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Spavinaw is a town in Mayes County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 437 at the 2010 census, a decline of 22.4 percent from 563 at the 2000 census. The town is best known as the birthplace of baseball player Mickey Mantle. It is also notable for the nearby Lake Spavinaw, the principal source of water for Tulsa, Oklahoma.HistoryThe town is named for Spavinaw Creek, a stream named by French trades and explorers who travelled here in the 18th Century. According to historian Muriel Wright, the French name was a corrupted form the French word ce'pee (meaning "young growth or shoots of wood"). plus the French adjective vineux (wine colored). This term referred to a description of the color of black jack, post and red oak trees which grow here in springtime.The first recorded settler here was Lewis Rogers, son of Captain John Rogers. Lewis set up a mill, a distillery and a salt works in 1829. In 1839, the Eastern Cherokees began moving into the Spavinaw area of Indian Territory. The Cherokee council outlawed the operation of distilleries in their area and dispossessed Rogers of his distillery and the salt works, both of which had already been damaged by a flooding of Spavinaw Creek.In 1846, Jacob Croft, a Mormon en route to Utah, decided to settle here instead. He was hired by Joseph Lynch Martin to restore the mill. In 1855, a group of Mormon missionaries from Utah arrived at Croft's home and began converting Cherokees and Creeks. When they began urging the converts to move to Utah, Lewis Rogers complained to the Cherokee council. In October 1856, Chief John Ross ordered all Mormons out of the Cherokee nation.Make your own Spavinaw vacation itinerary, with a little help from those that know the place like the back of their hands, by using our United States sightseeing website.
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