,585 ft (788 m)
Country United States
State/Province Oklahoma
District Roger Mills County, Oklahoma
Range coordinates 35°54′15″N99°53′04″W / 35.9042117°N 99.8845604°W / 35.9042117; -99.8845604 Coordinates: 35°54′15″N99°53′04″W / 35.9042117°N 99.8845604°W / 35.9042117; -99.8845604

The Antelope Hills are a series of low hills in the bend of the Canadian River in northwest Roger Mills County, Oklahoma, near the border between western Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle. They were a major landmark for the Plains Indians and travelers on what is now the western plains of Oklahoma. The area was part of the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation until the Land Run of 1892 opened it to non-Indian settlement. The hills are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Canadian River river in Texas and Oklahoma

The Canadian River is the longest tributary of the Arkansas River in the United States. It is about 906 miles (1,458 km) long, starting in Colorado and traveling through New Mexico, the Texas Panhandle, and Oklahoma. The drainage area is about 47,700 square miles (124,000 km2).

Roger Mills County, Oklahoma County in the United States

Roger Mills County is a county located in the western part of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,647, making it the third-least populous county in Oklahoma. Its county seat is Cheyenne. The county was created in 1891.

Plains Indians Native Americans/First Nations peoples of the Great Plains of North America.

Plains Indians, Interior Plains Indians or Indigenous people of the Great Plains and Canadian Prairies are the Native American tribes and First Nation band governments who have traditionally lived on the greater Interior Plains in North America. Their historic nomadic culture and development of equestrian culture and resistance to domination by the government and military forces of Canada and the United States have made the Plains Indian culture groups an archetype in literature and art for American Indians everywhere.



According to the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, there is some evidence that prehistoric humans used this area as a hunting ground. Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado first mentioned these hills in 1541. In 1682, René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the area for Spain, which ceded it to France in 1800. It became part of the United States in 1803, through the Louisiana Purchase. [1] The region was included in Indian Territory until Oklahoma Territory was formed in 1890, and had become the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation in 1867. The Land Run of 1867 opened the area to non-Indian settlement, when it became part of County F. It became part of Roger Mills County after Oklahoma became a state in 1907. [1]

Louisiana Purchase Acquisition by the United States of America of Frances claim to the territory of Louisiana

The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition of the Louisiana territory of New France by the United States from France in 1803. The U.S. paid fifty million francs ($11,250,000) and a cancellation of debts worth eighteen million francs ($3,750,000) for a total of sixty-eight million francs. The Louisiana territory included land from fifteen present U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The territory contained land that forms Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska; the portion of Minnesota west of the Mississippi River; a large portion of North Dakota; a large portion of South Dakota; the northeastern section of New Mexico; the northern portion of Texas; the area of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide; Louisiana west of the Mississippi River ; and small portions of land within the present Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Its non-native population was around 60,000 inhabitants, of whom half were African slaves.

Indian Territory U.S. 17th-, 18th- and early-20th-century territory set aside by the United States Government for the relocation of the indigenous peoples of the Americas

As general terms, Indian Territory, the Indian Territories, or Indian country describe an evolving land area set aside by the United States Government for the relocation of Native Americans who held aboriginal title to their land. In general, the tribes ceded land they occupied in exchange for land grants in 1803. The concept of an Indian Territory was an outcome of the 18th- and 19th-century policy of Indian removal. After the Civil War (1861–1865), the policy of the government was one of assimilation.

Before the American Civil War, this area was part of Comancheria, because the Comanche tribe regarded the land as their hunting ground and cattle grazing land. They vigorously opposed settlements by white immigrants and non-indigenous Native Americans, leading to much destruction and bloodshed. The U. S. military was ineffective in stopping Comanche raids into Texas and Mexico. Finally, the Texas Rangers and some Native American allies began a campaign in 1858 to eliminate the problem. The campaign culminated in the Battle of Little Robe Creek on May 12, 1858.

Comancheria Former region of New Mexico

The Comancheria is the region of New Mexico, west Texas and nearby areas occupied by the Comanche before the 1860s.

Battle of Little Robe Creek

The Battle of Little Robe Creek, also called the Battle of Antelope Hills, took place on May 12, 1858. It actually was a series of three distinct encounters that took place on a single day, between the Comanches on the one side, and Texas Rangers, militia, and allied Tonkawas attacking them. It was undertaken against the laws of the United States at the time, which strictly forbade such an incursion into the Indian Territories of Oklahoma, and marked a significant escalation of the Indian Wars. It also marked the first time American or Texas Ranger forces had penetrated the Comancheria as far as the Wichita Mountains, and Canadian River, and it marked a decisive defeat for the Comanches.

After gold was discovered in California in 1848, the large number of people traveling west created a need for a wagon road. Captain Randolph B. Marcy was commissioned to lead a party to survey the route for such a road from Fort Smith to California. This became known as the California Road. Marcy described the Antelope Hills as, ". . . about one hundred and fifty feet high, of porous sandstone, and appear to be the result of volcanic action. They rise almost perpendicularly from the smooth prairie, are flat upon the top, and present every indication of having been raised out of the earth by volcanic agency. They are near the 100th degree of longitude, and are sometimes called the Boundary mounds, as being near the line formerly claimed by Texas as her eastern boundary." [2]

Randolph B. Marcy Union Army general

Randolph Barnes Marcy was an officer in the United States Army, chiefly noted for his frontier guidebook, the Prairie Traveler (1859), based on his own extensive experience of pioneering in the west. This publication became a key handbook for the thousands of Americans wanting to cross the continent. In the Civil War, Marcy became chief of staff to his son-in-law George B. McClellan, and was later appointed Inspector General of the U.S. Army.

California Road

According to the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, there were two trails that may have been known as the California Road at the time of the California Gold Rush. A southerly route, which ran from the through present-day Oklahoma,(but then known only as Indian Territory, along the Canadian River. A northern route was usually called the California Trail.

The Antelope Hills area was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 14, 1978. [2]

This area is sparsely populated. The main economic activities are agriculture and petroleum production, because it lies atop the Ogallala Aquifer and the Anadarko Basin. [1]

Ogallala Aquifer

The Ogallala Aquifer is a shallow water table aquifer surrounded by sand, silt, clay, and gravel located beneath the Great Plains in the United States. One of the world's largest aquifers, it underlies an area of approximately 174,000 sq mi (450,000 km2) in portions of eight states. It was named in 1898 by geologist N. H. Darton from its type locality near the town of Ogallala, Nebraska. The aquifer is part of the High Plains Aquifer System, and rests on the Ogallala Formation, which is the principal geologic unit underlying 80% of the High Plains.

Anadarko Basin

The Anadarko Basin is a geologic depositional and structural basin centered in the western part of the state of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, and extending into southwestern Kansas and southeastern Colorado. The basin covers an area of 50,000 square miles (130,000 km2). By the end of the 20th Century, the Anadarko Basin was producing the largest amount of natural gas in the United States. Notable oil and gas fields within the basin include the Hugoton-Panhandle Gas Field, West Edmond Field, Union City Field and the Elk City Field. The basin is also the only commercial source of iodine in the United States and a major producer of helium.

Physical description

The surface was originally formed by sediments (sand, clay and caliche) carried down by streams from the Rocky Mountains. These eventually formed sandy, loam soils. Native plants are mostly prairie grasses and a few broadleaf trees, Wooded areas are mostly composed of cottonwood, willow, mesquite and eastern red cedar trees. Wildlife is mostly mule deer, whitetail deer, pronghorn antelope, and rabbit. Avian species include bobwhite quail, Rio Grande turkey, and ring-necked pheasant. [1]

NRHP listing data

The Antelope Hills site (NRIS #78002259) was listed in 1978. The nearest community is Durham, Oklahoma. [3]

See also

Antelope Hills Expedition

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